This week seems like a good time to talk about gratitude since Thanksgiving is tomorrow.
Gratitude it a one of the most powerful over-the-counter drugs on the market today. In fact, it works so well in my life that I stop taking it.
When I do remember to sit down and come up with a list of the things I am grateful for, it scares me because the effects are so potent.
A couple of weeks ago, I got up in the morning and before I even had breakfast, I felt like the sky was falling, and I was in fear about my career and about money. I left like my life was over and I wanted to die.
I called my wise friend, Lou, who suggested I make a list of the things I was grateful for. I was in enough pain to do what he said, and by the afternoon, I was feeling a lot better — and the funny thing is the balance in my checking account was still the same and I still was not on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.
My outside had not changed one bit, but my inside had changed a lot. I was in a good mood. The sun was shining, as much as it can do in November in Chicago.
So if you’re feeling a bit down during the holidays, or any time of the year, try focusing on what you are grateful for. It can really help.
That being said, I wanted to share with you some things I am really grateful for this year. (These are not in any particular order… just so Lauren knows why she isn’t at the top of the list).
- World’s Greatest Dad(?)
After 18 years since my last one-person show, I finally put up another one. I opened it in July and then ran it again in November (my last show is this Saturday), and both times it played to sold-out crowds most nights. I’ve received a lot of great press and had the chance to see friends I have not seen in years. I also really enjoyed the creative process, and it was so much fun to be back doing it again. But one-person shows are never really created by one person, and I am most grateful for all of the people who helped me with the show along the way.
Lauren is a great partner and a great mom, and my favorite part of the day is at night when we lay in bed and talk about our day. Not only do I learn a lot from Lauren, but she also keeps me on track in my life and my career. I love her so much.
- Our bed
It the baby bear of mattresses — not too hard and not too soft, but just right. I only wish I could sleep on it more.
- My students
I am blessed in this department. I love teaching improv, I think a lot more than I realize. And I love my students. They are some of the kindest, most talented and thoughtful people, and I really learn a lot from them. Right now, I have really wonderful Level 2 Class that are all so bright and have blended so well as a group, that I’m going to miss teaching tonight because of Thanksgiving.
- Coco, our cat
I never thought I could love a cat. I never thought a cat could love me. I mean, I was actually mean to our cat growing up. But Coco can’t get enough of me, lying on my stomach and purring until she kills me with her kitty love.
- Betsy, our daughter
She is now over three and even though I have not gotten a solid eight hours of sleep since she was born, on most days, this kid brings me a lot of joy. She has helped me on those morning where I have felt depressed and didn’t want to get out of bed. I’m like, “Ugh, I need to get up and make breakfast for her,” and before I know it, I’ve completely forgotten that I was hating myself a couple of hours earlier.
- Lauren’s parents
They have been very generous to us over the years and I like being part of a German family, which is much different than my family of origin. I actually look forward to spending Christmas in Pennsylvania, where along with the turkey, they serve this thing called “filling” instead of stuffing. (It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch thing).
- My friends
I have a great group of friends that I can call and ask for their help. And here is the best part — 80% of the time I take some form of it, and because of it, my life has gotten bigger.
Between “Stranger Things,” “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” and the comedy specials and documentaries, and since it’s on my computer and is portable, Netflix is just plain awesome. How can they give you all of this great content for only $8.99 per month? I don’t know, but I’m very grateful.
- Teaching improv at Betsy’s preschool
They call me Mr. Carrane. They struggle with even the most basic of games. Their attention span is about 14 minutes. They have no expectations. They don’t care how they are doing or if they are going to be on SNL. And when I leave, I feel like I am on a pink cloud.
- My Kindle
Another product that I came late to the party to. I love books. I love going and supporting bookstores. But lately, I haven’t had the time to browse through a regular bookstore, so Kindle has been a savior. I love that you can get a sample of books before you buy them and that they are cheaper then buying them new. I also feel it good for the environment.
What are you grateful for this year? I’d love to hear in the comments below.