A Glass Half Full


By the way, next week is my birthday.  I will be thirty-three years old.  Since last week was Thanksgiving, and this week is my birthday, I thought I would take an assessment of my present situation and remind myself all the reasons I should be thankful.  Hopefully, I will also have some bubbly on my birthday (though I hope it is something better than Ballatore Gran Spumante, like the model above).  I love champagne, sparkling wine, Asti, and prosecco, any of the before mentioned will do (Moët White Star is my favorite).  While in France, I learned the dangers of cheap champagne. (Note: never, ever, ever, and I mean, never, buy a €1 bottle of champagne in France.  It will be the worst hangover you have ever had, no matter how little of it you drink.)

I am certainly glad that a few years ago, I decided to change my attitude about life and become an optimist.  I keep the motto that everything will work out in the end, because it is God’s will, not mine.  I could easily be a pessimist, like many people I know, including my mother.  I am still in graduate school, though I wish that I were finished by now and if I had not procrastinated and things had not gone against me several times, I might be done by now.  I have a job I really don’t like at a small private academy teaching middle and high school students, with some subjects outside my field and making very little money.  Five days a week, I deal with spoiled brats who have very little respect for elders, and I deal with an administrator who has a completely different philosophy than me when it comes to education.  I have to deal with parents, who think their children do no wrong and that I show favoritism to other kids, which they see as a bad thing unless it is their kid that they see me showing favor to.  Furthermore, my parents know that I am gay and refuse to accept it.  They insist on a total don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t discuss policy toward my sexuality.

So what am I thankful for?  First of all, in this economy, I have a job doing what I love to do: teach.  It may not be a perfect situation and on many days it may be frustrating, but at least it is a job and it is a teaching job. 

Second, even though the income is not great, I found a wonderful little house to rent with a ridiculously low rent from the sweetest landlady who is not nosy in a small town of busybodies.  This also means that I am no longer living with my parents.  I have my freedom to come and go as I please, with no questions asked.  It may not be a lot, but it is something.

I also have a college class that I teach two nights a week that keeps me sane.  My students are older and are an absolute joy to teach.  Even after a long trying day teaching middle and high schoolers, my college class can lift my energy and spirit like nothing else.  I wish everyone had the chance to find that much fulfillment in a job that only takes two and a half hours a week.

Furthermore, though my parents may not like my sexuality, nor fully support it, at least they did not disown me.  They still love me no matter what and maybe one day they will accept the situation for what it is.  Until that time, the don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t discuss policy is working fine as a sort of armistice. At least it keeps questions from being asked all the time.

Also, I have not given up on graduate school.  I will get my PhD eventually, I just have to finish this damn dissertation.  I think I am on the right track finally, and I just need to learn how to manage my small amounts of free time better.  Whether that means working on my dissertation during my planning period at school or learning to get enough sleep.  Maybe I am somewhat caught up on my sleep after this week where I have done a lot of sleeping during my recovery from surgery.

Lastly, since I started my blogs, I have made some wonderful new friends.  Those friends I cherish as much as the flesh and blood friends I know in my personal life.  You guys are just as real to me as those flesh and blood friends (after all, you are made of flesh and blood).  I love hearing from you guys through comments, emails, chatting, text messages.  All of you are dear to me, though some I may not keep in touch with like I should, I still love you guys and think about you.  Thanks for being my friends.

Oh, and one last thing.  I have made it to my thirty-third year (well almost, here’s hoping, LOL).  Now if this just means that I am only a third or a fourth of the way through my life, then I have a long and happy life to look forward to.  So my advice, look at the things you can be thankful for, not what you might find depressing.  Look on the bright side, and be an optimist.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

6 responses to “A Glass Half Full

  • fan of casey

    Joe: You have the right attitude and it will serve you well in the end. I am thankful for your blogs and for your friendship. This song goes out to you.www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrdEMERq8MA

  • Brian

    Your life sounds pretty good to me. And, if you think you are only a third or a fourth of the way through your life at age 33, you are expecting to live a lot longer than I do! I need to know what kind of vitamins you are taking, I must need some of them.

  • jaygeemmm

    Nice post Joe, glad you chose to do it here. It's good that we can always find something to be thankful for. I'm so much happier since I started the blog – it's opened so many doors, and I've met so many amazing people that have given me so much courage and optimism!Well good!Peace <3Jay

  • JoeBlow

    FOC: I love that song, and I am thankful for your friendship as well.Brian: I'm may only be about halfway through my life, but with modern medical technology, people are living longer, thank what could be achieved in the next 66 to 99 years. I hope to live to 99, I'm not for sure about 132, but how knows, LOL. BTW, I don't take vitamins: my prescriptions are Prozac, HBP medicine and Cholesterol medicine, LOL. The doctors did tell me before my surgery that other than my high blood pressure that I was in remarkable health.Jay: I completely agree with you. When I started my first blog, I had no idea anyone would actually read it, but it has greatly enriched my life through the people that I have met.

  • djc314

    Hope you have a great birthday! It may be corny but I am thankful that I was born in the good ol USA. When you think about it the majority of the people in the world would love to have our problems as most are worrying about living on less than $10 a day…hungry, cold etc…Also I am jealous of those that put thier faith in God…as I can not fanthom how someone as smart as you can think that some super power is some how spending time thinking about how he/she/it can make your life better…and I mean that in no dissrespect…

  • JoeBlow

    DJC, thank you for the birthday wishes. I am also very thankful that I was born in the United States. And I know you meant no disrespect, but I look around me every day, and I cannot fathom a world without God. I cannot fathom how everything in the universe, including us and all that surrounds us is a cosmic accident. In my belief it is the work of God, as are all the blessings that I have. It is my faith, and faith cannot and should not be rationalized. It keeps me sane, and I cannot imagine it any other way. Trust me, I have struggled with this issue a great deal, but too many of my blessings (however small they may be), I see God's touch in them. I said that with no disrespect, and I mean that honestly and sincerely as well, sorry if my response seems overboard. Sometimes I get started and I don't know when to stop.

Thank you for commenting. I always want to know what you have to say. However, I have a few rules: 1. Always be kind and considerate to others. 2. Do not degrade other people's way of thinking. 3. I have the right to refuse or remove any comment I deem inappropriate. 4. If you comment on a post that was published over 14 days ago, it will not post immediately. Those comments are set for moderation. If it doesn't break the above rules, it will post.

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