Thankful. So Very Thankful. - Dana Satterwhite The 5 Percent Club

A day, as we all know, is 24 hours. So yesterday, a glorious Wednesday—one day before Thanksgiving—I dedicated 5 percent of my day (1.2 hours) to compiling a list of all the things for which I’m thankful. Started with the basics, became maybe a bit more abstract in the middle, and wound up, oh, somewhere. Here goes.

• I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and our dog.
• I’m thankful for my mother’s tenacity and my father’s patience.
• I’m thankful for my sister’s incomparably kind heart.
• I’m thankful for loving in-laws and out-laws.
• I’m thankful that I found my soulmate.
• I’m thankful that my soulmate and I often disagree but we share similar tastes and values.
• I’m thankful for the surgeon who fixed my arm last December and the one who fixed my knee fifteen+ years ago.
• I’m thankful that tearing one biceps tendon still leaves about 99% of functionality post-surgery/rehab.
• I’m thankful that I’ll never rock a combover.
• I’m thankful that somewhere along the way I learned, with rare exception, to never end a sentence with a preposition.
• I’m thankful that I not only like words, I love words.
• I’m thankful that I know the difference between there, their, and they’re.
• I’m thankful that I know the difference between it’s and its.
• I’m thankful to be a bit OCD.
• I’m thankful for SpellCheck and GrammarCheck but moreover that, in a pinch, I could get by without either of them.
• I’m thankful for all human beings committed to making the world awesome.
• I’m thankful that my parents never let adversity stand in their way nor held the misguided actions of a troubled few against an undeserving many.
• I’m thankful for people like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, MLK, Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs, and Oprah Winfrey.
• I’m thankful for my Nikon N80, Nikon D70S, and the Nikon D750 I will soon hopefully own.
• I’m thankful that my parents got me braces.
• I’m thankful that after I wadded up the first retainer in a tissue that they got me a second retainer.
• I’m thankful for the infamous third retainer.
• I’m thankful for the kids who teased me in grade school.
• I’m thankful for the kids who teased me in high school.
• I’m thankful for all the people who reduce me to a skin color.
• I’m thankful for all the people who see me for everything beyond that.
• I’m thankful for a few painful break-ups.
• I’m thankful for Mrs. Tannenbaum and all my piano lessons.
• I’m thankful for Mr. Lofaro and Mr. Stockburger and my eight years playing clarinet.
• I’m thankful for all the people who’ve ever taken a chance on me professionally. Lance. Alan. Ron. Margie. Mario. Joe. Carol Lee. Kevin. Scottie. Les. Bob. Bob. Dan. Danny. Alvin. Fran. You know who you are. There are more.
• I’m thankful for every trip I’ve ever taken.
• I’m thankful that I own a passport and can, on a good day, get by in Spanish.
• I’m thankful for the nine years we lived in Las Vegas.
• I’m thankful for the nearly nine years I lived in Boston.
• I’m thankful for every second I’ve spent living in, working in, and visiting New York City.
• I’m thankful that I like art, music, and sports.
• I’m thankful that I have friends and family in Iceland, Israel, Texas, Hawaii, Norway, London, Iowa, North Carolina, Detroit, California (north and south), Brooklyn, Manhattan, Beacon, Jersey, Pittsburgh, Miami, Virginia, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Ecuador, Malaysia, Atlanta, Chicago, and beyond.
• I’m thankful that that list contains cities, states, and countries, is fairly long, and is in no particular order.
• I’m thankful for the Smith Center.
• I’m thankful for my wife’s angelic voice and sense of humor.
• I’m thankful for the city of Houston, Hermann Park, Montrose, and its 20 museums (give or take), many of which we will soon explore.
• I’m thankful that I learned to play chess, Connect Four, Risk, Monopoly, and Stratego.
• I’m thankful for losing and winning all throughout my life.
• I’m thankful that I grew out of being an extremely picky eater.
• I’m thankful that I like stinky cheese and sushi.
• I’m thankful that, though I’m a slow reader, I still enjoy reading.
• I’m thankful that I can discern hate from ignorance.
• I’m thankful for my seventh and eighth grade typing classes.
• I’m thankful for the “public Ivy” education that my parents kindly bestowed upon me.
• I’m thankful that I’ve been to Paris, Venice, and Vienna.
• I’m thankful that I like to fly and that my ears no longer hurt like they did when I was a kid, upon takeoff and landing.
• I’m thankful that there are so many creative people in the world.
• I’m thankful for every trip to Rockefeller Center.
• I’m thankful that I love Saturday Night Live and can find humor in it even when Donald Trump is hosting.
• I’m thankful for the mountain of talent that’s come out of that show and its impact on culture at-large.
• I’m thankful for agencies like Wieden and that Norm MacDonald and Darrell Hammond have both now played Colonel Sanders.
• I’m thankful that, though our country’s fate seems quite uncertain from one day to the next, people seem to care about the current election.
• I’m thankful that I still appreciate the serial comma.
• I’m thankful that kids used to call me “Brain,” like it was both a good thing and a bad thing.
• I’m thankful for social media.
• I’m thankful for social media used with discretion.
• I’m thankful for vinyl and mp3s.
• I’m thankful for the Jets, the Giants, the Texans, the Cowboys, the Pats, and other teams within the NFL.
• I’m thankful that I’ve never participated in a Fantasy League and that I have friends who live for and can’t imagine life without them.
• I’m thankful for Parent-Teacher Associations.
• I’m thankful for my circle of collaborators.
• I’m thankful for random potluck dinners.
• I’m thankful for every rainbow (single, double, full, partial, and other) that I’ve ever seen and that I still hold out for the possibility of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and a unicorn.
• I’m thankful for empathy—that it exists and that I think I try to apply it often within my life.
• I’m thankful for every single friend not listed here but whose name is currently rattling through my head.
• I’m thankful for all civilized and tempered discourse.
• I’m thankful for Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangout.
• I’m thankful for email.
• I’m thankful that every generation thinks it invented everything.
• I’m thankful that every generation thinks things they didn’t invent are antiquated and stupid.
• I’m thankful for trying and learning.
• I’m thankful that I don’t have to do more public speaking.
• I’m thankful that people are inherently good.
• I’m thankful that I can pretty much eat wherever the hell I want.
• I’m thankful for anyone who has taken the time to read this list of gratitude in its entirety and comes away maybe a little enlightened and not entirely bored.
• I’m thankful for The 5 Percent Club and lists.
• I’m thankful for classical music.
• I’m thankful for NPR and its affiliate stations in the cities where we reside.
• I’m thankful for likeminded humans with good intentions.
• I’m thankful for the alarm that just went off, letting me know my 72 minutes is up.

• I’m thankful that, though I’m stopping here, the list could go on and on and on.

Photo Credit: Lucky Wenzel


  • margie

    Well done!

  • Judy

    Have a wonderful day. I am so thankful I met you and Kristen when you lived in Vegas.

  • Abby

    I’m thankful for thoughtfully written posts like this that capture the little and large things in life that sometimes we forget are amazing. Happy Thanksgiving, fellow 5%er ?

  • Holly Raynes (@hollyiswriting)

    Lovely, Dana. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

  • dina

    i’m thankful for dana satterwhite and his lovely family. happy thanksgiving.

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95% of life is spent on autopilot.

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