Be honest: When was the last time you were grateful for something you took for granted?  

Something that seemed…insignificant?

For example, I’m grateful for my snot nosed cat. When you tell him he’s handsome he closes his eyes and puts his nose in the air…and that makes me laugh. I like to laugh.  

I learned a lesson 12 months ago, and that was to find the good in everyone and everything. That doesn’t mean it’s ok to be walked on or taken advantage of, but since November of 2014 I’ve tried…albeit not always successfully…to be grateful for even the smallest things.  I have my list, and I encourage you to make your own.

In no particular order, a few things I am grateful for:

  • The crisp smell of fall.
  • The genuine warmth in my wife’s voice. 
  • The fragment of a song that reminds me of when I was a kid.
  • Phone calls and FaceTime with my daughter.
  • Hearing that my parents are in good health.
  • Hearing my son practice piano.
  • Bengals Sundays (despite their recent transgressions).
  • Watching the face of a student in class when they “get it”.
  • Reeses Cups.
  • Warm socks.
  • The Gang of Idiots™ (aka, my friends from high school).
  • Coffee.
  • The Music of Snarky Puppy, Rush, David Masklanka, Claude Debussy, and Peter Gabriel.
  • The Warrior Strong Facebook Page.
  • Jon Stewart.
  • Awesome band parents.
  • The incredible people I work with in the band program.
  • The smell of a new book.
  • Waking up every day knowing that I get to teach music.

Please take these next five days and enjoy the time with your family and friends. As for me, I am taking my own advice and updating my gratitude list. It includes my family, friends and work. But also the uppity profile of my finicky feline. 

And it includes you, for reading this column and supporting music education.