This would normally be a Twitter or Facebook post, but I feel like writing just a few more characters than I should.

The weather is starting to turn cold, and I think once again about moving away from here. But there’s something addictive about the chill in the air. I think I could actually live with Fall all year ‘round.

I’ve come to a point in my life where I can afford nice computers, good scotch and a great view of the leaves changing colors across the hills and bluffs of Southeastern Minnesota. My wife and I can afford to take good care of our pets, and I can afford to take better care of myself. I honestly never would have guessed I’d get to this point.

I’ve been told many times that I’m lucky to be alive, and on many different occasions. I’ve always taken that seriously, but at the same time I’ve taken it for granted. In the past, I’d always just go back to what almost killed me on the first go-round, somehow thinking I’d do the same thing… just a little different this time. My life was a scientific experiment with no control group.

I’ve fallen down stairs. I’ve fallen into 20-foot holes and landed on my back in broken concrete. I’ve been held at knifepoint, and gunpoint. I’ve overdosed. I’ve engaged in risky behavior of all kinds. There are a couple dozen reasons I shouldn’t be sitting here looking at this view, feeling as comfortable as I am now. I grew up at some point, I guess.

Some of my friends weren’t so lucky. I didn’t know how to grieve appropriately back then, so it still sneaks up on me sometimes. Retroactive remorse. I get especially emotional and sentimental at this time of year, for some reason. Every time, it reminds me how lucky I am and how grateful I should be.

Maybe you haven’t been as lucky. Maybe you haven’t been as careless to begin with. Still, do me a favor and step back to appreciate that you get to be picky about your coffee, snobby about your beer and pretentious about your text editors. If you’re not doing so hot right now, take heart: things can work out. Don’t give in, don’t give up.

Run while you have to, stop when you can.