Sunday, 7 June 2015

40 Reasons My Life Has Been Great!

I am a year shy of forty, and, as far as I know, in perfect health. If I’m lucky, I’ll live for another forty years, maybe more. There are numerous experience I would still like to have and adventures I’d like to undertake. Yet, if I had to check-out tomorrow, I don’t think I could really complain too much. You see, I’ve had a pretty darn good life so far. In fact, sometimes, when I’m feeling down, which I do far more than I should, I think it is necessary to remind myself just how good it has been. So here is a reminder to myself. A list, hastily scribbled and in no hierarchy, of 40 reasons why my life has been great!

1. I am a citizen of two counties.
2. I have written six books that have seen publication.
3. I knew all four of my grandparents and three of my great-grandparents.
4. I grew up in a mansion, even though my parents were poor.
5. I attended a good grade-school, a good high school, and a great university.
6. I married Stephanie Bell.
7. I have travelled in fourteen different countries on three continents.
8. My baby daughter is healthy and happy.
9. I have been to five Major League baseball stadiums and seven Minor League.
10. I have hiked into the Grand Canyon.
11. I have been sprayed by the water of Victoria Falls.
12. I have ventured into the Skojan Caves.
13. I have worked under many kind and generous bosses.
14. I have attended Dragoncon, Pulpcon, Historicon, Salute and Spiel.
15. I have cycled over 10,000 miles in the last six years.
16. My father read me The Lord of the Rings (several times!).
17. I have lived in two unique cities: Washington D.C. and Oxford U.K.
18. I have never been truly hungry nor feared eviction.
19. I have stood in an ancient burial mound and camped in a ruined castle.
20. I have seen elephants, lions, giraffes, and zebras in the wild.
21. I have seen Tom Petty, Robert Earl Keen, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Bob Seger, The Oyster Band, Mark Knopfler, and Steve Earle in concert.
22. My mother taught me to be a writer.
23. I have been a spectator at two Olympic Games.
24. I have walked in an on-coming hurricane, stumbled up the stairs in an earthquake, and stood near a fence that was struck by lightning.
25. I have hiked to the top of several mountains.
26. I have read hundreds, maybe thousands, of books.
27. I have toured the British Museum, the Louvre, and the Met.
28. I have stood in the graveyard of my ancestors.
29. I have seen plays in the West End and on Broadway.
30. I have played the stock market, bought a house, and battled out of debt.
31. I have two sisters, a niece, four nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and God parents.
32. I have climbed into a frozen waterfall.
33. I spent countless hours in a dingy basement store, playing games with friends who made me laugh until I hurt.
34. I have seen the peak of Mount Olympus hanging in the sky.
35. I have stood on Chimney Rock, slid down Sliding Rock, and felt the wind at Blowing Rock.
36. I have crawled into a cavern too small to sit up in.
37. I have starred in amateur plays.
38. I have gotten into a tug-o-war with a wild baboon... and won!
39. I have taken ferries across the English channel and the Irish Sea.
40. I have been a member of a garage band, a softball team, and a ghost-hunting group.

Not bad, not bad at all! 

I not only really enjoyed making this list, but I think it has been good for my mental well being. I would suggest everyone do something similar. In fact, I challenge my fellow bloggers to make their own lists! And if you do, let me know, I'd been interested to see what you write.


  1. An interesting list.With fifteen more years than you I'd better get thinking...

  2. Good list. Great idea! maybe I will do my own too! I'll need 55 things though!

  3. Great idea and great list Joe! With a decade on you I'll need to get cracking.

  4. Not a bad start. what you got planed for the next half century?

  5. Just discovered this but think it's great....much better than having a bucket list of what you still haven't managed to do.
    PS Frostgrave looks good from all the blogs, etc but I'm having to wait til my birthday in November to get my own copy.