Darin's Point of No Return

If there is one thing I can be grateful about in this twisted, depressing, toilet-paper-lacking, heart-breaking, economy-busting, Zoom-infested year of ours, it’s that, well, I am indeed thankful.

I’m thankful that I get to fill my lungs with air, put one foot in front of the other and take on the next 24-hour challenge that awaits me. Let’s always start with that one, right?

I’m thankful that our 6-month-old “puppy” continues to behave like she broke into a sugar factory late at night, dug herself into the molten core of sugar that powers all the other sugar in the place and then throws down a Thermos-full of coffee while zip-lining into a Metallica concert. I’m kidding. I am, indeed, not thankful for that. But I am thankful that she looks at me like I have all the answers in life, even though I rarely even understand the questions.

I’m thankful for the family in which I was raised, and the one I come home to at night now. I’ve had the opportunity to play the roles of son, brother, husband and father, and though I have fallen short in every one of those duties at some point or another, I’m thankful that my family allows me to keep trying to do better. They give my soul comfort. That is everything.

I’m thankful that frozen Greek yogurt is delicious, and I can enjoy something similar to ice cream at night without feeling like I’m a raccoon lurking behind the dumpster in our office parking lot every night, waiting to strike Susan Mutz as she makes her way to her car.

I’m thankful that the dumpster-diving raccoons now target Susan Mutz instead of me.

I’m thankful that I have a good job, and that I get to do what I love in the process. The media gets a bad rap these days, and I get it. But we get to tell the story of this community every single day, and it’s an absolute honor to do so.

In that vein, I’m thankful that I get to work with the men and women here at the Coastal Point. This is a smart, dedicated, kind and talented group of people, and I’m proud to work with them. It’s the kind of environment that demands you do your very best, because everybody else in the room is, in fact, doing their very best.

I’m thankful that I’m almost halfway done trying to come up with a list of things I’m thankful for in the year 2020. I’m also thankful that there is no doubt I have plenty to be appreciative of to fill this spot.

I’m thankful for the friends I have made in this community over the years. Some moved here from other areas, and some grew up here. It’s been nice getting to know people with different perspectives and backgrounds, and I have enjoyed the conversation, whiskey and laughter over the years.

I’m thankful that the internet provides people information at the click of a mouse, the ability to stay in touch with folks from every chapter in our lives and a way to watch videos of people injuring themselves in any number of hilarious ways. To be honest, I can do without the political rancor and general nastiness from people who purport to “know it all,” but it’s worth the trade-off to see a guy flip over the handles of his bicycle to avoid hitting a little family of ducks. I mean, those ducks were just so precious in that little row and...

But I digress.

I’m thankful that we have a system in place that allows for the people of this nation to vote for its representatives, as well as a judicial system that provides candidates an avenue of recourse if they believe the system wasn’t implemented properly, or if there was some sort of malfeasance involved in the process. I’ll also be thankful when all of this is over so I can get back to watching my cartoons at night before I go to sleep.

I’m thankful that as I do go to sleep tonight, with or without my cartoons, I do so with the brave men and women of our armed forces watching over us. Be they overseas, stationed stateside on a base or serving their duty in a reservist capacity, they train, work and remain vigilant so the rest of us can, hopefully, live our lives in peace and under the umbrella of freedom.

I’m thankful that we’re officially now in the holiday season. If there was ever a year in screaming need of holiday cheer, well, 2020, it’s you. So, let’s deck the halls, light the menorahs, feast together when it’s safe and treat each other with that holiday joy. Do you think you’ve had a hard 2020? Well, yeah, you probably have. But so have other people.

I’m thankful for the nurses and doctors who have been working tirelessly to combat this pandemic, on top of everything else we put on them every year, and I’m equally thankful for the first-responders who go into situations looking for people to help before they consider what dangers might be cast upon them in the process.

Last night, and this is true every night, police officers responded to burglaries, drug deals, accidents and God-knows-what-else, while firefighters, paramedics and every other “good guy (or girl)” literally tried to save strangers’ lives. I was under my blankies eating frozen Greek yogurt and yelling at the news.

I’m thankful for you, our readers and advertisers. At a time when you can get your information from a number of places, we treasure that you trust us. We vow to work to keep that.

Executive Editor

Darin is a native of Washington, D.C, and studied journalism at Temple University. He is a combat-veteran Marine, and has worked as a reporter and editor throughout the country. He is married and has one daughter, who doubles as his harshest critic.