Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a special holiday for Americans, it began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. In modern day it has come to represent a time when we get together with family and friends, share a few stories, enjoy a spectacular dinner, and finish with the worst dessert of all time (yea I said it. Pumpkin pie is just cold baby food on a crust). In the spirit of this glorious holiday I wanted to share with you what I’m thankful for, the things that I treasure dearly. Sit down with me, take a giant scoop of stuffing, smother it with gravy, and let me pour my heart into you.

I’m thankful for my family who are my entire world. My wife teaches me love, my children teach me hope, our 4 person circle is all I ever wanted from life. I wouldn’t trade one minute with them for all the money ever printed in the history of the World. A happy family is but an earlier Heaven.

I’m thankful for my parents who guided me, nurtured me, raised me to be who I am today. Parents are incredible creatures who give everything of what they are to their children. Their free time, their money, their wisdom, their guidance. They are not perfect beings but without their chance encounter, without their love for each other, you and I would not exist today. Think about how much a long shot it was that they even met and yet you sit here today because of it.

I’m thankful for Wi-Fi. I mean can you imagine life without Wi-Fi? It connects us, it binds us, it allows us to watch Fail videos at 32k feet. I need Wi-Fi like I need air.

I’m thankful for the fermentation of crushed grapes. Wine, in all its variants, can be a sublime experience magnified by sharing it with friends and family. In Vino Veritas.

I’m thankful for Patagonia and its 100% recycled polyester fleece with sweater-knit face and heathered yarns (I had to). 

I’m thankful I found a place to work that I love. Now I’m not just saying this to suck up to my bosses, the unemployment rate is 3.8% I could work lots of place. Baird hired me at the start of the GFC and has been my home for 13 year, they even allowed me to switch roles mid-career. It’s a wonderful firm with incredible leaders and, more importantly, incredibly talented, friendly people. Don’t think you have to be miserable at your job, there are places to work that are truly special.

I’m thankful for my friends many of whom I met at Baird. I didn’t get to choose my family but I did get to choose my friends and they, along with your family, define who you are. They are your life, they share your hopes and dreams as well as your sorrows. Let the wine of friendship never run dry.

I’m thankful for the creativity of others. Whether its movies, music, books, sports, or art, humanity can be an incredible thing. You don’t have to go far to find inspiration whether it be in a song or a well written phrase.  

I’m thankful for comedy, for people who are lighthearted. Take your job seriously but not yourself seriously. If there’s one thing this world needs more of its laughter. When I write or create, I’m always trying to make my reader smile or laugh while I educate them and you know what? That’s fine, even as a Market Strategist on Wall St.

I’m thankful for my friend John who passed away this week. He was larger than life, a person who electrified a room when he walked in. When you saw him he always had a great story and a huge smile. He lived life to the fullest and that’s all any of us can do. Cancer may have taken him from this world but his memory will never fade. 

Finally I’m thankful to be alive, at this moment in history, with you. We live in incredible times, you could argue the best of times. We have the words knowledge in our pocket, we can fly anywhere on the planet, video chat with anyone on the planet, modern medicine is helping us live longer, infant mortality and extreme poverty are plummeting, Disney+ is only $6 a month. You only look at history thru a tiny keyhole, step back and realize that the world in 2019 is the “future” and you are blessed to be living in it.