While I always try to be conscious of things in life I should appreciate, Thanksgiving is a time many of us pause and think about the many things we have to be thankful for. Here’s a quick list of things I’m thankful for this year.
I can’t imagine life without my wife, kids, and our family. What’s great to see if how much larger my definition of family has become via close friends across the globe that I’ve met virtually and in-person in recent years.
The Lessons My Children Teach Me
I love seeing the world through the eyes of my children; they teach me so much. They are not burdened by the baggage of age, and the blinders that come with it. For them, EVERYTHING is possible, and I am grateful for the reminders they provide me each day related to that.
The Wonder of Unexpected Opportunities
Had you asked me a year ago what type of work I would be doing each day at the end of 2013, the answer would be very different than the reality. The role I have now is very different than the roles I’ve played in organizations before this. It wasn’t a role I sought out, nor one I had ever considered before. It was completely unexpected.
Unexpected changes can be scary, but they can also be amazing opportunities. That’s what this latest change has been for me – a great opportunity to take my life in an unexpected direction. I’m really enjoying exploring this new road, and am thankful for the opportunity.
The Value of Meaningful Work
I’ve spent much of my career working as a learning professional in the financial industry. My efforts and the efforts of my team helped workers do their jobs better, so that ultimately the organization could be more profitable. There’s nothing wrong with that. In recent years I’ve been looking for something more in my work, a satisfaction for my inner-self as well as my bank account.
I’ve been lucky to find that in a number of sources this year. In addition to my new full-time role, I am still working with my previous organization supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, and have had opportunities to use my skills on other projects that may not have been the highest paying (or pro-bono), but supported meaningful causes. I’ve enjoyed working on these side projects, and appreciate the opportunity to contribute.
The Inspiration of Friends
In addition to having more opportunities to do meaningful work, I’m lucky enough to have a number of friends that are doing great work. In some cases it’s for a meaningful cause, in others it’s work that is helping move our industry and our world forward. Having these people in my life consistently inspires me to be doing more myself.
The Connectedness of the Digital Age
There’s a lot of messaging out there about disconnecting and staying present in the moment, and there’s value in that. This doesn’t change my appreciation for the digital world I live in, and the connections and opportunities that have presented themselves to me. All of the things I have mentioned being thankful for in this post have been impacted by the digital world. There are major aspects of my life that I could not imagine living without that have their genesis or have been enhanced by the digital world, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.
Gina Schreck describes this feeling much better than I could in her recent post, My Cell Phone will have a Place at the Holiday Table.
A Final Thanks to Each of You
I’m also thankful to each one of you. Every time someone mentions reading something I write, being impacted by my work, or enjoying my friendship, I am thankful. These relationships enhance my life and motivate me to continue the work I do and strive to find more ways to give back. I’d also be remiss to close this post without thanking everyone that has provided support to my family as we’ve rebounded from Hurricane Sandy this past year. Your support means more than I can ever put into words.
I know many of my readers do not celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, please accept me taking the holiday as an opportunity to pause and simply say, Thank You.