I have to admit it. I have a lot to be thankful for, as I'm really a pretty lucky guy. I have a wonderful, amazing, beautiful wife (our 2nd date was 6 years ago yesterday!) and two fantastic (step) children. The kids' father lives close by and we all get along really well - making the whole family dynamic SO much better for them and for all of us. We have a fluffy, adorable and thoroughly enjoyable collie named Tristan (my constant companion on our morning excursions to the reservoir). My parents live nearby, as do Ellen's (a little farther, but only in NYC, so not too bad) and we get along with each others parents like our own. Ellen's sister Karen and her husband Don live 3 miles away, and their daughter and our two all go to the same school, where Karen also teaches. My brother lives near Chicago with his wife Lisa and their two sons - so unfortunately we don't see each other as much, but he is a man I admire as much as my father. As they saying goes during the Seder - if that were all, it would truly be enough.
But it does go further than that. It's not just family that I'm thankful for - especially this year. I went through quite a change this year professionally. After a lot of introspection it was very clear that I needed to move on from my position at (add)ventures. While it seemed on the surface to be a tough time to strike out on my own, it turned out to be relatively smooth. After a lot of talking through plans with Ellen, saving up a cushion to start with and putting in place plans for new projects, I was finally able to give notice at the end of September, and have now been on my own for almost two months. Ellen deserves my most heartfelt thanks, but they also go to all of the people - colleagues, clients (new and returning) and friends who gave me the encouragement to do this. I've built up some great new relationships, have some fantastic new clients with really interesting, challenging projects to work on doing just what I want to be doing. Again - even if this were all, it would truly be enough.
But, yet again - it does go even further. I could not write this and not think about friends. Some new, met through work: John Picozzi was one of the best hires I've made over the years, and is a great guy. I'm so happy for him: married and bought a house this year. Mitch, whom I've known for years (and was my partner and one of the first employees of both Cricket Meadow and Bathysphere), has come back into my life and grown in ways that continue to amaze me. He's become a fantastic designer and teacher. Matt - another from the Bathysphere era - has come back into life as a friend and a client. Even Dan - while still out in Arizona - is still someone I know that I can call any time and talk to as if no time has passed. And married this year to boot (the cutting of the pony tail as almost as shocking). Lee and Armelle, my sailing companions of many years now, have two beautiful twin boys. We didn't make quite as many Thursday nights, but I can't imagine a summer without their camaraderie out on the water. Rick has become an even closer friend, with a lot of great times with cars (his new, my old), boats (missed sailing on Dragonfly this summer though) and music. And Palmer. We met over 912's (so sorry he sold his recently) but it's more than that after these past few years. He's a wonderful guy and the one I credit with reminding me that I have a lot of passion for what I do, and that life's too short to stay in a job that doesn't allow me to do what I love. I'm sorry we didn't get to work together (yet!) but without that nudge, I might not have decided to make the leap.
I know this only scratches the surface. But to not stop and consider the sentiment of the day would be to miss an opportunity to reflect, and thank at least some of those who make my life so special.
Cheers all, and happy Thanksgiving.