It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? We’ve been through a lot together in 2016. We’ve lost beloved icons. Our election year took us all on a wild roller coaster ride. At times, the entire planet seemed to be in turmoil. But there were things to celebrate, too. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series, the USA Olympic Team brought home the gold, West Africa became Ebola-free and the Americas became measles free.
Ebola-free and Measles-free are pretty big deals, right? But I’ll bet most of you didn’t even know about it. I didn’t, until I looked up “Good things that happened in 2016”. That’s because it’s way too easy to focus on the negative, especially when the good things around you are constant and steadfast.
That’s one of the reasons I’m continuing the tradition I started last year of making my end-of-the-year post one of gratitude. There is so much to be grateful for, and it’s so easy to lose sight of that.
So what am I grateful for this year? I must admit, it’s not much different than what I was thankful for last year, and that’s a wonderful thing. When I really started thinking about it, even though I am grateful for many of the same things as last year, there are different aspects that come into sharper focus. Gratitude isn’t merely checking off a list of things in your life and saying “yeah, I’m happy about that.” It’s what’s behind that “happy” that makes it important.
Like, “I’m grateful for my loving, supportive wife”. Check! That hasn’t changed since last year, (thank you, Love!) What does that really mean to me, in my life? It means that her acceptance of who I am allows me to do what I love doing for a living. She could’ve said, “yeah, that’s nice Rich, but we have two kids, so maybe just take pictures on the weekends as a hobby and stick with the lucrative computer thing” But she didn’t. She not only let me, but encouraged me to follow my dreams and my passion. There is a lot of behind the scenes support, and I am very grateful for that.
Also on my gratitude list is “I get to do what I love for a living.” Nice, right? Check! But what I am truly grateful for is that I was actually able to follow that through. I am grateful that I have the capability, and the courage to follow my dream. It’s hard to take that leap, and I did it.
I am grateful that I live in the Good Ole US of A. Check! What that means for me is that I CAN do what I’m doing and follow my dreams. That’s not an option everywhere in the world. This great country of ours allows dreams to happen and I am grateful to make this our home.
And as ever, I grateful for my parents. At this age, you realize that they won’t be around forever and I’m glad to have them with me, especially my father, who isn’t doing too well these days. So what I am truly grateful for this year is that I still have them around. I can call them today and wish them a Happy 57th wedding anniversary yesterday.
Who can forget my magnanimous clients? (had to find a big word for you guys, cause you mean everything to me) There are so many of you for 2016, that I am sure I may have left some off of this super fast paced “recap slideshow video”.
I’ll carry this gratitude into the 2017, where it will evolve yet again. What are you truly grateful for? Comon’ tell me right here in the comments below...
Be Grateful, Be Thankful. Be Thoughtful.