Around this time of year, I often find myself reflecting on life. What has happened this past year, where I want to go next year and how I fit into the world. This often happens when I am on the bike (as all you have time to do is ride and think), but this year I feel compelled to share what swirls around this old noggin with you.
If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you know that I “try” to see the good in things. Despite reality, I try to “assume positive intent” of others and their actions. I attempt to take nothing for granted and show appreciation for all that I have in life. While I didn’t grow up in the lap of luxury, our family didn’t struggle either. So with that, as I sit here on Thanksgiving, I wanted to share just a small fraction of the things I am thankful for.
Life People take life for granted; the frailty, the certainty that it will one day end, the marvel of breathing without conscious thought. To that end, life is an extremely precious gift that can be taken away before one’s had the opportunity to fully experience it. With that, I am grateful for each day that I have walked on this Earth.
My Immediate Family The world can be a cruel place. Sometimes, you feel as if you are standing alone and no one gives one iota about you. But then there is your family. To my mom, dad and sister, I am so fortunate to have had them (and still do) in my life.
My Extended Family When you marry your spouse, you marry into their family. If you’re lucky, it’s like gaining a whole new set of friends. To all of those new friends (okay, not so new as I’ve been married 7 years now), I am fortunate to call you part of my family.
My Wife I could write a book about this woman. When you’re searching for a person to share your hopes, passions, dreams and life with, you can only hope that you’ll meet a person who meets a fraction of what you are looking for. I was lucky enough to find someone who vastly exceeded them. Aaronita is my rock and quite possibly the strongest woman I know besides my mother. To that end, I wouldn’t be able to do or attempt half of what I do without her support. So to you babe, I am extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to meet you and for me to be a part of your life.
My Daughter She is my love and my life was forever changed on that August 15, 2009. She makes me strive to be a better person so that I can be the father that she deserves. Kiddo, Dada loves you!
Love The simple act of being kind to a fellow human being is sometimes all it takes to help that person make it through a difficult situation. I am fortunate for all the love that people have shared with me.
My Upbringing I grew up in a loving household with two parents that cared and a sister with whom I could share my grief with. Not everyone has/had this in their life. I’m thankful that I did.
My Education I didn’t go to the fanciest schools. My parents did the best for me with what they had. Each one of those schools I attended taught me something; whether it was book knowledge or life lessons. Whether it was St. Thomas the Apostle, De La Salle, Truman State University or DePaul University, I value all the opportunity I was given.
Opportunity What is the difference between someone who lives in Beverly Hills, the barrio, the ghetto, and Kenya? Nothing. But what determines how their life unfolds is intrinsically tied to the opportunities they are presented with. Not everyone is dealt the same deck of cards. I am happy for the one I got and the hand I’ve been able to play.
My Corporate Career I’ve worked with lots of people in various companies over the years. Each one of them taught me something which made me into what I am currently. I’m fortunate for all that I was able to experience.
My Company It evokes a certain feeling of pride every time I see our company’s name. To know that it’s something that I helped create, something that serves a purpose bigger than myself, something that helps others in this world; that makes me feel proud and honored.
Our Clients Without their trust, confidence and patronage, we wouldn’t have a company at all. So to all of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Nature This world is a beautiful place filled with wonderful people, places, animals and other things. I try to do my part to not destroy it and preserve it so it’s around for Pilar to enjoy. But that aside, I am lucky to have seen some of the many sights that our amazing planet has to offer. I can only hope that I get to see/enjoy much more in the future.
Health Things could always be worse. Be grateful for what you have because one day, health will fail us all.
Friends I don’t keep a large circle of friends; just a few close ones. Blame the loner in this Aquarius! But I am extremely grateful for everyone that I have in my life, no matter how large or small the extent.
Support It makes me smile when people say that they are “self made” or that they “did it all on their own.” While that is somewhat true, we’ve all received an extended hand at one point or another. To anyone who has ever helped me (like the good Samaritan who called the ambulance when I crashed and knocked myself out on the bike path), I am appreciative of you.
The United States Sometimes this country is like the drunk Uncle in your family. You love them, but sometimes they drive you crazy. In the end, this county is still one where one can attempt to achieve their dreams and live a life that others in this world cannot. Thus, I am thankful to call this place home.
God You don’t have to be religious to believe in a higher power; I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not overly religious. Yet I do believe that I’ve been blessed as all my “chuch folk” would say (no that is not a typo). God, Yahweh, Buddha, Muhammad, The Universe (or whatever you want to call it) and I have a relationship. I am thankful for that.
The Necessities I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my belly. Tyler Durden said it best with this statement: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy s@&! we don’t need.” In the end, I am happy for what I have because it’s all that I really need (and then some).
To Be Employed In these trying times, people who have had their entire existence defined by where/who they work for are struggling to cope with extended periods of unemployment. To all of you, keep up the good fight and if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door and then kick that joker in!