Last year’s gratitude post was written largely about my father coming to Vegas to help me with some home improvement projects, so it feels fitting that I’m writing this as I fly across the country to help him with some projects of his own. And, as always, family looms large at the top of my list of things I am grateful for, especially as I’ve gotten to spend more time with so many family members than in the past couple years.
But first, this year, I’m grateful for my wife. In the same way that I didn’t really understand just how great my parents were until I got older and heard stories from other friends about their relationships with their parents, as time has gone on and I’ve heard more about situations that friends find themselves in with their marriages and dating lives, I appreciate just how lucky I am.
I don’t write much about my wife in the interest of privacy, but I wanted to mention her first, even if not in much detail. I appreciate her mindset, her openness and enthusiasm for random new activities like hockey and pinball, and how she has embraced my friends and family. We have an amazing life together and I’m grateful for all that she has contributed to create it.
I’m also grateful that travel has opened up again. Not being able to go to some of my favorite places for so long renewed my gratitude for them and helped reinforce just how lucky I am to be able to call so many places sort-of-home. I almost cried the first time I went to Budapest after covid and again almost cried when I stepped foot in Tokyo after 2.5 years of not visiting. The miracle of flight, the people I’m close to in all of these cities, and the places they’ve become through their histories are all incredible to me.
A few days ago one of my friends had a big friendsgiving celebration. He and his wife put together a full gauntlet of games to play like real-life hungry hungry hippos, balloon volleyball, multi-stage trivia, and a weird simulated snowball fight game. As my wife, my friends and I smashed balloons at each other I thought about how lucky I was to have such kind and creative friends who can have this much fun, especially without alcohol.
The cruise industry rebounded this year, and CruiseSheet is doing better than ever. I’m grateful for the success, but even more grateful for the unlimited number of interesting challenges and projects it presents. Ironically I found myself on a cruise (one of my favorite activities), looking forward to being back on shore so that I could have faster internet so that I could work more on CruiseSheet. I’m also grateful that CruiseSheet is automated enough that if I don’t want to work for a while, like the entire pandemic, it will just keep on ticking by itself.
I turned 40 recently, which gives me free license to talk like an old man, so I’ll take the opportunity and say that I’m grateful for my health. I’ve never really had to go to the doctor or take medicine, and I feel great every day. I do a decent job of keeping a healthy, but I know that I’ve also been lucky to have good genes and to avoid the sorts of accidents that could happen to anyone.
I’ve never done a gratitude journal, but I have an internal one that I crack open many times a day. I guess it’s easy when you have a good life, but as I look at the people in my life, the places I get to experience, and even mundane things like how the delivery people show up with Chipotle every day, I can’t help but feel nearly overwhelmed with gratitude every day.
Years ago I had the revelation that if you aren’t grateful for the things in your life you shouldn’t bother getting more things in your life, because you also won’t be grateful for them. That caused me to focus more on appreciating the things I have, and it’s been a valuable practice. It causes me to get 100% of the joy out of everything in my life. When I see people who complain about everything I feel bad for them because I know they have a lot to be grateful for that they just aren’t able to appreciate.
Last, thanks to you for reading. I know it’s a little bit annoying that I only write once per month now, but I appreciate your support and that you take time out of your life to read what I have to write.
Photo is a sunset at the island. Hard to not be grateful when I’m standing there looking at that. Unless I think too hard about the roof caving in…