Thanksgiving is upon us once again. I’ve been blogging here  since early December 2008 – that’s crazy – and I’ve blogged a quick blurb about Thanksgiving and Easter each time one has come up while I’m blogging. So this year won’t be any different. I have a lot to be thankful for. Only problem is I’ve already said a lot about that. I wrote a whole week of posts on it last year. This year will be a little simpler.. But if you want to read more – last year’s reasons for thankfulness were:

  • Perspective – I took a little trip to the little hill I grew up on last year. Only I thought it was a big hill. 14 years ago, I didn’t know what SQL Server was, now I get to teach people about how to use SQL Server better. Perspective is a neat thing.
  • Relationships – I’m in a lot of different ones. I’m thankful for each of them. I’ve had some amazing mentors and coaches along the way. They’ve inspired me to share what I learn, as I learn it, with others. I have an amazing wife, wonderful children and great relatives.
  • Self-Employment – Last year was my first year at it. I’m still thankful for the ups and the downs and the lessons along the way.
  • The SQLFamily – I’m blessed to have been born in the country I was born in – I didn’t choose that.I also sort of fell into SQL Server and I’ve been blessed by that. The support Microsoft gives, the givers in the community, etc. It’s great to work with this technology.
  • Grace – God’s Grace – I’m a sinner. I deserve eternal punishment but I get eternal satisfaction in the presence of the very One who created this earth. Grace is great.

What to add?

I’m stil just as awestruck by last years today as I was this week last year. Maybe nothing. I’m so thankful for an amazing family that loves me and I love. I’m still thankful for success so far as a consultant and for all of the things above. I’m thankful that I have a great group of teens in the youth group my wife and I head. I’m stil proud of and thankful for the country I live in. The only thing I wanted to add after some of my political involvement and some of the bitterness of the election cycle from both sides is..

I Didn’t Build This

And I’m thankful for it. During the election President Obama gave a speech. “My side” took that speech and ran rampant with it. I don’t think he was saying what rabid talking heads thought he was saying though. I think he just said that success doesn’t just happen in a vacuum without help. He’s right. I don’t think that means that we need an overarching central government or “extra” help – but I’m thankful that I live in a nation where I had an equal opportunity to rise beyond the means I grew up in and the circumstances of my life to be where I am. I’m no millionaire, and I don’t believe I will be – it just isn’t a goal of mine… But I’m comfortable. I’ve built a skillset, I’ve built a house for my family, I put wood in the wood stove and I live a comfortable life. I’ve built one business and am working on turning it into an amazing SQL Server consultancy.

I didn’t get here on my own. Not entirely, anyway. I’ve had a support system of a patient wife while I hopped jobs and gained skills. I’ve had in-laws help with child care and encourage my wife and I. They love us so much and we’re blessed by their presence in our lives. I’ve had some amazing mentors. I have some insanely smart and talented business partners in Brian and Andy. I live in a nation with an infrastructure that allowed me to grow in technology. I live in a nation that had a structure that allowed me to hold my nose and jump in the pool (the link there is one of the blog posts I’m most “proud of”, by the way).

I may not have voted for President Obama, but I think I know what he meant and I’m thankful for that. I live in a nation where I had this opportunity. I wasn’t guaranteed success – I had to pull up my own boot straps, but my chances of success were made easier by all those around me. I’m thankful for that. So thankful.

Have a blessed thanksgiving – and thanks for reading this post. I appreciate all of the people who actually seem to enjoy reading my writing. I think you are odd for it, but I’m thankful for it. 🙂

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