Here are the things I am thankful for, as the year 2011 draws to a close.
• Every day, I look forward to greeting my wife Lisa with an excitement that is usually only felt during initial courtship. We’ve been together for near nine years, and it still feels fresh and exciting, every day.
• I have a job that (for my field) is about as stable as you could hope for, in an economy that continues to be extremely challenging. I love the people I work with, and I don’t dread going to work. I’ve been in that situation before, and it was unhealthy.
• My friends. Our dinners, conversations, and shared experiences are always thought of with a shit-eating grin by yours truly. Thanks for hanging out and sharing your lives with me.
• I have a hobby that generates as much freelance as I choose to take on, and that I have a talent that can directly translate into money.
• The people I meet, connect with, and respect all over this world. Though I know it probably wears thin on Lisa conceptually, I can travel almost anywhere and at the other end of the plane ride awaits a like-minded friend who will happily while away the evening, sharing stories and experiences.
• That we made it to the end of the year with an intact house. The past eighteen months have been brutal, with every scrap of freelance being poured into a new roof, whole house fan, more roof, a washer, a dryer, a hot water heater, insulation, etc. The house asked a lot from us, and we somehow gave. It’s warmer, stronger, and dryer in our home now. I’m sure there is more lurking, as we celebrate the house’s 86th birthday. There’s still those galvanized pipes in the front room wall, after all….
• My new found appreciation for Bourbon and Irish Whiskey. I have discovered a new world for my palate, and I am very pleased.
• My health. I’m not the picture of health, and I have had my share of health problems either genetic or born from bad habits, but I am still here, and I am grateful.
• Our new Outback. Without sounding like an asshole, I love the heated seats, the all wheel drive, and the dependable transportation. Sure, we have a car payment again, but I can stop tensing up like I did when the Mazda’s transmission failed, or when the tire blew out on that 80 foot overpass.
Cheers to 2012. May you bring happiness, prosperity, success, and a kick ass Blade Runner Blimp to my home. I’ll be hanging with Visual Effects luminaries and good friends in LA in January, the most talented modelers you ever met in KY in May, and Lisa and I are earnest about traveling to Iceland before the year is out. If my wife wants to eat a puffin, then by god she will eat a puffin! Beak first! I have firmed up my goals, but I’m not dumb enough to post them here. That’s like joining a gym in January.