Happy Thanksgiving – What I’m Thankful For

I’m thankful to be husband to my sweetheart Richelle and for being a dad to my awesome daughter Emma. Our anniversary is this weekend. Our 11th!

I’m thankful for a family that has grown over the years, that has faced tremendous challenges and difficulties and has become closer. We’re blessed to have one another. Our story is amazing.

I’m thankful for friends who accept me as I am and cheer me on when I need it. I’m thankful to be able to lend an ear. I’m thankful to go on adventures together whether they be building new things or making music, or just being there for one another. I need to hang out more. I’m working on it :)

I’m thankful that I can make connections between people and between things and build bridges. It’s something I’ve realized is part of who I am and I am embracing it. It helps to design systems of software. It helps to empower others. Some call it ‘big picture’ thinking. I call it problem solving. Whatever it is – I am thankful.

I’m thankful I’ve found examples of what great parenthood should look like from Richelle’s parents. I love you Mom and Dad.

I’m thankful for the field I work in, on the teams I work in, in the company I work for and especially the people I work with who are unbelievable. Wow. Just wow. Every once and a while I need to pinch myself.

I’m thankful for the programming craft in so many ways. You’ve given me a career and an outlet for my creativity. Hopefully I provide as good feedback to those I work with as those I’ve learned so much from.

I’m thankful for my guitar and the gift of song. If you weren’t there for me when I needed you I’d be in plenty of trouble today.

I’m thankful for my inspirations – many of which are fellow bridge builders in the large. Scientists, engineers, psychologists, teachers, writers, song writers, designers, activists, doctors, journalists, photographers, public servants that work every day to help or share one another and society.

I’m thankful that I am starting to be comfortable public speaking again. I’ll never get rid of the fear – but I’m not bad and just need to practice. Ignite Philly maybe?

Speaking of that I am thankful for the Philadelphia community that has been built over the last decade that is helping to promote the city through the lifting up of one another. Refresh, BarCamp, Ignite Philly, and now TedXPhilly are some great public examples – but it happens every day in message forums, on Twitter and Facebook, at National Mechanics and Indy Hall, in coffee shops and books stores and random interactions every day we have with one another. I love this town.

And speaking of this town – I am thankful for my neighbors, my friends, and to live on a block where people know and trust one another, where kids play together, where we can have a beer and talk about the game with one another.

I’m thankful for mornings and nights. Sunshine and the the city lights and stars.

I’m thankful for coffee, beer and good food.

Pizza. Deserves a mention all by itself.

I’m thankful for early Metallica and Iron Maiden. For Johnny Cash and John Denver. For songs like “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “Pork and Beans” (by Weezer). “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” too. Thank you.

I’m thankful for Jim Henson and the Muppets. Fred Rogers. Sesame Street. Star Wars. Star Blazers. Doctor Who. STOS and STNG. The Simpsons. The Daily Show. Battlestar Galactica. Spider-Man. Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons 1,2,3,4, 5 and 6.

I’m thankful for “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, “Job” and “Psalms”, the New Testament, “The Last Lecture”, “Fahrenheit 451″, “Animal Farm”, and “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”.

I’m thankful for people who believed in me when I couldn’t find a reason to believe in myself. Joe, Pat, Suresh, Steve, my “Moms” at Sears (Paula, Joan, Mary), you know who you are.

I’m thankful for my 6th grade teacher Mr. Crell.

I’m thankful that I have spent my time wisely over the Web’s birth and initial growth. No, I haven’t made millions. But – I’ve made lifelong friends and hopefully have helped a few people along the way.

I’m thankful for my Mom and my childhood. Most scratch their heads at that the more they know about it, and that’s understandable. But it helped give me a roll with the punches outlook. A belief that people can grow and change. To never judge a book by its cover. That we may not be able to determine what cards we are dealt but we can decide how to play them. Life’s not fair. But we can be fair to one another, and be there for one another. It’s our choice. And speaking of choice…

I’m thankful to live in a time where I can point my phone at the sky and have it inform me what the constellations I am looking at, or to have it help me translate languages from across the globe. Where technology can empower us to connect if we choose to do so (like this) and empower us to make a difference – but it comes down to choice doesn’t it? We need to choose wisely. I am thankful for choice.

And last, but not least, I’m thankful for Xena, my puppy. She’s 7 now. I love how she loves Emma and Richelle and life. She reminds me what’s important every day.

Bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving.

2 responses

  1. Wow. Great list, Karl! You’re one of the people who always seems capable of generating lists like this (even if they’re not being written down). One of the greatest blessings is sometimes awareness of the things we’ve been blessed with. Speaking of which, one of the biggest blessings in my life is the group of friends and incredible people who are part of my life, including people like you.

    Enjoy the anniversary!

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