I have this horrible habit of starting things and then just letting them sorta die. One of those things was the whole “Month of Thankfulness” that I did back in 2014. The idea was simple enough and it effectively meant that at the bottom of every post I made a little note about something I was thankful for. In theory I should have been doing this every year since during the month of November leading up to Thanksgiving. That however never actually happened and I finally jog my memory about a week into the month and think to myself that if I didn’t actually start on time… then it isn’t really worth doing. That is not to say that I am not extremely thankful for a bunch of things in my life. The weird thing about depression is that your brain can contain all of this self loathing at the same time as a whole lot of gratitude towards other people. However the hell this works I figured that I would make a post on thankfulness on this Thanksgiving Eve here in the USA before I troddle off to work. In theory I should have taken today off but my work schedule has been crazy.
I feel like I can’t really start off a post like this without taking some time to acknowledge how awesome my wife is. We are an odd pair that on paper doesn’t seem to work that well given that we are both into some very different things. However her strengths are my weaknesses and as a team we compliment each other in so many ways. Each of us is stronger as part of the whole than we are individually. More than that she “gets” me, and even though she doesn’t necessarily get any of the many things that I am super obsessive about… she understands that they are important to me and as a result supports them. She isn’t a “gamer”, even though she spends plenty of time playing games on her iPad or phone but gets that all of these related hobbies are at the core of my being. She has patiently dealt with so many “just a second” moments that turned into thirty to forty minutes and generally taken it in stride. For the last few years she has sacrificed several of her very limited stock of yearly personal days, just to travel with me to San Antonio for Pax South because she knows it is a big deal to me. It is impossible to grab words that do justice out of the air how awesome she is and how much I love her. I am thankful I met her so many years ago and exceedingly thankful for the last twenty one years.
In truth it is less about the AggroChat podcast and more a short hand for a very tight knit inner circle of friends that also happens to involve all of the members of the podcast. I have this habit of collecting people and over the years much like a hermit crab I have taken a shell encrusted with so many awesome friends along with me on my journey through life. We often talk about having a surrogate family through our online interactions, but in this case I legitimately mean it. These people are my family and fate willing will grow old with as we talk on a daily basis about all sorts of important and completely frivolous topics. Its been weird to watch how this dynamic has shifted and changed as we all aged from being largely a group of people who met during vanilla warcraft progression raiding, and then saw that relationship morph into something else as time moved on. Others are significantly newer but no less precious, and even though I occasionally go into turtle mode… and disappear for awhile, I always make a return when it is safe to poke my head out of my shell. These are my people and I am so happy I found them.
Twitter can be a horrible place, and in this year of presidential proclamations occurring in 140 characters… it seems odd to be thankful for it as a medium. The thing is… “my” twitter is a different place and while I see the echos of the larger events going on around me… it is largely the eye of the hurricane filled with a bunch of people who are also taking shelter there. I originally started my twitter account around the release of this blog back in 2009 and in many ways the original intent was to have a way to communicate with the other bloggers. We’ve tried so many different platforms to carve out a sense of community, but the only one that continues to stand after shrugging off so many is twitter. It is that common ground that still contains all of the voices that I want to keep track of on a regular basis. There are so many people that are so much better at doing this thing than I am, and I love being surrounded by them. Lately though I go for periods where I just lurk, followed by a bunch of random commentary and I am sure this gets annoying at times. So additionally I am thankful to all of the people who tolerate my nonsense in this already cluttered medium. If we are “mutuals” this thanks goes out to you because you make my life richer because of your interactions.
I talk sometimes about how stressful my work is, and it absolutely is there is no discounting that fact. That said I have some pretty awesome people that I work with on a daily basis and I could not keep doing what I do without them. While this year saw some significant changes in many directions and saw Rae who previously was on the AggroChat podcast finding another gig… the folks that remain are pure gold. We do this performance review process each year, and yesterday I met with each of my direct reports as I completed theirs. I was struck by just how lucky I am to work with the people that I do. I’ve always been great at compartmentalizing when it comes to work, and so long as my little silo was doing okay… I could deal with the rest of the ship being torn to bits. I have a really great silo to keep my eyes focused on from my upper management all the way to my staff, and especially the various peers that I work with on a daily basis. There is a sense of dedication to getting things done whatever it takes and I appreciate that, especially when I am going into the first holiday season in a really long time that I have not taken any significant time off for. Camaraderie through shared struggle is a powerful force and I am thankful for those who fight for me as I fight for them.
At this point there are so many things that I should be putting on this list, but I wanted to keep it fairly brief. I do however want to close out with one more bit of thankfulness. I am thankful for each and every one of you out there that regularly or just occasionally reads this blog or consumes anything else that I toss out into the world. For me my blog is as much therapy as it is anything else. Sitting down each morning and siphoning thoughts from my brain and committing them into text format helps me clear the slate. If something was bothering me it often makes its way onto the virtual page and as a result I can begin the “getting over it” process. I often times write like I am not actually talking to anyone other than myself, and as a result I am always sorta shocked when I find out that someone actually read the words that I cast into the void. Please do not mistake this shock for a lack of gratitude, but instead it is surprise that anything I said was really worth consuming in the first place. There are so many of you who have been with me in this journey for years, and I don’t always take the time to recognize the other people standing on the deck of this ship beside me. Thank you so much and lets commence with the exploration of new and interesting worlds!