#15 🦃 Thanksgiving Gratitude

Gratitude thoughts before stuffing my face with delicious Thanksgiving food

There’s so much that made this year psychologically and emotionally challenging but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to share gratitude for some of the things I’m feeling very appreciate for in my life.

I’m grateful for my good health. I’ve lost 30 lbs since my peak of 178 a few years ago and my bloodwork has been coming back clean and within all the ranges. I have lots of energy and with the exception of some minor back pain here and there, am generally in very good shape. I played pickup soccer a few times in the last couple months (with masks of course) after almost two years without playing at all; I missed it so much. After battling injuries in both knees since tearing my ACL in high school soccer practice, I’m fortunate that both knees seem to be holding up well. I’m playing at roughly 50% intensity and don’t mind missing some tackles on the field to play it safe. In the past I’ve made the mistake of caring about what my pickup soccer teammates thought about my efforts, and I got injured as a result. I’m not taking my ability to play for granted.

I’m grateful for Carole. Carole and I have spent more hours together in 2020 than we did in in the prior handful of years. With our apartment serving as our home and office, we’ve gotten to know each other’s “work selves” better. We vent about our problems, give advice to each other, and celebrate wins together. She grounds me when my head is in the clouds but also likes to daydream with me about adventures. She also makes me laugh all the time.

I’m grateful for George. This year would have been completely different without George’s playful, energetic, loving presence in my life. He doesn’t care about my employment, income, mood, or problems. He’s a steady bundle of joy and love which I can always depend on to cheer me up. Sometimes when I’m stressed, George comes over, stares at me, and sneezes in my face. It’s a messy reminder that I shouldn’t take life too seriously. He’s always down to play, go for a walk, and cuddle. Bringing George into our home has been my single best investment in my mental and physical health.

I’m grateful for my family. I’m on the opposite coast from my mom (Florida) and on the opposite side of the planet from my dad and sister (Israel). I was able to squeeze in a FL trip right before COVID lockdown but needed to cancel my Israel trip in May due to COVID. It’s been a tough year for all of us and the inability to see each other in person has been hard. It’s even harder since I have a brand new nephew who I haven’t been able to meet yet. The time zone overlap is minimal so we barely have windows to do video calls. Despite the difficulty staying in touch, I’m lucky to have family that I look forward to spending time with and I’m hoping to make a trip to Israel in 2021 to give them all big hugs.

I’m grateful for my friends. When things got really hard this year, some friends stepped up to tell me when I had my head up my ass and was missing the forest for the trees. They also reminded me how much I have to offer when I was doubting myself after multiple dead ends in the job search. A few words of encouragement can fill my batteries up for weeks.

I’m grateful for travel. Despite 2020 being the worst year for travel, Carole and I managed to spend time in Mexico City, Tahoe, Tulum, Sedona, and Joshua Tree. I also squeezed in trips to Florida right before COVID and to Sequoia National Park in October for the 7th annual trip with some of my close friends from college. Carole and I were supposed to be in NYC this week for Thanksgiving, but we canceled due to COVID travel restrictions. Then we booked a replacement trip to LA, which we also ended up canceling due to recent spikes. We’re tentatively planning on a winter road trip with George the last week of December in Oregon.

I’m grateful for my job. At the end of February this year, I was let go as part of a large layoff. After a month of consulting, I spent April and May interviewing for new roles. Two long months in the midst of a pandemic and mass transition to working from home. I had ~15 phone screens, ~10 second calls, 5 onsites, and 1 offer. I landed at Facebook, which ended up being the best mutual fit. While it’s still early, we’ve been able to put foundational pieces being in place for a successful 2021 and I really like my team.

I’m grateful for a lot of other things. I’ve kept my sanity this year by hiking in nature, reading books, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, adding a plant to my desk, getting sun, enjoying fresh coffee and a million other things.

And I’m grateful for you. The reader. Your time is your most valuable resource so thank you for spending some of it here, with me. I appreciate your audience.

I love hearing people’s gratitude so if there’s anything you’re feeling thankful for and want to share - send it my way.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the turkey!


Recommendations

📺 The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix.

📺 The Crown season 4 on Netflix.

📺 The Undoing on HBO.

📺 All Or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur on Prime Video.

🎞 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

📚 Endymion

📚 The Rise of Endymion

🎧 Matthew McConaughey’s memoir, Greenlights on audio.