It’s funny, looking back at my “annual” Thanksgiving post from 2012, how little seems to have changed (again). I’m left starting this post out pretty much the same way it started out last year. It’s interesting how some of the projects I mentioned then have barely crept forward, and there are a few I’ve already completed that I hadn’t imagined a year ago.
Taking my own advice from last year, I set about making a list of things to be thankful for and ended up with this year’s list being identical to last’s. It’s even sunny today, which is just as unusual this year as it was last, though maybe we’re spotting a trend.
So yeah, I’m thankful for some more great teaching opportunities, some more great (secret) projects, some more great clients, and some more great opportunities. But is that it?
That’s a lot, certainly. I could be sitting here telling you I have nothing to be thankful for, my business has failed, my clients have fired me, and it’s raining cats and dogs. But should I be thankful that there’s essentially been no change in the last year?
In some cases, you bet I can.
For instance, my family and I continue to enjoy good health, both physical and mental. We still have health insurance and access to (reasonably) affordable medical care. Lately, it seems that Facebook has seen more posts from friends, acquaintances, and associates reporting sickness, deaths in the family, and crises big and small. I have none of those to report, and that’s worthy of thanks.
On the professional side, I am thankful for a year that, though not always easy, has seen my wife and I really get our personal finances in shape. We’re wrestling some old demons to the ground and boldly going where less than 1% of Americans have gone before: a completely debt-free life. I’d like to see that happen by the end of 2015, but that’s pretty ambitious. Still, you hit what you aim at, right?
Last year I was thankful for finally managing to get out of the house more, which seems as comical to me as I’m sure it does to you. But this can be a problem for the freelancer. I’m a one-man operation and tend to get busy, which means I tend to stay home and work. But I’m thankful for a year’s worth of opportunities to connect with great new people and stretch out into more projects. It’s funny. You can start a business thinking it’s going to be one thing, then find it’s something else entirely. And I love what I’m becoming, from a professional standpoint. Keep those projects coming!
But as we ease into another Thanksgiving holiday, be thankful that we’re all here, and though we may have some things to sort out and some fences to mend, there’s nothing we can’t fix as long as we remember to occasionally shut up and listen to each other.