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Five Things I’m Thankful For (Besides My Family)

December 9, 2015

The end of the year is typically when we take stock of the previous 12 months and look forward to the next 12. The business process of constant improvement says that we should be doing this taking stock and future planning on a semi-constant basis. But there’s something about the Calendar year ending that tends to make many of us see it as a chance to reflect on the previous year. Here, in no particular order are some of the things I was thankful for this year. (Besides my lovely wife, kids and grandkids, of course.) 

5. Windows 10. This is a weird one to list since I don’t currently run Windows 10. But, Windows 7 is going away eventually and I dreaded the thought of going to Windows 8. With Windows 10, Microsoft appears to be continuing their track record of getting it right about every third time. Windows 7 was a huge improvement over Vista. Then, we had Windows 8 and unless you had a touch screen you were probably frustrated, or simply stayed on Windows 7. Not sure what happened to Windows 9, but I’m counting that as the second bad release, followed by Windows 10. I’ll be moving to it sometime next year, but I’m happy to see it released. 

4. Travel. My travel schedule was crazy at the beginning of the year. I travelled for work 9 weeks in January and February. Toward the end of the year it tapered off. I work for a telecommunications company. We do all meetings online; phone, Skype or WebX. I have coworkers that I’ve never met in person. In fact, some of them work on the same floor with me use about 30 feet away. And while I recognize their voices immediately, I walk past them daily oblivious to their identities. Travel, helps prevent that. (Although, yeah, I should walk down the hall and ask, “So, which one of you is Brian?”) Relationships are built on interactions. Meeting people in person helps put the face to the name and makes the later online meetings more personal. 

3. Vacations. If you’ve read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I went camping this year. . .a lot. In fact, my manager, who covers for me when I’m gone, recently said, “No more vacations for you! I’m tired of getting those phone calls!” Not only is the opportunity to get out in nature refreshing, I’ve been able to go with my sons. I hiked to the top of a tall mountain in August with my son. I spent a week rafting on the Arkansas River in Colorado with two other ones. I spent a week and many weekends with my youngest two attending scout camp and exploring Utah’s backcountry. We hiked slot canyons, camped in the desert, camped in the snow, camped in the mountains, camped in the rain. My dad wasn’t a camper. I never got to go camping with him growing up. I want to ensure my boys can’t say the same. I also got to camp with my lovely wife and daughters as well. 

2. Training. I’ve done more certification classes this year than the previous five years combined. While I’ve had a Project Manager Professional certification for years, this year I achieved both the CompTia A+ and CompTia Network+ certifications. I also attended Influencer training from VitalSmarts. Some of my favorite training. In addition, I’ve continued to read business books on a regular basis. 

1. A job. I know it sounds trite, but I remember being unemployed. I remember being underemployed, getting up at 2:00am to deliver newspapers. I remember praying for a job in my field at times. They say you cannot appreciate true joy unless you’ve experienced true sorrow. Going hungry helps you appreciate having enough food. Being sick helps you appreciate good health. If we can extend the metaphor to include work, I’ve been there. I enjoy my job, but even if I didn’t, if it paid the bills and kept the wolves from my door, I would still be grateful for it. 

So, what are YOU grateful for this year? 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates most days at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2015 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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