Thanks, Giving

I realized yesterday that the election results have impacted me at a deeper level than I originally anticipated it would. I posted on Facebook that I was still in the throes of “post-election depression”. My productivity and ability to focus has been impacted. I’ve had a difficult time actually sitting down to write content for Ask Leo! as I have in the past, for example.

One person mentioned the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. It’s a model that seems to fit, and I’m currently, and solidly, at stage four.

Falling back to meditative practice and even some Buddhist philosophy, the key to moving on would appear to be gratitude. How timely, then, that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

I have much to be grateful for.

My wife. Closing in on 37 years of marriage, it’s difficult to put it all into words. I’ll just say that our life together is something that I treasure deeply.

My friends and acquaintances. Especially those with whom I feel comfortable being my truest self. They challenge me, they support me, they entertain me, they help me grow.

My choice of parents. It’s no secret that a tremendous amount of what happens in life is influenced heavily by the parents you happened to have. I got lucky, and I’m very grateful. From genetics to values and ethics my parents were instrumental in setting me up for success.

My career. As I’ve described elsewhere, I got lucky. A fortunate series of events led me to technology and computing specifically. It was clear from the moment I was introduced to it that this was the career for me. Yes, the material benefits have been … pleasant … and I’m incredibly grateful for the path that led me to the various stops along my career path. But the real impact has been much deeper to me.

Technology in general. It’s a great time to be alive, it really is, and I’m grateful for that. Not a day goes by that I don’t encounter something new, something exciting, something to learn.

Right now it’s fashionable to blame some aspects of technology for things like fake news, the spread of misinformation, and the further isolation of various populations. I’m grateful for the exact opposite. In the face of everything negative that’s being said, I’m grateful at how technology allows anyone to expose the fake and the otherwise suppressed, seek out accurate information, and especially how it allows us to connect with others in ways never before imagined. Yes, there are growth pains, to be sure, but technology continues to help the world get smaller.

I’m incredibly grateful for my audience, my readers. That there might be tens of thousands of people who are interested enough to subscribe to my weekly newsletter, or that there a million people who visit my site each month just blows me away. It’s an honor, and a responsibility, to serve, but it’s an honor and responsibility for which I am incredibly grateful.

I have no idea how it came to be this way – as I’ve stated elsewhere, I never planned to be a writer – but I’m grateful for whatever path it was that lead me to become one, and to become one that some find readable, educational, and at times entertaining.

Along those lines, I’m also grateful for my assistants and editors past and present. They’ve allowed me to have a greater impact while helping me become better at what I try to do along the way.

Just yesterday I told my editor that “it’s good to be a geek”, after solving a process problem with a little bit under-the-hood geekery on one of my sites. It is good to be a geek. It allows me to see more, accomplish more, and do things more readily. I’m grateful for whatever path – be it nature, nurture, or some combination of the two – that lead me to be have these skills and place me in a situation, a life, that allows me to exercise them, particularly in service to others.

I’m just … grateful. For everything.

Happy Thanksgiving.