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Thankful 2015

As with most of my posts I meant to do this a couple days ago, and it seems a little ill-timed that I would write a Thankgiving-esque posted 4 days after Thanksgiving. But it’s still November, so back off!

I am glad though, that I delayed, because I got to do and experience a few more things to be grateful for that otherwise might not have made its way into this.

First off all, 2015 has been my busiest year ever. Not just the typical sensation that this year flew by faster than the others. In fact 2015 to me was so busy that this year has actually felt slower, which is a blessing in itself.

Friends

My friends take the cake this year. As we all grow older, it tends to become more difficult to spend quality time with our friends. This was certainly the case for me, and I would have loved to have spent more time with my friends. But again as with getting older, perhaps the biggest lesson I have to learn is that friendship (and most things in life) is about quality, not quantity. The number of regular faces has declined, as people grow up, move away, get occupied, and grow apart. The relationships that remain intact become even more impressive, and important, and I am very grateful to have the friends that I do.

One friend and I spent over two months just trying to find an hour or two to grab a quick beer and shoot the shit, but an ever demanding schedule made it nearly impossible for either of us to land squarely on a date and time. We finally did, and the experience was that much more rewarding. What’s impressive though is that in this day of impersonal communication, this friend actually called me, called me, at least once a week to chit chat on the phone, catch up, and just rant like we used to in the old days. As precipitous as these phone calls were, both unexpected, short, and without forum, they were awesome and heartwarming.

I am very grateful for my friends, all of them. And to/in honor of those friends, here’s a quick list of inside jokes and anonymous shout outs.

You know I’ll show up with the shovel. Whose car we taking?

Yarggg! Ye scurvy scum! Give us all yer rubbing alcohol and lemonade! Yarrr

Water plant with cry!

Annndddrrrreeeeeeeeeewwwww

Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym. Those who can’t teach gym work for the government.

AAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Accomplishments

2015 was a hodgepodge of accomplishments that I am quite proud of and thankful for.

Professionally, 2015 was incredibly rewarding. Business has been booming and as stressful as it is, I am eternally grateful. I always figured that it I have to choose between be stressed over having too little work, and being stressed over having too much work, I choose the latter. So many people are struggling to find work, to find clients, and I would take my 60 hour weeks over that any day. Yes I’m busy, but I’m also thriving and I wouldn’t give it up, and I won’t even hint at bad mouthing it. Never stop being thankful for your blessings, because when you do, life has a knack for taking them away.

I’ve hit 1,000 clients, which is a huge milestone for me, especially considering I’ve only been doing this for about 5 years. Just 2 years ago I remember trying to make it to 300, which know seems like a humbling experience, and makes me all the more thankful.

I’m thankful that my job allows me a degree of autonomy and freedom. And as childish as this sounds, I am thankful I am able to come to work in my PJs, and keep beers in my office mini-fridge next to my Avengers poster and bobble-head Groot figurine.

That job I’m thankful for allowed me to accomplish something else, homeownership. I didn’t blast it on social media but as of November 13 I am a happy homeowner!

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I could go on for days about the things I am thankful, but I’m hungry so I’m gonna cut this short. I’ve thankful for my health, for my friends, for my family, for my eternally shedding and drooling dog, for my job and professional success, for my accomplishments, for living in San Diego, for Oreos, and for comic book movies. I’m thankful for a lot of things, I am thankful if you read this post.

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Thankful

With Thanksgiving a week behind us, this post might seem a little ill-timed, but the hell with it. I’m posting it anyway.

I have a ton to be thankful for. Some of those things are obvious like my health, a roof, food on my table, etc., and some are not so obvious, and I want to take some time to bring attention to them, and also bring attention to some of the people I am happy to have in my life.

My Parents

I am so thankful to have my parents. Not just parents, but my parents. My parents fucking rock. I wasn’t born super rich with a billion dollar trust fund to my name, but my parents always took care of me. Although divorced when I was very young, and even though they did not always agree, my parents had a unified front when it came to raising me. Many divorced or separated parents use their children as a bartering token, or form of leverage to enact revenge on their ex. My parents didn’t do that. When my (step)mom came on to the scene, she faced the obvious challenge of being a third wheel when it came to me. But if anyone asked me today, I would tell you have 1 dad and 2 moms. Not 1 mom and 1 stepmom. And my birth mother would agree with you. I’m fortunate to have been raised in a (very unusual) situation in which my parents were able to put parenting before politics. Something truly rare these days with divorced parents. Moms and Dad, I’m thankful for you.

My Enormous Family

Most of friends have but a glimpse of the size of my family. Let me break it down to you. As its height, I had 4 grandmas, 4 grandpas (yes 4 each), 2 moms, 1 dad, 1 brother, 1 sister, 9 aunts, 9 uncles, and 20 cousins. We’re unfortunately without Grandpa Hernandez at the time of writing this, but I’m still so happy to have my enormous crazy family.

Grandma’s house on Christmas and Thanksgiving was always the place to be. Drop in any random Wednesday and you’re bound to bump into a few cousins. Grandma would say I was “too flaco” and sit me down to eat something. Score.

There was the ever abundance of relatives keeping your ass in line. It truly takes a village to raise a kid. When I fucked up, and I did plenty, I had not just 1 or 2 relatives barking at me, I had a village of relatives lecturing me to not fuck up again. And for that, I am truly thankful.

My Good Family

Out of 25 grandkids in total, you figure at least one of us would have ended up on the wrong side of the law. Nope. To the best of my recollection, no arrests, no DUIs, no gang members, no domestic violence, no drug addictions, no alcoholism, none of that shit. Even an unfathomably low level of inter-family bickering.

Am I bragging? A little. But more importantly I’m thankful that our family instilled a sense of values into us. That none of us grew up to be low lives. That we all kept our shit together in rough times, and Grandpa passing was a very rough time. And that after all these years, our reunions still fill the house with noise and laughter.

 My Role Models

I had a very big and diverse group of people who raised me, in addition to my three wonderful parents.

Fred, Todd, De Veau, Johnny and Tawny, Jeff, Steve, Tobie, Vicky, Enas, Mr. and Mrs. Diaz and countless others.

If you read this post, you know who you are. You helped mold me into the person I am today (for better of worse!). You all kept my ass in line when I was a kid and even now into my adulthood. You are all honorary parents of mine, and I am thankful for having you all in my life.

My Awesome Friends

Getting older is tough. People grow up, and grow apart, and admittedly it can be very sad. I prided myself on having a select group of close friends, vs. an endless list of “associates”. Here’s a quick shout out.

Jenny, Adriana, Anders, Becky S, Becky W, Brett K, Brett N, Brian, Candice, Fred, De Veau, Jon B, Jon VM, Louis, Melody, Nick, Ryan, Stephane, and TJ. (Please notice with the exception of Jenny that was all alphabetical, so no one getting butt hurt on me).

I haven’t kept in touch with all of you as much as I would like to, but I am nonetheless thankful to have you in my life.

My Upbringing

I’m thankful for the life lessons I was taught and raised with.

Family is important.

Respect your elders. Look out for your siblings and those younger, weaker, or less fortunate than you. Stay together no matter what.

Work hard.

Work ethic is very important. No, don’t waste your years working away, but also don’t be a lazy sack of shit. My grandparents worked their asses off for my parents. My parents worked their asses off for my siblings and me. And I’m gonna work my ass off to give my kids the life they deserve.

Do right.

From a young age I remember my mom and dad telling me to do the right thing. “Boy, always do the right thing”. Those words echo in my mind every day. Don’t rip people off to make a quick buck. Tip well. Share. Be charitable. It’s not that I’m righteous or holier than thou. I’m legitimately thankful I was raised to be that way, because not everyone was and it pisses me off.

Martinisms

My dad is Martin, and he taught me what I call “Martinisms”. Here are some of my favorite martinisms:

  • If the mind is weak, the muscle must grow.
  • Stupid hurts.
  • Two in the chest, one in the head. When in doubt, empty the clip. Bullets are cheap, life is expensive.

And of course I’m thankful for bacon and California burritos.

Seriously though, this Thanksgiving I had a lot to Thankful for. For those in my life I hope you all know how thankful and grateful I am that you are in it.

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!