It's so easy to get lost during this time of the year. Between sports, shopping, travel and all the attendant craziness, we sometimes forget the things that really matter. As those of us who believe consider the Gift given to mankind on Christmas, I find myself thinking back on the other gifts I have received through the year. 2011 was a rough year for many; while it's undoubtedly true that millions (billions, to be honest) of people had a tougher year than did I, we certainly had our share of rough patches. Therefore, certain gifts must be acknowledged. In no particular order:
- Colleagues who listened to me vent my frustrations, offered good advice or simply 'brought me back down' to earth.
- Online friends who were often a source of good counsel - or much-needed laughter.
- A fantastic wife (pause for wisecracks from those who know just how far "up" I married). 'Nuff said.
- Four great kids who, despite their inability to clean their rooms, knock things out of the park with astounding regularity.
- Folks who challenged my opinions and/or beliefs, forcing me to think more deeply and analytically in defense.
- Customers whose confidence in my ability to "fix things" drove me to better effort.
These gifts cannot be wrapped or shipped, but--and this is no small irony when discussing gifts--my hope is that I have the chance to return them, whether it be to you or someone else, in the year to come.
Some of you know where you fall on that list, but others may not; nonetheless, you have my thanks. Merry Christmas.