I love Thanksgiving. If it weren’t for the whole birth-of-Jesus thing, or the freedom thing, I would say Thanksgiving was the best holiday. We get to eat as much as we can stomach. We get to watch football all day if we want. We get to enjoy a parade full of huge balloons and lip-syncers. Then there are the naps and the family time. But most importantly, today we take time to think n thank. And I think I have a lot to be thankful for since Thankfest 2021. So I made a list. Here it is.
22 Things I’m Thankful For.
2. My Family. My family is my greatest asset, hands down. (And even when the hands are up.) From my amazing wife Dawn, and kids Ava, Johann and Magnus to my parents, sisters and their families, I just love my people. I am also proud to be part of a vast family of Albrechts and Spraus that are special, supportive, and super funny people. Best of all, I didn’t even have to do anything to be in this family club. Plus, my mother-in-law is with us for Thanksgiving this year, which we are especially thankful for.
3. Friends. I have friends all over the globe. They make me feel like the world is my home. I am blessed with the ability to develop strong friendships quickly. And I have added many new friends since this time last year. And I think you and I are going to be friends.
4. My business. I launched the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry 6 years ago. We will grow by 50% this year. 2023 is stacking up to be the most exciting year yet. We moved into a great new office this year. And I love working with our very talented group of Weapons. (Just not today.)
5. My Book. I published my first book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? 11 months ago and it has changed my life. I appreciate everyone who has supported me, read the book, written a good review, or gifted a copy. (Or 20.) The book has allowed me to share a lot of good with the world. And soon I will have another book to talk about, which I co-wrote with Jeff Hilimire. Which is great news for everyone who has heard enough about my first book.
6. Coaching Football. I just finished coaching my son Magnus’ 6th-grade football team. The boys were really fun, funny and talented. I am thankful for the opportunity to coach and compete with such a great group of young dudes. They make me feel very good about the future of our community. The experience also reminded me how much I want to laugh when other coaches are yelling at kids for goofing off. Because when I played football I was my team’s starting goofer-offer.
7. Coaching Track: I have now enjoyed 2 seasons of coaching the girls’ track team at Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin. I am thankful for the additional time I have enjoyed with my daughter Ava. I’m thrilled to see so much improvement among the athletes I coach. And I am thankful for the fun I’ve had with the other coaches. (Notice that I did not say I was thankful for how long the meets go early in the season when it still feels like winter in Wisconsin. Brrr.)
8. Surfing. I learned to surf this summer in California. (With a surfboard, not a keyboard.) I have always wanted to try surfing. My kids and I loved it. I look forward to more. But living in Wisconsin makes it hard to surf a lot. So I plan to supplement my actual surfing with a lot of time listening to The Beach Boys.
9. Audio Books: I love to read books with my ears while driving. I recently heard that audiobooks allow you to complete the equivalent of 2 semesters of college education each year. I have listened to 12 audiobooks in 2022 and plan to pack a couple more in before the end of the year. So I am looking forward to getting my next degree from the University of Ford-Expedition.
10. My John Deere Lawn tractor. I like to drive and mow and think. Therefore, I am.
11. Travel: I traveled to Hilton Head Island, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Seattle for fun this year. My family and I also hiked Zion, Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Parks. And I have new stories from each place. Which is the greatest souvenir of all. (If you don’t count those little shot glasses.)
12. Speaking Opportunities: I have had a lot of speaking opportunities this year, largely thanks to my book. I spoke to 2 great student groups this week alone. I have 3 more talks lined up over the next 3 weeks. And I am always happy to do more. I love sharing my most valuable lessons on life, creativity, advertising, marketing and entrepreneurship. If you’re looking for an enthusiastic speaker for your event or organization (because you can’t afford the person you really want) I’d love to talk.
13. My First Dog Ever. In January my family and I road-tripped to South Carolina to pick up a 7-week-old Border Collie we named Amicalola (Lola for short.) She’s a beautiful and energetic dog, that treats me like I am the boss. Lola, thanks for teaching me why people love dogs so much. And for not having bigger poop to pick up.
14. My Mentals. My mental health is good. It always has been. I am thankful for that and never take it for granted. (If you think something is off with my mentals, please don’t tell me. I’m enjoying it in here.)
15. Great Clients. I am extremely thankful for all of the clients across the country (and England) that have trusted my team to deliver their very important work this year. I am honored you chose to work with us.
16. Sunrises and Sunsets. God crushed it with these two things! I love how they provide a kind of solar opening and closing bell to the day. The best sunrises and sunsets are created through a balanced combination of sun and clouds. Which is a great analogy for life.
17. The High Price of Gas: Most people have spent a lot of time complaining about the price of gas this year. Not me. I bought a bunch of oil stocks at bottom-of-the-oil barrel prices in 2020. The high price of oil and gasoline have turned these stocks into the best investments I’ve ever made. By far. I like buying good company stock when something bad happens to them that is beyond their control. It’s a reminder to invest in good people when they are down.
18. Google and YouTube: Between those 2 resources, I can learn to do anything or solve almost any problem. Thanks for being my digital cheat sheets.
19. Funny Stories: Funny stories are amongst my very favorite things on the planet. On Tuesday I picked up a new funny story that is probably in my top 10 favorite funny stories to tell of all time. When you see me next ask me to share. (Mention my school talk.)
20. My Home We moved into a new home just over a year ago. And I don’t plan to move again until I leave Wisconsin. I have spent my entire adult life thinking that every home I lived in would be short-term. Until now. Today I am thankful to finally set this circus down, hang some pictures on the wall and buy some fancy return address labels, instead of using the ones we got for free in the mail.
21. Introductions From Strangers: I am usually the first one to introduce myself to a stranger, whether in person or online. So I am always thankful when someone new reaches out to me first. Like my new old friend Matt Perkins, who reached out to me a few weeks ago to introduce himself and share all that we had in common. I love that stuff.
22. Dissatisfaction Despite all of the great things in my life, I am still not satisfied. I am still far short of many of my long-term goals. I have much more to accomplish. I have things to see. I have things to create and grow. I am thankful for my hunger for more. It drives me to set my alarm early every morning. It helps me get a little better and smarter every day. And it keeps me looking forward to all the great things yet to come.
We all have much to be thankful for. Don’t take all the wonderful things in your life for granted. But don’t settle for today. Keep adding people, experiences, and accomplishments that will deepen your gratitude year after year.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope this is your best year yet.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.