It’s that time again. Time to mash some taters, crush some cranberries, jam some yams and think about thanking. It’s a great day for us all to reflect on our blessings. And not just the ones we got after sneezing in public. So before I fall asleep in front of the football game, here is my annual reflection.
23 Things I’m Thankful For In 2023.
2. My Kids. My little people are a gift. Ava (18), Johann (16) and Magnus (13) are funny and smart. I love seeing them each tap into their unique talents and passions. And I am thankful for the opportunity to see the world through their eyes. I’m also thankful that they each have eyes.
3. They Weapons: The Weaponry, the advertising and ideas agency I lead, has already had its best year ever in 2023. Businesses are people-powered. And I am thankful for the great people on our great team.
4. My Health: I turned 50 this year and I feel great. I had a physical a few months ago. I had a colonoscopy too. (Because they save lives.) Everything looked as good as I feel. My mental health is good too. That warrants a good thank’n.
5. My strength: I am thankful for my physical strength. It’s proof that good habits compound. Like interest. Not like a fracture.
6. Books: I am having my best reading year of all time. I will finish the year having read at least 40 books. And not one paper cut. Each book makes me a little smarter and a little better thinker. And I could use all the help I can get. I will share a full list of my titles at the end of the year.
7. Travel to Europe. My family went to Europe for 2 weeks this summer. I am thankful to be able to experience London, Paris, Switzerland and Munich with my tribe. I also learned how to say I don’t speak the language in 4 languages. Including English.
8. My Parents: Bob and Jill Albrecht are still going strong. I love that they are less than 4 hours away and that I get to see them several times a year. I have friends who have lost parents this year. Which makes me even more thankful for a tank full of parents.
9. My Mother-In-Law: My MIL is 86 years old and is doing great. She’s with us for some turkey this week. Family always makes Thanksgiving better. And my family is not getting together this week, because of #10.
10. My Sister’s Wedding!: My baby sister Donielle is getting married next Saturday in my hometown. So my family is traveling home to Hanover, New Hampshire next Thursday. I am thrilled Donielle is getting married, and that my parents, my 3 sisters and their families will all be back home for the first time together since 1996. Which was just 4 years PM. (Post Mullet)
11. Puerto Rico: 2 weeks ago my high school friends Dan Richards, James Colligan and Matt Prince got together for an epic Guys Weekend in Puerto Rico. We saw Ludacris perform at a private party. We rode an 8300-foot zip line. We drove side-by-sides through jungly mud. We played 11 games of pickleball. (I lost most of them.) We visited Old San Juan, hiked, swam in the ocean and had an all-around amazing guy time. And I still feel like Guy Smiley thinking about it.
12. My Most Recent Commerical Shoot. The Weaponry had an epic commercial shoot this fall. We filmed in Los Angeles, Telluride, Utah, Chicago, Cape Cod, and Western Massachusettes. I can’t wait to share the final spot. It is one of the most beautiful commercials I have ever been part of. Plus, I got to meet new people, deepen my relationships with others, and see several old friends as I traveled the country. It was an experience I will never forget. At least not until I forget everything else too.
13. Coaching Football: I coached my son Magnus’ 7th grade football team this fall. We went 5–3 this season, after winning 3 games total in the past 2 years. The players were great. The coaching staff was great. I am thankful to have so much time with Magnus. And that he was healthy throughout the season. And I love that I get called Coach all over town. It makes me feel like Craig T. Nelson.
14. My John Deere Lawn tractor: I love mowing my 1.7-acre lawn. That’s all I have to say about that.
15. My Jeep Wrangler: We have a red Jeep Wrangler, and I love driving that thing. Especially in the summer with the top off. (The Jeep’s top, not mine.) It’s a very American feeling. #jeepwave
16. Speaking Opportunities: This year has been full of amazing speaking opportunities. Much of it stems from my book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? But other opportunities have come from business-related topics and student groups. I have traveled to Dallas, Minneapolis, Madison, Columbus, Chicago, Florida (x2), and more. I am always happy to speak. I’m typically called to kick off events with energy or keep people awake at the end of the day. Only in a healthier way than Redbull. Or cocaine.
17. Coaching Track & Field. This year was my 3rd year coaching my daughter Ava’s Homestead High School track team. Ava had a great season and is just 2 feet shy of the school’s 43-year-old discus record. She is working hard to far surpass that mark this year. I am thankful for the time together and how inspiring she is to watch train. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for her. Plus, I really like the other coaches.
18. Expanding My Ripples Media Team: I published my book with Ripples Media because of the opportunity to be part of a community of authors. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know the other writers and sharing knowledge. It’s fun to join a new community later in life, especially when it’s not at The Villages.
19. My dog Lola: I have a 2-year-old Border Collie named Lola. I am thankful for the joy and friendship she has brought to my home. She brings a lot of energy to our family. And she is always happy to see me, even when the rest of the world isn’t.
20. UW Track and Field Team Reunion. I got to see a bunch of my college track teammates a month ago in Madison, Wisconsin. Many of them I hadn’t seen in 5, 10 or 20 years. See your people in real life. It’s different. Like Nuprin.
21. Laughing: I have laughed a lot this year. I’m thankful for all the funny people and funny situations from the past year. If laughter is the best medicine I am happily overmedicated.
22. Food on the table: I have never gone without this year. That blessing is not lost on me.
23. Shelter: I am thankful for my home. We have been in our current home for 2 years. It is the only house I have lived in as an adult that doesn’t feel temporary.
24. New Friends: I have met a lot of new people this year. They have expanded my world in innumerable ways. (Who needs to numer anyway?)
Take time to count your blessings. Today is a great day to recognize all the good in your life. Thank you to all my family and friends. At the end of our days, the only thing that will really matter is the impact we have on each other.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
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