Giving thanks

I hope you've all had a great holiday. I have many things to be thankful for:

My amazing family. My parents live about 15 minutes away from me, and I love being able to see them so easily. I wish it were easier to visit my brother and his wife out in California, but a lot of people I know hardly see their family at all so I count myself lucky. My parents are supporting, loving, kind, humble, and honest. I admire them both very much.

My friends. I've had many of the same friends for many years (one of my best friends is someone I've known since middle school, nearly 20 years ago) and I feel very fortunate to have such awesome, fun, and supportive people in my life. I've had friends stick with me through good times and bad, and there's no real way to repay that except to pay it forward.

My co-workers and clients. I'm lucky to have a job that has good hours and is very low stress, and I work with some first-rate trainers and loyal, hard-working clients. I'm not the wealthiest guy in the world, but I have everything I need and then some so I can't complain. Besides, if I were rich I'd probably just be buying guitars all the time.

My health. A client of mine recently shared a great quote, presumably an old Persian proverb: "I used to complain about my shoes, until I met a man who had no feet". I follow Jason Becker on Facebook. Jason Becker was a prodigy guitarist who shocked the world of rock and metal guitar with his virtuosic ability at a measly 17 years of age. Now age 42, he lives in a wheelchair, paralyzed by ALS (the same disease that afflicts Stephen Hawking). So whenever I feel frustrated at the gap between my current ability that of a Jason Becker, I remind myself that I'm fortunate just to be able to play at all. Plus I can go to the gym, do crazy stuff like the Warrior Dash, etc. Not everyone is so fortunate.

My readers. I mentioned recently that I originally started this blog as a way to organize my thoughts; I never really had any ambition of gaining an audience. Over time the blog grew a small but steady readership, and while I'm not raking in the views of Debunking Christianity or the almighty Pharyngula, I've somehow managed to attract a small contingent of very smart people.

And lastly, I have to thank Carvin for giving me my best excuse for not having a wife. Seriously, they made me this. It's the most perfect instrument I've ever played and it inspires me to keep toiling away, hoping to achieve at least a portion of the kind of ability that made Jason Becker such a phenom 25 years ago.


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