Thursday, November 22, 2007

What I'm Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving!

I usually try to be clever or at least a little ironic in this blog. Hopefully someone out there finds it mildly amusing enough to tune in every now and then to catch up on Doc's advice. Today I am going to be fairly straightforward, though I never know until I'm done typing just what is going to come out. Here's what I'm most thankful for, in no particular order:

1. My health. I'm not the strongest rider out there, but I'm doing pretty well for me, and at 46 years of age, I'm just happy to be able to line up and do the best I can. I started this racing thing 6 years ago strictly to motivate me to follow a training program during the long Minnesota winters. The rest is gravy.
2. My wife. Beth is, hands down, the best thing that ever happened to me. She is my perfect complement, my best friend, and the glue that keeps my life together. I really would be lost without her.
3. My profession. I am so lucky to have a job I love to do, day in and day out. It wasn't always that way of course. Grey's Anatomy, House, and Scrubs have it all wrong; med school, internship and residency aren't as glamorous or as exciting as they portray, just a long hard grind of too much reading, too little sleep, and too much stress. Private practice ENT surgery is much better suited to my abilities and stamina, and I am very thankful for my partners who share the load with me.
4. My family. I'm spending the week with my older brother and his family in Houston. My Mom is in a nursing home nearby; she'll be coming over for the afternoon. My younger brother is in Dallas with his wife and little boy, and my youngest brother is in the Seattle area with his 4 wonderful kids. On Beth's side, my in-laws and Beth's sister and her family are in the Cities, so we see them a fair amount. All of them are good company any time, but especially during the holidays.
5. My friends. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them. Thank you for your friendship. Cycling is not really the focus of what we do together, as far as I'm concerned. It's much more about people of like mind coming together to multiply the joy of participating. If in the process of racing I have offended you (and I probably have), forgive me. I'd rather fail miserably at racing if it let's me succeed in friendship with you.
6. The rest of my life. Prosperity, a great country (with all its faults), education, opportunity, a stable economy, personal safety, chances to influence and develop future leaders, a business that helps support the families of 50 employees, free time to pursue hobbies and friendships, freedom of speech and religion, a great city and neighborhood to live in, great neighbors, our dream house (10 years ago it mostly gave me nightmares during renovation), two funny dogs and a bunch of big fat goldfish, and the hope of hearing a little girl's laughter in the near future.
7. Jesus Christ. I'm not usually a preachy person, but most of you who know me reasonably well know that I'm fairly "religious". I would prefer the word "devout" even though the two words mean essentially the same thing, it's just that the word "religious" has developed a darker, more fanatic connotation. Anyway, I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to Father God except through Him. Today especially I am thankful that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins and imperfections, and gave me the gift of salvation and the hope of eternal life with God. If you have accepted that gift, be thankful; if you haven't, you can if you want. 'Nuf said.
8. Whatever else I missed that I really ought to be thankful for. A grateful heart is the foundation for a healthy life, IMHO. DOC'S ADVICE: find something to be thankful for every day. It can't hurt, and it might save your life someday.

Tomorrow's blog: who knows?

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