Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Different Kind of Thanks

I'm putting the mini drama of covering the Broadwell house that has become my life over the last 10 days aside, and saving it for a later post.  Today I'm talking Thanksgiving.

Most folks are probably making arrangements to travel and see their families and probably cooking something with the the suffix "casserole" tonight.  Not me.  I'm pulling my usual nightshift and bringing it in for a quick turn around to work 9am to 6pm tomorrow.  And for that, I am thankful.  Thankful for the opportunity to spend turkey day (or night) with my wife and to cook a perfectly portioned dinner for just the two of us.

Working in television isn't conducive to seeing your family on most holidays.  I'm working Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years this year.  It's not ideal, but it's the grind you ride in order to keep the lights on.  I'll see my family the weekend before Christmas, and my inlaws the weekend after New Years. I'm thankful for a family that understands the limitations that my chosen profession places on our time together.  If anything, it serves to make the moments we do get together, only more special.

I am thankful for friends that understand my job is much different than theirs, and that it might mean I'll miss your holiday cocktail party.  But it also means that when I do make it to the party, I'll have plenty of outrageous stories to keep the crowd entertained.

I'm thankful for the people I've met through the lens of my camera over the course of the last year.  For the former military man who pulled himself from the depths of addiction and rebuilt his life.  I'm thankful for the beautiful faces that dot the streets and mountains of a small town in Guatemala. 

This year, I have met more people through the lens of a camera that inspire an uprising of hope in me, than ever before in my career.  Usually I go there to tell their story, and end up coming away changed for the better.

I am thankful for the most supportive wife that any man who pushes glass for a living could ask for.  Occasionally she has to ask me to put the weapon down, and remind me to actually experience what it is that I'm capturing.  You can't buy that kind of perspective.

I'm thankful that earlier in the week, our pastor Jim White , gave a message about using your vocation to reach people; to work in such a way that reflects the purpose of your life and to allow your work ethic to be a reflection of a higher calling.  I fall short at that one, but it's something to aspire to in the next year.

If you're reading this, I'm thankful for you.  You've given me an opportunity to chime in on some of the more outlandish things that happen to me in the field, and you've given me a captive audience to share some of the most heartfelt moments I've witnessed.

And in the world we live in, I'm thankful that I have a job.  A place to go each day and do something I truly love.  Do you love what you do?  Are you leveraging your time there as an investment in the people you meet?  Are you thankful for what you have? 

I don't intend that to sound arrogant or pushy, but as a challenge extended to any and all who have made it this far into this blog posting.  I do so because it is my struggle.  It's one I experience every single day.  Some days I miss the mark, and on others, I feel like maybe I got it right. 

Is not being with my family on holidays pleasant? No. Am I a consistent fountain of positivity? No.  Am I always thankful? No.  Thankfulness is a daily decision.  A choice I find myself having to make every time I wake up, and usually several times throughout the day. 

If I can remember I am one of the lucky ones to have a job doing what I love, and remember that the people I meet while doing my job are the real treasure, then that's half the battle. 

People matter.  People inspire thankfulness.  Be them family, friends, or complete strangers.

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