Monday, November 23, 2009

2009 entry no. 2 of I'm Thankful For...

Family and friends

I've actually spent more time with friends this year than family. Probably true for most of us.

A couple of uncles steadfastly fought and defeated cancer over the last 12 months. Both have been a big influence on me since childhood, and I'm glad I get to share the turkey, trimmings, and post-meal beer with them again this year.

My kids continue to give me a huge upswell of pride. I'm glad my employer allows me the flexibility to be as involved as I can with their various activities.

My relationship with my brother is essentially non-existent. I haven't heard from him in ages. He did poke up his head at least once this year to let our mother know he was still doing OK. I'm at times bent with him for tuning his mother, father, brother, sister, nieces, and nephew completely out of his life. Other times I simply feel apathetic and resigned that he has no interest in replying to the effort we've made to connect with him. Yet I'm thankful he's still around and apparently healthy and housed.

My best friend since way back when is getting married again New Year's Day. He's had a tumultuous last few years, but now things seem to be looking up for him. For that, I'm thankful.

Through work travel and a couple of NASCAR race trips, I had the chance to reunite with some friends from across the US and Canada. Plus, I met a few new folks along the way - some of whom will likely turn into friends as more years pass. A friend and former co-worker toured the world for a year. We followed him through his blog and then greeted him with a smile, a hug, and a cold beer when he returned safely to the states. A college friend who later moved to Nice, France with his wife and kids vacationed for a few weeks in the states - including a stop in ye ol' hometown. We, along with a mutual friend, and his brother took in a hockey game and caught up on life. All very cool folks - many reasons to be thankful.

Music trading, blogging, and my limited time on Twitter has resulted in some new friendships. Many say its a risk becoming friends with someone you've never met face-to-face, with interaction only through a keyboard, and no idea about the integrity of the persona reflecting back through a monitor. Yet others say I should spend more time developing friendships on the ground where I stand vs. through the web.


Through the use of the web, I've met some great folks who I would otherwise not have met. I'm not throwing around my home address and phone number. I'm not assisting anyone in Nigeria looking to repatriate some dollars back to the states via my bank account. I'm not posing as a 17 year-old girl looking to "meet new friends" nor searching for such a person. And, I'm not looking to the web for my deep-rooted, to-the-core, personal relationships. If I can drink a beer with you, share some tunes, chat about hockey or NASCAR, I can pretty much be friends with you.

Lastly, I've found two great benefits of web-based friendships:
  • I learn about similarities and differences from others about music, life, political leanings, sports passions, business and economics, and cool things to do in other parts of the country or even the world, and
  • Web-based friends don't borrow tools and then never return them.

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