1. Parents: My mother had a stroke on the eve of Thanksgiving a few years back and I am grateful she is still around and delivering her smile upon us every day. As a teacher, my father has been an inspiration. My writing and speaking skills are a reflection of what I learned from him. They've both put up with a lot of shenanigans, especially during my high school years. Or, high school year depending on who kept track of the days where I actually showed up! More about that in another blog.
2. Tracy: The love of my life. She has helped me so much. In personal growth as well as my business. She has a way of lifting a person up when they get down or are having a bad day. Waking up next to her every morning is like waking up and finding a gift at your bedside. Her smile is like a glowing sunrise and has a tendency to lift your spirits immediately. She does an awesome job with her photography and social media customers as well. They just love working with her and I love being with her.
3. The Neumann TLM 103: Would I sound insane if I told you that my microphone was one of my best friends? Wait, don't answer that. Who cares, right? We're a match made in heaven and without it, I wouldn't be in business and doing what I love. When Tracy and I get married, I think I am going to ask the TLM 103 to be my best man! I bet it looks great in a tux.
4. Family: I am grateful for my family and Tracy's family. They make living life such a joy on a daily basis. My family even has a private facebook group page that we all stay in touch on. Some of the conversations are downright off the wall but that's what makes us unique. It's also brought a few of us closer together and with my youngest sister and brother-in-law living in NYC, it's been a great tool.
5. Facebook: Rumor has it there is a cool social media site out there called facebook? I'll have to check it out. Seriously, facebook has not only been a ton of fun but it's proven to be a powerful business tool as well. In 2012, I was hired by more than a dozen clients who found me on facebook! Not to mention that Tracy and I would not be together if it wasn't for this addictive little gem. Tracy and I went to the same high school in the early to mid 80's but we weren't exactly close friends. We got to know each other via facebook a few years back and the rest is history. Just like many others, I also reunited with several cousins and many high school friends. I love that!
6. Friends: I am honored to have so many friends not only in the voice-over industry but close friends who I have known for quite a few years now. They were there for me when I went through my divorce, when my mother had a stroke and on days where I am feeling a little down. As a die hard Minnesota sports fan, you need good friends to help you cope with the disappointment! Lol!
I heard a lot of people complaining during the election that they were "unfriended" by a few so-called friends on facebook for their political views. Well, REAL friends don't unfriend you based on your political stance. It was disappointing to hear that, which made me feel grateful that I have surrounded myself with friends who respect you, no matter what your personal opinions are.
7. Pets: My dog Kaytee has been a staple in this house since 2003 and with the addition of Tracy's cat, Huckleberry, they are as entertaining as a good sitcom! A couple of true characters that amuse us on a daily basis. They should seriously have their own comic strip! Kaytee is aging now and she's a had a few minor health issues but she is still a beautiful dog and in terrific shape for her age.
8. YMCA: It's not the prettiest of health clubs but the YMCA is responsible for getting me back into shape! I started running and playing basketball last winter and it has really paid off. I try to go every other day in the winter months. I ran quite a bit outdoors this past summer and participated in my first 5K. Even though I still have work to do, I feel like a different person! It doesn't mean I am giving up pizza, french fries or beer!
9. Clients/Students: What good is a microphone if you don't have any clients! I am grateful for all of my clients as well as my students. They are fun to work with and we all learn from each other. The learning factor is something that gets taken for granted on occasion. Think about it. Every time I do a medical narration or an audio book, not only am I getting paid to do it but I am also getting an education!
10. Lint Brush: Sometimes it's the little things, right? This past year, I discovered black shirts again and without my lint brush, I would have been arrested and fined for having too much hair on my shirt! Kudos to whoever invented this wonderful little tool.
11. Working from home: There is nothing like heading downstairs to the studio in your flannel pajama pants and your hair standing straight up. Sometimes I take this for granted until I have to run to the store and I see 394 backed up to Jupiter! I didn't handle rush hour very well back when I was working in Corporate. It's even worse now because I am no longer used to it. One morning, I came close to pulling a "Bill Murray in Stripes" and considered leaving my car on the side of the highway and walking away! It doesn't mean that I work any less just because I work from home. I've never been busier and I am grateful for that.
It's always tough to come up with just ten or eleven! Feel free to comment with your own lists. I would love to read what you have been grateful for in 2012.