It's that time of the year again! Since 2013 is coming to an end very soon, I thought I would list my top ten things I am thankful for. This is not a ranking system. I am just listing them as I go. I would love to read YOUR list as well. Feel free to share it at the end of my blog. I'd love to see what you come up with.
1. Parents: I am very grateful to my parents for the all of the support they have given me over the years. As a teacher, my father has been an inspiration. My writing and speaking skills are a reflection of what I learned from him. He is also the reason I am such a Minnesota Gopher fanatic. It's a sickness that runs deep within the Johnston family. 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. Well, that would take 2-3 blogs!
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 beam of light coming down from the skies. She does an awesome job with her photography and social media customers as well. They love working with her and I love being with her. Last year around this time, we got engaged by the Rockefeller tree in NYC. It was a beautiful moment and one we'll never forget.
3. The Neumann TLM 103: Would I sound insane if I told you that my microphone was one of my best friends? I think he would make a heck of a best man! I just need to find a tux that fits him! We're a match made in heaven and without it, I wouldn't be in business and doing what I love.
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. A good support system can be taken for granted but I have been lucky to have such wonderful support from my family throughout my life and career.
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. Just this year, I was hired by at least 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, high school friends and even my sixth grade teacher!
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! The closeness of some friendships have the tendency to fade over time. It happens with everyone but it doesn't dilute the importance of them.
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 shave their own comic strip! Kaytee is aging now and she's a had a few minor health issues but is still a beautiful dog and is enjoying life to the fullest.
8. Clients/Students: It's true! Without them, we would be living at YOUR house! What good is a microphone if you don't have any clients? I am grateful for all of my clients and students. They are fun to work with and we 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! Many of my students move on to becoming successful voice talents and it's such a joy for me to watch their careers blossom. I'm honored to be their Obi-Wan!
9. Eggs: Sometimes it's the little things, right? Scrambled, boiled, over-easy. It doesn't matter. Eggs are the answer to most of life's problems. I love them and they love me.
10. 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 see Highway 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'm 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's always tough to come up with just ten but this is a start. Again, feel free to comment with your own lists. I would love to read what you have been grateful for in 2013. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!