Once upon a time, my friend Lotus and I would regularly post gratitude lists on the interwebs. It's something that I liked to do, and something I've definitely gotten away from. It struck me that doing just that might make me feel a little more... centered?... in this bonkers time.
Every night, in my prayers I share my gratitude to God. I'm in awe of the ways I've been blessed.
I'm grateful for my family. Not just my family of origin and my extended family, but this incredible little family I get to spend every day with. I never would've imagined that I'd have the wife and kids that I do. It's incredible.
I'm grateful that my parents raised me to be the man that I am. Mom and Dad always gave my brother and I the confidence and skills to pursue what we were good at while never making us believe we were capable of something we weren't. It's a confidence grounded in reality. I hope I can be half the parent they were to me.
I'm grateful for my brother(s) both real and... well, real. I've a lifelong friend in Jay, the brother with whom I shared a house growing up, but also in RJ and Brian. As my peers and contemporaries for nearly 40 years now, they've been critical as allies and (occasionally) opponents to helping me be who I am.
I'm grateful to so many friends whose names are too many to mention. That's part of why I'm grateful. Alana, Dave, Mikeal, Debbie, Whitney, Jeff and Abby, Doug, Du, Alan, Alex, Alex and Angela, Angela, Bev, Andrea,.. look, part of the reason I hate listing these things is that I will inevitably leave someone out. I love that even though I've moved from Colorado, each time I get to see you, it's like we haven't skipped a beat. It's so incredible to see how these people have grown, and to assume that I've also grown (have I?), but we can instantly transport back to past times and memories that bring so much joy. I owe so many of you so much more than I could ever repay.
I'm grateful to a completely different group of friends, and family really, whose names again are too many to mention, but you've made Nebraska a new home for me. Michael, Annika, Rachel, Brett, Mader, Bryce, Mak, Jason and Shannon, Cici, Lindsey, Alli, Sam,... again far too many to list here. On top of that, marrying into an incredible family which has brought me great friends like Mike, Pinky, Micah, Dan, Meredy, and Travis. That doesn't even begin to address Keya's extended family.
A whole other category of gratitude has to go to my Aunt Linda, Uncle Dave, and all of my cousins on the side- Matt, Connie, Claire, Izzy, Lydia, and Laurel; Jenny, Scott, Jake, Alex, and Reid; Sam, Andrew, Owen, Sylvia, and Evan. They made my move here effortless. Though we don't live far apart, I don't see them as often as I should, something for which I take most of the blame.
I'm grateful for the students, staff, athletes, and everyone else at Weeping Water. Honestly, when things fell apart like they did at Dorchester, I wasn't sure I could land on my feet like I did. Not only did I, I feel like I'm thriving there. I've been enveloped with open arms in the community and I know that I will continue to grow and succeed in my endeavors there!
I'm grateful to VCNebraska and Maggie, Bryce, and Mader who've brought me into the fold and have helped me grow as a coach. Nothing has challenged me or given me the opportunities to work with incredible athletes like VCN. It's the reason I've gotten to work with the athletes both there and at Dorchester and Weeping Water. I'm so grateful to have been part of the organization for almost eight years now. I've built lasting relationships through the club as well.
Though I'm no longer there, I'm grateful for CornNation.com. If you'd have told me that I'd get to spend five years of my life combining to of my loves, volleyball and writing, and gaining some notoriety for it, I'd have told you that you were nuts. Like with so many ventures, the people were the best. John, Ted, David, Greg, Nate, Brian, and so many others.
I'm grateful for the resources I have. Even in this time that is scary as anything for a lot people, we are fortunate to be able to not only meet our needs, but give to people who are are in a dire situation.
I'm grateful for the experiences I have been able to have, both successes and disappointments/failures. The places I've been, the ways I've traveled, and the people I've met along the way have helped to shape me. I can't wait to share similar experiences with Everett and Vivian.
I'm grateful for a lot of things I said yes to. Top of my mind are the coaching gig at College of St. Mary and RAGBRAI. If I hadn't said yes to either of those, I'd be living a much less colorful and fulfilling life.
I'm grateful for who I've become. I'm far from perfect. I'm working to be a little bit better everyday, but I know I don't always reach that. I will keep trying for myself, my family, my friends, and for people who are far less fortunate than I. If I can share some of my blessings with others who aren't as fortunate than I, then I can feel as though I've made a real difference. Giving away some of my blessings doesn't lessen mine. In fact, it increases them exponentially.
I could spend hours listing blessings and gratitude. It feels sometimes as though this type of post would be better if shorter, because the longer I make it, the more I think of people who I should name. If you are reading this, know that you are one of the people for whom I am truly and deeply grateful, because of you I keep word-vomiting onto this site.