How in the world did I end up here? Seriously, I woke up to one of the most spectacular sunrises I’ve ever seen this morning. It was so awesome that I ran out to take a picture. As soon as I got back into our villa I looked over my shoulder and saw that a few pelicans were swimming past to make it even more scenic. Right back out I went to get an even better shot!
As I stood there and soaked it in I just kept thinking to myself, “how did I get here?” While at first I started to smile with pride and pat myself on the back. Of course it was my hard work and my attitude, right? How could it be anything else? But even as I thought it I wasn’t truly at peace with that answer.
Thinking more about it I thought about my mentors, my incredible partners that saw something in me and helped to grow and shape me. They’ve coached and molded me through tough lessons and great successes. Without them I wouldn’t be the business professional I am today. This was starting to feel more right, but it still was a bit off.
My thoughts then drifted to my teams. My hardworking and awesome Express family who bust their butts everyday to help find work. Their an incredibly hard working family of professionals who truly care for each other. I draw strength and motivation from them on a daily basis and I’m so thankful to have them.
Of course my brain and heart also led me to Becky and my boys for their never ending faith and support. As I’ve said before, they could be the topic of my blog every single day. I am not me without them and heir love.
Between these answers I was feeling better. I then headed off to the gym to get a few miles in to start the day. My headphones went on and I became absorbed in the run. After about a mile it clicked. I had forgotten someone, or better yet, a couple of someones. A smile cracked across my face and it didn’t leave for the rest of my run.
My parents made so many sacrifices for my brother and I that it still makes my head spin. From my memories and little pieces of conversation that are only evident for a flash I’ve got a bit of an idea of some of what they’ve sacrificed for us. As a dad I understand that’s probably only the very tip of the iceberg. They both gave so much, sacrificed so much, and did so much to help Nick and I be successful in life.
In making those trade offs they could have very easily have been bitter or frustrated. They could have used guilt to punish us for what they’d given up, but that was never the case.
My parents taught us what a growth mindset was by being incredible role models of it. They showed us how to dream big for ourselves and helped us have the confidence in ourselves to believe absolutely anything was possible. They taught us to make the best of any curveball life threw our way(Growth Mindset).
They showed us that with hard work anyone can become anything, but you had to want it bad enough and work hard enough to do it (Grit).
Regardless of what life tossed our way they showed us to always do what was right, no matter how hard it was to do that sometimes (Do Right).
At the end of the day we knew they love us unconditionally and that they will always be there for us (even in death Dad is still with me).
When I pause to reflect on just how fortunate I am to wake up to that beautiful sunrise this morning there are so many people that I am thankful for. While each and every single one of them are so important to me they wouldn’t likely be in my life without the jump start that I got from my parents. Their sacrifices, their attitudes, and, most importantly, their love have all built the base of who I am… and I couldn’t be more thankful or feel more blessed to have them in my life.
Mom and Dad, thank you both for all you’ve done, all you’ve given, all you’ve taught, and all the love you’ve shared with Nick and I. I can speak for both of us and say we have no idea how you’ve stayed so strong, so happy, so optimistic, and so loving through all these years, but it’s made all the difference in the world to us. We love you and are so thankful to be able to call you Mom and Dad. Love you!!!