Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving...from Merida, Mexico

Gaining some distance from my everyday life gives me a chance to have some real perspective on things. This year, I have had a lot to give thanks for and to celebrate.

This year I took two vacations that I’ve wanted to do for many years – the Alaska cruise which I wrote to you about and a trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast.  I remember when my mother and father came back from their trip to Amalfi, a million years ago.  My father, who loved to drive, was so excited about the winding, narrow roads there.  His face lit up when he told us about it.  Now I’ve also experienced it and, it’s likely that it’s even crazier now, given there are more cars, more big buses, more motorcycles and scooters and more people walking on the roads that have no sidewalks. The Italians are very aggressive drivers – and very good.  As in most things in life, to survive you just have to do what people do in their own cultures.  “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do.”

As I think about Thanksgiving, I’m going to take the liberty of not only mentioning some things I’m thankful for, but also grateful for – they’re pretty much one in the same, right?

I’m grateful for having my health.  All of us have experienced too, too many people we know and love who, no matter how young or old, have dealt with or are currently dealing with really crummy health matters.  In our wonderful industry we’ve seen too many of our friends and colleagues die way too soon.  Each one is a wake-up call to me.

I’m grateful for having such a wonderful family.  My son Brian, his wife Bridget and their boys, Sean (9) and Gavin (7).  My son Kevin, his wife Marissa and their 7-year old twins, Ben and Edie. 

I’m grateful for having met so many truly nice people in my career – around the world.  

I’m grateful for all the wonderful musicians I’ve shared the stage and studio with – playing rock and blues keyboards, singing, writing songs and now in the process of recording my third ‘album’ – I’m a lucky guy.  Mentioning the new ‘album’ – I’ve been advised that very few people buy CD’s anymore. So, I’m going to sell the songs individually on iTunes.  After they take their cut, 100% of the proceeds will go to Mac Angels Foundation, a Westchester, New York - based organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals, family members and caregivers impacted daily by ALS, by providing the compassion, education and unique resources needed to manage the devastating effects of this disease.​
I know of Mac Angels via my long-time friendship with Paul McEvoy, one of the true gentlemen in the institutional real estate community.  Paul and his wife M.C. were involved in the launch of Mac Angels and Paul currently serves as President of the organization.
I’m grateful for the fact that I have no debt and that my life has become fairly simple – after being complex for many years.
I’m grateful for the working relationship that Felix / Weiner Consulting Group partner Liz Weiner and I have developed.  It’s not easy being in business for yourself and over the past 6 years Liz and I have become a good team and built a respectable business.  Both of us are grateful for the clients and people we’ve worked with and especially those that have hired us more than once J
I’m grateful for the mentors, supporters and really, really good friends I’ve had in my life and my career. I had started listing them but was concerned I’d overlook someone so better left unlisted…you know who you are – in some cases I wish I had listened to them more.
In closing this piece, I want to share with you something that I learned a few years back that has helped me live a somewhat more peaceful and happier life:
“Whatever you do first thing in the morning you will do all day. Be happy. Smile. Laugh. Be grateful for all that you have.”
With that, I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving – and hopefully long holiday weekend.
P.S. Can you believe that there is only a little over 5 weeks left in 2018!  Boy, how amazingly fast time is flying by.  

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