I looked back, and so far this year I have written what appears to be just over 70 blog posts. Some were book reviews, some were about leadership topics, some were about sports, some about travel. Many were about the thee seminal events that all happened to occur in my life this year – my father’s passing, my mother’s struggles with dementia, and the Las Vegas shooting on October 1.
I’ve also written probably 25-30 introductory messages to our entertainment division newsletter. And written three articles for an industry magazine focused on gaming and technology.
To recap all of this would end up focusing on the negative. It would be way too easy to say “GOOD RIDDANCE” to 2017. Instead I think I should challenge myself to be thankful, and to cherish this year. As Tim Urban noted in his Ted Talk, we lose time quickly in our lives so we better enjoy it, even if it’s not the easiest thing to do. So here are things I’m thankful for in 2017:
- First full year of marriage. We enjoyed it thoroughly. Had family at our house, entertained, traveled, supported each other through buys work schedules, and through incredible trauma we grew even closer than we were. We made our roots stronger, tackled life together.
- Traditions. We were able to take our annual trip to Cedar City, Utah for the Shakespeare Festival with our great friends the Selwoods. We were able to make our annual Thanksgiving trip to somewhere new, traveling to Hong Kong (ok, new for one of us) and Singapore. We had our annual staycation at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas (always great spa experience and a meal at Twist, plus window shopping at Crystals! We made it to a few “first Saturday” wine tastings at Trader Joes – note to self for New Years resolution, do more of those!
- Pro sports! This one really is meaningful for me at the intersection of native Las Vegan, entertainment executive, sports nut, and with my personal story working for many years to make a new arena in Las Vegas a reality. Our NHL team started this year, and we have already experienced some of what pro sports brings to a community, starting with just that – community. The ability of sports to help heal after the October 1 shooting was a great introduction to Las Vegas residents as to what sports can do for you, if you invest in it. I wish Bill Foley and his team all the best and will do whatever I can personally to ensure we are a top tier sports town for a long time. And there is more to come – next up WNBA and USL soccer, then of course the Raiders in a few years.
- New tradition – journaling. We documented the last few years of travel, events, dinners with friends, concerts, movies, sporting events, etc. Including “scrap-booking” the mementos.
- Our health. I still weigh too much, and I keep re-injuring my rib cartilage every time I do a corporate challenge sport I haven’t played in years; this year it was dodgeball. But it was worth it, we finished second to the perennial champs the Hakkasan team. Joyce got to go to her first executive physical and we had a wonderful time in La Jolla enjoying the resort there with Joyce’s friends who came down from Santa Monica.
- Golf. Speaking of which, I got to play the famous Torrey Pines south course while I was there. I didn’t get to golf too much this year, but that was a highlight, and I always appreciate every round I get to play as it is time outdoors and with friends. I also got to play another top course, while in Tampa for the College Football Playoff championship, we got to play Innisbrook (the Copperhead course where the pros play) with friends from IMG College and Under Armour. We played a fun charity tournament at Spanish Trail with our partners from Anheuser Busch, the annual Gaming and Leisure tournament, and a couple of rounds with friends and co-workers that resulted from charity auction buys. Definitely another NY resolution here.
- Emotion. Losing my dad brought out a lot of emotion in me. I was appreciative of that, as it let me know I was grieving and processing the loss. I needed those emotions and that process later in the year to help myself and those around me after the October 1 shooting. I didn’t want either of these things to happen, but I am proud of not ignoring the pain and emotion and resolving to grow for myself and with those around me.
I still didn’t cover many great things, like my church, friends, wonderful meals, and I’m sure many others. I am still glad 2018 is coming soon though. I hope it will bring new adventures along with traditions built upon. I pray for good health, and stronger relationships. I wish us all peace regardless of what craziness is happening around us.