Thank you!

I think a perfect way to start my 30-day blogging challenge is to express my gratitude to those who have been such an important part of my life.

The easiest way for me to do this will be in chronological order, so here goes!

Thank you to my parents for their unconditional love and support and instilling in me the importance of family, kindness, education, and hard work.

Thank you to my two older sisters who not only helped make my childhood such an enjoyable experience, but have been there for all the key moments of my life.

Thank you to all my relatives (grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews) for giving me a strong sense of family and connection.

Thank you to all my classmates and teachers from St. Augustine elementary school; you provided me with my first taste of friendship, my first awkward attempts at romance, and provided a great foundation for what would become a lifelong love of learning.

Thank you to my neighbors on Ivy Lane where I grew up.  You provided me with a sense of community and I fondly remember the games of kickball, jacks, knuckles, wiffle ball, football and many others too numerous to mention.  Such games helped teach me how to handle winning and losing.

Thank you to all my classmates and teachers from Archbishop John Carroll High School. I was a poster child for “those awkward teenage years”, but you helped me to survive and offered some great role models for being a teacher.

Thank you to all those people I met at East Stroudsburg University. In many ways, a complete 180 from my high school experience. From my roommates and dormmates, to my fellow swimmers, to the friends I made, to the woman who would become my wife, to the teachers who inspired me, you made this time a great four years. You gave me the chance to explore a variety of interests and begin pursuing those that caught my passion.

Thank you to all my swim coaches (Todd, Mack, Bill, Chris, Frank, and Paul) and my fellow swimmers. This sport has been such an important part of my life and I consider many among you as my best friends.

Thank you to all the people I met while getting my MBA at Carnegie-Mellon University. You helped me to see the power of knowledge and ambition.

Thank you to my wife Mary, who gave me one of the happiest days of my life when she said “yes”, and has been my best friend for the past 36 years and given me a lifetime of happy days. You have also been my role model for what it takes to be a great teacher and have helped me to become the best person I can be.

Thank you my wife’s family. Mary’s Mom and her sister made me feel like part of their family from day one, and it has been great to continue to feel like a part of her sister’s family.

Thank you to my co-workers at Prudential Insurance Company for offering my first full-time, professional job. I learned how business worked (or so I thought!), and what it took to succeed in such an environment.

Thank you to our first son, James. The day you were born will be something I will never forget, and you helped teach me how to be a Dad. It has been a joy watching you pursue your passion for writing and proving that it is possible to successfully meet challenges head-on.

Thank you to our “Lamaze” friends. You were the first friends we made as “grown-ups” 32 years ago and it is a testament to the power of that friendship that we continue to see each other today.

Thank you to my classmates and teachers at Drexel University. You provided the academic support network necessary to complete my degree and help me land the job I have been at for the past 28 years.

Thank you to our second son, Joey. It has been a joy watching you pursue the variety of passions you have had over the years – BMX, construction, music, filming. You are a true Renaissance Man, and you have inspired me to find and pursue my passions. Thank you also for the opportunity to coach you in baseball and basketball.

Thank you to my colleagues and students at Villanova University. You have provided an environment that has enabled me to become the best teacher I can be. It has been a pleasure watching my students grow from being unsure 18-22 year-olds to successful business people, spouses, and parents.

Thank you to my son Patrick for being such a positive, happy, kind, and funny young man who has been one of my true inspirations in life. It has been amazing to watch you accomplish things we were never quite sure about, from riding a bike to doing double-black diamonds. Spending time with you is one of my favorite things to do.

Thank you to my neighbors in Conestoga Village. The block parties, progressive dinners, Santa on a fire engine, impromptu street gatherings, and kids everywhere have made it the ideal place to raise our family. I appreciate the many friendships I have made along the way, and the support you have provided over the years.

Thank you to my classmates and teachers at Montgomery County Community College You enabled me to rekindle my passion for learning and the science of fitness. I was exposed to some of the best teachers I have ever had, which enabled me to become a better teacher.

Thank you to those I have met through Fitness Together. This was my first experience running a business, and while I made a lot of mistakes and lost money along the way, it was still one of the best learning experiences I have had.

Thank you to all the creative people and their works of art, which have brought joy, insight, and inspiration to my life:
from music:  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, John Denver, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles, Tim Moore, Cat Stevens;
from the movies: anything by Woody Allen, the people behind Chariots of Fire, Begin Again, Napoleon Dynamite, and Family Man;
from books: Herman Wouk, Harper Lee, Seth Godin, Miguel de Cervantes, Alexandre Dumas, Michael Lewis, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Steven Covey, Steve Pavlina, Malcolm Gladwell;
from technology: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk.

Thank you to all those who have helped me in my vegan journey: my son Joey and his girlfriend Megan, Arnold Kauffman, John Robbins, the Esselstyn family, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neil Barnard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Rich Roll, Colin Campbell, Brendan Brazier, Robert Cheeke, Scott Jurek, Matt Frazier, Kathy Freston, Ellen Degeneres, Jeff Novick, Char Nolan, Brian Wendel, Tim van Orden.

The above list is not even one-percent of the people who are owed my thanks. I could go on and on: school bus drivers, school cafeteria workers, police and fire fighters, our elected officials, health-care workers, my children’s teachers, the newpaper guy, the mailman, the trash collectors, librarians, restaurant personnel, etc.

But I hope my message is clear: I am grateful for all the help, support, and love I have received over the years, and that the best way to thank everyone is to offer my help, support, and love to others who need it.

THANK YOU!

16 thoughts on “Thank you!

  1. Great post pops! I look forward to reading your blog for the next 30 days. I’ll get to it right after Seth Godin’s 🙂

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  2. An attitude of gratitude is such a wonderful way to start a new year! Thanks to you (and others at VU) for being a wonderful web guru and colleague in the Dept. of Accountancy when I was there. Best wishes for continued successes.

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  3. Such a generous way to begin your blog is so characteristic of you, Quincy. Not only do you recognize, credit, and thank those who have done so much, you also look for ways to contribute to the lives of others. I seem to remember a book by C.S. Lewis in which he wrote that a healthy and prayerful life is one in which a person primarily says thank you, offers praise, and petitions for help for oneself and others. For how you represent all that and more, it is so easy to be thankful for you.

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  4. Well I have to say I just started reading your blog today and went backwards. Love all the stuff you had to say. Thank you for saying that your older sisters were there for you. It was easy to be there for your key moments, since we were always proud of the things that you have accomplished. Even though I know at times we were brats to you. LOL
    As for finding a passion in life, I think it changes as you grow wiser ( not older ). I found my passions in life as I moved through life. When I was a waitress, I wanted to be a restaurant owner till I actually saw the hours owners actually put in. Then I thought teaching would be my thing, but got sidetracked along the way.
    Then I started thinking about a career where I could make money after John had his accident and went to school for both nursing and real estate. By Junior year, both required too much reading, so I picked nursing. As I worked as a student nurse I always thought I would be a Maternity nurse. Did the mandatory med surg nurse, then ICU. Then a full time opening came up in ER and I thought about it, but wasn’t really sure. Tried it and 25 years later I still love ER nursing. The one place in nursing school, I said I would never work.
    Then when I was sick I got involved in animal rescue and found that I absolutely loved doing foster care for the new puppies and kittens that were set to be killed. When they got adopted I cried a lot of tears, bu then I knew there were more waiting to be saved.
    Through most of this I had John and 4 wonderful kids who supported me and my crazy decisions. They learned while I was in nursing school peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with milk cover the 4 basic food groups. The same with pizza.
    Raising my kids was another passion and sometimes I wish I could go back to those days, they went by so quick.
    As for our parents they were true role models for our lives and always encouraged us to pursue our dreams and that we could achieve anything we worked for.
    Now today I am looking for another passion as nursing has lost so much of what made it so special. It is more like corporate America.
    Sometimes what we think could be a passion my not be realistic, but it always fun to dream. Would love at this point to be a professional poker player, but for now I am content to play in the little games and tournaments and make my little money without worries of losing a large amount.
    But I do have to say I have enjoyed reading your blogs, so keep them up. Maybe I will read something that will give me an idea for a new passion.
    Yep long and rambling, but I have worked all night and need sleep. Just have to add you are the best little brother any sister could have had.

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    1. Thanks big sis! I loved reading about your passions in life and how they have changed. Professional poker player would be pretty cool, but I’m not sure if that gene got passed on to all of us. I never know what’s better – a straight or a flush. And forget about all those poker terms – the flop, the river, the blind, I would definitely be the sucker at any poker table I sat down at!

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  5. And here I thought the United Technologies ads were the start of your blog/streak … but you started blogging on all of the 75 ads a few months later?

    Just amazing you’ve kept your streak going all these years — esp in a time when the internet is full of “abandoned” blogs. A true accomplishment and creative outlet … I really wish I could manage to turn a streak into a habit like that. (But since my first blog post in 2018 inspired after I found YOUR posts on those UT essays, I have a “streak” of a kind in reading your blogs most days… meanwhile I’ve given up reading other blogs I used to follow (or maybe they have given up writing as regularly?) but I started to unsubscribe when my Cox Communication /Outlook email inbox kept reaching “maximum storage exceeded” and I had to slow down the incoming. )

    Only twice have I managed to keep up a streak for Lent , but at the end of the 40 days–no matter how much I enjoyed doing it (Gifts Journal ( https://susangblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/im-the-selfish-one-so-i-tried-the-29-gifts-challenge/ ) and Morning Pages(which I am glad documented the early days of the pandemic in 2020) I stopped at Easter.

    I do have a streak of a daily walk habit (that used to be a daily RUN habit until pregnancy when Dr. recommended I switch to walking instead) so I guess that is something to be “thankful” for but my streak ended over the years with a broken ankle and broken kneecap so: Oh well! We can’t all be Tom Brady 🙂

    But the Gratitude Journal I tried to keep quickly got repetitive and boring and was not nearly as creative as this life-time of Thank Yous post of yours. I need to rethink the gratitude journal idea because if I expand it over my entire LIFE (vs. just today) there are SO MANY wonderful people to thank. I’m going to ponder them even tho it will make me sad so many have passed on or have moved on to other jobs.

    I have a very long list of my son’s teachers and home therapists especially who helped us so much and we came to love like family. Since I’ve been off Facebook I’ve completely in the dark as to how the ones I followed there are doing. One surprised me by “getting sober”… she’d had no drinking problem when I knew her but I’m glad to see she has overcome it.
    Like her, most of his old therapists who were single/childfree when we knew them, now have children of their own… some are still working in the field, several have completely left the field of therapy and are in other business/nonprofits … but I know they are still the same compassionate people I knew and credits to their professions….and my son helped play a small part in their professional journeys…. win-win 🙂

    Anyway,

    THANKS again for your many years’ streak of wonderful , thought-provoking blog posts 🙂
    I do think you could pull from them and come up with a “best of” book to weave a narrative of how your blog has helped you weather storms etc. … I’d buy a copy and keep it on my shelf next to Gray Matter 🙂

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    1. Hi Susan. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments. While my blog did not start with the United Tech ads, it certainly helped keep it going by giving me something to write about once er week for 75 weeks! I’m glad we were able to connect as a result of those ads.

      I just reread your 29 gifts blog – it was such a wonderful post. Knowing what I do now about blogging, I would have tried to stretch it over 29/34 days…

      Tom Brady is superhuman… but Cal Ripken must have been pretty sturdy as well…

      I remember once sending my college swim coach a thank you note, out fo the blue, about 30 plus years I graduated. When he read it, he thought I wrote it because I was dying!

      and like you, I am grateful for all the wonderful tachers my children have had. as they say, A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

      and thank you for the kind words about my blog; every once in a while I write one that I am proud of, and they are likely the ones I will occasionally share again…

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