It wasn't just the opening of my photography show that made this past weekend so special. The staff at the gallery is great...every one of them. Very professional and very cool. The good vibes and positive energy they maintain at that place are incredible. But the big takeaway for me was the realization that in addition to my family I constantly find myself surrounded by an amazing circle of friends, peers, colleagues and collaborators. Some of those categories overlap, but whatever title or description may apply, I am so lucky to know these people. I was nearly overwhelmed by the number who showed up to see the exhibit Friday night and Saturday. Larry, Ellen, Linda, Bruce, Nancy and Doug, Billy and Karin, Mike and Michelle, D'anna and Dean, Sarah, Bill, Rex and Joanne, Steve and Molly, and the woman who told me a wonderful story about one of my photos on display. I had no idea.
It's worth repeating - I am so lucky to know these people. And it was wonderful to see some of their family members, a few whom I know and one or two I had never met. I've thought about this before, but now is a good time to say it...treasure all of the people in your life, including the ones you don't see often or have much interaction with on a regular or even an occasional basis. Think about them right now. Say their names out loud. The ones who have had a positive impact on your life. The ones who have inspired you. The ones who have helped you grow and learn and live. The ones who have been there for you, including the ones who were there only in spirit...but still they were there nonetheless.
This is not meant to be a lesson or a lecture. It's just a reminder, because sometimes we forget what's important and what we should be thankful for. Sometimes I forgot. Or at least, didn't give it much thought. That changed for me this weekend. It has finally sunk in. I will never take my tribe for granted again. And will try to remember to thank God and the Universe every day for the blessings I have received, not the least of which are the good people I am privileged to know.
Roger O'Dea 2/6/2017