In Gratitude, with Love

Us with Soleil in the Pumpkin Patch

It’s been an amazing year. It has had big ups and big downs. In short, life was in session.

In hindsight, there is so much to be grateful for as we roll into the holiday season. With Thanksgiving upon us, I’d like to express my gratitude for many things over the past year.

First of all this was the magical year of Soleil, my one year old daughter who has blessed our lives. From watching her first open her eyes regularly to the first time she said “Dada” to her first steps, becoming a father has literally been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am so very grateful that Caitlin and I are together with this wonderful addition to our now three person family.

Releasing my second book, Welcome to the Fifth Estate, was a good experience, in large part because of you. Thank you to all the friends and punks who helped make the book a success, whether it was allowing me to guest post, offering me an opportunity to speak, sharing your reviews, or simply being supportive. Book marketing is hard!

Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington was an incredible experience. I am still processing it, but it certainly was profound, a pinnacle moment both professionally and spiritually. To be able to give back to my hometown for the past 20 years, and raise $2 million to help 1200 nonprofits all in one day (though it took six months of planning and work), well, it’s really humbling. Truly, something to be grateful about.

So many people worked to make this happen, but in particular I’d like to offer special thanks to all of my clients and friends at Razoo, Kathy Whelpley at the Community Foundation, and Kerry Morgan, Karyn Gruenberg, Stacia Klim and Elliot Gruber at the United Way. Thanks to all of our partners who helped get the word out. And thank you to the Washington nonprofit community — causes and donors alike — for coming together in a collective day of action.

Beth Kanter and Kami Huyse let me out of Zoetica early to attend to my house, a result of the above linked flood. Thank you.

In that same vein, Gini Dietrich carried my writing load over the past two months as I grappled with the flood and kept Give to the Max work moving forward. It’s so refreshing to work with an author who plays team ball and helped a partner that could not execute, literally putting the project on her back. Now it is my turn to write extensively, but Gini deserves a big thank you for helping me.

All of my friends (Dennis, Jimmy, David, Pernilla) and family in my personal life, people who don’t dig or just simply use social media in a normal fashion, deserve a special shout out. Whether it was direct help, friendly words, or an arm around the shoulder you helped me make it through a depressing time.

My online friends and readers, you, too reached out to me during the flood and ensuing recovery. I thank you so much for this. Every ounce of support helped me through a dark time.

Speaking of dark times, a year ago my friend George Giammittorio passed away due to depression. Earlier this year we as a community lost Trey Pennington. No matter how despairing the times may be — and for some the holidays are the darkest of times — there is always hope and love. If you are suffering and there is only darkness, please consider calling the National Hopeline.

2011 is not over. A trip to Austin is in order, there is a commencement speech for the Virginia Commonwealth University Mass Communications graduation to write and deliver, and the holiday giving season — a crucial time for causes — is upon us. And yes, it is time to catch up on book writing, and thus, I am taking the next week off from the social web and will return on the 28th for the final stretch.

Though we are not done with the year, one can never be too early in expressing gratitude. So thank you, and happy Thanksgiving.

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  • http://thesocialjoint.com/ Lucretia M Pruitt

    That’s a beautiful post and despite the “downs” a beautiful year (not to mention a beautiful family.)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • http://twitter.com/TobyDiva Toby Bloomberg

    Geoff .. thanks for taking us on your journey. Echoing Lucretia .. a beautiful post. 
    Here’s to the remainder of 2011 and an early wish great adventures in 2012. Keep those Soleil photos coming 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Beth-Kanter/504747699 Beth Kanter

    Good luck with your writing!

  • http://twitter.com/4GreenPs Lynn Anne Miller

    Beautiful piece, Geoff. Enjoy – you certainly deserve it! 

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    You’re too funny! No thanks is necessary. I’m pretty sure I’ll be saying the same thing to you at some point next year…when we’re in the middle of a book tour and I feel like curling into the fetal position and crying. It will happen and you likely will be there when it does. Until then, I’m happy to have my writing partner back!

    • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

      you’re gonna record that and put it on YouTube, right?

      • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

        My luck he will record it and put it on YouTube!

        • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

          we could put QR codes to it on your book!!! 😀

  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    Lovely post, Geoff. I’m thankful I’ve gotten to know you better this year. Although I have to question your taste in some of your friends (Danny Brown and Gini Dietrich, really?!?) that doesn’t drag down my overall opinion of you 😀

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what you and Gini-san are cooking up. Fifth Estate was awesome. I’m particularly looking forward to the book signing you both are going to do at my favorite coffee shop :)

  • DianeCourt

    What a beautiful post. Enjoy the time with family and writing. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com Kami Watson Huyse

    Really glad to see you come out on top.