Top 5 Things I Am Thankful For

The season of Thanksgiving is upon us and soon families across America will be setting up Christmas decorations, gathering present lists, and hitting the insane shopping hell season that is looming in front of us.  Before launching into this season of Christmas parties, white elephant gifts, and too many sweets, let us not forget that Thanksgiving is an opportunity for us to step back from the breakneck pace of life, take a breather, and reflect on what is of real importance.

From the perspective of this father geek, here are my top 5 things to be thankful for this year.

#5: Football

It sounds trite,  but I am who I am.  I have been an avid sports fan for as long as I possibly can remember, and ever since the MLB players strike in 1994, the NLF has been my top dog.   I recall as a boy saying I needed to do homework without interruption, setting up in my parent’s bedroom and turning on a small 11-inch TV without any sound just so I could catch the Monday Night game of the week.  Now 25 years later, I am still using the same tricks to watch as much football as I can.   Although I cannot be thankful for a winning season for my Vikings, I can still be thankful for the joy of watching competitive sports.

#4: Game Nights

I would not be writing for this site if I did not enjoy games.  I have been fortunate enough to mostly fit in a weekly game night into my busy schedule, and I enjoy every bit of it.  It offers the opportunity to try out new games with people I like to hang out with.  At times, my game nights are limited to a low-grade computer game from anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes before I fall asleep at night.  Other times, I am playing simple downloadable content on the PS3 that my son, Chase, can enjoy with me.

Although I cannot play as much as I did as a kid, and not nearly as much as when I was single, I still enjoy the opportunity I get to game when I can.  Some highlights for gaming discoveries this past year were:

  • Civilization 4 – This is the best PC game ever created (Note:  I have yet to try Civ 5)
  • Dungeon Lords – I very much enjoy this particular Euro-style board game
  • Axis & Allies 50th Anniversary Edition – The best of the A&A breed, and will only hit the table every couple years due to length.  I had the opportunity to play at an all day game day.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying – I only recently started this, but as this is the the first RPG system I have had the chance to play in 5 years, I love it. Although I am not yet familiar with the game world background, it is great to get into role-playing again.

#3: A Means to Provide

Easily taken fore granted, I am thankful for employment that gives me the means to provide for my family.  In this time of eroding economy and super greed of abusive corporations, I am glad that I still have a well paying job that has not yet been outsourced.

#2: Friends to Share Life With

I truly am grateful for having a network of friends to enjoy life with.  All the games in the world do not mean anything if there is not somebody to play them with.  All the football in the world would not satiate me if I did not have somebody to complain to about our horrid head coach the next day.   This is ultimately what steered me more toward board gaming and away from video games.  It’s the people.  I am thankful to have friends.

#1: A Wonderful Loving Family

Did I have more free time when I was single?  Yes.  Could I game more often before having kids?  Absolutely.  Would I give any of it up?  Not a chance.   My wife and kids truly are the biggest joy in life, and although relationships create more stress, it’s all incredibly worth it.   There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your own child smile or giggle when you walk through the front door returning from work.   Many other things are transient, including friends, by my family will always be my family, and for that reason I will invest in them constantly.  It’s one of the reasons I was drawn to this site.

What? Did we miss something?

What are you thankful for?   Leave a comment, and cover one of the many things I missed.  Or just expound more on the Vikings 😉

About Brian

Euro Board Game Aficionado, and Father of Two, Brian played many family board games while growing up, but launched a foray into real geek gaming in 4th grade with his exposure to Risk, and then many sessions of Axis & Allies. Gaming in all forms has always been woven into his life with different phases including: video games starting with the Atari 2600, role playing Marvel Super Heroes, launching massive Battletech scenarios, blowing his small amount of bank on Magic: The Gathering, and then finally strategy board games. Settlers of Catan (1997) was his first introduction to the Euro-style game, and he has since been forever hooked. He embarked on a new stage of life in late 2006 with the birth of his first of two boys, and now cherishes the opportunity to learn the game of parenting. His desire is to raise two respectable men who still want to play a game with daddy even when they are father geeks themselves. Brian goes by the handle Vree on Board Game Geek.
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One Response to Top 5 Things I Am Thankful For

  1. Meng says:

    Great article Brian. I’m sure you know that Thanksgiving is not a big deal in Australia, but all of us should stop to reflect on how lucky we are. For me, my top 5 are:
    #1 Family: two healthy and loving children who put everything else into perspective, a wonderful, understanding wife who tolerates me beyond what is reasonable, and my siblings and parents who support me unconditionally;
    #2 A job that challenges me without quite sending me round the bend, and work colleagues that appreciate my modest talents and honest efforts;
    #3 A stable society, that at times makes strange voting decisions, but mostly upholds values of personal freedom and egalitarianism;
    #4 Fellow gamers, who leave their personal baggage behind in the interest of everyone’s enjoyment; and
    #5 Computer geeks, creating web content and refining free software for the benefit of all denizens of the digital age.

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