Happy Thanksgiving to you! I hope you are having a great week, and are able to spend valuable time with family and friends this week. I know this time can also be a sad time or lonely time whether you are with family or not. Keep your head up.

I am back in my home town this week to visit family. It is great to see my mom and my wife's family, but I am also reminded of the fact that my dad is no longer here. He died 8 years ago from lung cancer. My mom re-married and it's just not the same. My mom sold the house I grew up in after my dad died, so I don't even get to go there. In addition, my home town is very depressing - a blue collar town that lost its glory years ago. 

In spite of this sob story, I am thankful. I am thankful for my family. Thankful that my daughters get to play games with their grandparents (most of them). Thankful for restoration. Thankful for strength in difficult circumstances. Thankful that we can change and improve despite our circumstances. Thankful that our decisions can lead us to better things if we are willing to endure short-term pain for long-term gain.

I am thankful for the ability to move on. The ability to work hard. The ability to achieve when you are bombarded with messages of "don't take risks, don't work so hard, play it safe, just relax." 

I am looking forward to doing some 'new' things in the state tax profession in 2017. I don't want to play 'follow the leader.' I want to change the profession. Change the balance of things. I want to do something different. I hope you do too. 

Don't accept mediocrity. Don't accept 'the way it is' for 'the way you want it to be.'