November 24, 20212 minutes to read — Tags: personal

This is the eve of Thanksgiving in the US, an occasion to reflect on what we’re grateful for. This year, I’d like to share my gratitude publicly.

First and foremost, I’m thankful that my close family and loved ones are healthy, and we generally feel safe and secure. This has been the case virtually all my life. But it wasn’t the case last year, so I appreciate all the more this year.

I’m thankful for good advice to view life’s challenges though a useful lens. Early in the year, I shared with an older friend that I felt disoriented about where my career and personal relationships were going. “Of course, you’re at the age to feel that way,” said my friend.

They went on to explain that I’d established a career, and I’d gotten through the early years of parenting. Now my spouse and I were finding ourselves with more time and energy than we knew what to do with. They said, “Now is the time to rewire your relationships for the next few decades.”

I love that metaphor: rewire relationships for the next decades. It unlocked fantastic questions. How do I want to treat my spouse, and how do I want to be treated, from now into retirement? What’s the relationship I want with our kids? How do I want to interact with my community? What’s my professional identity and relationship to work?

This year, I’m grateful for those focusing questions, and the effort I’ve put towards answering them.

I’m thankful for learning, both about myself and others. My personal therapy has revealed that I’m often unable to acknowledge my own negative emotions. My beginning to do so feels revelatory. It feels like uncovering a straight path through what seemed like a labyrinth.

I began reading a book each week (and updating my StoryGraph profile). It feels like compound interest for developing interesting ideas.

I’m thankful to my colleagues at Glossier from whom I’ve learned so much, from hiring and interviewing, how to plan and coordinate large initiatives, to building trust and alignment, and when to be scrappy and pragmatic. Today is the first Black Friday weekend in four years that I’m not primary on-call. It’s a great team, and I’m humbled to be part of it.

I’m grateful for new opportunities. In December, I’m starting a new job that feels like a profound blessing. I think it’s the flow state I’ve been craving, challenging me to the brink of my abilities. But that’s a story for another day.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Aaron Suggs
Hi, I'm Aaron Suggs. 😀👋

Welcome to my personal blog. I manage engineering teams at Instructure, previously Lattice, Glossier and Kickstarter. I live in Chapel Hill, NC. Find me on LinkedIn, and GitHub.