Gratitude

Yesterday afternoon I drove up to Southfield, Michigan to present to the Southeast Michigan SQL Server User GroupJoe Fleming contacted me and asked if I would present my Baselines session, which I presented at the PASS Summit last fall.  I usually don’t pass up a chance to go to Michigan, and this was the first time I presented in front of a different user group.  I’ve presented at many SQLSaturdays, but user groups have a different vibe.  It’s a regular meeting for attendees and it is typically only one presentation.  I haven’t presented since the Summit so it was nice to finally speak again.  I’ve missed it!  The group was very diverse in terms of experience and it was a great group (somewhere between 40 and 50 people).  I had a lot of good questions, including some new ones, and one of the attendees from last night emailed me this morning to let me know that the session was helpful for him.  It was fun, and this morning I realized that I have missed it.  Luckily, I’ve been accepted to speak at Madison’s SQLSaturday in April, and I’ve also submitted for Chicago.  I’m not sure what else will be on the agenda this year, but I hope to be speaking a fair bit.  And Joe, thanks again for the invite.

On a personal note, I was looking forward to this trip because after the meeting I was planning to go to Ann Arbor to see my friend and mentor, Susan.  As I write, I’m in a hotel in Farmington Hills because as I was leaving yesterday, I received a call from one of her graduate students explaining that she was in the hospital.  … … … I didn’t see that one coming.  She is ok, and should be fine long term, but it was a bit of a wake up for me.  Life is short.  You all know this, right?  You do.  But I’ve been thinking about this all morning, which meant I couldn’t let it go and just needed to say what was on my mind.

In my pocket I carry a glass stone with the quote, “Let us live while we live.” (Phillip Doddridge)  It is a reminder to live in the moment, and to live life fully.  In 50 years I don’t want any regrets about things I wish I would have done.  Last night I thought about driving back home, but I was really tired, and I wanted to try and see Susan today, because you just never know.  She’s probably fine, in all honesty, but what if she’s not?

So today, I encourage you to enjoy your life and the people that are in it.  If there’s something that’s missing, go find it.  If there’s something that you’ve wanted to do but are too afraid, get over that hurdle and go do it.  Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed.  It’s not always easy, but without a doubt, it’s all worth it.

Thanks for reading.  Now I’m off to Ann Arbor to see Susan, go to Zingerman’s, and pick up some Michigan gear.  Happy Friday all – go tackle the day!

13 Responses to Gratitude
  1. Buck Woody
    March 9, 2012 | 9:46 am

    Good points all. My favorite quote these days is: “Be here now, be there later.”

    • Erin Stellato
      March 9, 2012 | 1:22 pm

      That’s a great one to remember Buck, thanks for reading 🙂

  2. sqlbelle
    March 9, 2012 | 9:54 am

    Thanks for the post Erin. There’s some great encouragement and inspiration here. Thank you.

    • Erin Stellato
      March 9, 2012 | 1:24 pm

      You’re welcome! Sometimes we just have to stop and take a moment to remember all we have, you know?

  3. David Howard
    March 9, 2012 | 9:58 am

    Great post! I love quote on your glass stone and the fact that you carry it. That’s something we all need to be reminded of everyday.

    • Erin Stellato
      March 9, 2012 | 1:24 pm

      Dave, I agree, which is why I started carrying it. Not every day is perfect, but we have to try!

  4. Adam Belebczuk
    March 9, 2012 | 10:03 am

    First of all, congrats on being selected to speak, that’s awesome! Secondly, thank you for being a friend and mentor to me and many others in the SQL community (and for the excellent blog posts). I’m extremely grateful for the friendship, advice, and mentoring I get from you, Allen, Brian, Craig, and many others I’ve met through PASS and ONSSUG. You guys have inspired me to learn as much as I can and to share it with others.

    I’ve been through more than my fair share of tough times, a few of which I was lucky to survive, and I can really relate to what you wrote in this post. I don’t take life for granted anymore. It’s too short and too precious for that. We’re only given so much time to make our mark on the world, and I want to help and befriend as many people as I can in that short time. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks again for being a friend. 🙂

    • Erin Stellato
      March 9, 2012 | 1:39 pm

      Adam, it is so great to see you getting involved and writing in the community. I am honored to part of the group that supports you – we are always here to help! Everyone has a story, it’s amazing is what people overcome and then go on to accomplish. Congratulations to you for not giving up and for pursuing what you want. Don’t stop doing that. Ever.

  5. Joe Fleming
    March 9, 2012 | 10:12 am

    Erin, thanks so much for coming! It was awesome having you there. Anytime you’re planning on heading up this way, definitely let me know. Susan sounds like an awesome person, and I hope her stay in the hospital is short and her recovery is quick and as painless as possible.

    Nice entry here, I think it’s important to take a step back every now and then and focus on how you got where you are, regardless of the technology.

    • Erin Stellato
      March 9, 2012 | 1:28 pm

      It was a great, albeit quick, trip, and well worth it on so many levels. I will let you know next time I’m in MI. Susan is going to be ok, thank you for the well wishes and thanks again for the invite!

  6. Jimmy May @aspiringgeek
    March 9, 2012 | 10:21 am

    Thanks to @AaronBertrand for bringing this to my attention.

    Erin, this is beautiful. I’m the luckiest man alive in so very many ways. Yet I sometimes don’t keep my genuine gratitude top of mind. Keenly related to this is my health—& the lessons learned from many in my family who suffered for decades from chronic, mostly self-imposed illness. Here’re my own testimonies to gratitude & living life to the varchar(max)!

    My Metaphor:
    http://bit.ly/MetaphorForLife

    My Testimoney:
    Celebrating Life: The Princess Pumpkin Puss, A Pain In My Neck, Randy Pausch, & Lt. Col. Frank Slade Teach Us About Living Life
    http://bit.ly/pumpkinpuss

    • Erin Stellato
      March 9, 2012 | 1:26 pm

      My good friend, thank you for commenting and for sharing your links. They are a great read. And I LOVE your quote. It makes me smile, and helps me rededicate my efforts to live in the here and now, enjoy my kids and love my family. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  7. Mike Walsh
    March 9, 2012 | 1:53 pm

    Erin –

    Great post. Great reminders. I’ve blogged in the past that sometimes dreams may feel scary to chase after but if you don’t do it – you’ll miss out on all of the enjoyment in the process.. Kind of like jumping into a pool…. You hesitate at first… Afraid the water may be cold… Once you finally jump in you normally were pretty happy you did (eventually… once you get used to it 😉 ) Great point about living life like each day matters… Because, well, each life does matter. Someday will be our last 🙂

    I am also praying for your friend, Susan right now and for a speed recovery and good long term prognosis.

    Thanks for sharing!

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