November is a special month for me starting the first week – I celebrate my 24th anniversary of arriving in the United States. Back on November 2, 1991, I set off to fulfill a one-year contract to support a then Deloitte and Touche contract to develop an integrated eligibility system for Indiana. As a newly arrived Brit, I then set about learning acronyms and programs AFDC (Aid for Dependent Children), Food Stamps, and always remember struggling to understand the complexities associated with Medicaid which was, and still is, an interesting process.
A more important part of my learning curve was just how warm and welcoming the Midwest of America is. Every invitation for coffee, lunch, drinks or to go explore my new environment was genuine; people really were opening their time, their homes and their hearts to me. I frequently share with people that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday which is funny since I’ve only been celebrating them for 23 years. I often say this is because it’s like Christmas without the stress of all the gift buying! Really, I believe it stems from the initial Thanksgiving when I was taken in by my good friends Kristin and Steve to crash their first Thanksgiving as a married couple. Then, came the years of the “Friendsgivings” when we made our own family from the eclectic group of traveling consultants from all across the world coming together to celebrate our own version of Thanksgiving. Then, came the years with my own small children celebrating first with the boys’ godparents and then adding in my Dad after my Mum passed away.
Many of you know I apparently have no gift for accents and have no more of a Hoosier twang now than I did back in 1991 which often results in jokes about my American status. While this inevitably leads to jokes about my “Americanness” — there are clues from my accent to my not liking peanut butter cups, bacon and popcorn, all of which are true, but as Nick likes to say we really are Americans because we chose to become Americans!
In many ways, we are grateful that we can represent what America offers – come here with your talents and you will be given the opportunity to succeed – netlogx represents one aspect of the definition of the success of that journey and I’m always truly grateful to be able to work with each and every one of the team members at netlogx and our partners. However, as Thanksgiving is almost upon us, I want to take a moment to acknowledge this assessment is as much of a personal measure vs a professional and financial one and I am grateful for each of the 24 years I have spent in America.
In our journey of life, we now have our oldest child living 20 miles from the town where Nick and I grew up as he started his journey into adulthood studying journalism at Salford University. So after 23 Indiana Thanksgivings, we are with going on the road and taking our turkey salt and pepper shakers to celebrate Thanksgiving in Salford. So from here on in I won’t be able to wryly smile and say “now we don’t celebrate that in England!”
Happy Thanksgiving to all!