By Mike Murphy

Well, there it is. Our 2016 event season is nearing an end. And with that, the wind, rain, heat, cold, clouds, sunshine, airplanes, rentals cars and hotel rooms that make up our year of outdoor events are close to giving us a little time off. It also means Thanksgiving is coming… the one annual break we have where I traditionally send the entire company a note with my version of a reflection on the year. This year will be the 13th time I’ve done so.

I usually think for a few days, sometimes a week, trying to come up with a topic that delivers a message… hopefully uplifting in some way. This hasn’t always come easily. Or been a bright and inspiring letter. The older I get the less tolerance I have for BS, and people tell me my filter is getting rusty.

I’ve gone on rants about the joys of airline travel, with people dragging their baggage through the entire airport and airplane in an effort to save $25 or 30 minutes on the other end, all the while causing physical damage to countless unsuspecting people and being adamantly unapologetic. Let’s face it, a good cocktail can be $25. Unless you can stick it in your pocket or briefcase, check it in. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

I’ve told the story of inviting a down on his luck homeless man to dinner at an outdoor eatery… and the lessons that we can learn from someone with a different point of view… one that any of us could experience given his circumstances.

I’ve lamented the loss of a willow tree in my backyard, and a genius that taught me so much about how to think about a problem, but was unknown to most of the world.

And I always have a big list of the things I’m thankful for that year.

Truth is, I’m probably not going to tell you what I intend to write about this year in this, a blog post. That’s really between me and our employees. The other truth is, I’m not sure yet what I want to write about.

But here are a couple things I’ve noted this year for consideration…

I’ve thought about writing my thoughts on the biggest elephant in the room… the most divisive political run-up and election ever. One that distinctly reminded me of the rockem-sockem robots I had as a kid. Damn, they were fun. An election that, between my wife, kids, friends and me, had my house divided. It made for exceptional conversations among people who love each other. But I’m not going to write about that this Thanksgiving. I don’t generally speak about politics with anyone inside the company. And the idea that either of the major players in this election were more than gasbags expanding as the altitude increased, well… I don’t want to step on any toes. The truth is, he twits and she snapchats. Crooks and clowns playing together. Bad hats and pantsuits. That’s about all I needed to know. I support the process and will once again live with the fact that our new president and the nearest competitors don’t represent me or my points of view. Again, just my opinion.

I’ve considered writing about the WikiLeaks. Nothing there. Heard enough for a lifetime.

I’ve seriously considered writing about the Bataclan Theater in Paris and the horrors inflicted there, because I’ve done work there. Too depressing.

I’ve considered writing about all kind of things… from new movies I liked, to books I’ve read… and sporting and concert events I’ve attended. While I can make any of these topics personal and tell our team what they mean to me, I’m not feeling one of these things being “it” for this year.

So for now, I’ll just give you the short list of things I’m thankful for this year in an effort to get your mind humming. If you do nothing else for yourself at Thanksgiving, please take some time alone, with a cocktail or cup of tea, and reflect on what you’re thankful for this year. It’s the one piece of advice I can give to anyone and know deep in my heart that it’s worth it.

2016… What I’m thankful for…
My wife
My family and friends, and getting older together
The incredible people I work with all year
The years I got with Boomer
Increasingly… veterans and their sacrifices
Common Ground and uncommon ground cohabitating well
Change… and working through it
My home being my sanctuary
My health, and being old enough to accept it won’t always be good
Good people doing good things when nobody is looking
The musical geniuses passing on, and what they’ve left with us
And finally for this list (but certainly not all): New Puppies coming home.

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There now… don’t you feel better?

Go and have a good one. Murph


Mike Murphy
 draws upon more than 25 years of concert and corporate special events production experience to create spectacularly creative experiences for our Event 360 clients. A co-founder of Event 360, Mike is an Emmy Award-winning professional who has developed brand-building events, product launches and tours worldwide. As the Line Producer and Director of Special Events for a major movie studio, Mike took film premieres to a new level through extravaganzas in the New Orleans Superdome, the Rose Bowl, aboard the U.S.S. John C. Stennis aircraft carrier and numerous other improbable but spectacular film venues. Mike’s other key achievements include the production of a Papal Mass in Denver for 500,000 attendees and tour management and production for Harry Connick, Jr., 10,000 Maniacs and numerous other internationally known touring artists with music.

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