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Grateful Status Month 2013

14/03/2013

Every year during the month of February I write a status each day, both on Facebook and Twitter, for something or someone I am grateful for. I truly love my life and I have so much to be thankful for. I believe it’s good for me to express that gratitude publically, and at the same time hopefully it makes a few people feel good in the process.  I try to live my life with an ‘attitude of gratitude’, the more grateful I am for all the things I already have in my life seems to be attracting more new things  into my life to be even more grateful for! If you are reading this I urge you to donate a status a day to something/someone you are grateful for, or failing that, call or text somebody and tell them how much you care, I bet it makes their day! So often we assume that all the people we care about know exactly how we feel about them, but often that is not the case. Don’t be afraid to tell the people you care about exactly how much they mean to you, tomorrow is not promised. CARPE DIEM!

Below are the 28 Grateful Status’ (one for every day of February 2013) that I posted to Facebook & Twitter.

Grateful Status #1: I am so grateful for my team mates and coaches here at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. I love being part of a team, and this year we have a really special group, just a great mix of guys that are all pulling for each other and are fun to be around. I have a coaching staff that works hard so that we can be successful student-athletes and that support us on and off the court. I am also grateful for our team managers who regularly stay behind after practice and rebound for me. I am very proud to be a member of this team and I thoroughly enjoy the journey, which unfortunately is almost over. To show how grateful I am I will continue to give 100% effort on every play on both ends of the floor, and will always have all of my team mates and coaches back, on and off the court. Let’s finish this season playing our basketball, when we do that we are always successful. I love my team! OWLS ON 3. 1, 2, 3…

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Grateful Status #2: I am so grateful for the good health of my family, friends and loved ones, as well as my own good health. I appreciate my health so much because it allows me to be able to perform to the best of my ability on the basketball court, as well as to be happy day to day without worrying. Being so far away from home I’m especially thankful for my family’s good health, I am so grateful! A wise man once said that having good health is more important than anything else. You may be a billionaire, but if you can’t get out of bed you can’t enjoy it. I know it is the easiest thing in the world to take for granted, but everybody has experienced this at least once: you get sick, like the flu, or you break a bone, have a headache/toothache or even something as small as stubbing your toe. You are in pain and you think to yourself “I would give anything for this pain to go away, so I could just go back to normal.”All I’m saying is maybe once a day or once a week you take a second to appreciate your good health and don’t wait until you are sick or in pain. It’s true what they say, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

Grateful Status #3: I want to say how grateful I am for the facilities I have had at my disposal since being here in America. Back home in England, one of my biggest challenges was trying to find court time, but here I am able to practice 6 days a week and I can get in to do my personal workouts at almost any time of the day. I also have free access to a swimming pool and a full gym, which is great for me because I lift all year round and as busy as I am, having a gym that is open from 5am to 10pm is a great help. On top of this I have been fortunate enough to have the help, support and advice of a great athletic training department. They are always there to help and do whatever they can do to make being a full time athlete easier. Just this week I have had 2 small injuries (a cut to the eye and a cut on my elbow) and both time the trainers were very efficient in stopping the bleeding and getting me ready to be back in the game as soon as possible. I really appreciate all of their efforts, not just from this year but for the past 4 years I have been here. For someone who was not used to all these great facilities, I am very grateful to have had them available to me.

Grateful Status #4: I want to say how thankful I am for books. That may sound a little strange, but they have become a big part of my life. Before I came to America I had never read a full book from cover to cover, but after setting a new year’s resolution for 2010 I have read around 60 books, and am now obsessed with reading and do it at every available opportunity. I tend to read mainly self improvement books, basketball coaches/players books and autobiographies of successful people. I believe that success leaves clues and I have learned so much from reading books in my own time which I otherwise would have never known.  Will Smith once said that one of the keys to success is reading books. He said that no matter what problem you are having, somebody somewhere in history has had the same problem and written a book about it, so find it, read it and learn! My initial resolution was to read 12 books (1 a month), I urge you to set a similar goal, and spark new personal growth… You will not regret it!

Grateful Status #5: I want to say how grateful I am for my 2 little sisters Ella and Rhea. I may not have been the best big brother growing up (I hope they can finally forgive me for eating all their Easter eggs and forcing them to play football with me haha) but I always loved them unconditionally and would do anything for them! Ella is now a mum of 1 and a half, I already love Phoebe to bits and I have no doubt the bump will be just as amazing! I am proud of you for doing such a good job of being a mum and that you are all grown up! Rhea, I love how fiery you are, you always stand up for yourself (even against me haha) and I like that you are so confident and outgoing! I remember when you were little I could always get you to make me cups of tea… Sadly that time has passed L haha, but I still love you very much and I’m proud of you for how hard you work! I love and miss you both and I am looking forward to spending lots of time with you both next time I am home! Take care of yourselves… And each other

Grateful Status #6: I want to say how grateful I am for my Dad, Patrick Manifold. This summer was so scary for my whole family but as I knew he would, he pulled through and is doing so well now! The older I get the more traits I see myself possessing which come from my Dad. “If you are not first you are last”, “Nobody is perfect; you can always do better”.  I understand now more than ever that the way I am as far as always demanding more from myself, regardless of how well I am doing, comes from him always pushing me and expecting me to be perfect. As a child I didn’t always understand it and sometimes just wanted him to say how proud he was, but part of my burning desire to succeed comes from wanting him to be proud of me, truly proud, and I really hope that graduating from University will be something that he can be proud of.  I am so grateful that my Dad is recovering well and in a recent conversation he told me he has been watching my games live online and said he really enjoyed watching me play, which is great! I love you Dad and I miss you and I look forward to seeing you in the coming months!

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Grateful Status #7: This grateful status is a combination of a few things… I just played my last ever home game at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and it was a great night! We played and beat our rivals and I was honoured before and after the game which was very special, and I want to say a few thank yous… Firstly to the amazing “Blue Crew” our fans made up of students, faculty, staff and community members. For 4 years you guys have been awesome and it has been a pleasure playing for you. Judging by the chants you shout while we play Fort Kent you are not their biggest fans, so as my parting gift to you… enjoy the win! Secondly to the people (friends/community members, especially those who were there tonight, you know who you all are!) who come to the games to support me, it really means a lot to me knowing and hearing people in the crowd that are rooting for me, thank you so very much! Thirdly to my team mates and coaches for their kind words and support, this team really is a family and I really love playing with these guys! To say that I am grateful for everything about tonight would be an understatement, I have truly had the time of my life playing in front of all our great fans and community, and to be “thanked” for all my efforts is truly humbling… You say thanks to me, but I really want to say thanks to you for the opportunity!

Grateful status #8: Seeing as it is Valentine’s day, I want to say how grateful I am for my girlfriend Chelsea. I’m not sure where to start, she really is incredible. I have never known a young women as selfless as she is and I’ve never met somebody who is so easy to get along with. She is so beautiful to me and I try to tell her that every single day! When I add up all the positives about her I feel so very fortunate to have her in my life. She has this special ability to make me feel so loved, it feels amazing to know that the person you chose to share your life with also happens to think you are perfect. I couldn’t possibly describe how much she does for me, supporting me, helping me to achieve my goals and doing whatever it takes for me to be happy is just the shortlist. I want you and the rest of the world to know that I love you so much baby and I can’t imagine my life without you… Happy Valentine’s Day 2013

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Grateful Status #9: I want to express how grateful I am for the opportunity to live in America. When I was younger I always dreamed of going to America, all the movies I watched were made there, all the music I listened to was made there and the sport I loved was made there too! Although when I was a child I just dreamt of visiting, maybe going there on holiday for a week or two, but now I have lived here for 4 years, and it has been the best 4 years of my life. Where I live in Presque Isle, Maine is a beautiful part of the world. Directly opposite my house is a large mountain which changes the look of the whole landscape. It is beautiful not only because of the surrounding but because of the seasons. Autumn is amazing, so many colours! Winter is, well I would say it is freezing, but it’s actually closer to 20 below freezing most of the time. One of the reasons I chose Maine was because of the snow, and I was not disappointed; each year we have regular snow storms that drop 10-20 inches of snow at a time and about 150 inches a year. For someone who has never seen more than a few cm’s of snow, it really is amazing. Spring is great because even though it is still around freezing or just above, it feels like summer compared to -20 so everybody is out in shorts and t-shirts. Since living in America I have spent all my Christmas’ and various other breaks in Wallace, Nova Scotia, an equally beautiful and very tranquil part of the world which I love spending time in. I have also had the chance to visit many different states including Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. I just want to say how grateful I am for the opportunity to live in this great country; it has been the best experience of my life.

Grateful Status #10: I want to say how grateful I am for the Boudreau’s. I am currently in Wallace Station, Nova Scotia at the Boudreau family house. I have spent my last 4 Christmas’ here as well as countless other trips here to visit Chelsea’s family. I love spending time here because it is very quiet and I can get a lot done. While I am here I get to eat like a King (thanks Gayle) and I enjoy spending time talking to Chelsea’s dad Danny about everything from fishing to cars. Also part of the Boudreau family is Danielle, who I really like and always enjoy seeing when she is visiting from Halifax. There is also Crystal who I have only met twice but enjoy speaking to often, and the kids Abigail and Lily who are both adorable. They are a wonderful family and I now consider them my family, they have always been very supportive of me and I really appreciate that. Danny and Gayle have welcomed me into their home and made me feel like part of the family. I also really appreciate the fact that they have attended many of my games and watched just as many on the live broadcasts on the internet and they are always cheering me on. I am also grateful that they gave the world the youngest Boudreau 24 years ago! I want to say how grateful I am for everything you have done for me and I just want you all to know that I really appreciate you and love spending time with you!

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Grateful Status #11: I want to express how grateful I am for Arthur and Barbara DeVaney. Four years ago I came to America. I was  at least 5,000 miles from anybody I had ever known when I was dropped off at their home, supposedly just for a week or two until my place was renovated… After just a week they offered me the opportunity to stay with them and I jumped at the chance. I now consider these two amazing people ‘my American mom and dad’ and they fondly refer to me as their ‘English son’.  Arthur is a retired professor and Bonnie works at the university (where she has been for over 20 years) and they used their knowledge of the American educational system to give me tips and pointers on how to succeed in the classroom, as well as on the court; id have to say they have succeeded in giving me sound and applicable advice. Over the years Art and Bon have supported me through thick and thin, been there to comfort and guide me through the hard times and celebrate in the many good times. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for them both, for everything they have done for me, taught me and for always believing in me… But most of all I thank them for just being themselves; two of the nicest and most caring people I have ever met! I may be leaving America in a few months, but thanks to them I will always have a reason to return. Those who know me understand that family is extremely important to me, and Arthur and Bonnie are now, and forever will be a part of my family. I love you guys, thank you for everything!

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Grateful Status #12: I want to say how grateful I am for all of my professors and the faculty and staff here at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. I have had some really great professors in my time in subjects ranging from math to history and of course business. I think mark of a good teacher is their ability to get a student excited about a subject that they were not interested before and help them understand why it is important, and then to find that students individual way of learning, as we are all different, and then work with them until they grasp the material. Since being here I have found myself enjoying subjects like math, American history and process management just because of the professors. One massive help has been the professors willingness to meet me after class to discuss things, being from a different country some topics/words/phrases which seem like common knowledge go completely over my head, and sometimes I just need to ask why certain things why to understand better, and they always make time for me, which has been invaluable. I also want to say how grateful I am for the staff here, the unsung heroes who make sure that all the things that have to happen, happen,  so us students can be successful. I love walking into offices on campus in which I have never been and being greeted by a smile and ‘Hi Patrick, how are you today’, even from people I have never met before. I just wanted to say you all do a great job and I appreciate your efforts. I understand that as I do not have any professors on my Facebook that this expression of gratitude may go unnoticed by the people it is meant to compliment, but like the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said ‘you can never go wrong by doing what’s right’. The time is always right to do the right thing.’

Grateful Status #13: I want to say how grateful I am for my coaches over the years, from when I first picked up a ball to the present day. They include Levi Utku, Gerry Kirwan, James Bamfield, Alan Gordon, Terry Cummings, Brennan Morton and Jim Casciano. Every single one of these men has taught me something about the game. The way in which they taught me varied; some through screaming, some through patting me on the back, some through example and some through mistakes… But I am grateful for all the lessons. I have learned so much about the game of basketball from these men, everything from how to shoot the ball to the far more intricate details of the game, reserved for the crazy ones among us who agree that no stone should go unturned in the pursuit of perfection. The relationship between a player and a coach is always up and down, the game we play is an emotional one and there are always high and lows on any team in any season, but the important thing is to take away the good things that you got from those situations and hopefully the byproduct of your time together was learned skills, learned lessons and a relationship that goes beyond basketball and lasts a long time. These men were all coaches of basketball, but anybody who is a part of this game understands that more than anything they coach young men on how to succeed in life. Even the tiniest lesson can stay with you way after you hang up your sneakers. I have a ton of these little lessons from all of these men, but I remember one of my coaches always screaming at us for cutting corners while doing warm up laps. I remember thinking I wonder why he gets so mad when people do that. Years later in passing I joked about it and he said (something similar to) ‘the reason I yell at people for cutting corners is because it is a metaphor. I believe that how you do anything is how you do everything, and if you cut corners while running laps you will think it’s OK to cut corners at work, with your family and in the rest of your life. I coach basketball players, but I also try to teach men.’ That really stuck with me, and changed the way I do a lot of things to this day. It’s safe to say I never cut corners when I am running laps, and I’d like to think in the rest of my life either. What I’m trying to say is, as much as I have learned a great deal about the great game of basketball from these men, I have also learned a great deal about what it takes to be a man, a good person and a good team mate, both in the game of basketball and in the game of life. So for that, I thank you all.

Grateful Status #14: I want to say how grateful I am for all the people who have believed in me over the years. You were such a source of strength for me, when the rest of the world thought I was crazy for wanting to live my dreams, as farfetched as they may have seemed when I first started, you guys had my back and believed in me when nobody else did. You are all over the world, in Kings Lynn, Swaffham, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Caister, Portugal, Rhode Island, Presque Isle, Mars Hill, Nova Scotia and a number of other places, but thanks to technology your support is never more than a phone call, a tweet or a Facebook message away. In my younger days I would sometimes second guess myself, I would ask if my mission was the right one, if my lifelong goals were actually attainable… I don’t ask myself those questions anymore. I have a quote on the mirror in my bathroom, it says: “He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure.” Thanks to all those who have, do and will believe in me, I have the strength to never doubt who I am or what I do or where I am headed, so thank you all, you know who you are!

Grateful Status #15: I want to say how grateful I am for my nieces and nephew. Megan is 5, Oliver is 4, Freya is 2 and Phoebe is 2. One of the hardest things about living in America is the fact that I cannot see my favourites everyday like I could if I was in England. The rest of my family fully understands why I am here and what I am doing, but that’s pretty hard to explain to young children. When I first left 4 years ago I remember having a conversation with my sister Ceara and asking her if they will understand why I am never there, why I will miss Christmas’ and their birthdays. It was a very hard decision for me, as you can imagine, I didn’t want to miss anything, and I wanted them to feel like I was always there for them. I came to the conclusion, with my families help, that I can set an example for them, that anything is possible; if you believe in yourself, stop listening to the naysayers who tell you it cannot be done. To chase your dreams with wreckless abandonment, if it’s truly what you want to do, go after it and make it happen. Thanks to my sisters Ceara and Ella they have over the years tried to explain why I am here and never there and for the most part they get it. Thankfully my sisters do a great job of keeping me updated with their first steps, words, scrapes and achievements and I get t speak to them on webcam pretty often. But I do miss them, more than I can actually put into words, the love I have for them is so ingrained in me that I carry it everywhere with me. I just want them to know that they are always with me, in my heart, around my neck in the form of a St. Christopher and in my actions. I think of them before games, before workouts, when I wake up. They drive me to be the best man I can be so I can set a good example. If nothing else, I hope that when they grow up and decide upon what it is they want to do in their lives, they will be able to say “Well I can do anything, no matter how hard it may seem, because my Uncle Paddy does and he says we can too.” I love you kids very much and I miss you every day!

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Grateful Status #16: I want to say how grateful I am for all the great authors, speakers and athletes who post inspiring videos on YouTube and post articles that inspire, motivate and educate me. About 5 or 6 years ago when reading a personal development book it asked me to think back to times I remember being really motivated. When I thought back I remembered that the times I was most motivated was either after big events in my life, either good or bad, and also after watching something that moved me, whether it be a great film, a line in a book, a quote or an article I read online. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but a year or so later when I was looking for a quote about motivation I stumbled across this one by Zig Ziglar; “People often say that motivation does not last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend you do it daily.” And it hit me. If I want to change my life I have to be motivated and not be a victim to circumstance. I have, thanks to books and the internet, the chance to see something new every single day, I can search for things that speak to me, that inspire and motivate me when I am sick or tired or sleepy or whatever it is. That revelation changed my life. Fortunately my goals motivate me daily, but still to this day, when I need an extra push, when I get up really early and have had a long day of practice, work, multiple classes and meetings, sometimes I need that gentle reminder to tell me why I am going to the gym at 9pm. So thank you, for all the inspiration, all the motivation and all the knowledge. (One of my favourite people I watch/read a lot of is Eric Thomas, YouTube his name and you will see why). So my challenge to you, if you are one of those people who get super motivated to do something, like say go to the gym, and on that day there’s nothing that can stop you, you’re in there for hours working real hard… But then the next time you were supposed to go your friend asked you to go to the movies, or your favourite show was coming on TV, or your bed just felt so warm… Realize you have the opportunity to motivate yourself every day, and if you do so, you can stick to your plan and reach any goal that you set for yourself!

Grateful Status #17: I want to say how grateful I am for everything that I have. I am not going to list all my possessions as this is not meant to be a boastful post, but one that just says thank you for all the things I do have. I would not say I am materialistic, I think the most important things in life you cannot buy. There is nothing I need, I have absolutely everything I possibly need (that’s why my family get mad at me on birthdays and Christmas because I can’t think of anything for them to get me). This summer I tried to teach my eldest niece and nephew about the value of money and how every single thing they have or eat or wear has to be bought, I asked them where money came from and they both said the bank (which made me laugh), but then I explained that in order to get money from the bank mummy and daddy have to do work to earn that money. I know the value of money, and I am happy about that. If I would have been brought up where money was never an issue I probably would not understand what it takes for most people to buy even the smallest thing. Although I intend to be very wealthy I will do my best to instill the value of money and possessions upon my children, so that they can understand fully how hard people work for what they have. So I am very grateful to all my family and loved ones for their gifts, no matter how big or how small, every single one is deeply appreciated.

Grateful Status #18: I want to say how grateful I am for John Murfitt. The last 4 years would not have been possible without John’s ongoing support and to say that I appreciate it would be a massive understatement. My family is overrun with women; I am on the wrong end of a 5 to 1 ratio, so it is nice to have at least another man in the family. I know this year has been a tough one but things are starting to look brighter for us all, good things are just around the corner. They say that it is always darkest right before the dawn, and I am in full faith that dawn is breaking! Thank you for everything, and I look forward to seeing you in a few months.

Grateful Status #19: I want to say how grateful I am for Mark Beales and Andrew Jinks. Both these men are the fathers of my nieces and nephews, Mark of Megan, Oliver and Freya and in a relationship with my big sister Ceara, and Jinksy the father of Phoebe (and the bump) and in a relationship with my little sister Ella. There are so many men in this world who unfortunately do not handle their responsibilities the way that they should, but these two men do. Both of them work very hard to provide for their families and are very hands on parents. I both respect and appreciate this as it makes me feel better knowing that my nieces and nephews will never want for anything or have to know what life is like without a father because of the effort you both put in everyday to make the kids and my sisters happy, and for that I appreciate you.

Grateful Status #20: I want to say how grateful I am for my big sister Bronagh. When we were younger we used to fight like cats and dogs (all her fault of course) and I never thought that we would ever actually like each other, but as we grew older we became very close. There is a certain bond that you have with your siblings that you can’t quite explain, that time and distance cannot interfere with, and that’s the kind of relationship I have with Bronagh. I want the best for her, and most of all just want her to be happy. She is in a great place right now and might be the happiest she has ever been. She recently got engaged to her long time boyfriend Spencer, who has grown into a dependable guy that Bronagh loves very much. They recently bought a new house and along with their bulldog Marshall are very happy. Bronagh is very proud of me and all that I have achieved and I appreciate that, I know this because she tells me all the time, through tweets mainly but also when we FaceTime. I love you and I miss you Bronagh and I hope I get to see you very soon… Until then, I hope you have done/started to do the thing I told you to do because I am just reminding you of what it is you want to do, as your little brother I am also your motivator haha. I will state publically that I am very proud to call you my sister, and I am also very proud that you past your driving test, I knew you could do it!

Grateful Status #21: I want to say how grateful I am for my big sister Ceara. Ceara is my eldest sister, and my second mum. I remember 4 years ago when I was frantically packing to go to America, jumping on my suitcase to try and get it closed while she was trying to zip it up (hilarious)… Still don’t know how we got all that stuff in 1 case haha. Ceara always makes sure I have what I need and is always looking out for me. Ceara is the mum of Megan, Oliver and Freya who I absolutely adore, and she does an amazing job of making sure I am still part of their lives even though I live so far away. She is always tweeting me and letting me FaceTime with the kids and I love that I’m still able to be a part of their life, and that wouldn’t be possible without her effort and updates, so I really appreciate that. I also just appreciate you for being you, you are my biggest sister and I know you always want what is best for me, and even though I am perfectly fine I know you (along with mum) can’t help but worry, but there’s really no need… As you know, I have a great plan for my life and everything is going according to plan! Thank you for believing in me, for staying up late, for supporting my crazy dreams and goals and for being a great mum. I love you and miss you very much and I can’t wait to see you and the kids real soon! P.S I ALWAYS keep my promises!

Grateful Status #22: I want to say how grateful I am for my Mum. Where can I start? How can I best explain how much you mean to me without making you cry? Anybody that knows you understands that this is quite the task haha. Well, you mean everything to me. I remember when I was younger, and let’s say I was not the best behaved child in the world, and you never gave up on me. You trusted me when I told you I would be ok, that I would make something of my life against the odds and against what 99% of people thought, you didn’t listen to them, you listened to me… Thank God I was the one who was right. I have so many memories of my wonderful life and so many of them include you, holidays, trips, dinners, Christmas’, birthdays, surprise visits to America. I remember all the way back to Telly Addicts and triangle tuna and cucumber sandwiches. To try to put into words what a great mother you have been to me and my 4 sisters would be like trying to explain to a blind man what the Sistine Chapel looks like… But understand this; we are who we are because of you, your lessons, your example, your sacrifice. Everything we have become it has been because of everything you taught us and because you made the opportunities possible. I would not be where I am right now without you, without your help, belief, support and most importantly love. I know how much you love me, I know how proud you are of me, and that is so special because not all parents express their feelings to their children but you have and do it so well that I truly know, and coming from where I came from, where one of my main ambitions in life was to just make you and dad proud… To know that you are gives me more joy than you can possibly imagine. (You are crying now aren’t you… Good tears I hope haha). I like giving you good news, and this is the first time I have told anybody this so you (and now the rest of Facebook and Twitter) are the first to know. I found out recently that the United States Collegiate Association of America named me an ‘All-American’ for my performances on the basketball court this season (you will have to Google what an All-American is now haha) but in America I am told it is a pretty prestigious award. I also recently found out, and this will probably make you even more proud than the basketball award, that the USCAA also named me an ‘Academic All-American’ for my performance in the classroom. I hope this news makes you smile! Without you none of this would be possible, so thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you have, do and continue to do for me, I would be lost without you and I am so proud to call Lorraine Manifold my Mum! I love you and I miss you very much and I hope to see you very soon! Love your freakishly tall but extremely grateful one and only son!

Grateful Status #23:  I would like to say how grateful I am for all the recognition and awards I have received over the past four years. I have been fortunate enough to earn many awards and receive recognition from some very prestigious organizations, and I just wanted to say how grateful I am. In American Colleges and Universities, if you are disciplined enough, work hard enough, and then in turn perform at a high enough level, either on the playing field or in the classroom, there are people who will recognize your achievements, which is a wonderful thing. This status popped into my head today because I received 2 prestigious awards and I am feeling extremely grateful for that, but there are so many organizations that have given me awards over the years that I want to thank them publically. Instead of listing my awards I will simply list the names of the organizations that have honored me, I would like to say a sincere thank you to; The University of Maine at Presque Isle, the Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches and Writers Association, the Sunrise Conference, The United States Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the NCAA III Independents, and the Who’s Who of American Colleges and Universities. Thank you all for your honors, they mean a lot to me and my family. Thank you!

Grateful Status #24: I would like to say how grateful I am for all of my past team mates. Team mates at Notre Dame, at the College of West Anglia, at the King’s Lynn Fury and at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Over the year I have had probably close to 150 team mates, all of whom were different. Some I have not spoken to for years, some I talk to every week. I learned something from every one of you, whether it be as big a thing as helping to install a work ethic, or as little as faking with your eyes as well as your body. People outside of basketball do not understand what goes into making a successful team, and even more so what goes into making a successful player. I would not be the player I am today without all my team mates going at me in practice, constantly pushing me to be better and do better while I demand the same from them in return. I want to say a special thank you to the players who really taught me a lot, whether they know it or not. I did not always do a good job of giving credit where credit was due, that is something I have been working really hard to get better at (these status’ being one of part of that growth). Thank you to all the players who stayed behind after practice or who met me before practice to get extra work in. Thank you to all the players who came to work out with me both on the court and in the gym on our days off. Thank you to all the players who taught me how to carry myself and be professional both on the court and in life. A special thank you to all the players who have either gone pro or have experience with the business of basketball that have helped me in recent weeks as I make the transition into the world of professional basketball. Thank you, all of my team mates past and present who I have had the privilege to play with since I first picked up a ball, it’s been a pleasure! I can’t possibly name everybody but I would like to name a few stand outs who really helped me or taught me something, or I just enjoyed playing with them, whether I told them or not; Jon Stonebridge, James Bamfield, Ashley Manning, Craig Law, James Borg, Kevin Foster, Dean Rosemburt, Tom Bates, Simon Hare, Wesley Lockwood, Matt Ellis, Sam Luong, Dan Smith, Conrad Buckle, Ryan Plaice, Wayne Gibbs, Steve Pilkington, Hank Rivers, Kris Nelson, Lamar Hull, Marcus Browne, Solomon Sheard, Charles Whitfield, Emerson Westerby, Lawrence Summers, Craig Williams, Brad Trask, Gerardo Vasquez, Loren Fawthrop,  Kyle Corrigan, Chris Coffin, Ray Mitchell, Chad Duff, Alex Jardine, Bobby Beckman, Kobe Ashkir, Bryan Jennings, Jayson Burke, Nate Chisolm, Schmoke Louis, Bob Wegner, Chase Vicaire, Jordan McLaughlin, Mike Warner, Ollie Barrett, Aaron Hutchins, Bobby Beckman,  Jean Thomas (I apologize to those who I missed out as I know there is a few, and also for butchering some of your names… It’s been a while haha)

Grateful Status #25: I want to say how grateful I am for my extended family. My Uncle Ian, who has always been a role model for me and my cousin. Uncle Ian has 2 great boys who I love, Callum and Jayden, they are both great boys who will grow up to be great men I am sure of it! Callum is a great little football player and has been ever since he could walk, Jayden likes a few sports but I think he is going to be the youngest ever MMA fighter haha. Then there is my Auntie Pamela who I love and her children Daniel, Rebecca and Sarah who are my amazing cousins. I also have extended family in England such as Susan Tasker who is now somebody I see every year and her little grandson Jordan who is cool. I also have family in Ireland who I do not see often but hope to get over there to visit someday soon. I am also fortunate to have a Godfather who is very special to me, the infamous John Pooley, who I care about very much. Family is very important to me; blood is certainly thicker than water. I love and miss you all and thank you for being part of the amazing group that I call my family!!

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Grateful Status #26: I want to say how grateful I am for my cousin Daniel. When I was little I always used to look up to Dan a lot. I didn’t have a brother (which back then I was mad about) and whenever we went to my aunties or they came to ours I was always super excited to play pool or football or basketball, or even just listen to music! I always looked up to Dan, he always carried himself with class, and I know Dan looked up to our uncle so I guess we are both a reflection of him, which is not a bad thing. This summer I got the chance to spend some time with Dan at his house in London. He took us to see all of London and the Olympic games which we might not have been able to do if it wasn’t for him. It was cool to just be able to talk and spend time with him as adults, something we haven’t had too many chances to do for a while as we both live in different parts of the country and the world most of the time. I just wanted to say that I am grateful to him for setting a good example for me, he works hard, he has fun and he has lots of good friends, but more than anything he is just a really nice guy, a credit to my auntie and to our family! So for all that Dan, thank you!

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Grateful Status #27: I want to say how grateful I am for John Gaze. John helped raise me when I was young from about age 3 to 13, a very important part of my development as a child I am sure. I tell people all the time that John is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He would do anything for you, and has done more for me than I can even say. Thank you for all the times that you cared for me and my sisters for all those years, I may not have appreciated it then because I was just a stupid kid, but I want to express how grateful I am for everything you did for us all. Even after childhood when I was more grown up and started playing basketball, John would volunteer to drive me to King’s Lynn every week, which is about an hour and 45 minute drive (that does not sound like much in America but in England that’s like a lifetime away haha), he never asked for anything in return, just making sure that his boy had the opportunity to play. I really wish you could have seen some of my games in the past 4 years John you would have loved it, the crowds are smaller than football but just as crazy and inches from the players! I hope that in the next few years if I’m playing in Europe I can get you and Sandra to come and watch me play somewhere as a thank you for everything. I know you are not my dad, but you acted like it and I saw you as a father figure in my life. Thank you for setting a good example, thank you for always caring for me and the girls and thank you for continuing to make me a part of your family, as you will always be a part of mine! I love you John, thank you for everything!

Grateful Status #28: I want to say how grateful I am for my Family as a unit. I think we are closer than most families, I am not sure why… Maybe it is because we have been through so much together that we have a deeper connection I don’t know, I guess it doesn’t really matter, but it is there and I feel it. Everybody that knows me knows how important my family is to me, I take them with me everywhere I go, literally. My family supports me at every turn, I know I may have some crazy ideas sometimes, but for the most part they believe that whatever I want to do I can do it, and that gives me strength. I miss you all, I say I miss you all the time on FB and in tweets etc but something is lost in those interactions because it’s something we do every day, the same is true when I say I love you. Well just take a moment and instead of just reading the words, actually understand what they mean. “I love you very much, and I miss you all every single day of my life!” When I made the decision to come to America I consulted my family, they knew I was going either way but I wanted to know what they all thought. At first they were a bit nervous, it was after all a rather big decision, something I had been talking about for a while but they probably thought it was just another of Patrick’s big ideas… But when it came down to making preparations they were all great, they supported me and believed in me. I remember making a promise to my Mum and the rest of the family before I left back in 2009, I promised them that if I was going to move across the world and not see them for almost a year at a time that I would make it worth our while. I promised to do my very best, in the classroom (where up to that point I had shown no real ability) and on the court. In the hope that one day I could achieve all of my dreams, this was a stepping stone to get me there, so one day money wouldn’t be something we had to worry about and I could finally give them all what they deserved. I made that promise not only to them but also to myself, and when people ask me why I work so hard to get good grades when I have already done enough to get an OK grade I tell them about that promise I made, I tell them that years ago I looked my family in the eye and promised I would do my very best in every aspect of my life, to make them proud, to give them joy through the things I achieve if I did so and give them hope that anything was possible. I kept that promise. In a few months I will get my degree, I think they will be more proud of that than anything I do on the court. A couple of things most people don’t know… I have a Superman notepad in my bag, in that notepad is a little message from all my immediate family members, I looked at it before every game I ever played, kissed it and put it back in my bag. I wear a chain with 3 things on it around my neck. A St. Christopher from the kids that is meant to keep me safe when I travel, a dog tag that says #GBED  from my family, to remind me to keep on pushing, and one that says PM23, again from my family… I wear the necklace whenever I have a game and whenever I travel; I kiss all 3 when I put it on and again when I take it off. Last but not least, my sign. My sign is a diamond sign I make with my hands, I got the idea from it from my favourite artist and my favourite player who both do the same sign, the difference is what my sign means. To me it means family. They say diamonds are forever, well to me so is family. They say diamonds are unbreakable, well so is my family. They say diamonds are precious and hard to come by, my family is one in a million. Diamonds come from humble beginnings; they start out as rocks or coal and through years of pressure and cutting turn into these beautiful stones… After all that me and my family have been though in our lives, I see us now as diamonds, unbreakable, precious and will last forever… my family is my rock, my diamond. When I make that sign with my hands I am telling all my family back in England, in Ireland and in Heaven, from past generations to now that I am thinking of them, that they are with me, that everywhere I go and everything I do they are there. When I wake up and list the things I am grateful for everyday, you are all at the top of the list! I love my family, and I don’t care who knows it!

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“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to realize

how good things really are”

~Marianne Williamson

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Clifftop Charity Basketball 2012

30/08/2012

This year Clifftop Charity Basketball took place on the basketball courts at Gorleston beach on July 29th 2012. This was the 4th time in as many years that CCB has taken place during the annual Gorleston Clifftop Festival (http://www.clifftopfestival.info/), which attracts tens of thousands of people to the seafront every summer.

This year’s competition attracted 12 teams consisting of over 50 players (the most players we have ever had) from all over Norfolk. We had teams entering from Attleborough, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Lowestoft, Norwich, Spalding, Stalham and Wisbech. There were so many good teams in CCB 2012 that nobody had an easy game, every single game was hard fought and so many people came up to me after the event telling me how much they enjoyed the great competition. It just shows how much ability there is in the Norfolk area, which is one of the main reasons I put the event on, to promote the game of basketball and create a venue for the local players to play and showcase their ability.

Below is a picture of participants and volunteers from CCB 2012:

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The day went extremely well, and although the forecast said there was an 80% chance of rain from 12pm onwards, it was kind enough to hold off until after the trophy ceremony at about 3pm, after which a torrential downpour hit Great Yarmouth for the next few hours.

This year’s event came very close to being cancelled due to a close member of my family being seriously ill in hospital. But fortunately I was able to rely on some great people to step in for me while I was gone. After I announced the schedule for the day and started the event, I rushed back to the hospital and did not return for almost 3 hours until the quarter finals games were already in progress.

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all the people that helped out during the day, including; Heather Middleton, Jim West, Jo Thomas, Lilly Middleton, Barry Ford, Fel and Morgan Roberts and various other people that contributed to the day. CCB 2012 would not have been the day that it was without your kind donation of time and effort, so please accept my most sincere thanks.

When I did return, the 12 teams had been whittled down to 6 after the group stages and were now fighting it out in the quarter-final games. The 3 winners of these games and the best loser made it through to the semi-finals. Then the 2 losers of the semi-finals battled it out in the 3rd place playoff and the 2 winners went through to the championship game. For pictures from the day by ‘The BarryTime Photography’ please visit: www.facebook.com/clifftopcharitybasketball 

3rd place went to “The Pure Breds” (Below)

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2nd place went to “Spalding” (Below)

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Champions of CCB 2012 “BC Wisbech” (Below)

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I would like to say a special thank you to our sponsors;

‘Norfolk Capacitors Limited’ (http://www.norfolk-capacitors.com/) for kindly allowing us to borrow a generator and audio equipment.

‘Chamberlin’s Solicitors’ (http://www.chamberlinssolicitors.co.uk/) for the excellent trophy for our champions.

And ‘Budget Marquees’ (http://www.budgetmarquees.co.uk/) for kindly allowing us to borrow one of their great gazebos for the day. I appreciate all of you for your ongoing support.

Thankfully, the more participants that enter CCB, the more money is raised for our charities, and with this year’s event being the most attended yet, we raised more money than ever and was able to spread the joy a little further. Below are the pictures from each of the donations:

Organizers and participants at the local basketball club ‘The Drill Hall’; Where CCB 2012 donated a new basketball and money to help keep the club running. (Below)

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Nurses and staff of the ‘Intensive Care Unit’ at the James Paget Hospital; Where CCB 2012 donated money to help with patient care. (Below)

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Children at the ‘Children and Young Persons Ward’ at the James Paget Hospital; Where CCB 2012 donated a portable ‘Kung-Fu Panda’ DVD player, 5 DVD’s (including Space Jam of course) and 2 books, to help the kid’s keep their spirits up. (Below)

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I would like to say a big thank you to all the participants and volunteers that helped make Clifftop Charity Basketball 2012 a great day, not only for the players, but also for the people we were able to help through the money we raised.

See you all next year for our 5th anniversary, CCB 2013!!

Patrick

For more information on Clifftop Charity Basketball, please visit: www.clifftopcharitybasketball.webs.com or www.facebook.com/clifftopcharitybasketball

Or email: clifftopcharitybasketball@live.co.uk

LeBron James: A Champion At Last

22/06/2012

When I first started getting serious about basketball around age 16, I of course started to get into the NBA, the best and most famous basketball league in the world. As I watched I soon became a fan of 18 year old phenom LeBron James. Being only a few years older than me and being similar in height made him relatable to me, and how he played the game that I had already grown to love was both inspiring and extremely fun to watch.

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For what ever reason, I have never been one to fit into mold that people around me wanted or expected me to fit in. When I was growing up playing the game I was usually the tallest guy on the team, but unconventionally I played the point guard or the other guard positions. I shot 3’s, handled the ball and enjoyed having the offence ran through me so I could make plays for my team mates and create for myself. Above all I did not want to be confined to any one position, I wanted to be versatile enough that I could play any position, and in the process help my team to win by doing whatever was needed, very much in the same kind of way that James does with his teams.

LeBron James soon became my idol, I studied videos/DVD’s/Book’s about him, watched his games over and over again, trying to learn from him, in the hope that some of his tendencies would be engrained in me. I wore his jersey to the gym and to practice and spent hours working on my game to shoot like him or pass like him. And later, after moving to America to play the game I love, I chose to honor LeBron by wearing his #23, which I still wear to this day.

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I have watched, wide-eyed for 9 years, ever since LeBron was the 1st overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA Draft. I have watched him mature, both as a player and as a man. He has since become the best player in the world, and a father of 2 along the way. With career averages of over 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, he is regularly putting up astronomical numbers, not seen since the likes of the great Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson, and now has 3 MVP trophies to show for it.

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In 2010, after another disappointing playoff loss, LeBron decided to “take his talents to South Beach” and join the Miami Heat, and although the way in which he made “The Decision” was perhaps not the best way to go about it as he later confessed, it was however the correct decision for him, his family and was in congruence with his belief that in doing so would give him the best opportunity to win an NBA championship, his ultimate goal.

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Sadly, after moving to play with his friends Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, LeBron has been hit with a barrage of criticism unprecedented in sports history. He quickly became the most hated man in sports and people from all over the country and the world started to take shots at him. The last 2 years I have had to endure hearing and seeing people verbally and hatefully bash LeBron James, saying hurtful, horrible and sometimes crude and disgusting things about him and his family. It became common place to bash LeBron, on television, on the radio, on Twitter, everywhere. All because a 25 year old man made a decision that would put him in a better position to achieve his childhood dream. He did not hurt anybody, he did not kill anybody, he did not come out and openly bash anybody, all he did was chase his dream… And he was hated for it.

As a genuine fan of LeBron, it was extremely painful to witness. Especially when people who do not really have any basketball knowledge decide to jump on the hate bandwagon and throw insults and jabs at him. Checking my Facebook and Twitter accounts had become so frustrating, everyday seeing new reasons why LeBron was the devil, the haters found a way to blame LeBron for things that he had no control over, and when they could not find new reasons to hate him, they made things up and fuelled vicious rumors about him and his family in the hope to get under his skin.

Well today is June 22nd 2012, and last night LeBron James won his first NBA Championship, and his first finals MVP to go along with it, after an amazing triple-double in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder to clinch the series. After all he has been through, and all the heartache I have been through watching him get so close in previous years and witnessing all that he has been through especially the past 2 years, it was amazing to see him finally get what he deserved. Last night was the coronation of the King of basketball.

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I have never been so happy seeing somebody I have never met be so happy. He was like a child on Christmas, jumping and dancing and hugging everybody in sight. I watched the game live until 5:30am, as I did every other of his playoff games for the past few years. I am so inspired by him, by his actions, by his strength. Against all odds he has prevailed, he has proved everybody that said he could never win a championship wrong, all the haters, all the naysayers. But LeBron being the man he is, he will not turn around publically and say I told you so, I am sure he knows that seeing him succeed is all the torture that they can endure.

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Today is a great day, for the city of Miami, for all the players, fans and the entire organization, as well as the NBA and the game of basketball as a whole. LeBron proved that anything is possible, with enough hard work and determination that you can achieve your wildest dreams.

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Congratulations LeBron James: A Champion At Last.

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February 2012: Thankful Status Month

04/03/2012

 

As some of you may remember, last February I decided to dedicate a Facebook status every day to something/someone I was thankful for… I decided to do it again! My thinking behind it is that so often we take things for granted, we just expect that people know how we feel about them, even though often they don’t. Life is way too short to leave things unsaid, and as much as we like to think it is; tomorrow is not promised. Live every day like it is you last, because one day it will be!

I am not ashamed or embarrassed to be honest about the people/things that mean the most to me. I live a life that I love, and I am truly thankful!

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” — Epictetus

Below are 29 different Facebook/Twitter statuses that I posted online for the world to see, every day in the month of February. Not everybody I posted about has social media so may not have seen what I wrote, but many did, and their comments are marked by * and in bold directly below their status. Here they are:

Thankful Status #1: I want to say how thankful I am for my health. It is something that I never overlook and I try not to take it for granted. Health is one of those things that you do not really notice while it is good, but as soon as something goes wrong you would do anything just to be healthy and back to normal again. Every day that I wake up is a great day! I am very healthy and fit and I go out of my way everyday to stay that way. I feel very fortunate that I am in such good health, as millions of people are much less fortunate than me. I am extremely thankful for my health!

Thankful Status #2: I want to say how thankful I am to be living in such a beautiful part of the world. It had always been my dream from a young age to visit the U.S.A, so for me to have lived here for 3 years is truly a blessing! Every day I get to wake up, drive to campus and see the stunning mountain and surroundings covered in feet of snow. For somebody from England that had never seen more than a few inches, living in Northern Maine has really opened my eyes. The fall is beautiful, winter is special, spring is pretty and summer is hot. I’m extremely fortunate to be living in a place I once simply dreamed of!

Thankful Status #3: I would like to thank John Murfitt for his ongoing support over the last few years, his help and belief in me has allowed me to reach my goals and put me in a position to succeed. I am extremely grateful for this and also for making my mother Lorraine Manifold happy. I look forward to spending more time with you this summer and still have great memories of our holidays to Paris and Brixham! I consider him a part of my family and just wanted to let him know how much I appreciate it.

*John Murfitt: Patrick, it is a pleasure. I believe in you and your commitment to be the best. Be good. John.

Thankful Status #4: I want to state how thankful I am to be receiving a 1st class education at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. It’s no secret that America has some of the best Universities and educational systems in the world. I never thought I’d go to University, genuinely, but now I’m in my 3rd year of studying for my degree in Business Management. I feel truly blessed and thankful for my Professors, tutors (Wendy Walsh), John Murfitt, Lorraine Manifold and all the people that help me with my classes, let me borrow books and support me in my quest to become educated in topics that both interest me and inspire me. “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

Thankful Status #5: I would like to say how thankful I am for being exposed to the wisdom and strength of a good friend of mine Dick Aire. He is easily one of the most intelligent human beings I have ever met, he has self educated himself through years of reading books and studying journals and alike. I have known him 3 years and consider him a part of my American family. His wisdom, guidance, advice and general knowledge are of great help to me. I have enjoyed so many informative discussions with him ranging from sports rules to politics and science. I just wanted to let you know that you are a special man, your perseverance, self discipline and strength is inspirational and I am thankful that I have had the chance to learn from you and get to know you.

*Dick Aire: Hi Patrick, I’m deeply moved and appreciative of your comments. Though I’ve never had the pleasure of having you as a student in one of my courses, I know from our conversations that you would be an extraordinary asset to any course I would teach. Students like you have made my career as a professor a wonderful ride. Regards, Dick

Thankful Status #6: I want to acknowledge how thankful I am for my 5 Grandparents, all of whom are sadly no longer with us. Nanny Batley, Grandad Batley, Grandma, Grandad Manifold and Nanny Gaze! I’m sad everyday knowing I will never get to learn from you, listen to stories about your lives or hear you say you’re proud of me, but I know you’re all looking out for me! Thank you so much for my Parents, Uncles, Aunties and MY LIFE! I will never forget you! I love you all! If you are fortunate enough to still have grandparents, make sure that you spend as much time with them as possible, make time each week/month to go visit them or call them. You do not know what you have until it is gone…

Thankful Status #7: I would like to thank John Gaze for helping raise me and for being a constant believer in me! He was always there for me when I needed him; he always supported my sporting endeavors and was a huge Father figure in my life! I love him very much and to this day still believe he is one of the nicest men I have ever met! Thanks for putting up with me, thanks for believing in me, thanks for giving me two great sisters and an extended family, Thanks for everything John! My gift to you is Norwich City staying in the Premiership after this year… After everything you have done for me it was the least I could do! I hope you are well and I look forward to seeing you and Sandra and the rest of the family in the summer!

Thankful Status #8: I want to say how thankful I am to all the people who have supported me this season, all the people who came out especially to watch my games and encouraged me, it means a lot to me so thank you! Also all the UMPI blue crew fans, the team and I really appreciate your support! When you guys get going you are easily one of the best/loudest/funniest crowds that I have ever played in front of! Thank you also to all the people that support U Maine Presque Isle basketball and to all the people who have kind words to say about my performances; around campus, on the street or online, I appreciate it very much.

Thankful Status #9: I want to say how thankful I am for my best friend and brother I never had Ashley Manning AKA the A-Train! He is such a good mate of mine and I love all the fun times we have had! We have played ball together at various levels from 3v3 tournaments all the way up to national league division 1, and gone through a lot together off the court as well. He worked with me every day in the months leading up to me leaving for America and helped me get better every day! He has always believed in my ability as a basketball player and continues to support me while I’m 1000s of miles away! He helped me to get where I am and I will always be grateful to him and will always value his friendship! Keep doing your thing Ag, il look forward to working out and hanging out with you in the summer! COUNT IT!

Thankful Status #10: I am extremely grateful for the love and support of Arthur and Barbara DeVaney. They took me in and welcomed me into their home as a perfect stranger 2 and a half years ago and we now consider each other family. They are 2 of the nicest people I have ever met and their love and support is invaluable to me! They are easily some of my biggest fans, come to all my games, wear UMPI #23 basketball jerseys and cheer me on as loud as they can! Being so far away from my family it’s great to have two people that I consider family here with me! Arthur is a great friend of mine and teaches me a lot about American life/sports/politics and is always happy to answer any questions that I have. Bonnie makes sure I know everything I have to know in order to be successful at University! Thank you both so much, I love you both and I am so fortunate to have you in my life!

Thankful Status #11: I would like to thank all the people who do not and have not believed in me throughout the course of my life. I would like to thank all the people who told me that I could never be the person I have now become or achieve the things I have now achieved. It was your faces that I saw and your words that I heard when I was throwing weights around in the gym every day, when I was getting up at 6/7am every morning to work out and practice doing all the things you said could never be done. I want to thank all the people who to this day do not believe in me. When I’m exhausted and I think I have nothing left in the tank, I remember you, you give me strength. People not believing in me is inevitable; how I choose to deal with that negativity is optional. I choose to use it as motivation. I am not one of those people who would throw the words of my non-believers back in their faces; I would like to think I have more class than that. Besides, knowing they were wrong about me is punishment enough. Do not tell me the sky is the limit because there are footprints on the moon!

*Dan Hamilton: Keep doing your thing mate!                                                                        *Rachael Smith: I always believed in you. Proud of you!                                                *Chelsea Boudreau: i’ll always believe in you handsome! you are so talented, dedicated and amazing at what you do. you will reach every goal you’ve set, and then we can just look back and smile (we’ll i might say "i told you" haha 🙂 i love you baby! xx

Thankful Status #12: I would like to say how thankful I am to my coach and my team mates (and athletic trainers) at U-Maine Presque Isle! I have really enjoyed going to battle with all my guys this season and had fun helping each other get better in practice, it’s been the best year I have had yet and I have enjoyed getting to know all our new players, getting to know returning players even better and I am really happy about how close we became as a unit! Our season isn’t over yet, we still have 2 more games to go. Thanks for all your hard work and I wish our senior players Loren Fawthrop and Brennan Morton the best of luck in the future! Now let’s go get 2 Ws!

Thankful Status #13: I want to say how thankful I am for basketball. I feel truly blessed to be able to play the game I love as often as I do! Playing college basketball in America I get the chance to practice for at least 2 hours every day, and play as many as 4 games a week all over the East coast of America, from New York to Connecticut! Basketball has given me so much, it has changed my life. It’s taken me to another county on another continent. Basketball was my first love and a love that will last a lifetime! I can’t and don’t want to imagine my life without it. Basketball gives me the opportunity to perform and to compete, the court is my stage and the game is my wife! I truly love and respect the game of basketball and I am so thankful for all the amazing things that it has given me, and for the fact that I still have so much fun playing/watching/talking about the game! All that it asks is that I respect it and work hard every day to get better… So that is exactly what I do! I ❤ Basketball!

Thankful Status #14: I want to say how thankful I am for my Uncle Ian Batley and my cousin Dan Erskine. When I was growing up they were two people that I really looked up to and still do to this day. Dan was one of the first people who got me into basketball and Uncle Ian has given me two great little cousins Callum Batley and Jayden Batley. You are still both role models of mine and I miss you all very much while I’m in America (I also miss Auntie Pamela, Becky and Sarah) , but hopefully we can spend some time together over the summer. I am very fortunate to have you both as members of my family!

Thankful Status #15: I’d like to say how thankful I am for my father Patrick Manifold He has taught me many valuable lessons over the years, including my work ethic and that there is no 2nd place, its either first or last in the game of life! I miss him very much whilst I’m living in the U.S and I look forward to spending lots of time together in the summer! My father always taught me that you can do better, that no matter how well you do something, if you work hard there is always room for improvement. I have taken that philosophy and turned it into my daily work ethic, which allows me to achieve my goals on and off the hardwood. Thanks for everything Dad, I love you and I miss you very much.

Thankful Status #16: I want to say how thankful I am for my Godfather John Pooley. It is great to know that I have somebody that supports me and always wants what is best for me. I really enjoyed spending time with him this past summer. He is a multi-talented man, but what I admire most about him is that he does not set any limits for himself, if he believes he can do something he just goes out and does it. I am very proud of him and his success as an artist, and I am now a proud owner of two original John Pooley’s. I look forward to seeing you again in the summer!

* John Pooley: I`m very proud of you too Patrick.

Thankful Status #17: I would like to thank my Coach and friend James Bamfield for all that he has done for me. James helped turn me from a young player with raw talent to a player good enough to go overseas. He is a great basketball mind and is the only person I know that loves the game as much as I do. I am so happy that you have had a good year playing the game and I hope it was everything you wanted it to be. I am extremely grateful for everything James, Thanks!

*James Bamfield: You’re 1 in a million mate, keep doing your thing hope to see you in a couple of months. X

Thankful Status #18: I would like to thank Chelsea’s parents Gayle and Daniel Boudreau for welcoming me into their family, and for making me feel completely at home, as well as supporting me and believing in me! I am very fortunate for everything they do and have done. I am also thankful for my extended family, Chelsea’s sisters Danielle Boudreau, Crystal Boudreau and my two perfect little nieces Abigail and Lily. I have enjoyed getting to know you over the past 3 years and hope that we can spend lots more time together in the future.

*Gayle Boudreau: Thanks for including us in your month of status we enjoy your visits but I do know how to cook other things besides your favorites like apple crisp and chicken dinners and especially the ham and potato scallop. I enjoyed your English pancakes that you flipped up for me last time here perhaps you could whipped them up next time?

Thankful Status #19: I want to state how thankful I am to Puff Summers. When Puff came to play for my team in England after 4 years at Davidson, he really opened my eyes up to what it takes to be a good basketball player. I remember one time being in the gym with him and saying how lucky he was to be so good at the game, he told me luck had nothing to do with it. The secret to his success was the fact that he worked harder and more consistently than anybody else. That really struck a chord with me and so in part I owe some of my success to him, for teaching me the valuable lesson that you truly can achieve your dreams if you are willing to work hard enough and sacrifice. Puff is somebody that I often go to for advice, and will continue to do so in the future. Congratulations on your wonderful new family, and keep tearing it up on the court PG. I appreciate you!

*Puff Summers: Thanks, Pat. I’m glad I helped unlock that door. But you, my friend, chose to walk through it… I appreciate you being one of the few people I’ve ever known who has said they wanted to do something, and then gone out and actually done it…..

Thankful Status #20: I’d like to say how thankful I am for my baby sister Rhea Gaze. I am very proud of the young woman she is growing up to be and I really admire how she doesn’t care what anybody thinks, she is a strong independent young lady who respects herself and speaks her mind, I love that about her. I also admire her work ethic, she works hard (and probably plays just as hard) and she has so many good friends… I’m not surprised that so many people want to be around you! I love you and miss you very much Rhea and I look forward to seeing you in the summer!

*Rhea Gaze: Thank you patricia! 🙂 I think I really needed to hear that right about now! 🙂 Its really sweet of you to say all those things, I’m sure you won’t be thinking that in the summer when I’m trying to get you to tidy! Hahah I’m excited to see you, hurry up and get here already! 🙂 love you, miss you too! 🙂 x x x x x x

Thankful Status #21: I want to say how thankful I am to Wesley Lockwood. Wes was the 1st basketball player I ever saw in real life who I admired. I admired him so much that after seeing him wear #8 (which also happened to be my favorite player Kobe’s # at the time) I decided to always wear #8 from then on. He was somebody I really looked up to when I first started playing basketball aged around 13. He always gave me confidence and let me play with the older guys, which really helped my development. Then years later out of the blue, when I was at a crossroads in my life, Wes told me he was in King’s Lynn playing ball and that they had an academy and that I should move up there. I did just that, and while there, Wes along with James, really took me under his wing. He taught me as much about being a man as about being a basketball player, everything from washing dishes to learning how to cook. Wes is still somebody that I admire, and I always enjoy getting to see and speak to him when I can. I appreciate everything you did Wes, who knows where I would have ended up without your guidance. I appreciate you!

*Wesley Lockwood: You are very welcome. I am proud of what you have achieved and the dedication you have. Thank the lord you ball better than you cook lol. X

Thankful Status #22: I want to say how thankful I am for my little sister Ella Gaze! I’m very proud of her for becoming such a good mum and I’m extremely excited to spend more time with little baby Phoebe this summer! She is so adorable and so well looked after, you can see how happy she is, although I would like to talk to her more on webcam, as im sure she is growing by the day and she might be forgetting me haha. I hope you and Jinxy are both really happy, I Love you and miss you lots El, and I can’t wait to spend lots of time with you and Phoebe in the Summer!

*Ella Gaze: Phoebe misses you too 🙂 I can’t wait to see her playing and laughing with you in the summer!!! She can say your name now too!!! 🙂 she sends you big hugs and kisses!!! xxxxxx

Thankful Status #23: I want to say how thankful I am to all of the people who have supported and believed in me over the years. As most of you know, I dream big and never let anybody tell me that I can’t do something. If I want something I go out and get it, no matter how hard it might be or how long it might take. There are many people who have believed in me when they could have easily just told me to take my head out of the clouds and stop dreaming. There have been a lot of people that have supported me in my pursuit of happiness, and without them the journey would have been much less enjoyable and a much steeper climb. This status does not apply to everybody, but those of you who have been there for me know who you are, I really appreciate you!

Thankful Status #24: Thankful does not do this status justice, but I am so thankful and fortunate for my amazingly perfect nieces Megan (4), Freya (1), Phoebe (1) and my nephew Oliver (3). They are so adorable and I love each and every one of them with all of me. I obviously miss all my family and friends back in England, but I miss the kids in a different way because everybody else knows why I am here and what I am doing, and they stay pretty much the same. But the kids grow and change and have new experiences every day, and I miss them all. Fortunately my sisters Ella and Ceara do a great job of tweeting me and sending me pictures of everything they do, but I still miss them terribly. I love them so much; they make me want to be a better person, somebody that they can all grow up to be proud of! I can’t wait to spend another summer playing with you all and making more special memories! I love you kids with all of me, and I am extremely proud of you, love always, Uncle Paddy!

*Ceara Manifold: ‎Patrick I am the thankful one, thankful for the greastest role model and Uncle my children could have wished for. Thankful that you have taught them that hard work and determination will get you where you want to get in life. Above all I am thankful that you have taught them never to give up on their dreams, no matter how insurmountable that dream may sometimes seem, if you believe dreams can really come true! I know that they can’t wait until the summer to spend some precious time with you (they tell me every day!) I also know that they love you to the moon and back! Xxx *Ella Gaze: phoebe misses you too 🙂 I can’t wait to see her playing and laughing with you in the summer!!! She can say your name now too!!! 🙂 she sends you big hugs and kisses!!! xxxxxx

Thankful Status #25: I want to let everybody know how thankful I am for my big sister Bronagh Manifold. Even though she is my sister, she has also been one of my best friends and she has always been there for me for somebody to talk to, in good times and bad. I am extremely proud of her for all that she has overcome and achieved, although I have always believed in her and still to this day I know that she is capable of anything that she puts her mind to. She is one of my biggest fans and always sees the best in me; she supports me in many ways, whether it’s helping me with my weightlifting goals or taking me shopping or getting Dwight Howard to wish me a happy birthday lol! I love and miss you Bronagh and I can’t wait to see yours and Spencer’s new house and spend lots of good times together in the summer. #BelieveAchieve #GBED

*Bronagh Manifold: This means the world to me and so do you, thankyou. I am so thankful to have you as my brother, best friend and inspiration. I couldnt be prouder of you patrick and cant wait to have you home for the summer, i miss you and love you so much xxxx #GBED

Thankful Status #26: I want to say how thankful I am for my big sister Ceara Manifold! She is the proud mum of 2 of my nieces Megan and Freya and my nephew Oliver. Ceara was born to be a mum and I’m so proud of her for doing such an amazing job of bringing them up, they are the happiest kids I’ve ever been around, they want for nothing and they are so smart! Thanks so much for making sure that the kids don’t forget me by always tweeting me pictures and keeping me up to date with all the 1000s of things going on in their lives and yours, I really appreciate it! Having Ceara as a big sister is like having a 2nd mum, she is always there for me, making sure I am ok and that I have everything I need. She is another one of my biggest fans, always seeing the best in me and helping me in my quest to become the man I aim to be. I just want to say I love and miss you very much and can’t wait to make many more happy memories summer!

*Ceara Manifold: Thank you Patrick, you don’t know what it means to me to hear that you think I am doing a good job! It is easy to see the best in you and I am very proud of the man you have become and if you think I have played a part in that I am thankful….
I continue to be impressed by you and everything that you achieve, I am thankful that you are my brother. I love and miss you very much and have a feeling that this summer is going to be amazing!xx
I continue to be impressed by you and everything that you achieve, I am thankful that you are my brother. I love and miss you very much and have a feeling that this summer is going to be amazing!xx

Thankful Status #27: I want to say how thankful I am for my amazing mother Lorraine Manifold! She has always been there for me, supported me and believed in me. Growing up I was far from an angelic child, I know I was tough to put up with at times and back then it probably looked like I was never going to make anything good out of my life. But you stood by me and believed in me when I told you that I would be ok, even though you had no real reason to believe me apart from the potential that you saw in me. You are the best mum anybody could ever ask for and I am so thankful to you for how well that you raised me and my 4 sisters. We may not have had loads of money growing up, but we wanted for nothing; always had warm clothes on our back, a roof over our heads and good food in our bellies! All 5 of us had a great childhood, we were happy and safe, I could never thank you enough for that, but hopefully I can spend the rest of our lives trying to show you how much I appreciate everything you did have done and will do. I love you and miss you so much mum and can’t wait to spend all summer with you, and hopefully we can have another little trip somewhere together and make more memories that can make us smile while we are 1000s of miles apart.

*Lorraine Manifold: I have tried but failed to find words of my own to describe how your words made me feel, or to tell you how grateful I am to you for writing them. I am eternally grateful that whatever I could give you was enough to help you become the person you are today. I could not be more proud of everything you have achieved both on and off the court since you went to realise your dream in America, and I know that there will be many more occasions over the coming years when I will be literally bursting with pride at all your achievements still to come. I love and miss you beyond words, and like you, I cannot wait to make more wonderful memories when you are home in the summer. Love you, miss you, so very proud of you xxxx

Thankful Status # 28: My last proper thankful status is for my girlfriend Chelsea Boudreau. Where do I start? I am not sure what I would do without her… Those close to me know how much Chelsea does for me on a daily basis; I am so appreciative for everything that she does for me every day! As well as being my girlfriend, she is also my personal athletic trainer, and always makes sure that my body is in the best condition it can be in for my sport. She is my #1 rebounder, I read a quote by an NBA coach saying that if you ever find a girl that is willing to rebound for you then she is a keeper, Chelsea has rebounded for me so many times, for hours on end, I know it’s boring, but she does it because she wants me to achieve my goals, so she is the definition of a keeper! She is also my own personal master chef, she cooks for me morning noon and night, and it’s always nutritious and delicious! Chelsea is easily one of my biggest fans, she supports me in every game she can get to, at home games she wears a t shirt with my name and number on and is always cheering me on (as well as every time I get fouled and the ref does not call it she verbally abuses them lol)… Chelsea is kind, considerate, pretty, caring, unselfish, intelligent and funny and I love her very much. Thank you for everything Chelsea, you mean the world to me and I am so thankful to have you in my life, and I really look forward to our future… If it’s anything like the last 2 ½ years, it will be just like you… AMAZING!

* Chelsea Boudreau I love you more than you know, Patrick. I truly believe that I have the best boyfriend and am the luckiest girl in the world. When anyone asks why I do so much for you, the answer is easy – I enjoy doing things for you. Even though it isn’t the most exciting thing to chase a ball around for hours on end, I enjoy helping you get better at what you love to do. I like doing things for you because I know how important it is to you – you would literally starve if I didn’t cook for you 😉 One of my favorite things is to see you smile, and it’s very easy to put a smile on your face. I hope you know that I will always support you, believe in you, and will always be the loudest person in the crowd cheering you on, yelling at the refs, or reminding you to keep working hard. I do not actually know anyone that works as hard as you, to be the best you can be, and I cannot wait for the day that your hard work pays off and you are recognized for the talent that you have and can offer. I hope that the endless hours of rebounding, all hours of the day, proves to you that no matter what I have to do, I will help you achieve your ultimate goal. I can’t wait for the day that your dream comes true and you are about to play professional basketball. I’ve believed in you from the day I met you, before I even knew if you were any good or not 😉 and I’ll continue to believe in you, and do just as much to help you when you are in the big leagues! I will still be your biggest fan. I will still wear my ‘homemade’ MANIFOLD shirt. Aside from basketball, I am still your biggest fan. I love everything about you. You are so caring, thoughtful, extremely smart, dedicated, determined, loving, and wonderful. You work so hard at everything you do, and I am proud to be your girlfriend. I am happy to have such an amazing boyfriend, who makes me smile, and makes me feel loved unconditionally every single day. So thank you Patrick, for everything that you do, and for the person that you are. You are my best friend and you mean the world to me, and I will be by your side every step of the way! You have made my life so much better in the past 2 ½ years and I cannot wait for the rest of our lives 🙂 I love you, and always will! Xx

*Hayley Farman Rose: That’s got to be the loveliest thing I have ever read. Most people’s fb statuses are always moaning on but yours are always a joy to read, don’t think I have ever seen anything negative 🙂

Thankful Status #29: It is a leap year this year, so I get to do an extra thankful status… I’d like to say how grateful and thankful I am for something we all take for granted; the fact we are alive… I am so thankful that I have life… That I wake up every morning and get the chance to enjoy and experience all the amazing people and things that I have in my life! This whole thankful status idea of mine is based on my belief that life is too short to leave things unsaid, I am very thankful for my life and I intend to make the most of it!

Life is an Adventure … Live it
Life is a Challenge … Meet it
Life is Love … Enjoy it
Life is a Struggle … Fight it
Life is a Promise … Fulfill it
Life is a Game … Play it
Life is a Gift … Accept it
Life is a Journey … Complete it
Life is a Goal … Achieve it
Life is a Puzzle … Solve it

Life is an Opportunity … SEIZE IT!!!

Feel free to make March your month for letting people know how thankful you are for what they do and what joy they bring to your life!

“Nobody who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” –Alfred North Whitehead

 

 

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Photo By Andrew Parker Photography.

My New Addiction: Reading

18/01/2012

For the longest time I have been impressed by people who read. People who choose to spend their free time reading something worthwhile instead of just watching television or playing computer games. For the longest time I wished I could read like those people, but my excuses were:

1. I did not have the time

2. I could just watch the movie

3. Books are too expensive

4. I have never read a book

5. Reading takes forever

Without really giving it much thought my brain just gave me some quick rationalizations so that I could be content not reading because I couldn’t, because of the above reasons. My excuses were rubbish, they held no real substance. I did have the time, most books are not movies, books can be dirt cheap, I had never read a book but I was a capable reader and reading takes as long as it takes, but it does not take forever.

“Those who can but who choose not to read have no advantage over those who cannot read.” – Mark Twain

Over the years I have become more and more interested in successful people, leaders of society and anybody that has achieved or done something that impressed me. I quickly found a commonality in nearly every single one of them; they all read books… and a lot of them! The old saying was true:

“Leaders are readers”

So me being me, I decided that I would start to read. I was at this point reading a lot online and became obsessed with quotes (as any of my Facebook and Twitter followers can attest to). On December 31st 2010 I decided to set myself a little goal, a New Year’s resolution: Read 12 books in 2011 (1 book for every month). This may not sound like a lot, but for somebody who had never read a book from cover to cover, this was a big challenge.

Here are the books I read in 2011:

1) The Path to Enlightenment by Dalai Lama

2) The Winners Manual: For the Game of Life by Jim Tressel

3) As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

4) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

5) Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth Century’s Greatest Winner by Bill Russell

6) The One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard

7) Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior by Phil Jackson

8) Clear Your Mind: A Little Book of Life by Betty Shine

9) The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill. by Dominique Enright

10) Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement by Anthony Robbins

11) Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life and Business (Expanded) by Richard Branson

12) The Defender (Kindle Single) by Jordan Conn

13) Leading with the Heart: Coach K’s Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life by Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K)

14) A Sense of Where You Are: Bill Bradley at Princeton by John McPhee

15) Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox

16) 101 Ways to Meditate: Discover Your True Self by Linda A. Lavid

As you can see I managed to surpass my goal by 4 books, the insurmountable climb was not as steep as I originally thought.

 My goal/New Year’s resolution for 2012 is to read 32 books, twice as many as in 2011.

It’s going to be very tough, but I love a challenge and I believe everything I read is an investment in my ongoing education and nutrition for my mind.

Reading is now one of my favorite things to do. Whenever I have a free 15 minutes or more, just before bed, on the bus, on my Kindle (thanks Mum), anywhere, anytime, I try to fill my head with something positive, interesting or factual.

My challenge to you is to set yourself a ‘Reading Goal’ for 2012. Start small; make a commitment to yourself that if you start a book then you will finish it. You will be amazed at how easy it becomes and how enjoyable it can be. Good luck!

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the further you’ll go.”

2012 Books

My current but ever growing pile of books to read… I told you it was an addiction.

Toys 4 Girls & Boys Christmas Toy Drive

16/12/2011

While attending the University of Maine at Presque Isle I am fortunate enough to be part of student organizations outside of classes and basketball, such as being a member of the student senate and President of S.A.A.C which stands for Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. During one of our S.A.A.C meetings this year, as a group we decided that we would like to do something to give back to the local community.

After bouncing a few ideas around we eventually decided on organizing a toy drive, asking all student-athletes and coaches at the University of Maine at Presque Isle to donate new or gently used toys to be given to underprivileged children in the Presque Isle area.

Something I am very passionate about is trying to help those less fortunate than myself. I may not be able to change the world overnight, but like legendary coach John Wooden once said:

 “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

It may seem like an insignificant thing to do, to donate just one toy, but when over 150 people make that selfless effort, then combined they have made a huge difference. Now there is a large group of over 100 children who may not have got any toy’s this Christmas who will now receive a little gift that will make them smile. Is there any greater gift than putting a smile on the face of a child on Christmas day?

We decided to donate the toy’s to a handful of extremely worthy local organizations including The Sister Mary O’Donnell Homeless Shelter and Transitional Homes in Presque Isle, who are a volunteer agency taking in homeless children and their families and helping them to get back on their feet. Another place we donated to was the Hope and Justice Program in Presque Isle who help women and their children who have suffered at the hands of abuse. The final place we donated the toy’s to was St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Presque Isle, who this holiday season are sponsoring 25 local underprivileged children and their families by giving them gifts to open over Christmas. According to Sister Mary, who has volunteered her time to this special effort in previous years, “when the children come to collect the toys there is not a dry eye in the house”.

I would like to take this time to thank all of the people who donated to our “Toys 4 Girls and Boys” toy drive, I appreciate your efforts very much, but not as much as the young children and their families who received these special gifts.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

     – Winston Churchill

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Above (from left to right): Connie Levesque (Administrative Asst.),  Christine Corsello (Dean of Students/Athletic Director), Jim Casciano (Men’s Basketball coach/Asst. Athletic Director) , Chelsea Boudreau (S.A.A.C Member) and Patrick Manifold (S.A.A.C President).

It’s Thanksgiving… So Give Thanks!

24/11/2011

I sit writing this blog  in the front room of the Boudreau family’s home in Nova Scotia, Canada. If you would have asked me two and a half years ago, I would not have been able to tell you exactly where Nova Scotia was, let alone be able to guess that in a few years it  would be my home from home… from home, where I visit at least 4 times a year and spend my Christmas’ with Chelsea and her lovely welcoming family. At this very moment Chelsea’s Mom Gayle, who is one of my favorite cooks in the entire word, is cooking an American Thanksgiving dinner for us, and upon my request she is making candied yams (a famous American Thanksgiving dish consisting of sweet potatoes cooked with brown sugar and topped with baby marshmallows…Delicious!)

In the United States, on the 4th Thursday of November every year they have a holiday called Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving originated in the 1600s when a group of Native Americans gave European settlers food to eat and land to grow crops, as they would not have been able to survive without their help. Nowadays the holiday is more famous for simply ‘Giving Thanks’. The holiday of Thanksgiving is something I am going to celebrate every year, for the rest of my life, whether I am in America or Canada or any other country in the world. What a great holiday to have, a whole day designated to being thankful for all the many blessing that we have in our lives.

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog, or follow my Facebook are aware of my ‘Thankful Status Month’ I had last year, simply using my Facebook status to tell somebody how much I appreciate them, everyday for the month of February. I loved doing that, and I know the people that I thanked were happy to know not only that I was grateful for having them in my life, but that I was happy to announce my appreciation for them in such a public way.

I try my best to be thankful everyday, to see the best in every person and in every situation, and I try to always give credit where credit is due. When somebody does something I appreciate or am impressed with, regardless of my relationship with them I try to give them credit if they have earned it. This sounds like an easy thing to do, but when one of your least favorite people do something that deserves credit, it takes a lot of courage to tell them so, often knowing that they would never give you the same courtesy.

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” ~Epictetus

While writing this blog I got a notification that somebody commented on a picture I had just posted of the snow storm we had today on my Facebook wall. The comment was from an old school friend of mine, Stefan Beer. Completely out of the blue, he posted:

“Paddy mate, I admire you for the life you live. Following your dreams and now living them. People say your a lucky guy which is true to a degree but you worked for it. Well done mate and ill definitely come see you when I come back to the US soon.”

What a nice thing to say! It is rare that somebody is just honest and tells you something like that, it made me smile, and I really appreciated it. A small comment like that can give you a little extra strength, it can remind you of what you have done and overcome to get where you are. Thanks for reminding me of that Stefan!

So today is Thanksgiving day, that may not mean much to everybody reading this back in England as it is not a holiday there, but why not use this opportunity to give thanks? Thank somebody that has always been there for you, thank the universe for blessing you with your family, be thankful for your job, your children, your relationships, your mind or your body! If nothing else, be thankful for your life! It is easy to take for granted, but life truly is a gift, that is why every moment we are alive is referred to as ‘the present’.

So my simple request is that you make a phone call, go and see somebody, send a text, a tweet or write on somebody’s Facebook wall telling them how much you appreciate them, it may take only a minute to do, but my bet is that it means the world to the person that you tell and probably makes their day! You could even have a conversation with somebody or write a Facebook/Twitter status saying something you are thankful for…

I am thankful for so much. I am thankful for my mind which allows me to learn, my body which allows me to play the sport I love at a very competitive level, my health which allows me to have everything I’m mentioning in this paragraph, all my material possessions that make each day a little more fun, my friends who are always there for me, my team mates and coach who are with me on my basketball journey and perhaps most importantly, my family and extended family who make me feel loved, appreciated and supported everyday of my life. As you are probably aware, I believe anything is possible, and my family and loved ones (many of who are pictured below) give me the inspiration and strength to chase my dreams and live the life I believe I was destined to live. For that and everything else I have mentioned, and a whole lot more, I am truly grateful!

Today will consist of 86, 400 seconds… Make sure you use at least one of those seconds to say thank you, to someone or for something.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

 

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