Day 909 – Thankful for a Book that Has My Mind Heading In Several Directions at Once, and Taking Action

The most recent business related book I read was kind of a dud.  There wasn’t as much depth as I was hoping for and it didn’t seem to apply nearly as much as I thought it would.  Here’s the interesting thing though…  I am still very thankful for reading it.  At one point it references a different book, one that sounded very interesting.  I hopped online, read the description, and it’s not the audiobook I’m currently reading.

I’m not super far into it yet (less than 30%) so I’m not ready to give it as a recommendation, but it’s already causing my mind to go on a rollercoaster ride of ideas.  Some thoughts have me learning the topics the book intended while others have kind of tracked off to the side, gathered up speed, and are now an avalanche of their own.  I love books like this when there are so many different depths to take in.

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One other thing I’m thankful for is taking action.  Yup, I’m going to sound totally cryptic, I but I took action today to push me closer to achieving one of my dreams.  It was a very simple little step, but it suddenly made it feel more real.  I am so thankful I finally took this step.



Day 908 – Thankful for a Visit From My Mom and Our Last Pinewood Derby

While talking with my mom late in the week I mentioned Gavin’s Pinewood Derby this weekend and invited her to come down to hang out and watch it with us.  Everything worked out and she headed to La Crosse today.

It was a blur of action while she was here, but it was great to spend time with her.  We were able to spend some time shooting the bull over lunch, drove to see the bald eagles migrating through, and then headed over for the race.  It felt great spending time with Mom and sharing our life with her.  There were many times I just smiled as I saw the memories of raising two boys flash across her brain as she observed our family interactions.  We also had fun trading stories of past Pinewood Derby experiences with each other!  I’m always thankful for time with my mom and I’m very appreciative of her making the drive here today.

Today was the 8th and final Pinewood Derby for the boys.  Sure, the results may not have been quite as storybook-ish as Peyton Manning’s farewell, but it ended on a high note.  Gavin and I had time together in the workshop as he made his car this year.  He had the opportunity to learn and grow from adversity, and, most importantly, he had fun.


We’ve made many cars together as a family, and now it’s time to close the door on that chapter of our lives.  I’m looking forward to making cars with them and their kids somewhere down the road, but for now I’m thankful for all of the memories we’ve made in this great event.


Day 907 – Thankful for Biking Grandad Bluff with Becky and Time with Dominic

Becky and I opted out of our normal cycling and yoga classes in favor of a slight change of pace this morning.  We bundled up, hopped on our bikes, and headed to the bluffs.  After taking cycling classes this winter we’ve been chomping at the bit to get outside and ride.  Sure, it was a little chilly (24-ish degrees), but we figured it’d be okay.

Once we cut across town we headed up Bliss Rd and up Grandad Bluff.  Holy crap is that a crazy climb!  The cool part was that we were able to make it all the way up and enjoy the beautiful view from atop the bluffs.  Whether hiking, running, or biking the view seems a little better each time it’s earned.


The way down was amazing, but also a little chilly.  Without really thinking through everything I never thought about low 20’s temps and the windchill of going 25+ mph while going down (crazy to think our top speed was over 30!  I’m sure many of you have gone faster, but that was crazy to see).  Regardless, starting the day with a nice long bike ride outside was a great start to the day.  Throw in the sense of accomplishment of reaching the top of the bluffs and I felt great.

Gavin headed out to Hunter Safety classes and Becky was babysitting for a friend, so it was just Dominic and I.  We went out to breakfast and had a wonderful time shooting the bull with each other.  Feeling inspired we then did a little shopping (mmm…  Holmen Meat Locker…) and had a lot of fun hanging out for the better part of a couple of hours.  What an awesome time for us to hang out and just talk while spending time talking about values.  Once we got home he got some homework done until lunch and then we fired up some games with the two of us until everyone else came home.

It’s not often we have extended periods of one on one time like that and I’m thankful for every moment we had today.  Connecting and bonding with him fills my heart with joy.



Day 906 – Thankful for a Day Bookended By the Moon

What a full day it’s been! As a cool added bonus it began and ended with brilliant views of the moon.

This morning the moon totally lit up the sky when we went for our run. The light was so bright we ran with our moon shadows as additional company.

This evening we set out with the family, dogs included, on a quest to see the Northern Lights. We headed north past Holmen and turned east before Galesville. We followed the twists and turns of country roads that gradually transformed from two lane roads into almost one lane dirt roads on top of the bluffs. When we found the optimal spot I got out and was thwarted by the brilliance of the moon. The light reflecting off it was so intense it drowned out any possibility of seeing the green lights dancing in the sky. When we decided to head back home we plugged in our GPS and realized we’d driven all the way to Ettrick! Sure, it would’ve been awesome to see the lights, but the moon provided some pretty scenic views as we drove through the driftless area’s country roads.

Today started with an appreciation of the moon’s beauty and ended with the same. How cool is that?


Day 905 – Thankful for Family Workouts and Fitness Coach Rufus (Gavin)

Last night Dominic asked Becky if he could go to the Y to workout after supper tonight. Without hesitation the answer was yes. Tonight as we were figuring out who was going to take him Becky also talked me into going. As we started getting ready we helped talk Gavin into going along with also.

Once we got to the Y Dominic split off for some weightlifting while Fitness Coach Rufus (aka Gavin) took Becky and I to the track. Coach Rufus decided to hit the intervals pretty hard as we went from sprints to jogs to sprints to walking and everything in between. After a while he proceeded to take us to the cycling room and led us on a great workout including ladders, hills, and the whole gamut.

It was pretty awesome to get out as a family. I’m so glad the boys are loving the feel of exercise and are open to doing it regularly. What a great way to help them stay healthy AND get some excellent family time.

Seeing Gavin in the role of Coach Rufus put a huge smile on my face. Not only does he crack me up with his larger than life personality, I’m pretty sure Becky and I got a glimpse into the future. He’d be an excellent coach and it’s easy to see him doing some type of a role like that in the future.


Day 904 – Thankful for Repose

My alarm went off at 4:32 and I was doing sit ups with Becky by 4:50.  We were out the door for our run by 5:10.  After the run, a hot shower, and getting ready I was out the door by 6:45.  At work I jumped into some building maintenance followed by some follow ups form a meeting the day before.  A few minutes in one team meeting and off to a phone meeting before I met with a couple of teammates for planning.  From 9:10 until 4:25 we were hammering away on ideas to move our teams forward in the next few months (with the exception of a short lunch).  After the planning session I jumped into another project and was out the door around 5:20.  Drive home, eat a quick supper, change into workout clothes and off to yoga by 6:12.

Non stop from 4:32am until 6:12pm, my mind was cranking away in overdrive with many thoughts, ideas, and plans.  To be honest, I was feeling pretty mentally exhausted by the time I got to yoga and laid out on my mat.  And that’s when the magic happened…

I felt total repose.  No stress, no noice in my brain, no tasks, no next meeting, no pressure, no timelines, no nothing…  except a focus on my breathing and my body.  My mind was totally still and it seemed as if I hit the pause button on life for an hour.  Extreme relaxation, peace, and chillin’.  Exactly what I was craving to calm for the night.

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Tomorrow will also be very full and complete, but I know I will search for and find moments of repose to soothe the savage beast throughout the day.


Day 903 – Thankful for Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

I am so thankful for my account.  Over the past few months it’s provided me the opportunity to read several business books and biographies.  With the windshield time I’ve had audiobooks have been an excellent way to utilize my drive time in a positive way.

In between books I often mix in a podcast to change it up a little bit.  One of the ones I’ve really gotten hooked on is Hardcore History by Dan Carlin.  It’s a very different look at history and gives a deep dive into many interesting topics from way back in the day.

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Certainly not for everyone, it’s a very interesting way to look back into history.  The current podcast I’m listening to is focused on Julius Caesar’s perspective of the Roman attacks on the Celtic tribes in Europe.  As he clearly explains up front, it’s history as told from the side of Darth Vader and gets into deep discussions of reasons behind the invasion and so on.  Throughout the story there’s a ton of history lessons piled in.  Not only is it interesting to go back in time to learn more history there are certainly lessons to pull forward into the present.  I never would’ve thought I’d enjoy history lessons so much that I voluntarily listen to them!

I’m thankful for an enlightening and knowledge filled ride to work this morning.  Soon I’ll be back to my normal reading, but for the time being I’m enjoying the change of pace.