Day 1,054 – Thankful for Vibrant Memories and the Peaks and Valleys of Life

After yoga Becky fired up some Strumbellas while we drove home.  My mind is still blown by how crystal clear my memories of that concert are.  As we listened to the song I could see, hear, and feel the memory of it being played as if it were happening again.  Isn’t it amazing to have memories that are so incredibly vibrant?

What memories are that vibrant for you?  What caused those memories to be carved so deeply into your brain?

Near as I can figure it seems as if those memories are created in those moments in life in which I’ve been completely present in the moment.  In the example of the Strumbellas concert I was focused solely in that concert, nothing else in life entered my brain.  Hard to explain, but I was in a wonderful state of flow throughout the show.  It was amazing!  When I think of other memories that have remained that crystal clear that seems to be the one common feature – I was only focused on the present in that moment.

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The second thing I’m grateful for today is the peaks and valleys of life.  Long story short, today has been very much a high.  It’s been a wonderful day with family, one that will stick for quite some time.  Considering everything that’s been going on over the past few months it’s been very much a peak.  Throughout the past months there have also been valleys.  Of course I’d rather not have life include valleys but it is interesting how they appreciate the peaks all the more.  If the valleys are going to happen we might as well use them as reminders of how much we should appreciate the peaks.

Very deep topic that deserves a more detailed explanation.  Maybe one day I’ll dive into it in greater detail.  For now all that really matters is that I’ve appreciated the peaks greatly today!

Thanks!!!

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Day 1,053 – Thankful for Kicking Off the Weekend On the Water with a World Famous Scientist

Day 1,053 – Thankful for Kicking Off the Weekend On the Water with a World Famous Scientist

To kick off the weekend we headed out to our boat.  With as busy as this summer has been we haven’t been out on the water nearly as much as we’d like.  The weather looked perfect and with it being later in the night we knew we’d be safe to bring the girls along.  As soon as we got home from work we made sandwiches, packed them up, and took off for the water.

Spending time chilling outside on the water was about as perfectly peaceful of a start to the weekend as I could hope for.  There was only one other person even remotely nearby; a young fisherman who started up a little conversation and offered to let the boys use his gear.  Becky and I chilled and ate while the girls and our boys splashed, ran, and played.  Heck, I didn’t even drive the boat!  Dominic recently earned his Boaters Safety so he captained almost the entire time.

While exploring the sandbar we happened upon some panfish in the shallows between the main channel and a backwater.  We had fun catching them by hand and then releasing them into the main channel.  Who says fishing is difficult?  We didn’t even need a pole!

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After some wonderful chill time we packed up and headed back.  We took our time, enjoyed the beautiful views, and just relaxed.  It felt amazing to take a deep breath like that to start the weekend.

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There was also something else super cool about this trip that I was thankful for.  On our boat was an honest to God world famous scientist.  This morning Becky found out that some of her research was cited by an article in Science Magazine!!!  Check out the article here: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6454/637  How awesome to see how some of her research and hard work is being used in a positive way!  I’m so grateful to be married to someone who’s ridiculously smart… wait, don’t they say opposites attract?  😉

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Check out #4 🙂

Thanks!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1,052 – Thankful for a List Kind of Day

While I usually focus on one or two main themes there are occasionally days when I really can’t bring myself to focus on only one or two things.  Throughout the day there are too many moments when I catch myself taking a moment to pause and be grateful.  Today was definitely one of those days!

Some of the things that made the list today (totally not all inclusive):

  • Waking up to Becky feeling good enough to get her weightlifting in
  • Getting a run in to start the day
  • A peaceful drive to Menomonie
  • Remembering old lessons and doing right by them
  • Seeing teammates go above and beyond
  • Receiving an awesome and unsolicited text of support
  • Meeting with businesses who are focused on taking excellent care of their people
  • Wrapping up a small project or two
  • Sharing information with others
  • Hearing from old friends I hadn’t spoken with for a while
  • Talking with family on the phone
  • Having supper outside on the deck
  • Talking about work with Dominic
  • Laughing at inside jokes with Becky
  • Getting a hiking guide for Iceland in the mail
  • Ordering a present
  • Running into more old friends while picking Gavin up from soccer

So any wonderful moments that made today a pretty awesome day!

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Thanks!!!

Day 1,051 – Thankful for the Boys Enjoying Time with Grandparents In the Summertime

Drives like tonight are starting to feel like habit.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with not dropping or picking the boys ups from somewhere fun this summer!

The drive home tonight was after they’d just spent a handful of days with Grandma DeeDee and Grandpa Brad.  Once we were loaded up and on the road I had so much fun listening to all of their adventures in detail. They were both full of smiles and excitement as they gave me the low down on all that they’d just done with my mom.  It was awesome!  While they talked and I listened as a dad I was also taking it all in and had flashbacks of some of my favorite summer memories from my childhood.fda

This time I was smiling a little extra wide as it reminded me so much of the time I used to spend with my grandparents in Union Grove every summer.  True to for it included ice cream, eating out, a little road trip, hanging out, four wheeling (or three wheeling as it was for us way back in the day!), and even listening to and then watching the Brewers.  About the only thing missing was sitting out on the screen porch and chasing fireflies.

I have so many wonderful memories of hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa Lamping as a kid.  Spending time with them was one of the coolest vacations I could ask for.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself holding on tighter and tighter to those memories.  When I think of either of them those are the first thoughts that come to mind.

Seeing the boys have this much fun with their grandparents fills my heart with joy.  I’m so thankful that they are filling their memory banks with many awesome moments created with their grandparents in the summertime!

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Interestingly, this is the first time that I’m seeing it from a slightly different angle as well. Seeing how much fun they have as well as the smiles on the faces of their grandparents has me starting to look forward to and are inspiring me to create awesome memories with my future grandchildren somewhere long down the road.  I’m so thankful for awesome grandparents and parents that have planted those seeds!

Thanks!!!

Day 1,050 – Thankful for Vacation Planning; Iceland 2020

After getting things done around the house there was a brief moment of quiet.  There was a pause as I thought about what to do next.  I’m very much into a great book, there’s some personal goal setting stuff I need to wrap up, and there’s always a list of small projects to complete.  In a flash inspiration structure and I knew what I should be focused on.

I grabbed my travel books, a huge map, my phone, and a notepad and snuggled up to Becky on the couch.  We quickly went to work planning out one of the trips that have been brewing in my head for quite a while… Iceland!  We quickly went to work reviewing the sites we want to see and the experiences we want to do.  Between maps, books, and online research we were able to construct the bones of our plan for next summer’s adventure.  There’s a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, but we got the most difficult portion done.

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Travel is one of my favorite things in the world.  Having the opportunity to explore new places fills my heart with joy and my head with wonder.  The planning of the vacation isn’t nearly as exciting as the actual vacation but it does get my mouth watering.  Funny how even just thinking about a place and realizing that I’ll be going there relatively soon is enough to put a huge smile on my face.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,049 – Thankful for the Upside of Impostor Syndrome; Invoking Interrogative Self-Talk

Have you ever had that feeling that you weren’t good enough to do a certain thing, been a certain group, or coach a specific topic?  What was it about each moment that caused you to feel that way?  How have you responded in that situation?

I’d love to say that my post today is all rosy and full of successes, but it’s really not.  The road to today’s blog is littered with mistakes, missed opportunities, and lost moments.  Each of those missteps are exactly why I’m thankful for Impostor Syndrome today.

Before reading the book Presence by Amy Cuddy I thought I was about the only person in the world who felt like they’d been promoted too fast, trusted with too much responsibility, and were given so much more than was earned.  I’d sometimes count luck as my biggest reason for success and was nervous about being “found out” at some totally inopportune moment.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that it wasn’t just me!

When reading Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography my jaw dropped when he explained the way a concert performance fell totally flat.  As he described the thought process it was like he’d spent time in my head.  Bruce said (totally paraphrasing here) that he kept thinking about how he didn’t belong in front of the audience, how much he was screwing up, what a poor performance he was doing.  By the end he’d basically worked himself into a meltdown of negativity.  Each sentence hit me right between the eyes as this was how I’ve often felt when giving a presentation, training a group of peers, and so on.  My mind was blown that even The Boss has tangoed with Imposter Syndrome!

So where am I going with all of this?  After I learned about Imposter Syndrome I’ve worked at ways of stopping it.  Some are preventative and some cut it down as it strikes.  For a variety of reasons I’ve had the opportunities to battle it lately, and I’m so thankful for each of them.  In each case it was an opportunity for me to become stronger, to hone my skill, and to practice ways to keep my mind focused in the right direction.

The tool that I use as a defense when something hits my “IS” tripwire is interrogative self-talk.  Daniel Pink brought it to my attention in his wonderful book To Sell Is Human.  This is a great tool to aid my focus.  Instead of saying “I am smart enough” or any other statement that I must force myself to believe I put it into a question.  “Do I belong here at this moment?”

When asking this question my brain is forced to answer.  I don’t like losing so my mind often says “yes.”  But that’s not enough as I’m also smart enough to call BS on myself and smell the false sense of bravado.  Then I have to dig deeper…  “Why do I belong here at this moment?”  That one gets more difficult.  It causes me to think of the hard work I’ve put in.  I’m reminded of the studying and training I’ve been doing.  Past experiences (good and bad) rush into my memory and I can quickly start to see why I belong here.

Imposter Syndrome is like a schoolyard bully.  He seems all bad and tough until you punch him back in the nose.  Once you fight back he leaves you alone.  Instead of throwing punches I throw interrogative self-talk logic bombs at Imposter Syndrome until it runs for the hills.

Sure, sometimes I don’t put up the good fight and I lose.  There are times when I ask if I belong here and the answer is “NO” when I think deeply about it.  Regardless, I’m definitely winning more often than not.

And that’s why I’m thankful for Imposter Syndrome today.  It really sucks until you figure out what it is and how to beat it.  Once I learned to start swinging back by thinking about why I belong there at that moment my overall self-confidence has continued to grow.  IS still helps to keep me humbled, but every opportunity I have to face it is one more time I have the opportunity to get stronger.

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It kind of reminds me of a quote by a famous philosopher…

“You can’t win, Impostor Syndrome. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” – Ben Kenobi

Thanks!!!

Day 1,048 – Thankful for Snuggle Time On the Couch with Becky

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.  They might not always seem blog-worthy as they happen more often or they are so simple they can easily be taken for granted.

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The boys are up at my mom’s to hang out for a few days and have some great grandparent time like my little brother and I used to have.  Between them being out of town and Becky and I having gotten everything else for the weekend done we found ourselves snuggled up on the couch watching TV.  Nothing crazy, nothing deep, nothing intellectual.  Just the two of us cuddled up on the couch relaxing.

Moments like this bring a huge smile to my face as it’s time to just relax and enjoy the presence of Becky.  Normally these moments happen when our brains are a little frazzled after a long day of adulting.  To have it be a chill moment of peace is pretty awesome and greatly appreciated!  No stress, no worries, no pressure, just chillin’.

Thanks!!!