Day 1,894 – Thankful for Who’s Holiday!

Becky happened to see an upcoming holiday play that sounded pretty wild. I am so grateful she picked up tickets for the show. The entire play was focused on showing what had happened to Cindy Lou Who after her fateful night with the grinch so many years ago.

Tonight we spent 90 minutes laughing out loud more times than I could begin to count. The one person act was incredible! More fun than I ever could have imagined.

What a great way to kick off the weekend. If you’ve got time and are in the La Crosse area I would highly recommend heading out to laugh until it hurts. Just remember that it is adults only for a reason 😉

Thanks!!!

Day 1,893 – Thankful for Presenting to an Audience IRL

Funny how much more grateful I am for things after they’ve been taken away for a while.

This afternoon I shared an hour long presentation with a large group of professionals in Eau Claire for the Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Summit. Being in front of a crowded room brought on chills of excitement. I had forgotten just how much I enjoy sharing ideas with others to help them grow their businesses and to provide better opportunities for their teammates.

This was where I was meant to be today and I soaked in each and every precious second of it. Ahh…. Another opportunity to few “normal” again with the caveat of greater appreciation.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,892 – Thankful for Practice Leading to Confidence, Routine, & Hotel Deja Vu

Each step has led me to today. Practice completed hundreds of times preparing me for the next practice. Subtle changes, seemingly small improvements compounded over time. Much like running, each step of each practice run brings me closer to the marathon’s finish line, yet only the final steps stay in memory. Each before it leading to the final, the final becoming but another step for another race. Such is my practice today.

Confidence grown through practice. Bumps and bruises, praise and accolades. All responses leading to growth through additional practice, confidence grown through each lesson. Most importantly, confidence in remembering I will weather all storms in life save one, the one that kills me.

What are the odds I would end up in the same hotel room in which an important decision was made 18 months ago? The direction remains, but I have changed. Much practice in resilience, stoicism, thought, discipline, & control. Practice has led to confidence and trust in the path I’ve chosen. The opportunity to pause and think back to when I was last in this room, to see a snapshot of who I was, to be grateful for all that has led me to now. The storms make me stronger. Why avoid that which provides opportunity for growth?

Thanks!!!

Day 1,891 – Thankful for Having Been There Before and a Walk In the Sun

I’m pretty sure I’ve been thankful for a lunchtime walk in the sun with Becky before, but I still am grateful for those walks. With working largely out of my office those walks have dropped in frequency but that doesn’t mean they are any less appreciated. Time outside and under the sun, walking, and spending time with Becky. If heaven is full of our favorite pastimes I’ll certainly be doing that a lot once I’m gone.

For reals, is there much of a better feeling than spending time with someone you love doing something you both love? Pure awesomeness.

While I am not saying I am wise I can start to understand how wisdom comes with age. Throughout the work day there were more than a handful of times when I caught myself thinking, “wait a sec, I’ve been here before…”. I pause, remember that last experience, relate it to the current situation, and then quickly come to a better answer than in the last experience.

My mind was able to relate better with my teammates as I understand the struggles they faced – I had lived them before. I understood their frustration – I’d been frustrated by the same thing before. I talked myself off the ledge when thinking about an upcoming presentation- I’ve done this before.

So many of the answers needed today came back through past experience. Whether successful or a mistake in the past I was able to respond more correctly this time, I’d been there before.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,890 – Thankful for the Road, My Favorite Therapist

There are many times when I find the 90 minute drive to Eau Claire to be way too long. Other days it is the right length of time to knock out part of an intriguing audiobook. Once in a while it is therapeutic in a way only the road can heal. Today was a very therapeutic drive.

My drive this morning included a very chill background soundtrack, Lana Del Ray’s NFR. First time I’d ever listened to it and the music was exactly what my brain needed (not so much the lyrics though they were occasionally entertaining). The tunes were soothing and relaxed and provided just the right mental lubrication for my mind to work through a small handful of complexities in life. The beautiful scenery of the driftless passing by me on the highway added to the serenity. In those 90 minutes I knew all would work out exactly the way it was meant to.

I swear, time alone on the road can be the best therapist in the world. Everything just works itself out given enough miles.

On the way to Winona I took advantage of a little space in my schedule and turned off the main drive and quickly found myself on a one and a half lane road in the middle of nowhere. Skipping the maps I went with my sense of direction and did my best to keep the sun over my left shoulder. The scenery was astounding! Rock formations, bluffs, undulating hills, steep cliffs, and absolutely no other traffic. Amazing!

The rest of my day was fantastic in many ways. I’m thanking the road for putting me in the right mindset early this morning.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,889 – Thankful for a Family Walk and the Start of Family Christmas Movie Season

While much of the morning and early afternoon was spent with each of us heading in different directions to get done the tasks we each had on our lists there was a break in the action late in the afternoon. The sun was out, the wind died down, and we went out for a walk as a family. The dogs smiled the entire time as the four of us shot the bull and enjoyed spending time with just the four (six counting the dogs) of us.

Life gets busy. We’ve all got a lot going on. Moments like this when we’re able to spend time together focused on nothing but being a family are amongst my favorite in the world. No agenda, no tasks, no nothing, just family time. I love and appreciate each and every one of these times together.

After supper as a family we fired up the first family Christmas movie of the season. As I type this we’re all enjoying one of our favorite Christmas movies, Elf, together on the couched. Laughing out loud together as a family is awesome and greatly appreciated! Talk about a perfect end to the weekend 🙂

Thanks!!!

Day 1,888 – Thankful for a Bonus Sunday and a Beautiful Sunrise Reminding Me to Appreciate the Temporary Nature of Life

The long weekend has been a very welcome guest this week! After driving home today we knocked out almost all of our errands for the weekend, all the stuff we typically would do on a Sunday. With everything out of the way I’ve got a bonus Sunday tomorrow – woo hoo! There’s a lot I want to get done tomorrow, but that’s totally fine, I’ve got time for it as tomorrow is Bonus Sunday. Now I just need to find a way to work this our more often 😉

On Friday morning I awoke just in time to throw on my shoes and head outside to catch a stunning sunrise. As normal, the pics don’t do it justice. I snapped a few and then just stood there and soaked it in. Right in front of me the entire sky and world within my vision shifted from dark shades of blue and purple to deep reds, pinks, and then orange. In a matter of moments the entire sky transformed.

Within the moments of change was a splendor which was intensified by the fleetingness of the experience. The majesty of the sunrise was compounded exponentially by the temporary nature of the sunrise. My soul focused so deeply on the sunrise as I knew each second that passed meant the beauty was shifting and getting one second closer to disappearing.

The sunrise was made all the more beautiful by the knowledge that it would only exist for a moment and would then be gone. Because it was finite I knew it should be appreciated in its fullness in that moment as the moment was soon to be gone.

What a stunning reminder of the temporary nature of life.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,887 – Thankful for Ice Skating Outside

Sometimes the simple things in life are just the best, aren’t they?

Tonight’s post is focused on something I’ve done many times before, but not recently. We hit the outdoor skating rink by Lambeau Field tonight and I strapped on some skates for the first time in a very long while.

Talk about a blast! Reminding myself that I know how to ice skate was one thing, doing more activity outside was great, and spending time with family was the best.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,886 – Thankful for an Excellent Inspirational Quote From a Teammate’s Dad

After coming in from spending time in the woods today I received a pretty perfect quote from a teammate. He texted a quote his dad shared on Facebook:

“Happy Thanksgiving! This is a good day to remind ourselves to keep our gratitude higher than our expectations. When we do that, we have really good days.”

What a perfect quote for Thanksgiving Day!

Throughout the rest of the day this quote resonated with me and reminded me that true happiness is to be found in wanting what we have, not having what we want.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,885 – Thankful for a Raised Heart Rate In a State of Calm

This afternoon I was out in the woods with the boys and family. While everyone else hunted I had no rifle on me. My only intent was to spend time with family hiking through the woods. I was quickly reminded of my favorite times out with Dad, not caring if I got anything back then, just soaking in the peace of being outdoors.

At one point I paused to listen to the sound of stillness. I listened, looked around, drew a nice deep breath in through my nose… and just about had a heart attack!

Seemingly out of nowhere a whitetail deer jumped out from where it had been quietly hidden. It took off like a shot out of a cannon from only 15-20 feet away. Before I knew it the deer bounded away through the thick brush and was gone. Talk about wild!

I laughed out loud and took a minute to enjoy the sensations coursing through me. Excitement, joy, happiness, fulfillment, wonder, and gratitude. The encounter was beyond anything I had hoped to experience on this trip to the woods.

Yes, my heart just about leapt from my chest, but I can’t describe just how awesomely surreal the entire moment was. Throw in the white rabbit that followed up the deer a few minutes later and it was like I was in a Disney movie!

I’m so thankful for the experience! I don’t need to hunt any time soon, spending time in the slaloms chasing and encounter like that is what I’m truly after.

Thanks!!