Today I am grateful for my task list. It was rather robust but it kept my day motoring along at a breakneck pace. The process of creating it calms my brain, the use of it motivates my actions more quickly, and checking it off is bliss. Focused action pointed in the right direction.
Both of our sons have taken upper level, honors, and Advanced Placement classes. They voluntarily take them to stretch themselves. While that is something I appreciate I’m even more grateful for their work ethic. We usually don’t have to push them to get homework done, they dive right in after supper and get to work. Neither of them have been fans of it but they understand how important it is to get done. Seeing how they are learning to be self motivated is something I appreciate tremendously!
My book diet this year has consisted of a lot of relatively deep stuff. Philosophy, religion, science, social issues, and some deep biographical books have all been on the menu. I realized it was time for one of my all time favorites to help me take a deep breath.
On my ride home tonight l found myself lost in the presence of a profoundly awesome story, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. In only seconds I was whisked into the story, what an amazing feeling!
When possible it’s always beneficial to get additional voices to provide feedback on new ideas, especially with people who have proven to be brutally and constructively honest in the past. If left to work alone on something for too long it can become easy to slowly drift off course. Others can help draw us back in and help us refocus on the objectives while providing additional feedback and ideas to improve the entire project.
Today I’m very grateful for those brutally honest and constructive voices, they made a huge positive impact!
Sometimes the planets just happen to align in a way that allows me to be done for the day and in bed blogging before 8pm. Today is one of those glorious days! Much of the upcoming week is going to be wild, nice to get a full eight hours of sleep before the alarm goes off at 4:30am gif my bike ride.
When Becky and I run in the morning it is usually our time to talk and catch up. Yoga date nights are great but they don’t involve much talking. Our runs feature regular conversation.
This morning started off a little differently. It was a little more chilly than it has been, but the biggest reason for a couple of miles of initial silence from both of us was the 20mph wind pounding us head on. The steady gusts offered up some resistance training while also making it very difficult to speak.
In the silence I opted to embrace the suck. While the wind was relentlessly blowing I kept quiet and focused my brain on how much each step with resistance like this was helping me grow. It was a bonus resistance training and mental resilience training. The wind caused silence provided the space I needed to really dive into the discomfort head on as I worked to find ways to appreciate it.
When we turned at the halfway point it was back to fun conversation as normal. In the moments of silence leading up to it I had an opportunity to be fully present with that little voice in my head that tells me to quit when the going gets tough. What an opportunity to prove that voice wrong yet again!
Sometimes it is smart to go to the doc to get things checked out. I don’t like to go often but there are definitely times when it makes sense. After doing some home improvement work a little over a week ago my left eye started bugging me. I thought I had gotten some debris in it and it would wash out. Turns out it was a little medical issue that could have been problematic had I waited too much longer. Glad I finally decided to go in today!
So thankful for relationships build on trust and watching out for mutual best interest! When there isn’t trust there’s concern over what is “fair.” When there is trust the only concern is making sure everything is gone right with the best of intentions for all parties involved. How much better is life when we’re all focused on mutual benefit rather than individual gain? I’m blessed to have relationships like these in my life.
Yoga date night was awesome as always. Part way through one of our stretches my leg and foot were extended about a foot over Becky as our mats were near each other’s. Out of nowhere I feel Becky tickling my foot and giggling while our yoga instructor said something along the lines of, “hey, be careful over there, I know it’s yoga date night and I’m watching you!” What a moment!
One of the most difficult feelings as a father is knowing that your sons are hurting you are powerless to help them. Due to his rapidly declining health we made the decision to put our almost 21 year old cat, Zeke, to sleep this morning. I feel completely powerless and wish there was more I could do to help my sons cope with their feelings of loss, but all I can do is live then, hug them, and support their showing of emotions.
I’m grateful we’ve raised our dibs to know it is okay to show and share their emotions. Emotions are not something to be ashamed of or to be bottled down. They are meant to be shared and exposed, to help others know we are hurting and could use help and love during a difficult time. The past day has shown very clearly that they both “get it” and are open to sharing emotions. I’m so grateful for that and so proud of both of them!
Reminders of the impermanence of life are usually quite difficult. They’re often relatively unexpected and coupled with a profound sense of loss. As bad as they can feel they’re also a source of intense presence. In those moments we have an almost singleminded focus on the present.
Those most difficult of moments may hurt horribly, but they can also the source of great beauty should we choose to see then that way.
Always read the instructions completely. If unsure about something it’s probably not s bad idea to ask. Lesson learned today, glad it wasn’t anything too crazy or serious. Good learning opportunity.
I certainly did not plan the most recent home improvement project but I am thankful for the satisfaction that comes from making positive progress on a DIY project like this. Spending time working with my hands, doing manual labor, and figuring out what comes next was a very fulfilling experience today.
Throughout the day there’ve been pockets of presence with each of my family members. With Dominic it was the car rides to and from church. Gavin’s were walking LuLu in the woods and while playing a few games. Becky and I had smaller moments while we ate most of lunch together and in the kitchen as I finished cooking and she walked me off the ledge while I was learning. I’m sure I’ll always wish we all have more time together, but I’m very grateful fit the presence in the unkempt we have had together.
Better to accept and move on rather than deny reality and suffer needlessly. Nope, this isn’t about something emotional, it is about making the decision to tear out the flooring than try to fix it. I know, seems a little dramatic, but it’s a perfect analogy to do much in life.
I can either sit back, deny reality, and still have to ultimately make the same decision or I can accept it and move on. So much easier to accept, put the past behind, and move on.
So thankful for the opportunity to watch the hard work the boys put in all year start to pay off for them in track. So many times they had multiple daily workouts, voluntarily put in extra work, and pushed themselves hard in practice. The results really showed today with them partnering up for a 2nd place finish in the 4×800 today and in Dominic’s 2nd place finish in the 800.
The racing season has just begun and they’re already seeing how much their hard work is paying off. So excited and grateful!
Watching the boys in their track events in each of the last two days – so much presence!
There are times to do, times to grow, time to think, and times to relax. The magic lays in knowing which time is which and then being able to act accordingly. Today I seemed to find a nice balance, mix of all of the above. I have a tendency to really hit one harder than the other, I need to remember to take my time, zoom out to see where balance is needed, and then zoom back in.
On my drive to Menomonie for work I decided to take a quick scenic stop at an area I didn’t know existed until a few days ago – Devil’s Punchbowl. Hidden away just off the Red Cedar River is a gem of a view!
The area is a depression which is partially frozen over this time of the year. As I gazed upon it icicles tumbled off in musical falls. There was a steady putter patter of the melting ice and snow dripping from ledge to ledge. It was incredible! The icicles hung around the area like lace and added to the already scenic sight.
So thankful someone fought this place up on Tuesday night, I never would have known it was here otherwise.
While Becky and I were about three quarters of a mile from our house we both just happened to be looking up at the same time and caught a super slow motion shooting star blazing from North to South in the sky! Talk about a beautiful moment of presence, and to have the opportunity to share it with Becky made it all the more special.
Just because I’ve taught something or shared a story in the past doesn’t mean everyone has heard it. Spending 23 years with Express has led to many great memories and learning opportunities. It can be difficult trying to remember if I’ve shared things with teammates or not.
Today was a great reminder of the importance of covering the most important concepts regularly, even with teammates who may have heard them before. Throughout the years we have more context to apply to those learning experiences. Better to over share and get others more involved than to assume everyone already knows.
Funny how we can start yo see certain things all around us when we choose yo look for them. Nothing has truly changed in the world, only our vision of it. As soon as we change our mindset we start to see that it has been all around us the entire time, we only had to choose it.
There have been a few instances of this for me as of late and I can’t help but chuckle each time. How much more awesomeness is there surrounding me that I just need yo choose to see? I’m so thankful for The Universe conspiring to help me!
Quiet time in the woods. A trail with no human footprints in the snow. Finding a squirrel’s nut cache raided by someone who left only dirt and shells. Silently standing for five minutes watching two woodpeckers fight over a branch and the observing the victor quickly realize that it wasn’t that good of a spot. Laughing out loud while sliding downhill on a icy trail. Stopping to breathe in the smells of the winter-ish woods. Time alone in nature. Serene. Calming. Humbling. Exciting. Joyful. Satisfying. Enlightening.
How many times have I written about taking time to pause and breathe lately? More reminders today of why I need to keep working on this practice AND opportunities to see how I’ve been making progress. Maybe with continued practice I will continue to get better.
What’s interesting is that the practice of working on this has actually been one of the ways I’ve made the most progress! Seriously, by seeing each opportunity as a chance to learn and grow completely fakes out my brain and I see all the challenges as growth and as training reps.
My, what power our perception has on our lives.
Quiet pockets of time can be so useful when I remember to use them as such. If I refrain from leaning into distractions like games, web surfing, and whatnot I have so many moments which I can bust to create, to live into my purpose, and to dream bigger.
When I think about this it seems to easy to always make the right choice, but alas, I know I don’t always make the right choice when I am tired. How to remedy this?
Rest, get sleep, and recognize the need to breathe. I cannot make right decisions when I am tired. Fuel my body correctly. I cannot operate at maximum effectiveness if my eating choices are poor. Keep my purpose in font of me. I cannot stay or used on what is important if I don’t take time to remind myself of what is important. Remember that life is fleeting. I cannot afford to waste the precious moments I have remaining.
Today I am thankful for making positive use of the pockets of time AND the reminders of how I can take advantage of them more often.
Going for a walk over lunch in the cool air was so delightful! The breeze had just the right chill to keep me from getting too warm while being just cold enough that the air felt wonderfully fresh and crisp. What a perfect temperature this would have been for backpacking.
The sensation of movement and fresh air are so refreshing. My afternoon was very much improved by the moments of stillness outdoors. Yet again being outside leads to joy!
So much of life is balance. We have so much to balance all the time, it is a core of who we are.
Push ourselves well past our comfort zone but with the limit of guaranteed failure. Work hard in order to make our dreams possible, but not so hard that we are unable to live our dreams. Balance, balance, balance, all around us.
In all things I must remember to find balance. Breathe, think, feel, and find balance. Maybe that’s why I enjoy yoga so much, it’s all about balance.
So much more to unpack on this, I’ll save the rest for another day.
I’m so thankful for The Big Dude Upstairs’ understanding of how slow if a learner I am sometimes. (feel free to swap “The Bug Dude Upstairs “ with God, the Universe, or whatever your preference may be). I swear there are so many times They remember to give me lesson after lesson after lesson to help me learn what I need. So much patience! I would have likely given up on me long before They did! From different stories to examples to words to people to experiences They seem to keep showing me the way until I actually get it.
The most recent? Lessons on judgement. So thankful for the patience and persistence of The Big Dude Upstairs.
Speaking about travel at the library tonight with Becky was amazing on so many levels. Sharing our adventures brought back so many memories and the audience brought up so new places to add to our lists. The conversations afterwards were insightful and inspiring. Sharing all of those moments with Becky made it all the more priceless.