Day 361 – Thankful for Walking In Airports with Headphones On

This one is going to sound strange, but it’s an odd happy place for me that I appreciate.  While traveling today I had some time walking through a couple of airport terminals to get from one gate to another.  On the surface it’s crowded, busy, and it seems stressful…  but below that there’s a peace that I find that I really love, but mainly when I’ve got my headphones on and there’s only motion and no noise.

When the headphones are on and I’m walking in the airport it’s this crazy nexus of being in a crowded place and totally alone.  No one else is listening to my tunes, I’m not talking with anyone, I’m just walking and people watching.  My mind starts to wander and I try to guess where and why people are going where they are.  Are they happy because they’re going on vacation?  Are they looking focused because they’re making a big sales presentation soon?  Are they sad because they’re going home?  There’s no listening to conversation, just the visual cues to point me in the right direction.


As I wander through the airport I come across things that remind me of past trips…  Flying out of this gate on one vacation…  Eating at this restaurant before flying to Australia…  Wandering through this part of the airport when my flight was delayed…  So many memories, mainly good, almost always reminding me of previous travels and adventures.

While I was flying I was working, focused, getting things done.  When I was at my destination I was focused, working, and learning.  In the airport, wandering with my headphones on I was totally present in the moment, not stressing about anything.  I was enjoying the time of being totally alone while surrounded by hundreds of people.  Such an odd thing, but incredibly peaceful…

Throw in the fact that time in the airport means that I’m either heading off on an adventure or flying back to my beloved home…  There’s always happiness in both of those.

Training today was great, time with old friends and new friends was appreciated, but the stillness of wandering the airport with my headphones on still has me feeling pretty chill.  For that I am thankful.




Day 360 – Thankful for Working Outside of My Comfort Zone

When Becky was gone last week I had to focus on the details, being practical, and taking things in order to get them all accomplished. It was tough for me, but when I stuck with the plan it all worked out. Not only that, but it felt pretty awesome to accomplish something that I’m not normally great at, taking care of the details.

This morning we had our monthly Territory meeting in Eau Claire and the focus was on making sure everything in our interview process was spot. That included reminders, training, role playing, and son questions. It required me to start at Point A and walk through all the details to get to Point Z. Prepping for it was tedious, staying relatively on track was difficult, there were so many times my shiny syndrome wanted to kick in! By the time we wrapped up it was mission accomplished. It was tiring for me to stay that focused, but it felt pretty rewarding by the end.

Today I’m thankful for working outside of my comfort zone. While it is tiring and doesn’t quite feel right, it always feels good growing.


Day 359 – Thankful for Vacation Planning and Team Development

Yup, what an odd mix today, right?  How often do you see team development and vacation plans used in the same sentence?  Not very often at all!  Then again, they are a couple of my favorite things…

One of the parts of my role that I enjoy most is working with my teammates to help them grow.  Today was filled with those types of conversations.  From helping on specific clients to learning about future career challenges they’re voluntarily taking on to help them grow to working through tough situations to business growth strategy – there were so many conversations that I was thankful to be a part of.  My teammates are extraordinary people who inspire me on a daily basis, it’s so awesome to see them continue to grow.

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 9.15.46 PMThe other part of today is something that I always enjoy…  planning for vacation!  Not the details or anything like that, but the fun stuff that goes along with vacation like picking out a car.  That’s what tonight’s plan was.  In between delivering kids to and from various events I wanted to get our rental car reserved for Grand Cayman.  I am thankful for doing this because it means we can try something different (convertible Mini Cooper?  Why not?).  It also means that there are usually a handful of texts back and forth with friends, usually complete with joking around and many smiles.  It reminds me of where we’re going, it gives me a waypoint that I am working forwards to.  Lastly, when I’m doing vacation stuff it means Becky and I are talking about vacations, and often dreaming up new vacation adventures.  Does life get much better than that?

Today was pretty awesome for the most part.  Development conversations, vacation planning, and fun conversations with my family (Becky, the boys, Nick & Mom)…  It was a day I’m thankful to have had!


Day 358 – Thankful for Decisive by The Heath Brothers

As I continue making progress towards my goal of 20 books read (or listened to) in 2017 the most recent book I’ve picked up is one that I’m reading for the third time in about four years.  I’m pretty sure it was the first book I’ve ever pre-ordered, the concept had me right from the start.  Of all of the books I’ve read this is one that I refer back to more often than almost every other.


The entire book is dedicated to a simple yet thorough approach to making tough decisions.  They lay out the process in a way that’s easy to understand and remember, all while setting many tripwires in my brain.  When I trip on one of those preset lines my mind pauses and I immediately flash back to this book.

Here’s the process they recommend when making decisions (the WRAP process):

  • Widen Your Options – We often fall victim to binary decisions that don’t have to be.
    • What other new options are there?
  • Reality Test Your Assumptions – Instead of falling victim to our own biases test first.
    • How can I try on each decision without actually making it?
  • Attain Distance – Move past short term emotion by taking a step back.
    • What would I recommend to a friend?
  • Prepare to Be Wrong – Even with the most thought out decisions we may be wrong.
    • What are the best and worst case scenarios and how can they be encouraged or prevented?

As I listened to the book while driving this morning it was a a great reminder of how to think through each decision that there is time to think through.  When I’ve followed this process it usually works out.  Not always, but I know I’m more successful when thinking through the WRAP process.


Day 357 – Thankful for Dominic’s First Cross Country Meet

When Dominic decided to dip out of soccer for the season and try cross country I was a little nervous.  Knowing how much he loves soccer I was afraid he was going to regret making a change.  After tonight’s meet I’m glad he tried something different!



He was smiling before the race, smiling during the race, and smiling after the race.  No regrets on Dominic’s behalf, he had a great time and enjoyed the event.  On the ride home I asked him how he felt about the decision and was very much happy with it.


Not only was it fun watching him run, it was pretty sweet to have Becky’s parents drive all the way down to watch.  It was great hanging out with Ken and Mary, shooting the bull, and cheering Dominic on.

One meet down, several more to go.  Thanks for kicking butt and making this one memorable Dominic!


Day 356 – Thankful for My Running Partner & Beating the Voice in My Head

Our half marathon is only a few weeks away so this morning started with a nice eleven mile run. It’s funny, for all the running I’ve done in the past that was significantly longer, this training plan has been a struggle. Maybe it’s getting older, maybe it’s that I haven’t been on a set training plan for a while, or maybe it’s something else. Regardless, this run was a doozy!

That said, it was mission accomplished! Eleven miles in the books, ready for twelve next week.

There are two thing that I was very grateful for this morning on the run (besides surviving – LOL!)… my running partner and beating the voice in my head.

Becky is pretty awesome as a running partner. She not only helped to get me moving for our run, but she kept pushing me and helping me smile throughout. Without her help I’m not sure that I would’ve finished as strong as I did.

That little voice in my head was really trying to mess with me today. Constantly nagging me with all the reasons that I couldn’t finish the run and why I should quit. That voice gave me a run for my money this morning… and I beat it. I love proving that voice wrong! Without Becky helping me out I’m not sure that I would have beat it today, he put up some pretty convincing arguments!

The run is done, I’m stiff but feeling the sense of accomplishment. Thanks to Becky for being the best running partner ever! Hey Little Voice in My Head… kiss my butt. You lost again and you’ll lose again next week. 😜


Day 355 – Thankful for Working Alone (Almost) in My Workshop

As I’ve been working on insulating my workshop there’s been a lot of help and it’s been great.  Usually Becky of Dominic are up there helping me out, providing an extra set of hands, or working on a detailed project.  I’m super thankful for their help, it makes life a lot easier.

Today was a little different.  Everyone else was busy, so outside of about 15 minutes of perfectly timed help from Dominic, I was pretty much on my own.  Normally when I work alone I fire up some music, but today I worked the majority of the time in the quiet…  At least it was almost quiet…  There were a handful of times I caught myself talking with Dad as I was working.

It was funny, there were a couple of times that I made a comment to him as I was working when I either did something right or made a mistake.  When I had a question on how to do something I asked.  There was something that felt right about all of it, it was the way I would have been talking with him if was still around – in person, over the phone, or at least via text.

As I kept working I would occasionally hear hime give me advice, answers, or a hard time.  It would be in terms of advice on whether or not I had to make something perfect or not.  Once it was “dude, it’s a workshop…  It’s not supposed to be perfect.”  Shortly after it was followed up with a “really screwed the pooch on that one Bud, didn’t you?” on a spot that I rushed and did a shoddy job on.  After chuckling aloud I spent 15+ minutes fixing my mistake.  There were times when I asked him what he would have suggested, and sure enough, after a minute or two the right answer popped into my head.  It was pretty awesome.

There was one moment in particular that I felt closer to him than I have in a while.  As my head was imagining him telling me “good job dude” I swear I heard his voice in my head… “No, I would’ve said ‘Good job stud’ after you did great work like that.”  I paused, smiled, laughed, and went back to work.


The first wall is fully insulated, progress was made today.  That said, I’m most thankful to have had time working alone in my workshop today…  almost alone anyways…