Day 478 – Thankful for Fun Times with Great Friends on Vacation

Today has been a great day already and there’s still much of it to go.  Becky and I got in a run this morning and then Jeremy had breakfast cooked and ready for us (thanks for the omelet dude!).  After showering there was time to chill.  Even though I’m on vacation it felt wonderful to take some time to get some work done while enjoying some quiet.

The only things on the agenda today were a tour of the brewery and a tour of the distillery on this island.  Both tours were very interesting and there were some pretty awesome samples.  Somewhere in between the two we hit up a roadside grill for some excellent local food (it’s awesome soaking up as much jerk chicken and pork as I can while I’m here!).

On our way back we stopped at a grocery store and picked up some food for supper (and maybe a bottle of dark rum) and a few of us cooked supper and stayed in.  As a couple of us cooked we shot the bull and had a great time.  One of my favorite moments was talking about when Steve helped my dad and I build our garage, so many funny stories that had me laughing (and I know Dad was smiling).  We FaceTimed the boys and talked for a while and Gruncle Steve gave them his advice of the day.  It was awesome!


As I remove myself from the fun for a few minutes to reflect and blog I’m reminded of just how thankful I am for having such a fun time with great friends.  All of our lives get busy and we don’t get to spend nearly as much time together as we’d like.  Moments like this are so important for all of us to reconnect and have fun.  We’re able to share memories while making new ones, and it feels awesome!  The reason this week has been so memorable and fun isn’t what we’ve seen and done, it’s the people we’ve been doing it with.

Thank you to my friends for making this an incredible experience!



Day 477 – Thankful for Knocking Out #15 On My Dream List, Kayaking or Swimming in Bioluminescent Water

Ever since I learned that “bioluminescence” was a thing I wanted to either swim in it or at least paddle through it.  Just the thought that there is ocean water that lights up bright blue when you touch it due to the agitation of the single celled organisms living in it totally blew my mind!  Long story short, when the water moves it disturbs the organisms and they light up like fireflies.  In this case they are super tiny, less than 10% the size of a grain of sand, and they’re everywhere in the bay.

When we started paddling our paddles literally glowed in the water like some cray special effects in a movie and w left a trail of bright blue glowing water behind us that slowly dimmed.  Running our hands through the water caused the water around our hands to glow the same color – it was wild!!!  We could look in the water and see fish darting around below us as they left the same glowing blue in the water.  The only downside is that the glow doesn’t turn out well in pictures so I’m using one from the company’s website to help illustrate what I mean:


Photo from Cayman Kayaks

It was so spectacular that it’s hard to believe that I witnessed this phenomena.  All the ways I imagined it to be weren’t even close to how wild it was to see it in person.

Last night I knocked out #15 on my dream list, and it was AWESOME!!!  There are still so many dreams to go (I swear the more I accomplish the more I add to my list), it feels great to experience and complete another one!


Day 476 – Thankful for a Day of Total Chillaxin’

Today has been so awesome! No agenda, no structure, and no stress. It’s been a day of total chillaxin’!

Becky and I woke up when we were ready, no alarm clocks needed. We knocked out a nice run and had fun talking with each. Breakfast was ready shortly after getting out of the shower. From there I spent time sitting out and soaking in sun while reading the new Dan Brown book, one of the first fictions I’ve read in a while. After a while we went to the beach and soaked up sun and snorkeled. At one point someone needed to head back to our place so I had them drop me off along the way and I enjoyed a quiet lunch by myself. More snorkeling and reading followed. When we got back I hopped in the shower and this was my view:

A shower beer with the ocean in the distance… ahh… pure chillaxin’ bliss!

While there have been many things I am thankful for today (a vacation run with Becky, hanging with friends, seeing a stingray, and a great book) when I look at the day in its totality the overall theme is chillaxin’. Usually my time away from work is busy and a preplanned thrill ride, but today has been totally different… and it has felt glorious!!!


Day 475 – Thankful for Someone Else Putting Words to My Thoughts & Feelings

While working on my book this past weekend I was writing about how some people have thanked me for my blog.  Throughout the past couple of years several people have said that my blogged had helped to put into words something that they were feeling.  When I hear those comments it’s incredibly rewarding and makes me smile.  The funny thing is, there are so many more times when someone else helps me put words to my feelings and thoughts.  Today was one of those times in which I was able to draw from someone else’s words to help me say what I’ve been thinking and feeling for a while.

As I’ve blogged about in the past there’ve been more than a few times in which I’ve spent time walking around a cemetery thinking about death.  Never in a dark and depressing way, but in a way that helps me focus on enjoying my life more, remembering that my time is finite and to get as much of it as possible.

There was a song stuck in my head today by the Strumbellas.  The title of the album it is on, the picture on the album, and the lyrics were all of interest in me so I hopped online to learn more.  What I found was a quote from Simon Ward, their lead singer.

“I know it’s totally morbid and dark, but I honestly don’t see it as a dark and morbid thing! When I think of it, I’m not sad. It’s not a sadness thing. It’s a fascination thing. I don’t glum about like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe I’m going to die.’ More like, ‘Wow, this takes a big pressure off my life!’ ’Cause like, it’s not like we’re going to last forever, so just enjoy this life I have. It’s totally a positive outlook on death. It’s not like a sad, glum outlook.” – Simon Ward

He nailed it!  That’s exactly the feeling I was talking about.  It’s not ‘glum’ it’s more of a ‘positive outlook.’  Spending time in thought about death, remembering that one day I will die, reminds me to spend time doing the things I enjoy with the ones I love.  My time is limited, I want to make the most of it.  To quote one of their songs, “No I don’t want a never ending life, I just want to be alive while I’m here.”

With that thought in mind today I’ve taken time to make sure I’m enjoying every minute of the day.  I’m so thankful today for someone else putting my feelings into words today, it has brought me more joy.



Day 474 – Thankful for a College Sunday Afternoon

Today’s been a lot of fun for many reasons, but one that sticks out is something that Katie mentioned that helped me connect how I was feeling today.  “It feels like a college Sunday.”  As soon as she said it my mind immediately connected today to so many great Sundays back in the dorms…

The morning started with sleeping in and then waking up to no agenda.  Becky and I chilled out and read after getting moving.  No business books or biographies here, I dove right into the new Dan Brown book, Origins.  After awhile we meandered to the dining room and ate a delicious breakfast.  Back out came the books and more chillaxin’.  Eventually we decided to go for a hike, had a great time and then went exploring.  Sometime after 3pm we had lunch, no agenda pushing us to eat at a specific time.  Everyone else got back and we fired up the football game and started pouring some drinks.  Now we’re just shooting the bull and having a great time.


It really feels like a typical college Sunday afternoon.  No stress, no worries, no responsibilities, and no agenda.  Just chilling with friends and having a great time with friends…  and it feels AWESOME!!!


Day 473 – Thankful for Reading Becky’s Most Recent Published Paper

A couple of days ago Becky sent me the published copy of her most recently published paper (the next one is getting closer to completion 😁). Not gonna lie, there are occasionally times when I’m a little nervous to read what she’s written. She’s crazy smart and an expert at what she does, I worry about whether or not I’ll be able to understand it and get the gist of what she’s talking about. Today I took a deep breath and started reading.

uess what… it was awesome! Sure, it's very technical, but it was written in a way that I could get it. As I read it I interrupted her regularly with questions. I wanted to make sure I was tracking with her thinking and not jumping to the wrong connections. How cool is it to have the author of something you're reading sitting next to you?

While reading it there were several things that I'm thankful for. The day is only partially over, but based on the sheer volume of all the ways I'm thankful for it only seems appropriate to write now and capture them all.

First off, I am thankful for all the ways I can apply the ideas from her paper to life and work. She covers resilience, strategic planning and execution, all things with use outside of aquatic biology.

The next thing that struck me was how motivated I was to fire up my computer and start working on my book again. Seeing the great work with the written word inspired me to do the same. Sure, the style and content are very different, but conceptually writing is writing, right?

As Becky's been working on her PhD she's been keeping me updated on what she's been working on. I'm more of a visual person and sometimes I need to see things to understand them better. I've understood parts of what she was saying, but it wasn't until I read the paper that I really "got it." Now when she fills me in I have a much better understanding and I'll be able to put it into context. This will mean better conversations and more fun when we discuss her work.

Last, I'm always proud of her and know that she's awesome, but this helped me see her in a slightly different way. Holy crap, she's pretty damn smart and is finding ways to help the environment in some cool and innovative ways. I'm used to her being more detailed, but in this paper I was able to see her big picture thought process and it was AWESOME! She's finding ways to pull several seemingly separate things into one common focus. Throw in how she balances that with the detail to back up her thinking and I'm nothing short of impressed and so incredibly proud of her.

Becky's a pretty big deal. I already knew that, but it turns out she's even a bigger deal than I'd thought. Reading her paper was a pretty awesome way to get to know the person I know better than anyone else I know a little better.

Love you Becky!!!


Day 472 – Thankful for Sneaking In a Couple of Games of Boss Monster with the Boys

Quite often it’s easy to get caught in the rush of daily life and all of its demands. If I don’t pay attention the time flies by in a flurry of activity. Sometimes it’s so task driven that I forget to take time to enjoy some of the most important things in my life, like time with my family.

Last year and a couple of days ago I was thankful for “Stopping to Remember Why I’m Blogging.” Gavin wanted to play a game but I was too busy blogging and said no. After pausing at how foolish I was being I relented. We played some epic games of King Kong and enjoyed every moment of it.

While getting a lot done and checking things off my task list today my brain wandered back to that blog post. I paused, smiled, and then was present where I was supposed to be.

The boys and I busted out a couple of games of Boss Monster and had a BLAST!!! It was such a great time joking, playing, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. That time with them reminded me of why I work as hard as I do, why I push myself like I do, and why I value what I do. Playing with them was about as rewarding of a feeling as I could’ve had today, and I’m so appreciative of moments like this.