Day 695 – Thankful for Inaction

Usually I should be taking action, right?  Isn’t that what I was taught at an early age?  Fail by trying, not fail by failing to try .  Always better to take action and have it not work out than to not take action at all.

If you know me well you know that it’s tough for me to not take action.  I’m usually in a perpetual state of motion and action.  If you’re not sure about that just ask some of our vacation buddies what I’m like when I’m “relaxed.”  I still remember being told while on vacation in one of my favorite places of the world, the Big Island, to “quit pacing, you’re making me nervous” while I was attempting to “relax.”  That’s just a part of who I am.

While it is a part of who I am, it is not always the appropriate thing to do.  Sometimes inaction is necessary.  Once in a while it is better to not take action and remain in a state of inaction.  Those moments are particularly difficult for me.  My mind starts racing and I want to start moving towards a solution, but I need to use every ounce of my will to pause and stay still.

Tonight at yoga I was reminded of this.  As we were wrapping up our practice we got to a point when our instructor told us to stay exactly where we were, to hold still, to not even twitch or squirm in the least.  They told us to stay still and hold.  My initial reflex was to want to move, but this instruction held me tight.  As much as every ounce of me wanted to move I stayed in that pose.  The more the seconds went by the more desperate I was to move, just a little, just for a fleeting moment, but I didn’t.  As the clock slowly ticked I focused with every ounce I had to keep my gaze locked onto the same tiny imperfection on the hardwood floor, to keep my legs perfectly still, and to not even let a single finger move.

After a long while it actually started feeling great!  It was reminding me that I am in control of my actions.  If I should take the path of inaction I was reminded that I can do that, regardless of how unnatural it feels to me.  Inaction is something that is within my control and I can harness it when I need to.  This was helping me practice for those moments, to keep the stillness of mind to not immediately react, to not fold to my reflexes.  It was quite liberating!

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Inaction is an odd thing to be thankful for, but I really am tonight.  By not taking action I was able to remind myself of how my will can keep me on track when I am best served by the path of inaction.

Thanks!!!

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Day 694 – Thankful for a Taste of and a Memory of Empty Nest Life

Today on Facebook I had an old memory from 7 years ago pop up reminding me of the hiking excursion Becky and I did on a glacier in Canada.  It was one of our vacations in which we left the boys behind and went off adventuring with just the two of us.  That trip to the Canadian Rockies was AMAZING and will be remembered forever.  It wasn’t just the natural beauty, it was also a great time for just the two of us being a couple.  We chilled and watched Canadian TV in our hotel room before bed, experienced poutine for the first time, and started a tradition of having an excellent meal and a few drinks on our last night.  It is one of my favorite vacations to date.

Tonight Becky had the idea to head to Moon Tunes at Riverside Park with a friend to enjoy the Johnny Cash tribute.  With the boys at Camp Grandpa it’s a little taste of what life will probably be like when we are empty nesters in about nine years or so.  We headed out and just chilled without having to run boys around to various events.  When we were ready for food we went out for subs to eat at home.  Now at home we’re both chilling and slowly getting ready for work tomorrow and bed.  Totally chill, peaceful, relaxed, and without a schedule.

I already miss the boys and can’t wait to have them back home to get back into our normal chaos together, but for these few days it’s nice to get a taste of what’s on tap in the future.  If this is what the future looks like in a little less than a decade, sign me up!  I’m going to enjoy the time we have with the boys while remembering that life after they move out will be pretty cool too in its own way.

Thanks!!!

Day 693 – Thankful for a Year of Gavin!

Today Gavin is 10!!!  The little red headed tornado isn’t so little anymore and has been around for a decade already!  How crazy to think that it was only a decade ago Gavin came into the world the same way he’s been living his life ever since, in a ball of energy that one can only hope to contain, and leaving a trail of smiles and joy in his wake.

When I’ve been thinking about what I am thankful for today the biggest thing that has kept running through mind is what an incredible year I’ve had with him.  To be here to experience so many incredible moments with him has me feeling like about the luckiest person in the world.  There are so many memories with him that come to mind from this past year that my jaw has pretty much dropped.

And then when I dug through the pictures I have of him from the past 365 days my jaw dropped even further…  what a year we’ve truly had with him!!!  From cooking to scouting to New Zealand to National Parks to soccer to our everyday craziness it’s been an epic year with Gavvers!  Take a look at the pics below and you’ll understand…

Another trip around the sun with Gavin, another year of adventures.  I am so thankful for this past year with him.  I am blessed and grateful to be his dad.

Gavin, I don’t know what we’re going to do for an encore this year, this past one has been AWESOME!!!  Thank you so much for keeping me running full speed ahead, smiling, and loving life.  You inspire me to be a better dad and person so often you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.  Love you tons, so proud of you, and I can’t wait to see what adventures this next year brings.  Love you Dude!!!

Thanks!!!

Day 692 – Thankful for Walls of Clouds and Songs that Bring Back Old Vacation Memories

While on the water earlier this evening we saw this rolling upriver in our direction.  How awesome of a view is that?  I love watching the clouds when they are roiling on the edge of a front like that.  The colors are great, the shapes are always shifting and changing, and you can just feel the pressure change coming with them.  I am thankful to witness natural phenomena like this!

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As we began our morning meeting today a song that I hadn’t heard for a long while came on.  It was Wild, Wild West by The Escape Club from the late 80’s.  If you can’t remember which song it is check out the link here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8W9uvhdFZY ).  When it came on I had flashbacks to our family vacation out west when I was a kid.  At one point on the trip (I was thinking Deadwood, but my mom corrected me and said it was actually Rapid City) we stopped overnight and caught a comedic play.  At the finale of the presentation there was a scene that had this song blasting while the actors had an epic fight scene in slow motion with strobe lights…  at least that’s what I seem to remember.  Regardless, I couldn’t help but smile at the memories of the time with my family on that vacation while the song played.

Later in the evening the song “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv6tuzHUuuk ) came on and it left me scratching my head.  It reminded me of vacation with my family as a kid again, but I couldn’t quite place it.  My brain then tried to fit the two memories together and I started questioning if that was the song in the play, not Wild, Wild West.  Stumped, I fired the question via text to my mom who reminded me that it was in the first laser show we’d gone to at Wisconsin Dells a summer or two beforehand.  Immediately the brain cells connected the dots and I was reminded of that laser show which I thought was about the coolest thing ever at the time.

Two songs heard seemingly at random today and they both reminded me of the fun times I had on past vacations with my family.  Since then I’ve been smiling as I think about how many times there is a song or two on vacation that just seem to fit the vacation and capture the essence of it.  Hearing both of these that reminded me of vacation as a kid has left me just smiling away as I type it tonight.  It also reminds me to play the tunes while traveling with the boys, I’ll never know which one or two songs might trigger some awesome memories for them thirty years later.

Thanks!!!

Day 691 – Thankful for a Perfect Close to Our Family Weekend and Prepping for a Crazy Busy Work Week On a Sunday Night

This morning we closed out our family weekend in about the perfect way possible…  by sitting around the dining room table shooting the bull.  Becky and I woke up a little early to get everything packed and ready to head out.  Once that was about done everyone was gathering around the dining room and kitchen for breakfast and we proceeded to just chill and talk for quite a while.  It was perfect!  Chilling like that around the table reminded me of when I was a kid the morning we’d leave Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Nick and I would wake up to the smell of coffee and Kringle and we’d just all relax and talk until it was time to head out.  What an awesome close to our time together.

After dropping off the boys for the week of Camp Grandpa with his other grandparents Becky and I made it home in the late afternoon.  It took longer than expected to unpack and get things done around the house (as it always seems to take), but once it was done I was able to spend time on my laptop getting ready for the upcoming work week.

Thanks to some pretty exciting news on several fronts this week is poised to be about the busiest and most ridiculous week of new business I’ve had in a long time.  I can’t wait!  Between adding new teammates, adding new clients, and growing our business at current clients there is nothing but positive news and excitement on the schedule for the week.  Sure, it’s going to mean some long hours, extra focus, and some flexibility, but it’s all worth it for what my teammates and I are building.  I’m so thankful as always to have them by my side helping us create something awesome.  Knowing that when I get into the office early tomorrow morning I’ll already have a jump start on the day will help me get a great night of sleep tonight.

Thanks!!!

Day 690 – Thankful for a Wonderful Family Tradition, Year 2

This was the second straight year of taking a long weekend to head up north with the family, my mom and stepBrad, and Nick and his family. Just like last year we’ve had a ton of fun spending time together.

Changing things up from last year we added one day to the trip which seems just about right. Having an extra day seemed to give us more flexible time and opportunity to just chill as a family. Sometimes we were in smaller groups and other times we were one big group. All in all it worked out well to have time all together and with each person.

The weekend was filled with so many fun things including bike rides, boating, tubing, wake surfing, playing games, and eating way too much. More important, it was full of time together shooting the bull and having fun. There were so many laughs and smiles. Sometimes they were from old remembered memories and other times they were new memories to be remembered in future years.

As I lay in bed I’m struggling to keep my eyes open as I type this. The past few days have been chock full of great family time and I’m now officially spent. Maybe it’s just me, but total exhaustion like this is from a weekend well spent, a wonderful family tradition.

Thanks!!!

Day 689 – Thankful For Gavin Inspiring Me and for Nick Coaching Me to Try Something New, Wake Surfing

Gavin had attempted to try wake surfing yesterday but a couple of lightning strikes shut that down in short order and we headed for shore. Today was a different story and Gavin was able to try it. I was super proud of him, he tried and failed, tried and failed, and kept on trying. He was smiling the whole time and kept listening to the coaching he was getting. While he may not have gotten up on the board completely he was very successful in something else. He inspired me to get over my fear and nervousness and try it too.

I’ve never been a big fan of water. My fear of drowning always lingers in the back of my head and I often let it get in the way of trying somethings. For instance, several dreams on my list involve scuba diving, something that I’m a long way from trying. Wake surfing was along those same lines. My fear of the water was stuck in the back of my head and I let that fear prevent me from having fun. Seeing Gavin today helped me realize that if my 9yo son can try something without fear there’s no reason I couldn’t do the same.

With that in mind I proceeded to try wake surfing today. Nick did an excellent job of coaching me through the process. While I’d been watching others through the day, I’d asked a lot of questions, and had an idea in my head of how to get up and out of the water it was Nick’s coaching that helped me go step by step through the process. He kept me calm, was supportive and directive where I needed it.

By some act of God I was actually able to get up on my first try! I was ecstatic! It wasn’t long before I went down. The next time I was up even longer and it was awesome.

Gavin, thanks for the extra motivation to get outside of my comfort zone to try something new. Nick, thanks for helping to coach me through this. It was a great experience and I’m so thankful for it.

Thanks!!!