Day 855 – Thankful for Confronting Difficult Conversations the Right Way

As you’ll quickly read I’m not going to get into a ton of detail today as the specifics aren’t really necessary.

Today while meeting with some teammates one of them spoke up about something that had bothered them.  Instead of letting it cause drama and issues they brought it up very clearly and in the right way.  They were looking for a way to resolve the situation from happening again.  The other person handled it exactly as I would hoped any of my teammates would.  They apologized for the actions and then worked together with the other teammate to find a resolution.  After a few minutes of discussion the solution was found and everyone left the conversations feeling better knowing that everything had been resolved.

There was no drama, no issues, no finger pointing, no negativity.  Very clear and direct conversation coming from a mutual respect for each other – professionally and personally.  In a nutshell, it was AWESOME!!!  My teammates found a great way to strengthen their relationship through a potentially awkward situation instead of letting it get between them.

While this type of conflict resolution happens often amongst my teams I am especially thankful for it today.  I couldn’t have scripted the conversation any better and I’m so grateful to see that this is how they interact.



Day 854 – Thankful for the Wobbly Spots

Logrolling was cancelled due to the cold weather, but fortunately Becky saw that Root Down Yoga was still open so I was able to get an evening workout in tonight.  It was pretty wild going from -36 degree windchill to 95+ degree workout room, nothing like a 120 degree temperature change to get the body moving!

During the yoga class we spent a good chunk of time with our eyes closed to help us focus on our body awareness and focus.  As I was trying to hold a pose while balancing with my eyes closed Nick made a comment.  He reminded us that the “wobbly spots” are where we grow the most.  The rest of the class that thought kept rolling through my mind.

How true is that comment?  The wobbly spots are where we grow the most.  If I am not feeling wobbly I’m not pushing myself to grow enough.  If I am wobbly I haven’t completely failed and have a chance to be successful.  If I’m wobbly the muscles I’m working are getting stronger and will help me balance in the future.

When I relate this to other parts of life I couldn’t help but smile thinking about the several times I’ve been in wobbly spots in the past couple of days.  There’s an odd sense of peace I feel in those moments and up until now I didn’t have a good way to phrase why I feel that way…  Those are wobbly spots and I’m learning and growing.  I am not perfect in those moments, but I’m making positive progress and pushing myself closer to who I should be in those wobbly spots.  Those wobbly spots are moments I should be pushing myself towards and into on a regular basis.

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So tonight I’m thankful for the wobbly spots in life.  They may not be comfortable, I may not be successful in that moment, but in those moments I’ve got the opportunity to learn and grow.



Day 853 – Thankful for a Snowblower

Tonight is was joking with Becky about what my blog was going to be about. I had a couple of legitimately great ideas and then she said something that made me stop in my tracks and say, “yup… that’s it!”

After waking up this morning I headed to my computer and got some work done while Becky was on the treadmill. Afterwards I bundled up and headed out to the garage to do something I haven’t done for quite a while… I fired up the snowblower we got a couple of summers back.

It was AMAZING!!! I was cutting through the snow like a hot knife through butter. It felt great! After getting our driveway done I even had a little time to take care of our neighbor’s driveway. Seeing as he’d snowblowed ours so many times it was nice to return the favor.

The snow today was deep and heavy, having a snowblower made life so much better. It’s times like this I remember the smile on my dad’s face when he finally got one.


Day 852 – Thankful for Prepping for Our Last Weblos Meeting

It’s hard for me to believe, but after eight years of being a Cub Scout Den Leader tonight I was prepping for my last Den meeting. I’m continually amazed by how quickly time flies.

In getting ready for the meeting I wanted to have as much of my old scouting stuff as possible for the boys to see. This last meeting is focused on becoming a Boy Scout and I thought it’d be great to have something in hand to show the boys as examples. Just like yesterday, this meant digging up an old box of goodies from the basement.

I felt a little like Indiana Jones opening up a treasure chest. I opened the red plastic pencil box from the early 80s that contains so many little mementos. In that box I found most of what I was looking for and a quick search of the tote it was in ended in success as I found a few other materials.

Smiling, I laid it all out on the table and went through the mental checklist of what I was looking for to share with the boys tomorrow night. This list included merit badges, rank badges, Order of the Arrow stuff, Scout books, and my Eagle project info. Looking at all of it in front of me I just kept grinning and had about a thousand memories playing through my mind. Those memories also prompted me to search for some old pictures as well… but I’ll save those for a different blog 😉. Pretty sure I have enough fuel for about three or four future blogs from tonight!

I am so thankful for taking the time to dig out all of these goodies from the past for the meeting tomorrow. Not only did it bring a ton of joy to my life today, but it has fueled my passion for Scouting to share with the boys tomorrow.


Day 851 – Thankful for Stumbling Across an Old Box of Awesomeness On a Cold Day

While the boys were out braving the cold for a Boy Scout fundraiser at an ice fishing tournament Becky and I hit our normal cycling / yoga combo. After showering, errands and lunch we were going to play cribbage but couldn’t find the pegs. One thing led to another and we ended up cleaning up part of a closet… funny how that works, isn’t it?

After the boys got home I went to the basement to put some things away and stumbled across a tote that I hadn’t thought about for a while. A smirk went across my face as I knew what was about to happen. I pulled the tote out and quietly went to work setting it up.

What did I set up? Our old Nintendo!!! Good times in the basement here we come! I hollered for the boys to join me and we fired up a little Legend of Zelda. Since then we’ve also played a little Super Mario Bros. It’s been fun watching the boys try to figure out the archaic Nintendo controllers.

Normally we’re not a big video game family, but on a cold day like this it seems pretty appropriate. I’m so glad I stumbled across that old box of awesomeness today!


Day 850 – Thankful for the Peace that Comes From a Strong Sense of Purpose

Today is one of those days when I’m not going to go into a lot of detail.  Due to the personal nature of some of the events I’m going to focus on the broader topic.  I’m truly thankful for the peace that comes from a strong sense of purpose.

Throughout the day there were many reminders of the importance of purpose.  Sometimes it was reminders of mine brought forward from others.  In other cases it was living vicariously through others.  Regardless of the source it’s interesting to see just how much more joyful life is when we are living to that purpose.  When I give in to distractions and/or veer off course a little I can almost immediately feel the loss of direction.  Live true towards purpose and the positive energy is amazing and powers me to do more.

To those of you who shall remain nameless today, thank you all so much for reminding me of the peace that comes from a strong sense of purpose.  I appreciate it greatly and will remember today for so many reasons for so long.


Day 849 – Thankful for Taking Time to Slow Down, Breathe, and Have a Moment to Myself

Today’s been a great day, but a very busy day.  Pretty much ever since I woke up I’ve been moving and grooving.  Even the time I had to myself was usually focused on handling email and prepping for client meetings.


Cue yoga…  ahh…  Sure I was in a room surrounded by thirty plus other sweaty people, but it felt like I was all alone.  I was focused on my breathing and nothing else.  So simple, so relaxing, so peaceful.  Ahh…

I love being busy, making things happen, and interacting with my family, friends, teammates, and clients.  Nights like tonight remind me of how nice it is to take a few minutes of time alone to recharge.  Those few minutes in final rest were exactly what the doctor ordered today!


Day 848 – Thankful for Seeing a Reflection of Myself in Another, Hearing a Song Differently Than Ever Before, and Gavin’s First Cycling Class

Yes, I started this blog a few years ago with the intention of writing about one thing I am thankful for each day.  As I’ve been known to do fairly regularly, I am totally breaking my own rules and writing about a few things instead.

Driving through Winona to my office I was in the right lane and realized I was running out of room to move into the left lane before our office building.  There was one SUV close behind so I hit the gas, made some distance between us and slid into the left lane.  It was closer than I’d like to have cut it, but there was plenty of room.  Almost immediately the SUV sped up and was just a few feet behind me.  The look into my rearview showed nothing but the grill of their vehicle.  As I turned to the left the laid on their horn.  When they drove by I saw a hand in a knitted glove that was extending the one finger salute my way.

The first thought that jumped into my head surprised me and made me smile.  “Wow, I can be a jerk of a driver sometimes!”  Yes, you read that right.  In seeing that gloved middle finger I saw myself doing the same thing or the other portions (tailgating, honking, etc…) to others in the past.  When I get frustrated I’ve gotten ornery and upset and haven’t always contained my frustration like I should.  In this situation I had the other perspective, I wasn’t trying to cut someone off or do anything rude, but the other person took it that way.  How often have I made the mistake of assuming ill intent and then gotten frustrated?

This situation offered up the opportunity to see my own actions through someone else’s eyes and realize just how foolish I’ve been.  I am so thankful for that moment of clarity and will remember it often.

There’s one single newsletter / email I get every day that I read consistently, and today it helped me see a song very differently.  The song The Impression That I Get by the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones was one of my favs way back in the ’90s.  If it comes one I almost can’t help but sing along and hear my friend Brian busting out the chorus in my mind.  In the newsletter this morning they used the song to point out a line that I hadn’t noticed.

I’m not a coward I’ve just never been tested
I’d like to think that if I was I would pass

After thinking about it I started to see the entire song in a different light.  I guess I hadn’t quite realized that the song was really about how we have to go through the tough times to figure out how strong we really are.  It’s been in my head all day now and I am reminded to be thankful for all of the difficult experiences of my life which have helped to shape me into who I am.

Tonight Gavin and I had a family cycling class at the YMCA.  Once he’s completed the two part class he can start to join us in our cycling classes – something we’re pretty sure he’s going to enjoy.  Today’s class pretty much proved that we are on to something!  Much of it was setting up the bike and basics like the different positions while cycling.  Even with that happening the little dude covered over 10 miles in 30 minutes and was loving it.  He’s pretty stoked to head back next week for the full routine.

I didn’t get a pic of us cycling so I figured this would do…  Gavin with a little lizard…  random just like he is!

This is the second week in a row in which I’ve been able to have some one on one time with my boys while exercising at the YMCA.  I’m so thankful for their love of exercise and movement.  It’s building a foundation that will help them throughout their entire lives and it’s an opportunity for us to spend time as a family doing things we all love.



Day 847 – Thankful for Memories of Hawaii – Whale Watching

Day 847 – Thankful for Memories of Hawaii – Whale Watching

I am so thankful for all of the little bread crumbs I’ve left for my future self in each Facebook post I write.  There are so many moments that I am reminded of that make me grin form ear to ear.  Today is yet another one of those examples.

Six years ago today Becky and I went whale watching with Chris & Bethany in Kona.  We headed out on a beautiful sunny day and saw way more than we bargained for.  The whales were unbelievable and so close.  Seeing a 20+ foot long whale shark slip right along the side of our boat just a few feet from us was mind blowing.  The entire event was awesome!  Throw in spending time with some of our closest friends and it was one of the best vacation days I’ve had.


The weather today is pretty much the exact opposite of Hawaii, but I am warmed by the memory of heading out for some whale watching.  I am so thankful for this incredible experience and am glad that I was reminded of it today.


It also comes on a great day to remind me why I put so much more value on experience than stuff.  Memories like these not only bring so much happiness, but they outlast “stuff.”  Experiences like these are ways for us to bond more closely as friends and connect with them.  They also help me dream bigger and are the dream fuel to help me find more experiences to live.


Day 846 – Thankful for Becky Creating a Memory for the Boys that Reminded Me of a Similar Moment with My Mom

Becky was super pumped up for the Super Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse.  Not only did she make a big deal out of it for her, she got the boys pretty excited for it.  With no school the next day she and the boys stayed up and watched movies until the eclipse was in totality.   It was so awesome seeing them all get so excited about something in nature like this, I know I’m in the right family for me.  The coolest part is knowing that they made a memory with her that they will hold tight to forever.


On my drive to Menomonie early this morning I got some excellent views of the moon as I smiled and thought about last night.  My smile became bigger as I remembered something similar my mom did for my brother and I when we were kids.  There was a meteor shower so she let us stay up late and then the three of us went out to the road in front of our house.  Seeing as it’s a quiet road with no traffic at that time of night we laid on our backs in the road and just looked up at the stars.  Laying there we enjoyed the warm summer night and watched meteor after meteor streak across the sky.  To this moment it is one of my most treasured moments with my mom.

Moments like that are such a beautiful thing.  Spending time with loved ones doing something out of the ordinary and enjoying the natural world.  How could I ask for anything more?  Such a beautifully simple moment I’ll hold forever with my mom, a moment Becky created for our boys.