Day 902 – Thankful for Today

Today has been an incredible day.  Nothing completely out of the ordinary, but so amazingly perfect in its completeness and depth.  There’s been a little bit of everything from struggles to successes to relaxing to working hard to working out.  There was even a little bit of time dreaming about travel and remembering past trips 😉.

My emotions have run the gamut but have largely been focused on the positive.

I’ve had to work through my weaknesses and had the opportunity to rely on my strengths.

There were moments of seeing the results of my past mistakes and failures while also seeing how I’ve learned from them.  I was shown past successes and saw how sometimes they created a false sense of security that I later learned from.

At times I had the stillness of mind to stop and think more deeply about how I live my life, how I should live my life, and how to close the gap between those two.

My morning started off with one on one time with Becky on an early morning run under a beautifully orange moon.  On my way to work I called Becky to make sure she was seeing the sunrise that looked like one of the two suns setting in Tatooine.

I had one on one time with each of the boys and got big hugs and “I love you’s” from both of them without being asked.

I spent time talking with both my brother and my mom.  There were several moments spent thinking of Dad.

It’s been an incredible day.  So full of life, so completely perfect in its imperfection.  I am so thankful for all that happened today, I wouldn’t trade a single moment for anything.

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Thanks!!!

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Day 901 – Thankful for Ice Fishing with the In Laws and Reminders of One of the Reasons I Blog Openly

Day 901 – Thankful for Ice Fishing with the In Laws and Reminders of One of the Reasons I Blog Openly

Today was AWESOME!!!  Not only did we have a large amount of family time, we had it with a large amount of family – see what I did there? 😉   Four of my nephews, four brother in laws, and my father in law all made the trek to La Crosse to slay some fish out on Lake Onalaska.  We spent the entire day out on the ice shooting the bull, walking on the ice, goofing off, eating a ton of snacks (thanks again Mary and Diana for the excellent snack age!!!), and pretty much everything a person can do while ice fishing…  except catch fish.  Personally, I see that as a very minor detail seeing as we all had so much fun spending time together.

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For reals, it was great to spend time shooting the bull with each other and just spending time outside together.  The cousins all were wrestling around and enjoying each others company while all of us adults spent time talking and fishing.  Some of my favorite moments of the day were when I had one on one time with someone or we had a conversation as a small group.  It was wonderful just spending time with everyone.

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Being out on the ice isn’t something I do very often so there were also a handful of moments in which I paused and just soaked in the landscape around me.  I’m head over heals in love with our neck of the woods and appreciate the drift less area constantly.  Seeing it from a different perspective was awesome and I enjoyed every moment of it.

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Thanks again to everyone for making the long drive to La Crosse, we’re all thankful for the time with all of you!

When I took a quick peek at the comments from yesterday’s blog post today a gigantic smile crossed my face.  Here are the two comments I saw:

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Each of the comments struck a different chord with me and both reminded me of reasons why I take the time to write this blog every day and then share it openly and publicly.

Mike’s comment made me smile because that’s what I try to focus on each day.  Regardless of what happens it is 100% up to me to choose.  Life is too short to be in a pissy mood so I try to stay focused on the upside.  It doesn’t always work and sometimes I let myself be in a bad mood, but the more I work on it the more often I can stay positive and find the silver lining.  Life throws us tough stuff sometimes and we’ll never be able to prevent it all, but if we look hard enough we can find the positive meaning and use that difficult time to help us grow stronger.

Sammi’s comment made me smile for a different reason entirely.  I miss my dad deeply each and every single day.  I’m so appreciative of all of the moments and memories I had with him, I’m truly blessed to have had all that time with him.  If something I say or do can help someone else appreciate someone they love just a little more or in a slightly different way I see that as a huge win.  Her final sentence left me laughing and my heart full of joy.

Both of those comments remind me of reasons I am thankful for writing this blog and I greatly appreciate their reminders!

Thanks!!!

Day 900 – Thankful for Vacations that Haunt My Dreams and the Guy at Church Who Reminds Me of My Dad (Again)

Over the past handful of nights I’ve had dreams about past vacations.  Each has been fantastic in its own way, but in all cases they’ve led me to reviewing pictures from them.  When I’ve done looked through the pictures I can’t help but be drawn to other albums of other vacations as well.  A night or two later those albums appear in my dreams and the cycle repeats.

As far as dreams go I’m pretty sure this has been one of the best stretches I’ve had in a long time.  How could I be anything but thankful for dreams with views like these from Alaska, Olympic National Park, Isle Royale, and New Zealand?  I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will continue for a while, but regardless of it never happens again I’ve been thankful for some free mini-vacations while sleeping.

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When I was driving him from Rochester today I had an urge for a split second that faded awfully quickly.  The impulse?  To call my dad.  Yup, there was a fleeting moment in which I realized it’d been a while since we talked and I should call him.  For a moment I sat there feeling empty and missing my dad tremendously.

I helped myself out a bit by taking time to think about some of the things I appreciate the most about my dad and the times I’m most thankful to have had with him.  It wasn’t the same as talking with him, but it did help to raise my spirits.  Throw in the fresh memories of dreams of vacations and I thought of the times in Alaska and Washington state when I felt the closest to Dad.  In a crazy kind of way it was a pretty peaceful drive from that point on.

In church this evening we sat a couple of pews behind the guy who looks like and reminds me of my dad.  It made me smile just seeing him and thinking of Dad.  They have so much in common, size, neck, ears, and many other facial features.  Even some of his mannerisms make me think of Dad.

As he walked back to his seat after communion I couldn’t help but smile at him.  He smiled back as he always does…  and then he gave me a wave just like my dad used to.  My smile widened, I felt even more at peace and closer to Dad.  It was a pretty incredible moment.

Thanks!!!

Day 899 – Thankful for Running Outside, Advice from a Distance, an Unexpected Investing Conversation, Hiring a Contractor, and Taking Dominic’s Book Recommendation

This morning started off in a great way.  The weather was nice enough that Becky and I headed out for a run with the girls.  It felt awesome to be outside and enjoying fresh air instead of being on a treadmill.  The thing that made it even better was spending time with Becky early in the morning to start the day.  With as crazy as our lives are it’s nice to have a little time to ourselves to kick off the day.

Over the past few days our Regional Developer has been in our Menomonie office helping with training.  This morning we touched base on the past couple of days and she had some excellent advice that will help us a lot.  The ideas are fantastic, the team will love them, and it will improve our business.  I always appreciate advice like this from someone who’s able to jump in from a 30,000 foot view and help me see from the same perspective.

I had a conversation with our insurance provider and after some insurance conversation we somehow slid into a conversation about investing and rental units.  I greatly appreciated the thoughts and ideas he had and how openly he shared his experiences.

Our basement stairs are now done!  One more thing on the checklist completed in the house, only a small handful of projects to go.  I would have enjoyed doing it myself, but based on how much available time I’ve had lately it was so nice to have someone do it while I was at work.  I’m so thankful for having a contractor help us on this project.

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Over the past week I took Dominic’s book advice and picked up the book series he recommended to me.  I’ve been reading at night before bed and it’s been a great way to chill before calling it a night.  Last night I finished the first Magnus Chase book and it was AWESOME!!!  Whoever thought a book about Norse mythology could be so entertaining?  Dominic – great call on this book, I’m pumped to start the second one.

All in all, it’s been an awesome day and I’m thankful for all of these moments and so many more.

Thanks!!!

Day 898 – Thankful for Things that Work Out and for Learning From the Things that Don’t

Day 898 – Thankful for Things that Work Out and for Learning From the Things that Don’t

Sorry gang, this is one that’ll be a little light on the details for several reasons.  That doesn’t mean I’m any less thankful today, quite the opposite.  Even when there’s something I am really thankful for but don’t want to talk about I usually go with a back up.  In the case of today the small handful of things I’m most appreciative of are all things I don’t want to get into.  So with that, let’s see just how insightfully vague I can be tonight 😉

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There are some things in life that are so important and so core to my joy that I struggle to imagine a life without them.  They are often easy to take for granted as they are always there and seem like they will be, but at some unexpected point they will not be.  It takes the possibility of losing them to truly appreciate them.  Today it worked out and I was reminded of how much I appreciate them.  I am more thankful for that than I can ever begin to explain.

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On the flip side there are some things that haven’t worked out like I’d hoped.  While it would be easy to get stuck in the spiral of being sad and disappointed I’m going right to a growth mindset.  What can I learn from this?  That’s the question that I’ve asked myself on numerous occasions today.  Surprisingly, when I focus on that question it takes the emotion out and helps me logically focus on how to give things the best possible opportunity to work out in the future.  While I wish they all would’ve worked out today there has been much I’ve learned and I appreciate the wisdom gained.

There you have it.  I’m thankful for what’s worked out and for what I’ve learned from what hasn’t worked out.  Life is full of victories and losses, the secret to joy is to finding the meaning in, the lessons learned from, and an appreciation for each.

Thanks!!!

Day 897 – Thankful for LEGO Time with Gavin

Day 897 – Thankful for LEGO Time with Gavin

Playing just feels good once in a while, doesn’t it? Tonight Dominic had church and Becky was the Uber driver. After getting a few things done for work I joined Gavin in his room and before I knew it we were building with LEGOs.

We decided to build something so we added a way to push creativity a bit… we could only use orange bricks. After digging through several bins we amassed quite the pile of orange blocks and went to town.

Like Benny the 1989’s spaceman we went for the good old LEGO design of spaceships. In no time we’d built quite the ship! Throw in a little LEGO 2 soundtrack and we had a lot of fun building together.

I had so much fun spending some great one on one time with Gavin as we played with my favorite toy of all time. How awesome is that? Moments like that always warm my heart and I appreciate them greatly.

Thanks!!!

Day 896 – Thankful for Finding Ways to Bring On a Smile When I’m Frustrated

Argh!!! Today was one of those days when nothing quite seemed to click like I’d wanted it to. There was a steady grinding of things that just get slowing my progress on certain projects. At times I caught myself becoming increasingly frustrated and as I look back I can see that I let certain things dictate my attitude instead of me consciously choosing my attitude. Sure, some of the things were pretty infuriating (like check fraud), but most others were mild annoyances I should have just taken a deep breath on and moved on (all i ask is for my Wi-Fi to work with regularity, is that too much to ask? 😉). Instead I let each of those little things become tinder and I was pretty torched by the end of he work day.

At one point I realized how foolish I was being and decided to do something to make me smile. As luck would have it there was a small piece of one of my favorite things in the world that I’d been holding onto for a while for a moment just like this. Bubble wrap! And not just any bubble wrap, but the giant one inch round bubble kind of awesome bubble wrap.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, popped a bubble, and smiled. Ahh… remembering the therapeutic power of bubble wrap I continued to breathe deep, pop a bubble, and smile. Only one at a time, I was feeling tremendously better when I was done with the sheet.

Throughout the day the LEGO Movie 2 soundtrack has been stuck in my head. As Becky and I were trading stories of the frustration from the day (not often we are both stressed like that) one of the songs popped into my head and I couldn’t help be chuckle to myself. The song? “Everything’s Not Awesome.” 🤣

Yup, in hearing the overly depressed lyrics I just couldn’t stop smiling. Seriously, if you haven’t listened, check out the start of the song:

Everything’s not awesome
Everything’s not cool
I am so depressed
Everything’s not awesome

Whoa, I think I finally get Radiohead
Bro, you should check out Elliot Smith
What’s the point? There’s no hope
Awesomeness was a pipedream
Aye, my spirits be at the bottom of the sea
Love’s not real, I just wanna eat carbs
Pass the ice cream

Right? The LEGO Movie writers just nailed my feelings during part of the day… and found a way to make me smile. Hearing Batman sing “love’s not real, I just wanna eat carbs, pass the ice cream” cracks me up every time.

Even as I write this I find myself in a much better mood. Yup, the day wasn’t perfect, not by a long shot, but nothing I’ve encountered today is insurmountable. Heck, almost all of it isn’t worth spending any emotional energy on. Thanks to a couple of ways to put a smile on my face and pull me out of my funk I know that the rest of the night will be better and tomorrow will be amazing. Not because of any specific thing or action, but because I choose for them to be and will find the positives in them.

Thanks!!!