There are always struggles and challenges in life. I’m a believer that if those are not present there’s something I’m doing incorrectly. In order to grow and find the true edge I must continue to push myself just past the brink of what I feel is possible. To accept this and live into this means if there aren’t struggles and challenges I’m doing it wrong.
All that said there are times when I’ve pushed to far past that brink and have fallen. Instead of going just a step past possible I’ve instead made a giant leap and landed without footing. To make that mistake repeatedly will lead to eventual failure.
There’s a fine balance to walk. Challenge enough without taking on the insurmountable. Become comfortable with being consistently uncomfortable. Somewhere in that balance lies the line I want to live on (or just a tad on the other side of 😉).
Today has been amazing. In pausing to consider the day I can’t help but see just how much of that give and take I’ve lived just today. I’ve pushed myself, I’ve been challenged, I’ve found ways to make life fit, and I’ve enjoyed the entire ride (except for the five minutes when I lost my cool before I realized my password had expired after repeatedly trying to log in).
Today has been a full day. I’ve pushed the edge, found the calm in the storm, and have enjoyed squeezing every ounce of life possible out of the day. Ahh…
When I opened up my Facebook memories from today I saw these gems from this date over the years:
As I looked back fondly on each of these moments the memories came flooding back. It is wild how many memories come back so clearly with a picture and a note.
And that’s when I realized what I’m thankful for today. I saw these two memories from the past two and three years ago:
In taking time to read what I wrote about years ago I was reminded not only of memories, but of my thought process, emotions, and the stories behind the story. Even though they are each only about 1/1500th of my blogs I can still remember writing each of them clearly as I read them. Having that level of memory to go back to has been awesome!
By writing a daily blog of what I’m thankful for I’ve stumbled into the habit of journaling.
One of our clients recently had to do a very unexpected layoff of many of our associates. While it started as just a couple of day event my team quickly saw that it might go longer than expected. Many of our associates who were impacted would have had a very tough time with not receiving a paycheck for a couple of weeks. My team quickly realized this and took swift action.
The team contacted many of our current clients and asked if they had any additional temporary work for our associates. In some cases they had to negotiate ways to make things work. When there were still more people who needed to work they even saw an opportunity to have several of the associates come in to help paint one of the units of our office!
When all was said and done they were able to help almost 30 people keep a regular paycheck coming in – all while helping our client retain some great people when they are ready to ramp back up.
One of our core values is “Do Right” and I’m so thankful for the way my team lived into this and then some. I’m so appreciative of how they went the extra miles to help do right by our associates!
From Friday night through tomorrow morning I’ve spent the majority of the time at home. Sure, I headed out for our date night last night, out for church this morning and so on, but for the most part I’ve been at home.
The past few months have been pretty wild as the fall sports season is very much full speed ahead. I’m sure the winter season will to, but this weekend was an excellent way to pause and prepare to transition to the next season.
With this time at home I’ve had time to catch up on a lot of things and do many things I’d been putting off for a while. This included catching up on some work, getting a bunch of stuff ready in my workshop for the winter project season, and spending some time taking a deep breath to relax. I’ve been busy much of the weekend, but it’s almost all been stuff that hasn’t felt stressful.
The weather really helped that feeling of changing seasons. How beautiful was it this weekend? This is some of my favorite weather all year! Whenever we were outside it was so cool to see all the beautiful leaves. So many times I caught myself mentally pausing to enjoy the change in the season.
I can tell I needed some time at home this weekend and I’m glad it worked out the way it did. This was a great sequel into the next season of life. Today reminded me to be thankful for the season and craziness we’ve just had, to be thankful for the next season of life, and especially to be thankful for moments of quiet and calm like this weekend.
It’s always nice to go on a date with Becky. Not only we get a date, we got to try something completely different – a murder mystery dinner party!
Becky was it online a while back and we signed up along with Steve & Kathy. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but when we got an email with our parts we started to see where this was going.
Spending a few hours in costume was a blast. Sure, Dr Druid was totally under appreciated for the greatness he tried to bring the world, but maybe the world wasn’t quite ready for brain transplants. 😉 Regardless of whether my evil genius got the respect it deserved or not I had a great time.
Huge thanks to Becky for finding this and signing us up, I’d totally do it again. Always a great night when I get to hang out with Becky and our friends and try to solve a puzzle.
On Saturday Dominic’s high school JV season was completed. The varsity team had their playoff game yesterday so they had practice all week. Instead of letting the season be done Dominic decided he would ask his coach if there was anything he could do to help out the varsity team. He offered up running drills, scrimmaging, and even team manager type duties. Coach was happy to take him up on it.
All week long Dominic was able to do full on practices with the varsity team. Not only was he able to help with practices but they let him come along with the team to the playoff game. On Thursday we got the following picture texted to us:
Coach decided to let Dominic suit up with the varsity team for the game! How cool is that? Dominic thought it was pretty awesome to do warm ups with the team. He was also very pumped to have his name called at the beginning of the game when teams were announced.
They lost a very close game so now the season is over. That said, I could definitely see a little extra fire in Dominic’s eyes as he talked about it briefly tonight on our way to dropping him off for Scouts.
I’m so thankful for him to have such an excellent life lesson. When you want something badly enough take the time to do the extra work. Ask for the extra work if you need to. All those extra hours and reps will pay off in the long run. So excellent to see it work out so well for him!
Throughout the day and evening I’ve been thinking about my blog post. I’ve had several different focuses of thankfulness and I was struggling to figure out which to focus on. For one gratitude the timing wasn’t quite right. Another was very much appreciated but needed more time to stir in my mind as it is a very complex one. There were a couple of easy ones, but they felt too surface level for the day. A couple of times I kind of got a little frustrated; “Why can’t I figure out which thing of these many I am most thankful for?” As the thoughts crossed my mind I chuckled and took a moment to be grateful for so many blessings.
As I laid in bed staring up at the ceiling gathering my thoughts inspiration struck in the form of a text alert. Becky sent me a note “Father Mark has his narrated homilies online! Love you“. My heart filled up with joy and I hurriedly pulled up the website. In no time I was listening to one of his recent sermons.
There’s such power in hearing a voice. A portion of our spirit comes through loud and clear in our speech. Our energy, our passion, our attitude, our outlook, and our emotion reveal themselves in our speech in a way that appearance and written communication never could. Listening to a recording of my dad’s voice stops me in my tracks. I can feel my joy increase when I remember the voice of my Grandma Lamping. When Father Mark’s voice came through my phone my smile grew wide.
As luck would have it the sermon is about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. Something I strive to improve on each and every single day. It’s something that hasn’t been a natural thing, rather something learned through so many lessons and daily repetition. The topic is one I will pursue until the end of my life and know that I’ll never reach perfection in. Regardless, I’m going to keep working towards that goal…
For any of my friends and family reading this who may be squirming a bit as it’s a sermon or because it’s a Catholic sermon – trust me, it’s not overly “churchy.” Rather, it emphasizes why I love Father Mark’s sermons do much. They’re “how to” guides to being a better and more joyful person. It’s about the best 11 minutes you can spend before going to bed. Enjoy!
This morning I started off the day with an inspiring podcast. Jocko interviewed a Marine helicopter mechanic who suffered horrific injuries in a crash in Afghanistan. In the podcast she shared her story, complete with highs, insanely low lows, and awe inspiring highs. I’ve tried typing a sentence to summarize her story, but you should really give it a listen instead. You can find it here: http://jockopodcast.libsyn.com/199-pain-makes-you-better-with-kirstie-ennis What an incredible way to start the morning (in addition to the beautiful sunrise over the bluffs and valleys in Arcadia).
At one point she shared part of why she works so hard and pushes herself like she does. As she shared that story my mind started to drift and I had to pause the podcast.
Over 25 years ago my parents took me to a banquet to celebrate earning my Eagle Scout award. On the long drive home afterwards my mom made a comment that has stuck with me forever. Honestly, it’s between her and I (& Dad) and it wouldn’t be right to share it. She said it and the words stuck.
When I’m stuck and want to quit, when I’m frustrated and ready to give up, when I’m ready to half ass something instead of giving 100%, and when I question how big I should dream I can hear my mom’s voice in my head. In a split second my mind is set and I push through. Those words inspire me to be better than I would be without them.
As Kirstie Ennis told her story today I thought of my mom and the comment she made. I’m so thankful for what she said. All these years later it is a guidepost that reminds me to push myself further and further.
One of my teammates is going on a sweet road trip and the more I was told about it the more it reminded me of one of the first road trips Becky and I went on.
Way back in the day, May of 2001, we took a road trip out to DC to see our baby niece. It was a short trip, less than a week, but I still look back on it fondly. The funny thing is that I don’t often think back to that trip. Once it was puled to the front of my mind I couldn’t help but smile as I looked back at the adventure.
We didn’t have much for cash, the AC in my truck died, and we totally underestimated how long it would take us to get out there and back. One the way home we got lost heading out of DC within a matter of minutes. This was especially problematic as we didn’t have cellphones and GPS way back in those dark ages. Even with the handful of challenges it was a great trip! I don’t think either of us had any idea just where life would take us adventuring after that one.
Thanks to my teammate for bringing back a flood of memories, I appreciate them greatly!
At the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the most basic thing we as humans need in order to survive. All other needs are secondary to our physical well being as without life there’s nothing.
Over the past 12 hours I’ve had a few great reminders of how thankful I am for access to healthcare and health insurance. These two things have had a positive impact on our ability to take care of our physical well being. Because of the combination of those two things the physical well being of my family and I are taken care of.
Without insurance I don’t know how we would take care of the large medical bills we have had in 2019. While insurance certainly is expensive and hits the wallet hard it seems to always end of paying for itself when averaged out over time. To be able to doctor as needed without fear of being bankrupt by the time it’s over is a very positive thing. The amount of stress it prevents is almost worth the cost in of itself. Of course I’ll usually still crumble at the premium costs and deductibles I’ll be sure to think about times like this and take a deep breath.
Having access to healthcare is something else I am very appreciative of. Being able to head to the doc right away when needed and get expert care within hours is a luxury I must remember to be thankful for. There’s a peace of mind that this provides that almost never seems to be top of mind, but when considered it allows so many other things to be top of mind instead. I am so thankful for having access to so many wonderful healthcare so close by.
Today I’m reminded of how appreciative I am to be blessed with the combination of healthcare and health insurance.