Day 1,240 – Thankful for an $11.96 Investment that Continues to Pay Off

I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget buying Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. The boys and I were in the San Francisco airport on our way out to Australia and I was in the mood for a good book for our long flight. We were passing time waiting for our flight and we popped into the bookstore. I knew what I was looking for and highly doubted I’d find it in the tiny airport bookstore with a very limited selection. The book I was looking for was almost 2,000 years old and wasn’t on the bestseller list. As luck would have it I found one lone copy buried off to the side of a shelf. Next thing I knew I had invested $11.96 in myself.

Fast forward to two plus years later and here I am spending time re-reading it for the umpteenth time. I am continually amazed at how often I find a new nugget of information that I somehow missed before. Sometimes there was an idea that made sense but I didn’t have the right experiences to provide context. Maybe I just wans’t ready for it the first few reads. Whatever the reason, I am continuing to learn each time I pick it up.

Over the past couple of years I’ve brought it along with me anytime I’ve travelled and am sure to pick it up at least a few times. It’s possibly my most prized travel possession. I’ve learned from it, lived life better due to it, found joy in it, created joy from lessons learned from it, and so many more things to learn from it. All that for less than $12.00; that’s a pretty solid investment!

Quick side note, what really caught my brain yesterday and today was the beginning of the book. To start Marcus shares what he learned from the most important people in his life and points out what he has learned from each of them. This process in of itself has had the gears in my head turning ever since. If I were to write this who would I write about? What would I credit them for? What an excellent thought experiment!

Thanks!!!

Day 1,239 – Thankful for Running Into Bitter Cold Winds and Drifting Snow, Olympic Memories, Waterproof Socks, and Running with My Soulmate

This morning the weather was putting up a pretty solid fight to keep Becky and I from running outside. There were inches of fresh snow. The temperature was cool, but not frigid. The wind was BRUTAL! It was blowing over 20 miles per hour. Not only did that make it feel bitterly cold, but it caused the snow to drift in crazy patterns which made running a little more crazy. Also, when you’re a due my size the wind adds a whole other level of resistance training.

The crazy thing was that I’m thankful I ran in it today. It was pretty harsh at the beginning, but it made for a memorable run. The wind also helped me feel like I really earned my miles today. Long story short, I really enjoyed the struggle and the test of my grit and attitude selection. To be clear, I don’t necessarily want to run in 20+ mph gusts anytime soon, but today it added an excellent extra challenge for which I am grateful.

Part of what made the run even more awesome were the memories I had come back to me. While I was initially thinking about how difficult it was to run in the snow like this I thought back to the Olympics back when I was a kid. There was the amazing Russian wrestler (real wrestling, not WWE) who trained in Siberia. During a mini documentary about him they showed him on a training run in Siberia. He was running, actually running, in snow that was up to his chest. It was wild!!! To think, I was mentally complaining about running in 3″ of snow. Talk about a reality check.

This also got me thinking back to watching those Olympics when I learned how the greats retired from their sport. Once the wrestler has completed his last match he sits on the mat, takes off his shoes, and leaves them on the mat. When I saw an Olympian do this at the end of his competition it was amongst the dozen most emotional things I’ve witnessed in my life. I really can’t explain it, but as a wrestler you give more to your sport than any other sport I’ve participated in. To offer this one last slice of you after you’ve left it all on the mat many times is an incredible thing. If you’ve never wrestled, trust me, it is truly a sight to behold and even the toughest of wrestlers will not have a dry eye.

All these memories from running in the snow, how cool is that?

I’m also supremely thankful for my waterproof socks. Thanks Amazon for providing me a very inexpensive way to help keep my feet warm and dry while running in the snow. For less than $15 I’ve been able to enjoy runs in snow, slush, and puddles in total comfort!

Last, and most importantly, I’m thankful for a morning run with my soulmate. Life is busy, often ridiculously so. Our time on an early morning run like that is music to my soul. Sometimes we talk the entire time, other times we’re both quiet and waking up. Regardless, it is time for the two of us to be together (along with the girls) enjoying many of the things we both love – nature, outdoors, solitude, peace, calm, quiet,exercise, and time together. Each of the days in which my morning starts with a run with Becky is a little brighter and more vibrant than the rest. I am so grateful for our morning runs.

All that from one run in the morning, crazy huh?

Thanks!!!

Day 1,238 – Thankful for Learning From the Best, Serving the Best, and Loving with the Best

Today I’m thankful for a handful of different things for a wide variety of reasons.  The one common goal is that I am thankful for everyone in my life today.

Our boys aren’t perfect and they make their mistakes.  In some cases some are worse than others.  In others their response is worse than others.  When these situations happen I am so thankful for my parents.  They taught me how to balance love with discipline in order to teach very valuable life lessons.  I drew from them and my experiences from them on several occasions today and I’m thankful for learning from the best.

In working with my teams today I was struck by how thankful I am for each of them.  They each bring their unique skill sets along with their unique personalities in a quest to help people find work.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to serve them.  Each day they push themselves out of their comfort zones to help others and strive to be better than they were the day before (which is all types of difficult when you’re starting at awesome).  Having them around me helps me find reservoirs of strength and inspiration.  I am so thankful for them.

Last, this evening I was able to spend time talking with my family.  We spent time on the couch, time together and time in small groups.  We ate dinner as a family and enjoyed time and love together.  This wasn’t just with my boys and Becky, I was also able to spend time on the phone with my mom and brother.  Throw in time talking and texting with close friends and there was a whole lot of love today.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to share love with the best family and friends a person could ask for.

I certainly hope I have many more days, weeks, months, years, and decades with each and everyone of the people who have touched my life today.  If this was the last I would go knowing that I had more than my fair share of the best in my life and especially today.  Love you all – including those I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with today!

Thanks!!!

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Day 1,237 – Thankful for Scouting Successes

Tonight was the Court of Honor for the Scouts.  It’s an opportunity for the boys to celebrate the successes they are having in Scouting and to be recognized for their efforts.   This one was especially cool for us for a handful of reasons.

This was the first Court of Honor since Gavin has really amped up his scouting focus.  We’d missed the last one due to soccer so he had a handful of merit badges to collect this time including Crime Preventing, Finger Printing, Indian Lore, Wood Carving, Archery, Geocaching, Aviation, Family Life, & First Aid.  Throw in a rank advancement and he had a stack of patches…  Special thanks to Becky who’s in the process of attaching said patches as I type this!  As the chaplain of his troop Gavin started the meeting off with a prayer.  In normal Gavin fashion he left us all chuckling as he wrapped it up.  The kid cracks me up!

Earlier in the day Gavin and I worked on some orienteering as well.  We had instructions showing distances and directions and it was up to him to use a compass.  The directions took us all throughout the neighborhood and we had a blast joking around while learning ways to find a landmark to head towards.  What an awesome way to spend time on a weekend together!

The Court of Honor had an emcee I was excited to see also, Dominic!  As the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) of Troop  15 he was one of the people taking the lead in handing out awards and keeping the program on track.  The first time he was an emcee I was at soccer with Gavin so I was even more excited for this time.  He did an awesome job and was upbeat and smiling the entire time.  I’m so proud of how willingness to put himself out there and talk in front of a room full of peers and adults.  Seeing him in a leadership role like this had my heart smiling the entire time.

I was also super proud of him as he earned his Life Scout rank today!  This is the last level up before Eagle and is a big deal to reach.  He has put a ton of time and effort into Scouts and I’m so thankful to see it all keep paying off for him.  Next up for him will be a focus on an Eagle project; can’t wait to see what he decides to do for it!

The day has been wonderful (with the exception of realizing that there is such a thing as too much bacon, but that’s a story for a different blog).  Lots of family time, much accomplished, and progress made.  All that said, I’ve so thankful for all of the Scouting successes for the boys today.  I’m grateful for these milestones to help them see the progress and successes they’re having in their Scouting life.

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Thanks!!!

 

 

Day 1,236 – Thankful for Awesome Vacation Memories Rekindled Through Photographs

Day 1,236 – Thankful for Awesome Vacation Memories Rekindled Through Photographs

A picture is worth a thousand words.

You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.

A good snapshot keeps the moment from running away.

We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.

Each of those quotes are spot on for me today.

Dominic is doing a presentation at Scouts tomorrow on Isle Royale. There was a little computer glitch which led me to hop on the laptop to help out. While fixing the issue I figured I’d make Dominic’s life a little easier by getting all the photos from our trip copied into a shared folder.

In doing so I stumbled onto a moment of vacation remembrance bliss. Seeing the photos from that vacation brought back a flood of wonderful memories. Once again I’m amazed at the ability of a photograph to transport me back to days of travel.

So many wonderful memories…

Thanks!!!

Day 1,235 – Thankful for a Perfect Kreiling Valentines Day

While other may be more interested in going out to dinner or watching a romantic movie or going on a date I lived my perfect Valentines Day. I’m pretty sure it’s not everyone’s jam, but it is definitely mine!

Becky and I started off with a cycling class date at the Y after work. Then we hit the grocery store and came home. Supper was homemade meatball subs (special thanks to Festival for making the meatballs 😉) in the loving room while all chilling on the couch as a family. To cap it all off we fired up There’s Something About Mary. Yup, probably not totally appropriate, but we were all laughing hard. There was even a collective groan and boo as Mary said, “…I’m a Niners fan.”

What an awesome way to spend Valentines Day with my Valentine and family.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,234 – Thankful for Listening to People with Opposing Views

With all the political talk I’m continually amazed at how quickly I can allow myself to get sucked in, especially into conversations, podcasts, and articles written by people who agree with my thoughts and views. If I’m not careful I can easily pulled further into my ways of thinking as there are more and more points made for my point of view and absolutely zero argument for the other side. Next thing I know I’m so focused on how right I am and finding ways to prove that my way is the right way that I lose the ability to keep an open mind.

Conversely, some of the moments of greatest learning have come at the hands of people I disagree with. As long as there’s a respectful and open dialogue in which no one is trying to win I seem to learn more. Quite often I end up believing in my views even more strongly as the conversation and interaction cause me to look at my thoughts from other angles. Sometimes I change my mind thanks to see the logic through someone else’s eyes. Regardless, my understanding of the topic is enhanced and I have a stronger foundation of knowledge to form a more complete viewpoint.

The reason I’m thankful for this today is due in large part to an excellent podcast I listened to including an interview with a wonderful author I respect greatly. The podcaster is atheist and the author is Buddhist. During parts of the conversation they focused on religion. As a self identified Christian it would have been easy to call BS and immediately disagree. Instead I listened with an open mind and was able to gather some new insight into my own belief system. I still believe in what I did before, but with a more clear perspective. Had I not listened I would’ve easily missed these couple of nuggets.

It seems as so many of our issues come from pointing out all the ways we’re all different from each other. We each have to be right and prove that the others are wrong. What if we all practiced openness, listening, and acceptance? It’s taken me many years to realize that my religion is the right one… for me. Other religions (or even lack thereof) are possibly right for others. Why does one way have to be correct? As long as we all treat each other with dignity, respect, and, most importantly, love how could our beliefs and ideas be wrong?

Today was a wonderful reminder of just how important it is to me to listen to people with opposing views. We’re all people, we all have our own unique beliefs. By listening to the beliefs and views of others with an open mind and love in my heart I have the opportunity to grow into the best possible version of me.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,233 – Thankful for Heeding the Timeless Advice of a Great Philosopher, Thumper’s Mom

OMG!!! For reals? Did I really hear that correctly? Did I see what I thought I saw? Are they serious??? What about the time when…

Too often the voice in my head fires off these thoughts (& many more, and many worse) before I can pause and take a deep breath. It is so easy for me to lash out in those moments. I’ve made the mistake too many times of getting caught up in that emotion and unleashing a torrent of hellfire that can thoroughly thrash someone. It’s a horrible feeling that kicks in as I see the last sound waves leave my mouth. I often want to take back what I said and wish I could have a do over, but I can’t. Once that genie has been uncorked it’s out for the world to see.

I’m continuing to focus on setting the emotion aside first, think logically, and then respond appropriately. There is still a huge gap for me to overcome on this. This is particularly true when someone says something about my family, friends, and team. It still seems like hard work to take a deep breath and let logic win instead of ripping into someone or showing them and others just how wrong they are. The more and more I’ve thought on it the more I realize that this doesn’t help my case at all. Regardless of the point I’m trying to prove it loses it’s meaning when I go off half cocked. Proving to the world that someone else is wrong is also a horrible thing. It doesn’t prove anything other than that I am not doing a good job of loving everyone and treating everyone with respect as we all deserve as humans. When I unleash the beast it hurts the person, others involved, my friends, my family, my team, and me. In those moments I am a part of the problem and not a part of the solution. This is a gap I continue to work to close.

Today I made progress. There was a moment in which I remembered the great line from the movie Bambi. It’s a priceless piece of advice that I will keep close to my brain in those moments when I want to voice my frustration the wrong way. To quote the advice Thumper received from his mom, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

The interesting thing that strikes me as I type this is maybe that advice is close but off just a tad. Maybe it should be something like “If you can’t say something nice, find a reason to love them, and give them the love they deserve as a fellow human.” I don’t know. There are a handful of people I’d struggle to do that with, but I wonder just how much of a better place our world would be if that was the case. Regardless, I’ll focus on the advice from Thumper’s mom first and then stretch into the second part once I’ve got it down a little better.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,232 – Thankful for a Great Song, I’m On Vacation by

My buddy Jeremy shot me this one late last week and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. Not only is it catchy but the lyrics are pretty awesome! There were a few times in the course of my workday today when it really sunk in just how much I agree with this song. It’s one to file away in the back of my head for a day when I’m frustrated, it’ll help me take a deep breath and remind me to be thankful for the opportunity I have to do what I do every day.

Here is the video and the lyrics, enjoy!

https://youtu.be/7zok9co_8E4

A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
If you don’t like your life, then you should go and change it
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day-ay
Everybody sour like a lemon tree
I’m just smiling down upon my enemies
Do this shit, I love it on the daily
You say you hate your job, but you’ll never leave, never leave
But that ain’t gonna be me, that ain’t gonna be me
My brother called me up said he saw me on TV
I said, “it wasn’t easy, but right now I’m living breezy”
Build this engine from the ground up
Now my hands they ain’t so greasy, feel me?
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day-ay
Illuminate my future bright
So thankful for everything
Rejuvenate my inner light
As I work hard for all I need
Open arms, embracing life
And all of which you gave me
Hard work, it pays off
I’m happy now, it’s paying me
Close my eyes sometimes it feels as if I go away
I love the life I live and enjoy the ride along the way
“I make a living out of living, ” yeah, that’s what I say
I’ve got one life to live, and I wouldn’t live it no other way
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day-ay
Van Gogh in my earlobe
I can’t hear, I’m here though
I may be a weirdo, but this is my year, yo
My life may be crazy
My lack of the lazy has let me do shit that I love on the daily
Daily, daily
Get to do this shit I love upon the daily
Daily, daily
Everybody go and live your daydreams up
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
If you don’t like your life, then you should go and change it
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day-ay
Source: LyricFind

Thanks!!!

Day 1,231 – Thankful for Two Thought Provoking Books From Outside My Normal Wheelhouse

With all the driving Ive done recently it’s been a wonderful opportunity to amp up my reading.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve enjoyed a couple of books that are outside of my normal reading cycle (in addition to some that were within my usual topics).  Both of them have stuck out for very different reasons.

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The first was How to Read Water by Tristan Gooley.  I don’t know that I’ll ever quite look at ripples, waves, swells and tides the same.  There were so many interesting facts about water that I’d never heard before.  While I’m not planning on boating to some crazy location across the ocean anytime soon I can tell you that if I did I’d certainly pay more attention to the types of birds I saw.  Heck, I even finally understand the concept of using a sextant now.  Every stream I’ve driven past recently I’ve tried to decipher if it was a highland or lowland stream.  Crazy, so many interesting things about water that I hadn’t known before and can’t help but look for now.  It even kind of inspired me to consider fly fishing!

I’m almost halfway through Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and I’m very much enthralled by it.  He’s covered so much already I can’t believe there at least this much more to go.  The general concept is talking about the history of humankind.  Amongst some of the more interesting things I’ve found so far are why humans thrived over other animals, how many different types of human-like creatures there were back in the day, and the impact of farming culture.  One of the concepts that still has my head reeling is the concept that humans were domesticated by wheat…  For reals, I know it sounds crazy but read the book and you’ll see what I mean.  Hint, wheat caused humans to stop roaming and stay in one spot.  All in all it’s been incredibly thought provoking and is helping me see the world through a slightly different lens.  To be clear, I’m not sure I believe 100% of what he’s saying, but even the stuff I am in disagreement with has me thinking.

Two great books from outside what I’d normally read.  Nice change of pace and info that translates into other aspects of life.  I’m thankful I took the time to pick them up.

Thanks!!!