Day 1,405 – Thankful for a Perfect Sunday and a Soul at Peace

Where do I start today? Throughout the day I’ve been smiling and laughing, productive and relaxed. I stayed in the moment and also took time to dream of the future. I feel very satisfied today in all aspects of life. Not too shabby!

After all the heat and humidity we’ve had recently the gloomy sweatshirt weather felt amazing. Waking up to the clouds was kind of nice, they let me sleep in a little longer than normal. We spent much more time than normal on the deck enjoying the fresh air. Going for our evening walk while wearing a long sleeve shirt was a welcome change of pace.

This morning I spent some time getting some things done for work while Becky completed her yoga session. I was largely focused on finishing up a presentation for our team on our last chapter of Mindset. Spending time right away in the morning thinking on a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset really got my head in a great place. Having a little humor mixed in made it even more fun.

The three of us spent some time cleaning the house. We were all doing something different, but still working together with the music of Bruce Springsteen as a wonderful soundtrack. The act of cleaning felt almost therapeutic. Being productive and seeing the immediate results provided a great sense of accomplishment.

After lunch and a couple of errands we played some games out on the deck. The temperature was perfect. The time spent together was filled with smiles, laughs, and small talk. There may have been some Nerf guns utilized for squirrel removal, but I can neither confirm nor deny that.

We all kind of split off and did our own things for a while after games. Dominic had a Scout meeting and Becky and I each found some relaxing things to keep us busy. We made supper and ate as a family right back on the deck before heading out for our nightly tradition of a walk.

Once home we wrapped up some other stuff and fired up a movie. Becky didn’t make it all the way through, but she was laughing with us until she headed off to bed. Dominic and I continued to laugh until a few minute ago before I started typing. It was great to relive old stories and memories while seeing just how much of some of them he’s already either started or will be living in the not too distant future.

Now it’s off to bed and then wake up for a run and start the week. I’m looking forward to work tomorrow, to my day tomorrow, and to everything. My soul is totally at peace in a subtle way that feels amazing. That’s something I can be very grateful for today.

A New Favorite Hike to Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park ...


Day 1,404 – Thankful for Reading Sediment Nutrient Dynamics In a River Network of a Modified Landscape; aka Becky’s PhD Thesis

This afternoon I finished reading the last chapter of Becky’s PhD thesis. Several facts were readily apparent:

  • Becky is ridiculously intelligence in science is readily apparent – though her judgement in choice of spouse is still questionable 😉
  • In order to even begin to understand what she researched I needed to read each sentence a minimum of two times.
  • The work ethic, rigor, and grit it took for Becky to complete this beast of a research project blows my mind even more.
  • The importance of her research is wild as it connects several concepts that haven’t been combined in the past (in my opinion).
  • I can’t help but continue to notice similarities between natural phenomena and the actions of individuals and groups; there were some interesting business concepts I was picking up while reading this last chapter.

The final chapter was without a doubt my favorite as it helped tie all of her past chapters together. As I read the past chapters my mind struggled with trying to understand the information. This last chapter helped me see a much more holistic view and then it really clicked for me.

So why am I thankful for “Reading Sediment Nutrient Dynamics In a River Network of a Modified Landscape” today? The conversation we had after reading it was awesome. It was fun bonding with Becky while we talked about her research in more detail as well as other potential research. While I’ve always had a fairly good idea of what she was researching I had a much better understanding which led to better conversation. Spending time engaged in dialogue with her on a topic she’s very passionate about was awesome!

Yes, it took me longer than it should have, but I’m glad I finished reading it regardless. Great information, a source of new ideas, and another way to engage with Becky… Those are all things I am very grateful for!


Day 1,403 – Thankful for Living in La Crosse, Mental Diets, and Online Hangouts with Friends

I’ve mentioned this many times, but it really hit home again this morning. I am so thankful for living in an area I’m so enthralled with. On our run this morning the initial light of the sunrise light up the outline of the bluffs with a vibrant dark purple. The bluffs themselves lay obscured in the black of night, but their edges were clearly visible. The lack of wind made a perfect reflection on the river as we ran past. There was the sound of train and some street lights on the other side of the river. Outside of those very minimal distractions it felt like we were all alone in the countryside. It was one of those incredibly serene moments of feeling completely lost in the wild. On the way back there were more signs of civilization but the rising sun was lighting up the Mississippi River valley. All the clouds were a variety of spectacular bright pinks until they hit the bright green of the trees atop the bluffs on the other side of the unseen river. Living in such an awesome place like this with so much natural beauty makes it so easy to stay positive even during these times. I am so grateful for the decision I made to move to La Crosse over two decades ago.

Not from today but in the same area…

A while back I wrote a blog talking about watching my mental diet. This plan has not been flawless, but it’s funny how much progress can be made when intentionally living into a certain direction. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve finished a handful of newly started or half finished books. I’ve been more focused on reducing the amount of time spent on my phone and have been working on replacing it with other activity like reading. Seeing my daily phone time drop well below 30 minutes per day has been wild! Seeing the pile of finished books has me smiling even bigger. What a difference a diet can make!

Over the past few weeks I’ve had several opportunities to do some online gaming with a couple of groups of friends on Zoom. I’m really jones-ing for a trip out to hang out with all of them IRL (in real life) and can’t wait for the day to hang out with them again like we used to several times throughout the year. In the meantime I’m so grateful for the opportunity to hang out with them virtually in an environment like this. Being able to interact in real time and seeing the smiles match the laughs is such a comforting feeling. Can’t wait to hangout in person again soon, but I glad to have this time together to tide me over until then.