Thankful for the Ability to Work from Home

Day 2,102

Sometimes life throws a bit of a curveball that can catch me off guard. I’ve had to work from home unexpectedly for the past couple of days and was reminded of just how grateful I am to be in a career in which I can do that.

Back in the day, pre-COVID, I always thought it would be awesome to work from home. The idea of having focused time to work and the reduction in transportation time sounded pretty sweet. When the pandemic hit and forced us to change business I realized that it wasn’t quite for me. The balance is most likely a hybrid of the two, but certainly not home all the time.

Today, the opportunity to keep working through unexpected setbacks has been quite the blessing! Had this not been an option I would have had to lay low and fall behind. Had I not already had practice in doing this I wouldn’t have been nearly as productive as I was able to be.

Life is all about resilience and adaptation. When the curveball comes all you can do is adjust your swing. I’m glad I’ve had time to learn to adjust on the fly.


Thankful for Timing

Day 2,101

Timing is everything, isn’t it? Sometimes things are off by a minute and I’m left taking a deep breath and having to make a decision between reacting with frustration or a growth mindset. The timing was just a little bit off and what I wanted to have happen didn’t quite work out.

Other times the timing of something seems impeccable. I can’t help but pause and be grateful for the ways things worked out. In those moments I should also remember to pause and appreciate just how close to having poor timing it was.

Regardless of how things work out and when is neither good nor bad. It just is. It is up to me to put context to the moment, to choose how to respond to the situation, which mindset to react with.

Today I’ve been incredibly fortunate on a handful of levels, timing has worked out incredibly well. While I pause and appreciate how it worked out I’ll also spend much time thinking about how it could have gone the other way, how the other result could have happened, and how I would have responded to it.

I’m grateful for timing today – not good, not bad – but the opportunity to live in the moment in which timing was everything.


Thankful for Learning from Becky’s Advice

Day 2,100

Once in a blue moon I’m pretty thankful to have been right. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does I’m sure to celebrate the moment 😉 On the flip side of that, I really need to give Becky credit on days like this.

We got back to our house late last night after driving back from Minneapolis. Based on Iceland time it was 2:30am and I was exhausted! I unpacked just enough to go to bed and then hit the rack. This morning I was able to sleep in a little and then get to all the unpacking. Once that was done I knocked out a few more odds and ends, finished what should be the last edits for my book, and even had a few minutes to chill. Later in the evening I spent time culling the herd of vacation photos and deleted 353 so far. Yup, you read that correctly, I have already DELETED 353… I take a lot and then screen them out afterwards. Now, I’ll blog and head off to an early bed so I can wake up a little extra early, get my run in, and hit the office early.

What does all of that have to do with Becky being right? It is all 100% because of her advice that I’ve been able to get everything done.

Way back in the day I wanted to extend our vacation by one day and then hit work hot off a long day of travel. She pushed back and said no. Her insight was to stay with the original vacation plan and have one day off at home before diving back into work. Initially I thought this was a terrible idea and was costing us a vacation day. In actuality it turned out to help me savor the the vacation feel just a little longer while simultaneously being more productive at work during my first week back. She was 100% right and I’ve burned her advice into my brain.

Fast forward to planning for this vacation. Our flight landed at 6:30pm in Minneapolis. In my head I went through the rough math and estimations… Arrive at 6:30, drive home two hours, in bed before 9pm, why not go to work on Monday and get right back at it?

Fortunately, I trusted Becky and initially took today off. My math was off by a bit, we didn’t get home until after 9:30pm as we had to clear Customs, walk to our car, and grab food on the way home. Had I not had the extra day I would have gone to work exhausted. I either would have unpacked completely late last night and been more exhausted or done it after being tired at work all day and then spent the entire week attempting to catch up on my sleep. Any which way I think on it Becky was 100% right in having the buffer day.

Yeah, I’ll probably be a little tired tomorrow when I head into work, but I’ll be way less tired knowing I got everything done and can keep a normal sleep pattern for the week. Huge wins all the way around. I’ve also got enough of a head start on our photos that I should have them completed by the end of the weekend, not too shabby!

Thanks Becky for making the right call, you were right… again!


Thankful for Focused Flight Time, Traveling East to West, and My Bed

Day 2,099

Nothing quite like the focused time of a flight to knock out something I’ve wanted to put a handful of hours into for a while. Loading up everything except the materials I need into the overhead compartment makes it a lot easier to stay focused. The best part was that I’d wrapped up about 20 minutes before we landed!

Traveling from East to West on long flight is pretty sweet. So much easier to stay up a little late and then get back into the normal schedule. West to East flights mess me up, East to West is much more simple to roll with.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m thankful for my bed. It has been too long my old friend!


Thankful for the “Family” Time During Family Vacation

Day 2,098

The best part of a family vacation is not the destination or the activities. It is not in what we see, what we eat, and what we buy.

The best thing about a family vacation is the time together as a family. The creation of shared memories that we will laugh and smile about for years and years. It is in seeing the smile of a family member experiencing one of their favorite things, the sense of awe and wonder family can share together. The time together is priceless and is the vacation in and of itself. Focused time to bond, to connect, and to to share. On family vacation we have time to be present with each other – one of the greatest gifts of life.

This trip has been mind-blowing, perception altering, and inspiring. I’ve seen things I’ve never dreamt possible, found fodder for future imaginations and day dreams, and have added more ideas to my dream list. All that said, I’m most thankful for the time with my family.


Thankful for Blogging In This Environment

Day 2,097

Gotta love a view like this when i’m about to blog. I had a handful of thoughts and ideas of where to go with the gratitude today, but then I got my laptop outside and sat on the porch. All around me are the sounds of birds I wouldn’t have recognized a little over a week ago. The tail feathers of a snipe. The angry shouts of a tern. Countless others I don’t know.

Across the yard are a large hill and a mountain. Behind me and to the right are snow capped mountains and glaciers. Over my left shoulder are a few waterfalls.

In front of me is a tide pool slowly rising. Across from that is a giant bay and then the next peninsula of Iceland and its own set of snow covered mountains. 

The sun is out and only occasionally ducks behind a cloud. There’s a cool little breeze blowing across my face. It is the perfect temperature to type while wearing a long sleeve shirt and a pair of shorts.

This is heaven. This is heaven and I have the opportunity to blog here. What a perfect moment.


Thankful for Driving Through a Postcard

Day 2,096

For clarity, we did have to get out of the car to take this picture, but it was on our way heading to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Yes, that’s a ridiculously large and majestic waterfall surrounded by bright green vegetation under a perfectly balanced cloudy blue sky complete with rainbow.

All day long our views have felt like they were pulled straight out of a postcard. Mountains. Glaciers. Giant plains filled with sheep. A sea of purple Alaskan lupins. Sun shining down on a mountain while rain buffets another mountain. Driving along the ocean. Waterfalls, waterfalls, and more waterfalls. All around us was picturesque scene after scene.

Driving a handful of hours isn’t nearly as bad when there are views like this!


Thankful for Knocking Another One Off My Dream List

Day 2,095

As I type this we’re all winding down, taking turns heading to the shower, and will then be grabbing supper. After we eat we’ll play some games and head off to bed. We’ve hiked just shy of 40 miles with an elevation gain of 6,700′ over the past three days and I’m definitely feeling it. Bed sounds fantastic.

Yesterday I accomplished something I have on my dream list – spending a day in Iceland when it is daylight all day long. The longest day of sunlight was yesterday and I was here in Iceland to enjoy it. Gavin even helped me document the sunrise and sunset of the day as seen below:

For clarity – there was no flash, no outdoor lighting, and no editing other than the addition of the times. It is ridiculously bright out all day long!

To be honest, there wasn’t anything noble or bigger picture in that dream other than having the opportunity to experience daylight for 24 straight hours. Not gonna lie, it’s cool, but it’s not great for sleep. The cabin we’re staying in has dark out curtains, but there’s no bathroom. In order to go in the middle of the night I have to get up, head outside, and walk to another building. I’m used to that from camping no big deal there. What I’m definitely not used to is the daylight when making said walk. Talk about throwing my brain for a loop!

I’m glad I’ve done it, I’m thankful to have knocked one off my dream list, and I’m also questioning if I really want to have the “spend a day in Iceland during the shortest day of daylight” dream on my list anymore. It’s definitely at least dropped in priority.

All joking aside, I am so appreciative of learning the power of writing dreams down on paper. This was another opportunity to remind myself that I need to keep dreaming big (and sometimes a little weird).


Thankful for Natural Beauty Moving Me to Tears

Day 2,094

Words cannot do justice to what we experienced today. One of our hikes culminated in something so extraordinary and naturally beautiful I was moved to tears as I stood soaking it in. The sense of awe overcame me with emotion.

After hiking close to five miles and crossing a handful of rivers and streams (some by rock hopping and some by wading barefoot) we got to what we thought was a sad end. For sure, it was about one of the most gorgeous dead ends of all time, stopped by raging glacial rivers and gusting winds while surrounded by 100+ meter cliffs on either side. When we turned to head back we remembered the advice from the front desk help earlier in the day. “When it look like the trail ends stay left until you get to the cave and waterfall.” As luck would have it we were able to find what appeared to be another dead end but actually led to the cave.

Once we entered the cave it opened up into a natural spiral staircase made of stone. The rock seemed to be a hard baked clay with huge chunks of obsidian and other rocks mixed in, almost like a volcanic concrete. Rising above us was an opening to the sky with a waterfall dropping well over a hundred feet into the round circular area we were standing in. The water dropped from one level to the next, splitting into two streams and then merging back into one before the water reached the floor. The walls were coated with emerald green moss and vegetation which also caused additional water to fall from the walls like rain. The cool air was misty and the roar of the water the only sound. It was awesome.

We all just stood there and took it all in. I couldn’t even begin to guess how long we were there, I was caught in such a sense of wonderment that all I could think of was trying to absorb as much of the memory as possible. There was no sense of time, only a sense of awe. In that moment all I could do was stand and let the emotion of such beauty wash over me.


Thankful for Active Family Vacations

Day 2,093

I type this as I lay in my bunk bed at 8:05pm on Monday. I’m exhausted from waking up early and driving a little over three hours. My feet feel a little swollen. My right Achilles is a little tender. My back is a little sore. My legs are feeling a little rough. Keeping my eyes open is a bit of a struggle. Even though it will not be dark anytime soon (pretty sure that happens here again in July😉) there will be no issue with me calling asleep quickly. I’m wore out.

Tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and do it all over again and I’ll be smiling the entire time, even when I’m tired by the end of the day. This feels like heaven.

I know, to many this probably sounds nuts. Maybe the exact opposite of what you’d like vacation to be. Personally, I’m a huge fan of active vacations like this. Maybe it’s the fact I spend much of my professionals life in a state of stillness rather than activeness. More likely, the activities which bring me joy usually involve action or require me to work to get to what I want to see. Either way, active vacations are the right ones for me!

Time to rest up and hit it again in the morning.