We went to church with mom at her church this morning and had the opportunity to experience an awesomely insightful sermon. One of the biggest takeaways for me was this – if the devil can’t tempt you he’ll keep you busy instead. That one kind really hit home on the importance of creating time to breathe and to focus inward. Thus really followed suit with several other lessons learned over the past couple of years.
Spending much of yesterday at Mom’s was great time! No real agenda, lots of talking at the countertop, walking the dog, going out to eat, and relaxing together at the end of the night. So chill, so relaxing, so wonderful to spend time catching up.
Even a short and condensed family game night is still a family game night. Through all the chaos of the past few months these family nights have been few and far between, it was nice having the opportunity to sit around the kitchen table and chill as a family.
Time passes by, the world changes, but memories created with dear friends are forever.
Walking through the University of Minnesota campus as a family was a surreal intersection of memory and life and the realization of 20+ years flying by. Many memories created with great friends. Seeing the opportunity of the next stage of life for Dominic. Witnessing the steAdy forward movement of time over multiple decades. Inspiring. Humbling. Warming the soul. So much joy.
The smell of fresh soil always gets me! On a hike with my mom and my family we happened upon a patch if freshly dug dirt where a new trail was being put in. Closing my eyes to breathe it in and appreciate it was so rewarding.
Impostor Syndrome is a legit challenge for many of us. The internal questioning of our ability can be utterly crippling at times when we let that little voice in our head mess us up. On the polar opposite end of the spectrum is arrogance. Somewhere in between is a beautfilly balanced spot in which I should strive to live my life, in confident humility.
Here’s to the simple pleasures in life. This morning I had a doc appointment to start off the day. It just so happens that the hospital is right near the new Chik Fil A that just happened in La Crosse. The offer a profoundly tasty breakfast so I decided to pre-treat myself with a delicious chicken breakfast sandwich. The appointment was made all the better as a result.
As I got closer to Winona this morning my audiobook hit the end of a chapter and decided to turn on a specific song on a whim. I fired up Mumford & Sons’ Tomkins Square Park off their album Wilder Mind. The combination of the song, the weather, and the leaves brought back a string of memories.
When Becky and I went to Australia back in May of 2016 the album I listened to the most, and think of as my personal soundtrack for taht trip, was Wilder Mind. May is the fall for the Southern Hemisphere so the leaves were changing color and the temperatures were a little cooler. Some of the areas we stayed in had an uncanny resemblence to the Driftless. Put all these things together and I was lost in a moment in which I was 100% present.
Becky was at the University of New England for meetings for the day so I went to one of Australia’s National Parks. As I pulled in I had that song playing quietly. I had the windows rolled down, and there was no one else on the road or in the parking lot. My hike started in the parking lot and almost immediately went through a field with tall grass. The hair on my neck stood up a little and I felt like something or someone was watching me. When I snapped my neck to the right towards the largest part fo the field three heads all popped up and stared at me! Three kangaroos, all about as tall as me, popped their heads up to see who was walking through the field. It was AWESOME!!! I’ll never forget that moment as the ‘roos and I stood in awe of each other.
The book I’m currently reading is a historical fiction on the topic of the Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae. The training regimen they went through was insanely intense. With that in mind there are some strong leadership and values lessons that come through loud and clear. The focus on group over self, disciplined action, and the need for suffering to grow all have been very clear. Great lessons to remember!
One of the strategies we’ve taken on to increase retention is a monthly team building event. This month’s was a walk through Woodlawn Cemetery to experience the natural beauty and history contained in the valley. Spending time with my team forking one of my favorite things was a wonderful way to wrap up a busy day of work.
Sometimes a little suffering can remind me to be thankful for relatively good health. The minor discomfort also was an unexpected source of presence. When I focused on it specifically I was 100% there with it.
What a difference it makes to let people be a part of creating a plan rather than just dictating a plan. The plan ends up being significantly better AND it is so much easier to execute with everyone’s buy in.
There’s a time to stand up and take action, and I did that tonight. I’m thankful for the mentors in my life who showed me the path and built up my confidence to do so when needed.
After our run this morning I took a little rest in bed. Due to taking Gavin to school I had a little extra time on my hands and I opted to get horizontal and relax my brain. With my sleep mask on and a very quiet house I chilled and focused on my breathing. What a wonderful calm there is to be found in my mind when I’m present without distraction.
On my quest to read 100 books in 2022 I’ve come across some I read over a decade ago. What’s interesting is that in reading them I’m finding that books are similar to rivers. You know the quote, “you never step in the same river twice.” Such is the same for books. Though the words are the same as they were before the person I am is very different than the person I was then. The experiences of life have shifted perspecitves a bit as well as help me divine deeper meanings.
Family couch time isn’t usually on tap at our home. We’re usually doing something, playing a game, or off running somewhere. Tonight was a magical night in which we all had everything done AND plopped on the couch in the living room to catch an episode of Alone while talking smack and guessing what would happen. There’s only another 10 or 11 months ahead of us before there will be only three of us… I’m savoring all these moments while I can.
Getting totally lost in the moment of a conversation with someone I haven’t seen in a long while is so easy to do. It’s kind of like presence on cheat mode! Time flew by as we caught up and shared thoughts and stories.
It is easy to solve a problem, yet it can be extremely difficult to clearly define the problem. The first idea isn’t always tight and is usually downstream of a greater and unseen issue. Rushing to solve the surface problem will often result in the need for additional problem solving. Slow down, define the true issue, and then solve it.
There was an impossibly negative new story tonight which was a reminder of the fallibility & frailty of humans, specifically heroes. While struggling to accept the news – while remembering that the full details are unknown – I had an internal struggle. All the positives learned from the person, they are still as true today as they were before the horrible things were brought to light.
It’s really been a struggle to remember that we all have our demons – some so much greater than others – that we have faced, have bargained with, and have dealt with. In spite of those demons we are all still part of something so much bigger and there is a natural goodness within all of us. When the best of us succumb to our demons the past goods, the past wisdoms, are just as true afterwards as they were before.
What I’m thankful for tonight (while simultaneously praying for the victim) is the reminder to use logic to maintain the wisdom received while not letting my emotions blot out all that person taught due to the evil of their actions.
Maybe I should’ve waited and thought in this prior to weighing, but my blog is as placed for me to with through my own challenges. Honestly, my soul is in tears for so many reasons due to this news today, logic seems to be where I can draw strength and start to process… to grow through this.
In yoga tonight there were a few poses held on each side that really torched my legs. Each breath in seemed to go right to the forge inside my legs and heated them up more. They are very sore now as they were in the moment, but in those moments of focused breath nothing on earth existed outside of my legs and my breathing. Incredible!
I have to add a bonus one…. Laying in bed to blog I had to pause for a couple of minutes to savor the sounds of raindrops outside my open window.
Something I’ve realized is how woefully out of touch I am with my need to have down/think time. So much of life has been a rush recently, even the down time has been fast paced. I need to create more space for myself.
This weather!!! We took the boat off the water today and were blessed with almost perfect boating weather.
Spending do much of the day in shorts and a tshirt while doing outside work so late in October was a treat!
The sun on my face, the wind blowing my hair, the sound of our boat engine, and ice cold and delicious IPA in my hand. The last boat ride if the season, so easy to get lost in almost each moment of it.
Ryan Holiday’s books are very thought provoking AND provide some insightful history lessons. Throughout his two most recent books I’ve learned more interesting and inspiring histories than I’ve had in the past year. Can’t wait to read some of the books he referenced.
Dominic played his last high school soccer game today. It marks the end of a chapter for him and for us. What I’m thankful for is the way he handled growing into the next phase of his life. Already he’s looking ahead to what’s next, so excited and happy for him!
Nothing like watching what would turn out to be Dominic’s last high school soccer game to focus 100% attention on the moment! The entire game was a study in being hyper-vigilant. There was nothing else going on in my life than that soccer game as it happened, pretty wild!
Becky is going to kill me for this one 😉 In a moment of frustration over minutia that didn’t seem to matter a four letter acronym crossed my mind. WITA. What is this about. Rather than close my brain I paused, asked myself “what is this about,” and the stepped back to see the bigger picture more clearly. Very quickly the answer appeared and I was able to transform frustration into growth.
One simple four letter acronym to pause and gain perspective.
Dominic and Gavin’s team is a big underdog for tomorrow. They’re the 8 seed playing against the 1. What I’m thankful for is the fact that they seem to be almost relishing the underdog role. Earlier in the season I saw some if the same sparkle in Dominic’s eyes and they went out and tied one of the Top 5 teams in the state in their division. It will be fun to see what happens.
Win or lose, what I’m most thankful for today is the chip on Dominic’s shoulder, his willingness to prove someone wrong. Rather than getting negative he seems to rise when he is told he can’t do something. That attitude will take him everywhere in life!
Today I pulled over for the sunrise.
I glanced to my right and saw a dazzling orange sky. Yup, I’m going to enjoy this for a moment. Next thing I knew I was on a side road snapping a few pics and just taking it all in. Magnificent.