When in doubt go for a run, or do yoga, or both. Seriously, how many of life’s challenges can be better dealt with after a run or yoga? Even if it is not what o want to do in the moment remember that I am a runner, I am a yoga practitioner, and I can create joy through those two activities.
This might sound trivial, but I’m grateful for driving during the daylight hours. With travel for the holidays there’s a HUGE difference between driving in the dark versus in the sun. We were able to leave early in the afternoon and it made a tremendously positive impact in my mood today. Sunshine, very much underrated!
As I work on marketing my book I’ve been spending time reviewing it to pull out stories to share on social media. I’m going through so many of those most difficult moments I’m still able to extract so many lessons from the memories. My presence in those moments, as painful as they were, allowed me an incredible opportunity to learn through those moments for years afterwards.
Funny how the world really helps to grind in the right message sometimes, isn’t it? It’s as if the universe knows we really need to learn something specific so it finds ways to repeat the message in many different formats until we really get it.
The message I’ve needed to hear again and again recently? It’s all about putting in the reps, consistent practice, and a systematic approach to getting it done.
I’m very thankful for the way Becky and I tag in to help each other out when we’re swamped. Whether it is work or life causing bonus stress or putting additional demands on our time we seem to always find ways to help each other out. The past few weeks have been a great reminder for me of much easier life is for both of us thanks to that shared load. It made all the difference and helped me keep my sanity today!
As I re-read my book to pull out stories and nuggets to share over the next months I was quickly lost in a state of flow. My mind went into overdrive as I extracted what will become my media content fit the next quarter.
What really caught my attention was just how many flow moments this book had created for me since I started outlining it on a flight to Seattle five and a half years ago! Diving this deep into the memories and mindset has been wildly more therapeutic than I ever imagined.
What a difference stillness can make in our lives.
With all of the busy-ness of the holidays be sure to create some space for yourself. Not time sitting in front of a screen, but actual space to have quiet and think.
Some of the greatest moments of healing I had after the death of Dad were when I took time to pause in silence with my thoughts. I found great joy and relief in talking with Dad, even though he wasn’t physically with me. One in particular still makes me chuckle when I think about it.
The day after Dad passed I was making the three hour drive up to northern Wisconsin to help make his funeral arrangements. As I drove I kept the radio off and was silent in thought. After a while I started talking to Dad, it helped me work out some thoughts and emotions.
As I was driving on the highway a sign warned me of a “Bump” up ahead. I was going a little fast so I slowed just a tad for the “Bump.” The “Bump” was more like a sudden three inch vertical that I was hurtling towards. My only reaction was to grimace I hit the “Bump” with a solid impact. Just like in a cartoon I was launched into the air and I swear I could feel when all four tires made contact with the pavement again.
After shaking the rust out of my neck I started laughing and looked to the passenger seat. Without taking time to realize Dad wasn’t really there I had tears of laughter streaming down my face and I said, “Dad? Seriously? We’ve got to talk about this guardian angel stuff! You really suck at it!” In that moment I swear I heard him laughing right along with me. What an awesome moment!
About a half an hour later I was about to crest a hill and I felt like tapping the brakes for some reason. There wasn’t anything wrong, no sign, or anything like that, but I felt compelled to slow down a bit. Just as I tapped my brakes a deer jumped out and crossed the road right in front of me. Had I not started slowing down beforehand I would have totally plowed into it.
“That was much better Dad! Thanks for having my back.”
Remember to create space for yourself this holiday season, take time to be still and think. Who knows, you may have an awesome moment waiting around the corner for you if you choose to pause and listen.
Becky was asked to do a presentation on some of our travels and vacations. This evening we started pulling some ideas together for it and were blessed with an awesome bonus vacation – a trip down memory lane!
We cruised through so many pictures, vacation notes, and state parks maps in a little over an hour. What a wonderful gift to give ourselves, sharing the memories of past experiences!
Running outside today felt borderline glorious! The weather has warmed way up without getting too hot and was in a very sweet spot. One other thing that I was very cognizant of that I really enjoyed was the feeling of running on snow. The steps all feel a little different, a little softer surface, and a little less stability. All in all it caused me to pay much closer attention ti each footfall this morning – forced presence!
Reaching back over 3,000 years we can still learn lessons through the stories of others. The story of Achilles in the Iliad is very much focused on his ego, his pursuit of Kleos ~ glory. From the words written by Homer so long ago we can learn the tragedy that follows pursuit of immortality, especially through feeding the ego.
I’m thankful for all of the little reminders of loved ones who’ve passed that flit into life so very unexpectedly. They can be seemingly insignificant, touch on any of our senses, and leave us in a splendid state of joy even as we miss the person we’re reminded of. Each little reminder brings a smile and reminds us of how much we loved that person who’s moved on. So many smiles over the past week, so much love, and so many warm memories.
Walking with my family over lunch while making LuLu’s day was a wonderful pause. The sun was shining enough to fight away the chill. Time outside, in the sun, with my family? Yes please!
Nick shared a quote at yoga that really caught my attention fits perfectly with my plans for 2023.
What an awesome day it has been! It started with yoga with Becky, rolled into family games and walking LuLu, proceeded on to board games with friends, and wrapped up with watching the end of Life of Brian with my boys. Now I’m off to sleep and smiling as I think back on the day – it’s been an awesome one!
A song over the speakers at Kwik Trip played a tune that took me way back to the night I asked Becky out on a date. Mambo #5 was one of the songs played at the wedding reception and I still have a crystal clear visual of Becky dancing along to it. It was one of the moments in which her smile completely won my heart over.
Gifts of time, presence, love, & shared experiences trump “stuff” every single time.
Time with family, the best way to spend Christmas Day, no question. As each evening brings Dominic’s college journey one step closer I’m enjoying each moment together more and more. I’m sure we’ll have times with the four of us for years to come, but they will be slightly changed and fewer and far between. The Christmas gift of tonight was perfect.
Our drive today provided views I’ve never quite seen the same way as before. The snow and ice clung to the trees and the sun reflected off in just the right way. The entire scene glittered like a crystal forest!
One bite at a time. Looking at all that needs to be done as one behemoth only incites panic and anxiety. Break it into smaller pieces and take them one at a time and it feels so much less daunting.
I’m thankful for taking time for introspection. Over past year I’ve been intentionally focused on thinking more and acting less in order to learn and grow. It’s difficult to open even a small window at times but it seems that those moments may make all the difference.
Hiking in the frigid snow covered woods with the sun shining is stunningly serene. Becky and I went on a couple of walks like that today and they were a wonderful contrast to the busyness of a full house.
I’m grateful for how Ive started living into my 2023 habits early. While I haven’t followed them perfectly I’ve found some definitely friction spots. These are the times when an unseen challenge gets in the way of living into the habit. This has helped me start to adjust my plan and find ways to better live into the me I prefer to be in ’23.
So many photos from the past couple of decades. As I get frustrated attempting to sort them out and get them organized I can’t help but realize how fortunate I am to have created so many memories and to have taken so many pictures to bring them back. Some of my favorites have been the seemingly everyday moments which leave me smiling as I see them.
Getting lost in conversation with family is always a wonderful way to enjoy the present. I’m thankful for the holidays and the opportunities they provide to spend that time together with the family.
Flexibility, adaptability, & resilience. Keys to a fulfilling life. All made so much easier with a growth mindset, appreciation, & presence.
When life gives you a very poor weather forecast make a shift, don’t stress, and go where life is leading.
I’m thankful for all the work that goes into building strong partnerships. Many reminders of this today, it is so much easier to work through difficulties and challenges when you already know everyone involved is working in the best interest of the other person. Having been in the crucible together allows this to happen seemingly effortlessly.
Sometimes a perfectly timed hug is about the best way to be pulled into the present.
I went down the rabbit hole tonight. One thing led to another and I quickly slipped into scrolling through old photos. Some were vacations but most were of almost everyday moments. There were so many photographic bread crumbs I left myself, so many awesome memories created with my family and friends.
The growth I’m thankful for tonight is the reminder to take many pictures. Never let the camera get in between the present and me, but also remember the photos I take bring back so many memories later.
One of our usually annual family traditions is a trip to see the Rotary Lights in downtown La Crosse. So grateful for another year of spending time with our family together at this event!
One of the videosI stumbled across was that of the octopus I found (& touched) in a tide pool in Sawtell, Australia. That moment remains one of the most intensely encoded memories in my brain. What a surreal moment!