Thankful for Trusting the Process, Results of Hard Work, & Battleship

Day 2,355


Trust the process. Even thought something’s have to be completely taken apart trust that they will be better. It can be nerve wracking to take apart a presentation a day before the event, but it is better to get it right than to just be done. No stress, no sweat. Can I do this? Yes, yes I can.


Sometimes we put in a ton of hard work and don’t see the results until months after the hard work has started. Being there with a team when they see their results starting to pop is awesome! All that energy and effort put in, seeing the hard fought results starting to happen is magic and so inspiring.


A simple game of Battleship, a perfect way to bond with Dominic tonight!


Thankful for New Eyeholes, Running Talks, & Being There

Day 2,354


While putting together another presentation on my book I’ve had the opportunity to looks at it from a different perspective.

I’ve been a huge fan of the “shoebox diorama” concept for quite some time. Create a scene (honestly, when I describe it I always think of a dinosaur scene, but that’s just me) inside of a shoebox and tape the cover back on. Poke a set of viewing holes in one side and see what you can. Poke another set of eye holes in a different side and see how everything changes… even though it is still the same thing.

Going through my book and all those memories for this presentation has been like poking a new set of eyeholes in the shoebox. So many new perspectives of the same events, additional depths and complexities. What a gift!


Today I’m thankful for the early morning conversations Becky and I have while running. Life is busy and we don’t get nearly the time for the two of us that we’d like. Knowing that we’ll have time together for at least an hour or so three times a week is awesome. Quite often we don’t get into anything too crazy, usually work updates and making sure I know what we’ve got going on for the next couple of days. Once in a while we talk about the news or the weather, and often we talk about vacations past or future. Long story short – we get to have a mini-date on our run.

What a gift to know that we have that time to talk worked into our schedule and we don’t have to worry about interruptions.


No need to dive into the details as it was a confidential moment, the basics will do. Sometimes people need to be heard, to know someone cares, to know they are appreciated. Today I had the opportunity to be there to listen, to care, and to share appreciation. That moment was a true gift for my soul, I’m so fortunate for the opportunity to be present for them in that moment. Of anything I could have been doing at that time nothing could have been more important.


Thankful for One Percent per Day, Willing to Risk Rather than Playing Safe, & Slamming My Finger In a Door

Day 2,353


As I started planning for 2023 one of the lessons I wanted to remind myself of daily was:

Add changes slowly – improve by 1% daily.


Throughout my life there’ve been many times when I’ve attempted to change way to much all at one time. I usually make some progress but quickly tire out from all the stress of changing so much. When I take changes one small piece at a time I’m able to build upon small successes and have much stronger endurance.

This week I was going to make a couple of big switches back but then that advice I gave myself really sunk in. One small step each day. Even when I feel encouraged to add another I’m going to pause and focus on one percent per day. Slowly building for sustained improvement.


Hmm… another day of multiple options of what to write about. Honestly, this is a really difficult one to choose from as there were a handful of times I started blogging in my mind. There’s one though that sticks out the most.

I’m grateful for the reminder that we are each so much more than a number, a score, or a grade. We are not the result of one test, one grade, or one class.

We are the effort we put in. We are the practice we put in. We are the level of the challenges we take on. We are the growth we learn after we falter. We are the guts it takes to stand back up. We are the strength we use to try again. We are the humility to know we are not perfect.

We all have a choice to make. Risk faltering through the greater challenges for greater reward, to truly challenge ourselves and grow – or – risk nothing and live in the comfort of safety.

I would always prefer to have a teammate who has chosen the struggle, who’s proven themselves in the crucible. They may have scars from losses, but they also have the guts to rise and try again.


LOL – a little tongue in cheek on this one, but 100% truthful.

As I was getting ready for bed tonight I pulled a good one on myself and slammed the tip of my left middle finger in the closet door. Our closet doors are essentially sheets of plywood that slide tightly between the wood case and I got all the momentum of that wood crunching my finger. In an instant I was howling in pain.

Now, several minutes (and maybe several obscenities) later I’m looking back at that moment and realizing just how present I was. In the moment it happened for a good minute or two there was nothing else my mind was focused on other than my finger. Yowza!!!

Presence – it comes in all shapes and sizes. While I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone I have to admit it was an effective way to live right in the moment!


Thankful for Pause and then React, Dinner with Our Niece, & Catching Up with Teammates

Day 2,352


Listen, breathe, think, react. Recently I heard insightful advice about how “we can always say something else, but we can never unsay what we already have said.” Acting with emotion isn’t usually the right answer. Pausing to think before responding typically is.


One of our nieces is currently a student at UW La Crosse and we have her and her boyfriend over for supper sometimes. Tonight was one of those nights.

What a gift to spend time with great kids who are getting the big picture and are willing to talk about their college experience. Each conversation brings back so many memories of college life and I’m usually laughing and smiling throughout. It’s an added bonus for our boys to have an opportunity for a sneak peek into college life too.

So crazy to think that my last days of college were over half of my life ago! Spending time with our niece reminds of so much from that time period – good and bad.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend time with our niece, to remember and share old stories, and for the boys to get a sneak peek.


Spending time with my teams catching up with them was a great way to really get my Monday morning rolling. It was nice to hear about what they’d been up to, the fun they’d had, and to get to know them better.


Thankful for Focus on Depth, Confluence, & Unexpected Presence

Day 2,351


Rather than slipping back into unproductive and unfulfilling habits remember to focus on what brings a deeper level of joy. Sometimes distractions can be fun, but they often are not at the same depth as true joy.

Stay focused on what’s really important, don’t allow distractions to win through emptiness, choose the correct path.


Every so often there seems to be a confluence of recent experiences, lessons learned, opportunities, and stories which all seem to tie a common theme or two together. Each aspect is like an individual element that is significant but lacking structure. At a certain point all the individual elements lock together and create something more grand than could be imagined prior. After stepping back to see it from a better perspective everything is changed, there’s an awareness that wasn’t there before. I am changed in a positive way.

I’m not quite to the point of seeing the elements lock together but it seems as if I’m starting to see most of the components. Soon enough they’ll fit themselves together and I’m excited to see the result, to grow.

I wonder if there will be a point in which each finished bigger component becomes an element of something even more grand.


Church today hit me at a deep level. Something about the ongoing message of persevering through obstacles, through risking for a good cause, and being there for others resonated more than expected today. Whatever the reason the entire experience was one I was completely present for.


Thankful for Getting Outside for a Walk, Balancing Time with Friends, & Unexpected Deer

Day 2,350


When in doubt, get outside and go for a walk or run.

Our weekend of hanging out with friends has been awesome in many ways (spoiler alert for the next section), but it’s been largely sedentary as we’ve played a ton of games and spent almost all the time sitting around the dining room table. Compared to how active I usually am and it was really off kilter from normal life.

This afternoon a couple of us went for a walk and enjoyed time outdoors in the sun. It was glorious! Amazing what a difference some outside time and physical activity can do to get me recharged and feeling better.


There’s such an awesome balance to be found in spending time with a half a dozen friends. What I’m really hit me was how enriched the time is when split between time with the entire group and time with each other person one on one.

The laughs we had as a big group were priceless. I’m going to bed with a stomach sore from so much full belly laughing. As a large group we have such a great time but it can be difficult to talk about life in detail.

When I was able to find pockets of time with one or two people we were able to connect and share life more easily. This was found in going for a walk, early morning coffee, driving to get supplies, and in between games. Those one on one connections were soul warming and reminded me of the importance of spending more time in smaller groups in addition to bigger groups.

So much fun, so many laughs, and a wonderful balance of time in small groups. I’m thankful for this time we were able to share!


Growing up in northern Wisconsin provided many opportunities to see whitetail deer. Quite often they would walk right into our backyard to eat acorns. They became so commonplace that I didn’t always pause to appreciate the sight.

This afternoon one of my friends noticed a deer right outside our front door in the house we’re renting right in the city. Shortly after we saw another, another, and ultimately six deer walking through the yard! Very awesome opportunity to pause and remember to enjoy seeing nature in an unexpected place.


Thankful for Handwritten Thank You’s, Atypical but Regular Communication, & Focused Runs

Day 2,349 – Short one today. Long day of fun and laughs, way later to bed than usual.


I had a profoundly awesome reminder of their power of a handwritten thank you today. The positive emotions expressed through that format are so powerful.


Even when Becky and I don’t spend the day together we still find ways to communicate often. Today I was grateful for her presence even when I wasn’t present – it brought a handful of smiles across the miles!


My morning run was more pleasant than expected. The ever changing texture of the snow and ice made it critically important to be in tune with each footfall. The undulating hills added an extra twist to keep my focus tighter than normal. Positive experience and an exercise in presence.


Thankful for Acting on Nudges, Clarity of Purpose, & Connections

Day 2,348


Nudges may be amongst the greatest gifts we’re given, the closest to The Big Dude Upstairs we’ll ever be.

Ignore them and life goes on, we’ll likely never know what could have been.

Honor them, take action on them – even then we may not see their full impact, but our hearts will be full. In those rare moments in which we get a glimpse of the impact of acting on the nudge… my, what a profoundly beautiful gift we’re given.


Purpose really fuels much of life if we allow it. Sometimes life can get difficult and test us. Purpose and values shine a light on our path in those times. What seems complex and confusing is made simple and clear through the lens of purpose.

I appreciate feeling a sense of clarity of purpose today. There’s still so incredibly far to grow, but seeing the outline of the path ahead motivates me to keep hiking it.


Connections with others, what a blessing! Spending time in a handful of meaningful conversations today brought joy to my soul.


Thankful for Growth through Challenges, Practicing People Appreciation, & Big ‘Ol Poofy Snowflakes

Day 2,347


Through our difficult times we have the opportunity for exponential growth should we choose it.

Since writing and talking about losing Dad and other challenges I’ve faced I’ve been blessed with so many conversations with people who’ve been through struggles. All our challenges are unique and our paths similar yet not exactly the same. Whatever we’ve been through there often seems to be a common theme.

This really bad thing happened, but since then…

This challenge was painful, but because of that…

“But since then” or “but because of that.” These phrase lead to the transition.

I learned more about myself.

…I found there were people willing to help.

…I realized how strong I can be.


The pain in the moment is real, the growth can be a lifetime.


Taking time to be thankful for specific people in our lives is medicine for the soul. I finished up a project today that was filled with appreciation directed towards specific people and my heart was full all day. When I consider the times I’ve blogged about a specific person (& it has been a while) I’ll fall asleep with a smile on my face.

Crazy, when we try to bring a smile to someone we’re appreciative of we often end up smiling even more! I’m grateful for the exercise I practiced today and it reminds me of something I was thinking of starting…. Hmm… more to follow soon 😉


This morning I paused everything. I was working in my office and out of the corner of my eye I saw thick puffy snow globe flakes falling from the sky. It was beautiful!

Life got put on pause while I enjoyed the scenic views. So peaceful, so calming. Once I got back to work everything seemed just a little lighter.


Thankful for Scarcity and Slack, Days Full of Gratitude, & Forced Flow

Day 2,346


Scarcity can be a powerful source of productivity in the right situations. Slack can be the enemy of done in the wrong situations. The key lies in knowing how much of each to apply at the right moment.


LOL – so I’ve been staring at this blank space for well over 10 minutes now and am just now writing. I’m getting tired and this section is the last obstacle before sleep.

Ugh, why am I stuck and suffering writers block???

Because I can’t settle on which one of a huge list of gratitudes I want to write about 😂

Do I want to write about Gavin’s wrestling banquet, the upcoming weekend with friends, a leadership team growing and getting it, a big project completed, a new project on the horizon, an intriguing interview, doing the right thing when it was difficult, a nice morning run, living purpose, opportunities to grow, an inspiring coaching talk, or sharing success with a teammate?

That really settles it, doesn’t it?

I’m thankful for the days so full of awesomeness I can’t decide!


Today I had a tedious task that required extreme focus and discipline. I threw in my AirPods and some music and proceeded to hammer the entire project out in a few hours of concentrated focus. While I have to keep the details a surprise for now what I want to blog about as being in a state of flow even when doing something tedious.

What kept me present in the task? The purpose behind it. The challenge of going faster. The tight timeline. The sense of completion I knew I’d feel. Put them all together and presence won over tediousness.