I’m still not quite sure how it all worked out, but somehow we broke or bent the time space continuum today. The list of things to get done and things we wanted to accomplish was crazy long, but as I type this we somehow got through all of them!
Becky and I got our cycling class and yoga in to start off the morning. While I grabbed a quick lunch Becky and the boys started on their big project for the day, making gingerbread houses and cookies. As they baked, constructed, and frosted away I went up into my workshop and got the primer coats done on almost half of my workshop. It would have been fun to keep going but I ran out of paint and decided to take a break… during which the boys and I fired up a game that we’d been looking forward to since yesterday. Becky took the girls for a walk while we played and we all got done just in time to head to church. After church we tried grabbing supper downtown but it was crazy busy so we headed out for sushi. Bellies full we drove back into downtown and walked the Rotary Lights as we’ve done pretty much every year. Becky had never seen the Christmas Train when it was in town so we headed over to that as well. Now we’re PJ’d up and chillin’…
This morning as Becky and I went from cycling to yoga I was starting to stress getting everything done and was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it to everything. She stayed upbeat and was completely right. By some crazy act of God we somehow got every single thing done that we wanted to get done and never even felt rushed. How crazy awesome is that? I’m not sure how we broke time today but I’m thankful we did.
After a great night of hanging out with friends for dinner and a comedy show I couldn’t help but chuckle at the Facebook memories that popped up from the past two years.
Two nights ago I wrote about being thankful for things I wanted to keep to myself… check out the first couple of sentences from last year…
Then last night I wrote about Gavin’s fixation on a Johnny Cash song. Look at my post from two years ago today…
What are the odds of both of those being the same? That cracks me up! Isn’t it crazy how things like that work out sometimes? Gotta love moments like this. 😁
When the boys and I were heading home from hunting I fired up a little Johnny Cash for the boys and somehow one of the songs really planted a seed in Gavin’s brain… a couple of nights ago he asked me to play that song out of the blue and he’s listened to it countless times, often while singing along to it. It cracks me up seeing him get so into a song I love, and just kind of crazy how much he likes it as it’s not his normal type of jam (he’s more of an Imagine Dragons kind of guy). I totally understand how he’s stuck on the song as I often fixate on one song for long periods of time too.
On Sunday night we headed out for Steve’s birthday to play some games and chill. The game we played is The Thing, the same game we played as a group a couple of months ago. Just like last time we had a blast and had to play it a couple of times. Earlier in the week I had the following birthday exchange on Facebook based on the game:
Tonight as Kathy was cutting my hair we were still laughing about the game and just how much fun it was. While there are many board games that I enjoy immensely this is one that I’ve created so many fun memories with.
Even when Jeremy tells the story of how he came across the game I can’t help but laugh out loud. He was at Jimmy Jam’s and was considering Pandemic, a cooperative game Until Jeremy explained we’re more of a cut throat kind of gaming buddies. The owner laughed and said that he totally had to get The Thing. Boy was he right! So much fun has been had with that game and it’s not even starting to get old yet.
Throughout the day and over the past week I’ve had more than a few things come to mind that I am incredibly grateful for, but they are the kinds of things that are better left unshared. Nothing mean or negative or controversial or anything along those lines. They are pretty amazing things, things that fill my heart with great joy, and that bring a deeper sense of purpose to my life.
I share my gratitude very openly and publicly, but this is one of the few times in the past 1,165 days that there wasn’t a way for me to tap dance around what I’m thankful for. As such you’ll just have to trust me that I’m taking the time to appreciate what they mean to me. As the kids nowadays say, “#sorrynotsorry.”
It’s funny how as I think about some of the activities I enjoy most there are some common themes. Often they are things that I’m not particularly good at off the bat. They usually involve a certain level of stubbornness and persistence to be successful at. The activity also has some way of seeing improvement with practice, not crazy quick improvement, but slow and somewhat steady progress towards a goal that will continue to move further out of range with every step I take.
One of the other things I’ve noticed is that many of the activities I enjoy most require 100% of my attention and focus. For me to be more successful and get the most out of them I have to be 100% present and have nothing else going on in my brain. That is quite the task for me as I usually have a handful of things going through my head at any given moment.
What got me really thinking about this tonight was how focused I was while logrolling (with the slight exception of when I went off on a tirade about Aaron Rodgers and how badly I missed Brett Favre… during which I had pretty much my best roll of the night!). All the rest of the time I shut my brain down and only focused on a couple of thoughts before I started… Are my knees bent? Am I reaching back with my left hand? Are my feet in the right spot? From there my focus goes to the far end of the log and I’m off. Each second only thinking about the position of my body and it’s relation to the log and its rotation. No thoughts about work, responsibility, life, philosophy, no songs running through my head, no random ideas… just me and the log. It’s incredibly relaxing!
I find that activities like logrolling and yoga help quiet my mind and leave me feeling so much more calm and focused afterwards. The sensation of focus continues from those activities into the next and it feels amazing!
If anyone has other ideas of crazy things I might like that require focus like this please let me know, I’d be very interested!
Yeah, this title is probably going to leave some folks scratching their heads. Let’s start this out in the manner I’ve become accustomed to on a blog post like this. Nope, this isn’t a cry for help, a sign of depression, or a reason to be nervous for my well being. It’s actually quite the opposite.
Mike and I were talking about many things after our sales coaching call today, and somehow we got on the topic of parents. He had a very insightful thought that really sparked several others. The net of the thought was how important it is to appreciate every moment of our life. We only have a finite time on Earth, instead of spending time wishing for what we could have we should be continually thankful for what we do have and what we have had. It reminded me greatly of a quote from Brandon Lee in the last interview he did before his accidental death while filming The Crow:
”Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well, and yet everything happens only a certain number of times . How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood that is so deeply a part of your being you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps, twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
How true is that thought? When I think of life and time it’s easy to be under the illusion that they are both infinite. Inexhaustible resources that I will own forever, as will all those I love and care about and all those that they love and care for… until there is the presence of death to remind me that each of those resources truly have limits. Death reminds me to appreciate life and time.
Death also reminds me that there is no scheduled timeline of life. I could be gone tomorrow regardless of my desire to persist forever. While I can have the grandest of plans there is no promise that tomorrow will happen for me, let alone a day for all those plans that are years and years away. Death keeps me grounded in and appreciating the present.
When there’s a brush with death there’s usually pain. Heartache is usually death’s companion and visits both when someone dies and when there are memories of someone’s death. When I peel back the layer of pain I find love and joy. The reason for the pain is the appreciation of the love I have for that person. As I pause I remember that I feel the pain because of how much I love that person and how thankful I was to have had the opportunity to know them in life. The thought of death reminds me to appreciate each chance encounter with those I love as I never know how many more times I’ll see them again. Death reminds me of the love I have for others.
As I pause and think about all I can learn and remember from death I can’t help but appreciate it. I dislike it’s icy touch and the result it brings, but I appreciate the concept of death greatly. Death reminds me to appreciate my life and the time I have. Death keeps me grounded in and appreciating the present. Death reminds me of the love I have for others. Death reminds me to strive to be the best person I can be on a daily basis. Knowing that one day I will die reminds me to really live every single day.
Today’s been a busy day, but one that’s been full of time with family. After church, grocery shopping, and lunch we split up what needed to be done around the house amongst the four of us, hit it hard, and then had time to play games for a couple of hours as a family. Sure, we were busy pretty much the whole time until we played games, but most of it involved us being near at least parts of our family. All that time together felt great after a couple of weeks of feeling like we were getting pulled in several directions.
There were a couple of moments when I could feel myself shifting away from being a cotton headed ninny muggins towards full blown Christmas cheer. We watched a handful of Christmas movies over the week, Becky’s been listening to Christmas music, we got out Christmas tree and put up decorations, and we had the Christmas party last night. With all I’ve had on my plate over the past month or so and the upcoming couple of months it’s been tough to even think about Christmas coming soon, but now I can see it on the horizon and I’m getting pretty excited.
Today a visit from Santa pretty much capped it and pushed me right into full blown Christmas mode. I had so much fun seeing just how excited Gavin was to still go see Santa. It’s most likely the last year that there’s some magic like this for him, it was wonderful to soak it in and appreciate it. He jumped right on Santa’s lap and had a great time. His smile shows the whole story 🙂
Becky got an early Christmas present and got to drive the fire engine too 😉