Thankful for a Bonus Dash of Walter Mitty

Day 2,087

In prepping for our Iceland trip we fired up The Secret Life of Walter Mitty anew skipped ahead to the scenes of Iceland…. Ahh…. The sneak peek of what we may see was amazing!

So many inspiring moments in the movie, watching as a family made it all the better. The intent was to watch just the Iceland scenes but we ended up watching all the way through. Love, love, love that movie!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for a Mini Road Trip with LuLu

Day 2,086

Are dog smiles not amongst some of the best sights?

Becky found a great way for me to find the “and” tonight. Get everything done I wanted to get done AND get a little bit of bonus time with LuLu. She caught a ride with me to pick up Gavin from his evening soccer practice and smiled the entire way.

The mini road trip with LuLu was worth it, seeing her smile that big was awesome!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for So Many Memories and Five Years of Learning

Day 2,085

Dad passed away five years ago today. As he used to tell me, he’d give almost anything for just five more minutes with his dad. Five years later I would gladly do the same.

The past five years have been a time of much learning. Finding who I am, seeing the ways Dad has impacted me, seeing Dad’s legacy, learning to find the upside in loss, and finding so many ways to close the gap between who I am and who I am called to be. The loss of Dad has taught me so many lessons, but the greatest may be to Mind the GAP (Growth, Appreciation, & Presence) in difficult times. Those three values have been cornerstones for me.

While I miss Dad dearly I’m so thankful for the many memories I have with him. Part of the reason for the hurt is the reminder of how important Dad was to me. When I’m feeling down I need only think of some of the wonderful times we had, the moments we shared, and my heart fills with joy. I’m beyond grateful for each of those wonderful memories.

Thanks!!

Thankful for a Big Heaping Pile of Gratitudes

Day 2,084

As I’ve mentioned before, COVID caused a really warped sense of time for me. In some ways it seemed to last forever and in other ways it seems like a blip that never really existed – almost like we collectively woke up from a deep sleep two years later.

In that context, getting together with friends feels kind of surreal sometimes. How long has it actually been since we last got together??? Catching up feels so good and is so easy. Slide right back into conversations like we were having pre-COVID in so easy of a way that it feels like we never had a break.

I had one of those conversations today and it was awesome.

Our house is full again , Gavin is back from vacation. Nice to have all of us under one roof again!

Had an excellent super long conversation with Mom today, was fantastic to spend time just shooting the bull.

A long walk in the woods after lunch provided an opportunity to see some baby woodchucks. Increased awareness also brought a new focus on the wide diversity of tree species we have nearby.

Learning to look within rather than outside – what a splendid reminder of that today!

One of my four annual trips to see Al to store our boat trailer today. Wonderful time with him talking about hiking, camping, being outside, raising kids, and marriage. I am so grateful our paths crossed in life. Too bad Dad never had an opportunity to meet him, they would’ve had much to talk about.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Music and River Therapy

Day 2,083

Good week, very busy week. Tired, a bit sore down, and not well rested mixed with long task lists weren’t a great combo this week. Good stuff, just a busy one.

With a 90 minute drive home I really needed to decompress. Rather than loading up my audiobook I opted for some music therapy. I set my iPhone to Shuffle and proceeded to listen to a wildly eclectic mix of tunes. My mind was chill, my focus on the present, and it was a wonderful transition into the weekend.

After supper Becky and I went out on the pontoon. We chilled on the beach while LuLu swam and then took in a very chillaxed boat ride. So much outside time without many other people, a marvelous opportunity to enjoy seeing the island forests. Ahh…. River therapy at its finest!

Thanks!!

Thankful for Hearing About Gavin’s DC Trip

Day 2,082

We’ve gotten into a pretty fun routine this week. There is a call from Gavin late at night giving us an update of everything he’s seen in Washington DC that day. Hearing the excitement in his voice has been rewarding on many levels. I’m so excited for him to have the opportunity to experience a trip with his classmates and without his parents like this. When I hear how pumped he is when he shares the details of the day I am smiling huge!

We definitely miss having him at home, but it’s well worth missing him knowing he’s having so much fun on his adventure.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Moments of Awesome Tucked Into Moments of Space

Day 2,081

All I really need at times is space. Space to breathe. Space to think. Space to be fully engaged in the present. Space to recharge. Space to take in the quiet. Space to be.

During the day there were two moments of space which I’d created. One was a very short hike in the woods during lunch. The other was stand up paddle board yoga on the lake in West Salem. Both were moments of space created to allow me a chance to breathe as I attempt to run through the finish line of my current sprint. My average nightly sleep has been down this week and I’ve got a lot to accomplish between now and our flight next week. Taking time to slow down helps me regain my balance.

While hiking I heard a noise I’d never experienced. After becoming still and focusing on the location I was surprised to find a huge woodpecker creating a burrow high in a tree! I’d see a giant redhead stick out of the hole, then tail feathers and scratching noises, then a redhead, and repeat. It was awesome to witness this process!

During our SUP yoga a very brief rain rolled in and out within a matter of minutes. Shortly afterwards we were rewarded with one of the most vividly spectacular rainbows I’ve ever seen in Wisconsin! It was a legit Hawaiian rainbow in our backyard. The rainbow had its double and then had three layers of indigo as it shined from one bank of the lake to the other. Truly stunning.

Two moments of created space with moments of awesome tucked inside. What a perfect way to be present and regain balance.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Reminders to Appreciate the Valleys

Day 2,080

Yesterday this photo popped up from exactly 10 years ago. My initial response was a smile and the surprise of seeing how young the boys were on that trip.

We were at Wall Drug on our way out west for one of our first longer trips. This was the second straight day of ice cream, we were all pretty pumped. The entire vacation itself was so much fun, we created many memories together.

In many ways it was a peak when one thinks of life as a series of peaks and valleys. Behind the camera it was quite the opposite, it was one of my biggest professional valleys.

There is no need to get into the details – all that matters is the fact that the impossibly difficult situation unfolded while, and specifically because, I was out of the office on vacation with my family. Through that situation I learned much about myself and my values. In the moment I don’t know that I’ve been as furious in a professional setting, yet it helped to shape who I would become. I had to live through it, work through it, and grow because of it in order to work on closing the gap between who I am and who I should be. The pain was extreme, the valley was deep, but thanks to it I was able to start climbing back up.

It is so easy to remember the peaks, the successes. It is just as important to remember the valleys, the failures. Those are the moments which make the successes possible.

When I look at that picture I still feel the pain of the lessons learned that day. While it still stings I feel more joy and elation because of the peaks the valley lay between.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Taking Work Home and Taking Home to Work

Day 2,079

Our newest teammate started this afternoon…

Dominic’s first day of summer corresponded with his first day at new summer job. Over the next few months he’s helping our team recruit and create better opportunities for our associates. While he was training today he knocked out the first project I had for him – and in much less time than I was expecting. Pretty sure he’s going to pick up in this pretty quickly.

Taking him through orientation was wildly surreal. Spending time with him showing him our systems was very enjoyable. Him showing me better ways to do a couple of things already was humbling and cool all at the same time. In general, what an awesome experience to share with him.

Today I brought home to work and brought work home. That makes me smile.

Thanks!!!