Day 1,231 – Thankful for Two Thought Provoking Books From Outside My Normal Wheelhouse

With all the driving Ive done recently it’s been a wonderful opportunity to amp up my reading.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve enjoyed a couple of books that are outside of my normal reading cycle (in addition to some that were within my usual topics).  Both of them have stuck out for very different reasons.


The first was How to Read Water by Tristan Gooley.  I don’t know that I’ll ever quite look at ripples, waves, swells and tides the same.  There were so many interesting facts about water that I’d never heard before.  While I’m not planning on boating to some crazy location across the ocean anytime soon I can tell you that if I did I’d certainly pay more attention to the types of birds I saw.  Heck, I even finally understand the concept of using a sextant now.  Every stream I’ve driven past recently I’ve tried to decipher if it was a highland or lowland stream.  Crazy, so many interesting things about water that I hadn’t known before and can’t help but look for now.  It even kind of inspired me to consider fly fishing!

I’m almost halfway through Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and I’m very much enthralled by it.  He’s covered so much already I can’t believe there at least this much more to go.  The general concept is talking about the history of humankind.  Amongst some of the more interesting things I’ve found so far are why humans thrived over other animals, how many different types of human-like creatures there were back in the day, and the impact of farming culture.  One of the concepts that still has my head reeling is the concept that humans were domesticated by wheat…  For reals, I know it sounds crazy but read the book and you’ll see what I mean.  Hint, wheat caused humans to stop roaming and stay in one spot.  All in all it’s been incredibly thought provoking and is helping me see the world through a slightly different lens.  To be clear, I’m not sure I believe 100% of what he’s saying, but even the stuff I am in disagreement with has me thinking.

Two great books from outside what I’d normally read.  Nice change of pace and info that translates into other aspects of life.  I’m thankful I took the time to pick them up.


Day 1,230 – Thankful for Winter Driving and Snowblowing

There sure was a lot of snow this morning, wasn’t there? Between not having too many heavy snow days and focusing on being positive about winter I found it quite beautiful today.

The drive back from Mom’s was uneventful; another thing I’m thankful for. Part of the reason it went so well is all of the time I’ve spent driving on snowy roads.

Even before I started driving I loved the snow covered roads. I still remember enjoying the way Dad would spin and slide the truck on purpose on snowy roads to get a laugh out of Nick and I. The way the truck handle in the snow was awesome; so different from normal driving. When you grow up in northern WI you pretty much have no choice but to learn how to drive in the snow. My one year at Michigan Tech further pushed my snow driving experience. All those miles have helped me get more comfortable with driving on snowy roads. Of course I’d prefer perfectly clear roads, but in a very weird way I really enjoy snowy roads. They provide an opportunity to test my skills and help me improve on my winter driving. This interest in driving in snow and the years of experience have helped me feel confident in my winter driving skills, but the times I’ve made mistakes have also helped me not become arrogant. Rather, those experiences seem to be around the corner to humble me should I get a little too confident and it’s the fear of another humbling experience that keeps me focused. I’m thankful for all those miles and years of winter driving and the confidence they’ve built.

My inner teenager is going to throw a fit over this next comment, but I was really looking forward to snowblowing today! Twisted, right? For some reason I was craving the task of doing something with a clear end goal and immediate progress. Being outside, doing physical activity, and working on something that doesn’t require a huge amount of mental exercise was exactly what the doctor ordered. How crazy, I was thoroughly excited about and grateful for the opportunity to do a chore I would’ve groaned about when I was younger. Today snowblowing was awesome!


Day 1,229 – Thankful for Ice Castles, Hot Air Balloons, and Awesome Family Time

Day 1,229 – Thankful for Ice Castles, Hot Air Balloons, and Awesome Family Time

What a day! Much outside time, lots of fresh air under the sun, and so many laughs.

Today was filled with many cool experiences; ice castles, all you can eat sushi, hot air balloons, and games. Most importantly it was filled with some awesome family time!

It’s a pretty simple blog today – I’m so thankful for the time awesome time with family. So much chilling and relaxing, no real agenda, just hanging out and having a great time together. Many great memories made today!


Day 1,228 – Thankful for First Responders, CPR Certified People, and People Who Take Immediate Action

Isn’t it funny how we can take some things for granted until that moment they are most desperately needed? While I won’t get into specifics I was reminded today of just how grateful I should be each day for all the people who help in an emergency.

Whether you’re a First Responder, someone who’s CPR certified or someone who just takes action in an emergency – THANK YOU!!!

Thank you for taking the time to study, learn and train. Thank you for your willingness to help in a moment’s notice. Thank you for always giving 100+% in order to save others. Even when it may be too late or the trauma is too much – thank you for giving it your all and providing the the opportunity for a miracle. Thank you for loving everyone so much you would sacrifice your time and energy to save a total stranger. You all are the super heroes amongst us who immediately bust out your capes in our darkest moments.

Thank you all so much – today and every single day! We appreciate you greatly!


Day 1,227 – Thankful for Taking Time to Think Before Posting and the Winter Sun

This morning before I got out of bed I grabbed my phone and for some reason decided to check Facebook. I’ve been working on weening myself off of Facebook over the past few months so I was even more surprised at my initial movement this morning.

As I scrolled through the newsfeed quickly I caught something that got me upset. Nothing crazy, but just one of those posts in which someone didn’t think all the way through (I’m hoping so anyways). My first reaction was to start typing a scathing response helping them see how they were totally stereotyping a group of people and missing the point of the post itself. Taking that type of action would have been so easy. Jump right in, take the gloves off, and hide behind the toughness of the screen. Really, how easy is it to just fire away with comments?

Then I took a deep breath and thought for a moment. If I truly care about the individual would I feel right having that conversation face to face or would I change the delivery? Why resort to taking action on this when I could have a much better conversation with them in person? As I saw it I had a choice to make, how to respond.

I’m thankful for taking that moment to think first as opposed to just reacting. Over the next few weeks I’ll most likely have that conversation with them in person and we’ll see how it goes. I can guarantee that it will go better than an off the cuff Facebook response would have.

Throughout the day I caught myself enjoying the sunshine. Ahh… At one point I even had the moon roof open and was letting the sun beat down directly onto my face while I was driving. It was glorious! For a moment I could’ve swore I was sitting by the beach in the summer. Then I quickly remembered what season it was and took time to enjoy the way the sunlight was making the snow a beautiful dazzling white. It was awesome! Sunshine is always wonderful, but there’s a different type of wonderful in the winter. Today I was thankful for the winter sun, it had me smiling all day.


Day 1,226 – Thankful for Saving Up Gift Cards for Years & the People Who Gave Them to Me

Today I finally cashed in many of the gift cards I’ve received over the past few years. Whether they were for Christmas, my birthday, Father’s Day, or whatever they were all cashed in this evening. As I added them to the payment I smiled and thought back to the people who gave them to me.

Usually I’m much more frivolous with my gift cards. I use them up almost immediately on things that are top of mind. A while back I’d shared with Becky how badly I wanted to get a new table saw and she suggested I save up gift cards to help pay for it. She had a pretty great idea so I stuck with it. Whenever I got a gift card (for somewhere besides Amazon, cuz I’m totally spending those immediately 😉) I added it to the box and smiled. Each one that went in got me closer to the table saw.

The big day was today and I placed my order. Thanks to the hoard I’d saved up the overwhelming majority of it was paid for – woo hoo!!! This bad boy is going to find a home in my workshop soon.

Thanks to everyone who’s given me a gift card over the past few years, this post wouldn’t have happened without you!

Thank you to Becky for the great idea of saving them up for one big purpose!

Hey me, thanks for gritting it out and practicing delayed gratification… it was well worth it!


Day 1,225 – Thankful for the Greatest Yoga Phrase I’ve Ever Heard

My apologies in advance to Uncle Buster. He once recommended that I not swear in my blog and for the most part I’ve been able to honor his request. Sorry Uncle Buster, it needs to happen tonight 😉

After yoga the same scene happens after each practice. Some people get to the cubbies first to get their winter clothes on while other people wait until they’re out of the way. Everyone is always super polite and peaceful. The people in front hustle and do their best to make room for the others. Those waiting totally understand and are very chill. It’s a pretty awesome version of the humanity I wish I could bring to each and every moment of my life regardless of my stress level in that moment.

Tonight was very similar to the normal post-yoga routine. One of the first people changing saw someone waiting behind her and asked if she was in his way. At first he said no to be polite, but then realized it was pretty obvious and he then said yes. Almost immediately after he said “yes” he followed it up with, “it’s totally okay…” in a super polite tone. And then he dropped what I feel is the greatest yoga phrase I’ve ever heard…

“I’m all namaste and shit.”

Totally flat tone, meaning every word of it in a positive and respectful way. It was AWESOME!!!

Amen brother; that’s how I feel after yoga too!!!

I’m still chucking about it as I write this. So why am I thankful for it? Over the past few weeks there’ve been some pretty stressful moments. Over the next few weeks there are bound to be several more. When one of those moments arise I’m totally going to close my eyes for a moment and hear that phrase in my head. You might even see my lips moving in a way that says, “I’m all namaste and shit.” I can guarantee I’ll then smile, take a deep breath, and feel much more at peace and in control of my emotions.

Ahh… I’m totally all namaste and shit. 😊