Day 1,822 – Thankful for a Quiet Night at Home and Being Reminded to Relax

The past week and a half have been crazy busy. All good stuff, just a lot of it. Tonight we have exactly nothing going on. Gavin has church but it’s our week off from driving. No soccer game for Dominic tonight. Supper and dishes were finished by 6:15. Everything that I intended to do today has been done.

Nights at home like this with nothing going on are a beautiful thing in moderation.

What’s funny is that my brain still has a difficult time turning itself down into relaxation mode. Even tonight when there’s nothing going on and I know I should breathe and relax I struggle to stop doing something.

Becky had to remind me earlier to relax and I’m glad she did! After that gentle reminder I still ended up pacing for a good fifteen plus minutes before I finally got horizontal to type my blog. After this I might just lay here and fall asleep or read a book until I fall asleep. Either way I’ll be surprised to see 8pm and I’m totally fine with that 😉

Ahh…. It took a while to get here, but now that I’m in the relaxed state of mind I feel much better already.


Day 1,821 – Thankful for an Excellent Question Causing Increased Gratitude

Hmm… several different ways to go tonight but none of them quite hit the spot. Maybe if I type enough I’ll start to pull myself into the right lane.

For an upcoming meeting I put together some thought provoking questions to help us get into the right frame of mind. As I’ve spent time thinking through my answers I can’t help be thankful for the thought processes my brain has been going through.

One of the questions is, essentially, what would you do if you couldn’t do what you’re doing now?

The reason I love this question so much is that it reminds me that there is always a choice. There’s always an option or an alternative. While it is easy to feel trapped in the routine that is only a construct of my own mind. I am more than my profession. I can choose a different profession.

The next level of appreciation for this question comes when I realize I’m doing what I would really like to be doing and choose to do it. Not only am I then doing what I love, but I am reminding myself that I am choosing it freely amongst other potential options.

That question really has my brain and soul going into overdrive and I’m grateful for it!


Day 1,820 – Thankful for Learning from Past Blogs, Zooming Out

Hmm… sometimes I find it interesting how I might be thankful for something I saw a little differently or for a lesson I learned only to find it out into action shortly after the post. There is definitely a magic to this whole journaling thing! 😁👍

Today I took my own advice from a little while back about remembering to zoom out to gain a better perspective. I’ve been looking at something very close up. Rather than using my own myopic viewpoint I reached out to a mentor and got their advice.

As it turned out it was about the best decision I’ve made in a while! Reaching out to ask their advice and to listen to their past experiences was solid gold. They helped me shift my thinking to a much better place and I’ve been able to chart a much better course.


Day 1,818 – Thankful for a Surprise Early Bed Time

This morning saw me waking up and getting ready to head out of town for soccer with Gavin. We were picking up some folks along the way and then heading off to Madison. Early-ish start, hit the gas, and off to the races.

My initial thought was that I would be putting in my ear plugs, putting on my sleep mask, and hitting the hay while the boys played board games in the hotel suite. I’d be up later than I’d like and then up earlier than expected.

Imagine my surprise as I type this and we’re all in bed already! The Brewers game is on and once it’s over it’ll be lights out. In bed and out before 10pm – that’s crazy!!!

The weather was perfect, the company was excellent, the games were great, the burgers were delicious, and the day has been awesome. Now that I have even more time to sleep – outstanding! Extra ZZZ’s for me!


Day 1,817 – Thankful for the Warm Blanket of Memories and a Difficult Question

The temperature is dropping a bit tonight. Sweatshirt weather is just about upon us. Tonight I was warmed by the blanket of memories.

Many conversations about Dad. So many memories of Dad. Remembrances of times as a child, times as an adult, and everything in between. Largely wonderful memories. This evening they all wrapped around me and wove themselves together into blanket which warmed my soul. So comforting and soothing.

During a conversation I was asked a question that I’ve been asked before. Each time I pause and attempt to figure out the answer. The response is initially difficult to answer as I grasp for words.

Imagine you were asked “how do you remember to breathe several times each minute?” How do you answer that? It isn’t something easy to describe yet it is something which has become automatic. To explain it causes you to pause, swallow the question, think deeply, and then respond.

“How do you find something different to blog about each day?”

The short answer is so simple that it is embarrassing… It is like breathing. It is a part of who I am, how I exist. I do it out of muscle memory now as it is a part of what makes me who I am.

The more formal answer as I attempt to put it into a more clear answer is that each day starts with me waking up. Before I close my eyes and go to sleep I am promising myself I will find something to be thankful for, something different than I’ve blogged about before. All day long I’m making mental notes of what I’m thankful for and starting to compose the blog in my brain. By the end of each day I’m left with so many options that I find it difficult to narrow it down.

The question always make me smile and reminds me how far I’ve grown in my gratitude journey… and of how far I still have to go!


Day 1,813 – Thankful for Anti-Leadership Lessons from Aaron Rodgers

Truth be told, I’m a Green Bay Packers fan. It’s best to start there as you may question that by the title of today’s post.

Sports can be a very public microcosm of real life and there’ve been several wonderful anti-leadership lessons taught by Aaron Rodgers. My boys and I talk of them often and I’m finding that they are learning much of what to do as a leader simply by seeing Aaron do the exact opposite.

Here are a few anti-leadership lessons we’ve had:

  • If you’re frustrated, blame everyone else.
  • Rather than attack a problem head on be passive aggressive.
  • Why practice after you’ve already proven that you’re the greatest?
  • There’s no reason to thank any member of the medical team, they should be thanking you for the opportunity to work on you.
  • After being given grace the best thing I can do is rip them apart publicly immediately afterwards.
  • When I’m benched and have put my team behind the best thing I can do is sit on the bench and laugh.
  • If someone questions why we lost the appropriate answer is to blame my teammates.

I’m each of these moments, and so many others, are mini lessons in leadership to be seated into my brain.

Yesterday’s game was ugly, almost as ugly as Rodgers’ leadership style is toxic. Thanks for reminding me why strong and right leadership is always the right answer Aaron!


Day 1,811 – Thankful for Learning Through Mistakes – Measure Twice, Cut Once

Valuable life lesson for this guy today!

The next step in working on Gavin’s loft was to cut out the homes for the rungs of the ladders. Pretty simple task – measure, mark, cut, and then chisel. Simple… unless I somehow use the wrong marks and cut out way more than I was supposed to.

I didn’t measure a second time to be safe. I didn’t mark the cut lines as well as I should have. I took action instead of pausing to think.

Talk about frustrating!!! All so easily preventable.

Pause, deep breaths, find a solution.

Once the fix was created I paused to consider the steps that had gotten me to this point. So much learning and growth from one simple mistake.


Day 1,808 – Thankful for Planning Before Acting, and an Interesting Coincidence

Over the course of the day I was reminded of the importance of taking time to plan rather than taking immediate action. There were two very specific moments in which I was rewarded for pausing to think.

For example, I decide to build a loft for Gavin so he has more usable space in his bedroom. I’ve only assembled a loft once and that was in college and was an epic disaster. This time around I’m designing, creating, and assembling the entire project. To get started I looked up several different designs online and started to find both the commonalities and the interesting differences. I took the time to draw the entire thing out, complete with exact measurements. Once my blueprint was complete I then picked up materials.

After work and supper today went out to the garage and got at it. Everything went way more smoothly than expected and I got significantly more done today than planned. Thanks to thinking through all the details in advance I was able to cruise and get into a state of flow while letting my hands do the work. It was awesome!

One other note that had me smiling. There was one flaw in my design, I needed exactly fourteen construction screws that were three inches in length – screws I neglected to buy. I stood there for a moment before lightning struck. When we took down the old tree house there screws that were exactly what I was looking for. I grabbed the bucket and pulled out all the right screws. As luck would have it there were exactly fourteen screws. It felt like Dad was giving me a little nudge, a wink, and smile from up above. Pretty awesome.


Day 1,807 – Thankful for a Mindblowingly Intellectual Start to My Day 🤯

Always great soaking new ideas into the brain sponge! This morning’s drive to Eau Claire was full of some serious brain processing as I tried to keep up with the firehose of ideas pouring forth from my car.

Antifragile: Things that again from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb provided a wildly cognitive trip, and I’m only a third of the way through. All day long my thoughts keep drifting back to the concepts from the book.

More to follow on the book itself on a future day. I definitely need more time to process in order to do justice to the core of the book.

Nothing like getting my brain blown right away in the morning!


Day 1,806 – Thankful for Hiking Beaver Valley Creak State Park for the First Time

I’ve often talked about how thankful I am for living in The Driftless. This region has so many pockets of natural beauty seemingly around each corner. The bluffs, the valleys, the rivers, the woods, and the rocks – all so stunning!

This morning Becky took us on a hike into a Minnesota State Park we’d never been to – Beaver Creak Valley just outside of Caledonia. This place was truly a gem! The hiking was quiet, peaceful, and full of wonderful vistas. The specific trail we took also brought us to “Hole in the Rock,” the place we took this pic.

Our bonus day of the long weekend began in typical Kreiling fashion. This park is one we’ll certainly be back to several more times as we explore the entire area.