Thankful for Bonus Friend Time, Teammates Stepping Up, & Shoveling in Shorts

Day 2,307

Growth:

When life hands you lemons, take advantage of the unexpected bonus time with friends. 😉 Just as we’d completed the 40 minute drive to Tomah we got a text from Gavin that he didn’t have a match this evening. Becky, Kathy, Steve, & I turned and headed back to La Crosse and proceeded to have a blast hanging out. Not what we’d planned but tons of fun!

Appreciation:

So proud of all of my teams today. Over the past weeks they’ve fought through a ton of adversity and challenges. They’ve had to adjust, be nimble, work out of position, adapt to new situations, and learn new skill sets on the fly. Each and every teammate has risen to the challenge and shown how incredibly well they live into our values daily.

Did I mention that through it all they’ve been smiling, staying positive, and focused on taking care of each other? Amazing in so many ways. So thankful for and proud of my work family!

Presence:

The stillness of shoveling early in the morning while the world slept was so chill. I shoveled wearing shorts and enjoyed the feeling of physical activity coupled with the cool air. Magic for the soul!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Choosing What to Watch For, My Journey, & The ‘59 Sound

Day 2,306

Growth:

While on a Zoom call today the trainer made the comment, “and remember, watch for the positive stuff. It is always so easy to see the problems, remember that those are few and far between while successes and positives are all over the place if we watch for them.”

I almost laughed out loud at this statement. For a variety of reasons this very thought topic had already come up multiple times over the past 48 hours. I’ve been on all sides of it, from needing to remember to focus on the positives to coaching others to watch for the positives. It was almost like The Big Dude Upstairs really wanted to accent the point one more time just to make sure I got it. Loud and clear Dude, loud and clear!

Honestly, this is something we should almost all reminder ourselves of as soon as we wake up. There is going to be frustration, pain, challenges, and the like. There is also going to be significantly more joy, happiness, wins, and success. Which will we choose to watch for each day? Which one will we be keeping an eye out for? Which one will dictate our day?

We do not choose what happens to us, but we do choose how we respond to it. Choose to see the positive, choose growth, choose appreciation, and choose presence.

Appreciation:

Quick side note for everyone reading this – I don’t always write these in a linear order. Tonight this is actually the last one I’m writing as the other two were pretty straightforward and almost wrote themselves throughout the day. I’m struggling a bit on which gratitude to focus on as there are several. Maybe the best bet for tonight is to go with a theme and then I can start to peel it all apart over the next few days.

I’m thankful for my journey. The past seven plus years have been a period of profound learning and introspection. I’m grateful for the struggles and challenges I’ve faced as they’ve all led me to this point. They’ve helped shaped me into me. In so many ways I feel more at peace with so many things than I possibly ever have been in my life.

The gap between who I am and who I am called to be is still an enormous chasm, but I’m okay with slowly working towards the other side. Small steps of progress each day may not be enough to get me there before my time is up and that’s totally okay. The true success is in working towards progress.

I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned which have helped me remember to give myself grace when I slip. They help me remember that what is done is done, move forward and work to be a better version of myself today than I was yesterday.

I’m thankful for the ongoing reminders to control what I can control, to work towards eliminating unnecessary anxiety and worry, and for the reminders of their negative impact when I don’t end my own advice.

I’m thankful for my journey, all the bumps and bruises, the twists and turns, and everything in between. Without them I would not be me.

Presence:

Throughout last year I worked on my goal of reading 100 books. This meant listening to Audible almost all the time I was driving. This year I’ve been listening to a lot of audible, but I’ve given myself more grace to enjoy both quiet and music.

This morning I caught myself flipping through some tunes and happened upon a song that really hits me in the feels every single time I listen to it – The ‘59 Sound by The Gaslight Anthem.

The song always brings to mind a couple of people in particular and calls their memories close to my heart. This morning I played the song, sang along with it, let out some emotion, and felt so much lighter afterwards.

Well I wonder which song they’re gonna play when we go
I hope it’s something quiet and minor and peaceful and slow

When we float out into the ether into the everlasting arms
I hope we don’t hear Marley’s chains we forged in life

‘Cause the chains I’ve been hearin’ now for most of my life
And the chains I’ve been hearin’ now for most of my life

Did you hear the ’59 sound
Coming through on Grandmama’s radio?
Did you hear the rattlin’ chains
In the hospital walls?

Did you hear the old gospel choir
When they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song
One last time?

The Gaslight Anthem – The ‘59 Sound
https://youtu.be/G1lq40tR72Q

Music is medicine for the soul and has the power to draw us into the moment.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Wrestling with Ego, Family Dream Lists, &Chill Family Time

Day 2,305

Growth:

This has been a difficult one to write this evening. I’ve already gone back and forth and deleted a few times to start over. Rather than try to get it perfect here’s the gist of it. When I remember to ask questions my mindset makes all the difference. If I ask to prove myself right I’ll only listen for the answers which prove me right. If I ask a question with the purpose of learning I’ll listen much more deeply. While it seems so easy on the surface it can be much more difficult to do if I don’t pause and think about it in advance. The struggle with ego continues, so much more progress needed to close the gap.

Appreciation:

One of the projects I’m working on is focused on helping people reach their dreams. As I’ve been putting some ideas together I had to find a test audience to reality test it. As luck would have it I’ve got a family who each have dream lists started! Some of the mundane work I put in today was going through each of their lists and adding them to an electronic version. It was truly inspiring to see what they all had on their lists! So many awesome ideas and adventures ahead of each of them. What was also fun was seeing the level of overlap between each and seeing how we can knock out a handful relatively easy in the not too distant future. What an awesome source of motivation today.

Presence:

Couch time with the family is always welcomed. We fired up a family game of Exploding Kittens while on the couches so LuLu could snuggle up with me. After a couple of games Dominic and I played a game of cribbage and had a lot of fun talking about the future. Gavin came out after he finished studying for his test tomorrow and the three of us spent some time talking about some of the major issues facing our society – like which are better – Macs or PCs? What a perfectly chill way to spend time together tonight!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Pausing, MacGyver Skills, & a Headstand

Day 2,304

Growth:

Pause, listen, observe, think, ask more questions, and then respond. Always the best way to react to a new or unexpected situation. I’m not strong in this process yet, I’ve got a long ways to go. Today reminded me of just how far I have to go in this process as well as how helpful it would be to better live into.

Appreciation:

LOL – some days I feel it’s only fair to blog about some of the more humorous moments of life. Today I’m grateful for my MacGyver skills and some extra velcro tabs stashed away in my office. The zipper for the fly of my pants decided to quit on me in the afternoon. Thank goodness I have a stash of interesting supplies in my office and I was able to rig something up with something I found deep inside my cabinet. A pair of scissors, some velcro tabs, and a few minutes later I was back in business for the rest of the day! Nothing like a little extra excitement to keep life interesting!

Presence:

Over lunch today I paused and did something I’ve recently started working into my daily routine. I kicked off my shoes, moved my standing mat, and dropped to the ground. I put my arms into a V shape, put my head down, and proceeded to raise my legs and torso into a headstand. For the next two minutes I held the pose, focused on controlling my breathing, and enjoyed the sensation of being completely inverted. After the two minutes were up I slowly dropped my legs to the ground, took a moment in child’s pose, and then got on with my day feeling completely refreshed.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Remembering to Chill, Planning the Next Vacation, & the Sounds of a Full Basement

Day 2,303

Growth:

I need to do a better job of relaxing when something doesn’t go as planned. As we were getting things set and reserved for our vacation I was getting way too agitated because certain things weren’t working out as smoothly as they should. Long story short, everything worked out totally fine in the end – take a deep breath and it will go more smoothly next time.

Apprecitation:

Our next family vacation is all planned and ready! Canadian Rockies here we come! When Becky showed Dominic a picture of where we were headed his response was priceless – “You’ve got to be kidding me!!!” So pumped and excited to share one of our favorite places with the boys this summer.

Becky and I are both big fans of getting everything all planned and booked far in advance. Personally, when I stress early and before the vacation I know I’ll be able to take a deep breath, chill, and be more present on vacation when I am there. Get the stress out of the way early and then enjoy the trip!

Presence:

Hearing the sounds of Gavin and his buddies goofing around and having fun in the basement while I type this blog has me smiling. It brings back so many memories of great times with my high school friends back in the day. So many awesome times spent with my friends doing the same thing – though we were often hanging out in an attic rather than a basement. Glad they’re having fun just like we did back in the day!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Less, Segmented Family Time, & the Scent of Soil

Day 2,302

Growth:

Remember how saying little can often say the most. Less words often makes those spoken more meaningful.

Appreciation:

Time with the entire family is wonderful, but so is time with chunks of family. With Gavin supporting his wrestling team at a tournament Becky, Dominic, and I hiked through Wildcat Mountain State Park. The three of us had an awesome time talking on the way there and while hiking. Having a segment of the family changes the dynamics a little and it was great getting more focused time with Dominic.

Presence:

On our hike today Dominic pulled up a chunk of a dead tree off the ground. The faint smell of soil was pure heaven. One of my two favorite smells in the world is fresh topsoil and this brought back a flood of memories from time spent in the woods with my dad. Who knew the scent of dirt could be so captivating???

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Creating Creativity, 1% Better, & Breathing Breaks

Day 2,301

Growth:

Over the past handful of weeks I’ve realized how much more enjoyable my days are when I have a solid amount of creative time. Life requires much more than just creativity and I have to remember to appreciate those times as well. If I look to find a hack there’s always a way to add a creative wrinkle to almost anything.

Appreciation:

One of the three lessons I’m reminding myself each day is to not make any huge changes but rather to focus on getting 1% better each day. One step at a time rather than one mile at a time. This has been difficult for me, I’ve got some crazy huge dreams. The dreams give me urgency and I’m reminding myself daily to stay focused on consistency, something I have struggled with. That one simple lesson being in front of my eyes at least two times each day is finally starting to sink in.

Presence:

Taking a couple of minutes in between stacked meetings to close my eyes and breathe really helps me recover and focus. That practice made all the difference today.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Remembering the Reps, Overwhelming Joy, Love, and Support, & Taking It All In

Day 2,300

Growth:

So easy to forget about all the hard work and repetitions that came before the breakthrough. Afterwards it seems so simple, during it feels almost impossible. I’m thankful for the reminder of appreciating each practice run and also remembering all the hard work afterwards.

Appreciation:

Honestly, I really don’t know where to go on this one tonight, I’m so beyond overwhelmed with joy. So many moments of magic today for so many reasons and so many people. As I attempt to sum it all up there are two thoughts that come to mind.

I’m grateful for the overwhelming feelings of love and support. My eyes are still a little misty from the ways so many came out to share their love support with me today. I am beyond blessed to have so many dear friends and neighbors.

I’m also grateful for the way all people can connect and come together to help each other through the shared struggles of the human experience. We all experience loss, sadness, and challenges. When we open up and make ourselves vulnerable by showing our emotions we have the opportunity to connect with others in profoundly meaningful ways. What a wonderful reminder that love can solve all.

Presence:

Standing in front of the audience at Pearl Street Books this evening…. What an opportunity to be present in the moment. I took the advice of a friend and took a moment to take it all in. Still gives me chills in a very positive way.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Practice, Focus on Goals, & Snowboarding Season

Day 2,299

Growth:

While each presentation may be different each presentation is practice for the next. My drive after my presentation this morning was spent reviewing my performance and making mental notes did get next. I’m grateful for the handful of opportunities I have to practice over the next couple of months!

Appreciation:

My focus on 2023 goals has helped out in so many ways already. Today my activities were shifted to where my priorities are rather than being shoved where ever the demon named Urgency wanted them. I still wish I had more time but I’m finding ways to make more of the time I have. There were a couple of actions I took today which will move the dial significantly over the long haul while avoiding time drains along the way.

Presence:

Watching a Dominic flying down the ski hill on his snowboard while maneuvering around the gates was quite a rush! There aren’t many things more fun to watch than seeing my boys enjoying something they are so passionate about. His senior year on the snowboarding team started well and I enjoyed all 59 seconds of it immensely!

Zoom way in, I swear he’s up there 😁

Thanks!!!

Thankful for a Lesson in “Slow is Fast”, a Rusty Day, & Taking a Moment

Day 2,298

Growth:

Trying to save a few seconds can lead to losing half an hour if the savings are through deviating from process. There was a great reminder for me today of how easy it is to take a shortcut thinking that it will save time only to have it backfire and cost exponentially more time. So much better to follow the process and to remember that slow is fast in the long run.

Appreciation:

Once in a while days just don’t quite to go the way I’d envisioned. Nothing bad, just everything was off by a half a step or so. There seemed to be a little grit in all the gears so things didn’t go as smoothly as possible. My tasks all seemed to take 10% more time than they should. Everything was just a little off – even this blog isn’t quite going the way I wanted it to. Hmm…

Here’s what I am thankful for today. I don’t have many days like this. The overwhelming majority of the time it seems everything runs much more smoothly. I am grateful for days like this being in the minority.

I also appreciate the opportunity to learn and grow through days like this. I’m able to pull apart reasons why it is going as it is and how I can prevent it in the future. I’m practicing how to keep my emotions level as I work through it. Ultimately, it is a test for me to pass, an opportunity to show myself if I’ve really learned and grown as I hoped I have over the past year.

Sure, I hope tomorrow is a little more well oiled, but I’m still appreciative for the opportunity to work through a rusty day and to have the reminder of how fortunate I really am.

Presence:

While practicing a presentation I have tomorrow I paused and took a quiet moment of emotion for myself. The scene I was driving through was picturesque. I felt extremely close to Dad based on the nature of what I had been working on. My mind was a little run down and needed a pause. I put all of those together and enjoyed a quiet moment of emotion.

Thanks!!!