Day 1,235 – Thankful for a Perfect Kreiling Valentines Day

While other may be more interested in going out to dinner or watching a romantic movie or going on a date I lived my perfect Valentines Day. I’m pretty sure it’s not everyone’s jam, but it is definitely mine!

Becky and I started off with a cycling class date at the Y after work. Then we hit the grocery store and came home. Supper was homemade meatball subs (special thanks to Festival for making the meatballs ūüėČ) in the loving room while all chilling on the couch as a family. To cap it all off we fired up There’s Something About Mary. Yup, probably not totally appropriate, but we were all laughing hard. There was even a collective groan and boo as Mary said, “…I’m a Niners fan.”

What an awesome way to spend Valentines Day with my Valentine and family.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,234 – Thankful for Listening to People with Opposing Views

With all the political talk I’m continually amazed at how quickly I can allow myself to get sucked in, especially into conversations, podcasts, and articles written by people who agree with my thoughts and views. If I’m not careful I can easily pulled further into my ways of thinking as there are more and more points made for my point of view and absolutely zero argument for the other side. Next thing I know I’m so focused on how right I am and finding ways to prove that my way is the right way that I lose the ability to keep an open mind.

Conversely, some of the moments of greatest learning have come at the hands of people I disagree with. As long as there’s a respectful and open dialogue in which no one is trying to win I seem to learn more. Quite often I end up believing in my views even more strongly as the conversation and interaction cause me to look at my thoughts from other angles. Sometimes I change my mind thanks to see the logic through someone else’s eyes. Regardless, my understanding of the topic is enhanced and I have a stronger foundation of knowledge to form a more complete viewpoint.

The reason I’m thankful for this today is due in large part to an excellent podcast I listened to including an interview with a wonderful author I respect greatly. The podcaster is atheist and the author is Buddhist. During parts of the conversation they focused on religion. As a self identified Christian it would have been easy to call BS and immediately disagree. Instead I listened with an open mind and was able to gather some new insight into my own belief system. I still believe in what I did before, but with a more clear perspective. Had I not listened I would’ve easily missed these couple of nuggets.

It seems as so many of our issues come from pointing out all the ways we’re all different from each other. We each have to be right and prove that the others are wrong. What if we all practiced openness, listening, and acceptance? It’s taken me many years to realize that my religion is the right one… for me. Other religions (or even lack thereof) are possibly right for others. Why does one way have to be correct? As long as we all treat each other with dignity, respect, and, most importantly, love how could our beliefs and ideas be wrong?

Today was a wonderful reminder of just how important it is to me to listen to people with opposing views. We’re all people, we all have our own unique beliefs. By listening to the beliefs and views of others with an open mind and love in my heart I have the opportunity to grow into the best possible version of me.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,233 – Thankful for Heeding the Timeless Advice of a Great Philosopher, Thumper’s Mom

OMG!!! For reals? Did I really hear that correctly? Did I see what I thought I saw? Are they serious??? What about the time when…

Too often the voice in my head fires off these thoughts (& many more, and many worse) before I can pause and take a deep breath. It is so easy for me to lash out in those moments. I’ve made the mistake too many times of getting caught up in that emotion and unleashing a torrent of hellfire that can thoroughly thrash someone. It’s a horrible feeling that kicks in as I see the last sound waves leave my mouth. I often want to take back what I said and wish I could have a do over, but I can’t. Once that genie has been uncorked it’s out for the world to see.

I’m continuing to focus on setting the emotion aside first, think logically, and then respond appropriately. There is still a huge gap for me to overcome on this. This is particularly true when someone says something about my family, friends, and team. It still seems like hard work to take a deep breath and let logic win instead of ripping into someone or showing them and others just how wrong they are. The more and more I’ve thought on it the more I realize that this doesn’t help my case at all. Regardless of the point I’m trying to prove it loses it’s meaning when I go off half cocked. Proving to the world that someone else is wrong is also a horrible thing. It doesn’t prove anything other than that I am not doing a good job of loving everyone and treating everyone with respect as we all deserve as humans. When I unleash the beast it hurts the person, others involved, my friends, my family, my team, and me. In those moments I am a part of the problem and not a part of the solution. This is a gap I continue to work to close.

Today I made progress. There was a moment in which I remembered the great line from the movie Bambi. It’s a priceless piece of advice that I will keep close to my brain in those moments when I want to voice my frustration the wrong way. To quote the advice Thumper received from his mom, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

The interesting thing that strikes me as I type this is maybe that advice is close but off just a tad. Maybe it should be something like “If you can’t say something nice, find a reason to love them, and give them the love they deserve as a fellow human.” I don’t know. There are a handful of people I’d struggle to do that with, but I wonder just how much of a better place our world would be if that was the case. Regardless, I’ll focus on the advice from Thumper’s mom first and then stretch into the second part once I’ve got it down a little better.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,232 – Thankful for a Great Song, I‚Äôm On Vacation by

My buddy Jeremy shot me this one late last week and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. Not only is it catchy but the lyrics are pretty awesome! There were a few times in the course of my workday today when it really sunk in just how much I agree with this song. It’s one to file away in the back of my head for a day when I’m frustrated, it’ll help me take a deep breath and remind me to be thankful for the opportunity I have to do what I do every day.

Here is the video and the lyrics, enjoy!

https://youtu.be/7zok9co_8E4

A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
If you don’t like your life, then you should go and change it
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day-ay
Everybody sour like a lemon tree
I’m just smiling down upon my enemies
Do this shit, I love it on the daily
You say you hate your job, but you’ll never leave, never leave
But that ain’t gonna be me, that ain’t gonna be me
My brother called me up said he saw me on TV
I said, “it wasn’t easy, but right now I’m living breezy”
Build this engine from the ground up
Now my hands they ain’t so greasy, feel me?
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day-ay
Illuminate my future bright
So thankful for everything
Rejuvenate my inner light
As I work hard for all I need
Open arms, embracing life
And all of which you gave me
Hard work, it pays off
I’m happy now, it’s paying me
Close my eyes sometimes it feels as if I go away
I love the life I live and enjoy the ride along the way
“I make a living out of living, ” yeah, that’s what I say
I’ve got one life to live, and I wouldn’t live it no other way
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day-ay
Van Gogh in my earlobe
I can’t hear, I’m here though
I may be a weirdo, but this is my year, yo
My life may be crazy
My lack of the lazy has let me do shit that I love on the daily
Daily, daily
Get to do this shit I love upon the daily
Daily, daily
Everybody go and live your daydreams up
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
If you don’t like your life, then you should go and change it
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation
A-a-aye, I’m on vacation
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day
Every single day, every, every single day-ay
Source: LyricFind

Thanks!!!

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.

IMG_3417

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.

Thanks!!!

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!

Thanks!!!

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!

Thanks!!!