Being Productive

Today was one of those good days I have talked about preciously.  Nothing incredible happened, but it was an all around productive day, and I always enjoy that.  With my family gone, it is easy for me to just be totally unproductive and sit around doing nothing.

Fortunately, today I went into work, got a work out in, did some shopping, clean all my bathrooms, did some laundry, packed for a trip I will be taking soon, washed the dishes, read my book, did some writing, and now I am ending the day with a little more reading and writing.

None of these tasks were monumental, and unfortunately, none of them really did any good for anyone else, but it helps when you are going to sleep to know that you got some stuff done. That’s why today I am grateful for being productive.

What are you grateful for?

School Starting

So this gratitude is really just an extension of my wife’s gratitude, but as it brought her great joy, I too am grateful for it.

Our two oldest kids started school today!

While it is not a total break for my wife yet, she still cut her responsibility in half on a daily basis.  I am happy to report that the kids had a great time getting settled into their new school.

I remember being a kid and always being excited to go back to school.  By the end of summer I was generally bored and just wanted something to do so school was a welcome distraction.

I am so glad that my wife will have more freedom now, and I will be even more excited when the other two start in about a month.  I meant to pull the picture from her Facebook page to show how excited she was, but the computer is off so that will have to wait for tomorrow.

Some of the greatest joy we can experience in life is celebrating the joys of others, which is why today I am grateful for school starting so my wife can get a little break.

What are you grateful for?

The Movie “A Beautiful Mind”

This is a movie that I have watched many times before, and always really enjoyed.  If you have not seen A Beautiful Mind, I highly recommend it.  The short version of the story is that it is about John Nash who was a brilliant mathematician who won the Nobel Prize for his work.  He was also a paranoid schizophrenic.

While those details would probably be enough to make a pretty decent movie, the story really is not about those aspects of his life, though they do make up most of the movie.  The real heart of the movie is that it is a love story.  I watched an interview with Ron Howard, the director, and he said as much.

When I first watched the movie, probably 15 years or so ago, I acknowledged the love story, but that was not the interesting part to me.  I was more interested in the power of this man’s mind to overcome his delusions and continue living, though it was a long hard struggle until the day he died.

I think my current situation brought the whole love story into greater relief for me when I watched it today.  Nash’s wife is the reason he was able to overcome such impossible odds and continue to do great work.  She stuck by him despite incredible challenges, and unbelievable struggles.

LYN_5965_3Living without my Queenie for the last three weeks has only deepened my love and appreciation for her.  Not to say that I wouldn’t have preferred spending that time with her, but I have come to realize just how much she does for me personally that I don’t think I ever fully appreciated before now.  Not to mention all that she does for our kids in keeping them busy, fed, educated, clean, etc.

I’m not talking about all of the cooking and cleaning she does either, though I definitely miss her cooking right now.  I’m not even talking about her efforts to keep me socially engaged, which is pretty much the only way that happens.

I am talking about the way that she has become every bit a part of me as much as any of my other body parts, and probably even more so for she has truly become a part of my heart and soul.

I received a blessing back when I was a teenager that told me to look for a wife (someday, not when I was 16) that would be congenial to my soul.  At the time I don’t think I knew what that really meant, nor do I know that I fully appreciated it when I married her.  But, it has become very clear to me in the last three weeks exactly what that means.

I am not even sure that I have the words to explain how that feels to me right now, but I guess the simplest way to describe it is that I feel like a part of me is missing.  Not a physical part of me as much as an emotional and spiritual part of me.  It really is challenging for me to describe it in words.

We have spent significant time apart before, including four months when I was deployed a few years back, and even then it didn’t hit me this bad, and I think I know why.  In every other case I knew when I would see her again.  Even though that return date got moved on occasion courtesy of broken planes or weather, there was always a day for me to look forward to.

But not this time.

I know the day will come, and I have faith that it will be sooner than later, and definitely not even the four months we endured before, but not knowing is just killing both of us inside.  It is like waiting for a package to come without any kind of tracking so who knows when it will get there, only the package is your eternal companion, and is way more important than anything you could order on Amazon.

I’m not really sure why a movie moved me as much as it did today, especially when I have seen it multiple times and knew what was going to happen, but I am glad that it did.  I am grateful for the movie A Beautiful Mind for helping me to better understand just how essential a part of my life my Queenie is.

What are you grateful for?

A Good Day

In life there are some days that just completely suck, and there are other days that are incredibly amazing.  These types of days are certainly in the minority in life.  Most days I would suggest, fall somewhere in between.

And of those majority days, I would submit that most of them are generally good days.  You know what I mean.  You have an uneventful day at work but you get some things done.  Maybe you get to leave a little early.

You get a little exercise, maybe a little entertainment and a good meal.  As I always loved to say growing up, “it’s all good”.  

As nice as it would be to have incredible days everyday where you make a ton of money and eat incredible food and everything just works perfectly, that is just not reality, and that’s okay.

Reality is that most days are just good days without any remarkable occurrence, and I think that is probably a good thing.  It is those types of days that help us be grateful for the simple pleasures in life.  

We realize that once again it is the little things that matter most, and that as we take the time to appreciate them, we will find them to be increasingly more fulfilling.

I am looking forward to a few days of adventure in the coming weeks, but tonight I am just grateful for another good day in my life.

What are you grateful for?

Good People

I feel like I talk in this general vein a lot on here, but I also feel like it cannot be overstated.  With all of the crap that is going on in the world, and all the terrible things people do to each other, we can never have too much talk about good people.  The awesome thing is, they are everywhere.

I’m sure many of you can relate, but in the last week I have had multiple friends pick me up and drop me off as I got repair work done on my car.  I was invited to a friend’s for dinner because not only did they want to help get me out of the house, but they enjoy my company, and the chili was amazing.  I have been given three meals worth of food.  I have had great conversations about fun things.  I had a friend buy me a donut.

I know all of these are little things, but something else that I also can’t say too much, is that it is the little things that matter most.  We will never be able to do great things if we don’t take the time to do the little things.  

That is what makes good people so valuable.  They are not perfect, and they don’t do things for recognition, but they do the little things because that is just how you should treat people. 

I realize I have been somewhat vague in this post rather than calling out individuals, who definitely deserve credit, but I am just letting my heart run with it tonight.  

If you aren’t a good person then stop being a loser and fix it.  If you are a good person I thank you for your your efforts, and tonight I am thankful for you.

What are you thankful for?

Games

I really like all kinds of games.  Card games, board games, video games, night games, computer games; it really doesn’t matter, I like them all.

It doesn’t matter if they are simple like Candy Land or Go Fish, or more complicated like Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan.  It is interesting though that I find games that are simple and relaxing equally as fun as those that require a lot of thought and strategy.  It really just depends on my mood.

I didn’t have any groundbreaking epiphany today, I just spent some time playing a game and it reminded me how much I enjoy them.  If you haven’t played any in awhile, shame on you, there are tons of great ones out there, so go and get a new one and have some fun.

Like I have said so many times before, it really is the simple things in life that bring the most joy, and that is why today I am grateful for games.

What are you grateful for?

Laughter

Oh man!  I had to take a little break before writing this because I was just laughing so hard, but it was immediately clear to me what I needed to be thankful for today.

I just got done watching one of the funniest videos I have seen in some time.  I am going to post it below for your viewing pleasure, but I will warn you that there is a fair amount of bad language, so if you don’t want to hear it, don’t watch.

It is amazing how much a good laugh can just brighten your day, and make you feel physically better.  I was by no means super depressed to day, or anything, but I stumbled across this video, and I just feel happier and lighter.

I think I have mentioned that I have been reading and listening to a lot of James Altucher recently and he has mentioned repeatedly a study that was done that says that as children we laugh hundreds of times a day, but by the time we become adults that number drops to around 5-6 times a day.

That number just astounds me, but at the same time I am not surprised.  We get so busy with all of the things in life that are certainly important, that we forget to get out and have fun.  We also forget to laugh at ourselves, which is vitally important to our survival.

I know I don’t laugh enough on most days, but when you find something like this video that makes you laugh so hard your stomach hurts, you have to just take some time and enjoy it.  That’s why today I am grateful for laughter.