Saying Goodbye

I realize this is usually something people absolutely dread.  I even know a few people that refuse to say those words.  While those situations where these words are applicable are never fun, there is something to be grateful for.  

The way I see it, if you dread saying goodbye, that means you care about the person.  It means you made a connection and you valued their presence.

It may mean that they were a great worker or simply a great friend, but whatever the case may be, their leaving is going to leave a void in your life.

I have had times where I really wasn’t too sad about leaving, and as I look back that is actually a much sadder situation.  To have spent any significant amount of time somewhere and not be sad about leaving means that there were no great connections.  

People are the best part of life so what a shame if we missed out on an opportunity to connect with people in a new area.

As a military member saying goodbye is a regular occurrence, though it doesn’t make it any easier.  But what it does is make you grateful for all of the amazing people you get to meet.  That’s why tonight I am grateful for saying goodbye.

What are you grateful for?

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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?

Love

I don’t have a lot of deep thought to go with my gratitude tonight, only the fact that love conquers all.

No matter how hard we think life is or how much we struggle the love of a Heavenly Father can, and will, get us through.

Some days there is not much else I know in the world, but tonight I am grateful for love.

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?

Ramen 

It just feels like another day I should be grateful for food.  Now just to be clear up front, when I say ramen I am not talking about that 10 cent crap that college students live on.

What I am talking about is the delicious, authentic, wonderfulness that is Japanese ramen.  At it’s heart it is incredibly basic, essentially broth and noodles, but it is just so yummy.

You add in some sprouts and maybe some pork, some spicy sauce of some sort, maybe an egg if that is your thing.  There are tons of different variants, but I don’t know that I have had a bad one.

My absolute favorite is in Okinawa at a noodle shop near American Village.  They make a steak ramen that is simply to die for.  The one complaint I usually have about ramen is the meat is not substantial enough, but at this place they take a steak and slice it up to put it in the ramen.

It is amazing!

There are some aspects of Japanese food I will certainly miss whenever I leave, and one of those things is definitely ramen.  That’s why today I am grateful for ramen.

What are you thankful 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?