A Quiet Friday, A Suspended Twitter Account, & A Calling, Perhaps

It’s been a difficult week. I am grateful for a quiet Friday evening, at least as quiet as it can be with a 13 year old boy listening to Dr. Dre and playing video games.

After years of seemly giving him a pass, Twitter finally suspended the president’s account, permanently. I am grateful that his platform for hatred, misinformation, and lies has been diminished.

I have long felt a calling to explore the problem of misinformation online and have started to research this. I am grateful that I feel like there may be some ways to address this problem in a meaningful way, even though I don’t know what they are just yet.

A Donut, Fatherhood, Democracy Intact

I am grateful for the donut that I had after I failed a certification exam today. Yes, it did make me feel better.

I am grateful that I was at home and able to pick my son up after he fell in a giant mud puddle at recess. He got a shower and clean clothes and went back to school.

I am grateful that our fragile democracy is still intact after yesterday. We are blessed to live in a free society.

Some Good News, Back to School, & Space Heaters

Today, I spoke with a customer who is at an account that I no longer manage. It was great to speak with him especially when he told me that he is now a grandfather. I was so grateful to hear some good news today.

My son returned to school today after being out for an extended period of virtual learning. I am grateful that his return to school seemed to go well.

We had another damp and cold day today here, but I was able to get out for a run this morning before the rain got here and I was able to warm up my office with my new space heater. I was grateful to be able to escape the chill.

Old Friends, Linguini, & Muddy Boots

I got a chance to talk with one of my oldest friends today and it was wonderful to hear her voice. I’m grateful for our friendship.

I made linguini and sausage for dinner. I’m grateful that my son was excited for dinner rather than complaining that I’d made something he didn’t like tonight.

My son and I fed the alpacas at the farm park this afternoon, which means walking through the mud in the paddock where they hang out. I was grateful for the squishy earth under my boots today, which reminds me of being a boy growing up in the country.

Reminders, A Pair of Old Characters, & Retained Heat

I watched a few short films by a group called Teton Gravity Research. Several of them were adventure films about snowboarding. I’m not a good snowboarder, but I do love to ski. These films reminded me that there will be good times again even if the pandemic looms large right now.

One of those films was about a ski shop that’s been in an immigrant family since 1920, Lahout’s in Littleton, NH. It told the life story of a man named Joe Lahout who died at 93 in 2017. Joe’s life story made me think about my grandfather, Tony, who was also the son of an immigrant family and also quite a character.

I made roasted pork and sauerkraut for dinner tonight. I’d planned on it for New Years Day, but we ended up doing something different. I can never eat pork roast without thinking of the time when my grandfather turned out electric oven off two hours before a pork roast would have been done. It was raw when mom took it out of the oven. He was accustomed to gas ovens and claimed that he thought it would cook in retained heat. We laugh about this now, but it wasn’t so funny that day.

I’m grateful for these reminders and memories.

New Gear, A Packed Trail, & Pizza

A new cycling jacket that I ordered showed up today and I got to test it out on a ride this afternoon. I’m always grateful for a bike ride because they make me feel free. There is something very mediative about turning the pedals over and over.

The local rail trail was packed today. It was a little frustrating but I was grateful to see so many people out enjoying the sunshine and reminded myself that a slow ride is better than no ride.

I ordered pizza for dinner tonight. I was grateful to not have to cook this evening. I’ll be enjoying some relaxation and then hopefully have a great night sleep.

The Kindness, Support, & Love of Strangers

It was a hard day for me. The weight of the pandemic and the dysfunction of the holidays not being very holiday like hit me hard today. But when I shared my pain with my Twitter crew, things felt better. I am so grateful for the support I get from people around the world on that service. I know that some people find Twitter to be a cesspool, and if I look in the wrong corners I see it as well, but the group that I interact with in a daily basis is so life affirming and supportive.

And that support, well, it’s the kindness of strangers. Most of the people who I interact with, I’ll never meet in real life. And while that makes me a bit sad sometimes, it reminds me that we are all interconnected. We are hard-wired for connection and belonging — hard wired to feel empathy and love for one another. I’m grateful that these qualities are so intrinsic to our human existence and that I can be open to give and receive this love.

New Years, Streaming Concerts, & Snuggles

It’s been a hard year. I’m under no delusions that 2021 will be magically different starting tomorrow but I am grateful that 2020 is coming to an end.

Tonight will be a quiet night. I’m going to catch a live stream concert by Jason Isbell on fans.live at 9 Eastern. I’m grateful for fast internet and streaming technology bringing entertainment to my living room during the pandemic.

I got some snuggles with my son this morning, which I can’t believe he still gives at 13, but I’m grateful for them nevertheless.