Thankful For Blog By Bake

As I mentioned on Monday, I am converting my writing platform to a new site called Attention Land.

Although I know it is the right decision since it will allow me to utilize better website tools to help broaden my audience, it was still a tough choice to make. Part of me felt like I was abandoning Blog by Bake. It felt like I was kicking the site to the curb as if I were some teenage girl who dumps her average Joe boyfriend when she gets asked to prom by the star quarterback.

But I don’t want it to seem like that at all. To stick with the breakup theme, it’s not you, it’s me. I think it is just time we see other people.

Okay, so maybe those lame breakup excuses weren’t really a better explanation. Either way, I am still very thankful for Blog By Bake. And I don’t mean to say that in some weird third person type of way like when former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell said he would like to thank his hands for being so great.

What I am trying to say is that I am thankful for everything the Blog By Bake platform has done for me this year. I am thankful for the 200+ posts that have seen me grow as a writer. I am thankful that the site helped me launch a great Kickstarter project and release a children’s book. I am thankful for all this and much more.

I am still a little unsure of what will happen to this blog. I won’t be updating it daily starting in a week or two, but I might just keep it around and post some infrequent thoughts, rhymes or observations. Maybe just a way to thank the people who have been around since the beginning. Maybe it will be my way of saying I think we shouldn’t go out anymore but I hope we remain friends. I guess you could say that I love Blog By Bake, I am just not in love with it.

Sorry I just had to throw in a couple more bad break up excuses.

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Thankful For What I Don’t Have

Most of the time on Thankful Thursday’s I write about the things I have. Things like time, a great family, or even a microwave.

Those things are great and I’ll continue to be thankful for them, but today I would like to take a different approach.

Too often I worry about the things I don’t have. Things like a million dollars, a fancy car, or a million dollars (did I mention that one already?).

But when I stopped to think about it, I realized I am actually very lucky for the many things I don’t have. I may not have it all, but it turns out that isn’t such a bad thing.

Here is a list of things I am thankful I don’t have.

I am thankful I don’t have…

  • to worry about where my next meal will come from
  • a serious illness
  • to live paycheck to paycheck
  • excessive debt
  • a dangerous neighborhood
  • to get up at 3am
  • to take a cold shower when I do get up
  • braces
  • dial up internet

Those are just a few of the things that I am grateful I don’t have. I bet if you think about it long enough you can make a pretty good list of your own.

Thankful For Trees I Did Not Plant

Think back to a time you experienced a hot afternoon.

The sun was scorching. Your skin was sizzling. Sweat was slithering down your face. You wanted nothing more than to have a bucket of ice cold water dumped on your head.  Unfortunately this wasn’t the Super Bowl, so the Gatorade shower was nowhere to be found.

When all else seemed lost, you noticed a huge, shaded saving grace. You ambled over to a giant oak tree and tumbled in joy at the earthy covering the tree provided.

Oh what a feeling!

What had just been sweltering heat instantly because a serene summer day (if only for a moment).

The tree that made you feel calm, cool and protected, did you ever stop to think about where that came from.

Probably not, and I don’t blame you. Trees are just kind of there, right?

Isn’t that an awesome thought?

The thing you needed most on that miserably boiling day was just kind of there. It was already there, just waiting for you.

Journalist, Walter Lippmann, once wrote that “men plant trees they will never sit under.”

Think about it…When was the last time you sat under a tree that you actually planted? One in your back yard, maybe?

Most of the time we enjoy shade from trees we had nothing to do with planting or growing.

I heard an interview with Warren Buffett and he pointed to the Lippmann quote as to why he is so generous with his fortune.

“We’ve had the shade and other people have planted those (trees),” Buffett said. “And so I think it behooves people in that position to plant a few trees themselves.”

Buffett recognizes that he profited greatly from the work of others. I think it is important that we all recognize the same.

We all benefit from something we had nothing to do with growing.

It could be an actual tree, or a business or even Facebook.

I had nothing to do with WordPress, the blogging platform used to publish this post, but I benefit from it. You likely had nothing to do with WordPress, but if you enjoy this blog or others, you too benefit.

I can point to dozens of other trees that I did not grow that I use on a daily basis.

Where would I be if someone hadn’t taken the time to plant those? Luckily I don’t have to answer that question.

So today I am thankful for the trees I did not plant. I am thankful for their shade and I am thankful for their inspiration to plant a few trees of my own.

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Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With all the fans yelling
And every team telling you “the championship is near”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
There will be buzzers for beating and upsets in seeding
With so much college basketball
It’s the hap-happiest season of all!
There’ll be big men for posting
Guards coast to coasting
And highlight plays that make you say whoa
There’ll be Cinderella stories
And tales of the glories of
Tournaments long, long ago

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be Grant Hill a-throwing
To Laettner for showing
When Duke games are near
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be great picks for boasting
Bad decisions for roasting
And McDermott putting on a show
There’ll be injuries that are gory
And tales of the glories of
Bryce Drew long, long ago
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be much replays for showing
And tears will be flowing
When losses are near
It’s the most wonderful time
It’s the most wonderful time
It’s the most wonderful time
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I am thankful for March Madness

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Thankful For Time

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – writer, Carl Sandburg

Today I am thankful for time.

As Carl Sandburg so eloquently put it in the above quote, only you can determine how your time is spent. The following is a top 10 list of what I am thankful to be able to spend my time on.

10. Time For Family –

As I wrote back in December, I am very blessed to have a great family. I am thankful for all of the time I get to spend with them.

9. Time to Play –

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Unlike Jack, I have enough time to play. So what is my excuse for being dull??

8. Time to Rhyme –

I might have just added this because it rhymes. Whatever the reason, I do have plenty of time to rhyme, which you can find here, here & here.

7. Time to Think, Laugh & Cry –

Former college basketball coach Jim Valvano said that if you think, laugh, & cry it makes for a heck of a day.  I don’t always do each of those every single day, but it is not because I lack the time.

6. Time to Create More Time –

Think you don’t have enough time to come up with your own top ten list? Think again. As my buddy Aaron Thuringer explained, we all have the opportunity to create more time for ourselves.

5. Time to Sleep –

I am very thankful for something I spend 1/3 of my life doing.

4. Time to Write –

I’m thankful to be able to spend time writing in this blog.

3. Time to Give –

One of the best things we can do with our time is to give some of it away. Through volunteering and other programs, much of our time best spent is time spent on others.

2. Time to Learn –

I am not an expert at anything. I am thankful to have time to learn many of life’s lessons.

1. Time to be Thankful –

I get time to remember all the things I have to be thankful for. And that makes me very thankful.

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One Day’s Wages

There are two things that always impress me.

Creativity & generosity.

Both of those things do not come easy to all of us, so when I find something that combines the two, I consider it a home run.

There are many awesome groups out there that find a worthy cause and create a unique way to raise money and awareness for that cause.

For today’s Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for these organizations.

One Day’s Wages is one such group that I recently learned about.  One Day’s Wages’ website explains that they are a movement dedicated to end global poverty.

Generous? Sure, but it sounds common enough, right? There are tons of places that want your money for a good cause.

But what sets One Day’s Wages apart is how they go about asking for money. Or better yet, how they go about recommending you donate money.

As the name implies, One Day’s Wages encourages people to give whatever amount that person makes during the course of one ordinary day.

They equate this to just 0.4% of one’s annual income.

That doesn’t seem like too much to give. But at the same time, this small gesture makes a huge impact for those less fortunate.

Even more, they recommend a great time to give is on your birthday. Think about it. On your birthday it is typically all about you. You receive gifts, praise and attention. With all that, don’t you think you have a little something that you can give up?

One Day’s Wages has a birthday pledge where you can give up your earnings for just one day and encourage others to do the same.

When I look at certain charities, I often struggle with whether to give, what to give and when to give. One Day’s Wages has created an exceptional answer to all of these questions.

I find that type of creativity and generosity something to be very thankful for!

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Thankful For Lessons

In the past, I have written about situations when I have not been at my best. Times when I have answered simple questions horribly wrong or acted like a dummy.

These times when I was not at my best led to many of the lessons I have learned throughout my life.

A lesson is defined as “something learned through experience.”

This could be something painful that we have all done, like learning the hard way that you shouldn’t touch a hot stove. Or it can be something embarrassing (that maybe only I have done), like learning that you shouldn’t force a girl try a wheatgrass shot on a first date.

The times that we are forced to learn lessons aren’t our finest moments but they are among the moments that will make us our finest.

Helen Keller put it best when she said, “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

The lessons that I learn always feel tough at the time, and sometimes I get burned (literally & figuratively), but I wouldn’t trade them for anything easier.

That is why, today, I am thankful for lessons.

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What I have

In the past I have used Thankful Thursday posts to write about special events like the Super Bowl or the Olympics. I also have written about helpful items like microwaves & to-do lists.

For today I will keep it simple.

Today, I am thankful for what I have.

Now you may be saying, “of course you are thankful for what you have. How can you be thankful for what you don’t have.”

Too many times I catch myself thinking, “I wish I had this or I wish I had that.” I am always wanting more, sometimes at the expense of appreciating what I have.

It is okay to strive for more, but we all need to remember just how many good things we have. We want to have certain relationships, better looks, and more toys. But don’t forget that you may already have a great family, perfect health and plenty of fun things to keep you busy.

So today I am thankful for what I have and I will spend time reflecting on that instead of worrying about more.

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Thankful For 1/3 of The Day

You know how there are some parts of your day that you just dread?

It could be an upcoming test in school or maybe it is that long hour you have to spend in traffic on the way to the office.

There are certain times on many days that we just don’t look forward to.

It is not always easy to be thankful for all the parts of the day.

But recently I realized that any given day, I know I can be thankful for 1/3 of my day no matter what.

What 8 hours per day can I be thankful, you ask?

My time spent sleeping.

I’ve heard the stat that we spend 33% of our lives asleep. That made me realize that I will ace 1/3 of every single day.

I can fall asleep faster than you can say insomniac and once I am asleep, every night is the chance for a new adventure given my propensity to sleepwalk. So not only do I sleep well, I also sleep fun.

That makes 1/3 of my life a success. If this were baseball, an average like that would make me an All-Star.

Any time I feel down about myself, I need to remember that I am very good at 1/3 of my life.

The other 2/3 of my life may be out of control, or at least out of my control, but it is reassuring to know that I can always count on that faithful 1/3.

It is a very encouraging feeling to know that every single day I can be an All-Star at 1/3 of the day.

And for that I am very thankful!

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Thankful For The Olympics

My brother and I have an ongoing debate over which Olympics is better, Summer or Winter.

He argues that the Winter Games contain more events that he looks forward to watching.

I contest that the Summer Olympics have all the best sports, thus making them the better Olympics.

Either way, both the Summer & Winter Olympics are very fun to watch. And I can’t be the only one to think that given the fact that NBC pays billions of dollars to broadcast the Games.

With the Winter Olympics starting tomorrow in Sochi, I thought I would spend this Thankful Thursday listing the reasons that I am thankful for the Winter Olympics.

Here they are in out first ever Thankful Thursday Top Ten…

Top 10 reasons I am thankful for the Winter Olympics

10. Morgan Freeman-voiced Visa commercials

9. They make me want to build a snowman

8. Curling

7. We get to see the “Miracle On Ice” clip any time USA Hockey plays

6. Cool opening ceremonies

5. There is always an event to watch on TV, no matter what time of day

4. Living in Arizona, it is the closest I will get to snow

3. We get to learn about a new sport like Freestyle Skiing

2. After a week, I feel I am qualified to be a judge for Freestyle Skiing

1. Makes me proud to be an American!

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