I Love Don Week, Day 1-3

Can you believe it’s already Day #3 of “I Love Don Week” and I haven’t posted an obnoxious blog post listing all the things on my wish-list for my birthday? Luckily, for some strange reason, my family plays along with the “I Love Don Week” concept and I’ve gotten gifts every day, starting on July 5th.

Real quick for the new blog readers …”I Love Don Week” is the run-up to my birthday, which is July 11th (if you want to put it on your calendar). For the week leading up to my birthday I get gifts and stuff every day. It’s a celebration of all things “Don.”

This year I turn 41.

I kicked things off by changing my “look” and getting a new haircut (see previous post and picture top/left). Whether I was pulling off the look I thought I was or not, I had been trying to cultivate the Brian-Williams-Tom- Brokaw -Peter-Jennings news anchor hair and with the ever expanding forehead, and thinning hair, it just wasn’t happening. So I am kicking off the 42nd year of my life with a short and neat haircut. Four days into this ‘do, and I really, really like it.

Now, onto the recap and plans for the rest of “I Love Don Week”.

Day 1 of “I Love Don Week” was the haircut (a gift to myself) and then a pound of coffee beans from a Grand Rapids roaster, ordered by my wife and delivered by my sister-in-law M.B. and her family. I enjoyed it all long-weekend long. It’s smooth …at least it was smooth Up North using well water. The flavor was distinctly different this morning back using city water. I love the subtle differences the water can have on the flavor of coffee. Oh, and my wife bought a big tub of Win Shuler’s cheese spread. I shouldn’t have this, and don’t have it often, but once a year around my birthday, my wife buys it for me and I make a pig of myself. I dip pretzels in it. Yum.

Day 2 I received decorative magnets for my cubical at work. We have fabric covered metal walls …so thumbtacks don’t work but magnets do. These are cool and thoughtful and will add a little flair to my desk.

And today …drum roll …another cool, patterned shirt from Express. I hope all the junk food I ate over the weekend will still allow me to fit into this “slim fit” shirt.

But the real gift was a nice, long weekend with my family highlighted by tons of fishing, lots of snacking, watching World Cup soccer, being with my in-laws and my nieces and nephews, fireworks (my own show and then watching a well-funded, highly explosive community fireworks display), mountain biking, and …I can’t believe I’m saying this …hanging out with my dog. I’m really starting to like this dog. Here’s the only thing I wish I could change about this dog. She’s a “flight risk.” Meaning …we can’t ever leave a door ajar without having her on a leash or bring her out in the front yard or a field with us, because she’d put her nose to the ground and be gone. This, I plan to fix.

Wow. This blog entry is jumping all over the place. Let me get to the sappy stuff.

The greatest highlight of all was my 7-year-old saying at bedtime last night that her weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s was, “her #1 best weekend” she’s ever had up there. And as we made the four-hour drive home yesterday, I was thinking the same thing. I felt rested. I felt energized. I felt ready to take on the world. I was not dreading Monday morning and getting back to work.

That is how you execute a holiday weekend …pack everything imaginable into it …enjoy every minute you can with your loved ones or with whatever task or project and try not to let your mind wander …live in the moment …and then when you get back to work, you can live in those moments and maximize them.

Mindfulness just sorta happened for me this weekend, and I’m better today because of it. And because of the gifts. That helps.

Hope your “I Love Don Week” is going as well as mine. My full gift/wish list will be posted later. Sorry for the delay.

Follow me at @donkowalewski.

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