Thursday, July 29, 2010


I love being a part of a team. A good team can exponentially accomplish so much more than an individual. The interaction, exchange of ideas, and driving towards a common goal are what get me going. I affectionately and often refer to my family as Team Jackson. That is by far the most awesome team I’m on. I’m on several teams at work and both contribute to and learn from them all. My softball team is a hoot, and although I’m one of the oldest dudes on the team I hold my own and represent for we 40 'sumpins'! For any team I think key glue that holds it together is the sincere exchange of appreciation and respect.

I set out this morning with a goal to let at least 20 people know today that I appreciate them. I’ve already blown that out of the water. Webster defines appreciation as an expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude. For me it takes me to an entirely new place of energy, motivation, and determination when I know that someone appreciates me. And appreciates me not just for what I have done, can do, or may do for them but rather just for the person I am and what I stand for. So I figure that is the case for most people.

And if you took 2 minutes to read this, I appreciate you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Too Blessed To Be Depressed!

I posted this morning that I had to break out the calculator to count my blessings. It was just one of those mornings that I woke up focused on the awesome things in my life and fighting hard to keep the negative at bay. I have an awesome wife who concomitantly is an awesome mother. As I look around – and I don’t have to look far – I realize how huge it is that I can say that. So many people don’t have that blessing.

We are all healthy and with the exception of yours truly at times, are all in our right minds. Again, I don’t have to look far to see how huge that is. A son who is doing so well in college and another son and daughter who are doing the same in their schools. Some real, caring, and incredible friends.

For me it goes deeper – albeit pretty basic – than even all that. The times that I spent away from my loved ones during the first Gulf war and most recently our family’s separation when we decided to leave the family in TN so that Jared could finish high school there, make me appreciate every single day. The – what I call - “Leave it to Beaver” type moments are the best! Walking in the door of our home and grabbing a hug and kiss from my best friend. Having to brace myself – everyday! - as my children bum rush me screaming “Daddy you’re home” and give me big hugs. Sitting at the dinner table together enjoying a meal and talking about our days. Being there and watching my children participate in the things that they are passionate about. Having my 8 year old give me a thumbs up when I manage a hit on the softball field. Just looking over and being able to SEE my wife’s lovely face and thinking I should have gone into sales to be so blessed to have her in my life.

I’ll end this with a quote from my favorite – after ‘the Beave’ of course – character on Leave it to Beaver, Eddie Haskell: “Wally if your dumb brother tags along, I’m gonna – oh, good afternoon, Mrs. Cleaver. I was just telling Wallace how pleasant it would be for Theodore to accompany us to the movies.”