10 Things Grateful, plus a couple of days of boorish behavior

stormtrooper mindcraft
At first, I titled this photo “stormtrooper fortnite.” Yeah. It’s 1:05 a.m. and I’m 47 years old.

I’ve been wrong a lot in the past 24 hours.

Mostly, at Mallard Creek Park. Mostly, about soccer and about failing eyesight. See, I faulted the officials in our high school game of missing a horrible foul against us. Twenty-four hours later, I did the same during Camdyn’s game.

Say what you want about officials (mostly concerning eyesight), but upon further review, my gripes were misguided.

Maybe as I silently wish for refs who’ve passed eye exams, I should remember my own last eye exam was during the Obama administration. Or when Jefferson Starship was making its comeback. I don’t remember.

Point is, I was boorish – and I’m grateful for how cruddy that made me feel.

Because maybe next week I can check myself during games. I normally do. But if a meteor strikes me dead in the night, my last acts as coach and dad will not be what I’ve been striving for all these months of mindfulness.

What else am I grateful for?

soccer guide jenna passing it on rocky river coffee
Passing on this guide to a new coach. I’m not a new coach.

1-Getting my team back. Seeing them work. They were lost, then found, and may be lost again. It’s been a rough go early on. For a moment, I felt I had them back. After 16 years, there’s still a lot of learning for a coach.

2-A loving family who looks out. Honestly, life feels lonely at times. I wonder if that’s a cloak I pull on myself. Probably not entirely. Still, sometimes, when the chips are down, those who share my DNA come through in big ways.

3-Parallels and connections. Sometimes the ordinary becomes extraordinary. By chance? By design? I’m not sure. But I’m grateful for the conversation that results. It just feels as if something cosmic has aligned or at worst been illuminated in my imagination.

i am quite juvenile.
I am, in fact, quite juvenile.

4-My Marie Kondo’ed drawers. Not my underwear. And I’m not a bandwagon folder. Hell, I’ve been folding my T-shirts so they stand at attention for years. I heard Marie’s book on the audio back when we still had Walkmans.

5-Surprises on the soccer field. Not the kind dogs leave behind. Learnings. Putting a kid in a spot by accident and watching her thrive. There are some in any game. I still wish a ref would drop a $20 on the pitch because I’d totally snag it.

6-My dreams. They’re tough to attain. Perhaps impossible. But they keep me eternally leaning forward. Maybe the very pursuit of them puts me where I’m supposed to be. Because they’re at least on the list.

michael jordan pop last week sutton wanted it target
Sutton said to be on the lookout for this bad boy. Mission accomplished. Ironic that the kid once got yelled at for looking at MJ.

7-Leaning in hard, but willing to grow: I have so much to do. The only way it’ll happen is if I lean hard into the day from the moment my alarm goes off. It’s exhausting. But I see the good that comes from getting after it.

8-Proximity and circumstance. Again with connections and conversations. You’re where you’re supposed to be. I’ve taken a “no extra steps” policy. I won’t step out of my way to chase what isn’t supposed to be near me.

9-Challenges, even the prickly ones. Most are prickly. But they give us a chance to figure it out. To fail. To think. To hate it. To love what we can do despite it. If one part of my life falls in order, I know another is about to go apeshit.

lincoln lucky penny on my run because God greenway in Concord
You know what they say: “Find lucky penny on your run/go eat a bratwurst on a bun.”

10-Frozen pizza – reheated in the toaster oven. It’s just, majestic. It’s 1:36 a.m. and my eyelid is twitching from the caffeine load I ingested to stay up and write, and I’m legit dreaming of the Totino’s pizza in the freezer. Right. Now.

Good night everyone.

Wait, what are you grateful for, cuz?

Brault quote gratitude




  1. ksbeth says:

    i love that you have gratitude for your less than perfect behavior because you learned from it, and i still am juvenile too in some ways so i can appreciate that. and pizza.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We could talk about this over a slice someday, beth. Detroit-style pizza even.

      1. ksbeth says:

        Sounds good – at a wings game

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’ll wear my Avs sweater

  2. my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/ says:

    Laughing out loud at my desk at number 3. Happened to me years ago with a newspaper at work. I put my highlighter down (on an ordinary headline) and an extremely adult word was formed.

    I’ve been thinking of pizza this week and now craving it even more!

    I love that last quote because it is so true – in life it is so easy to overlook simple but amazing things.

    Have a great weekend.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I had to go look at #3! Haha. It’s the picture! Now I want to know about your highlighter word. I worked for a paper that had an unfortunate mistake – instead of public access, the writer forgot the L.

      I think I think of pizza every week. I mention it a lot on instagram. A mindful feed I follow finally called me on it. I said lots of cosmic stuff in a comment, and she came back with, “you really like pizza, huh?” Guilty.

      Glad you liked the last quote. It’s been especially true this week, and with my soccer team. We’re short on experience but I want to make sure they get the lesson in the hardships, and see the good that’s not always so easy to see.

  3. claywatkins says:

    Eli… I start my day with the Five Minute Journal – it’s quick and easy and helps me focus on the good things in my life. I am thankful our paths have crossed. Yes, I can be boorish at time and a little juvenile, but I have many things to be thankful for – including that our paths have crossed. Thanks for your gratitude, it strengthens me in mine. Peace.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I start most days with it, Clay! I have a made-up one – it’s a journal I write a quote in every day, with the appropriate prompts. Glad our paths crossed too, my friend.

  4. Can we go halfsies on the pizza? I crave those things every now and then. But we like ours in the oven, no pan so the bottom gets nice and crunchy. Anyone who knows me knows they might have to cover my mouth at some point because the things that fall out of myself sometimes are totally inappropriate. My daddy was a sailor, I have 3 brothers and now 2 boys of my own and my sense of humor reflects that! Love it all. This post made me happy that’s for sure! Have a great weekend Coach!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m so down with splitting a pizza with you, Kim. Oven is perfect – I like to put them right on the rack for ultimate crispiness. My eyes are actually glittering right now.

      I hope that you’ll drop some curse words in your next comment. Will you do that for me?

  5. Beth says:

    I love how you always find something awesome and amazing about your week even when you’ve maybe had some less than great moments. I especially love that you put challenges on your list this week – challenges most definitely make us stronger, so I think it’s definitely cool to be grateful for them! Oh man frozen pizza. Is it dinner time yet?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The good stuff often hides in the rough bin, doesn’t it Beth? I’m grateful for things that challenge me. Even when they seem to come in bulk and with no instructions and also no warning that they’re hot or spiky.

      Frozen pizza – see, I like the Totino’s, which is the cheapest thing this side of Great Value. But it’s crispy gold, I’m telling you.

  6. I’m so unbelievably grateful for my bed. When we were looking at beds, I tried to talk my husband out of it because of the price, but every night when I drop into bed, there’s nothing but aahhhh, so thankful for the comfort. My sore, achy joints thank me. (It’s a Tempurpedic).

    And I’m grateful for Endangered Species and Theo brands of dark chocolate. No dairy and completely delicious!! And fair trade. (They also make milk chocolate, but other brands of dark chocolate have dairy in them, and I’m non-dairy).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      There are some creature comforts that are so worth it, right? I like to use a good old-fashioned razor when I shave. Disposables or electrics just don’t cut it.

      So the Endangered Species and Theo candies are good for taste, too?

      1. They only make chocolate bars. Top notch! Deeelish!

  7. Dreams that keep us moving forward, i hope we never lose sight of them.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They’re better motivators than carrots or even carrot cake, Mims.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.