“Mikey Dahl for 3 years old like a good boy” and other pick me ups during a difficult week.

This morning I woke up with my lip quivering, the border between crying and just feeling overwhelmed. It’s been a difficult week mental health wise, and my spirit and mind just feel taxed.

I won’t recount the difficulties, but feel free to read about one of my encounters with Anxiety this week, if you’d like to read what an attack can feel like and / or what I sometimes do to overcome It.

Instead of recounting the negatives, I’d like to express my gratitude and appreciation.

Many of you know about (and Facebook “like”) my posting of photos that help me see beauty in the world or remind me of a good time. These daily postings are amazing ways for me to start each day with personal expressions of gratitude for the good in the world. This picture in particular was a treasure for my week.


Another treasure was a gift from my aunt, Cathy. I don’t know if she intended it this way, but soon after I wrote about that bout with Anxiety, she posted a picture of me with her and my sister Shari when I was a hyper child. My first thought was that I look like I’m a backup singer in a band. I chuckled a bit and smiled a lot. Thanks for the well-timed pick-me-up, Cathy, and sharing how you still say “Hi” to me, exclaiming: “Mikey Dahl for 3 years old like a good boy!”

I’m also grateful for connections with two people I don’t always hear from — nor do I do the reaching out to enough. Thanks to my friend Serenity for posting appreciation of our one year friendship on Facebook — we’ve been real friends for a bit longer than that. I’m also grateful for my niece Autumn for reaching out for a couple Facebook chats. Thanks, Autumn.

I should tell you, just as I am typing these words, tears are falling from my eyes blurring up my sight. They are happy tears, although I would like to see what I am typing.

I am thankful for the phone conversation I had with my friend, David Manuel, a local food activist with Red Lake Food Initiative. During the call he agreed to again step up and tell more people about he and his tribe’s inspiring story to get more of the community gardening. I told him that his pictures of thousands of starter plants he and his team grew and gave out to tribe members so they could give gardening a go (with help / mentorship) was / is a true inspiration for me. Thank you, David.

I am also grateful for one of my colleagues, Maggi.  She has no idea how much her swooping in to take on a task helped me focus on other things this week.  Thank you, Maggi.

Tom, thank you for your prayers.  Even this atheist appreciates positive vibes of any sort being sent my way.

I’m probably forgetting many others to thank, and for that I apologize. But I’d end the expressions of gratitude with a huge thanks to my wife, Rebecca, for encouraging us to join U2’s fan club so we could get in on the pre-sale tickets which landed us great seats for my favorite band when they arrive on September 8th.

Lastly, I wanted to say that other than my posting of pictures — a personal and intentional act of gratitude — these other encounters may have simply been normal interactions that I received as pick-me-ups during a very difficult week. The givers may not have intended much more than “Hey, let me talk to or post something about Michael.” But as I said, I received each with incredible gratitude and joy.

Again, happy tears falling down my face, I’d advise us all to give a bit more, to be gentle with the world and the people who surround us, and to be humble in our conversations with one another. These qualities often bring cheer to those of us who struggle — which means all of us.

Go forth and be snazzy, my friends.