Random fact about Sam: I love to learn

Alright, so maybe that isn’t that random of a fact, but I’m being completly serious when I say it. I’m not kidding you when I say learning gets me about as excited as the entire state of Wisconsin is when the Packers go to the Super Bowl. Let me prove it, I did something called Strengths Quest as a Community Advisor (same thing as an RA) in college where you answered a bunch of questions and found out your “Top 5 Strengths.” I guess you could say it’s like a modified Myers-Briggs…ish. Anyway, “Learner” was my number one.

Bailey Hall CA Staff  Photo Credit to the awesome Ms. Jana Paulson

Bailey Hall CA Staff
Photo Credit to the awesome Ms. Jana Paulson

I can’t really tell you what it is about learning, but I feel so empowered and like I can conquer the world when new information comes my way. Yea, I know, that’s probably a little sickening but meh, we all have our quirks. It’s been quite the year for me in terms of “new knowledge” coming my way. I mean, I found myself in this crazy situation where I needed to re-learn how to do everything. Yea, I literally mean everything including being up and at ’em for a 7am class on the fascinating topic of  “How to put on your own pants.” While it all has been very important (especially the pants lesson), I think there’s one thing I’ve learned/am learning that has really impacted me…<

Learning to be thankful.

=I’ve slowly come to realize how much I constantly overlook, take for granted, and just “expect” in life. I took for granted being able to get up and ready for the day in 15 minutes flat. I took for granted being able to go in and out of whatever house/location I wanted to sans assistance. I took for granted the ease of which I was able to live my life. The worst part about it all, this list of “Things Sam Took/Takes for Granted” could just keep going on and on and on.

It’s really sad when I realize what it took for me to actually notice the blessings God had given me in my life. I mean it took for all those things to no longer be apart of the life I was living for me to even recognize how precious and special they were. There’s so much I’ve been given that I don’t and never will deserve, and I’m learning to be thankful for all of it.

I’m learning to be thankful for the days that don’t go very well because they make me really appreciate the ones that DO go really well. I’m learning to be thankful for that crazy mother of mine who sure knows how to make me laugh–pause, mini story time: we drove to the track the other day so I could go for a push in my racer, drove all the way there, I’m about to get my manual chair out, Mom opens the trunk and gasps. I turn around, no racer. Apparently we should have brought that with…Let’s just say I went this morning and checked it was in the van like, 8 times.

It’s easy to be thankful for the big things in life; being healthy, a job promotion, the ability to take a family vacation. But sometimes, it’s the little things that really hit home and remind us of how great and wonderful life can be.

I was sitting outside at Starbucks the other day (it was a lot warmer outside…) analzying some data and working on a research article. All of a sudden, a Starbucks employee comes up behind me and goes, “Sam?” Uh..yep, that would be me, but how in the world do YOU know that and am I in trouble? “One of your high school classmates just went through the drive-thru and got this for you.”


I was blown away to say the least and have zero idea who it was. All I know is how much I want to tell that person thank you for making my day and reminding me of how awesome and wonderful my community is and how very much I have to be thankful for.

Even when things “aren’t ideal” and when it feels like your life is turned upside down, I can guarantee there are still reasons to give thanks. As challenging as life can be as a paraplegic, the opportunities I’ve had are unlike any I could have imagined.

So just stop for a minute.
Stop for a minute and say thanks.

3 thoughts on “Learner.

  1. Kelly Emerine says:

    This really clicked with me because I always call my husband(aka: McKenna & Padraic’s Dad) a ‘compulsive learner’! He is (was) a science teacher. So like you very into science. As kids, their friends would ask, “why do you have themomitors on your coats?” They would answer:”because or Dad needs data”. I am greatful to live with someone who is so excited about life on this earth. My best to you, Kelly E.

    • Gary Tritz says:

      It is our choice to start the day with gratitude or indifference. And 30 seconds, before getting up, to appreciate my wife, my niece, my life; sets the pattern for the whole day.
      Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Jayne says:

    Yes Sam. I couldn’t agree more. I go to bed every night and thank God for 3 things that I appreciate. there should be many more but I’d never fall asleep. Reading this, I think I figured out when and what I’d like you to come to my church and talk about. In November and talk about your amazing attitude of gratitude. I talked to your Mom about this a while back, but I realize you may be busier than before because of your new title. I will talk to our Pastor and worship team and get you some possible dates. Thanks, Sam. Jayne

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