The Batz family New Year's day adventure to the Rose Bowl was a big bucket list item. A great way to celebrate a good life!

The Batz family New Year’s day adventure to the Rose Bowl was a “big bucket list” item. A great way to celebrate a good life!

Every breath is worth celebrating. Sure, anyone could wish for more of this and less of that…but as long as I’m still breathing there is at least one thing to celebrate. A good life! So, what are you celebrating today?

Over six years of writing this blog, I am keenly aware of the razor-thin line in the Midwestern culture between self-promotion and the sharing of pure, unbridled joy. The longer I live, and the more fully I dedicate myself to spreading goodness, the more I love to celebrate. A good meal with friends. A concert. A good ballgame (victory or defeat). Good leaders celebrate life to spread positivity – and to help others believe in what’s possible.

The Bucket List trip

Melinda grinned ear-to-ear for two hours as iconic floats and marching bands paraded by. We were seated directly under the CBS camera crew.

Melinda grinned ear-to-ear for two hours as iconic floats and marching bands paraded by. We were seated directly under the CBS camera crew.

This year, Melinda and I celebrated the new year by crossing another important item off our Bucket List – our family celebrated the new year at the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena, California.

Since the beginning of our marriage 29 years ago, we’ve celebrated New Year’s day watching the Rose Parade on television. And every year Melinda would say: “the Rose Parade is on my bucket list!”

Hard work pays off

By good fortune and hard work, our business has grown in California. As every new year approached, I received more and more invitations to experience the grandaddy of parades. So, with the help of thousands of Frequent Flier Miles and good friends to host us, we ventured to California with roses on the brain.

January in Pasadena is cold! Temperatures hung in the 30s for the parade. NBC's broadcast studio is in the background.

January in Pasadena is cold! Temperatures hung in the 30s for the parade. NBC’s broadcast studio is in the background.

Increased security caused parade-watchers to rise well before dawn and walk several miles beyond multiple barricades. Excitement rose with the sun as strangers from all across the land huddled together in the spirit of anticipation. “This is my fourth year in a row,” the woman next to me from Indianapolis said. “I haven’t missed one for 62 years,” the man sitting in front of her bragged.

We didn’t keep score

Even though the Iowa Hawkeyes suffered in defeat, we didn’t count the touchdowns or the miles we walked through the streets of Pasadena. Our alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College, will never get to the Rose Bowl. So we decide to “represent” the Gusties all day…just for fun.

The experience was everything we hoped. It was joyful. Invigorating. Exciting. A bucket-list celebration for the ages, and we are grateful.

GLE-FB-TW-INST-CelebratingToday-560x455Good leaders balance the humility of servanthood with the joy of living a good life. And they spread positivity by savoring every moment that feels wonderful to be alive.

Please share with me: what are you celebrating today?