Leaving the Grind Behind

It’s time to head out on the highway.  The first family road trip is dialed in and coming soon. Leaving the usual day-to-day behind, packing up, and on the road once again.

Very excited for a bunch of reasons.  I’ve loved road trips as long as I can remember. Going new places, seeing new things. Taking the kids on such an adventure, all the better.

No dishes to speak of?  GOOD.

Change up of schedule?  GOOD.

Living out of a suitcase and van for a few days?  GOOD.

Change up of surroundings and scenery?  GOOD.

Spend time with friends we haven’t seen in a while?  GOOD.

Kids get to hang out with new kids, similar ages?  GOOD.

Going to a new park?  GOOD.

Spending long stretches of time with the kids, drenched in ordinary activities?  GOOD.

Spending long stretches of time without screens on?  GOOD.

Let the soul be refilled.  I’m ready.




Keep it in check, but let it fuel you inside.

When legit and from real work, effort, and struggle, there are few things that will fortify your self-worth and esteem. Store up those feelings to help carry you in difficult times.

That sort of pride is your armor, your shield. When you’ve worked hard and long day in and day out, let the pride in that effort stand on its own.  Keep it safe and use it to your full advantage. It is powerful.

That said, do not allow your ego and pride to lead the way.  Remain humble. Be open to learning and lessons and new ways.

Take root in the knowledge that there will always be those lesser, and greater than you.  Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how modest. Your effort when sincere and at full measure, speaks for itself.

Keep going forward. Be proud.

Celebrating Susan, 2017

A dozen years back I met this amazing person. Her name is Susan.  I was really lucky. She taught me a lot about myself and love and learning. 

A few years later she became my wife.  Together we made a family, now with three little children. I am even more lucky now. 

Susan teaches me about myself and other ways of being that are good. She challenges me and loves me and stands with me. She helps make life worthwhile. I am SO lucky.

Today we celebrate her birthday, and I thank God and fate and my lucky stars in the sky for Susan, this amazing, smart, funny, inspiring, caring, solid human being I’m going through life with. 

The kids and I are so fortunate, so blessed so filled with GOOD because of her.

Happy Birthday to You, Susan!

A Pile of Shells

We’re heading into one of the main  vacation times of year, and I’m thinking back to the family holiday last year on the beach.

I’ve come to love those days — this will be the third or fourth trip to the California coast near with the family — there’s a total focus on kid fun, beach play time, good food, quality time with the extended family, and slowing life down to reset.

I’m reminded that shifting the mind away from work and normal life’s day-to-day challenges takes effort. It takes conscious effort.

And as the noise in your mind quiets, important “big life” stuff comes to the fore.

Simple things are often the best.

Seek them out and you will see.


A walk in the wind.

A little bowl of popcorn.

The Zigzag game around the stumps down the road.

Kids dancing to the boom boom in the living room.

Piles of shells collected by kids and adults alike, simple joy found in abundance, all around.

It’s summer vacation again, the soul rejoices!

Hallway Protocol

We recently moved into a new facility at work. It’s a cool, big building, freshly refurbished to welcome us.

Prior to this home the company had been a bit spread out, across 5 buildings. 

It’s nice to see everyone under one roof, get a more full sense of who’s who. What faces are associated the different groups. Understand more completely the company I work for. Smile at more people every day. Spread more good.

That’s really my number one personal goal at work: smile more, and share the simple, good energy that comes along with it.

Which brings me to the title of this post. What IS the exact, appropriate, “hallway protocol” when you pass fellow co-workers?

We have a lot of long, straight hallways in this building, so you can see people coming a mile away. 

That’s a good thing on the one hand, because you can scan the corridor when you enter to see if anyone’s coming. You can get ready. Then you have a decision to make.

If you haven’t said Hello yet during that day (if you remember), it’s a fresh opportunity to share a little smile and good cheer. Can’t hurt, right?

But if you HAVE seen that person already earlier in the day, the possible exchange (or lack there of) is a bit more complex. You can say “Hello” again, with some little quip to add to the greeting…or just smile, or even choose to ignore the person the second (third? fourth?) time around.

My vote, for what it’s worth, what I try to do, is always try to make eye contact and have some positive exchange. I’m not 100%. Sometimes I get ignored. Sometimes I don’t know what to do. I’ve even gone the other way, so I didn’t have to make decision.

But the best choice? Put yourself out there, say hello, TRY to brighten the other person’s day. You have nothing to lose.

That’s the Hallway Protocol we should all follow. After all, we’re in this together.