My Deepest Hope

At this moment, as I go through another glorious (seriously!) day of work, my dad lies in his bed, under hospice care, nearing the end of his time on this earth.

Surreal, really.  But it’s the circle of life at it’s most pure.  Our struggles, our triumphs, and everything in between, are our own.   Life goes on, even as a life nears its end.

I’ll see my dad, and mom too, this evening after work.  I’ve made arrangements and advised all the related folks of the situation so I can break free and be with my dad when the time comes, at the end.

Between now and then, this is my deepest hope for my dad, that he can have this perspective:

“More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. It is indeed a profound spiritual experience to know and feel
myself so totally in God’s hands.”

These were the words, this was the prayer written by Pedro Arrupe, S.J., who at the time had suffered a massive stroke and could no longer speak.

Amen, AMEN.

Common Themes

Start and stop and start again.

It’s in the doing that matters. No matter how trivial, the effort is what counts, thoughts out of your head, words on the page.

New job at work got things swirling in your head? New terms, new processes, new people, new demands and priorities, all piled up when the day begins. All these things pour over you like a never-ending series of breakers over the reef, over your head.

Start and stop and start again.

What else? Big life stuff, circle of life stuff, father under hospice care, the end on the horizon, looming. How to make the most of these final months? Or is it weeks? Help my kids understand Gramps is dying, won’t be around much longer. Matter of fact, intent not to dramatize, only help them realize, this is life, that’s my dad, soon no more.

Life elsewhere goes on, day in, day out. Plenty to do. At work, at home, in between. Plenty to do. Keep life going forward, keep eyes focused on the horizon, get some exercise, get enough sleep, be happy.

Start and stop and start again.

Scribble down a few thoughts in the blog, this blog, that makes me happy. My job? Happy. Being married makes me happy, my kids make me happy. It’s a choice, this blog, happiness. Make it so.

I Didn’t Know This About Sushi

[NOTE:  This excerpt taken from the always AWESOME Seth Godin blog.   Full credit to his experience, insight, and great writing.  I read his piece, got the underlying message, but also learned something about Narita airport, sushi, and where to get the good stuff.]

“One of the best airport restaurants I’ve ever encountered breaks my first rule of airport eating. The sushi bar at gate 30 of Narita airport is a special place (though I wish they didn’t serve tuna).

The rice is extraordinary.

The nori is crisp.

The service is efficient but friendly.

They have wonderful vegan rolls, flavorful shiso, and yes, it’s hard to believe but true: real wasabi, grated to order.

My guess is that the very best sushi restaurant in your town doesn’t serve real wasabi. But I digress.

When I was there a few months ago, I apologized to the entire staff.

I apologized to them on behalf of every traveler (many, if not most, from my country) that was dredging this extraordinary product in soy sauce, bathing it from top to bottom in the style created to mask the flavor of generations-worth of mediocre, lazily-created sushi.

The Japanese equivalent of putting ketchup on your food in a fine restaurant.”

Lesson:  I’ll never saturate another piece of sushi with soy sauce.  I promise.





It’s good to be the glue.  

It’s good to be the guy in middle, exposed to various skill sets and perspectives and attitudes and goals. It can be stimulating, too.

It’s good to be the glue.

It’s good to be the one who can bridge the gap, to mediate, to help others understand. It takes a certain mindset, a certain disposition, personality. It might be in your DNA naturally. But it can be learned, too.

It’s good to be the glue.

It’s a challenge for sure at times, being pulled in different directions, being exposed to the whole gammet of forces that are brought to bear by any one party and their related agenda. A challenge yes, but enlightening, too.

It’s good to be the glue.

Happy New Year 2018

New Year’s Eve, mid-day.

I’m sitting on the couch, getting some last minute donations buttoned up.  There’s family chatting to my left at the kitchen table and in the other room, kids are playing a game.  One is watching a Disney show on the TV in the room where I’m working.

Lots going on, lots of different directions.  This situ pretty well sums up most days:  plenty of activity, plenty of pulls on attention and energy.  Normal.

As we round out 2017 I’m like most people, thinking about what went well, and what didn’t.  I think about my to-do list, what I got done (some), what I didn’t (lots more).  I think about the basics of what I’m thankful for:  my wife and kids, healthy and happy (most of the time).  We have food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our head.  I’m thankful for my base of friends, the other primary foundation of my day-to-day life.  I know I’m blessed.

That said, I look forward to 2018, and know there’s plenty of room for improvement. I can work smarter, be more efficient, write more.  I can do better in my relationships.  I know I can make life a little better for those around me.  I know I can learn more.   I’m planning on publishing my first book early in the new year, and writing a second, with any luck.

I also know it’s going to be a big year of transition in one particular, major way:  my father is soon to transition into hospice care, after two years of a difficult life post-stroke.   I know he’s in the final twilight.  All that reality represents has me muddled with emotions, as anyone would be in my situation, I know.  There will be plenty to write about, that’s for sure.

So as the sun sets on 2017, and the early morning light of 2018 is soon to break on the horizon, here’s to all of you.  May you find good health, good fortune, and most important, happiness in your every day.  And here’s to bringing a little more GOOD to the world every day.  Happy New Year.