Face The Enemy

The following series of images are from an Instagram post put up recently by Jason Gardner.

Really good insights here. Leave it to a Retired SEAL Master Chief to take lessons from the battlefield and apply it to broader, everyday life, and things we all deal with everyday.

Sincere gratitude to Jason Gardner for allowing to share these is insights.

Check out Jason’s Instagram feed via


The Hopeful Switch

Most every morning I wake up quite early, in the dark, feeling something like despair.

Every manner of negative thoughts flowing in my head: things on my list I’ve not done, mistakes I’ve made, my broken marriage, how I should have kissed the kids good one more time, etc.

Big things, little things, all flow, giving me this start to the day with worry and concern and innate angst.


And then somehow I flip the hopeful switch, and somehow things start to get a little better; and the despair recedes, even if only a bit; and I get into the day. And it’s ok.

Flip the switch. Today. Everyday.

Seeking Tender Moments

I find that I really like and appreciate and will prioritize tender moments.

Example? As I write this piece I’m lying in bed while my son sleeps next to me. He came in a few hours ago, upset by a dream.

I listen to him sleep, and I feel really, really lucky. Blessed to have this child. Even more blessed because I have three kids – three super-special relationships.

Another, different, tender moment? Spending time on the phone with an old friend. It doesn’t take long to get into the familiar, old tempo of conversation. As I sit in a chair by the window, alternately listening and talking, covering all manner of topics…

It’s soothing, relaxing, reminding of simpler, pleasant times past, making the present more pleasant too.

Just two examples. They’re all around if you look, if you’re open.

Maybe that was something of what God intended when he came into the world as a humble human, as Jesus of Nazareth. If you believe in that sort of thing. I do, but you don’t need to.

Either way, they’re good for you. Good for your soul.

Tender moments. Take ‘em when you can get them.

New Year’s Day Wander: Liv and Maddie, Bacon, Escoffier, and Bourdain

A gentle wander to begin the day, begin this new year 2021. Thus the day, the year began.

“Kids, let’s watch the New Year’s Day Parade…!”

“Ah Dad, we want to watch kids’ shows…”, and so it’s Liv and Maddie to start the day…

And then I’m thinking about making bacon…I’m in the kitchen…

I turn to Anthony Bourdain’s cookbook, “Appetites”, to check the oven temp for cooking bacon,

then read about Escoffier in Bourdain’s book (who knew!?)…didn’t know Escoffier’s name, or his primary role in French and high-end cuisine overall…

And then there’s some turmoil in the back of the house…my youngest, a little grumpy to start the day…

Then she comes out to the living room, Liv & Maddie help her mood shift up…

And the bacon? Well, it turned out pretty perfect.

Good start to the day, and heck, good start to 2021. I’ll take it. With GRATITUDE.

More on Escoffier here.

More on Bourdain here.

How Do You Feel?

Dawning reality as the year winds down, maybe I’m not as in touch with myself as I think I am.

Harsh awakening. Sorta. Not really harsh maybe, but a personal wake-up call for sure.

A therapist I saw earlier this year, he observed I talk about my feelings, but maybe I don’t feel them so much. Or express them fully. Hmm.

Talking to a few old friends just the other day, they observed some of that about me too. Or at least that I spin things to the positive, finding the silver lining. “Well, yeah…” I think, “that’s maybe the hallmark piece of me.”

Hearing my friends share their observations, it spurs me to consider my hallmark, my basic life strategy anew.

Quite a revelation, I must say. Also, it’s an invitation. It’s an invitation to consider how I feel, how I go about feeling, and if I’m actually living in deep denial.

But then I think, I’m not sure what I’m denying. I feel deeply a lot of the time; I feel so much I think, it freezes me, most days; I start most days that way.

I feel deeply, the uncertainty, the doubt, awash in worry. I have to push through those feelings to the other side, to function, to cope.

I believe happiness, like love, is a choice. And my feelings are the medium, continuum through which I live out each day, they are the foundation that I respond to each hour, each day.

All that said, maybe this sounds like some sort of defense of me I put up; not meant to defend, but explain, and reflect on how I am and why, out loud.

Yep. quite an invitation before me, quite a revelation: to peel back more, more to the core, core of me, inside, feeling, what am I feeling?

Not sure, exactly. But it’s something like relief I’ve come this far; and who I am, and how I am, and how much better I can still become.


The excitement has ebbed. The presents have been opened. Good times and love and too much yummy food shared.


Dishes done mostly, house mostly quiet, now an old Barenaked Ladies concert plays on the screen.


The kids went home with their mom a while ago; I think they had a good Christmas. I think we all did, mostly.


No lie though; if we were all still together, I’d welcome the lull a little more. We’d all wake up together tomorrow; as it is, I’ll seem them tomorrow night.

Hmm, this not so welcome lull. I’ll make the most of it; wind down; chill down; not be too down; I’ll see them soon.



When I was a kid, adolescent really, I lifted weights. I was an athlete, among other things, and understood I needed to be stronger to better compete. And so I that adolescent athlete world, we’d talk about “flexing” your muscles.

But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about being flexible; and I don’t just mean physically. In particular, I mean situationally.

It’s SO important in life to be able to flex, adjust, accommodate, compromise.

A therapist I worked with might say this approach isn’t necessarily, the best one; but I disagree. We humans need to know how to flex to find happiness, CHOOSE happiness, and create progress.

In politics, in parenting, in marriage, in conflict, at work, in life, bending, being able to flex is key.

FLEX. You’ll be glad you did.