Thoughtful Nutrition

Sardines. A top power food (think Omega 3’s, etc.) for those looking for good protein that is inexpensive, plentiful, and sustainable. Do a quick web search on “How healthy are sardines?”, and you’ll get several, similar lists explaining why sardines are good for you in pretty short order.

Fishy, of course, so you have to get through that taste obstacle, if you’re not naturally a fan of seafood. But it’s worth it. Tinned in olive oil, skin removed maybe for a added convenience, it’s got a little stronger flavor than canned tuna.

That said, word to the wise: Try to be a little thoughtful in your prep if those you live with have maybe a sensitive nose.

That’s how it is in my house, so I prepped in the washroom. Then I topped them with some parmesan, and sat down to eat with the fam.

Still there was that question at the lunch table a few minutes after I sat down, “What’s that smell?”

“Um, it’s my sardine lunch,” I admitted. I gobble it down, and quickly went to the kitchen to wash my plate.

Scent gone, nutrition had, everyone a winner in this case.

GOOD.

🙂

Friday, Saturday, Weekend Good

I saw a classmate from grade school on Friday night. During the course of our conversation, she told me she reads my blog. She mentioned too that she could tell by some of the posts from time to time that “something was going on.”

That is good insight from an old friend and person I greatly admire and respect.

True enough, I do periodically (frequently?) write in a bit of a vailed manner. It’s an approach that allows to process and share thoughts on a given topic that might be otherwise too close or personal for me to write about directly, with a lot of intimate, maybe revealing detail.

In this post I’m happy to write in a very direct way.

It was FANTASTIC to see my old friend. Every time we get together (which doesn’t happen very often given the distance), we cut to the chase quickly to life events.

Super grateful for the time with her. Super grateful for our friendship. Even if a long LONG passes, we pick right back up and get current.

And then the next day, our family met up with another family who we hadn’t seen in a long while. My wife grew up with the woman; their family has two girls and a boy, just like us.

Though we hadn’t been together in a while, we settled into easy conversation pretty well immediately. And our kids played together like they were old friends too. It was another AWESOME day.

So I’ll say the obvious:

it’s friends and family that make the difference in life happiness. If you have that foundation, whatever the configuration, consider yourself blessed, consider it GOOD.

To top it off, the mundane and magical too on Sunday:

  • National Women’s Soccer League game on as laundry get’s completed –
  • Science experiments with a microscope to explore the world –
  • More chores around the house, we all gotta do ’em –
  • The highs and certainly lows to of kids’ behavior after sleeping in (sleep much needed) –
  • A sense of keeping up, catching up, which in turn lifts me up, a bit more –
  • Some work for Grammy –
  • Errands to load up for the week ahead –
  • A breeze blowing through the front screen door, cooling down the house –
  • Dare I say, looking forward to the week ahead…?   🙂

At Capacity

Lots of context for this concept. You might be “at capacity” in any of a variety of ways.

At capacity in learning, a sort of plateau of absorbing new things;

At capacity with activities, not able to fit another event on your schedule on a given day;

At capacity in repetitions, not able to do another pull up or arm curl or plank;

At capacity with projects, every day already full with no room for another thing;

At capacity eating your vegetables at dinner; this affliction happens on nearly a nightly basis at my house.

You get the idea. But here’s the thing.

Capacity is a dynamic quality. It’s a parameter that must always be considered. Capacity might be limiting in the immediate, in the short term.

But in the aggregate, it’s just another variable that must be considered in striving for optimal outcome.

You should always consider capacity, and you should also test its limits. Carefully, thoughtfully, but for sure, test, push, strive to expand the limit.

The outcome?

It will make you better. It will help you reach your goals. It will make things GOOD.

Ignatian Prayer, Hearts on Fire

Ignatius developed and taught his friends to examine themselves, their actions, and intentions, through prayer.

The Spiritual Exercises, The Examen, both came from the Ignatian approach to prayer.

Following is from a "Lunchtime Examen" I found on an Ignatian Spirituality site. It sums up things nicely, step by step.

The process is the same each day. The effect is timeless. The effect is GOOD. Give it a try.

Half Full, Happy Anniversary, All GOOD.

I started this blog three years ago this month, July. At the time I was looking for a way to share some thoughts, some insights, and further the good in the world.

Not sure how much good I’ve done, but I’ve definitely shared a lot of thoughts. Gotten some positive feedback along the way, which is good for me if nothing else. And I’ve certainly learned a lot.

I plan to continue blogging, sharing, pursuing the GOOD in this manner. I’ve also got another avenues coming down the pike later this yesr.

I’ll have an e-book up in the fall, before the holidays. It will be a sort of coffee table book, a short volume, about being a new dad. It will bring a little humor, and hopefully inspiration, to fathers. 

 I’m also designing a short podcast I’ll produce and share periodically.  Same goal: share a little insight, further the good in the world.

So whether you’re new to this blog,  or have been along these last three years, thanks for reading. Please share it with others. On we go toward the GOOD.

Inside the Box, Outside the Lines

There are many metaphors that convey one of the basic dichotomies of life: that middle ground between routine and spontaneity.  The concept comes to to mind thus:  put your life into a neat little box that is familiar, known, manageable.  At the same time, don’t be afraid to color outside the lines and create something new.

This concept is equally applicable and examples abound at work, at home, and everywhere in between.  I think I counted a dozen examples in my own life just yesterday.

I’ve written about routine here recently. This topic is certainly something that is frequently on my mind: striving to be efficient, productive, responsive, and responsible, that’s the main goal.

The other side of the coin though is equally compelling; it offers the energy and excitement of the immediate need, and sometimes that particular spark that fosters creativity and inspiration, as well.  It breaks the routine, marches off in its own direction, responding to the demand of the moment, chasing the muse.

So how do we reconcile the two? I’m not entirely sure.  What I am absolutely sure of is that the two must co-exist. We’re much better off if we learn and accept and master the art of flipping between the two worlds.

The fundamental take-away?

Make the most of what’s inside your box, be able to very familiar with every item in the box, and be ready to paint the outside with colorful splashes from the rainbow when given the chance.

Snippets

When we talk about productivity, especially in a house with little kids and the chaotic, spontaneous environment that is typical, I think a lot about getting things done whenever possible, whenever the moment presents itself.  My wife is really good at this.  Or at least, she sure seems to be better than I am.

There are snippets of time here and there during any given day, where we have the discretion to do what we want.  It’s in these moments that we have to be able to quickly focus, review the open to-do list, make a decision, and execute.

The decision might be to get the dishes done; it might be to pay a bill; it might be to check an account; it might be to scribble a note to a loved one; it might be to take a five minute nap; it might be to sweep the floor; it might be to finish the article I was reading, or listening to the last ten minutes of a podcast, or take a few deep breaths, or go for a short walk, or…

It really could be anything.  The key is, are you ready?  Is your mind ready to make the most of the moment?

For me it comes down to centering and focusing,  recognizing the moment, and taking quick action.  That’s where I’ve been sorely lacking. I stay scattered.  I’m distracted. I miss the opportunity.

And so that’s where I intend to pay more attention from here forward.  I’m going to improve the manner in which I respond.  I’m going to take that snippet when offered, and make it positive, more productive, and thus…GOOD.