Missing Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain – chef, author, TV storyteller blending food and travel – I miss him.

I loved his particular voice, observations, his progression in life and perspective on things.

The demons took him, like they’ve taken so many; as I’ve written before, Cornell, Williams, Montrose, my paternal grandfather, my cousin, all cut down by a crisis of mental health.

I miss Bourdain; I miss the others too.

This is your periodic reminder:

YOU MATTER! You’re worthy of love and belonging. Ask for help if you need it.

NEVER GIVE UP.

Are We Done?

Well, as for me, I don’t think so. I don’t think we are done with COVID. Or actually better said, COVID isn’t done with us.

More than a million people have died of COVID in the US alone…

Variants still active and cases fluctuating up and down,

So when I think it’s appropriate, I’m in with the mask,

Might not always be on point, but some is better than never,

So when it makes sense,

America,

WEAR A MASK.

An Attitude of Gratitude

This captures the attitude…let it be so…

A Prayer for Generosity, attributed to Ignatius of Loyola…

“Eternal Word, only begotten Son of God,
Teach me true generosity.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve.
To give without counting the cost,
To fight heedless of wounds,
To labor without seeking rest,
To sacrifice myself without thought of any reward
Save the knowledge that I have done your will.
Amen.”

AMEN.

Longing

When I’m with them, sometimes they’re too much, their combined energy so powerful, immediate, demanding…

And when they are gone I long for them back, I long for more,

My own version of synchronicity (as Sting wrote and The Police sang),

At our best we ponder and revel, and soak up the moments, soak up the moments,

My eternal longing, to soak up the moments with them.

Priorities

We all have them.

How to sort, categorize?

Professional? For sure. How we make living, how we pay the bills,

But family too, gotta say, gotta say, family is first…it’s a hard pull sometimes, but that’s my take. Different philosophies around that, plenty of business people who sometimes – maybe even often – fudge their family in favor of the deadline, the trip, the deal…

Add on Parenting, those little folks who count on us, gotta be there for them when they are in need,

After all, what is it that we’ll remember, what they will remember about the work years?

How to square this all off, that’s the big question…

Regularly evaluate your situ, your overall, your day-to-day, give yourself an update…

Work: Check the list, consult with colleagues, reset tasks as needed, hold others accountable as appropriate, keep going forward…

Fam: Prioritize them. Period. Especially if you’re a parent. Gotta be the case. I know this might be counter-culture for workaholic American business culture, but if so well, so be it. Family first, especially if you’re a parent.

Self: Another counter-culture move, maybe, but you gotta prioritize your own well being too. Self-care is real; if you’re not in good space, you can’t be at your best for those around you…at work, at home, everywhere.

Priorities, Summed Up:

Dial ‘em in,

be ready to adjust as needed,

Take care of your people,

Take care of you,

GOOD.

Fighting For Time

It seems I’m often fighting for time,

At home, at work, with my kids. With myself,

In the evening, daytime, middle of the night,

Like right now, scribbling at 3:00am, awakened by thoughts about work, life, struggles, battles,

Fleeting joy, this I know, fighting for time, not so good, slight of hand preferred, slight improvements the goal,

And then slumber sweet slumber again, spent,

GOOD.

What We Need

Funny thing, consider what we need. Two samples, both sides, bubble up in mind, consider if you will,

Our older daughter swiftly approaching her teen years, wants a mobile phone, of course of course,

Has a “practice phone just now”, no service, limited doings possible just now,

All the same, wanted a “pocket socket” for better in-hand functionality, agreed agreed, much better experience indeed,

And so she purchased, own money, on her own, good for her, wanted it, needed it? Sure, good for her.

The other? Me myself and I, have used a FitBit movement tracker the last four years, love the data and insight,

Device died two weeks back, too much money to replace just now, other bills, other priorities, other ways to track my time and movement,

WANT it, but don’t NEED it, let it go, let it go, did, done, good for me, good for me, just what I need.

Do What You Can

I’m all for the ideal, an objective or goal pursued with singleminded focus and intensity. In my life, with rules and responsibilities as they are, such luxury is fleeting at best.

That said, I’ll do what I can and return to focus as oft time allows, observing and noticing and sharing along these myriad highways and by-ways called life.

In the rear view I see three decades quickly receding to the horizon, and wonder what’s all meant? Can I be proud of my efforts, to do what I can?

I think so. I think I can surly say it’s been an all-out effort to make the most of the here and there, opportunities and experiences that have presented,

I’ve been present as best I can, doing what I can, when I can, lots of cans,

But is it all canned?

That’s funny, humor important along the way, this particular way, my way.

I’ve shared before the experience of being pulled, tugged, pushed, shoved off intended trajectory toward unplanned stuff; that’s basically the same theme running once again. And so when you get shoved course, do what you can, reset, and keep going forward.

Forward, that’s the main goal. Evaluating the day, the week, the month, the year, the decade…are we going forward? Do we have maybe a little joy and grace sprinkled along the way…? And if so? One of my favorite words…

GOOD.

Do what you can.

Best Intentions

Best intentions, not an end, but a starting point,

Be not just content to have “best intentions” rather,

Frequently be re-accessing actions, to attend, align yourself with what is best practice, plan, actions,

And remove ego, so that your evaluation and following efforts are properly aligned not just for you but for all,

For all, the good of the many, best intentions truest goal,

GOOD.

Piled High

Emotions piled high, letting the weight settle,

Ten days of go, to decision and loss and sadness and alone,

Our last canine, remaining sister, her time to end, to heart stop, eternal sleep, house quiet, heavy.

Ten days plus 556 days since the family changed, two households now, split, solo dad era established,

Adjusted ok outside, inside still unsettled, still unsure, how, entering into the true me maybe, we’ll see…

Married once, twice, that doesn’t seem to be me,

Just a dad now, grateful, certainly a part of me, that love never fails,

User of words to frame moments and feelings and spirits, striving so is me,

Willing, unrelenting, unsure of all but the desire, certainty that this is what I am,

Wandering, wondering, what lays ahead, limbo somehow, floating being,

The lessons, reward come hard, the glory fleeting, if any, seeking, subtle, sublime,

Closest to my being in those moments, these moments, sublime struggle, somehow,

GOOD.