Blah

Striving, I only feel blah.

Thinking, the response is blah.

Apathy, or uncertainty, maybe the anxiety brings it on, feeling blah.

My mind responding to it all, dulled, broken down, to blah.

Some solace in prayer, faith, just barely, barely ahead of blah.

That might just end up being enough, just enough, ahead of blah.

Feeing blah? Hang in there, you’ll get through it.

In Brief: Gratitude

I’m not one for brevity. I like to dig in, go long, go deep.

The more the better, that’s my usual approach. But today’s a little different.

Today I just want to say Thank You. Coming off an unexpected late night, I’m thankful for:

Easy conversations,

Another round of pool,

The band, RUSH,

Cool evenings,

Pillow conversations with kids,

Few plans,

Ceiling fans,

Charcoal BBQ,

Old things,

Cold water,

GRATITUDE,

GOOD.

Do It Anyway

I’ve thought a lot lately about anxiety, worry, and fear. In fact, it’s been a topic I return again and again to most all of my life.

I wonder how to respond, cope, battle, persevere through these feelings; to not let them consume, devour, destroy; instead, to transcend.

I’ve lived with these emotions the whole of my life; at different times, different levels, and different powers, these feelings have had.

In the end we can’t let them win; we have to thrive anyway. Thrive, and Live.

Each day. Forward. Live.

Lyrics Post: “One”

This song by U2, from a long while back. They’ve got a lot of good songs; this is one of my favorites.

“One”

“Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame
You say

One love
One life
When it’s one need in the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well, it’s

Too late
Tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other
One

Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it’s all I got

We’re one but we’re not the same
Well we hurt each other
Then we do it again

You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters
Brothers

One life
But we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other

One
One”

1991. Writers: Larry Mullen, David Evans, Paul Hewson, Adam Clayton.

Lights Out!

I’m a little too young to have been an active listener to “Lights Out!”, the famous early horror radio show from the 1930’s and 40’s, but I recall my folks talking about it. And I do remember Bill Cosby talking about it in his famous bit “Chicken Heart.” I listened to hat bit over and over, and laughed anew every time. That funny story made my heart sing!

This piece isn’t about that radio show, however. It’s about learning good habits, including turning the lights off when not in active use. It’s a little about how we might attempt to teach our kids these values, how we might instill in them the lofty and also practical benefit of such a habit as turning the light off.

I find myself walking around the house pretty well constantly turning lights off on rooms where no one is.

It’s a simple lesson. Turn off the light if no one’s in the room. Learn that lesson, and apply it regularly. That same mindset can be applied to leaving the water running, and monitoring the thermostat. Using natural resources carefully, thoughtfully, that’s the underlying ideal I’d like our kids to absorb, and practice every day.

Walking around the kitchen this morning, I noticed a piece of broken tortilla chip; when I saw it I remembered seeing it yesterday. At the time I thought, “Let’s see if anyone else picks it up. No one did. So this morning, I picked it up and threw it away. There was a bit of wrapper next to it, too. That went to the trash as well.

That’s another fundamental ideal. If you see garbage, pick it up and throw it away. This approach might well apply only in your home, but on that planet. How much cleaner would things be, how much healthier would nature be, if everyone did that? And the pre-step of course too: Don’t litter.

So the turning off the lights, picking up around the house, and everything in between; do a little more, or at least, do what you should do. I know it’s often more complicated, but maybe it shouldn’t be, influencing our kids. Just do what you should do.

[Disclaimer: I suspect some reading this piece might object to even mentioning Bill Cosby in a positive way, given his falling from grace and crimes for which he’s been convicted. That said, he was also one of the great comedians and entertainers of his era. I do not condone in any way his behavior otherwise, Full Stop.]

Do What You Can Do

Two examples here I’d like to share. Two men who believe in taking care of the planet: Doing the right things around that every day.

The first guy I know; he’s family. He’s a dad and a public servant and a bike rider and an outdoorsman.

And he picks up the trash when he’s out in nature as well.

This next guy I know only by what I read and podcasts I’ve listened to. Similarly, this guy is a dad, public servant, and outdoorsman.

And he picks up the trash when he’s out in nature as well.

Inspiration Everywhere

I might have used that title before, not sure. Regardless, it should probably be a regular reference to posts on this site. After all, I seem to be forever inspired by things around me, events that transpire that are positive and uplifting.

In these COVID pandemic times, when America (and other countries too) are in societal turmoil, finding the good and sharing it, well…that’s fundamental to survival!

So here are a couple from the last few days, each a (maybe) unexpected victory for different athletes in different sports, getting the win and thus lifting themselves, and their careers, to another, higher level. Great for them of course, but great for others too, if you allow yourself to seep into their stories a bit, and be inspired.

The life lessons are timeless: Keep Going, Keep Working, Keep Striving —

From Agence France Presse, PARIS – “Polish teenager Iga Swiatek won her country’s first-ever Grand Slam singles title on Saturday as she defeated American fourth seed Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1 to become the youngest women’s French Open champion since 1992.

The 19-year-old Swiatek, at 54 the second-lowest ranked women’s Roland Garros finalist in the modern era, is the ninth first-time major champion in the past 14 Grand Slams.

The 19-year-old Swiatek, at 54 the second-lowest ranked women’s Roland Garros [French Open] finalist in the modern era, is the ninth first-time major champion in the past 14 Grand Slams.”

Iga Swiatek, French Open Champion 2020

From the Telegraph, UK – “Alex Dowsett solos to superb stage win at Giro d’Italia…It gave the Israel Start-Up Nation rider his second career Giro stage win, seven years after his success on the stage eight time trial of the 2013 edition, and a first grand tour victory for his young team. ‘He’s done it. Alex Dowsett, one of the nicest riders you could ever have the pleasure to meet, has won stage eight at the Giro d’Italia. The Israel Start-up Nation ​rider finished the stage 1min 15sec ahead of Salvatore Puccio (Ineos Grenadiers) who pipped another Briton, Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal), to the line to take second.'”

Alex Dowsett, Stage 8 Winner, Giro d’ Italia 2020

Inspiration everywhere, everyday. And it doesn’t have to be athletes’ victories on the world stage. It can be your next-door neighbor waving ‘Hello’, a work colleague’s success, a friend’s triumph.

Find it. Share it. GOOD

Love for Others…YES

From Francis yesterday:

“Our love for others, for who they are, moves us to seek the best for their lives.

Only by cultivating this way of relating to one another will we make possible a social friendship that excludes no one and a fraternity that is open to all.

#FratelliTutti”

And then today:

“It is not enough to accept the invitation to follow the Lord; one must be open to a journey of conversion, which changes the heart.

The garment of mercy, which God offers us unceasingly, is the free gift of his love; it is grace.

#GospelOfTheDay”

Amen, AMEN.

‘‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season, a playful way, to talk about a certain day, a certain way to be, to think, to be, most often ‘round Christmas we might hear it, say.

But another time comes to mind, a thoughtful stint of when we might find,

better insight as to how we might be, better for you, better for me.

A time to remember and honor those who have gone, of those whom we’ve loved, over, above,

And not just the times and the way we felt, but the power and the magic within us has dwelt,

And still there today, each and every day, if we think, and believe it’s within us, and for us, and is us, felt in a blink.

Practicing Moods

“Don’t touch my tiger. This is my ‘Don’t Touch Me Tiger.’”

This rather mean phrase one of our kids spoke to another kid, her sibling.

Oh, our three beautiful children. They can be rough on each other; like all kids, I suspect.

Rather than react outwardly to this comment one made to another I — must be getting a little more wise — paused and considered things more deeply, and more broadly.

Maybe they were practicing being mean to each other. Maybe they were testing how one can be mean, what’s acceptable, what’s not.

And then another time, more recently, one of our kids was in a foul mood to start the day; at the same time, the other two were in particularly good moods that same morning.

My normal “modus operandi” would have been to engage, try to cheer up, not let her alone; instead, I checked in with her and when she rebuked me with silence, I let her alone. I’m finally realizing after many years of parenting, sometimes it’s best, maybe often times, to let your kids sort things out on their own if they can.

I’m sure I’ve read that in parenting books before, but the light has finally turned on and is still shining now, making it more clear how to handle some of those more challenging, difficult situations.

Later in the day that same daughter had her witch hat on and was in a markedly better mood. Miraculous. She turned it around on her own. Good lesson for me.

Let them practice their moods. Let them figure out how to cope with their emotions, and get to a better place on their own. That’s how it is for adults, that’s how it is in the world. We all would do better to think that way more often.

And sometimes putting on a witch hat helps too.