Balancing Retreat

Funny thing about getting unexpected down time – at least for me – I both welcome it, but also end up feeling stalled out, inertia awash, stuck.

Friday was Day Two at home with a sick kid; on the mend she was, is, but all the same, she needed another day to heal up from the flu.   I got more sleep, did a few chores, and otherwise just hung out with my daughter.  I read, she watched cartoons; I did a little work, she worked on a learning app.

Sounds pretty good, right?   A second day of unplanned retreat. Well it was a good day, for the most part.  The weird thing, this funny thing I mentioned as the lead-in, it happened really early this morning, before the sun came up, when the house was dark and everyone was still in bed.

I felt stuck.

I slept through the night almost without waking through the night – not typical for me – and when I did wake up, it was nearly time to get up (on a usual day), and my head quickly came to speed thinking about all the things I need to do.  And these just weren’t things I needed to do today or this weekend, it was EVERYTHING:

Work tasks, unfinished projects, upcoming changes, the garage full of stuff that need attention, the bills I need to pay, the tickets I need to sell, the yard work I need to do, the lists I need to make, the haircut I need, college tuition (mind you our kids are eight, six, and five currently), the last conversation my wife and I had last night, the dogs being neglected, the order I need to place for my mom, and on and on and…on.

You get the idea.

And I started to feel panicky, lying there in the dark, hours before a lot of people even start their day…and then I remembered…BREATH.  So, I took a few deep breaths.  That helped.  I should have prayed too, that would have helped.  But I didn’t.   I laid there; I thought some more; I thought about what I could do today, should do today, first, second, third.

I started a list in my head.   And I turned the corner.  Away from panic, toward a better attitude, the proper mindset.

Having an action plan helps.   Having a sense of the timing you want to execute to, that helps also. The main thing is, even as you let everything slow down, even as you purposely take a break, a pause, have a plan to ramp back up when its time.  Have a scheme for how you intend to re-engage, whenever it is you do.

The more you anticipate, and have a plan to execute, the less inertia will weigh you down, the more effective, and happier you will be.   And the more gratifying that retreat will be too.

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Surprise! Thursday Retreat

[My view most of the day, above.]

Life is often about making the best of your circumstances. Here’s an example.

I woke out of a dead sleep before midnight yesterday evening. Our oldest kid was sick with stomach flu. I spent the rest of the night with her on the couch, up every couple hours to help her over the porcelain. Tough night.

Though work the next day was going to be pretty busy, my wife had less latitude to stay home, so I took the day off to be home with our daughter. She faired pretty well, and it seems (fingers crossed) to be a one-day bug.

And so today has basically been a day on the couch for me too. An unexpected day to do little. Turns out, that’s been pretty nice. Life’s pretty busy generally. And I suppose I’ve made it that way, in large part. So when an opportunity to do little comes up, rather than try to fill that time, I’ve embraced the little.

Early on I let my boss know I was going to be out, I got two tasks completed I had to for work — thankful for a laptop and a secure internet connection — and then set up the auto-reply and closed the computer.

After my wife left to drop off the other two kids to day care and then head to work herself, my sick friend and settled in. She was feeling a little better, watching TV, nibbling a piece of toast, so I took a nap next to her.

I read a few articles I wouldn’t otherwise have had time for. I dozed again. Then I read some more. I cooked a pot of beans. I wrote a short note to an editor. And I wrote this blog post.

I didn’t leave the house all day. I didn’t get in the car. We just hung out.

It was an unexpected day of retreat. And I tried to make the most of it, by doing little.

GOOD.

#halffull

HAMILTON

hamilton

Saw it a week and a half back. The beats and scenes and songs and the lyrics still running through my head. Inspired.

Thank you, Lin-Manuel.

Thank you, #AndPeggyToo Tour.

Thank you, #HamiltonSF ~

HERE’S A TASTE OF IT, THE FIRST SONG…

“Alexander Hamilton”

(performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[BURR]

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a

Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a

Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence

Impoverished, in squalor

Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

[LAURENS]

The ten-dollar founding father without a father

Got a lot farther by working a lot harder

By being a lot smarter

By being a self-starter

By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a

Trading charter

[JEFFERSON]

And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted

Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up

Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of

The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter

[MADISON]

Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned

Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain

Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain

And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain

[BURR]

Well, the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man”

Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland

“Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and

The world is gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?”

[HAMILTON]

Alexander Hamilton

My name is Alexander Hamilton

And there’s a million things I haven’t done

But just you wait, just you wait…

[ELIZA]

When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden

Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden

Half-dead sittin in their own sick, the scent thick

[COMPANY]

And Alex got better but his mother went quick

[WASHINGTON]

Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide

Left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside

A voice saying

[WASHINGTON]

“You gotta fend for yourself.” [COMPANY]

“Alex, you gotta fend for yourself.”

[WASHINGTON]

He started retreatin’ and readin’ every treatise on the shelf

[BURR]

There would have been nothin’ left to do

For someone less astute

He woulda been dead or destitute

Without a cent of restitution

Started workin’, clerkin’ for his late mother’s landlord

Tradin’ sugar cane and rum and all the things he can’t afford

Scammin’ for every book he can get his hands on

Plannin’ for the future see him now as he stands on

The bow of a ship headed for a new land

In New York you can be a new man

[COMPANY]

In New York you can

Be a new man-

In New York you can

Be a new man-

[COMPANY]

Scammin’

Plannin’

Oooh…

[HAMILTON]

Just you wait!

Just you wait!

[COMPANY]

In New York you can be a new man-

[WOMEN]

In New York-

[MEN]

New York-

[HAMILTON]

Just you wait!

[COMPANY]

Alexander Hamilton

We are waiting in the wings for you

You could never back down

You never learned to take your time!

Oh, Alexander Hamilton

When America sings for you

Will they know what you overcame?

Will they know you rewrote the game?

The world will never be the same, oh

[BURR]

The ship is in the harbor now

See if you can spot him

Another immigrant

Comin’ up from the bottom

His enemies destroyed his rep

America forgot him

[COMPANY]

Alexander Hamilton

Waiting in the wings for you

You never learned to take your time!

Oh, Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton…

America sings for you

Will they know what you overcame?

Will they know you rewrote the game?

The world will never be the same, oh

[MEN]

Just you wait

[COMPANY]

Just you wait

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE]

We fought with him

[LAURENS]

Me? I died for him

[WASHINGTON]

Me? I trusted him

[ELIZA/ANGELICA/MARIA]

Me? I loved him

[BURR]

And me? I’m the damn fool that shot him

[COMPANY]

There’s a million things I haven’t done

But just you wait!

[BURR]

What’s your name, man?

[COMPANY]

Alexander Hamilton!

AND THIS ONE, THE BEGINNING OF LIFE IN COLONIAL AMERICA, HAMILTON FINDS …

“Aaron Burr, Sir”

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[COMPANY]

1776. New York City

[HAMILTON]

Pardon me. Are you Aaron Burr, sir?

[BURR]

That depends. Who’s asking?

[HAMILTON]

Oh, well, sure, sir

I’m Alexander Hamilton, I’m at your service, sir

I have been looking for you

[BURR]

I’m getting nervous

[HAMILTON]

Sir…

I heard your name at Princeton. I was seeking an accelerated course of study when I got sort of out of sorts with a buddy of yours. I may have punched him. It’s a blur, sir. He handles the financials?

[BURR]

You punched the bursar

[HAMILTON]

Yes!

I wanted to do what you did. Graduate in two, then join the revolution. He looked at me like I was stupid, I’m not stupid

So how’d you do it? How’d you graduate so fast?

[BURR]

It was my parents’ dying wish before they passed

[HAMILTON]

You’re an orphan. Of course! I’m an orphan

God, I wish there was a war!

Then we could prove that we’re worth more

Than anyone bargained for…

[BURR]

Can I buy you a drink?

[HAMILTON]

That would be nice

[BURR]

While we’re talking, let me offer you some free advice

Talk less

[HAMILTON]

What?

[BURR]

Smile more

[HAMILTON]

Ha

[BURR]

Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for

[HAMILTON]

You can’t be serious

[BURR]

You wanna get ahead?

[HAMILTON]

Yes

[BURR]

Fools who run their mouths off wind up dead

AND THEN THE COMPANY EXPANDS…

[LAURENS]

Yo yo yo yo yo!

What time is it?

[LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Show time!

[BURR]

…like I said…

[LAURENS]

Show time! Show time! Yo!

I’m John Laurens in the place to be!

Two pints o’ Sam Adams, but I’m workin’ on three, uh!

Those redcoats don’t want it with me!

Cuz I will pop chick-a pop these cops till I’m free!

[LAFAYETTE]

Oui oui, mon ami, je m’appelle Lafayette!

The Lancelot of the revolutionary set!

I came from afar just to say “Bonsoir!”

Tell the King “Casse toi!” Who’s the best?

C’est moi!

[MULLIGAN]

Brrrah brraaah! I am Hercules Mulligan

Up in it, lovin’ it, yes I heard ya mother said “Come again?”

Lock up ya daughters and horses, of course

It’s hard to have intercourse over four sets of corsets…

[LAURENS]

No more sex, pour me another brew, son!

Let’s raise a couple more…

[LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

To the revolution!

[LAURENS]

Well, if it ain’t the prodigy of Princeton college!

[MULLIGAN]

Aaron Burr!

[LAURENS]

Give us a verse, drop some knowledge!

[BURR]

Good luck with that: you’re takin’ a stand

You spit. I’m ‘a sit. We’ll see where we land

[LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Boooo!

[LAURENS]

Burr, the revolution’s imminent. What do you stall for?

[HAMILTON]

If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?

[LAURENS]

Ooh

Who are you? [MULLIGAN]

Ooh

Who are you? [LAFAYETTE]

Ooh

Who are you?

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS]

Ooh, who is this kid? What’s he gonna do?

Top▲

My Shot

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[HAMILTON]

I am not throwing away my shot!

I am not throwing away my shot!

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot!

I’m ‘a get a scholarship to King’s College

I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish

The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish

I gotta holler just to be heard

With every word, I drop knowledge!

I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal

Tryin’ to reach my goal. My power of speech: unimpeachable

Only nineteen but my mind is older

These New York City streets get colder, I shoulder

Ev’ry burden, ev’ry disadvantage

I have learned to manage, I don’t have a gun to brandish

I walk these streets famished

The plan is to fan this spark into a flame

But damn, it’s getting dark, so let me spell out the name

I am the-

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]

A-L-E-X-A-N-D

E-R-we are-meant to be…

[HAMILTON]

A colony that runs independently

Meanwhile, Britain keeps shittin’ on us endlessly

Essentially, they tax us relentlessly

Then King George turns around, runs a spending spree

He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free

So there will be a revolution in this century

Enter me!

[LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]

(He says in parentheses)

[HAMILTON]

Don’t be shocked when your hist’ry book mentions me

I will lay down my life if it sets us free

Eventually, you’ll see my ascendancy

[HAMILTON]

And I am not throwing away

My shot

I am not throwing away

My shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

[LAURENS]

My shot!

My shot!

And I’m not throwing away my shot.

[HAMILTON/MULLIGAN/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE]

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

It’s time to take a shot!

[LAFAYETTE]

I dream of life without a monarchy

The unrest in France will lead to ‘onarchy?

‘Onarchy? How you say, how you say, ‘anarchy?’

When I fight, I make the other side panicky

With my-

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Shot!

[MULLIGAN]

Yo, I’m a tailor’s apprentice

And I got y’all knuckleheads in loco parentis

I’m joining the rebellion cuz I know it’s my chance

To socially advance, instead of sewin’ some pants!

I’m gonna take a-

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Shot!

[LAURENS]

But we’ll never be truly free

Until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me

You and I. Do or die. Wait till I sally in

On a stallion with the first black battalion

Have another-

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Shot!

[BURR]

Geniuses, lower your voices

You keep out of trouble and you double your choices

I’m with you, but the situation is fraught

You’ve got to be carefully taught:

If you talk, you’re gonna get shot!

[HAMILTON]

Burr, check what we got

Mister Lafayette, hard rock like Lancelot

I think your pants look hot

Laurens, I like you a lot

Let’s hatch a plot blacker than the kettle callin’ the pot…

What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot

Poppin’ a squat on conventional wisdom, like it or not

A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists?

Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is!

Oh, am I talkin’ too loud?

Sometimes I get over excited, shoot off at the mouth

I never had a group of friends before

I promise that I’ll make y’all proud

[LAURENS]

Let’s get this guy in front of a crowd

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/ENSEMBLE]

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

[LAURENS]

Ev’rybody sing:

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Hey!

Whoa!

Wooh!!

Whoa!

Ay, let ‘em hear ya!

Let’s go!

I said shout it to the rooftops!

Said, to the rooftops!

Come on!

Come on, let’s go! [HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/

MULLIGAN]

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Yea!

[COMPANY]

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Yea!

[LAURENS]

Rise up!

When you’re living on your knees, you rise up

Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up

Tell your sister that she’s gotta rise up

[LAURENS AND ENSEMBLE]

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

Rise up!

[COMPANY]

Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Rise up!

[HAMILTON]

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory

When’s it gonna get me?

In my sleep? Seven feet ahead of me?

If I see it comin’, do I run or do I let it be?

Is it like a beat without a melody?

See, I never thought I’d live past twenty

Where I come from some get half as many

Ask anybody why we livin’ fast and we laugh, reach for a flask

We have to make this moment last, that’s plenty

Scratch that

This is not a moment, it’s the movement

Where all the hungriest brothers with

Something to prove went?

Foes oppose us, we take an honest stand

We roll like Moses, claimin’ our promised land

And? If we win our independence?

‘Zat a guarantee of freedom for our descendants?

Or will the blood we shed begin an endless

Cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants?

I know the action in the street is excitin’

But Jesus, between all the bleedin’ ‘n fightin’

I’ve been readin’ ‘n writin’

We need to handle our financial situation

Are we a nation of states? What’s the state of our nation?

I’m past patiently waitin’. I’m passionately

Smashin’ every expectation

Every action’s an act of creation!

I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow

For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow

[HAMILTON AND COMPANY]

And I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/

LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

We’re gonna rise up! Time to take a shot!

We’re gonna rise up! Time to take a shot!

We’re gonna

[HAMILTON]

Time to take a shot!

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/

LAURENS/MULLIGAN]

Time to take a shot!

Time to take a shot!

Take a shot!

Shot!

Shot!

A-yo it’s

Time to take a shot!

Time to take a shot!

And I am-

[ENSEMBLE]

Not throwing away my shot

Not throwing away my shot

We’re gonna

Rise up!

Rise up!

Rise up!

Rise up!

Rise up!

Rise up!

Ri- ri- ri-

Time to take a shot!

Time to take a shot!

And I am-

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]

Not throwin’ away my-

COMPANY

Not throwin’ away my shot!

AND THIS, THESE AMAZING THREE LADIES, THE LOVE THAT SETS IN, AND REMAINS…

“Schuyler Sisters”

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[BURR]

There’s nothing rich folks love more

Than going downtown and slummin’ it with the poor

They pull up in their carriages and gawk

At the students in the common

Just to watch them talk

Take Philip Schuyler: the man is loaded

Uh-oh, but little does he know that

His daughters, Peggy, Angelica, Eliza

Sneak into the city just to watch all the guys at-

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

[ANGELICA]

Angelica!

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

[ELIZA]

Eliza!

[PEGGY]

And Peggy!

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

The Schuyler sisters!

[ANGELICA]

Angelica!

[PEGGY]

Peggy!

[ELIZA]

Eliza!

[COMPANY]

Work!

[PEGGY]

Daddy said to be home by sundown

[ANGELICA]

Daddy doesn’t need to know

[PEGGY]

Daddy said not to go downtown

[ELIZA]

Like I said, you’re free to go

[ANGELICA]

But-look around, look around, the

Revolution’s happening in New York

[ELIZA/PEGGY]

New York

[COMPANY]

Angelica

[SCHUYLER SISTERS AND COMPANY]

Work!

[PEGGY]

It’s bad enough daddy wants to go to war

[ELIZA]

People shouting in the square

[PEGGY]

It’s bad enough there’ll be violence on our shore

[ANGELICA]

New ideas in the air

[ANGELICA AND MALE ENSEMBLE]

Look around, look around-

[ELIZA]

Angelica, remind me what we’re looking for…

[ALL MEN]

She’s lookin’ for me!

[ANGELICA]

Eliza, I’m lookin’ for a mind at work

I’m lookin’ for a mind at work!

I’m lookin’ for a mind at work!

Whooaaaaa!

[ELIZA/ANGELICA/PEGGY]

Whooaaaaa!

Work! [COMPANY]

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work!

[BURR]

Wooh! There’s nothin’ like summer in the city

Someone in a rush next to someone lookin’ pretty

Excuse me, miss, I know it’s not funny

But your perfume smells like your daddy’s got money

Why you slummin’ in the city in your fancy heels

You searchin for an urchin who can give you ideals?

[ANGELICA]

Burr, you disgust me

[BURR]

Ah, so you’ve discussed me

I’m a trust fund, baby, you can trust me!

[ANGELICA]

I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine

So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane

You want a revolution? I want a revelation

So listen to my declaration:

[ELIZA/ANGELICA/PEGGY]

“We hold these truths to be self-evident

That all men are created equal”

[ANGELICA]

And when I meet Thomas Jefferson

[COMPANY]

Unh!

[ANGELICA]

I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel!

[WOMEN]

Work!

[ELIZA]

Look around, look around at how

Lucky we are to be alive right now!

[ELIZA/PEGGY]

Look around, look around at how

Lucky we are to be alive right now!

[ELIZA/ANGELICA/PEGGY]

History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world!

[SCHUYLER SISTERS AND COMPANY]

In the greatest city in the world!

[ANGELICA]

Cuz I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine

So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane

[ANGELICA]

You want a revolution?

I want a revelation

So listen to my declaration:

[ANGELICA/ELIZA/PEGGY]

We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal

Whoo! [ELIZA/PEGGY]

Look around, look around

The revolution’s happening in-

[ELIZA/PEGGY]

New York!

In New York!

[FEMALE ENSEMBLE]

Look around

Look around

At how lucky we are to be alive right now [MEN]

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

[WOMEN]

Look around, look around the revolution’s happening

Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey!

[FULL COMPANY]

Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!

History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be

[ALL WOMEN]

In the greatest city in the world

[ALL MEN]

In the greatest city-

[COMPANY]

In the greatest city in the world!

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

[ANGELICA]

Angelica!

[ELIZA]

Eliza!

[PEGGY]

And Peggy!

[ANGELICA/ELIZA/PEGGY]

The Schuyler sisters!

We’re looking for a mind at work!

Hey!

Hey!

[ANGELICA]

Whoa!

In the greatest

City in the world

[ELIZA/PEGGY]

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

In the greatest

City in the world

[COMPANY]

In the greatest city in the world!

Top▲

1780

[BURR]

A winter’s ball

And the Schuyler sisters are the envy of all

Yo, if you can marry a sister, you’re rich, son

[HAMILTON]

Is it a question of if, Burr, or which one?

[HAMILTON/BURR/LAURENS]

Hey

Hey

Hey hey

Top▲

Helpless

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[HAMILTON/BURR/LAURENS/ALL WOMEN (EXCEPT ELIZA)]

Hey hey hey hey

[ELIZA]

Ohh, I do I do I do I

Dooo! Hey!

Ohh, I do I do I do I

Dooo! Boy you got me [ALL WOMEN]

Hey hey hey hey

Hey hey hey hey

Hey hey hey hey

Hey hey hey

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]

Helpless!

Look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit I’m helpless!

Down for the count, and I’m drownin’ in ‘em

[ELIZA]

I have never been the type to try and grab the spotlight

We were at a revel with some rebels on a hot night

Laughin’ at my sister as she’s dazzling the room

Then you walked in and my heart went “Boom!”

Tryin’ to catch your eye from the side of the ballroom

Everybody’s dancin’ and the band’s top volume

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]

Grind to the rhythm as we wine and dine

[ELIZA]

Grab my sister, and

Whisper, “Yo, this

One’s mine.”

My sister made her way across the room to you

And I got nervous, thinking “What’s she gonna do?”

She grabbed you by the arm, I’m thinkin’ “I’m through”

Then you look back at me and suddenly I’m

Helpless!

Oh, look at those eyes

Oh!

Yeah, I’m

Helpless, I know

I’m so into you

I am so into you

I know I’m down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.

[ALL WOMEN]

Oooh

Oooh

Oooh

Oooh

Helpless!

Look into your eyes

And the sky’s the limit

I’m

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em

I’m helpless!

Look into your eyes

And the sky’s the limit I’m helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.

[HAMILTON]

Where are you taking me?

[ANGELICA]

I’m about to change your life

[HAMILTON]

Then by all means, lead the way

[ELIZA]

Elizabeth Schuyler. It’s a pleasure to meet you

[HAMILTON]

Schuyler?

[ANGELICA]

My sister

[ELIZA]

Thank you for all your service

[HAMILTON]

If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it

[ANGELICA]

I’ll leave you to it

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]

One week later

[ELIZA]

I’m writin’ a letter nightly

Now my life gets better, every letter that you write me

Laughin’ at my sister, cuz she wants to form a harem

[ANGELICA]

I’m just sayin’, if you really loved me, you would share him

[ELIZA]

Ha!

Two weeks later

In the living room stressin’

My father’s stone-faced

While you’re asking for his blessin’

I’m dying inside, as

You wine

And dine

And I’m tryin’ not to cry

‘cause there’s nothing that your mind can’t do

My father makes his way across the room

To you

I panic for a second, thinking

“we’re through”

But then he shakes your hand and says

“Be true”

And you turn back to me, smiling, and I’m

Helpless!

Helpless!

Hoo!

That boy is mine

That boy is mine!

Helpless! Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in em

[ALL WOMEN]

Stressin’

Blessin’

Oooh

Oooh

Oooh

Oooh

Helpless!

Look into your eyes

And the sky’s the

Limit I’m

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in

‘em I’m

Helpless!

Look into your eyes

And the sky’s the

Limit I’m

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in em

[HAMILTON]

Eliza, I don’t have a dollar to my name

An acre of land, a troop to command, a dollop of fame

All I have’s my honor, a tolerance for pain

A couple of college credits and my top-notch brain

Insane, your family brings out a different side of me

Peggy confides in me, Angelica tried to take a bite of me

No stress, my love for you is never in doubt

We’ll get a little place in Harlem and we’ll figure it out

I’ve been livin’ without a family since I was a child

My father left, my mother died, I grew up buckwild

But I’ll never forget my mother’s face, that was real

And long as I’m alive, Eliza, swear to God

You’ll never feel so…

[HAMILTON]

Eliza…

I’ve never felt so-

My life is gon’ be fine cuz Eliza’s in it.

[ELIZA]

I do I do I do I do!

I do I do I do I do!

Hey, yeah, yeah!

I’m down for the count

I’m-

I look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit

I’m

…drownin’ in ‘em. [ALL WOMEN]

Helpless!

Helpless!

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em

Helpless!

Helpless!

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.

Wedding march plays

[ALL WOMEN]

In New York, you can be a new man…

In New York, you can be a new man…

In New York, you can be a new man…

[ELIZA]

Helpless

AND THE BATTLE THAT ENDED IT ALL…AND AMERICA BEGAN…

“The battle of Yorktown. 1781”

[LAFAYETTE]

Monsieur Hamilton

[HAMILTON]

Monsieur Lafayette

[LAFAYETTE]

In command where you belong

[HAMILTON]

How you say, no sweat

We’re finally on the field. We’ve had quite a run

[LAFAYETTE]

Immigrants:

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE]

We get the job done

[HAMILTON]

So what happens if we win?

[LAFAYETTE]

I go back to France

I bring freedom to my people if I’m given the chance

[HAMILTON]

We’ll be with you when you do

[LAFAYETTE]

Go lead your men

[HAMILTON]

See you on the other side

[LAFAYETTE]

‘Til we meet again, let’s go!

[ENSEMBLE]

I am not throwin’ away my shot!

I am not throwin’ away my shot!

Hey yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young

Scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwin’ away my shot!

I am not throwin’ away my shot!

[HAMILTON]

‘Til the world turns upside down…

[ENSEMBLE]

‘Til the world turns upside down!

[HAMILTON]

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory

This is where it gets me: on my feet

The enemy ahead of me

If this is the end of me, at least I have a friend with me

Weapon in my hand, a command, and my men with me

Then I remember my Eliza’s expecting me…

Not only that, my Eliza’s expecting

We gotta go, gotta get the job done

Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son!

Take the bullets out your gun!

[ENSEMBLE]

What?

[HAMILTON]

The bullets out your gun!

[ENSEMBLE]

What?

[HAMILTON]

We move under cover and we move as one

Through the night, we have one shot to live another day

We cannot let a stray gunshot give us away

We will fight up close, seize the moment and stay in it

It’s either that or meet the business end of a bayonet

The code word is ‘Rochambeau,’ dig me?

[ENSEMBLE]

Rochambeau!

[HAMILTON]

You have your orders now, go, man, go!

And so the American experiment begins

With my friends all scattered to the winds

Laurens is in South Carolina, redefining brav’ry

[HAMILTON/LAURENS]

We’ll never be free until we end slavery!

[HAMILTON]

When we finally drive the British away

Lafayette is there waiting-

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE]

In Chesapeake Bay!

[HAMILTON]

How did we know that this plan would work?

We had a spy on the inside. That’s right

[HAMILTON/COMPANY]

Hercules Mulligan!

[MULLIGAN]

A tailor spyin’ on the British government!

I take their measurements, information and then I smuggle it

[COMPANY]

Up

[MULLIGAN]

To my brother’s revolutionary covenant

I’m runnin’ with the Sons of Liberty and I am lovin’ it!

See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians

We in the shit now, somebody gotta shovel it!

Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction

When you knock me down I get the fuck back up again!

[COMPANY]

Left! Right! Hold!

Go!

What! What! What!

[HAMILTON]

After a week of fighting, a young man in a red coat stands on a parapet

[LAFAYETTE]

We lower our guns as he frantically waves a white handkerchief

[MULLIGAN]

And just like that, it’s over. We tend to our wounded, we count our dead

[LAURENS]

Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom

[WASHINGTON]

Not. Yet

[HAMILTON]

We negotiate the terms of surrender

I see George Washington smile

We escort their men out of Yorktown

They stagger home single file

Tens of thousands of people flood the streets

There are screams and church bells ringing

And as our fallen foes retreat

I hear the drinking song they’re singing…

[ALL MEN]

The world turned upside down

[FULL COMPANY]

The world turned upside down

The world turned upside down

The world turned upside down

Down

Down, down, down

[LAFAYETTE]

Freedom for America, freedom for France!

[COMPANY]

Down, down, down

[HAMILTON]

Gotta start a new nation

Gotta meet my son

[COMPANY]

Down, down, down

[MULLIGAN]

We won!

[LAFAYETTE]

We won!

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS]

We won!

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS/HAMILTON/WASHINGTON]

We won!

[COMPANY]

The world turned upside down!

###

You get the idea.   And those were all from the first act!

Forty-two songs in all.  Great lyrics, great messages, great stories, great lessons.  See if you can.  At the least, find the music, listen to it, let it soak in, let it inspired you.

I did.

GOOD.

And GRATEFUL.

 

The Stolen Child

When I was in college, I heard this song for the first time.  Mike Scott of the Irish band, The Waterboys, wrote the lyrics, based on a poem by William Butler Yeats.

All these years later, I’ve not read much Yeats — though he’s on my reading list !  — for sure though,  I soak up the Irish spirit every time I hear the song, and read these words.

On this Saint Patrick’s Day, I celebrate the spirit, and share these words…

Stolen Child

by Michael Scott, 1988

based on poem by William Butler Yeats

Come away, human child
to the water
Come away, human child
to the water and the wild
With a fairy, hand in hand
for the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand

Where dips the rocky highland
of Sleuth Wood in the lake
There lies a leafy island
where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
there we’ve hid our fairy vats
Full of berries
and of reddest stolen cherries

Come away, human child
to the water
Come away, human child
to the water and the wild
With a fairy, hand in hand
for the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
the dim gray sands with light
Far off by furthest Rosses
we foot it all the night
Weaving olden dances
mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
to and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles
while the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep

Come away, human child
to the water
Come away, human child
to the water and the wild
With a fairy, hand in hand
for the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand

Where the wandering water gushes
from the hills above Glen-Car
In pools among the rushes
the scarce could bathe a star
We seek for slumbering trout
and whispering in their ears
We give them unquiet dreams;
leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
over the young streams

Away with us he’s going
the solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
of the calves on the warm hillside;
Or the kettle on the hob
sing peace into his breast
Or see the brown mice bob
Around and around the oatmeal-chest

For he comes, the human child
To the water
He comes, the human child
To the water and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand
Human child
Human child
With a fairy, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand…
Than he can understand…
He can understand…

glenar waterfall_countyleitrim_stolenchild

And here’s the tune, in case you’d like to hear it:

G-096: Dispatch from the DMV CA

I hadn’t been into the Department of Motor Vehicles in a long time. And so when it was time for my 2019 Driver License renewal? It was time to pay a DMV Field Office a visit.  I was headed to the office in Santa Clara.  It was the place I had taken my original driving test long ago.  It is actually the only DMV office I’ve been to.   I was psyched.

I didn’t think far enough ahead to make an appointment before my license was due to expire, so I queued up on the Non-Appointment Line when I arrived. It was 7:49am on Saturday. There were already 50 people in line outside. The office didn’t open until 8:00am, so the website said. I thought, “51st in line? Shouldn’t take too too long.”

A little boy in a black and red checkered hoodie was waiting on a bench, brought along by his parent on a Saturday morning for the adventure.  My kids were still in bed at home.  Actually, our son had woken up just before I left the house.  The other two were still snoozing.

“Good Luck,” my wife said as I departed. “Enjoy the solitude and your book.” Funny thing, being a parent with three little kids, any time to yourself is luxurious.

When I got inside the DMV building, it seemed like there were a couple hundred folks in various lines, at different stages of being processed, taking care of their business. There were a lot more than the folks I’d seen in line.   But everything seemed to be clicking along at the many work stations scatted throughout the big room.  Bureaucracy at its finest.

I wasn’t sure how long it would take.  Funny thing? I didn’t mind.  I was happy to be taking care of something that had been on my to-do list for a couple months; I was happy about that little bit of solitude; I was happy about the hot coffee in my travel mug.

I chatted with a nice lady in line, enjoyed a little people- watching (I’m told by others that it’s more like “staring”, but I’m working to be more discrete). The variety of people reflected the variety that live in this busy and diverse San Francisco Bay Area. Various languages and attire, on folks of all ages and persuasions. I love it.

A lot happens at the DMV, a variety of transactions and tests and miscellaneous state government business. It’s a main government channel to the masses. If you haven’t been in an office for a while, or haven’t browsed the department’s website, you might forget. I sorta did. So I was grateful things kept moving. Every minute or so another number was called; screens overhead told us what numbers were being served where.

My number? It was G-096.

I waited maybe a half hour, maybe 45 minutes. Then I heard my number on the loud speaker, saw the number on the screen, and things started moving.

I went to Window Number 9. The person there was pleasant and professional. She cut me a little slack to help me correct an error I’d made on my application.

After she was done processing my application and support documents from her station, she sent me on.

I arrived to queue in Line D. Another 10 minute wait. Another nice person at the desk to do her part helping my application move though the process, including the universally loved / hated license headshot photo. I gave a little smile.

Then I moved to Line C to wait for the final steps  of the transaction and issuance of the temporary license.

And then it was done. I walked outside into the brisk morning sunlight. I felt a little moisture in the air, promise of the rain due later in the day. I heard geese honking in the distance.

A couple hours of my life complete, the rest of the weekend ahead, a quiet satisfaction in my head. A basic but very necessary task was accomplished, and some simple lessons, ones I seem to learn over and over again.

Be early. Be prepared. Be friendly. Pay attention. Listen carefully. Be patient. Take your time. Think.

These lessons I try to teach my kids, kids like that little boy I saw sitting on the bench. They’re lessons I keep learning over and over again, too.

Addicted to Data?

A day without wearing a steps tracker, that’s what today is.

And my initial reaction, my feeling, is mixed. I feel like it’s going to be a little empty today. Weird, right? I mean, who really cares how many steps I take? Why do *I* care so much about the number of steps I take in a day?

I ask myself, “Am is addicted to data?”

The jury is out…I’ll let you know how it goes.

My X-Factor — I Celebrate Her Too!

lulud_MTY_2018

I’ve talked about her before as my own personal “X-Factor”…in fact, that nickname  started before she was born.

In my house growing up it was just me and my brother. Simple, dyad relations. Oh well, our parents were there too. 🙂 And our poor mom, she was the only female in the house.

Fast forward several decades, my wife and I have our first child, a girl, awesome; two years later our son is born – super, perfect set, two, done. Or so I thought.

Silly me.

Soon there after we found out we were pregnant again. I started thinking then and there, this kid’s gonna be the x-factor do me, because I don’t know what it’s like with three kids in the house. When she was born, the realization that we now had three kids (in three years), and that I had two daughters (!)…well, I was just awe-struck. It was both AWEsome, and at the same time I was AWEfully sure it was going to be like nothing I had experienced previous.

Being a dad to three kids, and especially to two daughters, has been the one of the most significant blessings of my life. Honestly. I mean I love them all equally. That’s a fact. Each of them, their personalities, just everything, I love them for who they are, endlessly, and forever.

That said, as we celebrate Number Three now five years on this earth, well…she’s lived up to the whimsical nickname I gave her — she is my own personal X-Factor.

Her spirit, her passion, her humor, they all inspire me, and humble me, and teach me things over and over and over again. Her facial expressions, her fanciful dancing about, her zest for living. Her stare at the screen, the slow way she wakes up in the morning, the way she carries her luvy still.

And so as we celebrate the birthdays this weekend, I wish for her like I wish for my other daughter on her birthday five days earlier:  Long life and learning and laughter and good health and love and happiness ~ a lifetime and then some! Happy Birthday, Louie!