Friday, January 23, 2015

It's about the kids.

Again, I find myself reflecting on the one thing that consistently brings me joy and pride...the two little munchkins I refer to as my offspring. Sean and Ireland are always making me smile, and last night, in no way that stood out from the norm for our time together, I had several moments in which I took pause to notice what it is that sets them apart.

I welcomed them back home last night with congratulations and thanks for getting perfect report cards. They wasted no time jumping right back into questions asked. They like doing well, and they are actually interested in what they are learning. We had a nice time around the table while I cooked up some bbq chicken and pasta for a simple meal for us to enjoy. As they finished up their homework, and I brought the dishes to the table, they both looked at me with a big smile and said, "Thank you, Dad!". Genuinely appreciative for every meal, my kids never forget to say thank you...even to me. I'm so proud that they have a sense of gratitude for the little things we all tend to take for granted. I normally have them clear the table and load the dishwasher but last night I decided to get up and do it myself, having promised them that we could watch a movie together while having dessert. As I started to rinse the dishes off, they both said, "Thank you for doing the dishes, Daddy", the same way I say it to them when they do it.

I'm doing something right here.

We all sat down to watch a movie together, and had some brownie sundaes, and Ireland got up from the couch to get herself a glass of water. As she stood up, she looked at my glass, saw it was full, then looked over at her brother and asked, "Sean, do you want a glass of water or milk or anything?"

"No thanks," he replied.

I couldn't help but say "so polite" to myself under my breath. At this point, although this is how they always behave, I realized that these two are really very sweet, to each other and to those around them. They love life and have fun, and they almost never complain about anything including chores or school, unless they are actually sick.

The kicker was when we were picking out the movie...Sean wanted to watch Guardians of the Galaxy, and it would have been unanimous but for Ireland's hesitation not understanding that it was actually a comedy she would end up enjoying. I asked her if there was some form of goods or services Sean could provide to her to get "his way" with the choice that night. She thought for a second, and excitedly turned to him and asked, "can I sleep in your bunk bed tonight?"

Sean let slip a little smile out of the corner of his mouth and said "Sure!" He almost always denies her request to share the bedroom every time they are with in on the occasional weekend night, or special event. But he didn't seem too upset about it last night. They know how to compromise, and that's an important thing to learn in life.

I had a hard time not wanting to just crawl into bed and go back to sleep with them this morning.

This is what good kids look like. I am a lucky dad. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yacht Rock Monday

Working away on this MLK "holiday" and listening to a nice little selection of nostalgic tunes from my childhood. I was born in 1975 to 21-year-old parents, surrounded by some real talent in the record selection.

Right now Stephen Bishop is playing in my iTunes, telling me to save it for a rainy day.

Indeed, I think I will.

I'm sure Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald aren't too far behind you, my friend. May even do a little sailing from my desk later on with Christopher Cross. We'll have to see how it goes.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Work

I heard an inspiring interview on NPR this morning. A Rhodes Scholar and author, Wes Moore, spoke on the changes being proposed in our health care reform, and the way that those changes can create a potential trend in our young nation to grow and thrive the way that other, more developed and creative nations are doing today. What was really interesting to me was listening to his transition from the topic of our national policy to the subject matter which he obviously holds so dearly, which is the work we do and how we do it.

His book, "Looking For Work That Matters" is one I will be reading soon, but a good excerpt is found here.

I was moved by a particular thing he said in the interview, and which speaks volumes to me and I think to so many people I know; "As you think about what it is that you're supposed to accomplish and how you think about your life, the goal is never to be extraordinarily ordinary...the goal is to capture what it is that makes you special."


I'm still on the hunt. I think that's the point.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Aren't we all?

I decided today to pick a topic so that I can, at the very least, put a few words down and make something of the vacant, almost pointless space that this blog has recently become. Choosing what to talk about has effectively become the latest obstacle in my effort to update my spot here with any content, and every time I subconsciously craft a post in my head, the exercise of bringing it to fruition on the blog has turned into one of frustration, as every story has intersecting tales with other ones...every theme too complex to get into...every effort I want to brag about or failure I could complain about seems too complex, too detailed, too much to condense into something that won't just get passed over. I have actually created a lot of drafts over the last few months. They get started but remain unpublished. They irritate my sensibilities when I see them in my dashboard and I end up deleting them, like I'm cleaning my house or something. And I don't do anything.

And that right there is a theme. That right there is worth focusing on. At least for me.

You see, at this point in my life, I have so much juggling going on that I find myself with more loose ends than I ever could have imagined. My stacks block out the sun. The weight pushes me into submission. And the sum of the parts has overcome the whole that is me, leaving me grasping for a rope, gasping for air, and mostly just trying to survive.

I don't think I'm alone in this fight.

I think that I am surrounded by so many people...good people, hard working, family oriented, loving people who are very much overwhelmed with the speed of today, with the seriousness of the lives we lead, and with the weight of the responsibility we have to be invincible.

But that's what we are. We are invincible.

We are not to be defeated, and we will never be crushed. Invincibility, you see, is really what we all seek and what we also all achieve. Not even death can destroy us, for it is the soul that finds it's home in this worldly body that houses it, and it is the spirit that seeks, and strives, and never yields to the pressures that surround us every day.

Our hearts fight to love fearlessly and to not be defeated by the inevitable breaks that occur in a normal lifetime. Our minds grapple with the idea that some thing, some person, some task, some obstacle, some ailment or some thought can dominate us into cowardly, tailed-tucked beings, but at the end of the day I see you and you see me, and here we are being invincible together.

Invincibility is the theme today, and this isn't a new years resolution, or a promise, or a goal, or even a dream. Invincibility Is. We are invincible and it's simply important to recognize that life goes on and we are never, ever truly defeated.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I'm horrible with the posting...

...I know. But I have about a hundred of them ready to go...just sitting up here in the ol' noggin, nagging to get put out there. If anyone actually reads this blog, then I'm truly sorry about it. The best thing to do it to click on the flickr sidebar over there and check out my photo feed or find me on Facebook or Instagram. I'm easy to locate.

 But I have put the last whirlwind of a year in the books, and I'm on to the 15. And the last year of my life was full of the most growth I think I have ever experienced as a human, so I'm proud of that. It also ended and this new year began with something special and full of promise. A new relationship that has set itself apart from anything I've been involved in ever before. It's been the easiest thing that's ever happened, and I really believe that it will last. There is a unique feeling that can only be described as reciprocity. Unique to me, anyway. I've been waiting a long time for it.

 The kids are growing so fast, and there is simply no slowing down to update in my diary here about each little detail, but I'll keep on pledging to make little efforts here and there.

 I have seen, run into, hung out with, or thought about a lot of old friends in this last couple of's been strange the way so many of you have wandered into my life so casually. I feel that it has been a gift, that my head is for some reason held higher than normal, and that my perspective has been towards the horizon again...chin is up and feet move forward.

 I love this life, as always. I'm trying to do the best I can with mine.