Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Be a Lighthouse



We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.

― Dwight L. Moody

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let her fold the shirt



Last week my little daughter wanted to help me with the laundry folding badly. To set the stage, I am a fairly retentive clothes folder. I have a specific pattern that gets shirts to lie flat, and look crisp out of the drawer. In some other life I must had had extensive retail clothes sales training. So I let C$ folder some t-shirts while I put the rest away. She mimicked me well, laying out the shirt, and attempted to fold them down the lines I did. What ended up happening was pretty much a white T ball. But, she was so proud of that ball. I was not allowed to put the shirt in the drawer either, she had too. I loved watching her do this; it was high on the cute meter. I did however make a mental note to go back and re-fold the shirts she worked on, three in all, the right way.

The weekend was very busy from the get go, and I totally forgot the t-shirt folding. This morning, I woke and worked out, and grabbed a shower. This is a fairly routine start to my day. Then, when I was dressing I opened the sock/T drawer, and had the happiest surprise. I was pleased as punch to see the little ball of a white T still sitting in my drawer. This made my morning. I am so glad I did not re-fold the shirts. I know I like to have things a certain way, but I cannot expect this from just a little kid. If you re-fold too much in life, to please yourself, you might just miss out on a wrinkled ball of love sitting waiting for you in your drawer.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday


This has been a really long week. Work travel can really be a drag, and I do not travel all that much compared to some of my friends. I miss J,C&C a lot when I am on the road, and had some great quality time last night with them. I am really glad it is Friday, even though we have a fairly busy weekend.

The picture above is a mock-up of a potential Browns draft pick. Not my pick for the #4 overall, but he is interesting. A bunch of folks today left work a little early to see the movie Draft Day. I have absolutely no interest in this film at all. None, zip, zero. The city of Cleveland sports team take enough, without some second rate Hollywood picture taking another swipe at us. the movie does not look all that good, I do hear it makes the city look good, which is nice. I just prefer the actual draft day drama the Browns are knee deep in this year. And this is not Major League, that was a comedy, a lighthearted look at the sad state of the Indians (just before the great 90's ball they played). No self-respecting Browns fan should go see this movie in my opinion. Why would we watch out team being made to look so bad, that only a movie miracle could fix? This film is just too close to home for such a perennially bad franchise. I will go see the city look great in Captain America: TWS instead, and hope Ray Farmer can make Kevin Costner look dumb in May.

Go Browns.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Three Big Toes


There are lots of manly ways to hurt your toe.The dreaded turf toe is a common football injury. It always sound a bit of a "weak" injury when it causes players to miss games. I have turf toe right now, and I no longer think it is a joke. My problem is I do not have a good story. I was walking up stairs, with my hands full, and missed a step, with everything but my big toe. As I stepped up with all my weight on one lone big toe...ouchies. I dropped like a sack of potatoes. No macho sports story for me, just the inability to hit a step with my foot.

The big toe is overlooked for it's importance to your everyday, all day activity. Absolutely everything you do on two feet rely on the big toe. I have broken a pinky-toe with less irritation to my daily routine.  

What is your big toe at work, or at home? What is that one person or little service you take for granted every day and do not show appreciation for? I do not have an extra big toe to swap out the injured one. Make sure you look for your "big toes" in your daily life, and thank them. I am sure you have some irreplaceable people that could use your appreciation..


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Scouting



I am a proud Eagle Scout. There are four things I mainly attribute to for who I am as a man today. My family, the Church, Boy Scouts and my Fraternity. A lot of guys have a sports coach in there, but I never really had that great coach I looked up to or used as a mentor (not including my Dad). I'm writing today because another one of my Scout Masters passed on this week. George Grim had a stroke and died, leaving my Dad as the only long serving Scout Master I had as a kid left.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are a target of a lot of negative things; media attacks for membership policies, constant jokes about molestation, and general "nerd" jokes. They are actually very similar to the Catholic Church in this way. But, I will always defend the BSA because the good far outweighs the bad. It is not even close. As a boy and young man, my Scout Masters helped instill so many good things in me I cannot count. Good citizenship, confidence, survival skills, problem solving, teamwork, leadership, goal setting, community service, friendship, love of the outdoors, my somewhat obsessive love of knots, doing a good turn daily, and on and on. To this day I strive to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. This is the Scout Law.

The men who spent their free time volunteering to instill these things in a young boy should be honored. George Grim, along with Paul Luke, Bill Chester, Dallas Heston, Ralph McDonough and many others should all be commended for their great work and dedication. I hope I have lived a life worthy of my Eagle Scout badge, and will recommit myself to the Scout Oath today in their honor.

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

And for Mr. Grim, I will look to the West, and sing that song you would always sing on camp-outs at night to your beloved West Virginia home. I hope you have been taken home down that country road.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Emotional Bank Account


I am a firm believer in trust and the emotional bank account. A brief explanation; you act with honesty and kindness over time, to develop trust and mutual respect with individuals. Then if the time comes that you may have a disagreement, you have a trust already existing, and assume positive intent from the other person while working on the issue together. I know this can sometimes be a nice concept, but difficult to practice. I normally choose the more positive high road when possible.

Last night a longtime friend and mentor blasted open what I thought was a well invested bank account. I was asked about a procedural issue, not my personal opinion, and offered advice I would give any of my volunteer constituents. The response I received was emotional, personal and not colored with any positives directed at me. I was basically called a "company man" and accused of scraping out all humanity from the situation. This hurt me very badly. The comments hurt because of the source and the 20+ year relationship I have with the individual, one I consider a close friend. To immediately go to the "company man" card was really inflammatory. I wanted to say, "have you paid attention to who I have been for twenty years, and do you think I would change overnight?" I was really hot over the comments, and probably was the cause for J to play on her iPad all night, since I was blowing off steam about the event. I ended the discussion on fairly friendly notes between my friend an me, but I am still bothered by the interaction.

I am left this morning with a review of why things got to that point. Am I too sensitive? Was the comment just an emotional blast that I took too seriously? I do not know, but I will commit to talking with my friend about how it made me feel. I will remain committed to my emotional bank account system, the plan has worked well most of the time, so no need to withdrawn my deposits. Look over the obscuring clouds, follow the light, and be a leader of positivity.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Time

Joe Satriani's Time Machine album cover.
March 19, 2014. Wow. Time is flying.

My kids are getting so big, J is busy at work and with the family. I have been very busy travelling for work, working with my volunteer efforts. Baseball spring training is here, March Madness starts this weekend. I just do not know how 2014 has gone so fast. Is there any way to slow it down, to get in the time I need to refresh and stay focused on the most important things in my life, my family?

I am sure this is a conundrum every parent faces. I cancelled some tentative plans today to make sure I am home. I have to be able to realize one day I cannot be everywhere all the time. J told me today she felt like she won because I chose her over an alumni event. That made me upset, a clear indicator I have been over scheduled. J is very generous and understanding with my volunteer life, and I never want to abuse the time sharing trust she has. I do not have the time machine, nor do I have an answer today, but I will stay more aware of the compounding affect my time away from home has on CC&J.

My plan: Slow it down, review appointments in person with J, spend time with just J, sit on the floor and play as much as possible with C&C, treasure each tuck-in I do for C&C. Be thankful.