“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”
- J.M. Barrie
My Decembers don’t have roses. They have pink carnations.
My father had odd taste in music. Of course he loved church music — especially old hymns. He’d belt out the lyrics as loud as he could, desperate to be a bass but not really equipped vocally to get there. When he heard marching band music, it became immediately obvious that his blood was really pumping. When he heard Paraguayan harp, he’d long for his home as the tears silently rolled down his cheeks.
In a previous episode, I told the story of how I met my first love. Part of that story was how I carried my love for her through two marriages, and two decades of my life. I brushed past that bit. I guess the time has come to expand on that a little…
I remember being out with my first wife Maureen. We’d stopped for gas in the town where Luba (my first love) lived. While the gas was pumping, Maureen asked me “what would you do if Luba walked up to the car, and asked you to go with…
“Moving doesn’t change who you are. It only changes the view outside your window.”
I think it would be difficult to find a credible scientist, psychologist, or philosopher who says that change is bad. As much as change can be uncomfortable, most of us recognize it as not only necessary or unavoidable, but beneficial.
The biggest problem with change is that we tend to be really bad at it. Sometimes, we’re obsessed with it. Sometimes, we resist it with all of our being. Sometimes we just plain suck at navigating it. …
I just finished reading an article about the ways carnival games are set up. Of course, I’ve always understood that these games are rigged but I never really understood how they’re rigged. I was expecting to be wowed by the technical end of things but I was wowed more so by the psychological end.
It’s difficult to pop an underinflated balloon with a dull dart. It’s difficult to shoot an overinflated basketball into an undersized oval hoop. It’s difficult to know over lead-weighted bottles with a softball that’s much lighter than regulation. …
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
― George Bernard Shaw
A recent fight has left me thinking about how much simple misunderstandings can cause situations to escalate in unwanted, unexpected, and unnecessary ways.
Even as I say that, I realize that I’ve left a lot of room for misunderstanding. Was that intentional? Whatever I say to that point, you’re going to have your own conclusions that I can only minimally influence. Some of you are waiting for me to explain. Others are already clear on what I’m saying. …
A wise person once said that “The more educated someone is, the more likely it usually is for them to pretend they know, when they actually don’t.”
I spend a lot of time reflecting on the past. More often than not, I find myself channel surfing through an endless number of childhood memories. Much of the time, these memories carry a bit of a sting.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not living in the past, wallowing in self-pity, or bathing in trauma. When I remember, I try to drill into what I learned in any specific instance. Some things are…
“What’s wrong, son?”
Dad could tell as soon as I got home from school that I was upset.
“Nobody likes me” I told him, as I broke down into tears.
School was rough for me as a kid. I was what most adults saw as an odd duck, and what most kids saw as unlikable and weird. It seemed like the more I tried to make friends, the more these potential friends were determined to pull back.
This day was especially difficult. Most days the other kids just tried to avoid me. …
“I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I think if you want to change something, change it today and don’t wait until the New Year.”
It’s that time of year again. As I write this, it’s the day before Christmas Eve but my mind is already thinking ahead to what my New Year’s resolution will be. There are a lot of things I should resolve to change but I’m already starting to place limits on which of those I’m willing to address.
The first things that come to mind are the things which would be really easy, maybe…
“Living your life in the public eye is a greater burden than most people can imagine.”
- Justin Trudeau
I often look at celebrities, and wonder “how do they do it?” Every detail of their everyday is documented, scrutinized, and made the business of anyone who’s exposed to the details.
When I really stop to think about it, I can’t help but feel happy to be a regular person. Sure, I miss out on the perks that come along with fame and fortune, but I can live my life in private.
I’m not obligated to deal with public scrutiny. I…
When I was young, I always knew who to go to for advice: my dad. I had complete trust that he would understand how to navigate difficult situations, resolve conflicts, or identify when it was time to accept something that was beyond my control.
Sometimes he’d give me clear directions. More often than not, though, he’d put the situation back in my lap with one simple phrase.
Do what you know is right.
This was almost always the best advice because I could almost always determine which option was right, and which option was wrong. That was then. …