Go Broncos!

Watching the Broncos flop in multiple Super Bowl appearances taught me a few things. An early experiment of emotional investment. My kids are now the age I was then. 

After the letdown of one of the several losses, I remember looking at the situation from the outside. It was a deep level of stress that could be totally avoidable, it seemed.

I don’t invest much in sports teams, but I do enjoy watching them in the moment. Broncos and Patriots played a great game, with Denver coming out on top and winning the AFC. Carolina completely destroyed Arizona to take the NFC title. It’s a strange matchup emotionally for me this year – we have now been in North Carolina for 6 months, and are really making it home.

So two home teams, but still have a little place in my heart for the Orange and Blue.

Go Broncos!

-DoD

The meaning of life

Spoiler alert. You will be let down to some degree by the content that follows a title like that. Anyway, hope you enjoy –

Hectic schedules of day-to-day. Standard chores and not much room for much else. The hustle and bustle of modern life can take us far away from the things that give us joy, and give our lives meaning – beyond the daily routine of “have-to’s”. 

No matter how much we talk about down-sizing, de-cluttering, or going minimalist, there is a large amount of gear that I just can’t get rid of. I was able to tap into my “why” for this today.

Made my first hunting trip in our new surroundings, and experienced some great new things. It was good to get back to something familiar too. A duck hunt similar in some ways, but so different in most. Looking back on my mental approach to the trip – I was simply happy to go. I had little expectation for the outcome for the day. I did know was heading out to do something I love, while putting the details in the hands of Our Father. His will for the day would be my sufficiency. 

Long story short, it was a great day. Terrible weather (a good thing for a duck hunter) plenty of shooting, beautiful birds, and great company. Seems like a simple idea: if we put our passions squarely into the hands of He who gave them to us in the first place, can we go wrong?

Don’t forget the simple things that have given your life meaning. And don’t forget who gave Meaning to your life.

-DoD

The economy of being offended 

I blog, therefore I am. A Tweet, a post, a hashtag. There are many ways today to express one’s dissatisfaction with the state of… anything. To stir up, to insight outrage, to troll, once used to be only within reach of shock-jocks and politicians. Taping into guttural human indignation, curiosity, joy, distrust, can come from any mind with a decent connection to the web.

Are we better off?  Seems that sensitivity, racial tension, and general “Us vs. Them” mentality is at an all time high. The fascinating thing about the general state of things is – controversy pays. It’s a war for views, comments, and approval from others. It’s a new gold rush – and you can head to the mine in your underwear.

This post is a bit of random, a play within a play. Blogging a bit now, I can see the thrill of being read, being liked, and the overall approval from others that people desire. I’m not stirring anything up for shock value, but what about the endless blogs of introspection. Is that what my blog will be identified as? If so, I’d rather quit now.

Writing every day for nearly two weeks now, I have felt some ups and downs. These thoughts have been running through my mind, and I just wanted to get them down. For what it’s worth, I still have my day job.

DoD

Backseat Cook

Confession: food is an area I have grown to be a stickler for details. There are many areas where I miss the mark on details, but this is not one of them. Great flavor in a meal is something I have always found joy in, but didn’t go much farther than balancing steak and potatoes with a side of broccoli. 

As my future bride and I were courting, her family would cook for me. Now food has always been the most direct way to my heart, but what I was being introduced to was different. Slow cooked Cuban cuisine, with featured ingredients on my “pick out and pitch” list. Prior non-negotiables like onions, garlic, green olives, and raisins were now not only tolerable, but a joy to consume.

Cooking is something I have come to really enjoy. Since I have little time to experiment, I now identify as an aspiring, albeit frustrated chef. I don’t take too many risks in the things I cook now, but can’t stand to skip ingredients. I have branched out into ingredient substitution – a bit more on my WalMart Marsala in the morning.

DoD

Just when it’s clicking, it’s not

Just when a guy thinks he has things figured out, he finds out there is plenty left to learn.

At times I can feel myself getting on a roll. Hitting work hard, but missing important opportunities to succeed at home.

To live a life in two worlds is impossible. I try to convince myself this, taking the easy way out. I step back and really look at this delima, and see it for what it is. To truly have a Christ-centered life, it doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in, or shifting to. It should not matter how tired, uncomfortable, young, old, dirty, or any other other-than-optimal time zone you find yourself in.

Give thanks, forgive, and love all those who were created in His image. Work hard, and love those around you. Oh, and get ready to fail and ask for forgiveness too.

DoD

Talent on loan

It’s easy to point to our accomplishments in today’s world, and look upon them with pride. Our human interpretation of pride can be justified and defined in ways that are wholesome, good, and acceptable. There is one simple truth about the human trait of pride – it is a trait not endorsed by God. This word comes up many times in the Bible, but I find no redeeming reference to its use.

The idea of expressing pride is noble enough. It is a word we seem to use every day, especially those of us with children. No doubt a parent has great joy when a child accomplishes something great, and there seems to be little harm in the expression when speaking one-to-one. In most other ways, it means approval, happiness, and lots of other inward feelings of joy. Deeds which we become proud of, we tend to forget about the Giver of the talents which afforded us the opportunity to succeed. God has solidified our ability to achieve the baseline for all other accomplishment – the breath of Life itself.

The expression of pride is one I have used many times, but have slowly been trying to wean myself off for many reasons. Today’s Sunday service was again a reminder why this idea of pride is such an important one. Simply put, there is nothing we can take credit for. It is all on loan. Even junior-high science taught us that nothing is either created or destroyed. Our talents on loan from God are developed, tuned and shared by our hard work and will, but with what in mind? If to glorify God, then good. If to glorify ourselves, less than good.

If we receive joy from others, we should be blessed. If we are pleased with ourselves, we should give thanks. Go, do good, create, love, inspire, be pleased with others, but don’t forget the Author of your story.

-DoD

It’s the doing

As tasks arise in life, it seems its the thinking, pondering, and fretting that makes it difficult. Once we dive in and trust our skills and intellect, good things seem to happen. Many things in life are difficult because we make them difficult. Why do we make them difficult? Here are four that I identify with-

  1. Because we are afraid of doing something new
  2. Because we might look silly
  3. Because we have developed a bad habit, and dread the routine we have developed
  4. Because we are human

This daily blog is a a difficult proposition for for me, and I can compile all 4 reasons above for my “why”. I am currently writing, and when this post is complete, I will have written something. With this said, I do not consider myself a writer.. yet. 

So, this year will be an apprenticeship of sorts. There are things writers deal with that I have not come face to face with in my dabbling so far, but they are coming up daily now. Pressure to come up with something fresh. Looking back at published work and saying to yourself “that sucked”. Writing someting that you know sucks when you are writing it (yesterday’s post – and I can’t even bring myself to look at it right now to hyperlink..). Combing through your current post, for how many times you have typed “I” and knowing it is way to many. And this is only the first week.

So anyway, don’t worry. And as Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

DoD

A good week

After a week in this new routine, there is definitely room for improvement. There were some successes, and some failures, but overall, little added stress. I could almost say that stress in some ways was eliminated.

Again, I did not make a morning post. There is a marked difference in my ability to roll with creative thoughts in the late afternoon, and early eveining. There is really was no real meaning to this post as I began typing, but I need to do more than just show up as I write this…so here is a list of wins for the week:

  1. A full week of posts 
  2. Successful experimentation with morning productivity vs. afternoon
  3. Formulation of yearly and lifelong goals
  4. Major boost in personal identity

As the work day wrapped up today, Philip and I discussed the weeks wins and losses. We discussed our plans for the weekend, as well as our plan for Monday morning. We have a plan to utilize the best and most productive part of the day for the demanding and challenging tasks, while saving the mindless chores for late afternoon. There are other systems developing to mesh our talents together to bring out the best in each other, and I am fortunate to be working with such a talented young guy.
There is a great sense of peace with a task list that you are in command of. Ownership of your life’s direction adds great meaning and value to the tasks you accomplish during a day. As discussed in conversation this week – don’t let life happen to you, take preemptive first strike and happen to your own life. 

Great week, and continuous improvement ahead.

Rambling right along… DoD

Flexibility

So my first evening post during my yearlong journey. A bit further now out of my comfort zone. Until now, my morning routine has produced results.

Rolling out of bed this morning, the notion that I may not post today did enter my mind. Taking an assessment of my time available, I chose to head to work without a post. Hoping to shoehorn it in later in the day. Lunch came and went, no post. There are all kinds of reasons why this day could go without a contribution, but here we go.

The second thought, after the momentary doubt about today’s post happening, was the image of the Iron Cowboy running his 50th Iron Man Triatholon in as many consecutive days. Mind blowing, beyond comprehension, superhuman, and many other large adjectives flood my mortal consciousness when I think about this feat.  It truly makes my little personal goal seem a bit less daunting.

Feeling what I felt today, the closeness and reality of failure, I couldn’t help but think what James had in his mind as number 50 was approaching. What was running through his mind the morning of the 50th when the alarm went off? What if he didn’t complete, or even start the 50th race to see his goal through to the finish? My mind goes right to screaming “HE STILL RAN 49 IRON MAN TRIATHOLONS IN A FREAKING ROW!!!”Incidentally 49 would have still beat the previous single-year record by 19 – That he himself set 3 years prior! As you think about every day of James’ journey, you become more and more amazed by the willpower, in even the second, third, or any day of those 50.

You will rarely, if ever see me use punctuation and font as I do in this post. I normally have no toleration for using all caps and multiple exclamation marks, but can find no reason not to use both describing this man’s feat.The concept and magnitude of the 50.50.50 achievement simply blows my mind.

So there it is, my post for the day. James truly was one of my biggest inspirations for this little goal of mine. He was also my ace in the hole for a day with little other inspiration for a post. Time to get some rest, get pumped for tomorrow, and look forward to a great day. Need to find another ace in the hole, too. 

DoD.