10 Things Grateful, plus a lesson about staying plugged in

stormtrooper toys
I don’t know who these little guys are.

I lost my charger.

Not the Dollar General one. The one that goes to my work computer. It’s an Apple MacBook Pro charger. It costs about the same as the Pittsburgh Pirates payroll. I left it plugged in in the media tent during All-Star weekend. (I was hungry and distracted.)

I bought a replacement at a lower cost – about the same as the payroll of the Kansas City Royals, for comparison.

It’s not as fast and fancy. But it works. Thing is, I need to keep plugged in almost always, so I don’t get distracted and hungry and wind up with 7% battery and 37 stories to write. I can also plug my iPhone into this little charger that could.

When I plug in, I eliminate the worry of running out of juice.

Not being able to do what I need to do. I found a compelling parallel with other power sources in my life. If I’m plugged in – to family, coaching, meditation, writing, systems I’ve established to help me get to things one at a time – I can focus on what I do.

Who knew a 12W charger would represent the powerhouse in my life?

I’m grateful for that, among other things. Here’s what else:

virginia tech south carolina belk bowl jan 2019 bowl game bank of america stadium
They let media go on the field in the final 2 minutes of the Belk Bowl. This is as good as it gets for me and football photography

1-The way things and conversations manifest. I used to worry about being in the right place. I’d see what I perceived an opportunity pass me by – but at what cost? I’ve found now that opportunity tends to present itself to me right where I stand.

2-Easy Sunday mornings, even early ones. I have a recurring appointment on my calendar called writing time. It’s largely ignored. Sunday morning is usually for early work or recovery. But I had one lately that felt perfect for catching up on just being.

3-Ashley letting me use her charger every day. Our extraordinary designer is the only one around here with the same type of charger cord. She’d lend me hers to get to 100% and go through the rest of the day on a wing and a prayer.

zappos hi ball magazine interview lincolns haberdashery charlotte nc
I met a realtor for a magazine interview at Lincoln’s Haberdashery in South End. I then had this for lunch.

4-Camdyn’s giving spirit. This kid has a way about her. I see it when kids – especially younger ones – need help. She volunteers for Special Olympics and I’m not sure who has more joy, Camdyn or the athletes! I’ve decided it’s mutual and it’s based on love.

5-Pace. The pace of life has slowed. The calendar hasn’t relented. But it’s the pace. Work is work, travel time is travel time, and soccer training is soccer training. None is wasted with thoughts of the next thing coming. Or the overwhelming list that looms.

6-A shorter work commute work. Today took an hour with fog and wrecks, but it’s usually 33 minutes of open highway. I resist the urge to stop off at Jack in the Box or QT. I don’t feel like I’ve been a tackling dummy for the Alabama defense when I get to work.

hayden grandparents birthday dinner nov 2018 celebration taxco mexican restaurant
Hayden celebrates her birthday with family at Taxco Mexican Restaurant in Mint Hill. Something’s on fire and cherry-topped in front of her. Yes, she’s wearing a sombrero.

7-Chaos. It gives me something to conquer. A messy car. An impossible schedule. A team I wasn’t sure at first how I could best serve. So I dig in. Alleviate this, solve that. Learn from it all.

Suddenly you’re calling the shots and navigating in a space you’ve created, not been force-fed.

8-A belief that it’s okay just to be. Goals shouldn’t haunt us. They should keep us focused. Today, though, can’t be wasted. It’s equally about how far you’ve come and how much momentum you have to keep going. Even in the face of setbacks.

9-Coaching soccer. It’s not often easy, but when you find those moments … when you can teach, connect, inspire. Or just be part of those processes, if you don’t feel like the catalyst. Sixteen years into this gig, I’m starting to feel confident.

john lennon bathroom art winston-salem
John Lennon, in the Jon. Actually, above the bathroom sink, in a building, I went to a wedding in. I have a surprising number of photos of bathroom art. Surprising.

10-Melanie finding her college home. I love to see positive posts on Instagram about my niece’s school. Madison found that. Hayden has discovered it, and I know Camdyn has a lot of good examples around her when it’s time for her to choose, too.

What about you? What has you giddying up on the #gratitudeandshit horse this week?

quillen quote gratitude


13 thoughts on “10 Things Grateful, plus a lesson about staying plugged in

  1. The #graditudeandshit will always bring a smile to my face. This week’s list from you is something to ponder. So will next week’s, and so on.

  2. i love this series. love #5 especially, what you find is important as life goes on. slow the pace. and it will still be okay. even better.

    1. I love that you love it, beth. No. 5 is critical – i imagine what life would be if i’d learned lessons earlier, but I didn’t have the capacity for it then. I like when the pace feels slow, or at least steady, like my wheels aren’t going to spin out. everything that needs me gets the best of me that way.

  3. I wish I could say I’ve mastered #5, but it’s my bugaboo. The past few weeks I can’t stop thinking about the next thing I have to do. Something to work on.

  4. My husband bought me a charger that fits in my car cigarette lighter, and it has changed my life. If only everything used the same kind of charger! Love your list of gratefulness…especially being OK. So important!

  5. Bathroom art can be kind of fun! Now I wish you could come to my house, we have a piece in our bathroom I think you’d find unique. Being ok with just being is a perfectly fine way to be. I strive for that!

    1. I felt that today, that sense of loss when thinking that in a matter of months, she’ll be in a dorm and not sprawled on the couch! So glad to hear about your eldest son, Mimi. Much love.

  6. Early Sunday mornings are wonderful and it feels like one gets more out of the day.
    That photo of Hayden is lovely – hope she had a great birthday!

    1. I can get a couple hours of reading/writing in before I make some pancakes, too. Hayden did have a great birthday. That was in November! I went back a little for that set of pics.

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