Alphabet Recap, Mindfulness Challenges, and 7 Random Smartphone Photos

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Seems as if there’s room for just one challenge in this coach’s bag at a time.

Those of you not participating (and probably a percentage who are) probably turned the calendar to May with a touch of gratitude. We’re cultish, we A to Z knuckleheads. We flood your inbox and social media feeds with sorcery and daily posts and crazy rules.

And who the hell blogs every dad-burn day? We do.

The cleverest among us have compiled posts of their favorite posts from each of 26 days of the challenge. Others have shared their most viewed and commented-on posts. I’m not among those cleverest, but you can bet 10 publish buttons I will next year.

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#AtoZChallenge: Z is for the Zen in Building Chances

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Man – sometimes the shots just don’t fall.

ZI mean the shots, tactically (as in soccer) and philosophically (as in life) – and this is coming from a dude who sometimes sits and thinks. It can be a bombed test you studied for or the girl who says no (even when you stand up straight and comb your hair).

You might not get that handful of Skittles or promotion at work or the C- to raise you GPA (was that just me?), but in the building those chances, well, there’s a Zen to be found.

Zen (the term) gets as much overuse as Beethoven’s music in TV ads for toilet paper. It’s in those perfect moments, with full bellies and full beer mugs, in 70-degree bliss, bills paid and the trash out at the curb. It’s a good book and a better glass of wine, right? Zen.

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#AtoZChallenge: Y is for You Deserve a Break Today

 

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I’ve written so many words, y’all.

YI’m behind on my reading and commenting, for sure. In the A to Z Challenge, we read five posts every day from the gobs of posts involved. I’ve made fast friends and discovered new spots to go for extraordinary voices.

It gets heavy, though.

And I’ve been writing on 750words.com, which, as you might imagine, implores one to write … 750 words. That’s a lot when you have me to read, and four others. My apologies. Honestly, I feel like there’s a degradation of quality when the volume’s that high.

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#AtoZChallenge: X is for Xenogenous

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I love women.

XLet me rephrase that. I love the female spirit. I mean, yeah, I love Elizabeth Banks and Kesha and also that woman who plays Jack’s wife in the Jack in the Box commercials, but I am also an appreciator of the work and substance of woman.

X is for xenogenous, which means, of an outside cause.

Writing on courage – that’s what I’d like to do now, and I’ve considered spelling courage X-C-O-U-R-A-G-E so I can get down to it. Instead, I’ve chosen an X word – xenogenous – which I bet no one else has, and I’ll use it like a rebound romance to get to where I want.

My status as a man means that I must appreciate the courage of a woman from a xenogenous perspective. (see what I did there?)

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#AtoZChallenge: W is for What Fatherhood Did

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You guys, I’m not usually this ultra-focused.

WYes, there are moments during the World Cup, or when I’m picking out cheese at the grocery store. In the past few days, fatherhood – and parenthood – have hunkered down, front and center, in most of my thoughts. And writing.

Fatherhood did many things for me.

Do you know Dana Schwartz? She’s a terrific writer who posted about how motherhood obliterated her. Such poignant words, such a vast feeling. Beautifully honest. How utterly unprepared we are at this parenting game.

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#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vague Differences Between Protecting and Sheltering

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I might be prone to excessive examination at times.

VEspecially when it comes to the philosophical, or soccer, or cheese. So many moments as a dad, acting in the moment and considering the impact later, at night, when I should be writing or sleeping or at least eating graham crackers.

Who am I kidding? I’m eating graham crackers anyway.

As I vacillate between the college kid soccer girl and the high school soccer girl and the budding musician/soccer girl, happy to have spots in their worlds, I think about how I parent, vague (or subtle?) differences in what we do.

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unconventional Loves

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I’d wanted to write, during this A to Z Challenge, about my girls’ stuffed animals.

UAll three have one that has meant something to them over the years. Haven’t we all? I had a stuffed dog I found in a park when I was a boy. I named him … boy. I loved him until he fell apart.

One of my girls loved a German Shepherd, so big she could use him as a pillow.

Another slept with a bear named Daddy. I last saw him tucked behind her headboard. Unceremoniously. A third girl kept a rasta monkey I won her at her bedside. I scrapped the idea, although to read the first four paragraphs here, you wouldn’t know it, right?

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Teenagers

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So, my friend Tiffany wrote about teenagers a while back.

TIt was more than two years ago. I kept the link because even back then, I lived among the mess of a life with two teen daughters – then 17 and 14. It was as if Tiffany, who writes Sounds Like Life to Me, had looked into our window. Tiffany even included comic strips depicting life with teenagers.

You know, those awkward yet lovable collections of our DNA and parenting skills and 80% other factors we have no control over.

Teenagers are like those cool tropical fish you get after you’ve mastered goldfish.

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#AtoZChallenge: S is for Six Words

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photo credit: Kalexanderson Preparing for christmas via photopin (license)

There are all kinds of convergences going on around here.

6 words graphicWe’re up to the letter S in the A to Z Challenge. That’s the spot where my six words post will fit in – although it’s a few days earlier than I’d let on to friends (if you have an outstanding invitation, don’t worry – I will add them after this posts!)

For those of you who don’t know about six words

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#AtoZChallenge: R is for Blogger Recognition

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Lots of you know Eric.

RHe writes a dad blog called All in a Dad’s Work. He’s a good dude and an Orioles fan. (It could be much worse.) He and I share tons of common friends. He writes a post called Go Ask Your Father, which looks a lot like Go Ask Daddy. He’s a good guy.

(My lawyer says I should ask for a taco for every Go Ask Your Father post he publishes. I like the idea of getting tacos mostly.)

Eric nominated me for a blogger recognition award long ago. When these things happen, I give thanks and disclose my plan to someday – someday – do the challenge, whether it’s posting pics or writing underwater, etc.
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