🏈 #AtoZChallenge: Q is for quarterback

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I didn’t always dream of becoming a writer.

Q2020I was going to become an NFL quarterback. I could throw a perfect spiral in fourth grade – with a plastic ball OR a Nerf. Talk about versatility. I had all the tools.

Except the talent and physical gifts.

But if dreams were those things, I’d be giving a Hall of Fame speech at some point. As early as I can remember, I had a love affair with the game of football.

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➡️ #AtoZChallenge: P is for purify your mindset

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The things that cage us aren’t insurmountable.

I’m sitting here early on a Saturday morning.

P2020I’ve pondered how to streamline my life. I’m working from home as many of us are. I’m struggling to find balance. I wake up every day encouraged that this will be different. Often, I go to sleep wondering where it went wrong.

See, I’m the same guy who has found success before.

Not success in dollar signs or prestige. In peace of mind. In the moment. In trusting that the process is the thing, in that I must keep my eyes and heart open. The stuff that makes the biggest difference are things I haven’t planned for. But you have to have an efficient way to get to those things.

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🎡 #AtoZChallenge: O is for observing, opportunities, and optimism (#GratitudeAndShit)

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Wisdom and stuff.

I’m still ruing my failure to read as much as I’d like to right now.

O2020I’m grateful that I’ve been able to listen more. I’m discovering what people I care about want. For birthdays. For life. My girls said they wanted to watch a sunrise.

I implored them to get up early and I’d drive them east to see it.

They refused. (They stayed up all night instead.) We did as planned, and I got lost, but kept driving toward the sun. We wound up pulled off the road at a farm, conversing with cows and awaiting el sol.

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😊 #AtoZChallenge: N is for Nancy Kempa, realtor and translator for #GirlsRock

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I love to see effective marketing in play.

N2020I have lots of friends whose marketing efforts for all sorts of businesses inspire me. They show me that there are effective ways to stand out in a crowded space of posts and links. It’s a personal touch that gives a person and business a signature feel.

Nancy Kempa does just that in her posts.

We became friends on Instagram, and talked a lot about our messaging and about life. She has one of those determined wills that is also inspiring. Have something you’d like to do or do better? Nancy’s approach is to tackle it.

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🖕 #AtoZChallenge: M is for middle finger, mercy rules, and mating (Go Ask Daddy)

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So, there’s a story I want to tell and I don’t care if you judge.

M2020One of my kids made a gesture at the TV yesterday that told a story. We’ve navigated this lockdown like good astronauts (minus zero gravity and Tang.) But as my girls worked on a puzzle during a Hulu session of Malcolm in the Middle, an ad came on and triggered her.

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean we have to be distant socially, the sugary-voiced lady was saying to promote something I can’t even remember.

Instinctively, a middle finger arose. She didn’t even look up from the puzzle. I said nothing. I get it. Social listening data tells us that people love ads like this. They want to know corporate America is in it with us. That they’re doing their part.

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📗 #AtoZChallenge: L is for learn

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My friend Brittany gave me a book called 300 Writing Prompts

L2020 (1)I take it with me on flights. If it isn’t too wacky (or sometimes even if it is), I’ll ask the person next to me to pick a prompt for me to write about while we’re flying. Sometimes, I just pick one.

The one I’ll use today is one I picked.

It’s about stuff we should learn in school. I feel like there are some things we learn (or struggle to learn, often in my case) that would be better serve being replaced. There are things I’d like to have learned, but didn’t.

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🤚🏻 #AtoZChallenge: K is for Kelly Calhoun, an interview with an influencer, reporter and model, for #GirlsRock

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Timing is everything.

L2020Sunday, feeling almost caught up in the writing part of this #AtoZMadness (but still way behind on reading!), I had the task of cranking out a post to go with the letter K. Oy. Kaleidoscope? Karma? Kaput? Kayak?

(I could write about the time I almost died in a kayak – or was that a canoe?)

Well, I still could have tied it to kaput! But I got a test from a friend named Kelly on Sunday afternoon checking in on how things are going (happens a lot with the COVID, and I’m grateful!) and wondering if I’d published our interview for #GirlsRock.

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📚 #AtoZChallenge: J is for Jess Cohn, an interview with a senior acquisitions editor, for #GirlsRock

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I don’t know who these little guys are.

I aspire to read at a fraction of the volume some of you do.

J2020I’d love to savor books on the order than I savor Totino’s pizza. (Not every day, but when I do, I savor it, and that’s how I imagine it must be to get into a good book. Like a supreme Totino’s pizza.)

Someone must decide which stories present the most compelling reads – even before we talk design for book covers or what wine to serve with chips and salsa at our book signings. These things are also important.

Isn’t that what we should be thinking about?

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🖤 #AtoZChallenge: I is for being IN progress, IMMUNE system meditations and INSIGHT (for #GratitudeAndShit)

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He’s trying to figure out what happened to the rest of him.

Confession time: Do you know what the worst part about the #AtoZChallenge is?

I2020It’s not remembering my ABCs. I was an English major, you know. It’s the pace of the thing when you don’t plan ahead enough. I’m behind in keeping up with the baddest (and I mean the baddest) Facebook blog group on the planet, too (the Peaceful Posse.)

To me that’s kind of fundamental, that part of this blogging thing.

By Easter Sunday, I should have read posts for at least three of my sisteren (The PP is mostly women) and those who’ve commented here and also a couple of others in my routine.

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✊🏻 #AtoZChallenge: H is for haiku (my quarantine journal)

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At first, I titled this photo “stormtrooper fortnite.” Yeah. It’s 1:05 a.m. and I’m 48 years old.

What a month this week has been.

H2020The pessimist in me wonders what not wearing jeans for four weeks has done to me physically. The optimist in me feels as if this quarantine has at least kept the Colorado Rockies from the dredge of the NL West for now.

The artist in me has documented, for better or worse, my thoughts each day in the pandemic – as daily haikus.

Some are flippant, some sad, some confused. Like any other March that I could have done this, but only this March is historically significant. Not just because there was no Final Four, but because when has the entire world ever has so much in common?

I just started hacking away, inspired each day by Twitter or TV news (I’ve cut way back) or just what was going on that day.

Let me know how the quarantine has been for you, and which of these, if any, resonated with you. A college today said she can’t just go day to day anymore, and I get that. So I’m hoping to get to the ballpark soon and the beach even sooner.

Just as soon as we get the all-clear.

COVID haiku journal

March 18

Overreacting?
I’m honestly not too sure.
I’ll just stay in place.

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EJP

 

March 19

My people, our house
Not a big house, but enough
I can’t hear anyone

March 20

The big Pop Tart box
Seems like the best choice right now
One tart at a time

March 21

No solicitors
No Jehovah’s Witnesses
Was that Amazon?

March 22

Don’t you miss hugging?
I know it has just started.
Just looking ahead.

March 23

Lots of people out
When I pick up our groceries
Am I a chump too?

March 24

Finding time to write
Should not be so difficult
Work days are so long

March 25

My back feels so sore
My ass is getting flattened
Always pajamas

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March 26

Four rolls left in here
TP is greater than gold
We are middle class

March 27

I’ve lost track of days
And how long since I’ve worn pants?
At least we have cheese.

March 28

Out of cat litter
The shit might hit the fan now
Is this our world now?

March 29

Uncle Frank is ill
His test comes back in 3 days
Favorite uncle

March 30

Grocery order?
It’s canceled after 5 days
Instacart on strike

March 31

Totino’s pizza
Three of them to sustain me
For three days at least

April 1

It’s April Fools Day
I wish someone would play tricks
We could use the laugh

April 2

It’s my dad’s birthday
He would have been 68
I miss him so much!

April 3

Social distancing
Not happening in the parks
Bunch of dumb asses.

April 4

Was yesterday harsh?
My bad. I should be more kind.
Cover your damn mouth

April 5

Steaks on my new grill
Make happiness if you can
Steak is a good way.

April 6

Pray for my uncle
He’s fighting this thing so strong
Grant him all my strength

stormtrooper rey bojangles (2)April 7

Girls want fried chicken
Who am I to argue that?
Food is everything

April 8

Uncle Frank update
He had a good day Tuesday
Let’s keep on praying

April 9

When this is over
Oh, how we will celebrate
Hug and kiss for days!

-30-

#AtoZChallenge

A is for Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Adam and Avril, and Amidala

B is for Bonnie Marie Williams, voiceover superhero, a #GirlsRock interview

C is for Conversations, Camdyn and cookies (#GratitudeAndShit) 

D is for Dorsey Standish, yoga teacher and mindfulness coach, for #GirlsRock

E is for End-of-your-career awards

F is for Frank, my uncle

G is for 💇🏽‍♂️ Go Ask Daddy about what you GET to keep on Flea Market Flip, if I’m GOING to sit in a racecar next time I get my hair cut, and how high basketball scores GO

-3

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