I got sick of the normal X words. As if X words are normal. I’m sure somewhere someone is writing about xylophone adventures and xenophobia. More power to ya.
I say, let’s go with 10.
You know, the roman numeral for 10, X. Quick story here: I was a no-soccer-experience soccer coach at first. I made my own formations and positions, such as junker. (It was like a sweeping fullback, full of badass.)
You know, one that would have all the stuff I do. So I typed it all out. And it turns out, I’d have to reduce the font size to 0.0003 points, or expand the card to 37 cubic yards.
We have roles, y’all.
But there’s got to be one that stands out. That defines you, as much as you want a role to define you. At least, be the color you color with. A writing prompt in that book 300 Writing Prompts takes on this issue. And with help from my flying friend, Jeffrey, I took it on. (He doesn’t have wings, but he did sit next to me on the plane.)
So, there’s a story I want to tell and I don’t care if you judge.
One 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.
I have several entries stuck in a worn edition of 300 Writing Prompts that I will share during the #AtoZChallenge.
The one is in response to the prompt: It is the end of your career and you are up on stage being presented with a major award. What award is it, and what have you won it for? Global pandemics tend to shed a different light on such topics.
But I wrote this response long before the COVID took hold.
I think it’s good to reflect on such things. My day will someday come. The thought now is, what will I do between then and now? Plenty. And some of nothing. And a lot that can’t be classified as either.
There’s some serious reconstruction happening, friends. It started right around the time I left for Detroit and it’s happening now. It hits me when I step back into this blog and realize it’ll be more than a month since my last post.
A month. I remember times when I’d shun a plate of tacos to get a post posted. Like anything, nothing stays the same. Sometimes there’s work to be done and walls to demolish and structure to save, and sometimes the work feels tedious and pointless.
And sometimes the light breaks through at just the right angle. It illuminates something just well enough to show you a way, to demonstrate what’s possible. Even when you feel like you’re in the middle of the impossible.
The slow demolition of the small, old arena attached to the former Cobo Center stopped me in my tracks during my stay in Detroit. When you freeze a moment on the decomposition of one element for another? It gives you incredible insight.
You’re doing it even when you’re not doing it. You’re doing it, especially when you’re not doing it because little eyes are watching you. And also, you’re practicing those characteristics you’ll call on later when you are parenting.
It’s not the big moments, but the incremental tangles and triumphs that lead to what you become as a parent – and what direction your child takes as a result.
This list could have been 55 things, but I kept it to five. Let’s talk about it. Feel free to add to these five, or bring up an observable aspect of your own. Parenting has changed my life and shaped what I’ve become as a coach and a writer and so much more.
It pains me to say that but also doesn’t. Camdyn didn’t give the most glowing review of Solo: A Star Wars Story. What we have feared for years seems to have come true: Disney might just be stinking up our story.
I didn’t ask for details.
We’ll see, though. When Disney first got ahold of Star Wars, I was apprehensive. I ended up crying in the theater! (My girls noted that all the other old dudes in there also cried.) I don’t want to cry sad tears again for the loss of the story I grew up with.
Not the writing that pays the bills. Although, that’s been a slough too, to be honest. I read lots of cool newsletters and emails about writing newsletters and emails. They help. They add skills or ideas or just gumption.
You can do stuff with gumption.
I have a secret writing process I’ll never fully disclose. It involved random choices and brainstorming and generally thinking within rules I set for myself so that I can think outside the box. Well, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to describe anyway.
I’m not worried about jinxing it. I never have. Things aren’t perfect. Are they ever? But optimism … it’s tough to cover up. It’s like that first day of warm sun in the spring. That first deep breath of a kickass meditation.
Or how your car smells like pizza the day after you bring home takeout. #mmmm
It’s like having your good shoes on with a huge hike ahead. Deciding on a lineup change your rival hasn’t seen yet. I’m not sure it’s a 2019 thing. I don’t know when it started. I know it was good today. Shifts. Adjustments. Rules set for me.
I used to be a football player. And I used to have big hair. Not really at the same time, though. My football days, I was clean cut. Didn’t even have a mustache. It was the 80s, not the 70s. And I didn’t have long hair until high school.
Anyway, the coach and dad they see now has stories.
Not Superman stories, mind you. But stories. In middle school, they called me Speedy. Okay, it wasn’t the school team. It was intramurals. All the real players played real football. But all things being equal … I stood out in the field.