#AtoZChallenge: U is for using up all your subs (Go Ask Daddy)

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I can’t help it.

AtoZ2019U (1)When the kids say something about subs at a soccer match, my mind goes to steak and cheese. Or turkey and avocado. It’s just how it is and I can’t change it. But the distraction is mostly temporary.

When I sub a kid into a game, it gives us a bit of a forum to talk that we don’t normally get.

You’re my mom’s favorite coach, but not my dad’s one girl told me. A new player told me how nervous she was to get in. Hayden didn’t spend a lot of time there, but as she waited to go back in after getting her first yellow card, we both tried not to snicker too loud.

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Three Hundred Writing Prompts (Guilt)

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Way up here, there’s no Wi-Fi.

AtoZ2019TWhich is good. That means I can’t check email or get lost on Instagram. Again. It means it’s a good idea, while I’m on this flight, for me to have packed a couple of books loaded with writing prompts on my way to San Jose.

I got a little help from the girl next to me on the plane – after we’d sufficiently gushed over how incredible the cookies they give out are (I even scored three extra packs from the flight attendant – and folded up an origami peacock in appreciation).

My seatmate chose two prompts for me to write on from the book 300 Writing Prompts (Piccadilly 2017):

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#AtoZChallenge: S is for Superpowers (a guest post from Cindy of Simple Steps)

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I read so much these days.

AtoZ2019SI’ve migrated from Elephant Journal and Thought Catalog to Medium and Success Magazine. Plus, lots of blogs. So many blogs. Especially during the #AtoZchallenge. To write on the challenge and not read is like ordering caffeine-free Coke Zero.

On purpose.

All this reading can lead a writer to other writers. That’s how I found today’s guest poster, Cindy. Cindy writes the blog Simple Steps for Living Life. Learn to save time, money and sanity on her site. Good gravy, I could use to conserve a little of all three.

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#AtoZChallenge | R is for Ruining our lives, but also rules for divine timing and happier parenting (Weekend Reads VI)

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Two pervasive thoughts dominate my brain usually.

AtoZ2019RI don’t have time for all this! But also, I’ve been given 24 hours to figure out how to do it all – that’s a lot of time! (I also think about Michelle Gingras, Stonehenge, and Havarti cheese, but that’s for another post.)

What’s left in the middle is that time is time, there’s no time like the present, you can’t make new time, and it’s time to go. Also, I might not have time to finish this post until tonight, which is sorta like getting to the fair 10 minutes before it packs up and hits the road.

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#AtoZChallenge: Q is for quality (and other #gratitudeandshit items)

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I can eat an entire Totino’s pizza.

AtoZ2019QNot that big a deal. But, also twice the serving size. (I even cut it only into two pieces, you know? Two-piece maximum.) When I eat half the pizza, I feel normal. Average. So then that other half looks back at me … tantalizing …

Where was I going with this?

Oh, quality. Well, I still can’t remember the exact connection I was trying to make. But it’s almost lunchtime. And I’ve fallen behind on this challenge. And I haven’t been thrilled with the writing quality. I feel like I should write more ahead of time. I feel repetitive.

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#AtoZChallenge | P is for Patience (and how to procure it)

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People tell me I’m patient.

AtoZ2019PNot always. I’ve had to wait for the meat lovers pizza to come out at Cici’s. All with the pressure of other carnivores waiting in the wings. That’s a double whammy: Needing patience, and a plan to put pepperoni pizza in your pie hole before everyone else.

It began really when I started to coach soccer.

The kids were little. The challenge was big. When you coach 6-year-olds, you’re at a disadvantage. Instinctively, every dog, airplane or finger-picking opportunity threatens to upstage you and steal your players’ attention.

You either grow patience, or you retire to the other sideline.

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#AtoZChallenge: O is for old people, other police dogs and one business day (Go Ask Daddy!)

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My kids are savage when it comes to my age.

AtoZ2019OThey’ve been rounding up for years. When my hair thinned just a hair, they declared me bald. They joke that my social security number is 47. Thing is, I’m probably the youngest 40-something dad among any of their friends.

The best old-guy insult came by one of Hayden’s friends.

\We’ll call her Anabel. I sat with Anabel and Hayden in an amphitheater at Carowinds theme park. We were visitors with the choir and band, I think. We were waiting for the show about dinosaurs to begin – and they were running late.

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#AtoZChallenge: N is for a new path (and why you don’t need one)

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When I set out on the #AtoZChallenge way, I had ideas.

AtoZ2019NOne, for N, was New Path. It made sense at the time. It should have been N is for Ninety. As in, I’ve written 90 drafts of this post. There are also 2 hours, 22 minutes until the N day is done. So I’d better at least save the N badge before the world turns to O.

I can’t get over the fact that despite us wanting to take new paths, can we, really?

We can hope to alter our next steps. We don’t have the option of a new path. Yesterday, we set our GPS for a Goodwill in Jacksonville, where we were on a getaway. Only, the GPS took us to a building that looked like it could have been a Goodwill.

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#AtoZChallenge: M is for Manifest your dreams? No thanks. (Here’s why.)

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Madison texted when she was out and about.

AtoZ2019M (1)What do you want from McDonald’s, pops? She asked. She’s as ready for a snack at the drop of a french fry (just like dad.) I ordered a McDouble, no onions. And I proceeded to shut out the universe like it was a veggie burger.

On wheat.

It’s just a snack. But if I had said, surprise me … imagine then. Sure, that puts Madison on the spot. But what could happen? She might have ordered me a Quarter Pounder. With Mac Sauce. Or something new, like a McGrilledCheese with bacon and a Star Wars toy.

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#AtoZChallenge: Weekend Reads V – L is for Low Self-Esteem, Life Sucks, and Electric Lit

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Boy howdy.

AtoZ2019LThe stars aligned with the big L on the forehead today, didn’t they? Today’s must-reads take on a couple of sticking points and problem areas. They’re good reads, though. I hope you get as much out of them as I did.

When I feel that self-esteem taking kidney punches on the ropes, I duck and cover and pray for the bell to end the round.

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