10 things grateful, plus adios #AtoZ! 🦚

stormtrooper anniversary may 5 fiesta moterrey monroe

Man – I’m glad the #AtoZChallenge is over.

It’s fun. It’s just … extra. I love going to other blogs I’d not normally see. But the engagement is wonky, and I miss conversing with the regulars here. And visiting their blogs. And having time to post on social media and find your links there, too.

When you’re in the challenge, man, it feels like you’re kind of a narcissist.

Not to mention what it does to your non-blog life. I struggled to keep up, and sacrificed progress toward other deadlines. And sleep. Not snacks. I found time for snacks. But the rest of life was kind of a blur. Next time I do this, I’ll work ahead.

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#AtoZChallenge | W is for What Remains (#gratitudeandshit)

stormtrooper bunny easter jubes home

These pockets of in-overbookedness don’t happen often.

AtoZ2019WRather than get a jumpstart on 53 things that needed jump-starting, I didn’t jump. And I sure as hell didn’t start. Not right away. A day brimming with a promise to put me ahead in everything where I was behind curtained sharply into a back-to-the-pillow nosedive.

The car got washed, the chicken, cooked (not grilled.)

And it’s 1:21 on Sunday morning, sleep time for another day of possibility, but I’m instead forging ahead to maybe close at least one gap – this A to Z Challenge. W, X, Y, and Z remain. One day remains in this weekend.

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#AtoZChallenge: V is for Virtually anything

stormtrooper shells 0419 getaway jacksonville beach

It’s going to be tough to claim victory in this one.

AtoZ2019VI’m days behind, trying in vain to catch up for the A to Z challenge. I wanted to write about vulnerability today, harkening back to some meditation fog observation I’d made about stepping in from the vestibule of life and really opening yourself up.

Me preaching the virtues of vulnerability would be like me spelling out the benefits of Valerian Root for menopausal symptoms.

I haven’t ventured out of the vortex of my comfort zone like that in ages. I’d be a villain to write that post. I wrote about valentine’s day once, the day after valentine’s day. This wasn’t long after Madison decided not to play for the Converse College Valkyries.

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#AtoZChallenge: H is for Habit of Peace

stormtrooper birdhouse 2018 photo opp antique store

This peace stuff ain’t easy.

AtoZ2019HEven though sometimes it feels that way. A friend in need recently asked if I could just put the Zen on a shelf and be pissed off with her. Yes, I can. My girls’ team said, coach, you know, you can be pissed at us sometimes. We need that.

Oh, I’ve been pissed at them.

I’ve been mad at my team not for bad results, but subpar effort. I’ve been ticked at dudes who are crap puddles to female friends of mine. I’m angry about the Rockies’ rocky start and that if Kobe Bryant farts, it gets the headline over any Denver Nuggets victory.

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#AtoZChallenge: E is for Every Day Gratitude

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I’m grateful for photo ops in antique stores when I happen to have a stormtrooper in my pocket.

My journal has taken a beating.

AtoZ2019ELiterally and figuratively. Before last night, I hadn’t written in it for weeks. Also, the back cover has fallen off. There are about five pages left in her, and it looks like it spent a season getting kicked around on Gilligan’s Island.

Gratitude is easy to come back to, it seems.

It wasn’t as if I’d abandoned #gratitudeandshit. It’s part of every day. It just wasn’t getting written down. So I had some old things in there. Things such as, I’m grateful for new episodes of Silver Spoons and I’m grateful for my new calculator watch.

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10 things grateful, plus cheeseburgers and Charles Barkley

stormtrooper antiques
Always a good opportunity for stormtrooper art when we visit antique stores.

There are no timeouts in soccer.

I wanted to call one, once. We’d taken a 1-0 lead against the state championship runners up from last season. They’d beaten up on us for years. But today, as we broke for halftime, we were up 1-0.

“Guys,” I said, “look casual, but let’s see if we can get to the parking lot without anyone noticing us …”

The girls laughed. We thought if we could sneak away now … well, they couldn’t score on us, could they? We lost 3-1. But that moment proved we’d reached a level we’d strived for. For years, really. We were good enough to get ahead of a bitter rival.

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10 Things Thankful, and a bit of self-forgiveness

best barbecue in gatlinburg, stormtrooper pics, black and white pics
Hayden snapped this photo at Bennett’s Real Smoke Barbecue Pit in Gatlinburg. We celebrated a season with a rack of ribs and a pint of homebrew. (This class mysteriously disappeared from our table, however.)

The toughest person to forgive is often ourselves.

I’ve two Go Ask Daddy posts unpublished. Crazy, huh? If I can’t finish on my self-imposed deadline, I won’t publish. I’ll save them. I’m holding my blog hostage. I force myself to finish freelance work (veggies) before I get to blogging (snickerdoodle cookies.)

Heard of the Pomodoro timer?

I’m using that too. I’m rewarding myself for hours of distraction-free work with writing for fun. It keeps me hungry (not for snickerdoodles, although …) to put in the work to get to what feeds my soul most.

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#J is for Just Zip It, Parents (a Guest Post From Madison)

stormtroopers car dash
I took this while waiting to pick up Madison from work one night. I wonder if anyone saw me.

Highway travel.

Vegas. Any weekend convention, if you’re a lot of guys. A wedding reception.

Definitely the parental sideline at any youth athletics event.

These are all places humans have gravitated toward boorish and ill-advised behavior. Today’s guest post is from my oldest, Madison, who, like her sisters, says she blocks out the noise from the familial upline, but what she wrote today demonstrates otherwise.

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#AtoZChallenge: F is for Finally, he’s writing again (Thanks Cheryl Strayed!)

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So, it’s been a minute.

And by a minute, I mean a month. Holy hell – how did April get outta here so fast? Everyone’s wrapped up their #AtoZChallenge, and I’m still stretching my hamstrings. Yes, I’m on the letter F. And there’s plenty to post about.

I have a guest post from Madison, even, that she sent me as a PDF and why do post-millennials do things so differently than we do?

I also have a guest post from Lauren Mayhew that you’re going to love. And the rest of my posts about looking for my next job. I got plenty of words: What I don’t have is plenty of space in the day to write such things.

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#AtoZChallenge: E is for is he EVER going to catch up?

stormtrooper ties ewok boba fett

It’s never too late to be thankful, right?

I’ve tried to tie my weekly Go Ask Daddy posts to the Friday gratitude attitude going around the blogging world. The combination ranks higher than, say, those KFC-Taco Bell duos you find sometimes out and about.

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to jot the good stuff in my notebook, though.

I’ve been thankful for, you know, a job that offers benefits and enough dough to get my kids off free lunch. This feels like the American dream to me. But I want to make this list not just about that because I’m almost kind of tired of writing about it.

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