#GirlsRock: An Interview with Master Careers Director Laurie James

stormtrooper owl february coffee gatlinburg tn
We used to send Madison pictures of every owl we came across. Who am I kidding? We still do.

Writing is like an onion.

Strike that. Writing is like a river. No, doesn’t feel right. Writing is like … well, something you have to peel back sometimes. And it’s also something that flows, sometimes beyond its banks, but can never really be stopped.

So maybe writing is like an onion river.

In any case, today’s #GirlsRock guest knows a very specific art of writing: The resume. That sneaky thing we prance about when we’re unhappy at work or … out of a job. It’s the key to everything, yet we often treat it as an afterthought.

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10 Things Grateful, plus a couple of days of boorish behavior

stormtrooper mindcraft
At first, I titled this photo “stormtrooper fortnite.” Yeah. It’s 1:05 a.m. and I’m 47 years old.

I’ve been wrong a lot in the past 24 hours.

Mostly, at Mallard Creek Park. Mostly, about soccer and about failing eyesight. See, I faulted the officials in our high school game of missing a horrible foul against us. Twenty-four hours later, I did the same during Camdyn’s game.

Say what you want about officials (mostly concerning eyesight), but upon further review, my gripes were misguided.

Maybe as I silently wish for refs who’ve passed eye exams, I should remember my own last eye exam was during the Obama administration. Or when Jefferson Starship was making its comeback. I don’t remember.

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10 Things Grateful, and a new plan

stormtrooper receipts numbers paper clip

Hey guys.

I did it. I found my way back. Like, in a real way. I keep hearing and reading about doing what we love and loving what we do and you know what? Me, not writing, was kind of like me not thinking about tacos. Only, kinda worse, you know?

Anyway, I’ve found a way to schedule writing and reading and commenting.

I promise it’ll be better than the new Full House or even slicker than those Detroit Lions throwback jerseys, which actually look like a kid just peeled all the Lions stickers off. I’m grateful for a chance to breathe some new life around her.

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#AtoZChallenge: B is for Boy without a job

stormtrooper forest

Note: This is part of an occasional series about my journey to find a job.

This is a story about a boy.

This boy has a story to tell. He hasn’t been allowed to tell it. Then, he thought better of telling it. Because it’s a story about losing a job and feeling lost and helpless. He usually tells stories of enchiladas and bad-ass soccer girls.

But he’s standing here now, wearing a hair net and smelling of bulk scallops, wondering who he is right now.

Only, that thought lasts less time than it takes to bag up a pound of scallops (or wrap a whole salmon without dipping your sleeves in salmon slime.) When an employer tells you you’re unfit to write any more, out of the blue, you can do one of two things:

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with TV Reporter Caroline Vandergriff

stormtrooper soccer bleachers

I’ve known who news reporter Caroline Vandergriff is for a while.

cd-interviewsBesides having a cool name, Caroline did a story on a hero of mine, Mildred Meachem. Mildred played in the All-American Girl Professional Baseball League. I knew Mildred from my time as a member at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte.

When Mildred died in January, Caroline did the story for Spectrum News.

Caroline treated my friend like the treasure she was. I expressed my appreciation, and told Caroline I wish she could have met Mildred, a pioneer for women’s sports whose accomplishments paved the way for girls like mine in athletics.

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No More Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

IMG_20170709_170402I’ve been hiding a long time.

I had to go with that opening line, because I’d promised someone I would. I’m glad, though, because this friend suggested it as we talked about how things are going for me now, and it perfectly tells the story.

No, I’m not coming out of the closet.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You might have noticed more of a mindful bent on Mondays around here. I can’t help it. Between meditation on Wednesday, yoga on Friday (something old and new), and prayers for world peace on Sundays …

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unconventional Loves

stormtroopers four.jpg

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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Who We’d Switch Places with (and What We’d do), in 6 Words

6-words-lede-switch
Catching up on blog and work while Grace kicks ass in training. Huntersville, NC.

How great would it be … not to be me.

6 words graphicWho hasn’t thought this? In those moments we’re out of gas, out of time or out of toilet paper (or all three). At times when we follow our favorite adorable pro golfer just to see she has three names now, just like those old-school 80s Olympic sprinters.

I like being me, though.

So much so that I would hate to not be me, to miss out on late-night ginger snaps and Sunlounger and Cher Lloyd on Pandora. On coaching my girls, raising my kids or writing my blog. Did I mention ginger snaps?

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Crossfit Trainer Dana Mather

mather-lede
photo credit: kurt.stocker stormtoopers via photopin (license)

In all of the uniform fitting nights for all of the soccer clubs in America … she walked into the uniform fitting for the soccer club I’d been coaching for.

cd-interviewsShe’s Dana Mather, Crossfit trainer. That night, though, she was Dana Mather, matchmaker. As her sons tried on the club’s new kits, we talked soccer. Pay attention, and you can learn volumes about someone in a single, initial conversation.

My impression of Dana: Optimistic, energetic, in all the way in all she did.

Dana carries a quiet confidence that falls short of swagger, mostly because of her humility. A mom, wife, and athlete, Dana surprised me by asking lots of questions about my own coaching. That night, my coaching future was uncertain.

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How’s a dad tell how he’s doing? Only time will tell.

photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc
photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc

I’m a dad. I’m a coach. I’m many other things – some happy, some comical, some up for debate – but those two constants, dad and coach, really hold all strings attached to the hands typing this.

Time means something different to me, as a dad. I’m not always in a rush. That’s not to say my schedule isn’t next to impossible or that I’m the only guy in town living this life. It’s not because of hopeless resignation, either.

I’m not always on time, but I’m not always late.

I don’t always have a good excuse, and I don’t always keep my cool, but I’d say I’m ice 85 percent of the time.

Continue reading “How’s a dad tell how he’s doing? Only time will tell.”