🎳 #AtoZChallenge: X is for 10 (my favorite players to wear that number)

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Moment of honesty here.

X2020I 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.)

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πŸ‘πŸΎ #AtoZChallenge: U is for unexpected fun, Uncle Frank, and understanding

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Wednesday was a good day.

U2020Are you seeing this too? Some days are good. Some not. Like the Raiders’ draft history, there appears to be little rhyme or reason to it. But Wednesday? Wednesday, I felt calm. I felt … vital.

Walt Disney is a dude lots of you know, and he said something kind of profound about making dreams come true.

He cited 4 Cs – curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy. (I’d have added cheeseburgers, but he didn’t ask me.) The greatest of all, Walt said, was confidence. (Again, no opportunity to pimp cheeseburgers.)

I wondered if those things can snap into place even before the dream formulates.Continue reading “πŸ‘πŸΎ #AtoZChallenge: U is for unexpected fun, Uncle Frank, and understanding”

πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ« #AtoZChallenge: T is for teacher book review – Schooled, by Stephanie Jankowski

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I’m not even kidding … this is a book review! And I read it all by myself.

Book review:

Schooled: A Love Letter to the Exhausting, Infuriating, Occasionally Excruciating Yet Somehow Completely Wonderful Profession of Teaching

By Stephanie Jankowski

T2020Stephanie, the loveable voice of the blog When Crazy meets Exhaustion, has written a book! She’s a long-time blogging friend of mine and I’ve loved her work for years.

Schooled is a collection of stories from the field. Her essays are humorous, sincere, and beckon to every crush on a teacher I ever had. As a dad of three kids, it gave me insight into what life is like on the other side of the desk.

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⏳ #AtoZChallenge: S is for still alive, stolen things and (green) screen (#GoAskDaddy)

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I kind of hate the #AtoZChallenge.

S2020No, though. I mean, I love reading others’ blogs, meeting new writers. Seeing new people and people I used to know among commenters. I hate what a reader I become during the #AtoZChallenge, is what I hate.

I’m a shitty one, no bones about it.

And that’s kind of the point of blogging. The interaction. I’m grappling with those times, like tonight, at 10:06 p.m., of whether I should be writing or reading. To keep up, I choose to write, but it sure does feel shitty.

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🌐 #GirlsRock #AtoZChallenge: R is for Rebecca Reid, global development globetrotter

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I left school early for a job that sounded like a dream for me.

R2020I got to cover the NFL and NBA (plus high school sports) for a tiny afternoon newspaper. I moved to Morganton, N.C. I slept in two three-hour shifts. One after my desk shift ended around midday.

The other, at night, after I filed my story from Hornets home games (Sometimes, I got up extra early to write instead.)

Rebecca Reid took a more global approach to that fresh-out-of-college job. She’s my guest for #GirlsRock today. I met Rebecca in Target during her 4-month stint in Charlotte. We became friends, and her story of success intrigued me.

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🏈 #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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➑️ #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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πŸ–• #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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