This is another prompt from the book 300 Writing Prompts. As you might have read, it’s a book a friend gave me when I left Red Ventures. I carry it with me everywhere. When I’m on a plane, I ask someone to pick a prompt for me to tackle.
It usually goes well, the ask.
The person who helped me with this one was in for a huge change in life. I’m going to send her the link to this, so I don’t want to give all the details. It was a great conversation and I have a feeling she’s doing wonderful things where she is.
I left school early for a job that sounded like a dream for me.
I 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.
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.
The pessimist in me wonders what not wearing jeans for four weeks has done to me physically. The optimist in me feels as if this quarantine has at least kept the Colorado Rockies from the dredge of the NL West for now.
The artist in me has documented, for better or worse, my thoughts each day in the pandemic – as daily haikus.
Some are flippant, some sad, some confused. Like any other March that I could have done this, but only this March is historically significant. Not just because there was no Final Four, but because when has the entire world ever has so much in common?
I just started hacking away, inspired each day by Twitter or TV news (I’ve cut way back) or just what was going on that day.
Let me know how the quarantine has been for you, and which of these, if any, resonated with you. A college today said she can’t just go day to day anymore, and I get that. So I’m hoping to get to the ballpark soon and the beach even sooner.
Just as soon as we get the all-clear.
COVID haiku journal
I’m honestly not too sure.
I’ll just stay in place.
My people, our house
Not a big house, but enough
I can’t hear anyone
The big Pop Tart box
Seems like the best choice right now
One tart at a time
No Jehovah’s Witnesses
Was that Amazon?
Don’t you miss hugging?
I know it has just started.
Just looking ahead.
Lots of people out
When I pick up our groceries
Am I a chump too?
Finding time to write
Should not be so difficult
Work days are so long
My back feels so sore
My ass is getting flattened
Four rolls left in here
TP is greater than gold
We are middle class
I’ve lost track of days
And how long since I’ve worn pants?
At least we have cheese.
Out of cat litter
The shit might hit the fan now
Is this our world now?
Uncle Frank is ill
His test comes back in 3 days
It’s canceled after 5 days
Instacart on strike
Three of them to sustain me
For three days at least
It’s April Fools Day
I wish someone would play tricks
We could use the laugh
It’s my dad’s birthday
He would have been 68
I miss him so much!
Not happening in the parks
Bunch of dumb asses.
Was yesterday harsh?
My bad. I should be more kind.
Cover your damn mouth
Steaks on my new grill
Make happiness if you can
Steak is a good way.
Pray for my uncle
He’s fighting this thing so strong
Grant him all my strength
Girls want fried chicken
Who am I to argue that?
Food is everything
Uncle Frank update
He had a good day Tuesday
Let’s keep on praying
When this is over
Oh, how we will celebrate
Hug and kiss for days!
I wonder how many people will go with COVID as their C word.
Or, coronavirus. It’s difficult for me to, even if I wanted to. Friday is my #GratitudeAndShit day, and pandemic viruses don’t make the cut. I am grateful, however, to have this new reality upon me. It’s not been easy, but there have been some pluses on small scales.
It’s exhausting to read post after post about how to work efficiently from home.
I haven’t found that. There are small gains. There’s stuff like birds on my bird feeder and tortilla chips in my pantry to serve enough distraction to get me off track. But I’m eating less fried food and takeout, more conscious that I’d better watch my intake.
Kinda like the Rockies’ bats lately, my words have ground to a crawl. When this happens, you churn on. There are no timeouts in soccer or life. Your life GPS won’t direct you around it. No, the only way is through.
So when the calendar ambles along for an intersection for your kid to move to college and it’s also the 19th anniversary of the day your dad died, well, there are stories.
Even if you don’t have time right away to write them. Or maybe you try and get seven graphs in and realize you’re so not doing the feelings justice. It’s like getting Frosted Flakes but pouring them into skim milk. WHO DOES THAT?
It’s an essential part of being a parent. Or a blogger. Especially a Colorado Rockies fan. There isn’t much in this world that doesn’t get a bit sweeter with belief. In fact, the lack of it is grotesque, like those Poptarts without frosting.
In the course of my discourse and my writing, I say stuff. Sometimes, it’s about Ingrid Michaelson or enchiladas. Other times, it’s about beliefs. Not just in Jesus or Buddha or the power of the changeup pitch, but sometimes.
I’m writing this somewhere over what looks like Arizonewmexitexas. I’d know for sure if I could see if those are Cardinals or Cowboys car flags attached to cars down there. But honestly, Cowboys fans are everywhere like a bad itch.
I’m grateful for what this weekend past became.
A crew of colleagues in new roles for nearly everyone pulled off the improbable. We delivered a seamless international training event, somehow, someway. I likened it to watching a possum cross eight lanes of highway traffic unscathed.
We’re excavating our garage like it’s King Tut’s tomb.
Not finding golden statues or mummified cats, if that’s what you’re thinking. Yet. I found my first baseball mitt, though. Even as I revere the beginning of baseball season, I felt a wave of emotion as I put on my glove.
Most of it was awful.
This cheap chunk of leather – real leather? I’m not sure – represents my introduction to a game I love today. It harkens a loyalty to a team and a reliance on hope. For what better an example of hope? A sport that lasts all summer and breaks nearly every heart.
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.