Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I can feel it coming

The walk this morning sucked. I got up...I invited Sonny to join me...I headed out the door...but something was missing. Something that makes these morning walks enjoyable...something called a cool, south wind. While those are rare, they are very nice. I would've gladly taken a cool, north wind but that didn't move in until tonight with the rain during Andrew's baseball game. We didn't rain out, just delayed about 15 minutes. Back to this morning...I was hot, the air seemed heavy, bugs were swirling around as if warm weather gives them the right to be the pests they are. It was just gross...at least for me. It's going to get worse before it gets better, I know. I can feel it coming...Summer. There are some nice things about the season, several actually. But bugs and hot temperatures are not on that list for me. Yuck. I'll just sweat it out and push through the pain and hope the misery I'm putting myself through will deliver promising results.

I spent a lot of time with the Zune over Memorial Day weekend. I added more music and deleted the songs I'd never listen to and skip over anyway. Right now, I'm at 2,494 songs. That should do and the mix should be a little better as time goes by. Today, was not a good mix. Way too mellow to do me any good. Well, it started off with some energy but it went downhill after Family Force 5. Don't get me wrong. I like those songs by Smitty and SC2, but if that's what I'm going to get on these walks, then I might as well wake Andrew or Amber up and have them pull me in the wagon. Crossing my fingers for tomorrow. Good night.

Zune Morning Mix 052609
• Jekyll & Hyde - Petra
• Suicide Blonde - INXS
• Lose Urself - Family Force 5
• Do You Dream Of Me? - Michael W. Smith
• Lost In The Shadows - Steven Curtis Chapman
• Old Enough To Know - Michael W. Smith
• Step Of Faith - Carman

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Church of Arby's

We didn't make it to church today. To be honest, we haven't been to church in several Sunday's. We've either been out of town for a wedding, a baseball tournament, or someone has been sick. Today we're celebrating my niece, Leah's, graduation from Creighton Law School and we have Sara's sister and kids staying with us for a couple of days.

I think that, sometimes, God understands that we can't always make it to church so He'll give us a lesson in some other format than a sermon.

There was a Sunday (many Sunday's ago) that we didn't make it to church and we stopped at Arby's to eat. On the side of the bag were these "Arby's Values". I read them out loud to the rest of the family while we were eating, and we talked about what each one meant to us. These were values that would help us lead happier lives and would make life better for those people we interact with. Click on the picture to read them for yourself. That was our church that Sunday. God found a way to reach out to us through a paper bag at a fast food joint.

There's nothing like getting a roast beef sermon, minus the cheese, when you're on the road. Oh, and a side of curly fries, too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mellow Music Does Not a Fit Walker Make

I pushed myself out of bed this morning to go on Day 3 of my morning walk. Today, I took Sonny with me. He was very excited about getting to join me. Usually he's more work than it's worth, but he kept himself in check today and stayed the same course and cadence I did. And that cadence wasn't much of a test for either of us. The morning Zune mix was heavy on mellow music today.

When I bought my Zune, I just started dumping albums on there, much like a redneck dumps an old mattress in a ditch along side the highway. I gave no thought to how this music was going to be used or how it would affect my future activities. I was using it as a storage unit, and that is so wrong. I hope that redneck realizes the error in his ways, too. So, I really need to do some organizing and get this music in order so I can have the proper mix to move me along in the mornings. I'll be sharing my Zune Morning Mix here so you can sort of experience what the Zune forced through my earbuds and into my body. I try not to skip forward to the next song so I listen to whatever pops up all the way through. So, as you can see from today's list, the selection didn't do much to wake me up or get me moving. Thankfully, Dan Huff and his buddies made an appearance midway through my journey. Otherwise, it's possible that you'd find me sleeping peacefully on the bench next to the sidewalk I travel with a very confused and bored dog sitting next to me.

"Gimme Your Love" - Black N Blue
"Don't Give Up On Us" - David Soul
"Somebody Love Me" - Michael W. Smith
"No Way Out" - Giant
"Turn Down The World Tonight" - Journey
"While I Still Got The Time" - Darius Rucker
"Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid" - Hall & Oates
"Matter Of Time" - Michael W. Smith

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quotes and stuff

So this was the first day I actually was able to get out and exercise. I guess pushing a lawn mower counts but that's tied to a chore and it diminishes the purpose and mindset behind it. Yesterday, I bought a grilled chicken sandwich from Wendy's rather than the fried version or a burger, so that was a start. I also had a lemonade instead of a diet soda. That taxing thing the government wants to do for sugary drinks may help curb that craving. Anyway, today was the first morning I woke up early enough to go on my walk before Andrew got on the bus to go to school. I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep for a while longer, but I couldn't ignore the daylight pushing through the dark curtains in our room used to block out said daylight. Face it, Mike. You're awake. I figured it was God's way of helping me indulge a little less and do what I should be doing instead. So I went for my walk and really enjoyed the cool temperatures. I figured that was God's way of rewarding me for getting up and moving so early in the morning. Most of the songs that shuffled their way to the top of my Zune were mostly Christian songs. I, again, figured it was God's way of supporting me on my walk and inspiring me to continue. So, thanks God for all of that!

Last night, I watched the last part of "Glee" to see if they were going to show a preview of the second episode (which won't air until the fall) and they did. The funniest line is in that episode. One of the characters says ""That was the most offensive thing I've seen, and that includes an elementary school production of 'Hair'". HILARIOUS!!! Love this show! I can't wait for the fall to get here just for this show alone.

At work, I decided to check up on a recording artist I hadn't heard from in awhile and went to their website. At the top of their page, I found this quote and thought it was especially inspiring and wanted to share it with the few of you who read this blog.

Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson
from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I intend to use these words to my benefit in my "Less of Me" quest. I'd write it on my hand to remember it, but it's such a long quote I'd have to use my forearm, and I don't want to walk around having people think I have Angelina Jolie-like tattoos on my arms. Who needs that kind of attention? If I'm gonna have a tattoo, it's gonna be a picture of something cool, not something written in a foreign tongue. And nothing that would make my mother cry. That's the kind of guy I am.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Conversation with my daughter

On the way home from watching a dance recital that I was taping...

Amber: DAD! I finished my Junie B. Jones book!
Me: That is awesome, Amber! I knew you could do it. I'm really proud of you. Do you like reading Junie B. Jones?
Amber: Yeah! I want to get lots more of her books to read.
Me: Well, I think we can do that.
Amber: Now I'm going to read this Paul Bunyan book.

(a few moments of silence)

Amber: I'm gonna take a break. My head is too full of words from that Junie B. Jones book and my head needs a rest.

Well, it was after her bed time so I understand.

Less of Me

I hate step one. It's sooo far from where I want to be. But, I realize it's an important step in moving me in the right direction. I still hate it, though.

Many months ago, when I learned that my brother was going to get married, I thought that it would be a wonderful time to lose this weight I've been carrying around. He got married a couple of weeks ago. Did I lose weight? No. Well, not yet. I know I'm overweight. I don't like it. I hate it! I can't even sit comfortably in a booth when we go out to eat. Everyone likes to sit in a booth but I have to deprive my family of that joy and settle for a table. Good Lord, how did this happen? I used to be a non-stop bangin' stud! That guy still exists underneath this protective layer of goo. And, I'm going to expose him again.

When I was 38, I adopted a "Fit by 40" mindset. It was to consist of not only losing weight, but also becoming fit in other areas of my life. My faith, the way I drive, the way I interact with people, etc. All in all, it was my goal to become a better person. Not that I'm a bad person, but sometimes we can behave the worst toward the people we love the most, including ourselves.

Well, here I am, almost half-way through 40 and I haven't changed a thing. So I'm modifying that mindset to read "Fit at 40" with a sub-title of "Less of Me". If I'm less indulgent and become more disciplined in the way I eat, the way I exercise, the way I use my time and become a good steward of these things that God has given me, I can achieve a healthier body, a healthier mind and a healthier spirit. I'll be a better husband, a better dad, a better friend, a better employee...a better me.

I don't know why, but this is intimidating for me. Scary. I will fight to not make excuses. So, here I go.