Exploring and Soaring

When you consistently write, you gain a unique opportunity. You see yourself in a different time and place. You can see and reflect on the person that you once were. After all, you are no longer the person that wrote those words, are you? You are someone different, however so slightly. This TED Talk made me think of a version of myself from long, long-ago. A version of myself that didn’t write, read, or even think…if I remember correctly. This video reminded me of a time and place when I was a ‘wild thing,’ exploring and soaring. I loved it!

Did I go to a school like this? No. I didn’t go to a school like this but, I would hope that every child has the chance to. This is an awesome school! Here’s to exploring and soaring!

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Letter to you…

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The following poem, written by a person that may never be known, is not important.

What is important, is how you react to the poem…

The poem will be introduced by a small statement, in order to ignite inspiration (assuming inspiration is flamable) in you.

The Statement: ‘Listen more to learn more.’

What is a middle schooler?

I was asked one day.

I knew what he was,

but what should I say?

He is noise and confusion.

He is silence that is deep.

He is sunshine and laughter,

or a cloud that will wait.

He is swift as an arrow.

He is a waster of time.

He wants to be rich,

but he cannot save a dime.

He is rude and nasty.

He is polite as can be.

He wants parental guidance,

but fights to be free.

He’s aggressive and bossy.

He is timid and shy.

He knows all the answers,

but still will ask “why?”

He is awkward and clumsy.

He is graceful and poised.

He is ever changing,

but do not be annoyed.

What is a middle schooler?

I was asked one day.

He is the future unfolding,

so do not stand in the way.

-By: Eight Grade Middle School Student

Are you standing in the way of the future, or standing up for the future?

Valentines in between two F13’s

Photo on 2015-02-05 at 01.05 #3

The title of this post is in relationship to Friday the 13th. The day before Valentine’s day (Saturday, February 14th) was Friday the 13th this year. Seth and Danielle will unite in marriage in less than one month on Friday, March 13th. The ‘F13’s’ stand for Friday the 13th. Back to back F13’s is not something that happens often. It’s worth writing about.

With that, I would like to introduce The Reverend Dude.

Written by: The Reverend Dude

On March 13th, 2015 I will help two beautiful people unite in marriage. This will be the most important day of their lives, to date. They have entrusted me with executing the ceremony in a fashion that they dig, just like a garden.

I’m fortunate to have such an honor. Hey, how about how lucky they are to have one another? Their love is fueled by the passion that they have decided to give to one another, against all odds, in order to have a go at life…together…’til death.

In case you are not the Type A personality individual, I will help you with a small detail. The Type A’s have calculated (or looked up) this little tid bit since the first line of this post. March 13, of 2015 is Friday the 13th. Naturally, the motto for this wedding is, drum roll please, “’til death.” I love it! They are fun, and loving, and can laugh. I write about these two because they defied the ‘wedding protocol.’ They didn’t care when they were suppose to have the wedding, or what the cards should say, or who they should invite, or what should be said during the ceremony…they cared about each other.
That’s how you know it is the real deal…they are selfless because of their love to the other.

That is a very cool situation to witness.

So, to the bride and groom to be, I wanted to take a moment to share an unexpected piece to the wedding pie.

The band, Maroon 5, traveled around LA in early December of 2014, with the intention of ‘crashing’ weddings…but, not how you might expect. The video below is not only a great song, but it is a video that defines happiness, and why ‘The Reverend Dude’ was created in the first place…to push the limits of happiness, and to make rules that rule!

Wakeboarding

I grew up every summer on Camano Island, Wa. Roughly 26 years ago I touched the water out in front of my family’s property for the first time (I was about two years old). To this day, that water makes me want to be active. I love that water…any water for that matter. Without diving into a philosophical reason for my love of water…the human body is comprised mostly of water.

To not love water, is a lot like not loving yourself. If there is one thing I love to do in the water it is wakeboarding. Wakeboarding has always been a release for me mentally and physically. The first time I tried wakeboarding is a memory I won’t soon forget. I had bought a new board and bindings (with hard earned lawn mowing money), and the guy at the ski shop gave us the basics on how to get up. I think he said something like, “Relax, let the boat do the work, and you will pop right up!” About $300 later we were out of the store and off to the beach. I strapped on my board, slid into the warm water, and waited for the rope to get tight as my ‘Jazz’ Bayliner Jet Boat idled away from shore, with Ma and Pa at the helm. Once the rope was tight I yelled, “Hit it!” About five seconds later with my Mom and Dad as witness, I was up and boardin’. Party on.

I still have my first wakeboard. A Hyperlite-Honeycomb-Drifter 136 that is hanging on my wall at our beach cabin. The decal on the board is a little kid looking to the horizon, with his little suitcase packed…As I reflect on that decal now, I remember how that board made me want to rule the world. What a little hellion. Guess some things don’t change much.

This past Labor Day I was home with my family on Camano Island. I was swimming, jet skiing, and boardin’ every chance I got. What’s crazy is, that I still felt the exact same way as I did when I was younger on that beach, or in that Livingston Bay water…untouchable.

There are three things I would like to explain when I use the word ‘untouchable’:

  1. I know how ignorant and silly it sounds to say
  2. That is truly is how I feel
  3. The ability to walk dangerously in a direction is seldom done but always remembered

This is a video we recorded with my phone and then I edited it that morning. I love living active and I trust you do to.

Finding Time Means Finding Priorities

Before I step onto any metaphorical soap box, I hope that you are happy, healthy and smiling wherever you are right now.

I was unable to spend Thanksgiving with my biological family this year. Travel and my job simply didn’t create a great opportunity for it to happen. I did, however, have a lovely Thanksgiving day with a dear friend and her family. They allowed me to share Thanksgiving dinner in their home. Before we indulged in a glorious feast my friend said, “OK, we each have to say what we are thankful for.”  With forks and knives already in our hands, her family and I stopped what we were doing and set down our utensils. We then took turns stating what we were thankful for.

Even though the situation and dinner were informal, my heart was awfully heavy. It’s not uncommon to say aloud what you are thankful for (praying), but it felt a little strange to me because it was out of my normal routine. Being able to think about something is very different than speaking about it or actually doing it. For example, telling your Mom that you will call her everyday, or telling your significant other how much you love them everyday are great ideas in theory but unless those ideas manifest into reality, then that is all they are…ideas.

During my times as a student I can remember how my peers and I never seemed to have enough time. We made excuses such as, “Sorry Mr. Doowell but I had a lot of chores to do, and then I had baseball practice so I didn’t have enough time to finish my essay.”  I thought that life would slow down after college and I would have time to fit everything into my daily schedule. That didn’t happen.

During the time I worked as a teacher I can remember my coworkers and I never seemed to have enough time. I can remember telling my students more than once, “Sorry class, we are not going to get to have ‘Popsicle Runs’ today because I didn’t have enough time to get to the store for supplies.”

In my current job and in my personal life, there still never seems to be enough hours in the day. Projects at work don’t get done for various reasons. Sometimes we have lame excuses such as, “We will have to wait to launch DaBomb.comaGram until we have revised, consulted, and re-revised. Currently we don’t have the time.”

Time is linear so once it is gone we can’t loop back for one last go-around. That particular time frame is gone forever. In our lives there will never be ‘enough time’ because we make choices which use up time. By executing a particular choice, we eliminate the option for an alternate choice. Making choices is why we are all here and pursuing whatever it is we choose to pursue. Or whatever we choose to NOT pursue. Time and its relationship to the choices we make are the fabric of why you are reading this right now…because you chose to read what I wrote. I know that I’m rambling, but the words need to get out. The words in my head sometimes take control over me.  I fear that if I cannot find time to allow them to speak, that I may start my next sentence with something silly and inaccurate like, ‘I didn’t have enough time.’

I don’t have all the answers and I am far from figuring out what it is I am doing or where I am going in my timeline of life. I do, however, want to get better at spending my time. I think that priorities are a great tool to use in order to get better at utilizing the time we have. I think that priorities become more than an idea and can transform into a reality if we repeat them aloud and write them on paper (or a screen). Priorities can lead us on a path of our choice and regardless of the time used to navigate that path, we can be satisfied (even if it’s just a little satisfaction) with our time spent. Maybe we can avoid not having enough time by prioritizing.

In her YouTube video Sweet Brown claimed over and over that, ‘ain’t nobody got time fo dat.’  It was very funny how she kept repeating those words.  I challenge you to say that you do have enough time. If you discover that you weren’t able to do something because time ran out, then it was because your priorities took more time then you anticipated. And that’s okay. I think we can live with that.

In the first paragraph I said that I didn’t spend Thanksgiving with my biological family because, “Travel and my job simply didn’t create a great opportunity for it to happen.”  Those words are just a different way of saying that I didn’t have enough time. That is a cop-out. Being a man of reflection and growth, my priority is to be with my biological family next year at Thanksgiving.

I’ll make the time for that.

Be well and purposeful with your time.Image

A Tribute to my Godfather

Skip
This is life. Wiser men and women than myself have not been able to understand the mystery of it all and I think I would be wasting precious moments if I began pondering the mystical question myself. Instead, I will get to living. I fear if we don’t find reason to live, this life just might find a reason for us not to…
I was 26 years old when my godfather passed. Life did not dispose of him. He disposed of life. He lived each day to the fullest. He attacked life and pushed its limits, challenging everyone he touched to smile more, love more and become more. He will always be in our hearts and the strength that he carried and instilled in us lives on, more alive now than ever before.
My godfather made this world better. He was a man that believed in joy and happiness, and he showed that in his generosity, loving spirit, and undying will to make people feel welcome. He worked hard, played hard, and did so with only others in mind. Selfless acts consumed his heart and soul. His examples of what it was to be a man is filling my heart and tear ducts with love. With grease under his nails and the weight of a hard days work on his back he was always dreaming of how he could make your life better…not his own.
Whether at the racetrack, on the road, in a camper, around a fire or rocking in the chair looking through the ‘looking Glass’ his main concerns were the people surrounding him. Were they thirsty, hungry, happy, content, at peace, comfortable? If he had anything to do with it, they were taken care of.
Skip and Georgine were in the business of setting hearts to peace and business was good.
I write for the passing of a titan. I write to find hope. I write to remember today and forever more that we must lead by example. We must find time to make others happy. I write because I love my godfather and I will honor him forever more. I will honor what he stood for…Love, celebration of life, and a desire to never stop moving forward, wherever the road may go.
Who was Skip? Simply put…Someone Keeping It Positive