Saturday, September 22, 2012

100 Things - Part 3

  1. This is my third such top-100 list (you'll find the first and second lists here and here, respectively.)
  2. A bunch has changed since I last wrote one of these.
  3. I lost my dad. The kids lost their grandfather. Three years ago tomorrow.
  4. Our immediate and extended families have been changed forever. That's to be expected, I guess.
  5. Change can be a good and a not-so-good thing.
  6. We've experienced both sides of it.
  7. We choose to focus on the good.
  8. It's been an important life lesson for our kids.
  9. Still, I wish it could have waited a bit longer.
  10. Okay, a lot longer.
  11. The bubble of childhood doesn't last as long as I'd like.
  12. Both theirs and mine.
  13. Navigating that dark period made me realize how many remarkable friends we have.
  14. It also deepened how I feel about my wife. Of course I loved, appreciated and worshipped her before all this happened. But she somehow found a way to further wind her way around my soul.
  15. I'll never be able to thank her enough.
  16. I still work from home.
  17. Our dog, Frasier, often lies by my feet while I write.
  18. He's the sweetest soul.
  19. Except if you're a squirrel or a chipmunk on the other side of the patio door.
  20. His bark could wake the dead. A mile away.
  21. So when I do radio interviews from the house, I have to sit in my wife's car in the driveway.
  22. I'm guessing live radio and a howling schnauzer don't go all that well together.
  23. Sometimes I do live television interviews via Skype.
  24. I can't use the car for those. It would just look too weird.
  25. So I set up shop in the living room.
  26. With the dog.
  27. Where I live in fear he'll go ballistic while I'm on-air. (Please see squirrel.)
  28. I've learned how to pat him with my foot or arm without it showing up on camera.
  29. More on the dog in a bit. I suspect he'll merit his own 100-things list before long.
  30. And you thought media work was so glamorous.
  31. I often trundle out to the car in the early morning murk, in my jams.
  32. I tote along my iPad, a cordless phone from the house, and a smartphone.
  33. I think some of the neighbors think I'm a spy.
  34. I'm not inclined to set the record straight. I find it funny when they stare.
  35. I'm still shooting pictures with reckless abandon.
  36. It often takes me longer to get where I'm going because I just have to stop to get that shot.
  37. My wife still has the patience of a saint.
  38. I often like to wander through my photo and written archives.
  39. I've never kept a diary or a journal, but I surmise the archives fulfill a similar purpose.
  40. There's something cathartic about seeing snapshots of your past. I can't explain it, but the albums - printed and electronic - keep calling my name.
  41. Sometimes I think I see the world through a rectangular grid.
  42. On reflection, maybe that's not an entirely bad thing.
  43. It simplifies things, forces you to break them down into bite-sized chunks.
  44. I like simple. It brings me comfort.
  45. I love to sleep. I'd stay buried under a comforter until noon most days, if I could.
  46. With the dog. He sleeps at our feet.
  47. I know most dog trainers would likely be aghast at that. Oh well.
  48. We've never had illusions of him winning best in show, anyway.
  49. We just like having him close by. We think he likes it, too.
  50. I love to write even more than I love to sleep.
  51. So most mornings, I wake up super-early - 4:30-ish - and pad downstairs to my office. Writing vs. sleep. Was there ever any doubt?
  52. Writing alone, before the rest of the world wakes up, is one of those joyous slices of time that makes you glad you became a writer in the first place.
  53. There's nothing like going heads-down, just you, your glowing keyboard and display (okay, displays), and some tunes on your headphones. The words almost seem to form themselves in your head before they slip out through your fingers.
  54. I like hearing the birds begin to sing just before the sky slowly flickers to life.
  55. It's more than just a time cue to finish up and get on with the day.
  56. It's a reminder that there's more to life than our own projects and deadlines.
  57. The planet has its own rhythm. It's not a bad thing to listen in on it every once in a while.
  58. I find that a little humbling. Also not a bad thing.
  59. By the time the article in question is finished and sent on its way, the house begins to stir. In my world, there's no better way to start the day.
  60. I've been a cyclist for much of my adult life. I've always loved the freedom of powering myself across the landscape.
  61. I'm ashamed to admit I've spent a lot less time on my bike over the past couple of years.
  62. Truth be told, I'm afraid of being mowed down.
  63. Almost every ride I take, some idiot in this often-backward town yells at me to get on the sidewalk.
  64. Squeezing me into the side of the road is another fun redneck-Ontario pastime, apparently.
  65. I'm still taking license #s (I'm talking about you, black Jetta, Ontario plate BLAM 495.)
  66. Because data trumps boorishness. Every time.
  67. I wonder when the idiocy will stop, when motorists and cyclists will learn to respectfully share the road and look out for each other.
  68. Probably never.
  69. I hate that I've allowed fear to get in the way of something I've loved to do for so long.
  70. Thanks to my wife's encouragement, I still hit the road. I'm still afraid. But at least I'm out there.
  71. Some journeys you simply must continue. This is one of them.
  72. The best way to end a writing day: roll the bike out of the garage, fire up the GPS, then roll through the hinterlands that surround our city, with only the farms and some cows and horses as company.
  73. There's something magical about flying down a country road, tall fields of corn rustling gently just feet to your right, the sun's rays streaking down through the clouds just above the horizon, with miles and miles to go before you turn for home.
  74. I think it's almost as good for my mind as it is for my body.
  75. Some of my best ideas flow when I'm cranking along some quiet back road. Among the corn.
  76. We often speak of getting off the so-called grid. I suspect this is what it feels like.
  77. The rest of the world can wait a little while longer. Life doesn't end just because I'm far from home.
  78. I wish more folks got that. The world would be a much less stressful place if they did.
  79. Our dog is now six years-old. He's become a sick pup, as Diabetes is a relatively high risk with schnauzers.
  80. Watching our daughter give him his insulin is a humbling exercise. He knows what's coming, trusts her implicitly, waits for her with a look in his eyes that convinces us all that he gets it. And gets her, too.
  81. The boys feed him, walk him, talk to him and fret over him.
  82. They wouldn't be the people they're becoming had it not been for him.
  83. His getting sick has been, perversely, a blessing in disguise for our kids and for our entire family.
  84. As challenging as it can be to live with a diabetic dog, I wouldn't change a thing. If we could go back in time, knowing what we know now, I'd rescue him again.
  85. The expense, uncertainty and worry often make me nervous. It seems like so much intervention for an unknowing little pup.
  86. Still, for as long as we have him, we'll cherish him.
  87. Because life isn't about how many days you're given. It's about what you do with those days.
  88. We're not fans of wasting any of them.
  89. With him or with each other.
  90. I wish people were more like dogs.
  91. They're so non-judgmental and happy.
  92. You can even see it in the way they walk: bouncy, carefree.
  93. I always believe in the best in people.
  94. Until they prove otherwise.
  95. I still don't get - and probably never will - where mean-spiritedness comes from.
  96. Back to the using-every-day-wisely thing, it saddens me how some folks waste the time they've been given.
  97. We can choose to either cave to it, or move past it. I choose the latter.
  98. No choice, really. Otherwise, the darkness wins.
  99. Brightness is so much more inspiring, don't you think?
  100. I'm done. The bike awaits. Wish me luck.
Your turn: Should I keep doing lists like this? Do you have a list you'd like to share, too?


photowannabe said...

Outstanding and very intimate.
I'm doing a journal of 1000 "thankfuls".
Its that focus on brightness like you stated in your post.
Yes please keep it up.
I don't always comment but I love coming here and getting into your mind.

21 Wits said...

Oh these lists are important. Especially on days when a person feels a bit lost or blue. I too WISH people were more like DOGS! as for those mean-spirited souls walking the earth, that one word gave me pause for a special post! I believe when we quit making those lists, our life will be over! Even when we speak of something negative it always has a way of showing up the positive side instead, when we walk within our hearts.