Blah, Blah, Blah– Another Assortment of Randomness

I had all these great ideas about what to write for my blog post, but I’m feeling a bit under the weather at the moment, so I’ll throw several of ’em in and see what sticks.

My grandmother turned 93 yesterday and we celebrated today. I’m convinced that people back then were made better than they are now (just like everything else). She may not have her memory or know what’s going on all the time, but she’s a resilient ol’ gal that’s as likely to make it to 100 as anybody.

At the Church at Avenue South, the pastor talked about Sabbath and how we need the rest. If you go 110% all the time without ever taking any down time, sooner or later your body will remind you in not so subtle ways that it’s good to stop and rest. No one can go 24/7 infinitely without a break. Even Jesus took naps and periodically sought out places to be alone.

The Tennessee Titans may be reverting back to their old sucky ways, but my fantasy football team is 4-1 as of today. Last year, all the breaks went to my opponents, so it’s nice to finally catch a few breaks myself.

I don’t feel awful. I just feel a little stuffy and achy (with a slight fever), but I’m not the typical male who’s ready to have his last rites read. I’m hoping some Vitamin C and a good night’s rest will have me back and running at full speed on Monday.

My little kitten Peanut continues to crack me up with her crazy wild antics. She also continues to eat and poop like a racehorse (as well as almost literally grow leaps and bounds right before my eyes). She’s no longer the tiny thing I brought home from the shelter over 3 months ago.

I’m still holding out hope that next week will finally bring some actual fall weather where I can wear flannel and/or jackets. I’m way past done with sweat-inducing weather. I’m sure the people downwind of me are, too.

That’s all. Happy Sunday and have a great week!

 

Happy Birthday Adam to Me!!

It’s my Birthday Adam, the day before my birthday Eve, the day before my actual birthday. As usual, all forms of payment are accepted.

I’m thankful that I’m still around to celebrate another birthday. Growing old is a privilege denied to many, so I’m not going to grumble or take it for granted.

I’m going to wake up tomorrow (God willing) and say a prayer of thanks for the privilege. I’m going to get in my car and drive to my job and be grateful for those things as well.

I’m going to take pleasure in the little things like the early appearance of spring weather and the flowers blooming. I’m not going to dwell on the things I can’t control or bemoan all that I don’t have but rather give thanks for everything I do have.

So here’s to a happy 45th birthday and another year full of grace and mercy to come!

 

A Pre-Lent Lenten Prayer

“A lenten prayer to avoid entitlement from Richard Rohr:

‘Maybe we all should begin our days with a litany of satisfaction, abundance, and enoughness. God, you have given me another day of totally gratuitous life: my health, my eyes, my ears, my mind, my taste, my family, my freedom, my education, clean water, more than enough food, a roof over my head, a warm bed and blanket, friends, sunshine, a beating heart, and your eternal love and guidance.

To any one of these we must say, “And this is more than enough!'”

Ok, I know we’re not quite to Lent season just yet. I realize that Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday are two weeks away (and Mardi Gras just happens to fall on my birthday this year, which is neat).

Still, this applies to any season of the year or of life. Gratitude is the gift that never goes  out of style and never becomes obsolete. Joy is as much of an art and a discipline as it is a gift because while it’s free, it takes effort and stamina to fully realize and appreciate it.

I should probably at some point tape these words from Richard Rohr to my bathroom mirror so that they are the first thing I see when I wake up. Or maybe I should post them somewhere I will see them AFTER I’ve had that all-important first cup of coffee.

I need reminding often of how blessed  I truly am. It’s easy in a culture that promotes dissatisfaction and envy to look at all that’s missing from my life and all that I don’t have. That can lead to despair.

Joy starts with being content with such things that I have already. Gratitude is the way we see God’s provident hand everywhere working in everything. Even on Mondays.

 

 

Happy Birth-Month to Me: The Sequel

Yes, it’s here again. February, my birth-month.

I decided that since I got gipped on having a birthday on a such a short month, I might as well milk it for all it’s worth and celebrate for all 28 days.

I’m thankful to be turning 45 this year. I have times when I wish I were still in my 20’s, but I’m in a better place mentally and spiritually (if not physically).

I wouldn’t want to go back to change anything, but sometimes I think it’d be nice to relive some of my experiences through 45-year old eyes. I have a feeling I might appreciate them a bit more than I did.

Regardless, I like who I’m becoming more and more because I realize more and more how God has been guiding and molding my circumstances all along to lead me toward Christlikeness. I truly see way more than I used to how He works all things (and not just the good and pleasant and comfortable things) for my good and His glory.

As usual, for my birthday I am accepting all major forms of payment. I also really like gift cards, especially to places where they have coffee. I won’t even mention my Amazon wish-list which gets bigger and more ridiculous with each passing day.

Seriously, I’m thankful above all for the gift of being alive. I know too many who didn’t make it to 45, so I don’t ever take it for granted.

I’m also thankful for every one of you reading these words. You have a multitude of other choices, plus a plethora of offerings on Netflix that you could be catching up on, but you chose to read my blog posts instead.

I’ve already bought my annual birthday present to me. I have a ticket to see Robert Earl Keen at the Franklin Theatre on March 23. I give myself such good presents.

Happy birth-month to all of you lucky enough also to be born in February. I think it’s the best birthday month.

 

Happy Birthday Adam (Also Known as Birthday Eve Eve)

As some of you may know, my birthday is Sunday. Two days away. Let the festivities begin.

The place where I work let me go early in celebration. I ended up at McKay’s Used Books, Movies, Music, and More. I’m more sure than ever that it’s Nerd Nirvana. I’m sure heaven will look a lot like McKay’s.

I picked up my usual eclectic assortment of music. I got Johnny Horton, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Santana, Genesis, Ray Lynch, Jeff Buckley, and Brian Wilson. I think that covers it.

I admit that I don’t quite look forward to birthdays in the same way that I used to. Back in the day, birthdays meant milestones– turning 10, 18, 21, and so forth.

Now the only milestones I hit are the decades. Those aren’t quite as rewarding. Mostly, you just get older.

Still, I also admit that I am more grateful for each birthday than I was for the last. I know more and more that life in general (including birthdays) isn’t something to be taken for granted. No one is entitled to live to be 90 years old and to die in a comfortable bed surrounded by loved ones.

Too many of my family and friends won’t get to reach that ripe old age. Some who were younger than I am now are gone. Just about everyday, I read about someone else who died tragically way too young. That’s sobering.

So thank you, God, for year 44. Or if you like, the 9th anniversary of being 35. That sounds less painful.

I’m also all about celebrating for as long as I can, so I will probably still be going strong on Monday. I guess I should be thankful that I wasn’t born on February 29, or I’d be celebrating turning 11.

Oh, and I do accept all forms of currency for presents, including cash, credit cards, traveler’s checks, and coins. FYI.

 

Once Again, Happy Birth-Month to Me

I’ve taken it upon myself to celebrate the whole month of February as my birth-month. Why not? I was born in the shortest month of the year (even counting the extra leap year day that comes once every four years), so I might as well milk the month for all it’s worth.

I will be 44 on February 28. I’m not ashamed of that. A lot of people didn’t get to see 44 because they died way too young. These days, anything shy of 80 is too young.

I’m thankful for my 44 years. I’m thankful for every day that I wake up and see the sun and feel the wind in my face. I don’t take these things for granted any more.

I hope to celebrate this birthday well. I’d love to have a birthday dinner at Mafiaoza’s, either at the Factory in Franklin (if it’s open by then) or at the original location on 12th Avenue South.

As usual, I accept all major credit cards, checks, cash, and gold doubloons. I love gift certificates, especially to places like Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, McKay’s, Frothy Monkey, McCreary’s Irish Pub, and any other places where they sell music, books, movies, or food. FYI.

I hope to see you during this month of festivities. I hope to have some good face-to-face conversations and catch up with as many of you as possible, especially in places where they serve coffee-based beverages. Which reminds me. I also like gift cards to Starbucks, The Well, and The Edgehill Cafe.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I see now more than ever how truly blessed I am to know the people I know and to have seen and felt the love from all of you, and especially from my Abba Father.

It’s been a very good ride so far.

 

 

I Just Realized

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So I set a new record for myself: most days lived. Granted, all that was required of me to accomplish this feat was not to die in my sleep or fatally trip over something on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night , both which I manage to avoid most every night.

Today’s my birthday. For the record, I accept all forms of payment: cash, checks, major credit cards, etc. I also have a short birthday list for those of you feeling especially generous. And I mean ESPECIALLY generous.

1) One Mac Book Pro laptop (so I can write better blogs and look infinitely cooler whilst doing so)

2) One red Mini Cooper (preferably with the British flag emblem on the roof and/or side-view mirrors)

And now back to reality.

I’ve been cutting out bread and sugar for the most part, but today I allowed myself to indulge in some rolls and some very fine chocolate malt cheesecake. I figure calories don’t count on your birthday or on other major holidays and special occasions.

I took a short break from my Lent sabbatical from social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all those other wonderful time-suckers, to check up on all my birthday greetings. I had a lot. That made me feel special to know so many amazing people who I can call friends and family. And if you’re reading this and you’re one of the ones who posted on my Facebook page wishing me a happy birthday, then I send my thanks to you as well.

So tomorrow, it’s back to no breads, no sugar, and no social media. At least until Easter Sunday (for the social media). I suppose that by then I will have broken my personal record for most days lived yet again, God willing.

A Nice Surprise

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I got a pleasant surprise today. No, it wasn’t my birthday and no, it wasn’t a surprise party, although I do like those. Hint, hint. . .

My iPhone’s been acting up. By that, I mean, I couldn’t get it to charge properly. I took it to the Verizon store where the rep told me I probably would need a new phone. He told me to try the Apple Store first.

Thankfully, I did. The issue, as it turns out, was only some pocket lint that got into the charging port of the phone and kept it from connecting. That was all.

Those are the little blessings that I used to take for granted. Now, I try to look for the good, the little blessings, and the joy around me. I usually find at least something every day.

I do think you get what you look for. If you’re always looking for things to go badly, they most likely will. If you look through eyes of cynicism, you’ll see what you want to see and find enough wrong with the world to keep your unbelief going strong.

I don’t think my optimism makes me any better than anyone else. It’s just less stressful and less tiring than the opposite. Beside, I dare you to read the Bible and not see how the Good ultimately triumphs in the end.

Oh, and a big thank you to Laura, who figured out the whole lint issue. I have to give props when they are truly due.

Life is still good, God is still great, and I am still blessed.

PS As it  turns out, I needed a new charging cord as well. That’s still waaay cheaper than a new phone. Still a win in my book.

It’s 11:15 on a Saturday

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It’s March 1, the day after my birthday. It’s also (wait for it) the first day of March and (wait for it) 20 days away from the first official day of spring.

Winter, it was fun and it was real, but it’s over. It’s time for you and your cold weather to go home. Don’t overstay your welcome.

And yes, it is Saturday, 41 minutes away from being Sunday. I got a few more Facebook birthday well-wishes today, which always makes my day better. Such fun.

Anyway, God is still in control. He’s still got a plan for me and He hasn’t abandoned me or forgotten about me. He still knows the plans He has for me and I can’t wait to see what they will turn out to be.

That last bit was just me reminding myself of a few things. Take whichever of these you need as helpful reminders in the event that you get anxious or discouraged. All of the above are true and all apply to you, too.

That’s all I have for tonight.

I’m Offically As Old As Elvis

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Well, ok. The secret’s out. I’m really not 39 (again). I’m 42, the same age as Elvis was when he passed (no pun intended).

I had a great birthday. It started out with a fantastic lunch at Loveless Cafe with my mother. I even got in a nap (one of the few perks of being unemployed). I even got my taxes done. It was a great day.

It was another day where I chose to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. I chose to be thankful for all that I have instead of lamenting all that I lack. Like a job. Or money.

But I still have my wonderful family. I still have some truly amazing friends (to which I say thank you for all the Facebook birthday well-wishes). I have good health and a good God who always takes care of me.

I have the laziest (and most companionable) cat in the world. She celebrated my birthday the way she celebrates most days– with a marathon nap.

As I’ve mentioned before, a birthday is a way of celebrating survival, of making it through another year. I know I’ve talked about knowing too many people who won’t get to see their 42nd birthday, but it’s true.

Life isn’t something you should ever take for granted. It is a gift. Every day of it is a precious, once-in-a-lifetime gift that will never come again. So live it well.

By the way, I’m still accepting all forms of payment and gifts for said birthday. Just kidding. Sort of.