It Has Happened…

As of today, I have been a father for 7 days.  

My daughter was born on February 9, 2017. I find myself stuck. Stuck in between trying to shake off this feeling of awe and finding the courage everyday to be what I need to be for my family. As always, I have somewhat come to a conclusion that I choose to share here.

First off, I don’t want to shake this feeling of awe off. No way will I let this go. Every time I look at her I’m consumed ever more by brilliance and a glow that only she can produce. I feel like a child on Christmas morning every time she looks at me. Can’t help but smile.

Secondly, where else am I going to find courage if not in these trying times? I thought to myself, “I wish I could have built the courage and wisdom that I needed for this stage of my life before hand. I wish I could feel capable.” But then someone wise reminded me – no one is ever ready. No amount of preparation or study can give you what you need. My faith lies in that everything I need to guide her correctly is in a book sitting by my bedside right now. A book known to be the “Best Selling Book of all time.”

These new sentiments are really doing a number on me. I have taken the days off of work to be with my wife and New Born and have cherished them so deeply. Aside from the sleep-deprived nights and not knowing what to do half the time, I’m proud of where I am. I do believe that I have a long way to go. But so far that journey is a great one. 

So now I ask for your help!

If you can spare the time, any tips and tricks on Colic, stomach cramps, and sleepless babies will be most appreciated!! Leave a comment as I am willing to try anything in order to understand and help her the best I can.

Cheers gang

When You Don’t Write

When we don’t write, it’s not because we don’t have anything to say. It’s usually because we feel like we don’t have time. This is a dilemma that only “writers” will understand.

When we don’t write, it’s not because we don’t have anything to say.  It’s usually because we feel like we don’t have time.  This is a dilemma that only “writers” will understand.  

When an athlete goes without swinging a baseball bat for long enough, they ache.  Something is missing and they know; soon enough all of those around them start to notice it as well.  It’s this deep desire to express yourself; a wanting to be heard but not a spoiled need for attention. It is a reason that demands an audience to declare a life experience or thought or question or anguish.  That is why as a Writer you feel compelled to write; it is an extension of yourself that you can not easily throw away.  What a shame that so many of us do that very thing.

All we get is 24.  That’s the magic number of hours that we get each day and what you do with those hours is magic.  From the time that you wake, and even through those vivid and colorful dreams, your life is creating memorable moments and life lessons.  Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.  This should be the cadence of our expression – there should be no missed beat.  When we don’t write it is not because life has dulled and grayed, but because we have not published it.  We have kept it to ourselves.  But if we only knew that among the 7 billion plus living individuals on the planet there is a handful that can use your experience from that day.  Only we can not fathom that what happens to us, can save them.

We have identified the elephant in the room – “I don’t have time.”  Now let us brainstorm to find the solution.  That’s the way I like to approach every situation – as an opportunity to seek solution and change.  Those are the key words here.

The first step is to identify that there is a need for a solution.  In other words, we have to face our problem – We feel frustrated because our cadence or rhythm in life leaves us with little time to pursue writing.  Done.  Now we have to embrace the healing serum – change. I understand that change is never easy.  If you ever meet someone that states that change for them, no matter the magnitude, is easy – they are lying to you and to themselves.  I did want to make one thing clear – This thought is not geared toward professionals that are paid to write.  Instead, it has in mind those that write with the grandest of payments in mind – self-actualization.  Maslo’s Hierarchy of Needs has at its mountaintop self-actualization which is ultimately a person’s ability to put other’s needs before their own.  This is what happens when your physiological needs are met.  When you feel safe and that you belong as a person you feel complete.  When your personal perception or self-esteem is healthy you stop looking in the mirror for flaws and start to reach out to others that only see their scars.  So as a writer that is what you are doing.  You are reaching out and I hope that you believe me when I say that someone out there needs you to.

Time management becomes a big part of this but I have come to understand that no professional organizer or life coach can ever make a breakthrough unless passion is rekindled.  Even if it has to be the first thing in your day or if it has to wait until all the lights are out at home, writing should have its place in your day.  If it’s not online – even better.  At least your day is not forgotten and you can go back to it a year later and remember what it taught you.  So do what you will with the minutes in your day and rearrange as you will.  When we don’t write it’s not because we have nothing to write; no material.  It’s because the minute hand and the hour hand made their twice ’round the clock face and we ran out of time.

 

A Big Thank You!

This is not an exaltation of the internet. Far from it because these never cease from being machines.

With today’s post, I simply wanted to extend A Big Thank You!!

This is something that I have seen a lot my favorite bloggers do and I’m starting to understand the reasons why.

I recently hit 70+ followers on Wither or Thrive and this blows me away.  Partially because I have only had this blog for about 2 years but it’s only been in the last 60 days that I have let my “Inner Child” roam free with muses and thoughts.  The other half is because I would have never thought that in such a short time frame I would have the privilege of being surrounded and furthermore supported, by brilliant people and writers from all over the globe.  We have to remember that once upon a time if you didn’t catch a railroad or boat to the other side of the world there was no hoping of connecting.  But now, thankfully while we are at it, the conversation can be had at a click of the button; the exchange of humanity and making a good impression and comradery takes but seconds.

We learn faster today; we see further.  We speak many languages at once; we can see through a different set of eyes like never before.  It’s amazing at was is possible and at what opportunities are just around the corner every day.

This is not an exaltation of the internet.  Far from it because these never cease from being machines.  They speak of AI and what not, but for now all I see is a screen that doesn’t show what you don’t ask it to.  I see a mouse that does not engage what you don’t wish it to.  A keyboard that does not speak on its own but awaits your command.

This is why the exaltation is for you – My Reader.  Thank you because you choose to come here.  Thank you because you decide that Wither and Thrive, if only for a second, should show up on your screen.  Thank you because you decide when a post calls your name and you click it.  Thank you for those times that you feel compelled to leave a comment – Wither and Thrive does not take for granted those precious seconds of your time that you choose to invest here!

From the bottom of our hearts – Thank you and happy writing.  Happy writing because to me, every one of you is more than just a hobbyist.  There are the makings of a great writer and wordsmith in you and you are slowly introducing him/her to the world.  I appreciate the courage, can’t wait for more and love your work!  Every single one of you.

JC

I will always remember Coach Almonds class…

I remember that I was in the Seventh Grade.  I was in Social Studies with my best friend, Jason B.  We had Coach Almond in that class which meant a lot of fun and jokes!  It was a great way to start off your day; we loved first period.

On that day, we were studying for a quiz in groups.  Naturally, this meant that Jason and I were our own group and we were talking and laughing about everything else but the quiz.  

In comes Mr. Marshall, the principle.  “Hey!  Have you heard what’s going on?”

The smile on Coach Almonds face lost its perk.  “No… What’s up?”  

“Does this TV work?” Replied Marshall.  He plugged it into the wall and started to scan for channels.  In a matter of seconds, there it was.  It was the image of two large buildings; somewhere in a big city, and one was on fire.  I could tell there was fire because of all of the smoke emanating from its side.  

“It’s all over the news.  It was an airplane.”  Marshall motioned for Coach Almond to get nearer.  “We are going to go about our day as normal.  When we figure things out, we can answer questions.  Sad part is that when they get home that’s all they are going to hear; about the attacks.”

One girl on the other side of the room started to cry.  She asked what that was and why did it happened. 

Coach Almond looked at all of us and said, “Don’t worry kiddos, everything is fine here at home.  But somewhere real close someone is going to need your prayers.  Those of you and your family.”

Justin spoke up and said, “But what’s going on?  We don’t even know what’s going on.”

Coach Almond turned around and turned off the TV.  “Soon, you will.  The whole world will.  And it will change everything.”

My remembrance of September 11, 2001, is specific.  I was too young and too involved in my own things to appreciate it back then, but I know now that many had to give their lives to save lives.  Men and women that put others first, and gave their all to help.  Those are the people that we respect and that we miss.  We will always be Stumped as to how they got in and who’s fault was it that they were successful at causing us pain.  But now that’s a waste of time.  Instead let us remember those that didn’t hesitate to act, at a seconds notice, when push really turned to shove.

We love you all.  We needed you and you were there.  We need you still but understand the determination you had to save others.  

You can read the names of those that were present here.