Last Blueberry Muffin

I set the oven to 410 degrees and hit the start button.

Coffee is brewing.

I place the paper cups into the muffin pan.

My wife adds milk and eggs to the muffin mix as I drain the blueberries.

I mix the batter and fold in the blueberries.

As I am scooping the muffin batter into the cups, I am hit with a realization that this is the last blueberry muffins we will make for our oldest son… he moves into his college dorm room on Friday.

OK, I know that this is not really the last batch of muffins my son will eat on a Sunday morning with us. But this is the last Sunday we are together. My son’s life takes a drastic turn on Friday as he starts college. Everything changes. For everyone.

Now, major things won’t change. He will always be my son. I will always be here to read his poetry. He will always have a home to come back to; things like that. The foundation doesn’t change. But I can already start to feel the emptiness in our everyday life with this change.

His laughter at the dinner table. Raising his voice to make a point during a discussion. Playing Madden (I would always be the Vikings and he would be the Broncos). Texting about what to make for lunch. Watching an episode of the West Wing. The difficult aspect of change is the little things…

Next Sunday I will make blueberry muffins… I’m not sure how I will feel about the empty spot left as my son’s next chapter starts…

But I do know that I am proud of the man he has become.

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I cried making blueberry muffins

I woke up with the song “Desperado” by the Eagles in my head this morning.

As I started my coffee, got the oven preheating, I brought up the song on my phone. Tears started falling as I placed the cupcake paper liners into the baking pans for the muffins. Some of you will understand right away my reaction; “Desperado” was a favorite song of the late Gary Monter. It was a song he sang to his boys as they were growing up.

Mr. Monter was my principal at Centura. He was great at his job, but he was also an amazing friend and person. He was 53 when he died, on a Sunday, in May of 2013.

I’m sure you have seen this video clip of Keanu Reeves.

Who loves you? 

Who in your life needs to know you love them?

How can you tell them today?

Because today is the only day you really have to express your love for those that matter the most in your life.

Today.

Right now.

I cried this morning making muffins, and it was good for my soul. The pain reminded me that tomorrow is not guaranteed… but love is… even after we are gone.

Share this post with anyone you think would enjoy it.

 

 

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I am not Special

There are over 9 million men in my age group in America.

I, and about 75 million other people, have high blood pressure.

There are about 33,812 members of the Poetry and Poetry Editors group on Linkedin that I belong to.

There are 72,000 views of  “Crockett’s Theme” on YouTube. I account for a few of those views.

More than 5 percent of the whole world has hazel eyes.

I am not special.

There are about 3,290,000 households in America as big as mine.

Sting and Mahatma Gandhi share my birthday.

I won’t even get into how many people wear Nike shoes. Or are fans of the Vikings. In fact, all of us are more connected than we realize.

But that is for another post, this is about how unspecial I am. And that is OK because I am unique. There is a difference.

My life, just like yours, is mine to live. This post is mine to write. My kids, my family, my friends are woven into my experience. They are part of my unique opportunity at this life. Even the smallest moment, like you reading this, is a unique thread in both of our lives.

If we change our perspective a little; move from thinking we are special to understanding that our life is unique to us, even if many of the components are seen in other people’s experiences, we can embrace the joy and power of living an incredible life.

 

This is your day.

No one can live it like you can.

So, the question is; what are you going to do today?

 

 

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From point A to point B

We are always traveling from point A to point B.

We were born: point A.

We will die: point B.

This is the most important vector we travel. A vector is defined as a quantity that has magnitude and direction. Usually represented with an arrow. Our life is an arrow from point A to point B. It happens one day at a time. Many of us do not know where or when we will arrive at point B.  But I will come back around to this.

Our life is filled with other vectors, other paths from point A to point B. Some of them are defined clearly, like graduating high school or college. Other paths have a point B that is difficult to know. Every relationship we are involved in has an unknown point B. Many times our goals or dreams have an uncertain point B. These vectors are intertwined into our daily life. Time is a constant for us… in a sense, the direction.

But a vector also reveals the magnitude of the movement. The power or effort we use to travel toward point B. Or my favorite definition of magnitude from astronomy; the brightness of a celestial body seen by the naked eye.

Our life is a vector. We were born (point A) and we will die (point B). Time is constant for all of us along this path. True, many of us do not know when we will reach point B, but we are in control of the magnitude of our path.  We are in control of how much effort we put into a goal, into a relationship.

We are in control of how bright we live.

 

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Conclusion to LIFE Series.

It is 11:45 p.m. as I write this. This post will probably go live in a few days. I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking about writing a conclusion to this series.

This series was centered on an idea I had as I sat on the floor waiting for my daughters to finish Cinderella Jr practice. Their performance was last week. Life moves on.

My oldest son is about two months away from starting college. Life moves on.

Earlier this evening my wife and I watched the twelfth Star Trek movie (one more to go). Each summer we try to watch a series of movies or TV shows. Life moves on.

Life happens every day. We choose to walk our path with love or something else. We have family and friends that share time walking with us. That’s L.I.F.E. and no matter how much we don’t want it to, life moves on.

I hope this series got you to think about your life. To consider how important love is to all the aspects of this life. Maybe to reconnect with a friend. To live your best life today, every day. Because life moves on. And you don’t get any of these days back.

 

Till the next post…

 

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E is for

The E in L.I.F.E is for every day.

Some stats:

You will laugh about 17 times today (“Daily occurrence of laughter”).

Your heart will pump about 7200 liters of blood today.

You will listen to 4 and a half hours of music today (“Time With Tunes”).

You will spend 10 hours consuming media (“Americans devote more than 10 hours a day to screen time, and growing”).

You will spend 1440 minutes today of your life.

What did you spend those minutes on? Your goals? Yelling at someone on the drive home? Letting someone know you loved them? Adding shows to your “My List” on Netflix?

Our lives have big moments, some of them positive, others are heartbreaking. But most of our life is how we spend the 1440 minutes we are given each day, and that is important to understand for a few reasons.

The first reason is because we all have a last day. No matter what you believe regarding the afterlife, we all get one life. One path to walk. Each day is an opportunity to show love. To work towards a goal. To strengthening relationships. Or not.

Maybe because I am a few years away from 50, but time has become more valuable to me. Each day is an opportunity to spend time doing wonderful things. Or we can do mundane or negative things. Yes, it is our choice on how we spend our time.

The second reason to understand how we live every day is the connection to the moments in our lives that are drastic. How we live everyday creates a foundation that helps us when the big moments happen in our lives. It doesn’t matter if it is a negative or positive moment, we will respond to those moments based on the way we live every day. We will respond with love or negativity. The foundation we have every day will not ease any pain we may feel, or make the joy from a moment last longer. Our everyday foundation helps us deal with the moment. It directs our next step.

Today is our life. How we live today builds our life. We will have our hearts broken. We will achieve goals. We will laugh. We will cry. Life is what we do now. What we do with the 1440 minutes. We don’t have a great life looking back on our last day… we have a great life today.

Below are a few media recommendations that correlate with this idea.

Books

The Big Sea by Langston Hughes is part of his story as a young poet. His story highlights how we live influences our goals and talents.

Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott reveals why every day matters.

Movies

Dead Poet Society is a complex movie about the tension between traditions and personal freedom.

The Truman Show is a movie about the beauty of everyday life.

Songs

Live Like We’re Dying” by Kris Allen is a good reminder to spend your time on the important stuff.

Five More Minutes” by Scotty McCreery highlights how everyday moments make for a great life.

LIFE is for… (concluding post next).

 

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F is for

The F in L.I.F.E is for family and friends.

I have a dadism I use sometimes when the kids are fighting or a situation is starting to get out of hand. “Family deserves the best from you.” For a number of reasons I feel this is the most important aspect of dealing with family relationships. We should treat our family the best.

The same is true for our friends. The way we love our friends and family dictates the joy and depth of our life. They shelter us during the storms. They give us directions when we have lost our way. They share in our joy of achieving our goals.  They motivate us when we encounter hurdles. Our personal success is never achieved alone.

Our relationships are a manifestation of our choices regarding love. Relationships take work, just as much work as any life goal we have. But that is the reason for love, to build relationships that reveal the beauty of this life. It is hard because each person in our life is unique, which means each relationship has its own set of guidelines. Each relationship then brings a different element of life and love to us. As we build our relationships with family and friends, we expand our understanding of love, of life. That is how we build an incredible life; love our friends and family.

Below are a few media recommendations that correlate with this idea.

Books

The article, “The Lonely Life of George Bell”, has stayed with me since the day I read it in the fall of 2015. It is sad, but so worth reading.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger has a deeper element about the importance of relationships woven through Holden’s observations of the uniqueness of people.

Movies

Over the Hedge is a great movie about the importance of family.

Remember the Titans has the same message about friends.

Songs

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