Archive for the ‘Reflection’ Category

Breaking a Habit

I used to force myself to write here daily. It was a good practice for awhile, but it’s time to give it up. I did it for over a year and I learned what I needed to learn.

  1. I can do it. It’s not impossible.
  2. I found writing easier when I lowered my barrier to entry and did it regularly.
  3. I feel better after getting something published, or shipped as Seth Godin would put it.
  4. I like the transparency of putting something out regularly.

Read On…

Conference Week

This week I’ll be at a conference in Atlanta. I’m hoping this is interesting and I learn a lot from the class and certification I’m taking. I’ll miss this kids an Jess the most though.

You Came Back for Me

My son was fine at daycare all day. Then my wife went to pick him up and when he saw her, he began crying and said, “you came back for me!” I can’t handle that kind of vulnerability! What was he thinking when she left, that she’d never come back? What does he think is the purpose of leaving them there all day? What do other kids think when they get dropped off?

I remember being left at a camp during the day and my mom being really late to pick me up. It made me sad and upset with her because the camp counselors had to wait with me and treat me differently. Why couldn’t she be on time? With no cell phones, it was impossible to get a status update, I just had to sit and wait.

I think that’s the reason I’m chronically early to things – sometimes uncomfortably early. I arrive to meetings too early with nowhere to wait beforehand and end up inside awkward conversations.

Bad News

Bad news can come from anywhere, at any time. What I’ve learned through the years is that all you can control is yourself, your actions and how you react to things around you. Bad things that happen, as well as good things, may be random or may be caused by your actions, but once they happen, that’s it. There is no need to fret over something you can’t change now.

Your best reaction now is to look for any lesson and chalk up any previous mistakes to what Dave Ramsey calls a “stupid tax”.


I get obsessed with things. I discover a new idea and I get stuck on it, reading about it, watching videos, finding podcasts and talking about it non-stop. Usually it’s a business idea, a health idea or something else that I think might be revolutionary to my life. Sometimes it can be helped along by a surge of caffeine in the morning, but usually it’s a 2-week thing, or less.

I am becoming more aware of them because I can tell I lose enthusiasm about the idea really quickly if I let it sit and sleep on it. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Sometimes the idea feels silly later on or when I talk about it out loud, but other ideas stick with me, beyond the obsession stage and into the “I still need to do this” stage. I guess that is my filter.

16 Years Ago

16 years ago, I was 16. I remember hearing about the World Trade Center attacks in Mrs. Reinstein’s class as we were leaving and then in Mrs. Edgar’s English class, was sat in silence watching the news reports for the entire period. Nobody said a word as we watched the second plane hit.

It feels like it was so recent to me, but it was half my life ago. The world changed so much in that day, but I was so different then. My motivations were making the varsity football team, hitting a 300 lb bench and getting good enough grades to get into Michigan. I didn’t know about the history of terrorist attacks, foreign-policy and the prospect of a war that would rage on until I was 32, and probably beyond.

Read On…

Friday before Gameday

I walked around campus today at lunch to see what the energy was like before the first home game. It was a bit chilly and I went to get a coffee beforehand. There diag was packed with students, visiting parents and the usual random Ann Arbor colorful people. 

The sun was shining through the fading green trees and there was a slight breeze. I saw that the union was having their poster sale which took me back to loving on South quad, when Jordan and I would go to the union to fit out our special room on 6th Bush. 

Driving home on Labor Day

Today, we pack up the car and drive home with the end of summer in mind. Summer doesn’t actually end until Sept 21, but Labor Day is the unofficial end, much like Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning.

To avoid the traffic backups on I-75, we’ll be trying to leave early and watching our Google Maps closely for alternate routes should we need them.

We’ll be back in the fall sometime to winterize the cottage and maybe enjoy some of the fall colors, but we won’t be back en masse until the winter when it’s time to ice skate, snowmobile and play in the snow.


Cool nights

All of the sudden, we have 47 degree evenings here. It feels like fall. Spring and Fall both are amazing times of the year and both evoke this feeling or renewal or nostalgia. I think Spring is renewal and Fall is nostalgia.

Being on campus, the nostalgia is especially thick every year with all of the fall traditions, the smells and the overall atmosphere. The cold temperatures and smells around outside are what bring it out.

When is the last time

Since my daughter turned 1, we were told by our doctor to stop giving her bottles at night (and to phase them out during the day). I was immediately sad about the prospect of no more bottles because that’s an experience that I realized I would no longer get to have.

Tim Urban from Wait but Why details this exact feeling perfectly in his blog post called the Tail End. You need to read it. It completely opened up my eyes to the reality that life is fleeting and you’d better be savoring every last little bit of it, the good and the bad.

I think we get lost in our heads thinking about the drudgery of our lives, imagining some fantastic future where all of the hard stuff is removed and we’re left to a life of leisure. But that just isn’t how this all goes. The amazing stuff of life is everyday, mundane and seems bland in the moment. Feeding your baby, walking your dog, making dinner for your family, changing a diaper, going for a morning run.

This is the stuff lives are made of.