From Aunt Sarah’s To McDonald’s – From Biking To Triking!

Finally, I can share more about the big project I referred to in my last post.  In putting together an iMovie for my Dad’s 90th birthday celebration, I had the great idea of soliciting my cousin, who lives across the country, into create video footage of some of my Dad’s best friends and bike riding companions. And my cousin did an amazing job.  However, that did require quite a bit more effort on my part to get all the pieces together in time. Like me, I believe my cousin is a Myers-Briggs ‘P’ and footage was arriving even past the last minute!

The party was this past weekend and the video was a success.  Actually the entire weekend was fun. I would say the best part for me was getting up early Saturday morning to join my Dad on the McDonald’s breakfast ride. Since I was five (may be younger), I remember my Dad getting us out on our bikes to ride for breakfast, though back then it was Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House. Saturday’s ride was shorter but quite wonderful. It’s awesome that my Dad still rides and has been willing to shift from his racing bike to a fancy trike, allowing him to stay riding.  I also loved getting to meet the others who were all were over seventy and equally committed to riding and building connections through biking and food.  They track the riders, the walkers, the drivers and they make all folks who make it feel welcome.

There is very little I can eat at McDonald’s but everyone else enjoyed senior meals, coffee and tea.  I think I threw most of them a curve when I ordered an Americano. I have never had so many questions asked about a drink.  The bottom line—this was a drip coffee and/or tea crowd.

My father’s life covers much more than bike riding.  I discovered a lot putting the pieces together for the video.  It was a rich journey.  Hopefully he will be able to enjoy the video beyond the party. There was a lot of footage that did not make the movie but I know both my Mom and Dad will enjoy watching. 

We had a great weekend. Between biking for breakfast, throwing a party for seventy or so friends and finally gathering as a family to play games and eat pizza, I left grateful for the Clarke clan and look forward to the century celebration in another decade! Though this time, I will be counting on a call from the President (I have been told he/she calls all centurians) instead of making another movie.

Keep on triking Dad!!!

When Self-Awareness Becomes Self-Excuseness

I have a major project due for completion and I am struggling to get the job done. It’s not like I haven’t known that I suffer from procrastination issues. However, this is one of those times when awareness has not led to new behavior. This project has been looming for months and though I have attempted to pull the necessary pieces together so I could focus and get the job done, I have now waited until the last minute, blogging about this issue instead of doing the job.

So what is that about? I could tell you about my Myers-Briggs type.  On Judging/Perceiving I am a high ‘P’, meaning I like to put things off until the last minute.  Apparently I thrive on the rush of pulling the all-nighter (this might have been true in college but I am much older now and I doubt I would do well at all without sleep). I don’t like closure because I like to leave myself open to all possibilities. Still, there comes a time on a project when choices need to be made.

Even with all this awareness, I am still not moving ahead.  My Myer-Briggs also says I suffer from internal perfectionism, meaning sometimes I won’t do a job because I am too afraid of letting others down, so instead, I just say I can’t do it.  Well this might have been okay months ago when I could have said ‘no’.  But now I am need to overcome any internal concerns about failing and as Nike would say: Just Do It!

As I have mentioned before, I also have some ADHD symptoms and can be easily distracted.

I could probably dive into some other personality assessment or childhood experience that could offer an excuse for this behavior. It is amazing how sometimes self-awareness can simply become self-excuseness.

Enough!  It is time to quit making excuses and get to work.

Though it is quite nice outside—may be I should go for a bike ride!

Just kidding!

Go Butler!

Today Butler will play Michigan State in the NCAA Final Four basketball game.  Butler is a university with an enrollment of less than 4,200 students! I love it when a little school makes it to the Final Four.

I thought I had better write about Butler today because, generally, these magical rides do not make it to the Championship game.  Tomorrow Butler might be out and we won’t hear much about them again for a while. However, that does not mean Butler is a fluke.  Butler has a history that says this is no accident. They have made it to the NCAA tournament six times. That is more than many major universities.

It helps that Butler is in Indiana. Indiana is one of the smartest basketball states. Hoosiers love their basketball and know the game. Plus Butler plays in the gym where the movie Hoosiers was filmed. For those who don’t know the movie, it’s about a small high school basketball team taking on the giants and winning it all. I love that Butler has been soaking up that anything is possible energy every time they walk into the gym.

The other reason I am writing about Butler is because I’ve been reading so much about big college athletic programs. The money that goes into some of these programs is amazing. Too often the programs are not about academics at all, but about advancing the prestige of a school through star players who generally leave early to go to the NBA. I believe the last time North Carolina won a championship, four of their five starters (only one a senior) left to go pro. Something is just not right for me about that.  It’s more about going pro than being part of a team or school. So it’s fun when some little school comes along, proving that power and money doesn’t buy the championship.

Of course even if little Butler wins the NCAA tournament this year, it’s not going to stop the insane way we throw money at college programs and athletes in an attempt to win and gain recognition.  Maybe Butler will remind us that it’s not all about being big or living on the front page. Sometimes the small and unheralded, wins.

I am rooting for Butler!

Overcoming Trash

I have been off-line so long I can not seem to get back on track.  I have gotten a number of post started but not been satisfied with the content so sent them to trash.  I downloaded the latest upgrade to wordpress and discovered that the trash link is now highlighted and easy to use.  Not good for a blogger suffering from blogger’s block and/or some odd form of perfectionism.

I would not generally think of myself as a perfectionist.  However, I have discovered with writing and blogging I suffer from my own internal standards.  I don’t seem to have high standards related to spelling or grammer but I seem to have a content standard that even I can not articulate.  I want my blogs to be personal, cover interesting topics, get people to think about something differently than they usually  do and create connection.  My personal best blogs usually come after an experience I’ve had that touches me emotionally or after reading something that seems so paradoxical that I can help but write.

It’s not like my life has been without interesting experiences.  Yes, bronchitis wasn’t much of a topic for sharing, nor did crashing computers seem worth detailing.  However, there have been some great paradoxical headlines – like anything related to the insane healthcare reform.  Or my favorite was the Census note that gay and lesbian couples who consider themselves husband and wives can check that on the report.  Now isn’t that insane.  Many gay and lesbian couples consider themselves married but ‘husband and wife’ – that just seems wrong on many levels.  Still not enough to warrant a post.

Even now I find myself considering the trash button.  But I am going to stick with it though.  I need to get ‘back on the horse’ so to speak.  Even if this post does not live up to my internal standard for relevance I need to hit the publish button and move beyond this sticking point.

Oddly I received some of my best feedback just before taking this extended break.  Someone out there found my blog and commented on my unique voice in a sea of otherwise repetitive blog material.  Of course instead of just receiving the kind words I have put pressure on myself to live up to the standard with each new post.  Most likely the fan has moved on and will never know what post comes next.

Well I am not going to let my internal critic stop me today.  In moments I will scroll down to hit the publish button and even if that trash button is right there much bolder than publish – I will not be stopped!!