Tag Archives: dailyprompt

I’m Five

When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up?

This question first made me think of an old, funny song by Danny Kaye, aptly titled I’m Five. It’s definitely worth a listen! The whole album is great, but it’s hard to find. My favorite song on the album is probably Don’t Tickle Me.

As for my answer to the daily prompt, I don’t recall thinking much about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t really think much about growing up. Each day had enough uncertainty, I just wanted to be safe. I don’t think children raised in unsafe, uncertain conditions really have the luxury to think very far ahead.

When I was around that age, I wore a plastic fireman’s hat around a lot. My grandparents gave it to me. So maybe I wanted to be a fireman? Or maybe I just saw firemen as rescuers and felt some sense of safety by wearing that hat? Or maybe I attached it to my grandparents, whom I did consider to be safe.

What I really wanted to be when I grew up was, in a word, safe. Or maybe, as Dr. Dan Siegel would say, I just wanted to be safe, seen, soothed and secure. When I was allowed to be with them, my grandparents represented all those things to me. For that, I’ll always be grateful!

mental healing

What’s a secret skill or ability you have or wish you had?

Secret skill? If I were to tell you, then it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?

But seriously, I think this would be an ability more than a skill, but it would be awesome to be able to heal people with a touch. Or maybe with breath, like John Coffey in The Green Mile.

Though, I would want to heal them of the hurt and trauma they’ve experienced so they can live healthier lives free from emotional pain. So much of our physical pain is linked to the emotional/spiritual suffering we’ve experienced!

Healing hurt and trauma is such an individual and internal process, though! Humans have an amazing ability to hide behind carefully crafted exterior façades. I imagine that means I would need to know people first, before I could effectively heal them. So really, I would possess two unique abilities in one.

And yes, I think I would want this skill (set) to be secret, or at least not widely known, because otherwise I would be overwhelmed by people expecting it of me, and I would prefer to share it as I choose. I would want to share it with those entrenched in their pain and shame – the physically and sexually abused, the addicted, those with disorders, people struggling with PTSD and chronic psychosis.

Maybe what I’m really saying is that I’d like to be an especially gifted and effective mental health counselor. I’m grateful for those who have devoted their lives to this area. Social workers, psychologists, therapists, mental health coaches, spiritual advisors, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists. They’re doing a good and greatly needed work!


What do you wish you could do more every day?

I’m pretty distractible. That might be an understatement. Okay, that is an understatement!

Last night, my wife and I went out for pizza, while we were waiting for our order, she was sharing with me about her day. In the middle her sharing some really interesting stuff, which I wanted to hear about, my brain exploded!

Maybe a minute or two later, she stopped talking, and I jumped in to tell her about my super huge, brain exploding epiphany!

Then I realized she didn’t stop talking because she was finished. She stopped talking because she knew I was no longer present!

My body was there, my eyes were even looking her direction. But Elvis had left the building!

She knows me, loves me. I admitted I’d left the conversation, and asked for a do-over. She then repeated what she’d already shared, and I was attentive and remained engaged in the conversation.

I want to remain present more! I want to remain checked in rather than checking out as I often do. Not just when talking with my wife, but with others as well! I care lot about connecting with people, and I know that’s going to be limited as long as I struggle with this issue of focus.

you sound black

What was the best compliment you’ve received?

I don’t have a “best” compliment that comes to mind, but the prompt did bring to mind what might be the the worst “well meaning” compliment someone ever gave me. So I’ll go with that.

“You sound black when you sing”.

To be clear, I’m a fair Anglo Saxon. I can get a halfway decent tan if I really work at it, but I can also burn quite easily. I’m white.

I’ve done a fair amount of cultural study and will not pretend I know what it’s like to be a black man. I’ve never been followed by a police officer without cause, had the police called on me for merely waking into or being near a public facility, been treated unfairly and called racist profanities for simply existing, or a whole host of other things that have happened to my friends and people I love merely because they happen to have more melanin in their skin than me.

There was a time when my foster daughters and I were followed around a grocery store by “security personnel” for no apparent reason. I gave the stink eye to the person following us, and he slunk off. I’ve also yelled at a police officer, after he pulled me over for breaking the law, because I didn’t like the way he was talking to me. In fact, that’s happened twice – in my younger years. No way I would do that now! It is clear to me now that even being able to have the security guard stop following me with nothing but a harsh look, and certainly being able to yell at officers of the law and not escalate the situation or wind up dead is entirely my white privilege.

Back to the “compliment”. I must’ve stared at the guy who said it as though he had two heads. Could be really be so oblivious to his own racist mindset? He stammered and doubled down…said something about having a lot of “soul” in my sound. He also mentioned something about my tattoos being cool. To which I replied:

Stop! Just stop.

Based on his mannerisms and body language (and giving me a big slap on the back), I had reason to believe he intended to be complimentary, but from the words he chose I received zero insight as to what he actually thought about how I sounded, while providing me a bay window-sized view into his way of thinking and categorizing people. I mean, he never said he actually liked my singing, or anything about the timbre of my voice, the way the lyrics moved him, or whether I even stayed on pitch.

This moment did provide me instruction to be considerate when endeavoring to encourage or compliment someone. Specifically, to stay away from social constructs – especially when those constructs have been used for the systematic mistreatment and harm of others.

What about you? Have you encountered a seemingly well-meaning person who was actually demonstrating their bias by their chosen (possibly thoughtless) words? How did you respond?

bike ride

You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, car, or bike?


I once rode part of the way across the country.

Okay… I went on a day’s journey with a group of Ukrainian cyclists who were riding across America. It was part of the World Without Orphans world tour. A friend of mine, who rode a large part of the route with them, made me aware they would be coming through the area where I lived at the time, so I figured out where, and I joined them for a day.

These were not professional cyclists, either. It was one guy with a huge heart, with a ragtag group of young adults, a few people with vehicles, and even a few young kids riding across the US. This group had already ridden all the way across Europe! I was super impressed by their fortitude and enthusiasm!

I was also amazed to learn that the leader had, himself, adopted over 30 kids off the streets where he lived in Ukraine. A couple of those kids were riding with us! The leader told me that the air in most of America is a lot easier to breathe than in other parts of the world. He and his crew had some really arduous days on bike as they traversed the ~3,000 miles across this country. But he said he loved every minute of it, because of the great air quality alone!

That man and his family now have no home. This ridiculous war has orphaned all of them! In his own words, though the world was largely unaware, even years ago they were already living at the edge of a war zone. He said he could step out the back door of his tiny home, walk about 100 yards, and he would be shot at by opposing forces who were camped out basically in his back yard!

He is now very involved in helping people escape the perils of war and doing all he can – with the help of others – to keep his family, friends, and countless others safe. It is a far worse situation than anything he ever encountered on a bike! But I know he is a very resilient and resourceful individual, and he will continue to care for others as long as he’s got the breath to do so!

I just picked up a new-to-me, very gently used road bike and will be getting back out on the roads soon. And, I think it would be awesome to take a cross-country cycling tour. But it would be for a purpose – a cause greater than me, or greater than just seeing the countryside – though I’m sure that would be phenomenal too!

I actually have some photos from that day, so I’ll share a few. They’re probably not the best quality / resolution. But I’ll share anyway. No…I’m not in any of them, if you don’t count the top of my helmet which I didn’t crop from one.

confidence in…?

How would you rate your confidence level?

Confidence in…what? In whom? When? With what sort of circumstances? I feel like this is an incomplete question.

In general, I’m fairly confident..but that comes with a huge asterisk!

I enjoy encouraging others. Even if I’m having a garbage day, I still want to see others succeed and I’m pretty confident they can. And nothing boosts my confidence than helping someone else. But as soon as I think of “self confidence”, I recall passages from scripture warning against pride or arrogance and thinking too highly of oneself. I can also remember the many times I have completely and utterly failed. But my confidence grows in community and connection with others.


What makes you most anxious?


More specifically, being misunderstood by people. The more I care for them, the more anxious I become when we have a misunderstanding. And due to my attachment style, the more I feel the need to prove I’m worthy of their care, attention, and love. I’ve only, within the past year or so, learned I even have anxiety – but now I’m recognizing that it has shaped much of my life up to now!

I’m learning, when it comes to being understood, I can’t just try harder. In fact, I am learning to try softer. At least I think that’s what I’m learning. I haven’t yet read Aundi Kolber’s book by that title yet, but I keep hearing good stuff about it. Maybe it’s time for me to grab a copy….

Okay, I picked up a copy from Kindle! Time for some reading.

lose myself

What activities do you lose yourself in?


With my neurodivergent mind, I have the gift of hyper-focus. If it gets my attention, I’m likely to give it more attention, and for longer than I intended. Additionally, I have some OCD tendencies. I don’t want to make light of actual OCD or people with OCPD. But if something catches my attention – say, something out of place – there are definitely times when I will obsessively focus on that one thing or situation until it has been resolved, but then I may also return to it several times afterwards – just to be sure!

Oh! And music!

If there’s any one thing that captures my attention more than anything, it’s definitely music. I listen to music at all times of the day. I listen to a lot of Christian music, as well as classical, jazz, and blues. I’m a total sap for a good love song or a melancholy lyric about anything. I enjoy finding yet-discovered gems, and my favorite music is the kind with deep-thinking lyrics. If a song grabs my attention and makes me stop to think, I will play it on loop for hours or even days. Though… this is something I can only do for so long when my wife is around. She burns out on a song pretty quick. If I play it more than once, she’s ready for me to move on! So, I usually play songs on loop when by myself or with headphones.

How about you? How do you feel about music? What takes your attention?