Tag Archives: dailyprompt

softball days

Have you ever broken a bone?

Not officially…

My wife and I played co-ed softball together for a few years. We had a lot of fun and made some good friends during that time. It was also after a really rough patch in our marriage, and while we didn’t always get along off the field, it was great to work together as part of a team.

I can’t say we were that great at it, but we did have a lot of fun.

During those years, a couple of things happened. I played outfield a lot. In fact, I was out in left field, so I didn’t get a lot of defensive action. Probably with good reason. One time, I caught a fly ball, but my glove was not centered and it landed mostly on my thumb, rather than in the soft meshy part of the glove. It hurt a lot, but I kept playing and never really paid it any more attention. My hand ached for several months after. Years later, I noticed that my thumb on my catching hand was no longer straight, like my other one. So, apparently I did break it. I just didn’t realize it at the time.

During another game, someone from the other team hit a ball in my direction. It was a low lob, and took a bounce before I could get to it. Or rather, before it got to me. I was caught off guard, but I stopped the ball – with my chest. Not the way I’d recommend! It hit me pretty hard, not quite squarely, just at my collar bone. This time I knew something wasn’t right – my collar bone felt a little weird. There was a small divet where the ball had hit me. But again, I kept playing! My chest hurt for quite some time after that. And to this day, I can feel a malformation in that collar bone. I don’t think it totally broke through – more like “chipped”. But I still think it counts.

Also, did you know that divet and divot are not synonymous? The spell checker on my phone doesn’t even think divet is a word, but it is!


How do you balance work and home life?

So…right now, there is no “work life” for me.

Honestly, I feel some defensiveness as I write that. A man’s work tends to be significant in his identity. And the question comes up so often – and quickly – even in casual conversation. “What do you do?” seems to come right after “What’s your name?”. And I haven’t found a succinct way to share the story of “what I do” now – because it’s not a title, it is a story.

But more to the question… I don’t know if balance has ever been my goal for work, home, or life. To me, that feels like a never-ending and very frustrating way to exist. Am I spending enough energy/time/resources on the different areas that are important to me? How can I be sure? And let’s face it, at different points, different situations and people just require more than their “fair share”.

So what is the answer?

This is not something I came up with on my own, but the word / concept that I’ve learned to prioritize over balance is harmony. There’s only one question to consider. Even / especially when things aren’t balancing between home and work, is there harmony in my key relationships? And again, there’s no way to do these things perfectly. But to me, harmony seems more attainable than balance.

And now, I’m reminded of an old song by Sara Groves called How Is It Between Us? I can, to this day, hear my young son’s voice singing along to this one when it would come on the radio at home or in the car. He was just 2 years old when it debuted. That makes me smile.

What about you? Is work/home balance a thing? How do you handle it?

me monster

What sacrifices have you made in life?

People who make sacrifices don’t usually want to talk about them, unless they’re rather self-promoting (possibly narcissistic). This makes me think of Brian Regan’s Me Monster skit. And while it’s not about sacrifices, I think it applies.

Okay, change my mind. Are there positive reasons to talk about self sacrifice?

grippy socks

What’s the oldest things you’re wearing today?

As of the moment, I’m only wearing a t-shirt, shorts, underwear (of course), and a pair of grippy socks. None of these items are new. I think the shorts are the newest, followed by the shirt. The underwear are not new, but comfy and in good condition. Then there’s the socks.

My wife bought these socks out of a “dollar bin” at a flea market kind of place. And while I’m not sure when exactly, it had to be 3-4 years ago. I had mentioned wanting some “grippy socks” some time prior to that. Some people call them hospital socks, because they seem to be given to patients on the regular when in the hospital.

Why grippy socks? We’ve had mostly wood floors in our homes over the last decade or so. And I prefer to just walk around barefoot – inside and outside! However sometimes my feet get cold, and I don’t typically like “house shoes” or “slippers” as some people call them. Also, sometimes if my feet are a bit “clammy”, they’ll stick to the floors when I walk and I find that kinda offensive. It’s still nice to have something on my feet in these situations. And I don’t want to wear out my real socks just walking around inside. So…I thought some grippy socks might be nice. And my wife is nice, and she thought of me when she saw them. She even called me to ask if I wanted them. They’re a bit larger than what I would wear with shoes, so she was just checking before spending that much money (hah) on something I might not wear. But I think they’re sized perfectly – a little loose, but not so loose that they slip off.

But here’s the thing…I lost them not long after she got them for me. And they didn’t turn up for quite some time – like years! I went barefoot mostly anyway, and they only cost a dollar to start with, so it was no big deal.

Then we moved to our current location – in this upstairs “garage apartment” situation at my dad’s place. And this floor is a nice solid wood plank type flooring and a lovely deep espresso color with just a bit of dark cherry. It also is perpetually just a bit tacky/clammy under foot. It also picks up footprints like crazy, and that drives me a bit nutzo trying to keep it clean. So while I would prefer to just walk around barefoot, it feels better with something on my feet, and the floor looks nicer too!

Hence, these “old” grippy socks – as pictured!

But I have a question… since it seems different people in different places have differing names for this, what do you call footwear that is meant for only wearing indoors?

yes and yes

Are you a leader or a follower?

What is a leader, if they cannot follow?

I’ve had “leader” titles. Yet I’ve failed to lead. I’ve failed to follow guidelines. I’ve gone “off the rails” to do things my own way. And while it might’ve been flashy, or well intended it wasn’t always great leadership.

Real leadership requires humility and a willingness to submit to (come up under the safe umbrella of) authority. My biggest failures as a leader have come when I have failed to follow. Specifically, I have failed to follow the leadership of my highest authority, or my “higher power”. I know not everyone who follows or comes across this blog has the same world view as me. My higher power is Jesus Christ. I can think of no greater example of his way of leading than what is found in these words, written a long time ago:

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭4‬-‭8‬

I am a leader, whether I want that title or not. People watch, learn from, and follow me. And that is true, I think, of everyone! Sometimes leaders model what not to do more than what to do. But I know this, I lead best when I follow the example of Jesus – walking in humility, serving others ahead of self. Of course, as I recently shared, that means having self awareness and knowing when I’ve got nothing to give.

one small step

What’s one small improvement you can make in your life?

As I sit here this morning, fresh with conflict fatigue, the answer that comes to me is just one simple word, but far from simple.


My wife and I both had difficult days yesterday for different reasons. Toward the end of the night, I got my feelings hurt, but only after I’d already hurt her feelings. It turned into a whole thing, spilled over into our morning, and came to a conclusion via phone as she was driving to work. It was a positive conclusion, but whoa, it took a lot of mental and emotional effort from both of us to arrive there.

One small step that would feel like a giant leap for me would be…how do I even put this in words? Internal attunement. I think that’s it.

You see, my day yesterday was emotionally draining, but pretty sedentary, physically. My wife’s work day didn’t go as she wanted, dragged into the evening, and followed her home. By the time she arrived, she was physically drained, but also low on emotional resources – with things still to do.

Now, I thought I was being pretty attuned towards my wife by keeping my expectations for our time together pretty realistic. She had a lot to do, and I had planned ahead for how I would “be”. I was gonna just go along to get along. I even pitched in to help her get some things done.

What I missed (and this is not a new thing for me) was that while my physical presence was somewhat helpful, she needed my emotional presence even more – which as I shared, was already pretty much spent by that point. So, being kind to myself here, it’s no wonder I whiffed it. But still…I whiffed it!

Empathy and attunement are not attributes addicts are known for possessing. We tend to be overly self-focused and yet not very self-aware. In my case, I can be very connected, even enmeshed with the feelings of others to an unhealthy level, yet it’s difficult for me to access my own feelings. Similarly, I tend to miss my wife’s emotional cues as well. There’s many reasons for that, but a lot of it has to do with brain development – which can be healed. This is a desired growth area for me, and I’ve been working on it.

I involved myself in too many emotional conversations yesterday. In fact, I choose to do this so I can practice empathy and attunement. And I like feeling helpful, wanted. Not bad things – unless this leaves me depleted, unable to recognize my own emotional status, and disconnected from my wife. Noticing, in hindsight, that my emotional energy was already spent, one thing I need to do is step back my emotional output during the day. This requires a higher level of awareness on my part to, as Dr. Curt Thompson coined “pay attention to what I am paying attention to”, and notice when I’m giving more than I’ve got.

So, yeah. Internal attunement – to know how much I have in my own emotional bucket – would be one “small” thing that could bring about a huge leap for my mental health, my marriage health – and beyond!


What do you do to be involved in the community?

Today, I asked a few people “what do you feel?”

Not “how do you feel”, or “how are you doing”.

The change from “how” to “what” is a very different question and opens the possibility for a very different answer. It the response can be emotional, physical, even spiritual!

I asked this of people in the greater community of the world – thanks to the internet and the communities I’m part of within it. I asked it of people in my area – within driving distance – also through online platforms specifically built to provide local support to people who are struggling.

And then I dared to ask it of my own dad, sitting a few feet away. And he answered with a level of seriousness and even vulnerability that was surprising. If you’ve followed my story much, then you know that’s a big deal!

Now, I’ll ask you – those within this blogging community. What are you feeling?


Daily writing prompt
What’s a job you would like to do for just one day?

I think it would be a job with ologist in the title. Why? Because it seems that people who have ologist in their job title get paid a lot, so working just one day in their shoes would generate some serious $$.

Even if I didn’t enjoy the job, if it were just for one day, then I could walk away with a nice sum of cash.

I’m sure there are better paying jobs, and not everyone with ologist in their job title is raking in the dough. But hey, this is my blog – and my first thing that comes to mind answer.


Daily writing prompt
What gives you direction in life?

I tend to take it day-by-day. For instance, I sort-of had a plan for my morning, but then with one short text, that changed entirely. In a real sense, my thought was to sit down and sort out my thoughts, which I often do by blogging here. But then my wife texted to say someone had rear-ended her on the way to work – just about 3 miles from home. Definitely not the direction my wife was expecting for her day! I dropped everything, went to where the accident happened, and waited with her for a police officer to come write up an accident report. She was fine – and the other driver as well. But still, I wanted to be there with her. I also checked on the other driver and took several photos to document the accident. Both vehicles sustained some significant damage, and now we get to go through the whole mess of dealing with another person’s insurance company to try and get our vehicle repaired. But I’m glad both drivers were unharmed!

After the accident report was completed, my wife went on her way to work, in our banged up vehicle. I returned home and called the insurance company of the other driver to begin the claim process, which of course took quite a while. And now, a few hours later, I’m back to sitting down to write.

Did you know most auto accidents happen within 5 miles of home? At least, that’s what I was told one time in a defensive driving course, which I was no doubt taking to keep a traffic ticket from negatively impacting my insurance rates. It’s been probably 20 years or more since I took that class and still I remember that statistic. It’s weird – the things I remember and the things I forget. Like forgetting an entire camping trip ever happened, but remembering some random statistic about auto accidents. And I just did a quick search about that – apparently it still holds up. I saw some articles about it dated as recently as last year.

I definitely digressed there. But that’s also kinda the point. My life’s direction tends to be fairly situational, and I get distracted pretty easily. At the same time, as I look back over my life so far, I’d say there’s a general sense of progress. And I believe there’s a hand guiding my progress – a power greater than me at work in this world. But that progress has been anything but linear! The image above gets passed around a lot in recovery circles, but I think it also very much applies to life and “life’s direction”. We may think we know our direction, and even know what gives us direction. But, quite simply, life happens. And it’s never as straightforward as we think it’ll be.

What helps me manage life, even / especially when it doesn’t go in the direction I want? I’m finding that mindfulness, awareness, perspective, focusing on joy, gratitude, and a good dose of humor really help! For instance, even while waiting at the scene of the accident today, my wife and I were able to laugh together and enjoy each other’s company for a while longer than planned. We don’t always do that well, but today went pretty great, all things considered.