Yesterday, a car pulled in front of mine with the bumper sticker reading, “Live Life Doing the Things you Love.” Maybe that’s not exactly it, but it got me thinking, I have been loving the life I’m living lately. In fact, here are ten things I loved doing the past ten days. Yes, they are not nearly as hip as my brother’s trip to the South by Southwest Interactive Festival this past week, but aren’t too shabby for this dad who still managed to put in a whole work week and eat dinner with his family almost every night.
Please note, you may say “You’re wife was not involved in any of these things. Not true. If it wasn’t for my supportive (and patient wife), I would not have done any of these things.
10.) Tuesday, March 15th 6:30 PM. The Key to the City. I attended the Gastonia City Council meeting as a representative for the West Gastonia Revitalization Initiative. However, the cool part was witnessing the Hunter Huss basketball team being officially honored as state champions, many who I saw grow up in the Y. Even more special, they presented the Key to the City to my friend Ron Bray, who coached his final game after 45 years in basketball and left as a champion. Yes, they really give out keys to the city.
9.) Sunday and Wednesday, March 13th & 16th, 5:15 pm – ish. Surviving the Open Road. Not once, but twice I hit the open road with some buddies on our new road bikes. Yes, I was scared to death biking inches away from speeding, honking vehicles but I bit my lip, settled my stomach, and completed our trek across Gaston. The near death experience was thrilling, especially watching my friend Jeremy blow out his tire on the shoulder of a state highway (twice).
8.) Thursday, March 17th, 6:45 pm. The Rovers Season Begins. The greatest set of 3 and 4 year olds to ever take the soccer pitch were announced at the coaches meeting Thursday. Five Bethesda Oaks toddlers, four former Rovers, and a few rookies begin practice next Monday to begin their march to soccer glory. This morning, the Gaston YMCA Rovers were announced as a finalist as the Best Sports Team in Gaston County. Vote here early and often.
7.) Thursday, March 17th, 9:15 pm. The Evil Twin. Just after realizing how uneventful my St. Patty’s Day had been, I received this text message “Jose Canseco is right next to me at this bar.” My bike buddies and I begged our wives to leave and minutes later we were drinking green beer with Mr. Canseco. Only later do we find out – it’s not Jose, but HIS TWIN BROTHER OZZIE. Yes, we are disappointed but my week is still not over (see #2).
6.) Tuesday, March 15th, 9:45am. My Future College Bum. Atypical to most every day, my work calendar showsed nothing til 10:30am Tuesday; so I decide to take my time getting in. By 9:45am, my five month old daughter makes her first cry of consciousness. Yes, my sweet baby slept 15 hours straight, making one enjoyable, restful evening for the rest of us. It’s not too uncommon – this girl sleeps at least 12 hours each and every night – but 15 hours was impressive.
5.) Saturday, March 12th, 12:45 pm. Blogging Has its Priveleges. This past weekend, I received my first press credentials to a special event. By selling out to the Beertopia Fest and providing them with numerous blogs and mentions, I received full VIP access to their Fort Mill Beer Festival. In addition, my Godzilla Wit competed in their homebrew challenge, garnering over ten votes (the winner had 205).
4.) Friday, March 18th, 12:40 PM. Bracket Busting. Yesterday afternoon, I received a broken cell phone call mentioning something about free tickets to the NCAA tournament. After some deciphering, I learn that a vendor of ours has two tickets to today’s Tennessee/Michigan and Duke/Hampton first round games that he cannot use. Aftershowing much appreciation, my struggle with who I should take began. How about my brother? Maybe one of my friends? How about a Duke uber-fan? Or a YMCA donor? Maybe sell it on Craigslist? (kidding, Joe). I went with the best bet – I’ll ask my wife. Though she turned me down, I picked the next best person — my son. Though a little more stressful and tiring, these memories were something I will always cherish, from his ride on the light rail to learning how to yell, “Duke sucks!”
3. Thursday, March 10th, noon and 6:30 PM. Mission Possible. March 10th kicked off our YMCA Annual We Build People Scholarship campaign kickoff. I would dread raising money early in my career but it has come to be something I have a true passion for. Over 130 volunteers came to our kickoffs and will be campaigning for the next six weeks, raising funds so our kids in the area can attend summer camp & afterschool, seniors can get the exercise and social interaction they need, and teens can develop life long leadership skills. I’m proud to say that within the first week, our YMCA raised $51,145.06. Our goal this year is $285,000, so I’m sure other blogs will be focused on our efforts.
2.) Saturday, March 19th, 7:35 PM. The Other Evil Twin. The Home Run Derby comes to Gastonia and yours truly was selected to shag balls in the outfield for, you guessed it, Jose Canseco (and his twin brother). With one final pitch remaining, Jose skyrockets a towering drive to deep left field. D’Avria goes to the warning track, loses the ball in the lights, and takes the softball right in the noggin, allowing it to bounce over the fence for the winning homerun.
Ok, this event won’t happen til tomorrow but I think it would make up for hanging out with Ozzie two nights earlier.
1.) Thursday, March 17th 4:55 PM. IT’S FINISHED. On March 5th, 2003, Istarted my task list at work. Whatever I needed to do that day, week, or month, I would add to my phone or computer each night and sync it up in the morning. Some times, the list would exceed 150 items, other times it would get down to less than 30. Never was it all complete – until Thursday. My final three tasks were: Create a Cycling Group Exrercise Calendar for the Entire Association, Complete my Toy Box Leadership Powerpoint Presentation, and Contact our Webmaster About Adding Our Christian Emphasis Work to our Website. After hanging up the phone and crossing off my final to do, I marched over to my HR Director with my blank task list and a notice of my resignation. She ripped the letter in half and handed me a stack of papers to complete.
And my Ten Days began once again . . .