There was one day last week that I had gotten home late and I put a Lean Cuisine in the microwave for my dinner. Dan called me right when I was about to start eating. He was in Florida and had just had dinner along the ocean. As I talked to him, I looked out the window and noticed it was snowing. That wasn’t cool, but, despite that unfortunate scenario, the week did hold some very good things.
Sharon Jones, Superstar – Saturday night we went into Lawrence for dinner and a concert. It was the first time I have been in Liberty Hall right along Mass Street in downtown Lawrence. It is a gem! The opening act, Valerie June, was really wonderful. So much so that J & M made plans to go to Springfield on Monday to see her again. And then there was Sharon Jones. This woman is a few months from finishing her treatment for pancreatic cancer and she has the almost bald head to show it. That woman put on one of the most amazing shows with more energy than I have mustered in several days combined. I can’t even choose what was my favorite, but this performance that I recorded on my phone (note: I am not good at this and I am short) is stellar. “Get Up and Get Out” refers typically to dude troubles. Saturday night she turned it around and it was cancer she was addressing herself to. Woman is amazing.
Seven Habits – There is a group of us at work reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.Each month we do a chapter. Last week it was Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind. Stephen Covey, the book’s author describes how by being in control of our own mission, we can basically be a better person. He describes how when people let other people or things control them, they are in a tenuous position. However, if one is centered on principles, there is always guidance. This book was written more than twenty years ago and it is just timeless in its advice. It is a pleasure to visit this again and try to do more of the things I should have done other times I read it.
Nighthawk article in the New Yorker – I have a habit of not reading The New Yorker intact. Every so often, I go through our piles and I pull out articles I want to read. I then staple those into articles and put them into yet, another pile. They are there to grab. Last week I picked up an article from 2012. Unfortunately, I can’t link to it, but it really was a treat to read. The essay was in the food issue amidst a variety of great food writing. Tony Earley was the writer – someone I knew from a book he read called Jim the Boy. The article describes the writer going to college as a guy who never had to take care of himself. During an evolutionary journey, he learns to cook some basic things and to understand the satisfaction of that. There was one passage that I loved: “Belatedly, I understood that the sustenance contained in food you cook for yourself is almost biological, and that sometimes, what makes a fried-bologna-and-onion sandwich so delicious has nothing to do with the bologna or the onion.” That is the pleasure of cooking.
Family texting – With Dan out of town and Ali on vacation, there was a lot of mobile device communication going on. Every now and then, there would be a text chain that involved the whole family. Our chatter may not always be the most appropriate, but it almost always makes me laugh and appreciative of my luck to be part of this group.
Things that happened at work – I don’t talk about work too much on my blog, but good things do add up and I want to recognize them. Here were a few from this week! Some of my co-workers joined me in a volunteering for a new event that is happening. I walked down the hallway in the hospital, and there was a little guy in a helmet running in circles and chortling as if he was doing the most fun thing in the world. It was joyous to watch. “Good mornings” and “good nights” as people walk by my door or make an effort to pop their head in. Someone bringing good soap in. Being brought into discussions because they want my opinion. Sometimes it is the smallest thing that means the most.
I hope anyone who reads this takes the time to find their own good things! They are out there!