Monday, June 29, 2015

500 Letters: 250

I stayed up late last night trying to get to the halfway mark. I'd been playing catch-up for most of the month, so I thought I'd finish strong.
I didn't know who I should write the halfway mark letter to. Most of my regulars had gotten a letter in
the past week and I was too tired to try and find someone new.

So I wrote one to myself. 

I know that's slightly cheesy and maybe a cop out (don't need a stamp!), but I figure I need to hear good things every once in a while too. Here's what I wrote.

Dear Nick,
You probably should be in bed right now. It's past 11 and you've got another big week ahead. But I think you wanted to make it to 250. And that's awesome. You've really grabbed this project by the horns. It hasn't been easy. You've thought you've run out of friends, or stamps, or paper. But things tend to just work out. 
I know you like to check in on people and make sure that everything is OK. I think that is one of your best qualities, but remember two things. 
1. Check in on yourself too. It's OK to write to yourself, check in, and slow down every once in a while. You can't save the world if you don't save yourself. 
2. A letter doesn't always do it. A letter doesn't always change things. People forget to return them. People don't always need them. Some don't even want them. Your love and commitment isn't the thing that's going to save everyone.  
It's like that song by Atmosphere you love, "Flicker." ... "One little flicker of light can raise the dark." Sometimes that is all someone needs. Sometimes it lights a path, other times it's rendered moot by something brighter. That's OK.  
Everyone is called to shine their own light. I think you've found that yours is writing. That's a good thing, right? Consider yourself fortunate that you've found that out about yourself. Not everyone does. So when you're feeling shitty or joyful or something, write it down and share it. It's your light. Don't snuff it out yourself.  
It's going to be OK and things will work out.
Now. Here. This.

I'm glad I'll be able to measure this year in terms of letters. I've measured other years in terms of girls I've dated or jobs I've had. Glad 2015 is letters.

Last Letters: 250 to Marshall
Reading: "Yes, Please" by Amy Poehler
Listening: The Mystery Show podcast
Watching: Inside Out

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Nick's Notes: My dad never

My dad never taught me to throw a baseball. We went on bike rides and once ran a mile together to
practice for the dreaded mile test in elementary school gym class. I haven't seen him run since then.
My dad never paid more than 15 dollars a ticket for a professional sports game. I consider spending anything over that price overpaying.
My dad never yelled at me for failing on the sports field, even after I let in eight goals during my first game playing goalie for my high school soccer team. Learning from your mistakes is more important than committing them.
My dad never left a ski race before I finished, even the time I came in dead last. Life requires patience.
My dad never said no to my youthful forays into wrestling and football, even though they weren't really his cup of tea. You just need to let people do their thing, even if you don't agree with it.
My dad has never made it through watching a sports game in the last decade without falling asleep at least once on the couch. "Resting my eyes" has become a regular part of my television viewing.
My dad never pressured me to do well in sports. Working hard and following through with my commitments was more important than success, even if I did have to suffer through being goalie.
My dad was never the high school quarterback. I was never one either, and I'm completely okay with it.
My dad never discussed sporting x's and o's with me. We discuss NPR.
My dad never taught me drills of any sort. He taught me how to kick back and relax with the newspaper on the deck.
My dad never forgot the importance of preparation, which means setting the coffee machine up the night before.
My dad never passed an opportunity to develop a friendship. He's been invited to all of my college friends' weddings.
My dad never lost touch with the friends he's made. He still regularly meets with friends he made in kindergarten.
My dad never threw away his old suits. I wore his baby-blue wedding suit from 1975 to prom.
My dad never lost his sense of adventure. He and mom will be heading on their sixth international trip in the past few years in a few weeks.
My dad will never be the sports dad, the tough dad, the dad who can fix anything, or the stoic-loner dad. He's the adventurous dad who always makes time for coffee, a beer or a phone call. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy Fathers Day, Dad.