Where Did Time Go

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I can’t help but think about what Thanksgiving has meant to me.

In High School, I never really paid much attention to the actual day; besides the fact that it was a day where I got to spend a lot of time with my family and of course give thanks.  Back then, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend usually marked the beginning of high school Winter sports and for me, that meant only one thing…basketball tryouts! So while adults drooled over the Black Friday sales, I nervously and anxiously anticipated tryouts.

grayscale photography of person holding basketball
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Years passed and as an upperclassman, “tryouts” became second nature.  At this point I didn’t worry too much about making the team; my goal was to not stuff my face with Thanksgiving dinner in preparation to show my coaches how much I improved from the season before. Plus, with all the expected running, the last thing I wanted was to be the guy puking up his Thanksgiving dinner.

In College, it was similar to HS, except “tryouts” were for walk-ons. What Thanksgiving meant to most scholarship athletes was early morning practices and if you weren’t a local, it also meant having Thanksgiving dinner at your coach’s house.  You blink and just like that, you’re boarding a flight for a Holiday Basketball Tournament…say goodbye to Mom’s home cooking.

Once you hit your mid-20s this is where some of the “tradition” starts to kick in.  The festivities are usually kicked off when out of town family arrives (or you’re traveling to the closest relatives) for the Thanksgiving holiday.  You reconnect with Aunts, Uncles, and cousins you haven’t seen in years but you know its just a matter of time before something pops off LOL.  I mean let’s be real. Wouldn’t be a holiday without some kind of family drama.

By mid-week, the elders and seniors are tranquilized with whiskey, wine, and beer; while the young adults are gearing up for the pre-Thanksgiving parties!  There’s nothing like hitting the club the day before Thanksgiving with your cousins and close friends.  Morning convos are fueled by a recap of juvenile debauchery from the night before and trash talk turns to banter as the “old heads” face the young in a family Turkey Bowl.  Adrenaline is pumping, testosterone at its high…but don’t be fooled, you can find some of the toughest Aunties dominating this game.

Once playtime is over, the kitchen is prepped by Big Momma as she passes traditional recipes down to the Moms and Aunties. Meanwhile, the Dads and Uncles share stories of yesteryear with the boys about how they dominated football in their hay day. The day is filled with NFL games, food, laughter, smiles, and most importantly…pie!

pie with strawberries
Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

A couple more years pass and times change. Thanksgiving is still about family, but now you’ve become the adult all the elders are proud of, yet you still need to know your place. Pre-Thanksgiving parties turn into Friendsgiving as you look forward to just catching up and enjoying cocktails with old friends, not to mention having a few days off from work. Before you know it, you’re in your late-30s, your in an endless loop of “safe” things to do and places to go. Traveling plans become the norm, and if you have children, it’s more about them enjoying all of the above; all while trying to remain sane throughout the Black Friday madness.

By this point, everyone has gotten on each other’s nerves and now you’re in a room full of aunts and uncles who need anger management. As you try to avoid being sucked into an adult conversation, you can’t help but think its just a matter of time before we start talking Christmas trees, lights and decorations. Before you know it, you’re counting down the days to Christmas, figuring out budgets for gifts, making more travel plans, and what to do for New Year’s Eve…and just like that you’re wondering to yourself where did time go?

Black Friday

For most people, Black Friday is the holy grail day for shopping, mega sales, promos and every other discount under the sun.  It’s a day that ignites Christmas shopping as deals are so insane that customers look forward to this day every year!  But what you don’t know about this annual event is there are two sides to every story.

For all the excitement, panic and joy that goes on this day for your average customers, retailers plan and strategize with pinpoint precision to execute marketing plans in hopes for BIG sales.

Most people don’t know that the Thanksgiving tradition of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping is one of the most important days in the Retail field. So important that the outcome of total sales for this 3-day window can make or break a company big time! Yes, these 3-days of shopping can easily become dangerous territory if you’re not moving product.

With the advancement of technology, companies rise and fall as they struggle to remain relevant. The intensity of this holiday weekend is felt from all its employees; from the front line, all the way to the top executives; everyone is on edge but with a laser-like focus. There’s a lot of dedication, planning and strategizing that goes into making this crazy weekend a success. So when you in the mist of the crazed rush, be mindful of the hard work of the employees, staff, and companies that make this day such a great tradition.

Mondays

It’s Monday morning, about 65 degrees outside right now but the high for today is supposed to get up to about 87 degrees. This morning waking up to my 5-month-year-old son cuddling in bed with my wife and I is so relaxing and hard to leave. The only thing I could think about this morning was, “Is it time for a day off?”

Just the idea of being able to wake up with no plans and just enjoy the day is my kinda day.  Being able to just go for a long walk or chill on the beach with a nice cold drink sounds like bliss; but I’m easily brought back to reality as I sit down at my desk at the office preparing to eat my breakfast, check emails and log-in to start work.

It sucks as parents that we have to work so much. Sometimes I just wish I could take a few days to be with my family. My next day off isn’t until the Thanksgiving holiday which is about 6 weeks away. Highly doubt I’ll make it till then; already feel a vacation day waiting in the mist.

Funny thing is I originally drafted this post about a month ago, and here I am, Monday morning, wishing I had the day off (again)…

Here I am again, Monday morning, looking back on this and seeing not much has changed in the past month.  The only thing that’s different is it’s about 55º degrees out now with a high for today of 77º, my son is now 6-months old and is crazy by day and insomniac by night. That’s not to be taken literally, but if you’ve ever had the joy of caring for a 6-month old baby I’m sure you can relate.

Once again, I pondered this morning if today would be the day I would call out, but just like most Mondays I rationalized and convinced myself of the work I need to get done and somehow end up at my desk.  Thanksgiving is now a week from Thursday, I’ve yet to take a day off and I’m getting delirious.  I requested some time off the last week of December because pairing it with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays it would allow me to have 10-days with my wife and son at the expense of only taking 4-days off.

Ten days sounded amazing at first (thinking I’d have all the time in the world to relax, have a few drinks, kick back and enjoy the holidays) but what would a vacation be without having some kind of errands to run or events to go to. Within those 10-days, there’s obviously Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year!  Then just 2-days after Christmas my wife’s brother is getting married and after that, there’s a slight chance of having a few days of R&R (uninterrupted I hope).  Then once the weekend hits, my wife and I are toying with the idea of catching a quick flight to the Bay Area for a flyby overnight “date night” to quickly celebrate and ring in the New Year!  I know, sounds crazy but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Although there are only about 3-4 days of actual “downtime”, it should be an eventful fun holiday break.  Yes, I’m calling it a “break” now because what I just described above is not exactly what I would call a vacation but I’m definitely going to make the best of it that’s for sure!  Well, that’s it for my Monday morning rant, just got to take things one day at a time…is it Friday yet?

Catching Up

For some time now I’ve been using the YouVersion Bible App as a means to connect with God on a daily basis. The app offers tons of different reading plans that cater to various topics. I’ve been using this app for a little over two years now and the reading plans that I’ve completed have really helped me in so many different ways.

I try not to overwhelm myself by starting too many reading plans at once, however, I do let my feelings and emotions on any given day steer me towards a particular reading plan that I’ll save to read later. Some of the reading plans I chose are short and some are long. Most provide a daily reading, but the app allows you to shift the dates forward in the event you miss a day or two. I try my best to read the “Verse of the day” on a daily basis in conjunction with the reading plan, but sometimes I get so occupied with life that I tend to forget to read.

The plan I’m reading now is called Right From The Heart 1-Minute Devotions, which is a 230-day reading plan. This is by far the longest reading plan I’ve done since starting to use this app. I’m currently on Day 166 of the reading plan, but until today I was about 25 days behind. Every day I open the app to read the daily verse I remind myself that I need to pick up where I left off on my reading plan, but most of the time I’m at work and I get easily distracted and before I know it, a few more days have passed.

Lately, my 6-month old son has been experiencing what I’d like to believe is “growing pains” and having minor trouble sleeping consistently throughout the night. He mainly just needs comforting for the most part, but it has caused my wife and me to have our fair share of restless nights. Since my wife catered to him last night, tonight is my night. I had a feeling he would have another rough night so I’ve learned to try and rest/nap when we initially put him down to sleep, so in the event, he wakes up in the middle of the night I’m not exhausted. He’s somewhat sound asleep right now and so I figured this would be the perfect time to catch up on my Bible reading plan.

I like to connect with God at least a few minutes a day but lately, I haven’t been doing a good job. Now that I’m all caught up on my reading plan, having that time to read and receive God’s word, always puts me in a better mood and place emotionally and spiritually. Plus, now that I’m done reading, it’s nice to see my baby boy has slept this entire time and appears to be getting some much needed uninterrupted sleep.
Praise the Lord!

Creating Content

Developing content for my website, keeping up with my Twitter timeline, occasionally posting to Instagram, and staying in touch on Facebook all while trying to launch a YouTube channel can be a tall order and too much to manage, right?

Things can seem to get a bit tricky when it comes to creating and posting original content.  I think I have a pretty good system in place right now, as far as where I get inspiration for content, but I definitely have my days where I’m stumped and just don’t know what to type and/or post.

I stare off, gazing, imagining, hoping the words will magically come to me, but they don’t. Sometimes I’m pretty good at moving on; then there are other times when I’ll obsess over an idea.  Then I realize, the more I think the less I type.  I’ll sometimes come up with random design ideas, then become obsessed with how to customize my site.  Before I know it days and months have passed and I’ve got nothing to show for it.

It’s one thing if you follow the news or what’s trending on social media, creating a buzz off of new content is a battle within itself.  But then again, I guess that’s the difference between interesting and mediocre writing.