2 things friends are for

In goes the piano

  • In goes the piano by Elfike, on Flickr
  • Friendship is underestimated.

    We moved this week. I always feel some of the intensity of friendship when I move. People I love and care about help me accomplish things I cannot do myself. I couldn’t move my piano by myself, and truly, if I could, I wouldn’t want to. There is something about working with a group, people that you know love and care about you to that makes life better. Serving and being served and being served by serving. Love and service is part of the soul, in order to be healthy humans, we need to love, we need to serve, we need to feel needed.

    This whole week, my wife, Alicia, has been incredible, working from dawn to dusk, packing boxes and moving the portable pieces of our home to a new address. Throughout, friends from various connections helped with those parts of moving that Alicia and I couldn’t manage. friends help us when we can’t help ourselves

    There is something about doing little things that rather than being an inconvenience is a grace to both parties. Some boxes were moved by friends that we could totally have moved, and even with moving the piano, some of our friends said they felt as if they weren’t much help. On the flip side, when we made them pizza, we knew that each and every one of those adult men could find some dinner, but thing is,friends do things for us that we are perfectly capable of doing. Such kindnesses build friendships.

    I, for my part, have never felt terribly adequate in cultivating deep and lasting friendships, a few resources are proving invaluable to me as I learn.

    1. Alicia, my wife, is a true and deep friend maker.
    2. Books, most notably and recently Friendship by Hugh Black, free on Kindle, is a great treatise on friends and the value thereof, written around 1892, but still many good thoughts.
    3. Quiet, if we are busy all the time, there is no space for friends.

    William Stonewall Monroe

    Presenting with a why

    Two days after I returned home from vacation, I had a half year show and tell presentation at work. It was a bit stressful to hammer it out in that first day. I wasn’t positive I would have everything I needed, but it all ended up coming together nicely. After giving my talk, which went much better than I had expected, I examined my thought process a bit to figure out how the talk succeeded in the midst of the potential obstacles.

    why are we even having this conversation?
    There are more pieces to a successful presentation than having a strong why, but in my engineering work and in my music performance, I keep coming back to it as one of the most important pieces. Michael Hyatt says, “When people lose their why, they lose their way.” With a strong sense of why, you can take every sentence, every image, every talking point, back to that why. If it doesn’t support the why, it isn’t necessary. Without a clear why, confusion can set in.

    What do you find to be the best thing to remember while writing and making a presentation or performance?

    William Stonewall Monroe

    Book Review: Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist

    As a matter of disclaimer, I got a promotional copy of this book to review from booksneeze.com.

    Truth be told, I probably would have read it anyway, given my Aunt, see bubblesandmoney.blogspot.com, had said it was a good read.

    This book will make you hungry. Not just for food. For friends, conversations, dinners, dates (double meaning intended), traveling, and life. Life to the fullest, with mistakes, celebrations, the sullen days and the joyous days. Bread and Wine is a collection of essays, moments really, often revolving around a meal, but many are simple memories. While none directly lead to the next, her words paint a full picture of her life, which often times contains nuggets of wisdom she is working to follow herself.

    The book is honest, funny, and while I may not like to admit it, it made me cry on the bus that brings me home from work. While reading it, I found myself spending a few more thoughtful moments in the grocery aisles, a few more thoughtful moments around the kitchen table, and more than that, slowing down to relax, stretch out and enjoy a bit of life. I believe once my wife works her way through this book, we’ll be cooking through the chapters, laughing about our own adventures and having a dinner party or two.

    I’ve just thrown together some turkey burgers for later today, inspired by one of the chapters. Excited to taste them and continue my and my family’s story.

    Bread and Wine on Amazon

    William Stonewall Monroe

    PS. I was vacationing the past two weeks, and will again be gone next week. Regular blogging shall commence upon my return.

    PPS. I have a couple of shows coming up, so be on the lookout for more info!