Tippy toes: a poem of fatherhood

Tippy toes: a poem of fatherhood

Tippy toes on tippy toes,
Let it come, let it goes.
Make up your mind,
Change your heart. Better,
Resolve in heart, endeavor
Let the mind be flexible,
Let the wisdom that a father knows
Sit still for a while, let it build, grow
Everything does not need to be known
And not everything known needs to be shared
Keep the hearts,
Newborn
Hold them dear. Keep them.
Keep them close.

William Stonewall Monroe

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Newness: sometimes your the pit crew

Suppose there was a day that you could wake up, and all things, new and bright and shiny were working together for good and love in the middle of life’s hurricanes. A chosen above and mist below, horizons and fault lines, verizon and wait your times.

Never never owned by the precious moments that slip by but fully owning them, taking in the breaths and letting them go, one at a time. Not the time you could have predicted, but the time you have, the time you love, with the people you love.

It is in these times that sometimes, life asks you to be the race car driver, and sometimes life asks you to be the pit crew. Embrace your crew or your driver and run this crazy race.

Waiting: In which we attempt to patiently await the arrival of our sweet baby girl

Waiting…

It’s the waiting that is tough. Knowing what is on the other side (well really having no idea), and waiting.

The every minute, looking at the clock, Christmas morning kind of waiting. We’ve been told the gift is coming, we’ve been told the general time frame, our excitement is primed, and now…

We wait…

How did my parents ever expect us to sleep soundly on Christmas morning when we knew what joy came in the morning?

The anticipation of such joy is an extraordinarily generous cruelty.

Waiting for your life changing bundle of joy, and then being told to relax and be patient. How are patience and relaxation possible in the face of the birth of our daughter?

But I suppose it is exactly that anticipation that we were supposed to be cultivating…

The waiting will make the moments we have with our baby girl all the more precious, but that doesn’t make the waiting any less excruciating…

The Birmingham Songwriting Competition

Here’s the link:
http://www.siteline.vendini.com/alys-robinson-stephens-performing-arts-center/asc-commissions-birmingham

If you want to check it out. So I’m going to enter the Birmingham Songwriting competition. I don’t get nervous about a lot of things, but I’m get anxious about this. I’m not entirely certain why, but I’m guessing it has to do with the potential good that can come from it. Right now, what I’m having to remember is this:

The worse that can happen is nothing

If I enter my music in this competition and nothing comes of it, that is all that is happening, nothing. I’m not an ├╝ber competitive person, but…. I want to win.

I’m trying to figure out ways to boost my shot at it, going so far as writing 3 song instead of just one. I have the first one done….

But I’ve kinda stalled on the other two. Life’s been busy, sure, but I think it is more than that. I think I’ve let my anxiety of the unknown take charge of the process, rather than simply enjoying it. So that is going to be my next step:

I’m going to take charge of the creative process and just do it. I’m really happy with my first song that I’ve written, but rather than comparing the quality of these new compositions, I’m going to make them difficult to compare to one another. I’m hoping to catch multiple possible angles on the competition. Not coming up with slight variations, but true alternatives.

I’m trying to come up with songs that could be entered by multiple different contestants, but they will all be just me.

So we shall see. I’m nervous and excited, and I would love to have my music make an impact on the heritage of this city in which my family lives.

William Stonewall Monroe

PS. The idea of “true alternatives” as a method of problem solving is called “Multi-tracking” and is more fully explored in the book Decisive by the Heath brothers. It is a great book on making decisions and if that’s something you are interested in, I recommend the book. Here is my affiliate link for it, but I wouldn’t commend it if I hadn’t found it useful.

Stuck? Try this.

What do you do when you are stuck?

Solve your little problems when you don’t know where to start. Sometimes you just have a hanger stuck in the door…

Last week we had closet doors installed in our bedroom. Now, I’m not too picky, so when mine didn’t open all the way, I thought, “well that is irritating” and pushed that thought away, choosing to see if the new door just needed to be worked, or if it would stick that way forever…

I’m the slow one in the family. I’ll just admit that right now, so when I saw a hanger on the ground under my closet door I at that moment decided to ignore it, like the not fully opening closet door. Last night though, we were cleaning, and I decided to pick that hanger up and put it away. Magically, the door is now fully functional.

*face*~>*palm*

So the lesson learned?

Solve your little problems. Sometimes they are the source of another problem you may not yet know how to tackle.

Will it always work? Probably not, I think some of our dragons are really dragons. But even in those cases, something as simple as doing a Rocky themed air punching montage to “the eye of the tiger” will prepare you for it.

How do you get unstuck??

Take the next steps

20140106-093520.jpg

When I was a sophomore in college, I went home for the holidays and like many sophomores, I was overwhelmed,

Overwhelmed by life.

Overwhelmed by school.

Overwhelmed by my lack of vision for my future.

I said as much to my dad and he told me…

“Really? You don’t know what you want to do with your life? That’s strange, because when I was your age I knew I was going to meet and marry your mom, move across the country and then work for the same company for 20 years. Come on, get it together!”

In his sarcastic way he was letting me know that it’s ok, just worry about the next couple of steps. Nobody can know what they are going to be doing forever. If the end isn’t clear, take the next couple of logical best steps. Later in life, the path will be more evident.

William Stonewall Monroe

Finding your voice when you’ve lost your voice

That is where I’m at this week. A cold has wrecked my literal voice. Yes, it allows me to talk like I’m Johnny Cash or Billy Gibbons, but… I can’t really sing right now. I have to allow time for my vocal chords to heal.

Voice Tunnel 02...
Voice Tunnel 02… by Tasayu Tasnaphun, on Flickr

Which has me thinking, when you can’t directly pursue your voice, when something is blocking you from figuring out how you were meant to express yourself, what do you do?

Whatever is blocked may only be one piece of your voice.. Right now, my literal voice is what is blocked. But that is not the only way I express myself. Writing, playing instruments with my hands, performing acts of service for my wife, these are all ways I can express myself without saying a word.

Don’t give up.. It is really tempting for me to give up all creative endeavor when my voice is lost. I can’t do that though, giving up creativity can lead to other creative blocks when you return to your work.

Take rest where you find it. Yes, I’m not going to give up, but there is a healthy rest of which you can partake. The world won’t fall apart if you don’t figure everything out today. Exercise other parts of your callings, but let some areas rest. I’m not going to try and sing some sweet Soundgarden songs while my voice is in this state. Without rest, I prolong the time when my voice is not ready to be used.

What do you do when you find your creativity blocked in one area?

William Stonewall Monroe