As I sit here re-authoring the posts of 2011, I am feeling the magnitude of there impact. Not just in a past tense, but in a go forward perspective–wanting to be certain that I am providing you meaningful stories to read. Now, 20 days into these update, I am reliving feelings, and I hope not typos, that the experience originally had upon me. Plus, now with the full journey completed, it is possible to look with fresh eyes in realizing how life altering the journey was to myself and I hope to you, my readers. In 2011, I stated, “I remain true to my enthusiasm to 365; however, tonight I admit, I’m ready to have this evening’s entry done. The tired is setting in;” and as I type this entry, my daughter has popped her head into my office, clapping hands, “daddy, come on, dinners ready.”
I’m stepping away for a moment.
Back now, looking at the entry of September 31, 2011 and it’s recount of getting ready for an away project in the island of Hawaii. An eight a.m. flight to catch, with over two weeks of past twelve a.m. writing sessions, the feeling of missing daddy daughter bedtime reading or falling asleep with my wife becoming less and less frequent. But in loving form they supported me, even all the way to the completion of the first year of the project. A movement now with the inception of Sidewalk Ghosts, it is a life commitment that is re-starting as here I am, typing this entry as family life moves forward around me. Dinner finished as I excuse myself to my office desk to recount, better yet compare a day over eight years ago to today; and as I look back, the moment is still as fresh as the breaths I am taking, moreso familiar, in aligning it with the dinner table I have just left.
It was family date night at Menchie’s frozen yogurt. My wife drafted into taking my photo while was literally writing the evenings entry in accounting where I was and what I was feeling. She asked me to smile for her, but I was too focused. Obsessed by an experience that had me falling in love with the world. Grateful for a family that supported the effort, I rolled my upper lip a little, smiled at the camera, and then drifted back to my focused thought.
For three weeks I’d been navigating on five hours of sleep a day. I’d be a liar if I didn’t say it was getting to me. With no shame I said, “although very rewarding, I’m a little tired and ready to focus on my family.”
We were enjoying an evening out. Yet home-life was calling, reaching out as if a person. Beckoning, “come to me, it’s time to relax with your family;” and as it did, I was captivated by the two enthusiastic young men who greeted us into the store.
In what was becoming my standard approach, I showed them the 365 blog on my iPad. They happily bought in. as we all agreed to wait for the store to slow down. It proved to not be a very lucid thought in quest to quickly conduct an interview.
The place was endless business as a seemingly brief shoot idea evolved into a one-hour plus wait. Not all that bad, ended up being sort of a forced family time, all of us a little punch drunk as we accepted our fate in knowing we were in for a long night.
The crowd thinned, and working to keep the entry moving I handed my iPad off to my wife as my two new friends and I took photos. A new experiment popped into my head: To have my wife record the evening from her perspective.
“OK, Richard is taking photos and hands me the iPads–tells me I can write anything I want. Really? Well, OK, two things.
“First, I must say, these two boys working here at Menchie’s tonight are two of the best employees I have seen in a long, long time. Here’s my husband trying to get their portrait, and even though they are into it they never loose focus on their job. Every person who walks throughout the door gets a resounding, “Welcome to Menchie’s!” They are super-attentive and friendly with the customers, and keep a fun attitude. As I write, I hear a customer telling them that they are a lot of fun (I told you.) The minute the crowd dies down they are cleaning the machines and restocking. I see these kids going places in life. Parents, be proud!
“Second, I’m trying to encourage my dear hubby that it might be a nice change to get a full night of sleep by going out in search of his 365 subjects in the MORNING or perhaps during the afternoon. He keeps telling me he will, just as soon as he gets through this week (I’ve been hearing that answer for a few weeks now and here we are at Menchie’s at 10pm. did I mention we have an eight year old?)”
Pictures taken and the night coming to an end, my two new friends Brandon and Aaron were busy cleaning the store in preparation for closing time. So per their request, I followed them as they worked, managing to get them to answer two general questions.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Owning my own restaurant, or at least leading a corporation.”
He already had proven his ability in operating a home-made beef jerky business he created while in high school. He talked of quality control, consistent product and profits. His next step was his degree in business administration.
“To be big in the electronic music industry.” Told me he was into the lifestyle and dug how complex, detailed it was. He went on to tell me it required critical thinking.
I asked him if he is a critical thinker, he replied, “at least I like to think so.”
Curious if they made it. Perhaps I’ll follow up with them to see how they are doing. Readers, stand by.
What would you like to share with my readers?
“Hard work, ethics, and morality pays off; and remember to always have fun.”
“Don’t take life too seriously. Have fun. Enjoy it while you can. Keep what you want to do in the back of your mind. Don’t feel pressure to rush in being independent. You have time before you have to pay bills.”
I looked at the clock; it was 11:25p.m. and getting close to my publishing deadline. I imported my photos and posted the story. Needed to get some sleep, had an early flight to catch.
Readers, if you are returning, so nice to be with you again. If you are new, looking forward to getting to know you.
To all: please comment, like, and forward. Every engagement goes a long way toward connecting us; as together, we grow a movement that betters the way we view and treat one another.