Category Archives: Family

Stop Wasting Your Commute

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau the average commute time in America is 25.5 minutes.  Mine is higher than that coming in at 40 minutes each way.  That’s an hour and twenty minutes of my day spent sitting and accomplishing nothing more than listening to the radio or podcasts and making the occasional phone call.

Tom Corely’s “20 Things The Rich Do Everyday” got me to rethink my commute. As part of the list Corely notes “63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people”.  This simple statement got me thinking about how I could better use my commute.

I haven’t started listening to audiobooks yet but I have used the time to work on another of the habits that Corely shared: “80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this”.

My goal of creating this website and blog was realized after quietly thinking about it while commuting.  Now I spend some of this daily time thinking about blog topics.

So, how can you stop wasting your commute?  Turn off the radio.  I know that might sound shocking coming from a guy who makes his living in the radio industry but seriously, turn off the radio for part of your commute.

We have become a society of content consumers (radio, television, internet, etc.) but are lacking in creating our own content or thoughts.

The first thing I’d suggest you do during your now quiet commute time is pray.  Spend some time talking to God.  Don’t worry about saying the words out loud and looking crazy to the person stopped next to you at the stop light.  God knows what’s on your heart and mind.  Simply collecting your thoughts and lifting them up to God silently is all you need to do.

Another thing to do with your quiet time is to form your own opinions on current events.  We are bombarded with the opinions of other people (talk show hosts & talking heads) on a constant basis.

Many times we take those opinions on as our own without really giving them much thought as to how they relate to our lives and our faith.

My final suggestion would be to use the silence to reflect on your goals and how you can achieve them.

Don’t have any goals?  Now would be a really good time to think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next week, month, and year.

I’m starting to rediscover just how much you can get done if you have a goal in mind. From my own experience I can tell you that spending a little quiet time each day where you can just let your mind wander is very calming.  It’ll take your stress down a notch.

So go ahead.  Try it.  Turn off the radio for part of your commute.  Just remember to turn it back on.  I still have to support my family.

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Christmas Traditions

The most important thing about Christmas is the birth of Jesus.  To me, the second most important things are Christmas traditions.  You probably don’t have to think real hard to come up with a list of Christmas traditions from your childhood… many of which you continue now with your own family.  A few years ago a new Christmas tradition started in our house when my kids received an Elf on the Shelf from their Grandparents.

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Given the pictures I’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter there’s a good chance you have an Elf visiting your house.  At the very least you know someone with their own elf.  Our kids named our elf Fred.  He’s a good elf.  He moves quietly around our house (when I remember to move him) and doesn’t cause much trouble.  My nieces’ elf has been known to raise a little ruckus.  Just this season he’s been caught shaving, tp’ing the Christmas tree, and taking Barbie out for a joyride in her convertible.  About the craziest thing Fred has done is rappel off our ceiling fan to hover over the dining room table.

Up until this year both our daughter’s believed in Fred’s magic.  Sadly, the oldest has caught on but her sister hasn’t.  This may be the last year for her.  Hopefully, we’ll get one more.  But trust me, even when they are both in on Fred’s (and my) little secret I’ll continue to move him around each night.  I’ll probably still be doing it when they’re in college and home on break.  They’ll roll their eyes and say, “Dad, we know you’re the one moving Fred.”  The next year if I didn’t do it they’d surely complain and want to know why Fred was missing or wasn’t moving around.

That’s the thing about some traditions.  You never really realize how much they mean to you until you notice they’re gone.  So, what Christmas traditions do you enjoy?

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Random Thoughts From A Middle School Dance

This weekend I volunteered to be the DJ at Middle School Fundraiser dance for a group that my daughter is a part of.  I’ve DJ’ plenty of dances before but most were wedding receptions for friends.

At none of them did I have to worry about the content of the songs. This weekend was different.  “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, Strokin, and Save A Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” are crowd favorites… just not appropriate for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

The job was even more difficult because I don’t listen to much pop music.  I’m a country music kinda guy and when I’m not listening to that it’s all Christian rock.  With the help of a high schooler and some other parent volunteers I think we did a good job of keeping them dancing and having fun.

Over the course of the 2 hours I think we only let one “questionable” song through and we bailed on it when we caught it.  Now for some random thoughts and observations on the night:

Technology sure has made DJ’ing easier.  I used to have to lug around crates of CD’s and hope they didn’t skip.  This time I used a laptop… and with Google Play Music All Access every song you could ever want was just a mouse click away.

Middle School dances haven’t changed much since I was a kid.  The dance floor was scattered with distinct groups.

“Thriller” and “YMCA” will get everyone dancing no matter what age they are.

Some of the popular songs of today are hard to dance to but when they were the kids didn’t mind.  Instead of dancing they’d sway as a group and sing along.  “Wrecking Ball” would be a good example.

As awkward as I remember dancing with a girl in middle school was it’s just as awkward to watch.  Girls hands on guys shoulders.  Guys hands on girls hips.  A foot of space between the two.  No eye contact or conversation.  Just a robotic sway side-to-side.

Hormones will make a young guy say some funny stuff.  Like the one who came up about 30 minutes before the end of the dance and said, “I was thinking we should end the night with a couple of slow songs”.

Although at times it was frustrating… it was a fun night.  The biggest victory?  My daughter said I didn’t embarrass her.

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