MY ONLY VICE

5 04 2010

I’m a changed man.

Over the years, I’ve indulged in my share of vices. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve let go of them all one by one. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink to excess. I don’t chase women.

There’s just one left…

BASEBALL!

I jones for it in a terrible way. And I have no desire to ever give it up. My ideal vacation is spending the month of March in Arizona and/or Florida watching Spring Training.

I play in an 18-team 5×5 Roto League (that I’m going to win this year by the way). Our Draft was this past Friday and I’ll admit that I’ve been consumed the past week or so. Today was Opening Day and I was glued to the TV watching my Dodgers drop the season opener to the Bucs.

For years I’ve subscribed to the MLB Extra Innings package and I would sit and just jump from game to game, night after night. But not this year. This year I’m on the road to RVP. So I gave up my Extra Innings package. I also gave up the MLB Network. I did so by giving up DirecTV…I switched to DISH Network.

Ugh, I’ve dreaded doing this for a year. I HATE DISH Network. I’ve been a DirecTV customer for 8 years. But I need the customer points, so I switched.  There are seven games scheduled tomorrow. Only one of them (Angels-Twins) will be on TV locally. BLECH.

I suppose the bright side is that there’s nothing to do but make phone calls and work. I’ve promised myself that when I go RVP, I’ll reward myself and go back to DirecTV so I can once again bathe in a pool of my favorite vice in 2011.

Time to go to bed now though





COMMITMENT TO DAILY DISCIPLINES

29 03 2010

I’ve come to realize that I have not done a great job of updating this blog on a regular basis. One of the things that I have come to realize over the past few weeks is that success in any venture is a matter of committing to a few daily disciplines:

  • Adding new names to my contact list
  • Contacting a few people to pique interest with them
  • Seeing the people, showing them the plan
  • Listening to training podcasts and CDs
  • Reading personal development material (books, Success magazine, blogs)
  • Writing this blog

Daily disciplines are all about making new routines. Getting into a groove. I begin each day by reading the Bible for a few minutes and journaling. That has become a routine that I have not missed in weeks. I’m now making a decision to end my days by updating this blog about my day. That’s the only way to truly chronicle my journey to RVP.

Today my youngest daughter had the day off from school (Furlough Day for teachers). It was also the end of her Spring Break. And so I took time to take her (and my oldest daughter) to the movies. I followed up to confirm a meeting for tomorrow and we just had our weekly Remedy team conference call. But other than that? It wasn’t a super-productive day.

I can’t afford to have too many days like today. But every once in awhile? It’s nice to be able to take time out to spend the day goofing off with the people you love. It’s easy to let one day like today, turn into two. Two become three and then before you know it, a week has passed. Weeks can turn into months, months turn into seasons and seasons become years. Before you know it? Decades can escape you. The days fall like dominos.

It takes a conscious decision to  stop the falling dominos. It’s back to work tomorrow.





TEN BEST THINGS OF 2009

31 12 2009

As a new decade is set to descend upon us in a few hours, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the “Ten Best Things” that happened to me in 2009 (in the order that they occurred).

  1. MacWorld Conference in January. This is simply a guilty pleasure. I love the MacWorld Expo and the best thing about it this year was that I won a free registration from Sheridan Jones over at Microsoft (via Twitter). She not only hooked me up with the free registration, she also made sure that I got a personally autographed copy of Guy Kawasaki’s new book “Reality Check,” and hooked me up with a copy Microsoft Office 2008 (BIG ups to you Sher Jones!!!)
  2. My ACN phone call from Rich Secchiaroli. Right around Valentine’s Day I got a phone call from a friend and mentor who I had not heard from in a couple of years. He called to tell me that he had gotten involved with ACN. Soon thereafter? So did I. I’m now full-time in ACN and loving the time freedom that I have back.
  3. Spring Training in Arizona in March. I’m a baseball junkie and I’m not ashamed to admit it. This was the first year that the Dodgers moved into their new facility in Glendale, AZ and my wife and I spent a good part of March in Arizona watching baseball under the sun. Ahhhh THAT’S the life!
  4. Launching my daughter Bekah’s ACN business. If you are confident enough to get your own kids involved in your business, that’s saying something. Bekah was just getting ready to start her final semester at LSU so I was able to take several trips to Baton Rouge (love that Cajun cooking) to get her started and meet so many of her friends.
  5. New Car in July. July was when I was able to leave my job and start working ACN full-time. That month I also bought a Mazda CX-7. It had been a while since I had purchased a car. This is a modest acquisition, but God is good. I’ve never been a big “car” guy, so this will do for now.
  6. Celebrating my daughter Bekah’s 21st birthday in Las Vegas. She had five friends join her there for four days and three nights at the Mandalay Bay resort. It was great to be able to host a celebration like that for her.
  7. Taking my daughter Hannah to her Freshman Orientation at UC Santa Barbara. I spent the first two years of my college career in at UCSB. To be able to escort her to her orientation there was just such a treat. I hadn’t set foot on the campus in over 25 years. I was amazed at how it had changed. But more importantly, it was great to spend the time with my daughter over the weekend. I miss her so much when she is gone now. I treasure every minute that I see her.
  8. Bekah’s Graduation from LSU in December. Her mother (we are divorced) and I spent several days with her in Baton Rouge before and after her graduation ceremony. It was the first time that Bekah’s Mom and I had spent significant time together in the twelve years that have passed since we separated. We even had a two-hour dinner alone together where we were able to trade notes and observations about the kids and life. At one point, Bekah was walking with us in the French Quarter and she exclaimed “I feel like I’m five again.” I just smiled and was glad that for five days in December, her Mom and I were able to be on the same page together in celebration of our daughter’s accomplishment (did I mention that she completed her B.S. in Psychology in just three and a half years?).
  9. Sending my son Aaron to the Urbana ’09 Conference in St. Louis this week. I am so proud of the man that my 19 year-old son is becoming. I always say that I hope that some day my daughters are fortunate enough to meet a man with a heart just like my Aaron. He is involved with the Inter-Varsity Leadership team on campus at Cal State, San Marcos. Earlier this year he asked me if I could help him go to the Urbana Conference (it only happens every three years). I told him if his grades were up to par, I would do so. He did his part and God allowed me to do mine. He is still in St. Louis and is scheduled to return home tomorrow night. In the conversations that I have had with him, it sounds like God has been laying some interesting things on Aaron’s heart. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him.
  10. My repentance. This has been an on-going thing. I wish I could say that it only took a day. But the truth is that there were several events that took place over the course of the year (from January thru December) that have led to me reversing the direction of my life. Without going into the gory details, suffice to say that my head and heart are in the right place. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2010.

So now I ask you. What are the Ten Best Things that happened to you in 2009? New Years Eve is a great time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for.





LIFE GETS IN THE WAY

21 10 2009

I realize that it has been a couple of weeks since I have updated here. Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way.

Last week, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital. She moved in with us when I was six years old and had lived with my parents until just last year. She is now 99.5 years old, so her journey has been a long one. For the longest time, the worst that any doctor could diagnose was arthritis. Dementia has set in over the past few years.

I had not seen her in months. I’ve been selfish. It’s hard for me to even think about seeing this woman in her frail state. When I was old enough to start elementary school, my Mother went back to college to get her degree. At that time, my Grandmother became a surrogate mother to me. She is less like a grandmother and more like a second mother to me.

As my Grandmother lay in the hospital, her doctor advised my Mom (her daughter) to make “arrangements” because the end was near. At that point, I knew that the time had come for me to stop being self-centered and to make the trip to go see her.

As I entered her room, a nurse was feeding her. It broke my heart to see how weak she has become. She is unable to feed herself. Even “drinks” of water must be spoon-fed to her. It took full concentration and a seemingly herculean effort for her to string together a few audible words. I sat by her side and held her hand and fought to hold back the tears.

As I sat and held her hand, I thanked her for all that she had done for me and my kids over the years. All the love, all the prayers, all the hope, all the joy. Everything that I know about faith and the importance of it in life, I have learned at the feet of my Grandmother and my Mom: two of the greatest women of faith that this Earth has ever known.

As I left, I said “goodbye.” I wasn’t sure if she would be there the next day or the day after that. As of this writing, she is still hanging in there. I’m glad that I finally went to see her. But it threw me for a loop. Even though she has lived these 99 years, and I know that she will be going to a better place where there will be no more pain and suffering? It’s still difficult to close a chapter that has been open all of my life.

It’s thrown me for a loop. I’ve been battling the last few days to get my head back in the game. But making money depends on it. I have to get back in the game…





DADDY DAY OFF

9 09 2009

Tomorrow is my middle daughter’s 18th birthday. Birthdays are big things with me. Unfortunately the ACN International Training begins the next day in Detroit. That means that tomorrow is a travel day and I won’t be in town for my daughter’s birthday.

So I took a “Daddy Day Off.” it doesn’t matter that she’s turning 18 and will now be a full-fledged adult. I’ll always be daddy to my three girls.

We went to lunch and then went to see “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (side note: when she was a little girl, my daughter used to always ask if we could go to the Fee-u-ters). I’m secure enough in my own manhood to admit to enjoying the occasional “chick flick.”

For dinner it was chicken wings (the girl is a chip off the old block I tell ya) and banana cream pudding with Nilla Wafers (we never have been a traditional “cake” kind of family).

Next week she leaves for college. Today was important. We always need to remember our priorities. She and her four siblings are the reason I’m in ACN. But today my time was all hers.

I love you Hannah.