Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Current reflections with an old world twist

Some modern reflections with an old world twist...

Long suffers the soul that knows what it wants in a body that is shackled by restraint and slowed by guilty connections to the expectations of society.

Agile is the man who listens to his soul's whispering and steps away from the ease of common sense and security.

Fortune is measured by many metrics, but the most significant is the measure of value created for those who most need it with no hope for return and no promise of glory.

There is little reward at the end of a life lived for oneself and no hope for eternal gratitude, yet for one who lives his life for the benefit of others the reward is enjoyed both now and forever.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Forty List

Forty List

There is a Buddhist quote that reads, “There are only two mistakes along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”  Since I am now 40 years into my journey along this winding road I thought that it would be a good mile marker to list 40 truths that I have found along the way.  They may not be true for you, but that’s fine, you have your own road to travel.
      1.        God is real, whether you like it or not.
2.        I am a terrible electrician, and an even worse plumber.
3.        I am a good painter, canvas, or living rooms.
4.        There is no good reason to ever deny a child a hug.
5.        Sugar is only healthy if you happen to be a hummingbird.
6.        There is more than one way to do just about anything, but there are a lot of wrong ways too.
7.        People are always more important than money.
8.        Small acts, over time can yield BIG results - good or bad.
9.        Jesus is not religion.
10.     Honesty really is the best policy.
11.     You can’t control love; you can only hope to point it in the right direction.
12.     People are generally good when given the opportunity to meet their basic needs.
13.     I am driven to fix things.
14.     I am inclined to break things that don’t work the way they should.
15.     There’s rarely a good enough reason to fight, but when there is there’s rarely a good enough excuse to walk away.
16.     Real butter is better.  Deal with it.
17.     You can’t fake happy.  You can fake confidence.
18.     When someone takes the time to seek you out to talk, you need to listen.
19.     Churches should be about love, not laws.
20.     I hate politics, and am not too fond of most politicians either.
21.     I would probably make a pretty good politician.
22.     I support equality.  We have no right to judge, we have the obligation to love.
23.     People need guardrails, but should drive their own lives, without cruise control.
24.     Love is a right that no government, church or institution should deny.
25.     Love is eternal, life is short.  Always choose love.
26.     Always pack extra clothes.  Always.
27.     Your keys should never cross the plane of the trunk.
28.     If you listen to your heart, you will know.  The truth has nowhere to hide in there.
29.     God does not want religion, He wants a relationship.
30.     Play should be proportional to work; you need both to be satisfied.
31.     My wife is amazing.  My wife is patient.  I love my wife.
32.     We all need to feel appreciated, and part of a team, family or community.
33.     My Momma loves me, and my Daddy is proud of me.
34.     If you want more, you should learn to need less.
35.     You never outgrow the need to have silly, unproductive fun.
36.     There is right and there is wrong, choose right even when others don’t.
37.     Credit unions are a better way to do your banking.
38.     You don’t choose who you are related to, only God knows the right mix of love and crazy.
39.     Being a husband and father changes a man.  Much like rain and sunlight change an acorn into an oak.
40.     Being 40 years old is less about where I have been, and more about where I am going! 

On to the next 40 years!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What's in a name, and why the world feels less funny today...

Death is an inevitable and unavoidable part of life.  There is no way around it.  Still, it hit me like a ton of bricks last evening when I learned of the death of Robin Williams.  How could someone so full of life and laughter be gone?  When I found out that he presumably took his own life, well that was like having a second ton dropped.  For someone who so freely gave the world so much of himself and his unending talent, could we all have missed giving back what this comedic genius needed to feel that this life was worth living?  Did he need more than the affection of his millions of fans worldwide?  

Depression is a dark and merciless thief.  It steals one’s ability to see past the gloom and pain to the good inherent in life itself.  If only Robin could have found a way to step through that dark fog he would have seen a world that loved him, in all of his personas.  From Mork to the Fisher King, from Mrs. Doubtfire to Peter Pan and a hundred characters equally amazing along with them, Robin Williams gave people one of the greatest of all gifts, laughter. His never scripted stream of consciousness standup routines  were unequal to anything done before or since. Never at the expense of others, always generated, seemingly out of magic from his crazy-beautiful mind. 

In an attempt to process this, and I guess to somehow deal with the thought of this loss of laughter in the world, I thought I would try my hand at a “stand up” bit.  Obviously not in front of an audience, but then again…
What's in a name?
Announcer:  Put your hands together for a branch new act, in his first ever stand up performance… Chris Blough 

Thank you, it’s great to be here!  And it is great to be called by my real name.  Usually I'm “Caedon, Brody or Greyson's dad”, which I am totally fine with.  Or when they are all in the same hot water, “Are you these boys’ father?” Or when they break something “Dad!!!”, still it's good to hear your actual name every now and then.   
A lot of thought goes into a name you know; it’s good to know that it gets used now and then.  I remember trying to settle on a name with my wife when we were expecting our oldest son.  We agonized over books and websites and books with lists of websites.  We had a list of girls names and boy names and alternate names and absolutely no's and sort of maybes … it was insanity.  
You throw out any names of elementary school friends right away, because you don't want to start the relationship with your newborn out the gates thinking about the kid who peed in the lunch line.  Then you both have to veto any names of past significant others, for obvious reasons.  Some of you had a harder time with that than others, I know.  So finally we settle on a name.  And it can't just sound cool, when it's your first you have to come up with profound meaning behind it too.   
We named our firstborn son Caedon Christopher Blough.  Caedon is Celtic, means wise warrior.  Christopher wasn't as original, obviously, but means follower of Christ.  So we were thrilled, when we settled on it and then we were absolutely obnoxious about it for the next 12 months. 
 “Oh, what a handsome baby boy” a kindly stranger would say, “Thank you and did you want to know his name, its Caedon Christopher, means wise warrior for Christ”.  “This is my son, Caedon Christopher.  Means wise warrior for Christ”. 
 “Hey want to meet a wise warrior, right here under this blanket!” 
 Finally, I was at the hardware store one Saturday morning with the boy, spending some significant father son time.  When the older wiser gentlemen behind the counter commented, 
 “Oh, good to see you’re getting your boy started out young shopping for tools with dad”   
“Yep, his names Caedon Christopher, means wise warrior for Christ” 
“Really, well the warrior just threw up on his Thomas the tank engine bib there, might want to get that cleaned up before he goes off to battle”... 
ACE really is a helpful hardware place... 
When you have more than one child the pressure is on to come up with additional, equally cool names.  Lots of parents agonize over this.  We were no different, especially once we realized we were having another boy.  I mean you have some pressure here, you know people are always going to put you on the spot, 
 “What are your boys’ names?”  
 “Oh, well this is Caedon Christopher, means wise warrior for Christ.  And yea, the little one, this is Ralph” 
So you have to get creative.  We finally settled on a name for our second son, Broden.  Anyone know what Broden means?   It means brother.  Yep, the creative juices were flowing heavy.  But hey, it fits right? 
 By the time my third son was on the way our brains were mush, but the pressure was still on.  I didn't want to be at the hardware store and have to introduce Caedon, Broden and Ralph.  So I get a call from my wife one evening while she’s at work. 
“Honey, I think I found the perfect name for the baby.” 
  “Oh yea, great!  What?” 
“Greyson”.   Ok, I like the sound of that...Caedon Broden and Greyson, that passes the hardware store test. 
 “So what does it mean?” 
“It means son of the grey haired man.” 
…Long pause… 
“ Yep… that'll do.”