Monday, April 28, 2014
A few weeks ago I had a three hour layover in one of the greatest cities in the country, Nashville, TN. So I spent this time in the World Famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (airport edition). As I sat there, the place was busting at the seams. The singer on stage was playing and singing old country classics. This packed restaurant became a classic country choir and it was amazingly fun. If I had to have a layover, I couldn't have planned it any better. Three hours in Music City USA and I felt the old fires burning deep inside me. Fires that can only be fueled by the atmosphere of Nashville, even if I only made it as far as the airport.
This is what makes this town such a unique place. On every corner you see and hear people, young and old, living out their dream of making it. Keep in mind their idea of “making it” may just be playing music for a living whether they’re heard on the radio or not. Dream chasing just oozes from the veins here. One cannot walk into a bar in the lower Broadway area and not hear music playing. It happens at all hours, different bands and singers switching shifts throughout the day just like the wait staff. From all over the country, each one came to this town just to play music in hopes of being discovered or bumping into someone already on the radio. Nashville, TN the place where people come to chase their dreams. They may drive beat up trucks or arrive on a bus but they come, their dreams are what puts the breath in their lungs, so they come.
People all over America have dreams. They dream of a nice home with the perfect family. They dream of winning the lottery. They dream of their name in lights or on playbills. It isn't any accident the term “American Dream” was coined. We are dreamers. I have them, you have them and those singers in Nashville have them. However, there is more to it than just having dream. It’s what sets you apart from the dreamers to the doers that makes the difference. Actually, it’s the determination to go from dreamer to doer that makes one successful.
Far too many people are content to dream. Dreams help us sleep. Dreams give us something to talk about. But if dreaming is all we do then the streets of Nashville would grow quiet and stages across the country would be empty. It’s the drive, the determination that turns dreams into music. It transforms dreams into reality. It isn't just in the entertainment world, it’s in every realm, where determined dreamers find success, which isn't always fame and fortune, but success nonetheless.
The difference between the Dreamers and the Doers is The Dreamers dream then sleep and the Doers dream then they do. Which one will you be, a slumbering Dreamer or a successful Doer?
Monday, April 21, 2014
Plans today is to go for a long bike ride. It’s my New Year’s resolution from last year. Ride my bicycle at least three days a week, however winter was a rough one and I got out the habit. I felt guilty about it so I sat around until that feeling went away. Today that is all going to change. I haven’t gained all my weight back from being on a bike riding hiatus but I have gained some. When I get started here in a little bit I will be ahead of the curve. By the time summer hits I will not only look better more importantly I will feel better. Here lately too many of contemporaries have passed away due to unhealthy living, that’s not going to be me. I’m planning one being here a bit longer.
Well, that’s how my morning began. When I got up I put on my exercise shorts and tee shirt with all the intentions of the world of going. When I ride, I really ride. 9 miles is minimum for me and its nothing for me to be return a few hours later having rode 18 miles or more. As I was preparing to leave Shadow needed to go out to do whatever it is he needed to do outside which among those activities usually includes chasing lizards. If he gets one, which 9 times out of 10 he does, it will be a little bit before he is ready to come back in. Knowing this, I grabbed my trusty laptop and proceeded to work. Before I knew it, I was in the middle of a project and the juices were flowing. Briefly interrupted to let shadow back in, I was engulfed and had all but forgotten to go for a ride. Distractions number 1 and number 2.
OK, it’s time to re-group and get out there to ride. I have to get in better shape. So here we go, time to ride. Wait, look at that sink. Those girls of mine! I wish they could do their chores without being told. I can’t leave it like that. I can’t stand a dirty kitchen. Many people don’t know this about me but I like to cook. I don’t cook often and it’s usually something I do on the grill or smoker but I want a clean kitchen just in case I take the notion to cook something. So off to straighten the kitchen. Distraction number 3.
Well the kitchen looks better, however it’s time for Rebecca to come in from school so now I just can’t go. She can’t come home with me not here (although she does so about every other day) because if I’m gone she will just text me until I can’t concentrate on my ride. So I might as well give up on my ride today and begin brand new tomorrow. Distraction number 4 and the final one. Distractions 1 and Vic 0.
How many times do we let the distractions of life get in our way of accomplishing what we want? It could be a dream, a chore or in my case, a bike ride (exercise) but those minor distractions mount up to form what seems to be an insurmountable wall and we just give up. It’s those distractions which get in the way of our dreams. Too often our dreams sit up on the shelf because we have allowed the distractions of life to get in the way and our fullest potential is never achieved. It’s a conscience effort to move past those distractions, those items in your way to achieve your success, whatever it may be.
So tomorrow morning I will get up take my daughter to school and begin brand new with a conscience effort of determination to reach my success. I've already started, I put air in the tires of my bike. That’s step one.
Monday, April 14, 2014
It’s April 13, 2014 and I sitting in the World Famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville, TN (Airport edition). In here there’s good music, a packed house and something to eat. Hanging out with complete strangers singing classic songs is a pretty good way to spend a 3 hour layover. I met a cool young country singer trying make a living doing what he loves to do and he’s good at it.
As much as I love town and a part of me is tempted to just stay, I must get back to Orlando. You see, tomorrow is a very special day, it’s my baby girl’s birthday. It isn't one big ones but that doesn't make it any less special. She turns 15 tomorrow and has been counting it down since New Year’s Day I believe. She thinks that is fun and for her I suppose it is. I remember my birthdays back in the day, the anticipation of its arrival, the excitement and the feeling of becoming older, so I get it. But it still doesn't change the fact my baby girl is getting older and it hurt a little.
This little girl growing up was my shadow, wanting to go where I go and do what I did. She wanted to be fishing when I went fishing or just sit next to me on the couch. Now days she is more interested in manicures and boys than worms and fishing (although she will still go when asked – once a redneck girl always a redneck girl). The times where she sits next to me snuggled up on the couch is getting fewer and fewer as the days pass by. She thinks it’s fun to watch Say Yes to the Dress while to me it just means she’s growing up and already dreaming of leaving me to begin a new life. But as a father it’s what I do. I raised her to be strong, independent and bait her own hook when fishing. There’s still a tinge of hurt with each birthday that passes. With this one she gets her permit already in anticipation of the next one.
She spends hours in the bathroom doing make-up, her hair and becoming a young woman. With each birthday the time draws nearer to when she will gain the favor of a young man and leave. Gone will be the little girl who scared me with blood streaming down her face from jumping on her sister’s bed. The one who asked me to lay beside her and tell her bedtime stories. Next on the agenda will be to teach her to drive and she wants to drive my truck, which is such a big girl thing to do. Then before I know will be graduation, college and well other events I am not looking forward to but I will always do the Daddy thing, smile.
On Monday, we will celebrate her birth. We will celebrate her growing up. As for me, I will put on a brave Daddy smile masking the hurt of losing my little girl to this young woman blowing out those candles.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Growing up one of my favorite cartoons were the Peanuts. It didn't matter whether it was the holiday classics shown on the television or the daily strip in the newspaper, I loved them and I still do. There was always a mis-adventure involving Charlie Brown and his band of friends. The first “troubled child” we knew about in America and we all still loved him, perhaps identifying with him on some level. It didn't matter that he was always the losing pitcher on his baseball team or missing that football every single time, we loved him. Even when he had to see the psychiatrist at a nickel per visit, we never stopped rooting for him. Never stopped being in his corner, cheering for him. Hoping this time it would be different for him, but it never really seemed to work out just right.
Could it be the fault of those around him dragging or holding him down? There’s the little sister who is not only more popular but has a major crush on Charlie’s best friend, Linus. Oh Linus. Dragging his security towel everywhere he went, he stood by Charlie Brown ready with advice. What about Lucy, the nickel psychiatrist, who always seemed to belittle him with insults? Peppermint Patty, who liked “Chuck” but was very domineering over him. Of course we can’t forget about his beagle, Snoopy. A very talented dog who also would outshine his owner. The list could go on, the Pigpen, the accomplished pianist, the nerd and more. Not to mention never being able to really understand what any adult had to say. Could any of this be the root of his issues?
We could go on further and discuss his athletic abilities, or rather the lack of athletic abilities. He could never quote Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” and mean it because poor ole Charlie Brown didn't know what it was like to be a winner. He fell for the same football trick every time. Even when he knew better and she promised him it would be different, it never was. He’d run toward his goal, lift his leg to kick it and then Lucy would pull it away at the crucial moment leaving poor ole Charlie Brown on his back wondering to himself, “Why did I fall for that again?!”
Through the years there is one thing I've noticed about him, he never gave up. He never gave up on his friends. He never gave up on his dream of pitching a winning game. He never gave up on kicking that football. Most importantly though, Charlie Brown never gave up on Charlie Brown. With all the hindrances in his life, who would blame him if he, in turn, blamed all those obstacles for his lack of success? But he didn't. He always got up and spent time with the same friends, feed the same dog and tried once more to kick that ball. He suited up every Saturday, believing today could be the day I pitch a winning game. He simply never gave up. His problems are not unlike ours each day and yet he got out of bed each day. With all the rejection in his life, Charlie Brown never gave up.
Today, as you struggle with what to do or if it’s worth the effort to chase your dream, remember that little Peanuts character and NEVER EVER GIVE UP, for today could be the day.