Crank up the music.

I’m a little behind on This Is Us. Just now nearing the end of season one. Watched the ‘Memphis’ episode last night. I’ve been thinking about William’s words to Randall: “Roll all the windows down. Crank up the music.”

At this busy time of year when teachers are tired from report cards, and the hecticness of the holidays awaits us, his words hit home. Yes, responsibility calls. There are things we must do whether we want to or not. But I am trying to remember not to live “a life of almosts and could haves.”

Amidst my responsibilities and must-do’s, I’m going to take the time to roll down those windows and crank up the music. Today and every day.

Excuse my rant …

I am surprised and appalled when I see people throwing away what they deem to be ‘old’ books. I don’t mean falling apart old. I simply mean ‘old.’ Books like Moby Dick (published in 1851); Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960); Charlotte’s Web (1952).

Now really. Does it matter what year Island of the Blue Dolphins was written since it takes place in the mid 1800s? And isn’t the theme of a quest for knowledge, as in Moby Dick, still applicable today?

What about dear ol’ Shakespeare? Charles Dickens? Jane Austen? Oscar Wilde? Virginia Woolf? James Joyce? Walt Whitman? William Faulkner? George Orwell? Mark Twain? (Just to name a few!) Should we just stop reading their work because of the date of publication?

The thought appalls me. Good writing is good writing. No matter its age.

(There … I feel better.)


The Sports Celly

Come on now. I love watching sports. And yet as I watch the cellies (yes, it’s in the urban dictionary) after a goal or touchdown, sometimes I wonder.

Players have their individual reactions. Some spontaneous; others seemingly rehearsed. Some momentary; others prolonged. Some humble and subdued; others exuberant and elaborate.

I understand the urge to celebrate. But, really.

I smile as I imagine this phenomenon in a school setting: the principal breaking out in a dance after a discipline-free day… teachers leapfrogging each other in the hallway after each report card they write… students coordinating their dance moves after a correct answer is given… the secretary backflipping in the office when her books balance.

Somehow seems a little absurd. But, try it… who knows the reaction you’ll get!


In talking to friends recently, I was reminded that each of us encounter challenges in life: some frustrating, some traumatic, some devastatingly sad, and some testing all of our patience. Regardless of what it is we are forced to face, it sometimes takes courage just to put one foot in front of the other.

I am inspired by the courage of those around me. Those who find the positive even in the most difficult situations. Those whose challenges go on day after day after day. Those who have recognized a problem in their lives and made deliberate decisions to make a better life for themselves. Those who show such care and concern for others despite their own circumstances. And perhaps most of all, those kids who have faced more in their young lives than anyone should ever have to face: neglect, abuse, trauma.

Courage is often associated with firefighters, police officers and others in high-risk situations. There is no denying that these individuals display remarkable courage. But, courage is all around us. In the words of Mary Anne Radmacher, “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”