10 Thoughts

With so much on my mind and with the Thursday Rundown still a couple days away, tonight is the perfect time for 10 quick thoughts.

1. Remember how I told you that Sid and I play “Jeopardy” each night and keep a running tally of who has won each game? It is close! At the current moment, I lead 49-45-9 (yes, we have battled to nine ties!).

2. The average price for a Super Bowl ticket on sites such as Stubhub is almost $8,000. Unless I had a family member playing, I would never consider paying even $800 for a ticket to a sporting event.

3. We need to demand better from the mainstream media. The bogus story about President Trump telling Michael Cohen to lie was one thing, but the dishonest coverage of the confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial over the weekend was wrong – we can’t use our youth as pawns to promote a false narrative.

4. The 2019 Celebrity Big Brother cast is stacked and our household looks forward to watching the competition play out. Go Tom Green!

5. In the Northern Hemisphere, they say the third Monday in January (yesterday) is the most depressing day of the year. Although this time of the year is tough for some, I think it is important that we don’t let it get to our heads. I hope you had a great day yesterday and that you try extra hard to make it a productive and happy week.

6. A year ago on this date, Monday Night Raw celebrated its 25th anniversary. Did you know I used to be a HUGE professional wrestling fan?

7. Today is National Blonde Brownie Day and I love nothing more than a homemade, warm blonde brownie. When I was a resident assistant in college, I would order blonde brownies for our floor snacks as many times as possible.

8. One of the recent pieces of advice from my Life’s Little Instructions calendar was Be as polite to the custodian as you are to the chairman of the board. I couldn’t agree more.

9. It is my wife’s birthday week – she was born on January 28.

10. Speaking of my wife, she came home tonight with a beautiful haircut AND made us steaks for dinner!

Doesn’t her hair look great?! (Just for clarification sake, I am talking about Sid’s hair).

Don’t Blink.

Our Weekend of Netflix

This Martin Luther King Jr. weekend definitely had its moments. We celebrated my father-in-law’s birthday at a favorite restaurant, enjoyed a Sunday afternoon spaghetti lunch at my sister-in-law’s house, and attended a Knights of Columbus roast beef dinner at church. But there was something we did more this weekend than eat – we watched Netflix!

The long weekend and bitter cold temperatures (it dipped into the 20s) proved conducive to sitting on the couch and binge watching a variety of shows. Lucky for us, the mixed bag of entertainment we watched was great across the board. In my latest blog post, I wanted to list and recommend the five pieces of programming we watched this weekend.

“You” – Be prepared for a crazy ride because the cunningness and manipulation of “You” will blow your mind. Although we started this series a little over a week ago, we finished it up at the start of the weekend. The show tells the story of a psychopath who stalks a love interest with modern digital means, seemingly always one step ahead of those who suspect something. But throughout the series, you are always asking yourself, is Joe the only sick individual? In fact, this question had Sid and I in a heated debate as we drove home from dinner on Friday night. Although I hated how the first (and only) season ended, I would recommend it to other people my age and younger.

The series “You” will take you for a ride!

“Fyre” – Over the course of the same week, both Hulu and Netflix released documentaries about the failed Fyre Music Festival in 2017. Because we only have Netflix, we watched that version, but I heard the Hulu offering is excellent as well. The Fyre Music Festival was supposed to be a first-of-its-kind luxurious musical entertainment event on an exotic, beautiful private island. Top talent was supposed to converge on the tropical paradise and festival-goers were promised a weekend they would never forget. Well, in retrospect, the people who attended the festival were indeed given a weekend they would never forget…just for all the wrong reasons. This documentary filled our Saturday morning as we watched intently about what happens when fraud, bad luck, and poor planning surround a major event.

In the mood for a good scam? Watch “Fyre”.

“Riverdale” – I know this series is on cable television, but Sidney got me watching it from the first episode of the first season and I am somewhat hooked! I usually don’t watch dramas that take place in a high school setting but this one has my attention. It reminds me of “13 Reasons Why” (another high school drama I made an exception for) but with a better cast. We got a long way to go to get caught up with the series but for the time being I am enjoying watching the crazy events unfold in Riverdale.

I am starting to get hooked on “Riverdale.”

“Abducted in Plain Sight” – Talk about a documentary that will have you shaking your head saying how could this happen? “Abducted in Plain Sight” is a 90-minute documentary that tells the story of a 12-year-old girl who was abducted by an obsessed family friend…twice. The film explains how the neighbor was able to manipulate and blackmail the parents of the girl,allowing him to execute and get away with such heinous acts. How did he blackmail the parents, you ask? Go ahead, just watch the documentary.

“Abducted in Plain Sight” is a story you won’t believe.

“The Upside” – Okay, this is not a Netflix selection, but I thought I would still share it. Last night, for the first time in a very long time, Sid and I were able to go out by ourselves for a couple hours. We went to the theater and watched “The Upside,” a film about a parolee in desperate need of work. He ends up landing a well-paying job taking care of an extremely rich man who is confined to a wheelchair. The two individuals are polar opposites but they manage to click and help each other out. In my opinion, it is Kevin Hart’s best performance of his career (he plays the parolee) and the story will make you walk out of the theater with a smile on your face. It lacks true adversity needed to be a great film, but it sure was nice to get out of the house and enjoy a movie.

Kevin Hart gives a great performance in “The Upside.”


——————-

Well, I guess we need to get back to watching “Riverdale.” If there is anything else we should be watching on Netflix, please let us know! Don’t Blink.

Candy Land Thursday Rundown

I hope this Thursday evening finds you well. Your favorite blogger is making it through the January grind and loving life. Let’s get started with the third Thursday Rundown of 2019…

Candy Land – This past Saturday, we attended the birthday party of Sloan’s friend, Stevie Blair, who turned 2. Sloan’s eyes lit up when she walked into the party venue and it was a Candy Land theme! Everything from the cake to the photo booth to the gingerbread cutouts fit just like it came out of the game. Even cotton candy was served! But the best part, in my opinion, was the candy table. You could make your own party favor bag by filling it with an assortment of candy. The candy table was also Sloan’s favorite part (besides hanging out with Stevie Blair) but for a more specific reason – it was sucker heaven! She could choose from rock suckers, classic lollipops, or Dums Dums, the latter being presented in sucker bouquets. Thanks to Leslie and Brooks for hosting a great party!

We had a great time at Stevie Blair’s Candy Land-themed birthday party.

General Sloan Update – Her hair continues to grow and she seems to get a little taller by the day, but Sloan still has that unique and sassy personality. She likes to be in control, whether that be over her parents or her friends, but she also is very nurturing as well. No other baby cuts up the dance floor quite like her and she continues to impress us with her talking. She currently enjoys playing with her kitchen set and coloring books. Eating is hit or miss but she never misses an opportunity to feed her Elmo doll Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks. Highlight of the day is still when we pick her up at daycare and she sprints to us and jumps in our arms.

We sure enjoy watching Sloan grow.

Forgetting God – I read an article today that addressed a subject I had never thought about before. The story helped raise awareness of people suffering from dementia who “forget” about God. Although one’s faith and remembrance in the Holy Father is usually the last to go, and sometimes it never does, it can be very painful for family members to watch their loved ones forget about what they based their lives on. One example in the story told about a dementia sufferer who completely denied being a Christian despite being one her entire life.

Bizarre Visit – I went down a rabbit hole on Twitter and ended up going to a web page titled 25 Historical Photos From the Past That Will Probably Give you Nightmares. I have seen crazier stuff before, but below is the photo that stood out to me the most. Apparently Santa Claus and two creepily masked individuals decided to spread some “get well” cheer at the local hospital. I am skeptical of people who claim to have clown phobias, but if you were the kid in this photo I can understand your fear being completely legitimate.

What a fright this must have been for the poor patient!

Archives – I am no stranger when it comes to writing blog posts on January 17. A year ago on this date, I revealed the 10 fears of Sloan (some she still has, some she doesn’t). Two years ago, I reviewed my experience at a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop. Even though the product was good, I have not been back since that first time. Finally, on January 17, 2016, I wrote about cheering for my favorite NFL team in the living room of my wife’s family. What’s the big deal you ask? They were rooting for the team the Seahawks were playing!

It was a big thrill for me when the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII.

—————-

Please have a nice Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and if you have an NFL team still in the playoffs, I wish you luck. Time to call it a night…I will catch up with all of you next week. Don’t Blink.

We Are Lucky

It happened no less than a thousand times during my childhood.

I would be with my dad at the grocery store, a football game, mall, or some other big public place when something would catch the corner of my eye. It might have been a boy my age confined to a wheelchair or a young adult with no arms or a teenager covered in burns. Once the person was comfortably out of earshot, my dad, every single time, would lean in and whisper we sure are lucky.

It became predictable. Whenever I saw someone with a genetic disease or severe handicap, I knew my dad would be in my ear. At the time, I didn’t really comprehend what my dad was trying to say. I felt bad for the person and perhaps a little uncomfortable too, but I didn’t think much beyond that.

Growing older and having a child will make you wiser. As an adult, I have a better grasp on what my dad was trying to convey. As a kid, you don’t realize how devastating any type of physical setback, especially the ones that greatly limit and scar the body, can have on a person. But as the years go by and the realities of this world start to set in, you realize that being able to live a life with no major physical limitations or scars is perhaps one of the best gifts of all; a gift that not everyone is given.

I have lived my life with no limitations. As a kid I was able to play sports, ride my bike, and run around at the park. As an adult I can exercise when I want, play with my daughter at full blast, and perform everyday tasks without assistance.

But I lucked out much more than just on a personal level. Sidney and Sloan are healthy too. We live unobstructed lives when millions of people don’t. How do we recognize this good fortune? Well, thanking God is the best way. But I think we need to take time each day to think about those who are living with awful diseases and genetic conditions. We need to feel empathy and we need to help them when we can. Even though I would physically see people less fortunate than me growing up, my dad tried to make me grasp it on a deeper level. With him no longer right over my shoulder, I am left to do that deeper level thinking on my own. Perhaps I can encourage my daughter to do the same as she gets older. Sloan, we sure are lucky. Don’t Blink.

Poison: The Drinks I Hate

Last week, I wrote about my favorite beverages. Tonight, I have decided to switch gears and talk about the beverages I don’t like. Settle down, I am writing about drinks I hate that many other people enjoy. That means no-brainers like pickle juice and toilet water won’t be on the list. Let’s get this over with…

Coffee – I believe I have stated this fact in the past, but I have never downed an entire cup of coffee in my life. Despite growing up in a java hotbed (Washington state) and having two parents who drank coffee as if it came from the fountain of youth, I never took a liking to it. Even as I grew older and learned about its ability to help people stay awake, I never budged. When my wife orders her signature white chocolate mochas, every now and then I will take a sip, but that is the extent of my coffee drinking.

Sweet Tea – The drink of the South is sweet tea and that is probably the only thing that I haven’t embraced about this region (well, I guess you can lump collared greens in there too). Perhaps sweet tea never stood much of a chance with me because I never enjoyed regular tea nor sweet tea’s western cousin, iced tea. The only time I drink sweet tea is when I mistake it for Pepsi. Oh yeah, the cup of sugar that comes with each sip is just a bit overwhelming for my taste buds.

Hard Alcohol – No thank you, I stay away from this stuff. It just isn’t the high alcohol content that I am weary of, either. I can’t stand the actual taste. I don’t need a Jack and Coke, I just need a Coke. Why poison something so good with something that tastes so bad? I don’t trust liquor and waking up with a painful hangover and fuzzy moments from the night before just doesn’t appeal to me. I do have to be honest; if there is a hard alcohol that I will tolerate every now and then, it is vodka. Other than that, I just assume pour it down the drain.

Wine – After a long week, I never yearn to plop on the couch, drape myself in a blanket, turn on “Friends,” and drink wine. Not that I have anything against a warm blanket or the classic sitcom, I just don’t like wine. I know people can describe the taste of any given wine with flowery language and numerous words, but I can describe my opinion of all wines with just one word: nasty. Sorry, not sorry. I find wine too complicated for a simple dude like myself. When it comes to it, I don’t care for the taste nor the way it feels going down my throat. I like my drinks to be refreshing and wine is definitely not a beverage you drink to satisfy your thirst. Thank you, next.

The only wine I drink is Cheerwine.

Apple Cider – For someone who loves apple juice, I sure detest apple cider. And, to be honest, I don’t think it is that big of a contradiction. Apple juice is pure and easy to drink (dang, does that sound like a beer commercial?). On the other hand, apple cider is spicy and borderline dangerous to drink. When I consume something, I don’t need pinches of kitchen cabinet ingredients. Apple cider is just too fancy for me – I don’t need cinnamon, nutmeg, or anything else to take away from the fresh apple taste. Even more discouraging is the temperature that cider is served at. Every time I have had it, my tongue ends up scorched, no matter how small the straw is and no matter how long I wait to take a drink. Apple cider is just no fun.

—————–

That’s what you get for tonight’s post. Could you imagine if you mixed all of these in a Gatorade bottle and made me chug it? I don’t think I could ever forgive you. Don’t Blink.

The Lost Art of Handwriting

A struggle I had as a young kid was writing legibly. My handwriting was downright sloppy. Although you might think proper technique can be taught, my teachers, bless their hearts, couldn’t solve my issue. At the point of frustration of not being able to get through to me, my 3rd grade teacher wanted to see if someone else could – she called my dad.

Throughout most of that school year, I spent lots of late nights (meaning until around 8 p.m.) practicing my penmanship with my dad. My teacher sent home worksheets and my dad would go through them with me every evening before I went to bed. I remember those thin pages of the workbook so vividly with the guiding lines and uninspired illustrations. I basically had to copy sentences and it sure got old. My patience would wane and sometimes I would purposely mess up, much to my dad’s chagrin.

But we got through it and made progress. My dad is a self-taught calligrapher with a very elegant writing style and if he couldn’t pass his talent on genetically, he was going to do it through dedicated father-son instruction on the kitchen table. Although my handwriting still wasn’t good at the end of our sessions, it definitely improved.

I still struggled with my penmanship throughout the latter grades of elementary school. However, once middle school started, I made some strides. I started to keep a journal and my handwriting became more important to me. Each night when I opened it up, I took my time making sure that my writing was clear and that it fit neatly within the narrow lines. My penmanship changed from large and messy to small and neat(ish).

Almost 20 years since middle school, I still journal. I feel like this activity has helped keep my handwriting legible. My wife admits that I have pretty handwriting…for a guy. The other day though, I was thinking, so what?!

We live in a digital world that has dramatically devalued the need to physically write with one’s hand. Letters are sent through email, forms are filled out on Adobe Acrobat, and signatures are expressed through facial recognition software. Who the hell needs a pen anymore?

I find it a little ironic. A lot of people make a big deal about the decline of cursive. They hate that it is being phased out of America’s schools. But hello, don’t focus too hard on the lack of enthusiasm for cursive because handwriting in general is on its way out.

Do I think this is a bad thing? In my brief opinion, yes. I think when we physically write something out, it causes us to think more about what we are expressing. Each word is labor intensive and we are making our point by using something that is as unique as fingerprints – our handwriting style.

So much personality is jammed into our handwriting that to sacrifice it for typed text is a huge loss. Sure, in some cases it might lessen confusion and eliminate errors due to ambiguity, but for the most part I find it to be a shame.

How often do you physically write with your hand per day? If the answer is “very little,” I suggest finding excuses to do so. Your penmanship, whether good or bad, is part of who you are. Don’t Blink.

A Positive Thursday Rundown

Buenos Noches, mis amigos! I hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant evening. What do you say we get down to business? I am pleased to present my latest Thursday Rundown.

Fitting Farewell to a Great Leader – I dedicated my 2018 year in review blog post to Bill Plate, the man who headed the department I work in at Coastal Carolina University. After six years at CCU as our University Communication Vice President, he accepted a similar job at Utah State. This past Friday, we had a going away party for Bill. As the luncheon drew to a close, he was presented with a large frame that contained the below graphic. This masterpiece was created by Ron Walker, a graphic designer in our department. It oozes creativity and even for those who will never understand the inside jokes packed into it, you can’t help but laugh. You can catch me in the right hand corner being “social.” Fabulous job, Ron.

This was the graphic that Ron made for Bill. It features everyone in University Communication.

Random Act of Kindness at Outback – This past weekend, something really cool happened to us at Outback Steakhouse. At the conclusion of a delicious meal, we were told that some customers on the other side of the restaurant had paid our bill. The couple had learned that Sidney is a teacher, leading to the generous gesture. In South Carolina, there is a lot of discussion right now about the salaries of teachers and the need to compensate them correctly. It is a hot button issue that will be addressed this legislative session. If this increased publicity made the diners pick up or tab, or if it was just out of a general appreciation for teachers, we will never know. Either way, we were humbled by such a kind act.

We were surprised and humble by the couple at Outback who paid for our meal this past weekend.

Encouragement and Support – It is hard being the new person at the gym. Five years ago this week, I wrote about the need to treat those patrons who are trying to get fit as part of a New Year’s resolution with encouragement and respect. It can be intimidating for these well-intentioned rookies to start an exercise routine and nothing will smash their confidence more than snobby and entitled fitness buffs. We need to embrace people who are attempting to make a positive change in their lives regardless of whether it is to get in shape, lose weight, or break a habit. Also, remember it is not too late to act on a resolution. Last year, I wrote about how the first week or two of January can be a tough time to start a goal. Don’t worry, it is still early! You can start today.

Always give those new people at the gym plenty of support!.

Snuggle Up – Yesterday, I stumbled upon an article about a “snuggling” service in Boise, Idaho. The business model is simple: Those who feel like they need some special attention from a professional “snugglist” can pay $80 per hour to be wrapped in the arms of another human being. The business is called Snuggle Buddiez and the staff is highly trained. If you need to hug it out but don’t have a willing partner, this is the place to go. I don’t have enough time or space to write about the details of Snuggle Buddiez but you can get them by reading this highly entertaining and humorous article from Michael Deeds of the Idaho Statesman.

Back When We Were Young – I thought I would end this Rundown with a Throwback Thursday photo from a loooooong time ago. My guess is that this image is over 25 years old. It shows my brother and I holding hands in our front yard, happy as can be. Of course nothing screams louder in this photo than the strange outfit I am wearing. Mom and dad, what is your explanation for that?

Just two happy brothers.

——————-

As always my friends, it has been a pleasure. Have a terrific week and happy birthday to Sloan’s friend, Stevie Blair. Don’t Blink.

 

My Top 5 Favorite Drinks

I haven’t properly broken in the year until I have written a top 5 blog post, right? When brainstorming tonight’s topic, I had beverages on my mind. However, I have counted down my favorite sodas and my favorite beers before, so what else is there to write about? Plenty! This evening I am ranking my favorite non-soda/non-beer beverages. Also, in an effort to not make this topic a snooze, water is disqualified from making the list. Okay, bottoms up!…

Tonight I countdown my 5 favorite drinks.

5. Sonic Slushes – You can go to a convenient store or a carnival and get a pretty awful Icee, or you can go through the Sonic drive-thru during happy hour and treat yourself to a Sonic Slush. With a consistent, smooth texture and the same amount of flavor in each taste, a Sonic Slush is a well-made drink. They are also extremely refreshing! Nothing hits the spot more than ordering a Slush on a hot Carolina afternoon and sipping it as you drive home. Not a dessert but definitely a sugary treat, a Slush is the perfect summer sweet drink.

4. Gatorade – The tagline for Gatorade couldn’t be any more accurate…quench your thirst. When I think of Gatorade, I think of a beverage that will extinguish the flame in your mouth that sparks after a tough workout or a couple hours spent doing yard work. A practical drink that is scientifically proven to satisfy and replenish, I have so many fond memories throughout my life of downing 32 oz. Gatorades while on the brink of exhaustion. The flavors are fun and the taste itself is pleasant. Although I prefer Gatorade after strenuous exercise or when I am sick, I can enjoy it for casual drinking as well.

3. Hot Chocolate – As someone who doesn’t drink coffee, I always need to order an alternative beverage when someone drags me to Starbucks or another java joint. Hot chocolate it is! A fan of hot chocolate since I was young, I have fond memories of drinking the stuff at bitter cold football games with my dad, after church at the “coffee and donuts” gathering, and of course in front of the Christmas tree during the holiday season. But I don’t drink hot chocolate just at coffee shops or during the situations I explained above; I drink it on plenty of random days too. At our house we have a giant tub of coco mix that I never hesitate to use. I find that hot chocolate calms me and warms not only my body but my soul.

2. Apple Juice – When I was 12, I got braces. My orthodontist told me not to drink soda while I had them on. During this 2-year period, I substituted apple juice for carbonated beverages. It turned out that I didn’t mind this switch at all. I actually liked apple juice up until this point but I developed a whole new appreciation for it while I had the braces on, one that lives with me to this day. We allow Sloan to drink apple juice and when it seems as if a large quantity of the “liquid gold” in the gallon bottle has disappeared, Sid knows that Sloan isn’t the culprit. After Sid leaves for work in the morning, my daughter and I sip juice together. Call me a child, but I have no shame guzzling apple juice.

1. Milk – I didn’t grow to like milk or discover it later on in life…I have liked it since Day #1. Growing up, my parents only let us drink soda or other sugary drinks on special occasions. At the dinner table, we had two choices: water or milk. More often than not, I chose the 1% milk that was always available to us. Throughout my childhood, it became apparent that nothing goes better with most dishes than a tall glass of cold milk. To this day, even though I am not perfect about it anymore, I still select milk as my choice of beverage at dinner. Sometimes, I will get milk cravings and drink a couple glasses randomly. I am a big fan of chocolate milk as well but I try to drink it sparingly, opting for the healthier original version most of the time. As Sloan grows up, I hope she embraces the healthy habit of drinking milk too…after all, considering who her daddy is, it will always be available in the refrigerator.

—————

What else is there to say but cheers? I will touch base with you tomorrow for the Thursday Rundown. Don’t Blink.

Content With Netflix

On Sunday, I read an article explaining that the world of streaming television will become much more “complicated” in 2019. By the end of the year, Disney and WarnerMedia will both launch streaming services. Each version will contain numerous titles, including classic movies.

In other words, Netflix better watch out.

Netflix is more than enough for me.

After taking a couple days to digest this news, I still don’t know if it is a good thing or not. You see, I can barely handle Netflix. I am so overwhelmed each time I try to select something to watch that I don’t know what I would do if presented with even more choices. These new services are supposed to be a little cheaper than Netflix while at the same time boasting libraries that will intrigue just about any viewer.

Of course my initial reaction is that I would never opt for an additional streaming service to use alongside Netflix. Like I said above, I wouldn’t want to put myself in a position of navigating through two different streaming providers when all I wanted to do was quickly decide a movie to watch on a Saturday night. But, according to the article, these new streaming services might receive the rights to some of Netflix’s titles, allowing Disney and WarnerMedia to yank popular shows from its established competitor to use on their own platforms.

What if it became necessary to purchase another streaming package solely because of one or two shows? I would like to think that I could resist the temptation but I can’t say that with 100% certainty. After all, I am not the only television watcher in the house.

I guess it is just one of those things where you don’t know what you are missing until you have it. Think about it this way: If you only knew that Coca-Cola existed, you would be content, right? The soft drink giant makes more than enough different types of soda to please any taste. But consider this…what if one day, you entered a convenient store and saw a Pepsi product soda fountain stocked with 12 different choices? What would your existence be like after you sampled Mt. Dew? Chances are, you would now need two soft drink companies in your life.

I really hope it isn’t this way with the new streaming products that will soon be with us. At this time, I am perfectly content with Netflix. Then again, I was perfectly content with cable at one time too. Don’t Blink.

Sticking to Routine?

I recently read a letter from someone inquiring about the necessity of accepting social invitations when it conflicts with one’s daily routine. This person stated that she lives her life according to a set schedule (wakes up, goes to work, makes dinner, plays with her dog) and is quite content with it. She says she is put in a tough spot when co-workers ask her to meet for a drink after work or participate in another activity that would make her deviate from her predictable agenda.

The dilemma: Should this person accept the popular “do you” mantra or shuffle her schedule to be social?

I sympathize with this individual as I have craved routine since I was young. I think living a structured life is productive. I mean, what is wrong with going into each day with an established plan?

Well, as someone who continues to learn about life on a frequent basis, I have evolved my thinking to believe that we as humans can sometimes be too rigid. Perhaps we go overboard trying to compartmentalize the 24 hours we are gifted with each day.

Just an example: In order to have a good day, I made it a strict requirement that I needed to make my early morning gym session. If I didn’t exercise, it would eat at me throughout the day. I would feel like a slacker and sense strength leaving my body.

I have confined myself to other aspects of a set daily schedule as well. Devoting time in the evening to Don’t Blink and making sure we watched Jeopardy at 7:30 p.m. seemed key to the perfect day.

Over the past few years, I have realized that missing a morning at the gym won’t make me destined for “My 600-lb Life.” I also know that I can do the bulk of my Don’t Blink work on Sunday and that DVR does wonders for recording Jeopardy. Although having a kid made me realize that having a set schedule isn’t just unpractical – it is impossible – it also made me realize the importance of embracing social events as well.

I have always enjoyed doing fun things with friends and co-workers, but it wasn’t uncommon for me to pass on certain events if it meant seriously blowing up my routine. I thought I was being dedicated, but perhaps I was just being safe?

Look, there are still times when siding with routine is going to be your best bet. No need to attend every single holiday party you are invited to or go to a spontaneous happy hour on a Monday night. But, after living on this earth for three decades, I think we can choose fun over routine a little more than some of us “serious types” typically do. When you look back on your life, memories made with friends will probably shine brighter than the hour your spent in front of the TV or the computer. Don’t Blink.