Taking stock on the 140th day of 2017

Today I am driving to Charlottsville, Virginia to see my brother graduate from the University of Virginia Medical School. (No, I’m not writing this while driving, although I could technically have dictated it to Siri. I actually wrote this yesterday, the 139th day of 2017, and scheduled it to post today.) After we get back home Monday, the 142nd day of 2017, we have no further travel plans. And I’m quite looking forward to not going anywhere this summer. Here’s what I’m up to these days:

Running: This is 5K season, so I’m running mostly 5K’s from now until autumn. I’m not training for any races, so this is the fun part of running. I am planning on finally running in the St. Jude Marathon (just the half-marathon, though) in Memphis on December 2. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since the 2013 race was canceled because of winter weather. (That was supposed to be my first half-marathon.) But I won’t start training for this until October.

Reading: Master & Commander by Patrick O’Brian, Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.

Writing: I try to make a blog post every day. It’s purely a hobby. If I don’t write something regularly, I’m afraid I’ll burst.

Watching: I watch very little TV anymore. I’ve watched some of the NBA playoffs, but not much. I’ve watched some of the Predators playoff games. I do enjoy watching Nashville on CMT with Mrs. Lefty. Overall, I might average an hour a day. Some days I watch nothing. If it were up to me, there would not be a TV, or maybe we’d keep one just for watching movies.

Listening: I have a large collection of music that I digitized several years ago (and then got rid of all my CD’s). I know my music very well, so in the last few months I’ve branched out. I started listening to lots of Apple Radio and also subscribed to Sirius XM, since there’s a satellite radio built into my car. Mostly, I listen to Real Jazz (channel 67). On Apple Radio, I listen to several stations. I sometimes listen to current music because there are some really good new artists out there and occasionally I’ll find a gold nugget that’s worth digging into.

Avoiding: Busyness, at all cost.

Enjoying: Summer is almost here. Last summer was probably the best summer of my adult life, or at least in a very long while, and I intend for this summer to be at least as memorable. I used to dread the summer heat and humidity, but now it’s the winter cold that I dread.

Volunteering: I operate a video camera at church. We livestream all of our services, so I find myself working all 5 weekly services if my work schedule permits. I very much enjoy doing this. It’s important to volunteer at church. There are many tasks that require attention, and the paid staff cannot possibly do everything. From experience, I’ve learned to volunteer for exactly one job that you enjoy doing, and then do that job well.

Buying: Nothing. Or almost nothing. Despite all the purging we’ve accomplished these last couple of years (or three), I still look for things to get rid of. This sometimes aggravates my wife, because I’m more extreme than her. I find myself rarely buying anything anymore. When I do, it’s usually to replace something that’s broken or worn out. Really, I don’t need anything else. If you asked me right now to make out a personal wish list, I could list a few ebooks, and that would be all.

Self-aggrandizing: I wish to someday be that person who makes wise statements others talk about, such as “so-and-so said this to me one time years ago and I’ve never forgotten it.” As of now, the most potent philosophical statement I am capable of making is, “It is what it is.”

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