Recently I decided that I have too many to do lists. Not wanting to just let anything go though I decided that I needed a place to collect everything, kind of a brain dump if you will. This was partly because of my summer of rumination and partly because I had run into a couple of conflicts, particularly with my schedule and I found myself saying: “I need to learn to say no.” When Netter agreed with me, I knew I was onto something.

Before I started saying no however, I thought it would only be fair if I at least tried to keep the commitments and obligations I already have in place.

Wow! What a list I found for myself. A lot of ticky tac stuff, some big projects, some projects whose time had passed - the assessment was formidable.

Just look -

No, my handwriting is not worth a lick, but I can at least read my own chicken scratch.

How on earth could I ever even dream about catching up and changing my workflow?

What is it Major Winchester used to say on M.A.S.H. ? (Kinda dated myself there didn’t I?)

I do one thing at a time. I do it very well, and then... I move on.

Um, no that won’t work either... That means some folks have to wait longer than others which might be okay most of the time, but not when you’re already playing catchup.

Okay - I need to designate time. I’m calling that time pockets.

Each category or project will have a pocket. Currently there are 6. This is how I’m lining them up. I have a very big, very important project I have to finish first, but as soon as that is finished - these are my pockets.

  1. MJB Foundation work - 2 hours every Tuesday until caught up, then every Tuesday thereafter as necessary - at least during down (non-event) times. So, yes this will be very much like regular business hours and if you have something MJB Foundation related you want to discuss, the office opens at 6:30 p.m.
  1. Work projects - every Monday - while I’m fresh - could be Network Logix, Library or other career-related activities - anything that moves me forward in the professional realm. I’ve got an awesome family and friends. It’s high time I find my career.
  1. Special projects - currently busy with a college football related activity. That comes on Wednesdays until bowl season is up.
  1. Writing, blogging prep, (not to be confused with actual blogging which can happen any day.) Social Media maintenance is on Thursdays. Learning to pick my spots better - i.e. I don’t need to sign up for every service and I need to be conscientious about pulling myself off of the platforms I don’t use. Finding time to read and comment on other people’s work and digging my way through hundreds, maybe thousands, (years - yes plural) worth of favorites and must-reads and not letting that all get piled up again are among my other priorities in this area. This medium is very important to me. I think it is worth its own pocket.
  1. Fridays and Saturdays are time for family and friends. Time to be social away from the computer screen. If you see me post something on Saturday or Sunday it probably came from my phone. I don’t want to completely miss the conversation on the weekend, but I need to fuel those real-life relationships too.
  1. Sundays are time for family and family business.
Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t do other things on those days, but it does mean that I will devote some pocket of time on each of those days to each of those things, and for right now - those are the only things I’m working on on a regular basis. Does that seem fair? Exclusionary? Am I over thinking this?

Hey, a fella has to have a plan.

Doesn’t he?

What do you think? What are your pockets? Do you have a better or different idea?


Two customers got into a fight today that started over a chair. That’s all, a chair.

No really.

So now I’m thinking a lot about the things people spend their energy on and remembering a couple of things that have happened in my life fairly recently.

Last Sunday Netter and I were shoe shopping. I found a pair that I wanted to try on and was attempting to find the correct box number and size when a voice behind me said: “Excuse me.” Thinking I was blocking the aisle I quickly grabbed the box I thought I needed and stepped aside only to have this older gentleman step around me to stand exactly where I had been to look for  his own shoes. Apparently, I had taken too long and clearly he thought it was his turn. I glanced down to see if I had actually grabbed the correct box, (I had) looked at the man and said: “Really?” and walked away.

He shouted after me: “What? What did you say? Excuse me. What?”

I just ignored him and walked away. I thought what he’d done was rude, but I wasn’t going to get into an argument about it.

I thought.

It turns out he was trying on shoes directly behind the pole where Netter and I were trying on shoes. As he walked toward us he caught my eye and was staring at me intently. I think they called it “Mean Mugging.”

So I said: “I said ‘really’ because I thought what you did was rude.”
He said: “You were just standing there blocking.”
I said: “I was looking for a pair of shoes, but apparently you are more important than everybody else and your turn comes first.”
He said: “Well, if you want to talk about rude...”

It occurred to me at this moment that this was really silly and we could go back and forth arguing about it all day. So I stopped him: “Do you want to fight about it?” I asked.

He replied: “Well, I don’t want to fight about it, but...”

I cut him off and said: “Well then back off.”

And he did.

I felt bad about the situation and worried all day. Should I apologize to him before I left the store? Should I just chalk it up to a misunderstanding? Should I apologize for the misunderstanding? On and on. The whole thing weighed on my mind. I was spending a ton of energy worrying about a disagreement over picking out shoes.


During football season last year Netter and I were out at a restaurant watching games and having dinner. On one screen was the game I had all my football pool hopes on. It was the very end of the game and another patron stopped directly in front of me blocking the screen.


I waited a few seconds and said: “Hey Bud you make a better door than you do a window,” which was one of those funny things my parents always said to me, but apparently this fella didn’t think  was very funny. He wheeled around and proceeded to try and pick a fight with me, swearing and carrying on.

Don’t worry. We didn’t fight, but really a fight about watching a football game. Not even playing, but watching.


Obviously, I can be just as guilty as the next guy, but in the long run don’t we all have more important things, bigger issues and such to spend our energy on?

Just some food for thought.

What do you think?

De-Cluttering - Hey, That's What I'm Calling It...

I haven’t been here much lately. There are reasons for that. I’m not sure they’re good reasons, but they’re really all I’ve got. I don’t believe in excuses, but I think explanations are important. Does that make sense? Anyway - here goes...

Every year I crash after our golf tournament. I love my MJB Foundation work, but the weeks leading up to the tournament are filled with activity, sometimes overly stressful, and definitely stretch my capabilities for keeping up in general. This year I crashed extra hard. I was off my game on tournament day, (not my golf game, my Founder game) and mostly because I was just flat tired. I don’t know if it was because we added Bowl for Joy this year, or because my volunteer force grew to 17 and then shrank to 9, or what it was, but I was gassed.

Thankfully, this did not affect the tournament. We were still able to raise a good amount of funds for children with challenges, and while the day ran long - another story entirely, and probably my fault - it was still by and large a success. I think so anyway.

We took the week after the tournament off, and I mean off. We laid around. We watched movies. In general we just vegged as they say. We did go to the zoo, and we visited some friends, but for the most part - yeah nothin’. I was good with that.

As the summer progressed I was still good with that. Anything that required any sustained sort of energy, like blogging went by the wayside. My Twitter feed slowed down. My Facebook updates dwindled. At times I felt like Four Square was the only social media app I was using on a consistent basis, and honestly that just felt odd.

So I started to take a look at things, really ruminate if you will and I noticed some patterns.

Like History, my life really seemed to just repeat itself over and over and over and over and over and over and... You get the picture.

Even some of the posts on this blog were really just repeats of something I’d said before and hadn’t realized when I posted them again.

So I decided to make some changes, to really work on doing things differently instead of just talking about it all the time. This meant more work off line, but it also meant a clearer mind for me in the long run, and more importantly that change. It’s coming. I can feel it.

Still when you take a step back from something it can be hard to get “back into it.”

I managed only one post all summer. An important story I wanted to share that just sprang out of me because I told it when it was fresh and clear in my mind. Obviously, that’s something I need to do more often.

But outside of that one instance every time I was ready to post again I would get caught up in the advice of the experts, well mostly this expert. But that’s not Chris’ fault. In reality I wasn’t even listening to myself.

So finally I recognized that and I decided to just do it. To just put it out there, but even that seemed forced, and ultimately I just waited - until something felt right.

And they’re you go.

I’ve really decided that life is sorta random and strange and hard to plan for and more often than not so am I. Just ask my wife, and yeah, my kids too.

But I’m going with that and I’m going to embrace it. I’m random and strange, (Maybe I should say different?) but I’m really just me, and that’s really just my blog , and that part about the cluttered mind is a lot more true than I thought.

I’ve learned a lot about myself this summer, and along the way I’ve picked up a story or two to tell. I’ll get to those. I’ve picked up a new second job, which I’m very excited about. I’ll talk about that too. I’ve also picked up a secret new addiction, which I may or may not talk about I haven’t decided yet. Oh, who am I kidding...

Anyway, it’s good to be back, and I’m not just saying that this time.

Mulligan is Med Free!

Quick update on Mulligan James to get the blog rolling again. It's been an interesting summer. Working on a little more new about The Life of Jimmer as we speak.

For now - Here's a quick word on Mulligan. If you can't see the video click here.

Mulligan's Facebook page can be found here.  (p.s. it was the girl's idea.)