Monday, January 16, 2012

Wine forward

When my brother returned from a trip to Europe a couple years ago, he gave me a wooden wine box with a wine from the region he visited. Given my affinity for vino -- and in this age when gift cards are the mindless gift of last resort -- I thought it was a thoughtful gift.

The wine and stately box was a double gift. A double gift that could should be shared again.

I purchased a nice California wine and placed it, along with a small notebook with a note outlining the box's history, in the case and passed it on to a worthy new caretaker. I hope it was passed along.

The thought of the box moving from home to home makes me smile. I wonder if it's been hiking, seen great sights, witnessed an engagement. But I'm left wondering where its been, what happy moments its enjoyed and where it is now.

How would you react if someone gifted you a handsome wooden wine box, but asked you to blog about the awesome wine experience and pass it along?

I need your feedback and advice. Is this a worthy project? Would anyone read such a blog? Is it a project for fun or profit?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life coach by committee

In recent months, I've had two people I count as friends offer me their services as a life coach.
I've politely declined.
While the cost is the dominate issue, I must admit that part of me also feels I should be smart enough to life coach my own damn self.
It's a beautiful thought. But seldom practical for many of us. For whatever reason -- time, self-doubt, lack of tools -- we slip back into our bad habits or left life get in the way.
Life coaches are supposed to be for people who are falling apart.
Seldom sufficient, but most of us lean on one good friend or go life coach by committee.

Hands down, my college buddy Rufus has been my best unknowing life coach.
Rufus's brilliance is obscured by factors not entirely within his control, but he never stopped dreaming. The question with him is whether those factors would allow the great art within him to shine. I've tried to help him past those factors.

Meanwhile, he's pushed me to push past the factors that hold me back (apathy, complacency, self doubt). He knew me when I was the big fish and taking names.
During college I was the fearless editor of the student paper destined to be running shit. Feared and respected, if a tad pompous.
While he was never a scout, at my suggestion he also spent a summer working for me at a Boy Scout summer camp. As the program director, I was the No. 2 in command and chief entertainer for the camp which weekly hosted 200 middle school-aged kids.

Rufus pressed me to remember when we ruled shit. I'm active in the community and at work, but I'm not ashamed to say my star is not shining as bright. Professionally, I'm a small cog in the sick machine that is the newspaper business.

Personally, it's a long way back.
I'm taking baby steps.
For me success is capable, determined and focused enough to take the good ideas and turn them into action. It's often a long way from the good idea to execution. On my journey back to running shit sometime you have to celebrate the small victories like creating and handing out awards to random people, but worthy winners at the New Year I attended as a plus one. Or participating in the office holiday "canstruction" contest.

Thinking about when I was at my best, I realized I was always surrounded by capable, winning officers that made our collective vision come true.
In student government at Casa Roble, things got done because there was a team of people working together to plan a dance, build a float or throw a rally. At The Southern Digest the newspaper came together because Mike Wilson, Shamika Britt and Andre Jackson had my back.
I wish I had a firmer plan as I write this. But none-the-less I'm putting it out there: I'm looking for a team. Maybe two teams.
One I envision as a group of people who meet around a meal to discuss what they'd live to improve about their lives and then holding each other accountable.
Thousands of people -- mostly women gather to discuss other people's literary works. Why don't people gather to discuss your ideas, dreams, aspirations?
The idea is simple. On a regular basis, a group of people get together to bypass the bull shit and talk the dream they've held in the closet and the plot a path toward making it reality.