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Showing posts from October, 2018

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Surfing Will Show You

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I used to write about surfing  often, because I think there are so many life lessons buried within the sport. The ocean is so big and you are just a small speck, trying to enjoy and appreciate its bounty -- it's ripe for existential thought. (I'm actually writing a book on it. If you'd like to take a look at the current draft, let me know.) But sometimes these lessons are things you may rather not know about yourself. They say marriage is a mirror , revealing both the good and the bad, and even a choppy ocean can reflect just as well sometimes. Since moving back to California, my surf days have increased four-fold, and on a recent trip to a Malibu break, I was having a pretty decent day with a couple friends. The waves were 4-6 feet, but the swell was weak, and so the waves were only mediocre. I had caught a few, and a little set was rolling in. As the wall built and darkened, it looked to me like a closeout. "Take it, Mitchell," I told my friend, in what coul

Skating on Borrowed Time...

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Sometimes I feel like I'm skating on borrowed time. I am 32 (and a half) now, and it is beginning to feel a little too old to skate. But how could this be?! Skateboarding has been such a huge part of my life, and still brings me so much joy; but there is this one thing that has been just getting to me lately about the sport...I keep getting hurt! Three years ago I made a pretty good skate video that I'm still proud of. I pushed myself and learned a lot of new tricks. I was progressing at a sport most kids drop after high school...into my thirties! Even after the movie was finished, I kept skating and shooting, preparing for the next video. Then we moved, and my recreational life slowed down. I started working a lot, skating when I could, usually at the school I grew up skating , piddling around on ledges and manual pads. But then I broke my arm -- my first broken bone after fifteen years of skateboarding! The recovery was speedy thanks to some faith-filled prayer, and I w

Nice Things

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I resigned the notion of owning nice things a while ago...kids just destroy stuff. They can't help it. Not that I am just letting them galavant around the house with tennis racquets in their hands while I listlessly watch on. But something in their nature is destructive. Maybe it is the fact that they don't understand monetary value, or perhaps they just don't have full control of their bodies yet. I don't fault them for it, but I try hard to pad the damage as much as I can. Here is a good example: Today we were walking to a park and Waverly stepped on my sandal. It broke. It was just an accident and may have broken tomorrow with someone else, but for some reason it broke when she  stepped on it. Yeah, my sandals are a few years old and maybe this was just coincidental, but have you ever known anyone in life that this kind of thing just happens to? Like they throw a rock and it breaks a window, even if the nearest window is in the opposite direction? I have, and I

At the Show

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Like many folks, I spent most of my middle and high school years listening to punk music . Christian punk music, really. Most people grow out of this phase and get into hippie jam bands or classic rock in college, and then move on to country or pop or something as they mature. My musical tastes have matured, but I'm just not one to leave a musical genre behind, and so I still listen to punk and ska like when I was a kid. (The one exception to this is rap-rock ...I've pretty much abandoned that short-lived phase of my life.) And so when Slick Shoes , one of my high school favorites, announced that they were recording a live record nearby, I had to go. The problem was, only about two of my friends still listen to this stuff, and they live out of the state. So I had to go alone. Now, maybe this isn't really a big deal, but it's just more fun to go things with other people, you know? Even something like watching a movie -- where you don't talk to anyone for most of i

Homemaker

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I became a stay-at-home dad back in 2014, when our daughter Ellie was born. I worked for a few months and then got a job as a property manager, where I could work from home and take care of our baby girl. It suits me well, but to be honest, it was an adjustment, mostly because of societal norms. Being the only guy at the park, surrounded by female nannies and moms is difficult. Watching my friends succeed at work or in their businesses can be even more trying. At first I really struggled with my role in the family as a provider, not financially (though I have always worked freelance or part-time), but in other ways. Kids need a dad who is there and available, for fun, education, trauma. An emotionally available father is a powerful and rare thing I think, not because dads don't desire it, but because it is considered odd. I went back to work for a year to give Katie the experience I had, but could never make enough for our family to live well. Talk about a blow to your masculine