Nola and me

The hardest thing, ever (well, one of them anyway), is to BEGIN.  I'm faced with a blog that needs content, needs something of me, and I've finally arrived at the keyboard with the determination that I can make it happen,  Incremental progress, the bane of much of my early existence.

So here it is.  For my entire life, all 32-almost-33 years of it, I have had many passions.  In fact, you'll learn about many of them as I write over the coming days.  The overarching theme of this blog, however, is quite easy to express:

My passion is for living a well-rounded life.  That's what I've LEARNED to call it.  Perhaps some of you can relate: when I was young, it was dubbed 'independence' and 'insatiable curiosity'.  As I got older it was called 'intelligence' and 'capability'.  At some point, however, many people in my life seemed to get tired of this desire to explore the world, to live life to its fullest.  They started to call me 'indecisive' ("you are good at so many things...why don't you just pick one and have a career, a family, a NORMAL life?"). 

And the funny thing was, as those perceptions changed, so did my own perception of myself.  Maybe there WAS something wrong?  The way life works once you get out of high school, every influence in the world wants you to specialize, focus, narrow it down.  If you're someone with a lot of interests, you probably find yourself relegating most of them to the back seat, to the interstitial times when you don't have something else to do.  The world is set up to reinforce your focus, to call you a "banker" or a "waiter" or a "writer" or a "lawyer" (you get the point).  So you can go really crazy trying to maintain that breadth of experience, your curiosity, your vitality, when not many people in your life support it.  That's how I felt anyway.

Well, for me, something changed when I turned 30.  I got in touch with how the conflict between my inner world (the generalist, enjoyer of many things) and my outer world (all the stuff I was just talking about) was my OWN creation.  In some ways, 30 was a "magical" number, and I had known, for quite some time, that when I reached it I would have ARRIVED.  The truth is that it wasn't really about magic.  It just takes time for some things to coalesce.  If you're like me, you perhaps you spend a lot of time thinking/reading about "the way you want life to be".  It's funny, when you finally realize that you're in control of your destiny, all of the information that you've gathered FINALLY becomes useful.  So, turning 30 was a breakthrough moment...maybe just like a kick in the ass is a breakthrough moment. 

So back to the original question:  what is this blog about?  Well, let me tell you (actually you've probably been waiting this whole time for me to tell you...sorry about that).

First:  The well-rounded life.  We'll be talking about how to LIVE it.  There are things that have worked, there are things that haven't.  I'll be sharing those things with you.  Also, I hope to share with you some of my own thoughts about living, working, relationships, personal growth, the quest for "success" - it'll all be there.  Bear with me (remember earlier - "one post at a time"?)

Second: Fatherhood.  My wife (Tonya) and I have a baby on the way.  Our first child.  Our son.  He's coming, like in the next 4-8 weeks, anytime.  Everyone asks me if I'm ready...and we'll be exploring that subject here, which will be fun, won't it?

Third: Dog Training.  The story of how I came to be a dog trainer will be told later...suffice to say that I AM one, and that I studied a method of dog training (Natural Dog Training) that not many people know about.  I've found it to be VERY effective, and so I intend to share with you some specific ways to train dogs, as well as various thoughts about the relationship between dogs and humans in general.  If you need tips on "what to do about your (fill-in-the-blank) dog, stay tuned.

 There will be other things as well.  When I finally decided to blog, with the encouragement of some good friends (about whom you'll be hearing, of course), I was immediately overwhelmed with TONS of ideas for this site.  So please, keep coming back, and I promise you that I'll do my best to keep it interesting and entertaining for you.  Thanks for reading, and I'll see you again soon!