A Shave at a Barber Shop Changed My Life

I grew a beard for No-Shave November. 31199767612_04158c1b23_bMe and my friends at work raised some money. I learned, at age 43, my beard grows and looks more like a beard than my last attempt in my late 20s.

I also learned I hate having a beard. At no point was I ever not aware of hair on my face. I felt like I had always just-walked-through a cob web. It was . . . just . . . . there. I don’t know how bearded men do it.

I couldn’t wait for December and to shave it. Having never been a hairy guy, I’d never gotten a shave at a barber shop. Plus, long gone are the days where a shave and a haircut cost two bits. Nowadays, looking at the chalkboard of prices at my local barber shop, a shave is $36. A shave at a barber shop has become the equivalent of a facial or pedicure …something you do for a special occasion.

My barber shop is The Barber Pole in Birmingham and this past Saturday I treated myself to a shave and a haircut and as the title of this post proclaims – it was life changing. I expected them to lather on some hot shave cream, break out the straight razor, and shave me. But ooooooooh no. It’s much more than that. It’s a hot towel. It’s hot shaving cream for starters, then that’s wiped away. Then another hot towel, followed by this pine and woodsy scented oil massaged into my face and another hot towel. Then more hot shave cream and then the straight razor and the most careful, accurate, and exact shaving I’ve ever seen. It made me realize my daily shaving routine is a violent attack on my face. It’s no wonder I always have irritated skin and acne breakouts. I assault myself almost daily.

The shave is followed by more hot towels. Then some cold cream, a cold towel, and finally after shave balm.

This was a man’s facial. I felt like a new man. I might make this an annual tradition. One thing I know for sure …I’m going to treat my face better.

Every man should do this at least once in his life.

Life. Changing.

Updates to my Christmas Wish List

vent-holderIsn’t it funny how we all feel so much pressure to have an amazing Christmas wish-list, so we hurry to write everything down and then we totally forget some totally obvious things.

Hilarious, right?

Added five things to my list (and took off the TV …I bought one on Black Friday)

Much more to follow.

Best Advent Ever 2016

best_lent_ever_white_logoAnd here we are again. Another reason to make crazy promises to myself about self-improvement and becoming a better friend, father, husband, employee, and, overall, a better person. It happens every Lent, every January 1st, and now I’ve added in Advent thanks to Matthew Kelly’s Best Lent Ever invention.

Why not? If we chose yesterday, the first Sunday of Advent, to work on a few things to make ourselves better, what’s the harm? If one of those new habits stick, or you and I can break some old, bad habits, who gets hurt? The answer . . . nobody.

I carry around this bag of guilt because you’d think, after forty-three years and all these New Year Resolutions, and Lents, and Advents, and birthdays, and all these momentous occasions when you and I were going to “turn over a new leaf” and make “today the first day of the rest of my life”, well . . . you think we’d have it all figured out.

Not many people ever do, I guess. Maybe that’s the journey. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and seasonal opportunities to fix something or change something. This past weekend, I posted my Christmas wish list, but today I’m going to post my Advent Wish-List. If I can cross-off the majority of the things on both lists, it’s going to be a great Advent and Christmas.

  • Pray daily with all three of my children (I’ve gotten away from it with my oldest)
  • Be there for my Aunt Denise more than I have been and make her more a part of my family
  • Actually wake-up and take care of me at 5:00 a.m.
  • DO NOT EAT in the evenings
  • Exercise (at a minimum, walk the dog) in the mornings
  • Avoid dumb sugar
  • Maximize the hours of 8:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily for work (and nothing but work)
  • Build a routine to help make December better and get 2017 off to a good start

And just like my Christmas Wish-List, my Advent Wish-List is a work in progress . . . as am I.

Is it Too Early to Publish My Christmas Wish List?

sonosFirst. Happy Thanksgiving. Now we have that out of the way and we can get to my Christmas Wish List. What’s that you say . . . I’m being selfish? Oh, I suppose I should wait until mid-December and not give my friends, family, and co-workers enough time to shop? Now that would be selfish.

One problem. I’m having a helluva time coming up with a worthwhile list, but let’s get started with this. Feel free to leave good ideas in the Comments of this blog entry if you have inspired ideas for me.

See what I mean? That’s a sad list. But I knew the pressure was on to get this out before Black Friday. Phew. Happy shopping! Oh, and please, feel free to go off-list if it’s something really expensive.

Up and At ’em!!!

drew-mikeMy Outlook and remote logon didn’t connect (or was spotty), but I walked the dog. Gave her a good brushing. Enjoyed a nice cuppa coffee. Listened to the Drew & Mike (or Marc) Podcast, cleaned up my Yahoo! Mail Inbox, and moved about a dozen things to my daily To-Do List on Evernote.

Do you use Evernote? Talk about staying in control. Evernote (for you Microsoft folks) is like OneNote, but just know OneNote was created as a response to Evernote. Evernote invented the cloud-based Franklin Planner. I don’t think Evernote thinks of themselves as a Franklin Planner in the cloud, but as a former Franklin Planner addict, this is how I use it.

One of my “power moves” was to create a Notebook called “DAILY” and each day I start a new note and a checklist of all my tasks and phone calls. It allows me to stay “Inbox Zero” over in my Outlook Inbox.

Do you care about my “power moves”? Want to know more about it?

Even just accomplishing the simple to-do of getting out of bed early has started the day with me feeling in control

Selfish with the Weekends? Am I Selfish?

I have more work to do at work than I have hours in the week. And not your typical, lazy 8 1/2 hours days. I’m talking 10-hour days. And I still can’t get everything done. On Monday, and all week, I’m going to journal every minute at work and see where I’m going wrong and where my distractions are, and I’ll try and figure out where my time is going and what I can automate, delegate, or skip entirely.

But back to the point of this Blog entry. When I get to my weekends, if you ask me on Friday at 5:40 when I’m leaving work, I’ll tell you, I’m going to get up early on Saturday and Sunday …early. Like, 6:00 a.m., and I’m going to dominate the 3-hours of peace and quiet until my family wakes up and starts their day. That’s like a 6-hour day.

Guess what? I don’t. I sleep until 7:00. I get up and take the dog on a half-hour walk. I come home and make a fabulous cuppa joe. I make a healthy breakfast. I hop on my iPad and read things and look at things. Before I know it, it’s 9:00 a.m. and I start contemplating going to the library for a few uninterrupted hours and really crank out some work (write some scripts, update some pending, put together some proposals).

Guess what? I don’t.

Instead, selfishly, I spend some time with my kids, make them breakfast, sometimes watch English Premier League, and tackle some chores. Sometimes, like yesterday, I head to the hardware store, my son and I both get haircuts, and we walk around the pet store researching dog harnesses because I don’t like the two we have. Then I make lunches. Then I clean up my firepit a bit because we plan to have s’mores later on.

gary_vaynerchuk_300dpiWhoa. It’s mid-afternoon. I’m relaxed. I’m enjoying living. And I start to feel guilty and lazy and like I’ll never “get ahead” because I just don’t have what it takes. I’m a big fan and devotee of Gary Vaynerchuck and his thing is “hustle” and he’s one step shy of being the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” type mentality and it makes me think – maybe I’m not that type of guy.

Is that OK? Is that selfish of me to want to enjoy my time and my family and my house? Is it selfish to rake my own leaves and mow my own lawn and wash my own car to (a) save some money and (b) because it all needs to get done and what’s the point of paying someone else to do it?

Gary Vaynerchuk definitely doesn’t clean his own house, wash his car, or mow his lawn.

What’s the point of all of this (for anyone who read this far)? The election. That happened and everyone was angry and yelling and people are still protesting. You’d think the way we voted for a billionaire who said he’s rebuild our economy, cut taxes, and make us safe …well, you’d think every single person in American could be a millionaire if only it weren’t for the oppressive Clinton and Obama polices. Everyone!

But guess what? We’re alllllll lazy and selfish. The vast majority of us aren’t the types who will work 12 hours on the weekend and 60 hours Monday through Friday, and delegate and farm out all our chores and tasks because most of us …and when I say “most”, I’ll bet I’m talking about 90% of everyone in the U.S. . . . most of us just wanna work a little and enjoy alotta of our life. We want to coach our kid’s soccer teams. We want to have people over for BBQs and cocktails. We want to take a walk. We want to see some sports and go to the movies, do a little shopping, take a nap, and read a book. We want to have a hobby. We want to throw a ball around with our son.

I want to clean out my gutters.

So, back to my question. Am I selfish? Or am I normal?

The Don Daily: I’m Growing a Beard for No-Shave November

no-shaveIt’s the tenth day of November and the tenth day of beard growth. A group of us at iHeartMEDIA Detroit are growing beards for No-Shave November.

More to follow. But if you want to support us (me), you can donate at the link below. We’ll give the money we raise to one of the many great causes that iHeartDETROIT takes part in during the holidays.

This is our page: https://no-shave.org/member/MightMenofIHeartDETROIT

Sometimes current events make us think we need to draw a line in the sand, pick a side, and then fight like hell against the other side. Ya know. Current events. Like an election. Ahem. Well, there is good in the world.

What is No-Shave November? As they say at their site, it’s “a Unique Way to Grow Cancer Awareness.”

Everyone asks for money from this time of year, and I wouldn’t complain if you donated cash to the cause, nsn_full_widebut mostly I just want to be part of raising awareness and ask that you comment on this blog, share this blog, share our No-Shave-November page, and in a few weeks when I sell squares for the Lions Thanksgiving game and the Michigan-Ohio State game, that you buy some squares.

Thanks for your support.