I Love Don Week Wrap-Up

Another glorious I Love Don Week is in the books and while I only got a few things off my ultimate wish-list, it was the surprises that delighted. But truly, if you meant to buy me something, don’t be embarrassed if you send me a belated gift, card, or call the hotline. What? A hotline?

Yes, my 45th birthday featured the Don’s Birthday Hotline debut …call (231) 660-1491 TODAY because a belated birthday greeting is sometimes better than a day-of greeting (and I’m curious why nobody ever sends a pre-dated birthday greeting …like, no one ever calls a day early).

The Hotline was a BIG HIT …I got EIGHTEEN messages. Some sang in chorus with others, some shared their favorite Don Memory, and some just stumbled over their words because THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE I HAD A HOTLINE.

As always, for those who don’t know me, I do it to be funny. In this world where so many people are worried about the everyone-gets-a-trophy world, and nobody-loses, and Millenials with their helicopter parents, and where old-schoolers lament the look-at-me, center-of-the-universe social media culture where EVERYONE thinks they’re important and that happiness and self-worth is defined by Likes, Follows, and Comments …well, many say it’s a bad thing. I say it’s a GREAT thing. I would move back in with my parents if I could …who wouldn’t!!!???!!!

Anyway, it’s all for fun AND because I have this writing and a content-creation thing I do on the side, it’s all an experiment, as well. I got a call from someone I never, ever, never expected would call the Don’s Birthday Hotline (the caller is 100% not a silly person) and so my experiment and theories and hypotheses all need to be refigured because, when I tell the brands and clients I coach about social media, what I’m telling them might need to be updated.

One more time, my updated wish-list is below. Don’t think because only a few things are crossed off that I didn’t have a kick ass I Love Don Week. My wife made my favorite dinner on Tuesday. We had Big Chief burgers at Duggan’s Irish Pub last night (with dessert). I got an emergency filling on one of my molars. Eighteen people called the hotline. I’m going to see Weezer this Friday. I had a beer yesterday afternoon with an old friend and watched some World Cup soccer. My wife and I had a wonderful date-night.

Life is too short not to have fun if you’re lucky enough to wake up in the morning with good health and your loved ones around you. Last weekend a former co-worker died in a car accident (early 50s). I texted an old friend this morning and she said she hasn’t worked in 4 weeks, just started more chemo, and she’s struggling. Another friend shared how she’s having a hard time dealing with a mother-of-four who passed away unexpectedly (a young mom).

*** Please pray for J.S., S.L., and for J.P.’s soul. ***

This morning, my 11-year-old daughter is off to a commercial shoot. Yes. She’ll be in a TV commercial if things go right and I told her, “go into this production with the JOY you do everything with.” It’s great to be 11-years-old. She smiles when she dances 14 hours a week. She smiles when she does flips in the backyard. She smiles when she plays piano. She smiles when she plays soccer. Joy. Joy. Joy.

Yesterday and for the entire week leading up to my birthday, I just tried to be joyful and fun and positive. I’m certain I annoy the shit out of some people, but mostly I want to be joyful and share my joy and if I did that for even one person, I win again.

Phew. That got deep. Back to narcissism and stroking my ego. My wishlist and then Weezer’s best song ever …”The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” which is my theme song (and the video is hella good).

Love you all.


So Much Goin’ On, It’s a Joy

So much goin’ on, I don’t know where to begin. So let’s just cover two things.

First, I might’ve made a poor decision when I recently bought a pair of jeans. They’re Levi’s. Good. They’re a 30-inch waist. That’s freegin’ awesome. Yes. I’m bragging about my recent weight loss. They’re light blue. Some people (I’ll call them “my daughter” and “my wife”) think they are lady-jeans. While some other people (I’ll call them Donnie Wahlberg, Billy Squier, and Tiffany) think they’re totally retro and cool. You be the judge. Vote below.

Second, in the last place you’d expect to be inspired (sarcasm), I really got inspired. At Church this past weekend, the Priest gave a rather long Homily. He’s usually pretty funny, but this time he was very serious. His Homily went on and on and he finally brought it around to a story about Mother Teresa and never being able to match her level of compassion, mercy, and giving. All true. But what struck me was how he challenged us that we could also never match her level of joy. He talked about how she didn’t simply do all her acts of charity out of duty and obligation and she didn’t do it while wallowing in pity and despair. No. She did amazing things with a smile on her face and with joy in her heart and that is truly the divinity behind her life’s work. He talked about how it was impossible to ignore her joy, energy, and charisma.

Then the Priest made us laugh, which is his way, until eventually he got super serious again by pointing out that, no, unless you and I give away all our worldly possessions and spend the rest of our lives feeding the poor and caring for the sick, no, we can never match her level of charity. But, we can match her joy.

In whatever we do, we should be joyful, and it will be impossible for others to ignore and impossible for them not to admire us and be inspired by us.

This smacked me in the face. This reminded me of a wonderful person I work with who does, indeed, seem to go through her life full of joy, and last week, I was rude to her. Then I had a less-than-comfortable conversation with a client. Why? That shouldn’t happen because I admire this particular client and am incredibly impressed with how much success he’s had so quickly. When I talk with him, he should know that I want some of that success and brilliance to rub off on me. When my joyful co-worker stops by my cube to give me a high-give or throw a wadded up ball of paper at me . . . I should soak it in and return the favor. I mean, I make time for the people who stop at my cube and wanna gossip and complain . . . why couldn’t I make time for a little silliness, kindness, and a random high-five?

Shame. On. Me. Shame for being rude and not welcoming and matching her joy. And more than that, shame on me for not living with joy. I’m healthy. I have food and shelter and a house full of people who love me. Why shouldn’t I be joyful in everything I do?

It’s probably more than 50% of the reason I like Chazzano Coffee. The coffee is great and always freshly roasted. But the owner is joyful about what he does and it’s contagious and probably makes the coffee taste better.

If I can make one change over the next 40 days (which I’m calling Lent Part 2), it’s bringing joy back into my day.

OK. Back to my jeans. What do you think?

Masculine or not?