I've gotten into the habit of watching the 6:30 national news at night. NBC's Brian Williams is my anchor of choice. One of my least favorite things about watching the news, though, is hearing about the unemployment rate, especially because I am part of that percentage of people they talk about. While I am in this in between period, I have picked up some habits like spending too much time on Facebook and eating more junk food than I normally do and should. But some good ones have also developed. I get the proper amount of rest. I do some sort of exercise 4 or 5 days a week. I also make more of an attempt to take note of things, superficial or not, that bring me joy. Some of those things of late have been:
- A former student of mine now volunteers with the Youth Group at his church in college. One Saturday morning I woke up to a text message from him with the following picture:
As I scrolled down I read the attached caption: "middle school lock in. need i say more." Getting that text was especially sweet since I lead a few lock-ins with that student when he was a middle schooler.
- Re-reading some of my favorite books (Ender's Game, Harry Potter) and discovering some really good new ones (The Wednesday Wars, The Help, Room).
- Mat Kearney's latest album came out over the summer. I got a copy the day it came out, but waited to listen to it when I had a short road trip a few days later. Track 2 instantly became my favorite song. It is one of the few songs right now that can almost always lift my mood.
- Hearing my Dad say he was proud of me for being one of two final candidates for a job (even though I ended up not getting the job).
- Seeing the excitement on the faces of the team members of the Tampa Bay Rays when they won their Wild Card spot and overcame their nine game deficit. That was such good television.
- Getting Vanilla Coke from a fountain (courtesy of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine).
- Visiting my elementary school and the secretaries in the office remembering me!
- Remembering my high school fight song when I went to a game and heard the band play it.
- Auditioning for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Didn't make it pass the written test, but got a free shirt.
- My cousin Josh telling me he got engaged.
- Exploring the woods of a nearby Tampa park with great music playing in my ears. The soundtrack was music I'd heard on the show Friday Night Lights: "Remember Me as a Time of Day" by Explosions in the Sky, "Deus Ex Machina" by If These Trees Could Talk, "Stokkseyri" by Jonsi and Alex and "Devil Knows Your Dead" by Delta Spirit.
- Speaking of Friday Night Lights, I literally stood up and cheered when Kyle Chandler won the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama for his work in that show:
In the words of Entertainment Weekly: "Clear eyes. Full hearts. Didn't lose."