The Elusive Great Life

Lately, I’ve been marveling – I suppose even lamenting – over the assumption by many folks that “the good life” is something you must wait for, or perhaps something that comes with qualifications. Such thoughts seem to often coincide with the belief that a great life is something that simply or eventually happens by some twist of events. I would suggest that a great life is something that one builds for himself; something that one puts together in pieces, much like building a wall. And the greatness of that life, again much like the greatness of a wall, is the result of the time and effort one takes to build it. Think about that for a moment, and imagine how many folks trek meander skulk through the years, waiting for a great life to build itself for them. Perhaps they imagine that a brilliant business idea will strike, or great wealth will befall them; perhaps they imagine a beautiful spouse may appear, or their boss will offer a lucrative promotion.


And years pass by. Literally, years. This gives me pause.


Let’s assume, for the moment, that you’re penniless. Or may we at least assume that the great life hasn’t struck for you? You may have even tried to build the life, but you’ve paused to wait for proper supplies and building materials to arrive. Maybe you’re still waiting for supplies, or maybe you’ve realized that those supplies aren’t coming.

I would ask you to stop at this moment, and look around. What do you see around you? What have you done with the few supplies you do have? Have you built anything yet? For you, will the promotion be the usher for the great life or merely a supplement. 

Do any of you know a builder? You know, somebody who builds houses or something similar. I do, and I’ve noticed something about builders. If you give a builder a weekend, some nails, a hammer, and a pile of lumber, then come back on Monday, and I assure you he will have built… I don’t know, a tree house, or box, or a shelf, or something! He’ll not say that he didn’t want to build anything because he couldn’t build EVERYthing. He’ll see what he could build – what he COULD build – with just what’s in the pile. Then he goes to work, and he builds.

I want to assure you that if you think it’s appropriate to waste years of your life planning for what you’ll do when life begins, then there is no great life coming for you. You see, success has nothing to do with position or wealth; nothing to do with cars or houses; nothing to do with watches or jewelry. Success is about taking whatever you have – anything you have – and building something amazing with it. There’s a fellow I know who is one of the greatest photographers I’ve personally met. This fellow tours all around the US and Europe just taking spectacular pictures of many things. Would you believe that I recently discovered that this fellow with this incredible life earns his living by power washing houses? And he doesn’t work for himself; he’s an hourly employee. The photographer didn’t wait for his promotion, and I would urge you to consider his lead; reflect on his vervacious (like verve, don’t judge me) attitude about building his life without delay; without supplies; without wasting a little time, then years, then a life that could’ve been great if it had only been built. I made up that word “vervacious”, but I’ll let you use it. Maybe put that word on your mirror tonight, and live that word tomorrow. Build your life. Build it broke, single, in debt, in a mud pit, in a tough job, but build it vervaciously.


McDonalds Happy Meals… WTF? And WTF?



Dear McDonalds,


Last week I bought one of your happy meals for each of my children. I know that your food is disgusting and unnatural; I know that the girl at the window looks suspiciously like she may eat boiled frogs and lizard biscuits for breakfast. But, hey… who gives a damn? We’ve come to expect nothing less from you.

The toys? The carbs? The creepy, metro-updated, eighties clown? God knows why my children have this enigmatic propensity toward consuming your mystical products. They’ve just gotta have those gosh darned happy meals, and who am I to deny them?




We ordered our “food”, paid the toothless girl at the window who only had hair on one side of her head, and subsequently received our products at the second window from the  mustached man who, unlike the girl in your commercials, was digging inside one of his chin folds trying to locate an irritating pimple.


Sure. Whatever-the-f*ck-ever. Maybe at the McDonalds in Heaven



Having satisfied our purposes, away we went. What joy shown on my children’s faces as they opened their little red boxes cleverly adorned with presumptuous smiley faces.

Twas a scene reminiscent of my own happy meal loving days, as my son pulled the little plastic sealed and fine print loaded toy from the smiling red box.

That’s when it happened. “WTF?!!?”, cried my son as he unwrapped his new toy. Keeping in mind that daddies are supposed to have answers to these kinds of questions, I took the little piece of plastic from my son’s hand and gave it a close inspection. “Son, that’s a… well, that’s a good question”, I said. “What’s This For, you ask? I haven’t a clue. Perhaps we’ll keep it around and see if some practical purpose emerges over the next couple of weeks”.



Oh, The Excitement!
Oh, The Excitement!



The thing looked like a rocket with a mohawk growing out of a big green boil, and it had a cat’s eyeball on the front. Clearly this toy was loaded with an array of features, all of which wreaked confusion on my little son’s analytical mind.



No Wireless Capability? For Shame.



Taylor believed that it would be worth trying “The Thing” out as a computer mouse. I supposed it was as good a guess as any other. It may have worked had my computer had a bluetooth option.



Where’s the Gal Blasted on button?



Hoping to find some good use for the device, I took it with me to work one day. Truly, I had high hopes for a discovery of some practical function, but those were quickly dashed when I couldn’t find any “on” button. Plus, playing around with that thing on the job site wasn’t doing a thing for my professional image.



Table Decor?



I have to tell you, we had all given up on ever finding a purpose for this ridiculous and quite ugly, little shape. We had given up, that is, until…



Three, And Still Everything Goes in the Mouth :^)



Taylor put the rocket shaped end of your stupid happy meal toy in her mouth… and she laughed. The sound that followed startled everybody in the room. Why, it was a microphone!!! I mean, really? Really?!!?

So, McDonalds, I leave you with my own WTF with regard to your happy meals this Christmas season. Because, really, Where is it? Where’s The Fun?