Ever since our two sons began sharing a room, their bedtime routine has been the same. Baths, PJs, teeth, stories, cuddles. And every night as I leave their room, Eli always says, "Remember to come up, cuddle, and bring water!" I head down the stairs with a quick, "Okay!" knowing full well that the likelihood of following through on that promise is next to nothing.
Drive past five streets. Walk two blocks. Sit on the train for 50 minutes. Ride the subway four stops. Each piece of my commute can be broken down into distance traveled and time spent in transit. 90 minutes of commuting a day times times five days a week times 365 days a year equals an insane and, depending on your point of view, depressing amount of time spent sitting and standing in between point A and point B.
The other day I got into an argument with my youngest teenager. He was complaining about our family's strapped financial situation and was quick to point an accusatory finger at me. He understands that I'm a struggling writer trying to earn a buck, but he couldn't resist asking when I was going to get a real job. The argument quickly turned sour.
I have started my own practice of saving my treasures in my bottom right desk drawer. When I get an email from an overwhelmed surgical resident, thanking me for the lifeline one of my blog posts has given her, it goes in the drawer. When one of my patients reminds me of why I went to medical school, it goes in the drawer. Pick a drawer. Take the time. Start the practice.
Dave Brenner was in our living room with remarkable regularity, a saturation level I've never seen equaled since. He was a guest on the Tonight Show, he hosted the Tonight Show, he was on Merv Grifﬁn, he was on Mike Douglas (for weeks at a time), he was on game shows... and, it seemed to me, always with new material. That kind of proliﬁc consistency takes a lot of hard work and dedication -- something I sensed would hit home with my dad.