Friday Randomness, Vol. 86

Naomi Osaka

I’ve admittedly been following the story of Naomi Osaka. In the tennis world, it’s huge. Beyond the wide world of sports, her story is just as important. 

When I was in high school, tennis was the only sport I fell in love with. Our neighborhood pool had a bunch of tennis courts, and during the summer I’d play my best friend Jim or older brother Jeff almost every day. Maybe someday we’ll look into a Wenatchee Racket Club membership near our house and I’ll get back into it.

Back to Naomi’s story, her being willing to take a stand about something in which she believes and risking not being liked, well, makes some people not like her. It’s polarized. Of course, the upside to risking not being liked is that some people like her. A lot. Because they see her taking a stand. Being genuine and clear about who she is and what’s important to her.

That’s inspiring.

There are those in the court (like that?) who think she’s not grateful and should grin and bear the situation that is professional sports. In the other court (or on the other side of the net?), there are the folks who applaud her courage. Of the comments I read in the NYT, this one stood out:

‘As an introvert myself, I can only say to her: everything is OK, you are fully OK, we all stand behind you. And if you decide you want nothing to do with tennis, that’s OK.’


Friday Randomness, Vol. 85

Handwritten note inside a book

For our Wenatchee leaders group meeting, the gal running this month’s asked us to read a book. When it showed up last week, I opened it to find a note written inside. 

John – you heard me tell so many of these stories… and always made me look so much better than I really am! I am so grateful and appreciative! I love you!

Yeah, that definitely made me smile. 

Because I opt for a used book over a new when I have the chance, I’ve opened a few books to discover a heartwarming note like this inside. Sort of like messages in summit registers, notes at the beginning of books are always inspiring. My mom made it a thing that whenever she gifted me or my siblings a book, she’d write something inside the cover. Because of my appreciation for handwriting stuff, I’ve carried on her tradition somewhat consistently.

Next time you give someone a book, if there’s a next time, think about writing them a little note. Like the book itself, it may be the gift that keeps giving.

Friday Randomness, Vol. 84

Geoffrey Rush as David Helfgott plays the piano

K and I were talking about screen time for Sefton. Not to get too off-track here with our parenting choices, I do feel we tend to do a good job being realistic. There are times to take a walk around the neighborhood on our little loop and there are times when she and I have to get shit done and so he gets to watch Rio 2 for the 108th time. We’ve really gotten our $14.99 out of that one!

In our chatting about it, I joked by bringing up one of my favorite quotes from my all-time favorite movie, Shine.

‘It’s all a question of balance.’

David Helfgott’s piano professor mentions this as he teaches him the intricacies and utter madness of Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 3 in D minor (affectionately known as, simply, The Rach 3). I find myself using that quote all of the time, in all kinds of situations where I’m making decisions. Not just because Shine is, yeah, my favorite film of all time. Because it’s true.

Rarely is it my way or the highway, right or wrong, good or bad. Often, dare I say almost always, it’s simply a question of balance.

Friday Randomness, Vol. 83

Dad doing his thing… forecasting weather

“What’s a ‘short wave trough’ in meteorological terms?” It hit 100º here on Wednesday. I was curious what was causing it, so I texted my dad. 

This randomness is for him.

When I think about my career and becoming a manager, my dad always comes to mind. Not because he was a manager, but because he wasn’t. I may embellish his story some out of love for my dad. From what I recall, he was asked a bunch of times over the years if he wanted to move into management. He was a damn good meteorologist, so there were folks at the National Weather Service who thought he’d make a damn good boss.

Except he loved forecasting weather and didn’t want to deal with (as he may have put it, the credibility of my memory notwithstanding), “people problems.”

Whether or not I think he would have made a great boss isn’t the point. The fact that he was intentional with his decisions and committed to what he loved doing is. There aren’t a lot of stories out there of folks saying ‘no’ to which something most of us say ‘yes.’ Of those few, even fewer are celebrated. Despite being a management coach, part of what I do is sharing my dad’s story that it’s okay to not be a manager. It’s not the only path up, and certainly not the only path to happiness.

“A short wave is a trough of lower pressure and is shorter than 3500 miles. The 120 hour forecast shows a long wave extending from Alaska southward off the Pacific coast down to near San Diego. At the 72 hour forecast, a short wave is off the British Columbia coast. This is the system that will bring you much cooler air.”

Hmm, interesting. Yeah, I’m glad he forecasted weather all those years (and I didn’t say ‘just’ forecasted weather!). Especially since I can still ask him, now retired, geeky weather questions and he can teach me some really cool stuff.