Author: D. Paul Graham

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Shake It Up …..

For as long as I can remember I’ve had this thing about anthills. Whenever I come across one, I have this insatiable need to poke it, kick it, and mess with it. I continue to enjoy a child-like fascination of the structured chaos that ensues with the ants. This mornings M5T looks at shaking things up.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Dreams …..

Dreamland. Dreamer. Sweet Dreams. Dream On. Dreams. Dream Weaver. Dream Cars. Six songs and sixty-four very fast Italian ponies. Songs about dreams seemed to follow me everywhere last week. Chasing dream cars with my camera has always been a dream of mine. With thanks to Amos Lee, Supertramp, Eurythmics, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, Gary Wright, the dream team of the Speedbourne Racing / Ferrari of Atlanta race team, and moments of solitude trackside in Austin, this morning’s M5T shares contemplations on dreams.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Power of Living Passionately …..

..... All that deliberation brought to mind the people and things that I’m passionate about; how thankful I am for the many blessings you are in my life. I renewed my conviction to making the choice to live a passionate life. And all of that led to thoughts of the power of living passionately in this morning’s M5T.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Of Number One…..

Today is Presidents Day here in these United States of America. A day that was started to celebrate the birthday of this nation's first president. I thought it fitting for this morning’s M5T to reflect on the wisdom, and positive nature of the words of George Washington, a great leader who shaped this great country.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Letters of The Heart…..

The last time Valentine’s Day fell on a Monday was in 2011. I started writing M5T in November of that year, so this is the first time that Valentine’s Day has fallen on a M5T Monday. I will admit to being a romantic and a hopeless one at that. This morning’s M5T shares some of the most romantic letters and admissions of love that I enjoy reading and share with you to inspire the start of this Valentine’s Day.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Shoulda Coulda Woulda’s…..

Foregone. Missed out. Lost out. Missed the boat. We’ve all had those moments of shoulda, coulda, woulda in our lives. Hopefully those missed opportunities haven’t defined you but have been lessons in life. This morning, M5T looks at as some of the SCW’s that you may recognize but not know the back story.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Of Gretsch and Carnegie.....

.....As I wandered around looking at guitars played by some of the worlds most accomplished and famous musicians, the old joke of “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” came to mind. This morning’s M5T postulates on the ponderance of practice.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Two Kinds…..

This last week I came across one of my Kodachrome images taken in England in the 90’s.It epitomizes the thought of two types of people: those that stay with the herd, wanting to fit in by looking like the herd and those that are most comfortable breaking way from the heard and wanting to have their own look. As such, this morning’s M5T looks at Two Kinds of people in our lives.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..One Dream…..

Taking a long mid-afternoon walk this week to clear my head, I watched two people arguing at a stop sign. Both yelling vindictive things at each other with expletives interjected almost every third word or so. My walk took me by the Second African Baptist Church on Houston Street. The church has an incredible history. It was at this church that General Sherman read the Emancipation Proclamation to Savannah in 1864. Almost a century later, in 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr., read parts of his “I Have a Dream” sermon in the church before he took his March on Washington in August of that same year. Reflecting on the anger I was witnessing of the two people I encountered, I had to wonder if King’s message would even be heard at this time when there are so many violent actions, destructive thoughts, and angry words in our world today. This morning’s M5T once again draws on the profound words of a man whose dream is a legacy for us all.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Up and At ’Em …..

Ahhh yes. It’s Monday. The second Monday of the New Year. Thousands of resolutions already broken or forgotten. Grab ahold and control the day before it controls you. Yes, it’s Monday and this morning’s Monday 5 Things is about getting up and get going. You’ve got this!

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Verba ad Annum …..

For anyone that has been following M5T for a year or more knows that I’m not big on New Year resolutions. Rather, I prefer to pick five words that I use to center my thoughts through the year. This morning’s M5T shares my thoughts on five words for 2022. What words would you pick?

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Delighting…..

The rain stopped and then held off for the two hours that we wandered through the “Illuminights Chinese Lantern” exhibit at the Atlanta Zoo. The upside of the poor weather was that we had the zoo almost to ourselves. With her birthday week being well celebrated and only two weeks to go until Christmas, the four-year-old we had in tow was already primed with excitement. As we rounded each corner, with no puddle left unsplashed and each lantern animal became bigger and better, her squeals of delight were infectious. Watching her alternating holding hands between her grand-ma-ma, mom, dad and auntie, as they skipped and meandered along the zoo’s pathways I began to reflect on the word delight. Somewhere around the glowing ladybug, the t-rex dinosaur and a large Canadian moose, this morning’s M5T took shape and reflects on finding delight as an adult.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Moments, Part Deux .....

Call them epiphanies, kismet, destiny, revelation, or providence. Moments that we've all had. Moments that awaken us. Moments that shake us into action. Moments of indecision. Moments that we chose to ignore. Moments that we treasure. Moments of elation. Moments of pride. Moments we don’t ever want to forget. Moments that we wish we could forget. Moments of revelation of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Moments of ignominy. Moments that we embrace. Today’s M5T shares some of my moments. What have some of your moments been?

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Terms and Conditions Apply …..

Driving through the pouring rain in Atlanta this weekend, we listened to short Tim Ferris podcasts from his book ‘Tools of Titans’. Each segment focused on the routines and habits of successful men and women. It’s a book I haven’t read in some time and will pick it up again when I get home. The podcasts sparked thoughts on defining success in life. No matter how you personally define it, there are terms and conditions that will apply. Today M5T ruminates on the T&C’s of success.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Today …..

Uncharacteristically sleeping in this weekend, I hadn’t felt this good in weeks, quite possibly months. Much needed rest has been well taken, literally and figuratively, cherished for the gift it is. A renewed focus of late on each ‘today’, resolute to not lose sight of what is right in front of me. To be fully engaged in the moment. Determined to take my thoughts and actions captive, decisive, relevant, and meaningful. M5T is focused on Today.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Much More…..

It was a day of ‘Much More’ as I suspect it was for most of you. Much more food. Much more wine. Much more love. Much more than last year during Covid. So very much more to be thankful for. We took a much-needed stroll on the quiet end of Tybee to avoid slipping into a post-turkey coma. Our last-minute decision to walk the beach was rewarded with a most stunning Thanksgiving sunset. As we slowly strolled along the sand avoiding gentle lapping waves, we were in quiet awe as the sun set into the horizon, the colors becoming more intense, more vibrant, and more spectacular with each passing minute. A crisp star filled November evening followed, and I found myself thinking about ‘Much More’ I would like in my life and thus, this morning’s M5T considers ‘Much More’.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Things, Lines, Words, & Thanks …..

Yesterday was an important anniversary for me. I quietly celebrated 522 weeks, 2,610 things, over 17,000 lines, and almost 217,000 words. Innumerable hours of thinking, countless cups of coffee, and copious amounts of wine, single malt scotch or bourbon have all been part of the process. The latter libations were consumed in the evenings, often trying to push through, climb over, or wander around writer’s block that I have experienced from time to time. Yesterday, Monday 5 Things marked its 10th year of publication.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Bold Moves…..

So. Here we are again. It’s Monday morning… the start of a new week. What will today, and this week look like for you? Will it be the same old same old? Or will today be the start of something fresh and new? Did you hit the snooze button again… and again and again and again? Or did you bound out of bed as soon as your eyes opened, ready to embrace a new day? Today’s M5T reconnoiters the positive and radical – and at times seemingly messy and chaotic – facets of making bold moves in life.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Not Guilty…..

I struggled on Saturday to keep my camera gear dry in sideways pouring rain and near gale-force winds, but I still had a big smile on my face. I was once again in my happy place getting to photograph some of the world’s most beautiful automobiles. While strolling the drenched grounds of the Hilton Head Island Concours d ’Elegance, I spent some time thinking about guilty pleasures. In a not so tongue-in-cheek start to our week, M5T shares some non-guilty pleasures that I make no excuses for.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Ch-Ch Changes…..

Thin strands of brilliant orange and yellow integrated with the opulent indigo of a cool Georgian fall sunrise, gradually changing the starry night sky, filled my rear-view mirror to start the morn. I added to the chromatic eruption of color by singing along at the top of my lungs with Bowie on Spotify whilst driving from SAV to ATL. "Strange fascinations fascinate me / Ah, changes are taking / The pace I’m goin’ through / ch-ch-ch-ch changes / Turn and face the strange / ch-ch changes” ~ A guy named Tom, Ziggy, or simply, Bowie. ‘Changes’. I challenge you to not have this song in your head all day as M5T considers positive changes in our lives.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Of Creation & Perseverance…..

Since being immersed a couple of weeks ago within a virtual stroll through French countryside’s with Vinnie, I have been inspired with the notion of artists who created with perseverance and passion, with angst and anger, and with ebullience and exuberance. Above all, they created and persevered without monetary gain or fame…. at the time. This morning’s M5T considers but five artists who persevered with their art simply because they had no choice but to create.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Immersed…..

Our eyes needed to adjust to the dark anteroom. Then, the short brush strokes and bold contrasting colors were immediately recognized. Flowers and fields. The bedroom. The hospital. Snippets of information of the man and artist that left me wondering what I would have asked him if we could have shared a table and coffee on a Parisian promenade. Harvests and irises. Cafes and boulevards. Starry nights and full moons. Cypress trees and tree roots. Portraits of others. Portraits of self that revealed the old, troubled soul of a much younger man. Benches and chairs to sit within his paintings. Space designed to allow one to slow down from a hectic week and simply be immersed in the brilliance of his art.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Short Minutes & Many Moments…..

One of my favorite breakfast places to start a day in Atlanta is the iconic OK Café. After a late Saturday brunch, belly’s full and in the pain zone from indulging in some great southern cooking, we walked past the sign that shows the amount of ‘short minutes’ of time needed to wait in line for a table. From today, there are 81 days left in 2021. Each day filled with 1,440 short minutes. This morning’s M5T uses some of those minutes to once again reflect on the 1,440 unique opportunities that we have today. 1,440 short occasions to recognize and seize upon the moments that we will encounter today.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Not So Common…..

Four different conversations with four different people last week all brought up the ‘lack of common sense’. We all agreed that, today it seems, common sense is anything but common. Once again culling my collection of quotes and some prior M5T’s, I humbly offer up some quotes about sensical matters.