“Monday 5 Things” with D. Paul Graham…..5 For 9…..

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Photo: D. Paul Graham, self portrait, circa 1985

Monday 5 Things….. 5 for 9 ….

I was sitting in my hotel room in Morocco, absolutely miserable, wondering if my stomach would settle down enough for me to be able to clear customs and board the plane to Paris. Actually, I was just hoping my stomach would settle down to make it out of the hotel. This was no romantic Casablanca-esque moment or scene. At some point I jotted down five simple bullet points and, for some reason that I still don’t understand today, I posted them to Facebook, without commentary or explanation. That was nine years ago this month, on the 21st to be exact; 468 weeks; 468 M5T’s and countless hours – I haven’t missed a Monday since that auspicious day in North Africa. Today’s M5T is my way to say thank you and to share some things that you’ve taught me over these past ‘few” weeks. I simply can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your day to read and respond to these musings of this transplanted Canadian living south of the 49th parallel.

1. A Choice.

I made a choice to leave M5T decidedly a-political. That has not been easy given the tremendous fodder of events that are going on today and that have transpired over the past nine years. But I’m glad I made that choice. The singular most repeated comment that you have shared with me over nine years is the positivity of M5T on a Monday morning. The world already has too much negativity, too much pain, and too much confusion, that I simply don’t want to add to it and I know you wouldn’t want to hear it or read it. M5T by design, thought, and motivation is, and will continue to be, unabashedly centered around hope, optimism, faith, and living a fuller, richer life. Thank you for participating with that choice.

2. Being Observant.

Our world around us is beautiful and inspiring, amusing and tragic. We all have instants of sheer exhilaration and moments of profound grief, and more regularly, experiences that occur every day along both extremes of that emotion scale. All around us are people with a story that goes deeper, profoundly deeper, than their façade reveals. M5T has made me even more aware, more cognizant, and more sensitive of who is around me and what they are talking about. I watch people differently now. I look for the beauty of situations and I have been brought to tears by the pain of others. M5T has become a part of my daily thought as I pay attention and interlope on others; as I read books and listen to music, as I reminisce about the past and relate experiences of current situations, I look for details that might be worth sharing with you. Thank you for affording me the opportunity to write about life moments that may uplift you, may make you laugh or may move you cry along with me on a Monday morning.

3. Of Value.

There is value to the long term, of not giving up. There have been a number of times over the past nine years that I thought I should just stop. But then I see or overhear something, or I read something, or the darndest things pop into my mind that spark the desire to pen another week. And then there are your messages. Your posts of shared joy or sorrow, and agreement, affirmation, and confirmation that you have been moved by the words on a screen have impacted me more than I can describe here. Private messages that some have sent to me about what they are going through in their lives have induced my gut-wrenching laughter along with you and in other messages, I have wept with you in your pain. Thank you for all the tremendous gifts of your responses each week.

4. A Voice.

I’m actually a very private person and yet you’ve allowed me to cultivate what started as five simple bullet points into the M5T of today; it has a become a voice in my life. M5T is a means of sharing with you what is important to me; the simplest of joys in life; at other times revealing, even if but for a glimpse of, the dark nights of my soul; of my success and my failures; of wants, desires, dreams and needs; of stumbling in life and of growing. Thank you all for being a part of this voice, of this dialogue.

5. Of Time.

As Sam sang in “Casablanca”, time goes by. Fast. Each Monday represents a moment in time, of thought, of life. I’m constantly learning to develop a mindset of never taking even the mundane moments of time for granted. Too much can change in the proverbial blink of an eye that can radically change our lives for the better, or for the worse. It is cliché, but so true that time is our most precious commodity, that once spent can never be brought or bought back. I am truly honored and thankful that you spend some of your most valued time on a Monday with M5T.

And so, on this 9th anniversary of Monday 5 Things, here’s to a week devoted to all of you, my fellow M5T’ers, to which I come today with a humble thank you for investing your time on a Monday; for being moved to click a thumbs up or emoji; for your encouragement; and for your comments or private messages. Thank you all so much!

© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com