Monday Five Things

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Lessons from an Old Man …..

We became friends when I was in high school. He was already an old man, a widower, yet there was something about him that I was drawn to, intrigued by, and respected greatly. As I grew older, he became all the more influential in my life. I was reminded of him again when I saw a dilapidated fishing boat on the Pacific Ocean a few weeks ago.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Inspired …..

“What inspires you?” I felt I gave a somewhat quick, rather trite response to my friend that asked the question. I’ve since reflected on the question, rolling it around in my mind, pondering a better answer, perhaps for no one other than myself. Today’s M5T, postulates a more considered response to a seemingly simple question that, once we understand the complexity of the answer for ourselves, can shape a fulfilled life.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Don’t …..

I was agitated. The morning did not start out as I had expected. And then it happened. The balloon began to rise over the distance mountains. Six shots changed my perspective for the day. Six shots changed my negative thinking to a mindset of thankfulness, gratitude, and peace. And as I thanked God for such a beautiful reminder, this morning’s M5T took shape.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Laboring .....

Whichever country you are reading this in, Labo(u)r Day is meant to be a celebration of the work of so many who make these countries two of the greatest in the world and yes, I still believe that. Today’s M5T pauses to reflect on the importance of labor, no matter how you spell it.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Passions .....

For each Sunday that I’ve been fortunate to attend the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, I pause at the top of Hay's Hill before heading down to the storied 18th fairway...And once again, inspired by a most beautiful part of the world, M5T considers passions in our lives.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Luxuries Revisited .....

It’s that time of year again when I take my cameras and glass and head out for South Magazine’s ‘South Goes West’ at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Car Week. A week of photographing some of the most beautiful automobiles, old and new, in one of the most picturesque parts of the world, is definitely a highlight of the year for me. This year I’ve added Hagerty’s Motorlux to the coverage; luxury can’t even begin to describe this unique event. This morning’s M5T revisits some of life’s greatest luxuries.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Round 2 It …..

“I’ll get around to it.” A phrase repeated by a precocious, barely mustachioed teenager who felt he had better things to do than the tasks that his mother wanted done around the house. In class one morning, I opened up a textbook, to find a sticker. A ‘Round 2 It’ sticker. Mom had a rather subtle way of getting messages across to me. It has stuck with me as reminder all my life. Thinking through some decision points recently, I mused where my mom’s “Round 2 It” sticker might apply. This morning’s M5T gets round to getting “Round 2 It’ in life.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Would Rather …..

For the record, I was not the buyer of the $1.28 billion ticket this week....I will confess to dropping two bucks down on the lottery and giving myself the time to have a few moments – to which I will also confess to wasting far too much time - fantasizing as to how I would use such funds. Those thoughts lead me to pen this morning’s M5T about things I would rather have.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Living Full …..

The Weather Channel called for rain. However, the forecast failed to include the word “monsoon” levels of precipitation. I was at the photo-hole between T11 and T12 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the heavens opened with a Noahesque torrent. ...Waiting for the rain to stop, dripping all over the interior of the car (sorry Avis), the phrase, “Living Full” came to mind. I grabbed a pen and paper from my camera bag and this week’s M5T poured out.

“Monday 5 Things ….. Graham’isms …..

Hang around me long enough and you’ll hear certain phrases that I use quite often. I can’t take credit for all of them, but I have embraced them, living the meanings behind them for years. This morning’s M5T shares some of these simple, yet profound perspectives on life that I’ve adopted as Graham’isms.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Meditations of a Philosopher King …..

A good friend of mine has been going through a particularly tough valley at this point in his life. He mentioned to me that his daughter has ordered him a copy of ‘The Meditations’. It’s been one of my go-to books during challenging times in my life. Today M5T looks at some of the musings of an emperor who has been called a Philosopher King.

“Monday 5 Things ….. A Straddled Border…..

This past Friday, on July 1st, Canada celebrated 155 years of a self-governing country with a division of powers between federal and provincial governments. This morning, July 4th, the US will celebrate 246 years of independence as a representative republic. Today’s M5T straddles both sides of the 49th parallel to celebrate the two greatest countries in the world.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Of Ari, Randy, James, Bill, & 4 Brits …..

Aristotle wrote in his seminal tome, “Ethics”, that there are three types of friendship. The first is a friendship of utility or advantage. Each person may not even really like each other, but there is a mutually profitable relationship in which each person provides something that the other needs. The second is a friendship based on pleasure or fun. Once the fun stops, a deeper friendship can break through. The third and most profound, is what Aristotle called the “friendship of good-will”. A genuine friend that loves another for the sake of that other person. In a word, “true”. With a nod to Aristotle, and other lesser recognized philosophers Randy Newman, James Taylor, Bill Withers, and the Beatles, today’s M5T looks at true friendship.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Patterns …..

It was a long but productive week. I was enjoying a cleansing ale as the waves of the evening tide meandered their way higher up the beach. I softly sang along with the guitarist playing on the patio of the hotel, leaned back in my chair, and looked up. Contrasted against an azure sky, golden sunset light painted the cotton-like cumulus and thin wispy strands of cirrus clouds. Soft sea breeze winds leisurely fashioned patterns with the clouds. The serenity of the moment served not only to wash off the stress of the week but left me with a sense of deep gratitude and awe. Jotting down thoughts of patterns, this morning’s M5T took form.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Everyone …..

I recently read about a newspaper reporter for the Lewiston Morning Tribune named David Johnson. For over 20 years, he has picked a name out of the local phone book and, if the person called agrees to be interviewed, their story is printed in his Friday column, “Everyone Has a Story”. Wow do I wish I had thought of that. Johnson inspired this morning’s M5T by starting a new week considering things that everyone has.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Marked Time …..

Time. Five days that focused on time. Departure and arrival times. Session times, start times, lap times, finish times. Prep time for the team to get the cars ready for testing and racing. Time through the bus-stop, the esses, the boot, the heel, the toe. Time between corners to photograph beautiful cars at speed. Time to observe, to contemplate, to appreciate.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Sunsets, Mermaids & Un’s …..

It was a perfect low country evening. Wispy clouds, no gnats or humidity, and a rising flower moon that was a day away from being full. All were minor in comparison to our serious task at hand. Four-year-old Nellie was on her first boat ride and we were on a quest for mermaids and dolphins.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Thumper’s Theorem…..

Each year since my mom’s passing from Alzheimer’s, I’ve devoted the Monday after Mother’s Day to her memory. My mom was a gentle soul, who did not have an easy life growing up, but she always had a smile, a memory, or a story to share with anyone she met. I rarely ever heard her say a negative thing about anyone else. As far back as I can recall into my childhood, she drummed into me, the “Thumper” approach to life.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Four Letter Words …..

Sitting in my office in the wee hours of a Thursday morning, I heard two men loudly arguing on the sidewalk right under my window. It seemed that every second word from each of them was a expletive that rhymes with buck. I looked down from my window to keep an eye on them until they parted ways. As I sat back down at my desk, the heaviness of their anger, the violence of their speech, and the use of their profanity got me thinking about other four-letter words. This morning’s M5T considers four-letter words to live by.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. If I Had A Million Dollars …..

This morning's M5T may give you some insight into how somewhat peculiar thought patterns in my brain work. I leave you with some distinctly ironic names (which I did not make up – you can Google them) of finance professionals to hopefully start your week with a chortle.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Risen Indeed …..

I quietly stepped out on the balcony of our room and for over two hours watched as the storm slowly moved over the ocean and meandered up the Georgian coast. Dazzling flashes of lightning illuminated the grounds of the resort, the whitecaps of waves, and backlit the dark and ominous clouds. The winds drove rain sideways and buffeted the palm trees. My body resonating with every concussive tonitruant of thunder. I have always marveled at thunderstorms; so much peace found in the midst of so much turbulence.