abk Lifestyle: A Taste of the Deep South

Last Tuesday evening, the storm came out of nowhere. I was out on the course playing and helping another player, and we had been delayed earlier due to lightning, but something started to feel downright bizarre. All of a sudden, an intense four club wind began that didn’t stop until Thursday. 40+ mph here. 90+ mph off the coast, I read. Some how, some way, a line of violent electric storms that didn’t stop until Saturday night decided to appear.

In less than 24 hours, my parents were set to arrive from North Carolina, and they were ready to experience this unique outdoor lifestyle I had been busy designing from afar.

Well, there’s always next year.

When the golf outings and soccer games were inevitably cancelled, we did what you are supposed to do in the Deep South: eat. We ate and ate and ate. We visited. We chatted. My dad and I snuck in some wet chips and putts. My mom played Super Mario Bros., much to my delight. And then we ate some more.

Instead of trying to describe the meals, this week, I’ll simply show a few pictures and let your imagination and taste buds do the writing for me.

On the last night, everyone gathered for a big dinner out, and an interesting thing happened. When my father has a meal that is exceptionally good (both service and food), it has the same effect as some other person drinking a good bottle of wine. He subtly gets very happy, and the stories start flowing. (He was a college professor for decades, so he has some good ones.) That was really fun, and then we all said our goodbyes.

As we said goodbye, just for the hell of it, I glanced at next week’s weather forecast and just smirked. Perfect weather, as usual.

Life is absolutely hilarious.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Travel: That Trial and Error Lifestyle

Last week, I wrote about worlds. Throughout the past four years, I’ve written extensively about my travels, hidden gems along the way, and happy places. Places that just hit me a little differently deep down. Places that I will jump at to experience over and over. Places that provide a quite particular and personal experience.

How have I found these experiences? The only way that I know how…brochures! (Ha! Just kidding.) I just go. I go and find them. I go and feel the vibe personally. The exploration is half the battle.

Nestled just south of the mega mansions in America’s third wealthiest zip code is a half mile swath of land, if that, that is home to one of my new favorite places. Two of my new favorite places, to be precise: the small public beach run by the Town of Palm Beach, Florida, and the ridiculously beautiful Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course, also owned by the town.

In the land of billionaires and private beaches, we enjoyed this little public nook, two hour free parking and all. Christy, Banks, and I hung out there on a sunny Thursday amidst a smattering of scantily clad women and men. (It is South Florida, baby!). It was just a vibe, really. Beautiful blue water. Boats zipping by. Not a care in the world.

But it was Saturday at the beach that really hit deep. Christy stayed home, as Banks and I braved the windy day. As we wandered out for a more adventurous boys day, the sea breeze had the waves crashing. I asked Banks if he was ready, and he asked ready for what? To ride your first wave, son. Shaking with excitement, he said he was ready. We tried, we failed. We tried, we failed. And then with me a mere feet away, a big one got him, and he somersaulted and twisted his way back to shore. Proud as can be and laughing uncontrollably, I shuffled to shore to congratulate him as he stood up. Unsure of what had just happened, he looked at me shocked. I gave him a high five, told him great job, and asked if he was okay. After a brief confused second, he started shaking with excitement again, ready for round two (and three and four).

I had driven past the golf course a couple of years ago, musing to myself that it looked quite beautiful. Fast forward to Thursday after the beach, and it was time for my maiden voyage. Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway, the course is prime property. Three holes play along the waterway, three holes play along the ocean, and the others have various views that might bring you to your knees. I was in love, straightaway. Two near holes in one, four birdies, and even par on my first 18 made it even better.

But there was time for more. 9 more until a ravishing sunset hit, and then another 27 Saturday night in already worn clothes and almost comical wind. Happy places could care less about details like that, so why should I?

I’d like to shout out Aunt Robin aka Rockin’ Robin (tweet, tweet) for hosting such a beautiful Spring Break 2021. There are so many great memories: local food, drink, Miami, the safari, etc.

What could have been better?

Well, I tried a golf course on Friday that was absolutely terrible, so that was a miss. (I did, however, play with a couple of cool dudes.) The restaurant, al Fresco, that was recommended by literally everyone I met was completely booked by the time I called, so that was a miss. And it would have been awesome to have the jet ski down there, zigging and zagging amongst the yachts and speedboats of the rich and famous, so that was a miss.

But the cool thing about happy places is that they have a way of inviting you back. To repeat those things that you love to do, and to correct those things that you might have missed.

Next month, I’m headed to West Texas to an area I know little to nothing about. (I’m still waiting on the brochure in the mail 🤦🏽‍♂️.). And I have a feeling, just a little gut feeling, that it’s going to hit hard too. The freedom of wide open spaces is an exploration invitation that I have a difficult time passing up.

Have a great week.-Benj

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A(bk) Seeker’s World: Where Anything is Possible

As much as I despise limiting categories, I am equally enamored with limitless worlds.

Where I am now, both externally and internally, literally and figuratively, is because I discovered or was introduced to worlds that I did not know previously existed. To a seeker like me, getting here is both just the beginning and also a massive success.

Ocean Springs, Mississippi? Never heard of it.

Jet skiing on random Wednesdays? Get out of here.

Friday nights in New Orleans? Stop it.

Shooting under par, even par, or just over par nearly every time out? Seriously, stop it.

Running two marathons with serious arthritis? No way!

Playing golf essentially 549 days straight? Impossible.

Not sleeping in my own bed for two years straight? Maniac!

Writing 196 articles about my ongoing seeking and unorthodox lifestyle? 👀

Golfing in Tijuana? Hitchhiking in Iceland? Highly unlikely.

Unlearning everything, then consciously, thoughtfully reconsidering everything.

Learning the importance of using my unique view on life to help others.

Learning how to be a father.

Learning the importance of feelings.

Learning how to re-center my life’s priorities daily, sometimes more.

Learning how to relax. (A little.)

Learning how to use discomfort and uncertainty for extreme personal growth and to build the lifestyle I didn’t know could actually exist.

Learning to be happy.

Learning courage, and how to combat fear.

Learning to live.

Every day, I see or hear someone (or lots of someones) who, it’s obvious, has never been thoroughly introduced to another world. (Contrastingly, I also interact with tons of people who introduce ME to their many interesting worlds!)

As someone who has been lucky enough to explore thousands of worlds, I am aware of the growth, potential, and open mindedness that each new world can unlock.

At abk, I am not trying to change anybody. No, no, no. Hell, I couldn’t if I tried. That’s on each individual person to own his or her life story. What I am trying to show (introduce) are the endless worlds, possibilities, and potential that actually exist out there, should we ever choose to stop placing limits on ourselves.

For me personally, this involves constant reinvention each time I get more clarity along my journey.

I remember running that first NYC Marathon lifetimes ago, thinking I was busting down some proverbial wall. A young man with ankylosing spondylitis pounding and pounding when he shouldn’t be. Doing something that he really shouldn’t be able to do. And then I saw the runner who couldn’t see, the participant with only one leg, the participant with no legs…

And that day, I was introduced to a new world. I remember saying to myself, When you think you are pushing your limits, Benj, you are not even close. You are just scratching the surface.

And now, four years on, it’s just my way of life.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Lifestyle: Spring has Sprung

“Every day is an opportunity for a fashion show.”-abk

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to live life in a certain way. I couldn’t articulate that until recently, but it has been burning inside of me for decades. I was always less concerned with the typical what, more concerned with the style with which the what was done. More concerned with the pure feeling of individual freedom, my Truth, and self-expression than, well, pretty much everything else.

At almost 39 years old, I’m as interested as ever in living a vibrant life. At all times, basically. That experience is managed individually and internally, but it can be lived and expressed in many different external ways. Sometimes that way is to talk, but if I have to actually talk, I want it to be something worth talking about. Otherwise, I’m going to use a language that doesn’t require speaking.

I always wondered why I would audibly say something when I could…wear a certain belt or pair of shorts, kick a ball a certain way, move my body in a certain manner, play a certain chord, or maneuver a little white ball exactly as intended… to say it for me?

I always suspected that many aspects of life could be fully experienced without uttering a single word.

Next week begins the next chapter (Q2 in my old banking life), a 2-3 month span of excitement that I hope introduces me to my next opportunity. At a bare minimum, it should be super vibrant.

First, a good buddy from out west comes to see what the Deep South is all about. Then, it’s down to South Florida for a little spring break family fun in the sun. Next, my recently vaccinated parents come down, eager to see if they are still taller than their behemoth 6-year old grandson. Then, it’s over to New Orleans to work at The PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic. I’m super excited to be inside the ropes with the players, watching their every move and learning everything that I can. In May, I plan to head to Far West Texas with a friend to camp and explore. And in June, a little bit of this and a little bit of that, hopefully ending with playing my first ever sanctioned (real) competitive golf tournament.

In the meantime, I work on the golf every day. 543 days now (my body hates me). It’s amazing how far I’ve come. It’s amazing how much work self-mastery requires.

During these next few months, anything but khakis®️ turns 4 and abk golf turns 2. 195 articles of talking. It’s all about creating. It’s all about passion. It’s all about pushing limits and getting better.

I use the word vibrant this week because I find it an accurate term to describe my journey’s activity, attitude, and mindset goal. As I heard Sadhguru describe this week, to live life intensely while being super relaxed. I’ve got the former dialed in. The latter, I’m getting better each day.

I’m sure the South Florida sun will help.

Have a great week.-Benj

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The Responsibility of abk (and Everyone)

“Man’s greatest burden is unfulfilled potential.”- Businessman Dan Peña

I basically live at the golf course. I love it, being outside for hours every day. I work, I help, I practice, I play, I explore nature with my son, I learn, I socialize, and I compete. I’m part tour guide, part travel agent, part therapist. Since I am there so much, I’m getting asked more and more if I give golf lessons. The corporate answer is no, I’m not certified to formally teach. But if you are asking for a little help or are just wanting to get better, then the answer is absolutely yes. Over 23 months and counting of daily grinding, I’ve learned a few things that I’d be happy to pass along.

I’m not a technical guy in golf or life. I don’t need a piece of paper or big title. I just see things. I see things you may not see or may not want to see, especially about yourself (annoying, I know). Sometimes I see things ten steps ahead. I know I’m going to get there, but I have a hard time articulating the how or why. (I’ve been working on that. The writing has helped immensely.)

As such, I cannot explain the golf swing, and I have very little interest in talking X’s and O’s. I feel things, and I like that. In the pitch black, I can hit a ball and tell you if it went straight, left, or right. I recently got new wedges, simply because my previous 58 degree wedge literally didn’t suit my eye. I can’t tell you exactly why. The grind, the bounce, the this, the that? I told the club fitter I would know it when I saw it and felt it.

Throughout my journey, I have learned that I have a beautiful gift: the ability to experience life through a unique lens. (As an outsider, this also applies to golf.). It used to make me feel so different, but more and more I have found opportunities to deploy that perspective to help others. It is actually one of my superpowers. We all have one.

When it comes to the game of golf, let me share some of my outsider observations. The physical aspect is super hard, but relatively straightforward. The mental/emotional aspect is even harder and more complex. And when it comes to regular Joe’s asking for help, three things get in the way: money, fear, and ego.

So when I am asked if I give lessons, I usually say this. I am not PGA certified. I am not the guy to give you advanced technical swing tips. But if you want to get better, to learn to think your way around the course, set your ego to the side, overcome your fears, weigh risk and reward, and play a little strategic offense (processed all in about 15 seconds), I might have a handful/lifetime of first person experiences that will help you.

How much for your time?

Don’t worry about it. abk is free. Actual effort is the only currency I’m concerned with.

A recent request saw me getting right to work, my matter-of-fact take on golf/life kicking in straightaway. On the par 5 16th hole, I dropped four balls at 240 yards out. Danger loomed long and right to a back, back pin. Short and left were safe. As my new friends looked on, I decided to play smart with my first shot. From a weird downhill lie, I tried to play too safe and I got lazy, the ball ending up only 125 yards down the fairway. For the second ball, shockingly, I did the exact same thing. Feeling their confidence in me waning, I torched the third ball, a 3 iron 240 yards to the bottom left side of the green, still a safe play leaving a little chip and a putt for birdie. Finally, I pulled my 3 wood, choked down, and faded the last ball right at the flag leaving about 25 feet for eagle.

I broke the silence with this. Sometimes the safe play backfires. Sometimes the safe play works out just as safely as expected. Sometimes the risky play is absolutely amazing. And sometimes you shit all over yourself. You just have to make a decision. Safe play. Risky play. Somewhere in between. The only no-no is indecision. That’ll keep you stuck in the 1800s, as I like to say.

Well, how do I know what the right decision is?

Try it a few (or a thousand) times, and then own it. It’s just a golf shot.

When I wrote that Charlotte Agenda article about style lifetimes ago, I remember reading a comment that said, Who is this guy? What are his credentials?

I then remember cringing to myself, thinking as if you need a piece of paper to prove you are truly good at something or able to help. Just another goofy comment along the way that helped empower the transformation from different perspective to beautiful gift.

Brain surgeons need pieces of paper. Ditto to airline pilots. Helping others find their highest potential does not. #abk

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Journey: When Not Knowing is Knowing

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”- well-known proverb

One of the most powerful sentences I have learned to embrace along the journey of the last almost four years is this: I don’t know.

If you want one of my secrets, that is it. We can’t predict or control life, no matter how hard we stubbornly try. (Just look at last year’s hurricane season.)

Is this going to work out?

I don’t know.

Is this a big mistake?

I don’t know.

Does Mississippi suck?

I don’t know.

Will I get really good at golf?

I don’t know.

What’s my end goal?

I don’t know.

Will my body hold up?

I don’t know.

Will there be enough money?

I don’t know.

Will a hurricane hit?

Yes, but I digress.

Will I meet new friends?

I don’t know.

Will I be accepted?

I don’t know.

How in the world could I know the answers to any of these questions? This is my first and only life, to my knowledge, and I’ve never done any of these things before.

Previously, I had never, at the age of 36, quit my comfortable job with great pay and benefits, moved away from my family and friends to Mississippi, altered this, changed that, dropped most (if not all) stale/outdated/irrelevant beliefs, started writing, travelled aimlessly and endlessly, embarked on a rigorous golf journey… to fully understand the life and design the lifestyle that I personally, consciously wanted as a now 38 year old adult.

I had never done that before. How could I possibly expect to know anything?

Ironically, as I mentioned last week, ever since I adopted complete uncertainty into my life, I feel like I have lived four beautiful lifetimes, if not more.

It’s an unorthodox life, for sure, as it relates to the straight and narrow. A conventional financial advisor might scream at me. But surely you know by now that I’m not into the orthodox, conventional, or traditional. I’m into personalized, customized, highly intentional, one-of-a-kind living.

I’m not interested in the restrictive, made up categories of life. I’m interested in life as a massive, endless opportunity. Sure, I could offer some insight into certain categories: navigating change, playing soccer, real estate investment, or how to hit a 7 iron (I have and I happily will).

But I’m really not on this Earth to give advice. I learned that early along the journey. I like to tell stories. I don’t like answering the question, Will this work?, because the answer is often I don’t know. That’s why each person, myself included, has to own their life story. Own the dirt and the grime, the uncertainty, and the failures.

Speaking of, I have one other secret: my definition of failure is my own, no one else’s. I honestly don’t think much about failure because failing at what I’m trying to accomplish is still massive success. But if I have to articulate it, failure, for me, is not giving everything I have in the tank as it relates to my relationship with life and my potential. Failure, for me, is not even attempting what I previously knew to be impossible. You know, the you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone that is taught in kindergarten, then oft just tossed to the side.

This not working out or that not working out categorized as failure? Who cares? Seriously, who made all this stuff up?

Have a great week.-Benj

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Lights, Camera…Quiet

“Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.” – widely used quote (¿Irene Peter?)

Last week, I wrote about action. Doing. If doing was an Olympic sport, I’d be a five-time Gold Medalist. This week, I want to talk about stillness. Being. If being was an Olympic sport, I wouldn’t even qualify to watch it on TV. Until recently. Maybe.

They are completely opposite concepts, but both vitally important to life and my personal journey.

I traded North Carolina for Mississippi.

I traded Charlotte for New Orleans.

I traded skyscrapers for dolphins.

I traded banking for golf.

I traded Gucci loafers for FootJoy spikes.

I traded the Hornets for the Pelicans.

I traded the Panthers for the…wait, no I didn’t.

I traded eastern NC vinegar BBQ for shrimp po’ boys.

I traded lots more. Everything is different. Everything.

But the real change came in learning how to be. Learning how to sit alone, in stillness and in silence, with no outside human, commercial, or material influence. I can’t imagine a better way to find what I really want in life, especially as an already influenced adult. I did have to be able to handle The Truth. Not the truth in relation to anyone else. My Truth.

Sounds lonely? No chance. Sounds boring? Absolutely not. Almost four years on, I try to do it 1-5 times every single day. It usually involves sunrise, sunset, animals, nature, reading, and breathing. It’s really just yoga, a daily re-centering, in my own damn way.

How does just being help, you ask? It promotes calmness to explore self-expansion. It promotes clarity to explore life possibilities. It helps remove limits, most of which we self-impose.

Doing + Being = abk. There’s a little simple math for you. What does that mean?

In traditional terms, I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing over the past four years. Gone backwards even. Miles backwards in some areas. But in the grand experience of life, I’ve lived four lifetimes, if not more.

I really just made another trade. I traded traditional categories and definitions of success for life. For living. How is that measured, you ask? Don’t get me started…

Have a great week.-Benj

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The (Not So) Simple Steps of the (Not So) Simple abk Journey

“Half of the work was just starting. The other half was trying all sorts of stuff to see what I actually enjoyed. The next half was (and is) grinding on and on and on with these things until…”-abk

Look at what I found while unpacking some boxes a couple of weeks ago.

It’s been nearly four years since I started the now defunct, less than world famous fashion blog, anything but khakis. If you have an extra few minutes on your hands anytime soon, you can scroll all the way to the bottom of my Instagram page (@anythingbutkhakis) and have a great laugh with (or at) me.

While you are there, start scrolling up. Somehow, a startup fashion blog hobby turned into a pretty intense lifelong pursuit of self-mastery, lifestyle design, and an ever-expanding potential.

First, it was fashion. Then it was running races. Then it was writing. Then it was traveling. Then it was hats. Then it was more traveling. And then tattoos. And then encouragement. Sporting events. Photography. Family. Friends. Parenting. Golf trips. Mississippi, as an idea. Underwater modeling hahahahahaha!

Mississippi, as an action. Golf photography. New Orleans. The golf journey. The beach. The United States north to south. The United States east to west. Coaching kids soccer. Pelicans. North Carolina visits. Mardi Gras. Crazy belts. The fishing camp. Jet skiing. New house. New job. Scratch golf. Hurricanes. Dolphins. Fishing.

I could go on, but my thumbs are getting sore.

And to think, had I not finally garnered the courage to start the now defunct, less than world famous fashion blog, anything but khakis, none of this would have ever happened.

And to think, had I not tried all of these different things, many of them new, some of them utterly ridiculous, I wouldn’t know what sets my heart on fire.

And to think, had I not kept it moving in the right direction, I might have gone back to what was easy and comfortable.

And to think, I made it so complex. Start. Try stuff. Discard what doesn’t work. Otherwise, keep at it. I remember, prior to four years ago, when that indeed was terrifying.

Can you believe I had a business card made for an online fashion blog? I’m dying over here 😂 ☠️.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Adventure Time: Too Good to be True

This trip began with two readings. The first, an excerpt from the late Anthony Bourdain. The second, a meditation from Sadhguru. Two seemingly completely different human beings saying the exact same thing. Live life. Explore. Set fear to the side.

Having said that, my first order of business was to outrun the treacherous Winter Storm Uri. So I put the readings down and left an hour early.

Back in November, I received an email from Team Titleist that caught my attention. Amidst my 2,154 unread emails, this one stood out. For $699 plus tax and fees, I would get WHAT? I read the email about ten times, then saved it. I’d be back.

For $699, I could go to Pinehurst in January or February and do/get the following: a round on US Open course # 2, a round on its newly redesigned and rebranded sister course # 4, a round on The Cradle (the most fun little course in the world), two nights in the historic Carolina Hotel, the legendary breakfast buffet each morning (shout out chicken and apple sausage), dinner every evening, a Titleist club fitting session, and a $200 Titleist gift card. I quickly started doing some math.

I like value. I always have. It can be stocks, it can be real estate, it can be clearance sales, it can be golf packages. Per my quick math, this package was worth about $1750. For $699. It was happening. 100%.

With Covid-19, new house building, and all sorts of other riff raff going down, I purposely waited until the 11th hour to book the trip. As such, the weekends were sold out, but the weekdays were wide open. It would be tricky to get some friends to basically take a week off from whatever, but I threw out a few East Coast invites. I got plenty of No’s, plenty of Maybe’s, and two Yes’s. That was good enough for me.

My childhood friend, Kevin aka Caveman, is always up for it. My newish friend, Ben aka Birmingham Ben aka The Lord Benjamin, is too. Ask this, move this, bob here, weave there. And it was done. February 16-18. Pinehurst, NC. Old friends meet new friends.

I still thought the package was too good to be true. Where was the upcharge? Where were the extras?

We played the crazy 18 hole putting green, Thistle Du, first on Tuesday. We then walked # 4 in crazy windy conditions. The highlight was Caveman’s much improved ballstriking, which was super fun to watch. We then looped The Cradle twice, drinks in hand, singing alongside the music blaring. Pinehurst Brewing Co. provided our dinner, the whole experience an A+. Soon thereafter, three thirty something year olds crashed. Hard.

We started Wednesday off with the Titleist fitting. It was early. It was cold. It was so fun. Ben and Caves hit drivers. I worked on my wedges. Caveman’s company provides the metal for the new Titleist driver, so he and the fitters geeked out over that. Next, we tackled # 2, one of my favorite places in the world. There is no respite on this beast, each punch in the mouth immediately followed by another punch in the gut. It’s like torture, but somehow super fun.

A little gift card shopping followed, then some transfusions and appetizers, and then it was time for dinner. I wore a jacket for the first time (minus a funeral) in the better part of two years. I brought dress shoes too, but they never made it to my aching feet.

Somehow, the Maine lobster was not an upcharge, so I indulged. Nor was the lemon and raspberry sorbet, which the boys are still making fun of me about. Afterwards, we sat on the porch in the brisk air and chatted about real life, always the best part of any trip. We giggled about Fran Tarkenton. Or was it Frank Tarlton. Or was it Frank Tarkleton. #insidejoke

Somehow, in a North Carolina winter rife with constant rain and gloom, we got two beautiful Carolina blue sky days. It was windy Tuesday. It was a little chilly Wednesday. But it was otherwise perfect. Somehow, there was no upcharge for that.

On the front end of the trip, I got to see my sister and nieces. On both ends, I got to see my parents.

As we departed on Thursday morning, it was 32 degrees, sleeting, and time to outmaneuver Winter Storm Viola. So we said our goodbyes, and I asked The Lord and The Caveman if we should go ahead and book our Team Titleist adventure for next year.

Jokingly, but dead serious.

Have a great week.-Benj

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The Greatest Day of Each Year

No, I am not talking about Valentine’s Day, which just happens to be today. No, I am not talking about the usual suspects, Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving. No, I am not talking about my birthday. No, I am not even talking about Opening Day of MLB or Masters Sunday. Nor am I talking about the kickoff of soccer and football season in the fall (though they are close).

I am talking about February 10, my son’s birthday, the day that over the last two or three years has come to be my absolute favorite of the year.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this feeling inside that every day should be lived to the max. Only in the last almost four years have I actually acted 100% on that, making sure that Saturday was no more important than Monday, Sunday no more important than Wednesday. I remember having the feeling inside that if I wanted to give thanks, I need not wait until Thanksgiving. That if I wanted to show love, a random Thursday would do. And MY birthday? My parents should be the ones celebrated, not me.

As such, I didn’t have a day, a day that I just adored, outside of a handful on the sports calendar that indeed got me buzzing.

Every year just prior to February 10, Christy commandeers my phone and snags hundreds of pictures of our son to make a beautiful year in review birthday video. This video is really the crux of why February 10 is my favorite day of the year. On his birthday, we make a big freaking deal of the entire day, then that night, to the backdrop of some meaningful song that year, we watch the video. And I cry and cry and cry, thinking about each picture and what we were doing and/or talking about when it was taken.

You see, one of the skills I’ve most enjoyed developing over the past four years has been the ability to take photos and videos and still truly be present. To not live the moment through a video, but to live the moment real time AND have a video to remind me of the moment later on. It took some time to get it right, but on February 10 each year, the effort is so worth it.

As we watched earlier this week, through my tears, I would shout exactly what we were talking about as each picture was taken (annoying, I’m sure). Or what day it was. Or any number of other meaningful stuff. It was like reliving all of these wonderful moments over again, if only for five seconds.

Sometimes the big man asks us to put the phone away, and sometimes he desperately wants us to take some silly video when we really don’t want to. It’s a balancing act that will never be perfect.

But as long as I am honestly in the moment, fully conscious of what is happening, able to feel, I am going to snap away. Because on February 10 each year, we go back in the past to relive what was already felt in the present, and that gets me super excited for all of life’s possibilities for the next year.

And that is why it has easily become my favorite day of the year.

Have a great week.-Benj

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