When Life Gets You Down … The Notepad

I used to withdraw myself from everything and everyone when I was feeling the need to think about things.

The obvious place was my bedroom, but only when my brother wasn’t around – since we shared bedrooms for the first few years we lived in this particular house. Then when I couldn’t get the privacy I wanted, I would drive to some remote point in northern Illinois where I could be all by myself and think about things in my life with absolutely NO interruption.

I ran across an old spiral notebook labeled “Dubuque Think Session.” One night, about 4 years ago, away from the rest of the world I know. I sat on some large rocks along the Dubuque riverfront and jotted things down in this book. I think a lot when I’m driving, and this 80-mile trip gave me plenty of things to think about.

I haven’t gone on such a gargantuan trip in a long time, thank goodness. That’s because I found myself in a place all by myself when I moved into the home I live in now. (The white concrete blocks seem like a fortress of sorts).

The whiteboard (see earlier post) was written up within the confines of my living room. It hangs on an ornate metal shelf in my living room, and is something that I look at every day.

There is another item of inspiration in the living room. I don’t look at this as much as the whiteboard, but only because I can’t hang it anywhere.


I came up with this while bored and depressed one night, and it jotting things in it helped me get out of that particular funk.

Written on the binding are the phrases “BE A SUPERSTAR!” and “RISE UP!”

Another phrase is “Don’t let (her) defeat you!” Because there is no way I’m going to burn in hell.

With stars along the red margin lines, I have a small note after each one of them to help me solve the problems of my life.

Some of which include:

“Exercising moves time”

“Decrease Facebook posts from midnight to 7 a.m.”

“Get to games 1 hour before they start – good seating and parking – less game stress”

“Shave more often”

I’ll find myself reaching for this notepad and reading the things I wrote, and try to apply them more than I had when I originally written them.

Every now and again, I’ll add more notes to this list.

There were a couple of times that I went back and re-wrote the things I wrote earlier, and included them with more notes and tips for a better life.

One night not too long after Christmas was one of those nights when I grabbed the notepad from my TV stand and started to read and write.

“More blog posts”

“Keep using the camera”

“Journalism think sessions – kinda like these”

“Go to games early, better seating, less stress” – a re-write from a previous list

“Smaller meals/Sprite”

Those are just some of the things that I wrote down, as most of the items are just too personal for me to share quite yet.

(Now that I’m writing this entry, I made an additional entry to this notepad.