19 Lessons I Learned From 2019. (Plus one for the New Year.)

  1. My diagnosis of ADD, High Functioning Autism (Aspergers), Depression and Anxiety. I learned that these symptoms are representations of what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance in the War of Art. But really it’s all just an addiction to pain, shame, pessimism, isolation, and no creative or productive outlet. Weston and Shadow King is resistance and Great Grandma is the muse.
  1. Quotes of the Year: “Comparison is the thief of joy,” quote of the year from Meggan, “Never ask for permission only forgiveness.”
  2. As a result, there’s a lot of internal conflict happening here. Meditation and Stoicism has taught me how to respond to that internal conflict.
  3. Estrangement is the norm, but for the first time in a generation that’s changing and it started with my parents and it continues to me. That is an incredible honor (and burden.)
  4. It’s my responsibility to give all that I have to my family and the stories I want to tell. Being a dad is a privilege and I must remember that every day.
  5. Doulas are amazing human beings. “The second child’s birth is the birth of a father.”
  6. John Grisham’s Work Routine is what works for me.
  7. Headspace Meditations on Sleep Health, Pain Management, and Anxiety are helping me defeat my resistance.
  8. Always remember what it’s like to be a kid.
  9. Seven to nine hours of sleep is required.
  10. Read everything, put yourself—as strange as you are—on the page.
  11. Less is more in life and digital.
  12. Remember the walk to Mirror Lake. That is your Creator’s Path. You listen to everything, choose a new action, and stop blaming others.
  13. If you want to get stuff done, wake up early.
  14. Playing with Loglines: Wonder Boys meets Parenthood and Legion. For fans of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series and the work of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. As if John Hughes, Danny Woodrell, and Kelly Link were on the writing staff of Twin Peaks. Tintin meets Hellboy. Little Nemo in Slumberland in the 21st century.
  15. The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony and how being an office drone leads to creative death.
  16. What it means to be the father of a daughter and there are unwitting predators everywhere. Transfering that anger from real life to fiction.
  17. Matthew McConaughey on life not being easy, unbelievable is the dumbest word, happiness is an if/then statement and never attainable, but joy is a constant ever-present process of doing the work of being a human. That you must define success for yourself and don’t leave crumbs behind. Pay yourself every day.
  18. Small things lead to big things and a lack of doing the small things lead to big problems. So make small things playful activities with your kids.
  19. Finally always ask: how does this next action impact my intentions to be a loving, joyful, proactive husband, father, and storyteller?

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