Oh Hell, The Cubs Win!

Chicago Cubs, Cubs win, World Series, National League Pennant, baseball, writing, short story, The Devil, hell, Modern Philosopher“I’m sorry I’m so late,” The Devil apologized when he finally arrived at The House on the Hill this afternoon.  “I’ve brought my famous Hellfire Wings to help make up for my tardiness.

As always, he was dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, his hair was perfectly slicked back from his handsome face, and he flashed a charming, yet Devilish smile.

But he looked exhausted.

“Late night in the Windy City?” I asked as I hungrily accepted Lucifer’s offering of the most delicious chicken wings I’ve ever eaten.

“How did you ever guess?” The Prince of Darkness chuckled as he came around to sit on his end of the couch.

He let out a heavy sigh and closed his eyes for a moment.

“I stayed up to watch the game,” I explained as I fished an ice cold Snapple out of the cooler and placed it on the table in front of my weary guest.  “The Yankees might be out of it, but I still like to watch history being made.”

“What an amazing crowd.  Wrigley was pulsating,” Satan explained and then took a long sip of his iced tea.  “I got to hang out with Eddie Vedder and John Cusack.  Both gentleman are very cool.”

I took a big bite out of a Hellfire Wing to hide my jealousy.  I was a huge fan of Vedder and Cusack.  Why didn’t my annoying house guest take me to the game with him so I could have met them?

Eddie Vedder, John Cusack, Cubs, National League Pennant, World Series, short story, The Devil, humor, Modern Philosopher“Sorry I didn’t think to invite you,” The Devil said as if reading my mind.  “I just assumed that since your beloved Yankees weren’t involved, you wouldn’t be interested.  I did get autographs, though.  I know how much you idolize both men.”

He handed me two baseballs.  One was signed by the lead singer of Pearl Jam and the star of The Sure Thing.  The other was covered in dozens of signatures.

“Who signed the second one?” I questioned as my voice trailed off as I began to read the names on the ball.

“Every member of the Cubs plus the coaches and Theo Epstein,” Lucifer replied with a smile and a wink.  “Does that make up for my not inviting you?

Despite my strict Catholic upbringing, I was giving serious thought to smothering The Prince of Darkness in a massive bear hug.

“It makes up for a lot of things,” I told him sincerely.  “Thank you.  But what happened?  You told me you’d never let the Cubs win the World Series regardless of how many people offered you their souls in exchange for that miracle.”

“First of all,” Satan began in a most serious voice, “they haven’t won the World Series yet.  They have simply earned the right to crush the spirits of every person in Illinois by choking against the Indians in the Fall Classic.”

Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, The Devil, short story, Cubs, World Series, humor, Modern Philosopher“But still,” I pressed as I reached for another wing, “I distinctly remember your saying you had cursed the Cubs for some slight a fan made against you ages ago.”

The Devil’s eyes darkened and his horns momentarily became visible on his forehead before he got his anger under control again.

“It was more than a mere slight, Austin,” Lucifer explained in a calm, relaxed tone.  “It was 1908.  The night the Cubs clinched their last World Series title.  I was in town for the celebration and to collect the souls owed to me for the victory.  It was some bar down the street from Wrigley…”

The Prince of Darkness, though incredibly exhausted, found the strength to get to his feet and pace the living room as he recounted his tale.

“We were celebrating the Cubs’ second consecutive World Series Championship.  I asked a beautiful redhead if I could buy her a drink, and next thing I knew, a fist cracked my nose and worse yet, a drink was tossed onto my gorgeous new suit.”

I fought to hold back a smile.  “So you flirted with the wrong woman?”

“That is what I was told by the Neanderthal who had thrown the punch and the beverage,” Satan answered in a growl.  “After he refused to reimburse me for my suit, I swore that the Cubs would never again win the World Series.”

“That’s a pretty stiff penalty,” I declared as I grabbed another wing off the plate.

Cubs, World Series, short story, The Devil, humor, curses, Modern Philosopher“It was my favorite suit,” The Devil replied.  “You understand that the blood from my nose completely ruined it, right?”

I just laughed.  He was so protective of his precious suits.

“So you’re telling me I shouldn’t bet The House on the Hill on the Cubs winning the World Series?” I asked as I wiped Hellfire sauce off my face.

“You should do the exact opposite,” Lucifer advised as he came back to the couch, sat down, and immediately fell asleep.

I made a mental note to head down to the casino one night after work to place a little bet.

Hey, don’t judge.  I didn’t make that guy punch The Prince of Darkness!

Take me out to the ballgame!  But follow me on Pinterest first…

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May The 4th Mile Be With You!

running, fitness, health, exercise, Star Wars, humor, motivation, Modern PhilosopherAfter months of lollygagging along my running route, Modern Philosophers, I decided to search my feelings and trust the Force.

So this morning, I put on my Jedi robe rather than my running toga (I left the lightsaber at home, though, since I’m a total klutz and didn’t want to accidentally lop off a leg) and set out to finally tackle a four mile run.

It’s not like I haven’t run four miles before, but I hadn’t yet conquered that distance this year.  Usually, I would have built up to at least one five mile run a week at this point, but I’m still struggling with three milers like a novice Jedi stranded on Dagobah.

After a little pep talk from The Other Melissa earlier in the week (and by “pep talk” I mean she gave me @#$% about how out of shape I was, and the words really hit home since she is tiny enough for me to eat as a midnight snack), I looked deep within myself (I had to get really deep to bypass all the fat) and realized that these wimpy three milers just weren’t going to get me where I wanted to be.

Unless, of course, I stopped eating and didn’t want to reach my ideal weight until age 74.

Like a Jedi bad ass following the advice of Obi-Wan and Yoda, I did a little soul searching and trusted that my body, as out of shape as it might be, still had the ability to survive a four mile jaunt as long as I kept the pace within reason.

Because, quite honestly, enough was enough.

I’m tired of looking and feeling like crap and having zero self-confidence.  If I want to make changes, then I need to get up off my ass and start kicking some ass.

motivation, inspiration, running, fitness, health, humor, Modern PhilosopherYou know Yoda probably said something along those lines to all the young Jedi in training, but the censors made him clean it up for the movie.

“Smaller, tighter ass for the ladies you want, then kick major ass you must do!”

It was a morning much too warm for the twenty-second day of October, and a light rain was falling.  I hit the road at a ridiculously slow pace that would have allowed turtles to pass me, but unlike those speed demon terrapins, I didn’t have a shell to take refuge in if my body failed me along my route.

I was going to complete the four miles if I had to crawl back to The House on the Hill.  Anything less than the full distance would be a failure, and the fat would win.  The only way to keep my body from giving itself over to the Fat Side completely was to show it who was boss by bending it to my will, even if doing so took the entire day.

I was so determined to not burn out on the first half of the run, that it took me twenty-four minutes to reach the two mile mark.  Yikes!

On the way back, I tried to pick up the pace, but my legs and lungs were a lot more stubborn than I hoped they’d be.  If only they put as much effort into the run as they did at resisting the exercise, I would’ve broken the world record for a four miles.

Sheer will was the only thing that kept me going.  Well, that and the realization that the only way to get back to The House on the Hill was under my own power.  As much as I wished I could, I would not be able to use the Force to bring the house to me in middle of Eastern Avenue.

At one point, as the twin suns of Tatooine beat down relentlessly on me, and the Tusken Raiders and Jawas watched me from afar, ready to pounce on me and pick my skeleton clean for parts, I began to chant to myself…

running, fitness, health, motivation, inspiration, Star Wars, humor, Modern PhilosopherYou’re not ready for this.  You’re not ready for this.

It was just like the night I lost my virginity.  Only with less sweat.


I had worked up quite the sweat on my adventure, and that, combined with the rain, had left me a soggy mess.

I was the only one stupid enough to be out in the rain, but the quiet allowed me some time to think.

Yes, I was struggling.  Yes, I probably wasn’t ready to tackle this distance yet.  No, despite all my intense internet research, there did not appear to be a magic pill that would allow me to suddenly be skinny and fit again.

So I was going to finish the damn run, even if my inner Jedi was covering the distance less like Daisy Ridley’s Rey and a hell of a lot more like Ray Charles.

They say that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  In my case, however, it just made me sweaty, sore, and require a really long recovery time on the front porch as I chugged water and prayed to the goddess Nike to just do it and put me out of my misery.

If Yoda had appeared to me as a ghost and given me some of that “Do or do not, there is no try” gobbledygook, I would have told him that while I understood it wasn’t easy being green, he could make his life much simpler if he just went to see a Speech Therapist.

Of course, I would’ve regretted saying something so harsh to Yoda once I’d recovered from my four mile run, but that probably won’t be for another two to three months, so I have plenty of time to come up with the perfect apology.

I might be babbling like C-3PO after a power surge, but the bottom line is that I’m damn proud of myself for forcing myself to run four miles.

humor, fitness, running, exercise, Star Wars, Daisy Ridley, confidence, Modern PhilosopherIt’s not exactly using the Force, but it’s Jedi enough to give me the confidence to ask Rey if she’d like to grab dinner and maybe check out my lightsaber.

What’s that look for?  A Jedi’s training is never done…

Comment on this post, follow my blog, check me out on Pinterest.  If you don’t, the Dark Side wins!

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Friends Can Make It A Wonderful Life

It's A Wonderful Life, friends, friendship, relationship, loss, loneliness, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt’s A Wonderful Life is one of my all-time favorite movies, Modern Philosophers.

The first time I ever saw it was during Film class in high school.  Yes, my super special nerd high school came complete with a Film class, for which I am very thankful.

Not only did that class introduce me to the Frank Capra classic, but it also set in motion the Deep Thoughts that would lead to my eventually deciding to major in Film, rather than in English, when I went to NYU.

No matter how many times I’ve seen the flick, I always tear up during the last scene when Harry Bailey proposes the toast, “To my big brother George, the richest man in town!”

Everyone sings Auld Lang Syne, and George reads the message that Clarence has inscribed inside the front cover of Tom Sawyer:

It's A Wonderful Life, friends, love, relationships, loss, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherRemember, no man is a failure who has friends.

How can that finale not tug on your heartstrings?  For a Hopeless Romantic like me, Modern Philosophers, It’s A Wonderful Life is a perfect movie.

It’s about a dreamer, who knows exactly what he wants from life, but can never quite get it because of a mix of bad luck, his inability to be selfish, and his failure to block out reason, common sense, and responsibility.

Of course, in the end, he realizes he has a wonderful life because he’s married his true love, has amazing kids, saved his town from the Donald Trump of his era, and found a greater reward by helping others, rather than helping himself to the life he thought he wanted.

That final scene, when George Bailey is surrounded by everyone who loves him, always reminds me that, although I’m an introvert, I cannot make it through life alone.

firends, relationships, fashion, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe Other Melissa picked me up at The House on the Hill last night.  We were on a mission to save me from my horrible sense of fashion, and have a little fun in the process.

As you can see from this photo that she snapped after dinner, I am ridiculously out of shape (so embarrassed by how heavy I look!) and not a very sharp dresser when left to fend for myself.

I needed a new winter coat, so I told The Other Melissa she needed to take me shopping for one.

To her credit, she did not even flinch.  She’s known me long enough and well enough to understand that if left to dress myself, I’d wander out into the snow in my Nite Show fleece and Yankees hat.

Since she was being such a good friend, and because I’m much easier to tolerate when alcohol is involved, The Other Melissa jumped at my offer to go to dinner before our little shopping excursion.

Yes, Modern Philosophers, that goofy smile on my face is status post two Margaritas.

Even though The Other Melissa had vanished for three years, we have pretty much settled right back into where we were with our friendship before she was devoured by the Bermuda Triangle of Platonic Relationships.

A good friend is something I’ve needed badly since The Sweet Irish Girl decided to stay on her side of the ocean.  Not only was she The Love Of My Life, but she was also my best friend.  I lost a girlfriend and a bestie in the deal, and my life has been very empty and lonely as a result.

friends, friendship, relationships, being alone, dealing with loss, introvert, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherIn the process, as the black clouds swooped in and darkened my days, I forgot Clarence’s words of wisdom to George.

Friends are there for you.  They’ll be there when the rain, presumably from the dark clouds, starts to fall.

I’ve been so caught up in how much it’s hurt to lose the love of The Sweet Irish Girl, that I’ve glossed over how important her friendship was to me.

Always having someone there to talk to me, waking up to silly messages, knowing that adorable Irish accent would be on the other end of the line when I had a bad day and needed someone to just listen and tell me it would all get better… those are just some of the things I lost when my best friend remained on the other side of the Atlantic.

I’ve done very little to replace the friendship I lost because I’ve been so heartbroken over the loss of her love.

So I was very lucky that The Other Melissa materialized on my front porch again.

Perhaps The Fates grew tired of watching me mope and cry over my broken heart, and decided to at least help me replace the whole in my life from the loss of a dear friend.

As we were driving to dinner last night (I take my life into my hands anytime I get into a vehicle driven by The Other Melissa), there was a harrowing, high speed, near interaction with another car and the curb.

She said to me, “You know, just because you make yourself smaller, doesn’t mean the car gets any smaller”.

Yes, Modern Philosophers, she had caught me trying to scrunch up my body into a tiny ball in the passenger seat as I closed my eyes and prayed we wouldn’t hit the other car or end up speeding down the sidewalk in search of unsuspecting pedestrians.

I barked at her, “How did you even see that?  Your eyes should be on the road!!!”

I thought that moment, when my life flashed before my eyes and yet we still found time to bicker, summed things up very well.

humor, relationships, friends, friendship, life, living, Modern PhilosopherI, as always, was living my life scared, stressed out about be careful, and never wanting to take risks.

The Other Melissa was having fun, driving like a bat out of Hell, and on a mission to get us to the restaurant while pitchers of Margaritas were still half price.

While I might fail at relaxing, enjoying life, taking risks, staying in shape, and dressing myself, I realize now that I’m not a complete failure.

Because I have friends.

That’s a photo of my in one of the new jackets she helped me pick out last night.  What do you think?  Do I look like a well dressed fat guy?

Follow my blog and follow me on Pinterest.  Don’t you get that the whole theme of this post is the importance of friendship?  Make me feel loved!

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Little White (Dress) Lies Hurt The Most

love, marriage, relationships, divorce, life, recovery, anniversary, humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherIt was twenty years ago today, Modern Philosophers, that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play…

Okay, this isn’t a post about The Beatles, but there could very well be a Lonely Hearts Club involved.

Twenty years ago today, I stood at the altar of a strange church in upstate New York and swore before God, the Priest, my friends and loved ones, that I would love and cherish J until death finally parted us.

For the record, J made the very same promise, in front of those very same people.

So why is it then, Modern Philosophers, that two decades later, I’m sitting alone on the front porch of The House on the Hill thinking about how much I love and miss The Sweet Irish Girl?

I guess a lot can change in twenty years.

The Beatles, Sgt Pepper, love, relationships, marriage, divorce, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherJ and I were college sweethearts.  I fell in love with her when I was 18, and she was my first serious girlfriend.

As impossible as it might be to believe, Modern Philosophers, I was quite the geek and not at all good with the ladies when I arrived at NYU many years ago.

While not much has changed over time, I have a lot more experience with relationships under my toga, and I’m not as clueless about love as I once was.

I knew after graduation that I wanted to marry J, but I was in no rush to take that plunge.  Remember, I’ve never been a good swimmer, and while J had been on the swim team at NYU, I wasn’t positive that diving into the deep end of marriage was the safest bet.

My sister and stepbrother had gotten divorced (not from each other, of course), so I really wanted to make sure J was the one before I proposed.  This Hopeless Romantic planned to get married once, so I just wanted to make sure I had it right.

love, relationships, marriage, divorce, wedding day, anniversary, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherWe waited until we were 26 to get married.  We’d already been together for eight years, and although we’d had some trying times, we always ended up back together.

Sure, it made me nervous when, during a heated argument, J would take off her engagement ring and hurl it at me, but she always put it back on again.

I took that as a sign that it was true love and we were meant to be.  After all, wasn’t love about working together through the difficult times?  Wasn’t that very concept covered in the wedding vows?

Sometimes, when we were fighting, I’d try to imagine what I would be like if we weren’t together anymore, and the mere thought of that would bring me to tears.

For better or worse, this was the woman I loved.

love, relationships, marriage, divorce, philosophy, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherI had no idea what the future held, but twenty years ago today, when I recited my wedding vows, I meant what I said.  The only thing I wanted to end my marriage was death.

Divorce was never an option for me.  J and I had weathered some tough times, and we had gotten through them and made it to the altar.

Me in my sharp suit, and J in her little white dress.

She really did look beautiful, and twenty years ago today, I thought myself to be the luckiest man alive.

relationships, love, divorce, marriage, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt took me a very long time to recover from my divorce.  You might even say I’m still getting over it.

I’m not supposed to be alone right now.  We should be celebrating our twentieth anniversary, reminiscing about our love, and wondering if the kids even remembered it was our special day.

I’ve always thought of my divorce as J’s lying about her wedding vows.  She promised to stick with me no matter what, just like I’d promised to do.

Of course there were times during our marriage when life was not good, but I honestly took my wedding vows to heart and remembered that I’d given my word I would stand by J’s side even when things were at their worst.

It never once crossed my mind that we needed to end our marriage.

love, relationships, marriage, divorce, Modern PhilosopherI swore off marriage as a lark, a joke, a lie after my divorce.

Wedding vows meant nothing if they could be broken so easily.

They were lies that no longer held any legitimacy with me.

Yes, I did give marriage some thought when I was with Rachel.  I loved her very much, but it wasn’t something I pondered too often.

The Sweet Irish Girl, well, she was the one who finally melted my heart and made me realize that marriage was still something I longed for.

When we would talk about getting married, having kiddos, and spending the rest of our lives together, a warm feeling washed over me that made me realize a promise of forever still had meaning for me.

Twenty years ago today, I thought I’d found my forever someone.

Now I know that forever lasts only as long as the person promising it to you is willing to allow it to exist.

You should follow me on Pinterest.  I’m usually much more amusing…

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Monday Morning Coffee Club: 10/17/16

Monday, coffee, pizza, weather, humor, Modern PhilosopherAll you really want to know about this Monday, Modern Philosophers, is that it’s nice enough outside for me to be writing out on the porch after work.

What a gorgeous day when just last week, I had the heat on and added a second comforter to the bed because the temperature had dropped to 20 degrees.

This weather is as crazy as a Trump supporter trying to explain why his man should be our next President.

It was a very long day at work, and I’m ready for bed already.  Of course, I’m not 4, so I really can’t be tucking myself in at this hour, but it’s a tempting idea.

We did have a pizza party at work today.  The boss treated us to lunch to thank us for all the hard work we put in during that period of Severe Overtime.

It was good pizza, too, not the cheap $5 deal from Little Caesar’s.  While a thank you and a pat on the back is always nice, free food is exponentially more appreciated.

I managed to get a lot of writing done this weekend.  The first draft of the new screenplay is very close to completion.  I’m in the midst of writing the climactic fight scene where the killer comes to finish off my oddball band of heroes.

Just trying to work out the mental choreography.  As I’ve never killed anyone before, it always takes some extra time for me to plot out the final murder in a script to make sure it isn’t a total letdown.

Sometimes, I scare myself at how creative I can get, and I blame that all on my strict Catholic upbringing.  Finally, those Nuns were good for something!

The Devil, short story, flash fiction, Halloween, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherI was also a big fan of last night’s entry in the Sundays With Satan Short Story Series.  Have you read it yet?

Entitled “Hell Is A Red State”, I think it is The Devil and I at our finest.  It’s been fun finding new and creative ways to comment on the upcoming election, and my time with The Prince of Darkness is the perfect opportunity to get in some really good barbs.

The Sunday short story is my favorite feature on the blog, and I’ve been giving some serious thought lately to turning my adventures with Satan into a novel.

Would any of you be interested in a feature length story based upon the short story series?  I’d love a little feedback on that if you have a few minutes after you read this.

I have pitched our misadventures as a web series to my Producer friend, and every week I write a new short story, I think that it could lead to something even bigger.

Well, it’s getting a little too dark out here to write, and the interns are getting annoyed that I’m making them stand around me holding candles.  They say the dripping wax is burning their skin.  What a bunch of wimps!

I hope you all had a great Monday.  I’ll be back with more silliness very soon!

Following me on Pinterest will make your Monday a Hell of a lot more exciting!  Trust me on that one!

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Hell Is A Red State

The Devil, short story, flash fiction, Halloween, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack played in the background as we put up the Halloween decorations.

Other than Danny Elfman’s delightful holiday music, there was absolute silence.

And it was heavenly.

I knew it wouldn’t last, however, given the presence of my guest in the impeccably tailored suit, but I was savoring every silent second in the meantime.

Sunday should also be a day of rest for my ears.

“I had my Demons conduct a poll over the last week,” The Devil finally broke the silence after he’d hung the last string of Jack Skellington lights above the living room windows.

Nothing lasts forever.

“Were you checking your popularity again?” I quipped light a total wise ass.

Lucifer chuckled as he reached into the box of decorations for the giant ghosts that we normally hung from the ceiling in the foyer.

“For your information, my popularity in Hell is at an all time low, and I couldn’t be more delighted!” The Prince of Darkness bragged.  “This poll, however, was about the upcoming Presidential Election.”

“I had no idea there would be any interest in American politics in Hell,” I remarked as I taped a cardboard haunted house to the dining room wall.

Donald Trump, politics, Halloween, The Devil, Hillary Clinton, humor, Modern Philosopher, short story, flash fiction“There is when a hometown boy is running for President,” Satan informed me.

That comment intrigued me enough to take a break from decorating, and walk over to the living room cooler to grab a Snapple.

I handed one to The Devil, and then took a seat on the couch to enjoy an ice cold bottle of my own.

“So you really consider Donald Trump to be a resident of Hell?” I asked and then took a long, refreshing sip of the best stuff on Earth.

“Is there anyone on this planet who doesn’t think Trump is going straight to Hell the second he leaves the mortal coil?” Lucifer responded as he strolled over on thousand dollar shoes to join me on a couch worth far less than his footwear.

“I suppose not,” I answered with a shrug.  “I do remember your telling me last week that Trump has already had a tower built in Hell in which he can spend all eternity.  Of course, I wasn’t quite sure if you were telling the truth.”

“Would I ever lie to you?” The Prince of Darkness asked sarcastically and then flashed a Devilish grin.  “I’ve been thinking lately that I’m going to make Trump spend eternity working as a porter in his tower, while I allow about three dozen Mexicans to cram into the penthouse in which he plans to live out his existence.”

The Devil, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Halloween, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, humor, Modern PhilosopherWe both got a good laugh out of that one.

“So what were the results of your polling?” I asked when I finally remembered what had drawn me over to the couch in the first place.

“Trump in a landslide, of course,” Satan set me straight.  “Hillary has her supporters in some of the outer rings, but Hell is definitely a red state.”

“Sounds about right,” I admitted.

I had a feeling that among the living, Hillary Clinton was going to win in a landslide.

That had better be true because if somehow the results of the election are different, life in America was going to be indistinguishable from life in Hell…

Be an angel and follow me on Pinterest…

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Running Into Some Color And A Better Attitude

health, fitness, running, mental health, color run, attitude, fall foliage, hope, humor, Modern PhilosopherI have to admit, Modern Philosophers, that this post was supposed to be a total downer.

As I prepared for my morning run, I mentally outlined the post I was going to write upon my return.

The plan was for an article on how I’ve lost hope, can’t stop thinking about The Sweet Irish Girl, how I have no motivation, and the fact that there was nothing on the horizon to indicate that any of this would change.

I set out for a three mile run, my eighth run in the last two weeks, and figured I’d write it in my head to distract me from how much I hate running.

Then I turned onto Eastern Avenue, the street on which I spend a majority of my run, and stumbled right into the middle of a color run/walk for charity.

Of course, I was going the wrong way, so I was suddenly charging into a wall of people, which caught everyone by surprise.

They were all happy and determined.  I was miserable and cranky.

I noticed the color station just ahead, and quickly fought through the crowd to get to the other side of the street, which was safely monochrome.

health, fitness, running, color run, charity, fall foliage, humor, Modern Philosopherhealth, fitness, running, walking, charity, color run, humor, philosophy, Modern Philosopher







Most of the participants wore tee shirts with the name of the cause on the front, but those shirts had since been covered in a variety of colors, so I couldn’t make out the name.

There were a lot of folks running with dogs, though, so it made me think that this color run/walk might have been for animals.

Regardless, the unexpected shake up to my running routine left me flustered.  I was suddenly on the wrong side of the street, I was constantly on the look out for color stations to dodge, and there were just so many people watching me and my fitness struggle.

I stopped for a moment to catch my breath and get a handle on the situation, and that was when I realized that the colors were not only on the shirts of event’s participants.

Eastern Avenue had exploded with fall foliage colors, and I was about the run right past it without even taking the time to admire it.

health, fitness, exercis, running, mental health, fall foliage, Maine, humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherI pulled out my phone to snap a few photos.  As always, I had to make sure there were a few selfies in the batch.

After all, I do enjoy driving my friends crazy on Facebook with annoying photos of me on my runs.

I know the famous quote is about stopping to smell the roses, but this is Maine in autumn, so I did a little rewrite and decided to stop to enjoy the fall foliage.

And you know what, Modern Philosophers?  It truly helped.  Suddenly, I wasn’t just trudging down the road begrudgingly getting in my three miles.

Now I was just a guy outside enjoying a gorgeous autumn day.  It’s crazy what that quick change in my thought process did for my attitude.

The pressure to push myself a little harder was gone.  I no longer cared about the stop watch running on my phone.  It didn’t matter that there was no one waiting for me back at The House on the Hill.

I was taking in my surroundings and realizing how lucky I am to live in Maine.

Clearly, there is so much in my life that I cannot control, but I do have the ability to slow down things, open my eyes, and look at the beauty all around me.

fall foliage, Maine, mental health, exercise, fitness, running, humor, Modern PhilosopherAt one point, a police car pulled up next to me, and the officer asked me if I was a part of the race because I was headed in the wrong direction.

I smiled and explained that I was just a citizen out for a run, and thanked him for checking on me.

The thing of it was, Modern Philosophers, I wasn’t headed in the wrong direction at that point.  For the first time in a few months, I felt like I finally I had myself back on course.

I’m glad that I accidentally wandered into all that color because my life was getting a little dull…

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