Craig Brain is not your brain or my brain, but neither must unity be predicated upon uniformity, and this is an invitation for you to take a peek inside the gross (pun intended), squishy alien matter inside of Craig’s Brain.
One night, my wife and I were talking about what we should do for our twentieth wedding anniversary.
We decided it'd be fun (and far funnier) to throw a massive celebration for our nineteenth, instead. Who the hell throws a random nineteenth wedding anniversary party?
We had a blast. We invited all of our closest friends to meet us for a few days in Las Vegas, Nevada, told them we'd be hosting a costume contest, and offered the winner $1,000 in one-dollar bills, which we presented to them at dinner, crumpled up inside of an old briefcase.
I'll start here: I was a virgin when I married Jeanette. She wasn't. Given the "purity-ring" idealism I'd been raised with and the resulting expectations about the way life "should happen," I almost allowed that reality to ruin our dating relationship before we said I do. How many people are in the same boat, struggling with what should be in the face of reality? Are you going to talk about it? Are you going to sweep it under the rug? Are you going to separate in disgust or open yourself up to understanding and forgiveness, and move forward?
Beyond our situation, what we’ve learned through our work at XXXchurch is that wives, in general, have a difficult time believing that they live up to the women their husbands see every day – on the street, on a billboard, watching porn. The comparisons eat away at a woman’s confidence because at the end of the day, she wants to be the subject of her husband’s visual fantasy, and it crushes her to see him looking elsewhere for what she is designed to give.
In 2014, I wrote the following email to a woman at the Tourette Association of America.
To Whom It May Concern,
First, though I am writing this letter to you today, I would ask that you do not share the following story publicly. At least for the time being.
Last week, I wrote a friend of mine – a renowned storyteller and videographer – with the idea that my wife Jeanette and I have been considering:
sharing our son’s story.
And, inevitably, our story. As parents, painful as it is to admit, we didn’t do this right. You’ll see what I mean in the ensuing pages.
In conclusion to this story, I have attached a brief write up as penned by Nolan, detailing his experience. The combination of our narratives should give you a clear picture of what the past few years have been like.
We haven’t shared this story with anyone. Given Nolan’s current acting and modeling career, we’ve been cautious. We don’t want to ruin his shot at growth within the industry he loves. How, then, can we share our experience in such a way that it doesn’t come across as crippling, but rather: empowering? At this point in our journey, it is finally becoming the latter, but the road has been long and lonely. Only a few people know about what I’m here to share, which I would assume is similar to many of the stories you hear.
Read more at www.CraigBrain.com
Hotel properties, in my opinion, have the best spas, and especially in tourist-trap cities like Vegas. Jeanette and I enjoy the Aria and the Palazzo, and of course, the Cosmo was where my "official" Spa Day encounter with the Lord took place a few years back.
Anyway, this time around, Jeanette and I decided to try out a new place. We each scheduled appointments for a massage and a facial at the resort we were already at, but when we arrived, the desk clerk informed us that they'd accidentally overbooked their beds. They had a space for Jeanette but asked me if I would be willing to take my session in our hotel room, instead.
I obliged. The next thing I know, my wife's off in her spa-world, and I'm stripped down to nothing but a pair of boxers and a bathrobe, following an attractive young woman back across the hotel grounds to a room that isn't mine. I felt uncomfortable and all-too-aware of myself and my surroundings, massage table ready and music playing lightly into an unfamiliar atmosphere, intruded upon by some mostly-naked guy who is most definitely giving off "the appearance of evil" (old platitudes die hard).
I wanted to close out this Work & Workmanship section with something a bit more pragmatic– less “self-reflective journal entry” and more “practical thoughts on getting ideas launched and work accomplished.”
As mentioned previously, I work with a ton of solopreneurs–people who set up and run businesses on their own. Perhaps they eventually scale to include new employees, or maybe theirs is a model that allows for an ongoing “one-man-show.” Either way, most of these creative/business types are full of so many ideas that the limitless possibilities before them usually aren’t as freeing as they are paralyzing.
Here, I find myself in a bit of a conundrum. I honestly believe that anything is possible, and I love it when I have the opportunity to instill that belief in others. On the same token, though, I have to acknowledge that the “American Dream” narrative has left a huge number of people disillusioned by the letdown that life can be when reality seems intent on pummeling dreams into submission.
“Anything is possible” isn’t the same as saying that all of our wildest dreams will come true, but I do think that–in our attempts to go for gold–there is more help afforded all of us than any of us realize, especially at this point in history.
People get popular (or–if not popular–discover some measure of success) doing what they love to do. But growth, success and/or popularity involve maintenance, and it doesn’t take long before you’re stuck in the weeds, where working on “maintaining” your passion replaces all that you were passionate about in the first place.
I’ve had to do my fair share of learning about all of this, as well. I’ve come to discover that I enjoy strategizing with and talking to people, not sitting in my tiny bathroom-office and building funnels for them. I like helping people figure out how to thrive in what they actually love. That’s what I’m passionate about. That’s what I love. And no, that’ll likely never wholly extinguish days (or seasons) that we hate, but the point is that mutually-beneficial, complementary and/or appropriately delegated roles spur us along toward a life that isn’t bogged down by a dead-end cloud of dismay at what it has become.
The point is that we are better together.
How often do we dream without ever even trying to chase after our desires, quenched by insecurities that keep us from giving ourselves permission to start?
I did my best to silence every no with a yes.
To look past the fears that arose, and the what ifs?
To replace can't with can try.
I’ve always hated talent shows, and I’ve always thought that we should probably be calling them something more appropriate, like:
Like, “Hey, would you like to come watch me be not-so-talented on stage tonight?”
That was before my newfound interest in dance. I’m now two weeks past the letter I wrote to my daughter before her solo competition performance when she stole the show with her choreograph to Bon Iver’s Creeks, and at this point, I’m learning to observe “the talent show” through a different lens.
Our education system is broken, and with over one trillion dollars in U.S. College debt, I think it’s a waste of time and money.
Of course, God decided it’d be fun to give me a daughter who is a Number One on the Enneagram – the Perfectionist – who wants to go to college because it’s the right thing to do.
She’s a black-and-white-thinking rule-follower, and I’m a black-and-white-blending rule-breaker.
We’ll see. I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me.
My question for you – grown-ass-adult that you are – is: whether or not you’ve got a job that affords you the privilege of choosing your employer… are you capable of being a reliable employee?
Can you hit a deadline (without having to be chased down)?
Can you be counted upon to reach a goal?
Are you disciplined enough to create your own?
Do you need some sort of junior-level assistant who might be able to take on the grunt work that’s bogging you down so that you can scale your business?
Do you need to give your wife your calendar?
Do you need to bust out a dictionary and check out what a calendar is?
It is possible to be a responsible adult. To set an alarm and get out of bed before you’ve hit snooze for a full hour.
I joke about The Babysitter Club for “contractors, clients, and rock stars” because they’re/we’re often the ones who know the least about creating healthy rhythms in and from which to function. Frankly, no matter how put together or enviable those folks might look on Instagram, they’re often the most disorganized and least satisfied with the chaos of life, yet with little to no clue about how to change their circumstance, or get out of the ruts that have become Grand Canyons.
In this podcast, Craig Gross shares that he writes a letter to my son. He also mentioned that he was asked "How do you do a better job of expressing your feelings, expressing your thoughts or how proud you are of the people in your life?".
In this podcast, Craig talks about the urgency that we feel in receiving many notifications from technology. He emphasize in talking the person personally rather than reaching out at the phone and enjoy some moments without your phone.