The Phantom: Balancing Several Different Social Commitments 

I guess I am a phantom. 

I have successfully pulled off being at several events and cities many times. It’s not easy and it requires forward thinking and planning, but I make it to all I can. Thanksgivings as a child, past Homecomings and CIAA festivities has helped. Here are some tips on how I have achieved this feat. 

1. Try to keep your events a few cities or one county apart. 

Just this past Saturday, I had two parties at 7, and one party at 10. The cities were close so it was cool. Now I have had it where I have had a party in Spartanburg at 10 and one in Charlotte at 9. Obviously that’s a personal preference scenario. 

2. Plan how long you will stay at each event. 

Know when each one begins and the other one ends. This helps in making the next one and being in that “phantom” mentality.

You want to be a good guest and stay 1-2 hours. If not, let the folks know you’re stopping by. 

3. Don’t overdo it, know your limits.

It appears in my experience Saturdays are when everything happens. As the night gets later, more stuff may happen, time starts running out, and you have to choose. Therefore, prioritize.  But, how?

4. Choosing which events you go to. 

The first rule of thumb is who lets you know first. Outside of family and close friends, everyone else falls according to promptness, how close you all are, and closeness. You obviously won’t make someone a priority if you aren’t that close. Now if it’s a milestone birthday, wedding or such, they may get bumped up. We have had plenty of big nights and events, with more to come. 

5. Find where your last event is and plan to stay there the longest. 

This is how I try to do my phantoming. I try to find the event that’s the most chill, lasts the longest, and where I’m closest to the people there. I often am not only too tired to leave, I don’t want to. It’s a perfect nightcap. 

The advice I just gave isn’t for everyone. But don’t try to tell me you don’t have time for this event and that event. I can help if you really want to be there. 

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine 

Solar Eclipse 2017: The Latest Way to come together 

Ok we have had quite a week in our region, nation, world, etc. It’s strange how all of this comes at the time we are having our first solar eclipse in over 30 years. 

People are going bananas also. Weddings are being planned. Schools and daycares are closing. Parties are also being planned and had. It’s a good time to really bond and get together over an astronomical phenomenon. 

Now, I believe this is a good thing as many people are hurting and upset. It can be used as a healing tool, a way for people to take their minds off of certain things for a while. There are definitely prophetic undertones, which is great. That aside, it can be a positive experience, as long as you don’t view the eclipse directly. 

My high school agriculture teacher, Bill Parker, had a principle in his class “let common sense and reason be your guide, and act the way you want to be treated.” That’s good for the eclipse and for life. 

Also, if we can come together for something this rare, we can work on coming together to end this violence, hate and drama in our society. That will take longer, but we need somewhere to start. 

How about a time where it’s bright, then dark, and suddenly bright again? See what I did there? 

#solareclipse2017 #imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine 

Enough is enough, I hate division!

And this is obviously not referring to long division and the beginning of school, although I hated that part of math class. 

We all know about the latest media elephant and tragedy, the Charlotteville fracus. Many can agree that all of these groups are different, some more dangerous than others, had no business there, and whoever drove that car needs to be severely punished. Anyone disagree? 

Not many I’m sure. 

Now we’re up in arms and getting divided about blaming Trump  (all 45 Presidents have been under scrutiny, ever FDR), and now people want Confederate memorials removed. Now unless I’m missing something, we are removing these due to hare groups that have nothing to do with the actual history and all going on here. 

And don’t fret, I’m not here to sway folks either way about the Confederate Flag or memorials. That is a choice, and you can’t change people’s beliefs. But why aren’t we coming together as people to discuss the real issues? Hate groups such as these cannot be allowed to divide us. We have to come together to remain strong as a country. 

This is more than a racial thing, it’s an heinous act of violence and terror. It’s hate, pure and simple. We are forgetting to live and love, and be peaceful. Some in the groups tried that, but fell off track. Now look at the snowball effect. 

Point being, this is why I talk about conversing with folks different than yourself and finding that common ground. Also, stay on topic, please. Don’t let the media and other’s thoughts tear you apart. We must come to an understanding and compromise, or it will happen again and again. 

It saddens me where our country has gone. We can only blame each other. Now we have to come together and gradually fix this. This starts through peaceful talks. 

I was taught as a child running away doesn’t solve your problems. Well guess what, unless a medal is involved, I’m tired of running. I hope you are too. It’s time to peacefully assemble and talk, rather than rally and protest. More can get accomplished this way. 

Also, well played media. You didn’t get me though. I seek to add and multiply, not subtract and divide. 

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine 

Connections make your life easier, period

I will continue to talk about the power of connections and networking. The more powerful connections you have, the easier life is. 

You can claim all you want how you hate people, you don’t need everyone and such. However, you may find yourself needing someone or something and being lost. Plus time goes on, and gets everyone. Therefore the ones closest to you could drift or leave at any moment. It pays to keep your connects current and available. 

Here are a few reasons why life is much easier. 

1. Let’s say you need your grass cut, somewhere to do laundry, a good doctor or lawyer. Being well connected can keep you good in many areas of life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to socialize with folks from different walks of life. This is where they can really come in. 

2. This can help in job/career changes. Many update their resume, which is fine. However, combing your connections from your phone, email and LinkedIn accounts can be much more effective. Over 85% of jobs aren’t advertised, you get in the door easier, past gatekeeping practices such as surveys, phone/Skype interviews and the like. Finally, they can help you land the job you really want, rather than one you settle for just to keep the lights on. 

3. They can assist you in fundraising. 

I’m not just talking about a political campaign or for a catastrophic illness. Many by now know my feelings about school fundraisers and how many use old tried and true methods from 30 years ago to send children to big trips such as Disney and Washington DC. They rarely work, and the parents end up footing the bill. However, for a select few, being well connected assures their funds are more easily raised. This is through church and work connections, business owners and in other markets where that fundraiser isn’t taking place. I still believe the methods are flawed for children. However, connections equalize things. 

4. People rallying for you, period. 

This could be when you’re sick, well, are down and out, or just need someone to talk to. Having a good cheering section is always a difference maker. The Cameron Crazies, Orange Crush, the Black Hole, 12th Man, and several other sports fanbases put that extra fire into their teams and athletes. I played and trust me, it’s a world of difference. 

So now will you think twice before saying people don’t matter to you or that you don’t need anyone? 

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine 

Balancing early morning and late nights

Here’s a quick disclaimer: I don’t recommend the following tips for your day job. They can work for that purpose, but I feel you should turn in and be focused for that purpose. It’s just my personal thoughts. 

Ok on with the post. 

Now this is really geared towards people like myself with active social lives and training regimens. We often have later nights and early morning training sessions. 

Here are some tips that I recently put into place. 

1. Have an extended, reasonable curfew

You can still go out for happy hour with friends/coworkers. However, you shouldn’t stay out all night if you just got off of work or haven’t slept. You must get your proper rest in order for your training and social life to be effective. 

2. Sometimes you must choose

I will go into such instances later on. But you can’t always do both, that’s a fact of life. Coordinate your schedule appropriately to minimize such instances. Having balance is key, and both can be accommodated. 

4. Don’t go out of town or too far from where your training will be. 

For many, everything happens in the same city they live, work and train in. Then there’s me. I happen to be all over. I have stayed with friends or gotten a hotel room to help out. Either way, don’t overexert yourself with extra, unnecessary travel. 

5. Go to venues closeby that will allow you to leave quicker

If a new BDubs  (Buffalo Wild Wings) just opened or a Texas Roadhouse, you already know the wait alone will cut into your time. Pick a smaller, mom and pop place for gathering, especially on a Friday or Saturday. Some I know of are Daddy Joe’s in Gaffney, Patti-Os in Clover, most Ruby Tuesdays, a bowling alley, and Empire in Rock Hill.  Trust me, you have to eat and drink sometime, and you don’t want time taking out for other reasons. 

6. Take a nap, if time permits. 

I wrote on laniera74.blogspot.com about the importance of naptime. If you have a few extra hours, fit in a nap. This will refresh you and may even buy you an hour or two with friends. 

7. Also, for my work and sports friends. 

If you have important, non flexible business the next morning, skip the gathering altogether or cut it way short. If you have a race, an event, work or such, cutting it out completely may be best. There are reasons athletic coaches don’t like their players out at all or too late. 

Basically, just be where you can and know your own limits. Naptime and curfews as a child don’t seem so unnecessary now, right? 

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine