Always a work in progress

Back and forth, continue to regress

It’s never a fast finish nor sprint

Sometimes you just want a thin mint

Lemons are my favorite: I always make lemonade

I cannot hold a tune but you I can serenade

You will not recognize me six months from now

I’ll sound, look and be different all will wow

Keep building and creating like I85 or Madonna

It’s the cake with the frosting, the gym with a sauna

Warm and tasty, doesn’t that sound good

That’s what others are thinking it would

Patience is key as well as clarity

Kindness has become a rarity

Construction will continue and everything will fall in line

The process will have to be trusted, while it’s aging like fine wine

Mental Illness Always Matters!

There have been two high profile suicides in the past week and many more that happen daily.

We often spend the New Year talking about improving our physical and financial health. Few speak of their mental health.

It’s hard even in 2022 to beat the stigma. That’s why I check up on people, look for the signs, try to learn the triggers, etc.

Good mental health goes beyond medicine and even your therapist and psychiatrist appointments. It’s all in how you live your live: work/life balance, interaction with others, having interests and hobbies and not feeling alone.

I’ll continue to harp on issues such as race relations, mental health awareness and bullying until they improve and become like your car or home: only need maintenance.

Also remember you can be born with it but your environment can make it worse. Let’s strive to build and maintain these healthy environments and comfortable spaces and keep the conversations going.

#imjustdrew #scaredeyes

Snow Day: How Peaceful the Pause Can Be

There has been a lot of snow and ice the past week in the Carolinas. The snow even spread past Columbia, SC, which is rare and more special for children and the adults.

Adults often associate their inner child and some of their best memories with snow days. Snow fights, sledding, tubing, snow cream, snow angels and just relaxing.

Snow/ice pauses things for us Southerners as it generally shuts down everything for a few days. We don’t get this type of weather often and honestly aren’t equipped to deal with it. Therefore it gives us a chance to pause and relax, just as we did as children.

The falling of the snow alone is soothing and nostalgic. We can all take solace in the beauty and purity of a snow day.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

Just Apologize

We all have wronged someone or made a ton of mistakes. It’s embarrassing and hard to admit you’re wrong.

You have to be adult enough to admit you’re wrong, apologize, move forward, and be the best person you can be.

Apologies don’t fix everything but they are a good start and often prevent escalations. You of course have to put in the work to become and be a better person and don’t make the same mishap twice.

Put your pride aside, realize you’re human and simply say you’re sorry, my bad, apologies, etc. Don’t worry if it’s not accepted. You at least owned your fault and mistakes..

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

2021 Christmas Letter

This is truly my favorite piece of the year: my 2021 Christmas Letter. I got through the weird 2020 and have powered through 2021

2021 saw a more return of normalcy in the world, daily interactions and seeing lots of family and friends I had not seen since the pandemic began. I got vaccinated in full in the spring and boosted in November. It made the year safer and more confident to vacation, go to Carowinds, sporting events, cookouts, and the movies

I have continued my writing, reading and #injustdrew movement. I also have found a renewed love for fitness, stress relief and working out. I ballooned back to over 300 again and my blood pressure followed suit. I had to go on medication to get it down enough to pass my DOT certification and donate blood. My goal now is to return to the mid 200s. Short term, I simply want to fit into 2XL clothing, be able to ride the rides at Carowinds and run once again. It’s that and a health thing more than a looks deal.

I lost so many loved ones and extended family this year, some to COVID. These include my cousin G-Baby, Robert Perky, Aunt Margaret, Spoon Davis, Chris “Farley” Blackstone, Lynn Bell (I had my watermelon milkshake in your honor), Fred Mosley, Coach Terry Kiser, Reggie Ross, Mrs. Dorothy Moore, Ernie Spearman, Wanda Bradley, Booger Smith, Uncle Darnell, Cal Dawkins, Jackie Sansing Beattie, Betty Hannah, Coach Steve Wilson, Ted Darr, Jim and Nancy Fitch. Going to these funerals and wakes have been draining. I do know I have more angels watching out for me now.

I got into more personal interests such as properly growing my beard into a downward fashion. It has been a journey but my beard is attractive, full and healthy looking. I have also gotten into painting miniatures which has turned into a fun, stress relieving hobby.

I have still been hanging at Wisefire Cafe frequently. I’m proud that the owner, Thomas Dover, is now DHEC certified for pastries and smoothies, on pace to buy his building and the one next door and still serve great coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Also, I have gotten involved with his spiritual worship group Ekklesia. I haven’t been into regular religion in a while, only spirituality. I have found a place with Ekklesia and I enjoy it.

Career wise, things are coming full circle for me. I had an awesome time and run as a Driver Trainer for Amazon (in my 6th year) and even became a travel trainer. I traveled to train on Amazon’s dime to Charleston, Atlanta, and Northern Georgia. I was recently rewarded for my hard work and prowess with a promotion to Assistant Station Manager in Charlotte at CLT6. I’m very proud and humbled to receive this honor and I’ve been hard at work in training during the company’s busiest time. I even got to travel again and spent a week in Virginia Beach training for my new role. It’s been a great year from that aspect and I look forward to what’s next for me in my Amazon career.

Sports wise, it’s been exciting around my way. Green Bay has still been winning, the New York Knicks have come around. My Atlanta Braves won their first World Series in 26 years. The local Gaffney Indian football team won their first state championship in a decade with an undefeated season. It definitely felt like normal again in the sporting world.

My mom has been receiving more medical attention although I would hope for more. We have completed more home improvement projects but there are more to come. Given all of the friends and family that lost their mother this calendar year, I’m very grateful for mine and cherish her daily.

Homecoming returned to Winthrop University in a limited fashion as I ended up celebrating my 20th anniversary virtually and Homecoming was much smaller minus the popular tailgate. I celebrated 25 years as a Blacksburg High School alum and I helped gather my class for a shindig. Overall it was one of many events that I enjoyed. My aunt Betty turned 80 this year and overall I got to see more of my family on both sides due to milestones and other events.

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season (Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, and Happy New Year). Let’s continue to cherish and love each other and make 2022 as great as we can!

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

2021 Festivus gripes

I have plenty of gripes, mostly as of late. Some are serious, some are comical. I’ll allow my readers to decide the difference.

First, I FULLY expect my tribe and true friends to ensure I get invites to Diner en Blanc, Top Golf and a Friendsgiving.

Second, I’ll continue to call out bs on any situation at least ongoing. Note I won’t call out old nor dead situations nor folks I no longer deal with.

Can we please stop saying “understood the assignment”, “owes me nothing” and most catchphrases from a rapper or celebrity? Where is our creativity.

Stop allowing folks to plan events that are horrible at it or blatantly exclude folks to be petty and spiteful. Some of you won’t get this and that’s okay.

COVID is still around so let’s not give up yet on practicing safe protocols

WU, ok, it’s simple. You didn’t have a Homecoming tailgate this year, attendance at sporting events is down and you want more donations. Whoever is reading this that can get to the powers can be needs to work on making the first happen. The others will fall in line.

If you’re a vibe killer or negative overall, please don’t come around me. I am all about the positive and don’t need that bad energy.

Basically, be good to myself, others, kill the exculsion, talk to me and others like humans, realize we are all humans, and always work on bettering yourself and others.

Stay tuned for my 2021 Holiday Letter!

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

Are we doing the lesser of two evils again?

It seems that society it’s all about a choice. Hot or cold. Paper or plastic (OGs). Sweet or unsweet.

It seems in politics it’s often the lesser of two evils when voting for candidates. You wouldn’t expect this in sports as the Carolina Panthers re signed former QB Cam Newton that had a storied time there before injuries and erratic behavior led to his release.

The thing that many Panthers fans said to me following the signing was “it’s better than what we have.” That’s not how life should be. Yes Cam had a good showing in limited playing time and lifted team morale. Long term will tell the tale.

Basically, no one should settle for the familiar all the time. You have to really evaluate and vet, rather than just choose a name out of a hat. This isn’t an ex lover nor a soda; it’s your team’s present and future.

It makes the most sense from the business perspective as having Cam back will salvage the ticket sales and keep the organization from going in the red. Far as wins go, unless he has improved and gets those reps, you won’t be much better off.

You have to consider this when making importantly decisions and not live your life as “the lesser of two evils.”

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

Yes it’s another post about proper planning

I come off of a weekend where proper planning deterred attendance and visibility of events.

Basically you have to get the word out using EVERY form of communication available. You can use formal advertisements as well but getting that word out is clutch.

Know your audience, who needs to be invited and ensure they not only know but they have ample time to plan for coming. If they desire, they will be there period.

So if you want to help advertise or promote an event, you must be relentless and ensure your audience knows all of the important details: the date, time, location and costs.

Everyone will not come but you have to build that visibility and notoriety to your event. We’ve been in the pandemic for two years and people are anxious and ready to get out.

Surround yourself with people that have the bias for action to get this done, and delegate responsibilities that they will be best at. It’s no fun having to do it all with very little help. You may be better off calling off the event.

Also if the cause is worthwhile, don’t give up the first couple of times. Learn from your mistakes, know your audience, promote and keep working at it!

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

Enjoying life again

I need a place to vent and often ramble.

I think it’s a healthy outlet, plus I need to feel restful instead of restless. I need to be more relentless on certain things, like my writing and my painting.

I basically need to treat my body like a temple again, associate myself with more positive influences, and not stay down for very long.

I need to write a calendar/routine if necessary. I may even need another mentor, trainer or muse. I know I don’t need to be alone.

I want to ensure I enjoy life and continue to love and cherish my friends and family. I want to explore new hobbies and revisit some old ones from different eyes.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

Fall: Nothing Much to Say

Many of my faithful readers and listeners know I love Fall. Aside from how early it gets dark in the evenings, this is my absolute favorite time of the year.

I will find fun, save alternatives as I have throughout the pandemic. Halloween is already looking promising, the Iron City Festival is coming, and I’ll be reuniting with high school and college classmates in the coming weeks and months.

Thanksgiving will probably be reduced to going to one additional house this year and once again ordering a fried turkey from Wild Wings. The one last year was scrumptious.

This is also the time that I focus more on my health and weight loss goals. Gyms begin to empty out until January and it’s my time to shine. And as long as I’m employed by Amazon, the latter part of the Fall will be consumed by work.

I felt the cold air this week and loved it. I cannot wait to wear my scully, long pants and jackets more often. I’m not a pumpkin spice fiend but I do like that also.

I encourage all to practice safe measures, whether or not you’re taking the COVID vaccine and/or any boosters. I am tired of it as much as the next person and I want us to beat this thing.

I will have fun and be safe in the meanwhile!

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes