Tuesday, December 18, 2012

100 Words, 4 Word Clouds, One Robot Life

I love writing.

I love writing music, lyrics, articles, and I've absolutely loved writing these blog entries. I wanted to look back to summarize my 3 years of blogging and thought that instead of telling you what what the blog has meant to me, let's look at what the words tell us directly.

Here, with no editing, is what justarobot.com had to say:
To see the word clouds in full, click the thumbnail.
Note: For the geeks, I exported my entire blog...every word of every post and comment...and added the content to wordle.net where I created word clouds. These clouds count up how many times I use a word (not counting common words like 'is'), and the larger the word, the more frequently I used it. Finally, the words are visualized.

To me, it said:
  • Life has hard moments, but pales to the love I've found
  • I have great family
  • There's always a next song
  • Always looking for the next experience
  • My wife comes before guitars (and it looks like I love and need both) :-)
  • My wife makes adventure good
  • I hope for good adventure...even at home
  • Music is central to what Greg thinks about
  • Best moments are when God is first in my day
  • I worry about the time I spend at work
  • New songs are awesome and keep me happy

If I look at it differently, I get a different view:

This time I see:
  • I love being on stage
  • God is why I started first playing music
  • I need family to be happy - including my church family
  • Guitar is much fun!
  • I have an amazing life
  • I get to grow old with my wife
  • I sometimes feel old
  • One great song is my dream
  • Playing a concert is like living in another world
  • I found adventure throughout my years

Next, if I filter to show only the top 100 words I used:

I see:
  • First go to a concert, play guitar
  • I love time at home
  • I need adventure, and every adventure should always involve my wife
  • Music makes me see happy
  • I've got One.Great.Life filled with Song.Love.Music.

This last view tells me...
  • These years have been quite amazing
  • I think I've got it really good
  • I want music in my day
  • I love my wife
  • My kids are awesome
  • Love makes great adventures...and great songs
  • Remember to play and feel happy
  • To feel happy play something on my guitar
  • Jesus, life, christmas...all gifts
  • Now is the time for even one concert to hear a little guitar

I think that sums it up well.

I look forward to see what the next 100 blog posts bring.

What phrases popped out at you as you saw these word clouds?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Don't Look Up...You Might Miss It

Yesterday I was in Florida demoing for an event. 

Today I drove home from a gymnastics event.

...at least that's what it seemed. These events were exactly one month apart: 11/02 and 12/02.

What's going on?

I've said for years that life is going fast, but I really have no idea what to do about how fast this last month went.

Am I just not remembering?

Should I be more "in the moment"?

Should I, as Ferris Bueller says, "Stop and take a look around, or I might miss it"?

Am I trying to pack too much in?

Am I planning for the future too much?

Or, I wonder, am I doing it right...and it just goes so fast because I'm immersed in something I love...like when I'm writing a song and I look up after 20 minutes only to find 3 hours have passed?

When I looked back over the month, I looked at the things that matter and noticed:
  • I played a lot of music at church. I've said it before, but I'm certain my path in life was paved so I would end up in Rochester serving at Crosswinds with my wife. I also started working on a CD I'm releasing of music I wrote a while ago but have had constant requests for...Maybe I can even write some new songs that go along with all the instrumental music.
  • I engaged my oldest - exchanging great conversation, hard to dole out discipline, gaming excitement, and sharing the stage with him performing worship songs. He's like a rocket taking off and while I tend to wish everything would go straight and I wouldn't have to trouble-shoot or help adjust his trajectory, I wonder if that's why we're so close...and maybe this deep immersion in his life and behaviors is exactly what he needs...and wants.
  • I dedicated time with my youngest wrestling for fun, wrestling through homework and reading, watching old Battlestar Galactica, and listening while he told me how he made a home-made basketball hoop out of his box of "Stuff Jaxon makes cool stuff out of" (yes, we have a big bin filled with cardboard, plastic, containers, stuff that we think he could be creative with). I know he savors my attention...and my deep focus on the details he cares about means the world to him.
  • I taught my girls science, did lab experiments, drove my girls most every morning to gymnastics training. They love it and I'm seeing some really great results...not just in their scores (although those are great), but in life-long lessons on how to overcome challenges. Regardless of what they do in their gymnastics from now on, both of them struggled, dedicated time and tons of sweat and effort to work towards their goal, and achieved that goal. I am so grateful I was a witness to that.
  • I spent time loving my wife. We sang together, we put up outside christmas lights, we watch some great TV shows, we had some amazing meals together (she may not think so since she cooked them, but it's my favorite place to eat on this earth), and we communicated. It seems the more I immerse myself into her details, the closer and more intimate we become.

Was this month perfect? Not at all. I did some dumb things and wasted some opportunities.

Did I have any regrets? Yep...when I lost my temper and said something that made one in my family sad. But I talked about my mistakes to my youngest/oldest/girls/wife, I think we're stronger afterwards because we shared those details.


I know what Ferris said, but maybe in my life it's different...maybe the joy I have in my life is found in the details...the individual conversations, the one single hand I hold, the one guitar note, the singular glance at my wife that says our 'front-line' position in life is something we wouldn't change a bit...

...maybe in my case it is all about the details...maybe for me the secret is really:

"Don't look up...you just might miss it"
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