Friday, January 28, 2011


     After reading the post on noise and looking over everybody's responses I realized that I lead a fairly quiet, noise-free life. I never had any thought about quiet time being wasted time. My television set doesn't get any stations. I don't own anything with an "i" in front of it. Nothing I possess requires me to have earbuds in my head. My phone isn't smart. All these things came to my attention as I thought about how little distractions I have. Of course I like to listen to music and watch movies, but I'm not plugged into some device all day like the freshman on my basketball team are. So after a few days of meditating on the idea of noise and simplicity, and feeling good about myself for not being distracted, a different issue I have came to mind: my motivation.
     I'm not the most motivated individual. A successful life for me looks like a couple of kids, a happy wife, and a few projects that never seem to be finished. To be honest I always looked up to Hank Hill. He takes pride in what he does and he does it well, even if that's selling propane and propane accessories. And for him, a good time is standing behind his house with his buddies drinking cheap beer. I've never felt a drive to be exceptional and the idea of being wealthy is actually a bit appalling. Being the best I can be and trying my hardest will always be enough to keep me content. But I'm not always my best. I have a hard time really pushing myself to try my hardest. And as I was giving my team an extremely motivational half-time speech about hustle and hard work, I realized I need to take my own advice.
     And then reading the first part of Nouwen's book about living in the moment reinforced the idea that I need to focus on what I'm doing and do it with my might. Plus I've been reading a book about John Wooden which has really called me out on my laziness. Wooden is another man I look up to, more so than Mr. Hill in fact.
     So that's what has been on my mind this week; here's hoping I respond with tenacity.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


     My name's Ryan and I was born on August 15 of 1989 into a family that included two parents and three sisters who's ages were, at the time, eight, ten, and twelve. Having three older sisters--or four moms if you'd like to look at it that way--has been exceedingly influential on my social development. I learned from a young age not to take myself too seriously; and that if you leave the dinner table and don't take your food with you, it won't be the same as when you left.
     At the moment I am employed only as a coach: Frosh/Soph girls basketball at Newport Harbor and both boys and girls volleyball at Mariners Christian(across from rockharbor). I also lead a small group of freshman boys at a church called Crossline. I apologize in advance if I do anything immature in the next eight months; please keep in mind I spend more time with 12-16 year olds than people my own age.
     There aren't too many other notable things about me that come to mind. I go to OCC where I am majoring in math. I play an excessive amount of sports but volleyball is my favorite. And I like to be outside, preferably in the mud.
     I don't have a specific reason for joining Circles. The only expectation I have coming into it is to come out better than when I started. Darin's beard was a deciding factor. My goal in life is to be able to say the same things on my deathbed that Paul said on his: "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith." And I see Circles as an opportunity to help me to do those things.