Shut up and Listen

Fun fact. I’m colorblind.


I also draw like a 4 year old kid and my fashion sense could be described as “challenged”. Although I don’t wear glasses, I have issues with putting together certain visuals. I’m great with the visualization of goals and purpose, but terrible at suggesting what color the bedroom needs to be painted. My wife will show me all sorts of colors in Home Depot’s paint department and all I can do is just nod and try to support whatever decision she will inevitably make with or without my input. She doesn’t really trust my judgement, and I think she just ask to be nice. I am however a great listener. So, as my wife makes the decision, on her own, with my “support”, I just do my best to listen to her rationalize and come to a decision.

I may not always take the time to stop and smell the roses, but I do pause and listen to what’s happening around me. Experiencing life through listening is often more important than seeing it with your eyes. You can easily capture what you’re seeing through the use of an iPhone, but listening is a one take kind of deal.

I will now share with you some of my favorite sounds…

I love the sound of my wife laughing. When Christal gets going with an uncontrollable and oxygen robbing belly laugh, my heart grows full. Tears roll down her cheeks and eventually her nose starts to run as she laughs to the point of paralysis. 19 years together and I’m fortunate enough to be able to still push her to that place of laughter and my goal in life is to hear it as many of those laughs as I can. I’m jealous because I cannot remember the last time I laughed as hard and as long as she often does.

“Daddy” is probably my favorite word and I love the sound of it. I hope my children never stop calling me this and I am not looking forward to the day when they eventually feel the need to shorten it. Erin is my best chance of keeping that word going as Sean will eventually shorten it to “Dad” by the time he goes to middle school. Even when my kids are driving me crazy and I’m about to yell, that word cuts through and melts my heart. Out of all the titles I’ve been given in life, Daddy is my favorite.

The guitar intro to “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. It does not matter what is happening or what I’m doing, that intro stops me in my tracks. The song is meant to be listened to at the loudest volume possible before blowing out your speakers and will not be turned down or trumped by anyone trying to have a conversation with me. They can wait the 5:56 for the album version or 3:57 for the radio edit to finish playing before they can speak to me again. Hope the house doesn’t catch on fire at the same time the song starts, because I will give the fire department the “one minute finger” as they climb up the side of the house to rescue me. I have heard hundreds of thousands of songs in my life but no other song causes me to freeze like this one. “Sweet Child of Mine” connects me to both of my deceased brothers and both weakens and revives my spirit. My connection with Jimmy and Michael has always been about music and because I cannot hear them or see them, this song allows me to feel them.

#Tryharder to hear life. We get so wrapped up in all the negative distractions and the audio traffic of the world around us that we often find ourselves trying to consume or block out too much. Noise becomes life and we need to strip things down and get back to the base wood of our spirit. We need to hear more, but love what we hear. To consume what matters and really listen to the hum of life.

Make a list of the things you love to hear and work to hear them more often. Seeing life is wonderful, but closing your eyes and hearing the beat of our surroundings helps to bring us back to what really matters.


Radio Imagineer and host. Texan, Blogger, Author, Father of 2 awesome kids, husband to Christal and driver of a 1965 Chevy truck. Author of Pull The Trigger and #Tryharder.

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