May 4th, 2010

Roll Over Beethoven

Song Info (from Beatlesongs):”Roll Over Beethoven” was on the With the Beatles album and was 100% written by Chuck Berry.  The song was part of the band’s repertoire for concerts from the late 50s into 1964, including their 1964 North American tour.  All four of them provided the handclaps for the song.

People like to use “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” as an excuse to not try new things.  I don’t know if it’s actually true about actual dogs, but the thinking is, a person gets too set in their ways, too used to how they do things, and there’s no sense in trying to get them to do different things.  There’s a certain comfort in the phrase, and a chance for both the sayer and the hearer to nod their heads knowingly and leave it at that.  “Well,” they both agree, “that’s the end of that.  No getting around that one!”


Thing is, I’ve held to that point of view for a long time.  I may not have ever said it (though I’d be surprised if that were true), but I’ve certainly lived by it.  “Don’t try to change me.”  “I’m set in my ways.” “I like what I like.”  Those are certainly things I’ve said, and more than once each.

There’s another phrase that you hear: “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get the same result.”  This phrase has been sticking with me lately.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m just about to turn 38 or because I’m about to get married or something else entirely or both of those together, but there’s been a lot of self-evaluation going on.  Megan and I have been going through premarital counseling, so there’s been a lot of “How do each of you act in this particular situation?” and “What do each of you think about ________?”, so I’m sure that’s part of it.

I really want to be a good husband.  Sure, that’s a nice sentiment, I know.  But… I really do.  I want to find out what makes a good husband and do that, be that.  I also want to be a good father, should that be a thing that happens.  I want to be a good friend, a good worker, a good owner of cats, a good… whatever else.  For me, that’s all tied up in my faith – I want to be a good Christian.  Whether you like that or not, the way I understand being a good Christian amounts to me being a good citizen, too.

So I’ve been thinking these things a lot, mulling them over, pondering them.  The trap I easily fall into, though, is leaving it there.  I can “think things through” longer than most of you kids have been alive, it seems like.  Change, thought, real change is about doing.  A phrase I hit upon earlier this year has stuck with me and become a goal of mine: “Live deliberately.”  I want to specifically pick things to change and then do it, change them.

So here’s a list of things I want to be doing every day, where “every day” is defined as “somewhere between 5-7 times a week.”  While they are not all inherently spiritual, there is a spiritual aspect to doing things that I believe I should be doing.  The list so far:

  • Flossing – a simple thing, but very helpful, and more helpful the older I get here
  • Using the treadmill (for more than a place to hang things) – I have no interest in running outside, but if I could set up a laptop to be usable while I was on the treadmill?  That will make a world of difference.
  • Push-ups – There’s a program for getting yourself to the point where you can do 100 push-ups, and it really seems like something I could do and should do
  • Go to bed earlier – more specifically, before 11p.  This directly ties in with
  • Get up earlier – ideally, 5a.  The times in my life where I’ve done this have been fantastic, and I’d like to get back to it.
  • Read my Bible – the more I read it, the better I can remember what it is I need to be doing
  • Be on time – for work, for church, for everything I can be

It’s a start.  I’d like to revisit this in a year and be able to say, “Not only did I start that, I’m still doing all those things.”

I’ve never seen the movies referenced in the title of this entry, but I don’t have to to know that the titular character is a giant dog who brings chaos wherever he is.  I’d rather be an agent of serenity than an agent of chaos, a help to those around me rather than a hindrance.  And even though I’m a cat person, I’d like to think that this old dog can learn some new tricks.

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