“I Think I’m Famous”

I remember the day like it was yesterday, but it wasn’t, it was actually Monday, February 4th.  It was a nice spring-like evening, even though it was the middle of winter.  I had just walked my oldest daughter Abigail into Tae Kwan Do.  As I was standing there watching her stretch and warm up a little girl from her class walked up to me and said the words that would change my life (or at least my night), “Hey, I saw you on TV last night.”  This started a cascade of statements from others: “I thought that was you,” or “O Yeah, she’s right. I remember seeing you.”  As I stood there basking in my glory, I assumed this would be the only time I would hear about my TV appearance, however, that was not the case.  Many of my friends and family remarked about my cameo for several days.  In fact, even yesterday I was on the phone with a gentleman who mentioned that he saw me on TV a couple of weeks ago. 

For the few (or many), of you who didn’t see my world premiere, a local news station interviewed my coworker Janet and me for a story that they were doing.  The story, and hence my appearance on TV aired on Sunday, Feb 3rd after the Super Bowl.  I don’t think it was a coincidence that my appearance on their news program was on the same day as the biggest sporting event in the world.  Naturally, I was a natural. I answered the questions that were asked and didn’t stare into the camera lens. The day of my television debut was met with excitement and anticipation in my house.  (I think this was the first time I was excited about the News).  At 5:30 on that Sunday afternoon my wife, daughters, and I gathered around the TV to wait for the News to come on.  However, the pregame show was not able to hold the attention of the rest of my family and they were off in their beds and pleasant dreams before I graced the screens of Abilene.  There I was, wearing my awesome blue polo.  My hair and goatee looked immaculate thanks to the haircut I received a few days before.  My 15 minutes was upon me. 

About a week after my debut I sat on my couch and pondered my stardom, my future and all the possibilities that it now held (I’m still waiting for the call from Spielberg or Lucas).  During my ponderings about upcoming movie roles and which TV shows I would appear on, I actually wondered if all my fans heard the message that we were saying on the news that night.  After a few phone calls and texts to friends and family over the next few days I realized that some remembered what we were sharing, however, most just recalled that I was on their television screens.  With this dose of reality, my fame and stardom felt useless.  What is the point of being famous if the message is not heard?

So, today I have decided to join a few of my other A-list superstars and celebrities and perform a PSA.  Here goes…..For those that do not live here, North Abilene and the College Heights Neighborhood is a great place to live.  My family and I have lived in North Abilene for a little over four and a half years and been College Heights Neighborhood for 6 months.  We love it here. 

In the short time that we have lived in this neighborhood and worked here at CCC, a lesson that we have learned has been reinforced and developed.  If we want to help revitalize and make this neighborhood better, then we need to be more intentional neighbors.  For us, that meant changing the way we do things.  For example, my girls play outside all the time.  Now they spend more of their time in the front yard instead of the back behind the fence.  Also, I love to grill outdoors.  Used to be, I would fire up the ole Weber in the back yard where no one could see.  Since moving here, I do all my outdoor cooking out in the driveway, where I can see all my neighbors.  I even been known to see someone out my window and just go outside to say hi and check on them.  The first step in improving a neighborhood is improving your relationship with the people who live in that neighborhood.  Many of us have a lot in common: we all love our families, we all try to work hard to support them the best we can, and we all want to live in a safe environment where we can thrive and excel. 

Take some advice from a (I think) famous person who's been on TV.  Become more intentional with those you who live in close proximity to you.  Get to know them, say hi.  Deliver some goodies or treats to a neighbor.  Help them out if they need it because when you do that, you help the entire neighborhood.  I think that would be better than any movie or TV show.