The management has closed the main entrance to my building on campus, forcing my commute-via-foot to be rerouted through the hospital. From a Big Picture perspective, this isn’t a terrible modification to my day, considering the new route adds another thousand steps to my overall daily total. In addition, every time that I wish to leave the building, I must retrace the steps of my cryptic spy route, through pipe-laden dusty subterranean hallways, dodging maintenance workers and automated cargo-robot-things, back through the hospital again.

Once more, this adds additional exercise into my day. Plus a little variety and excitement—a little, I said, not Disneyland-like proportions.

For an added bonus, I utilize the stairwell, dropping two floors to where I need to be, instead of patiently waiting for the overcrowded elevators. More beneficial exercise. So with all of that being said, I can clearly justify the consumption of a delicious piece of lemon pound cake. You see, the new foot path also grazes the front door of the internal Starbucks establishment.

With full eyes on my own waistline, I am steadfast in resolve to stick to the black brew of Christmas Blonde beans. No sugar, no whipped cream, no vanilla shots; however, while in line for my two-buck cup of joe, I spy the desserts within the glass showcase—or rather they spot me—beckoning for my attention.

Am I the only one hearing this? They seem to speak to me: hello, sir, you know you want to taste one of us, just one bite, only 340 calories in total—equivalent of only 35 minutes on the elliptical machine.

Indeed, I do wish; but, I resist—for my word of year is Discipline. And in this instance, the one-word journey has seemed to stick in the folds of my brain.


Black coffee in hand, hand on the handrail, pause for my daily photo, and I go back up the two flights to my office.

It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not a winner. ~ Vince Lombardi

On the bus ride home, I receive a flurry of text messages from my wife—instant panic and anxiety flow, followed by peace and calm:

Heat is back on!!!!
And no leaks or n the garage!!!!

Neo: What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets? Morpheus: No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to. ~ The Matrix

I can’t believe it; although, I should never doubt God’s ability to deliver, even in a seemingly non-threatening life situation as mine. The 12-day frozen pipe siege has ended, without incident: no broken pipes, no flood of water from the ceiling, no damage to the household, no exploding furnace components.

Nothing—of the best variety.

I equate the feelings of elation to that of dodging a bullet. Thank you, Lord.

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. ~ Alice Walker

For the train ride home, I bask in pure amazement, and gratitude. I must have a permanent smile upon my face. I should ask the left-handed man beside me, who completes crossword puzzles in pen. How would he describe me right now?

My station approaches, I stand at the opening doors, the left-handed man follows behind me. Keep in mind that I’ve never talked to him in my life. As we both pause at the crosswalk, red lights flashing, and our train passes by, he turns to me and says the following words…

“…I guess we really dodged a bullet.”

No, I didn’t make that up. True story.

Take it to the bank and take the stairs, but be sure to leave the lemon pound cake.