Happy Father’s Day to all the great fathers out there, past and present and future.  It’s a bright sunny day here in northern Illinois, and our little family is off for a swim.  But before we do, a quick reflection on the week. 

I was approaching this week with a sense of dread. On Thursday, a group of nine inspectors and city officials stopped by my building to give it a once-over and answer my lingering questions.  My building is almost 90 years old, and I was certain they’d find some reason to put an end to my project.  

They showed up en force, and I was so nervous that my childhood stutter returned. My mind was racing.  

Are they going to force me to install a full sprinkler system? Or a new furnace?  Or brand new ADA bathrooms?  Or maybe just put a bucket on my head and start name-calling? 

They did none of these things. After I showed them around, they gave me some creative solutions and told me to keep up the good work. 

Reality is what we make it. And I hadn’t made a great reality for myself this week. Before I had even met them, I turned these perfectly nice folks into monsters.  How unfair and unproductive. My dread did nothing but temporarily shape my world into a worse place than it was. 

My Midsummer resolution is to try to believe that things are better than they appear. So that—at least for me—they will be.  After all, most things are only as real as we believe them to be. 

Case in point, last night, my band Stone Blind Valentine played Midsummer Fest in Rockford. Our sound from the stage was not great, so we assumed we sounded pretty bad to the audience as well.  But after we finished, we heard nothing but good feedback from the crowd.  Reality: usually better than what you dread it might be. 

I hope you choose a great reality for yourself this week, Reader. See you next Sunday.

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