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Wrestling a sub-prime mortgage in the panic of 2008, a job to fix a toilet provides the opportunity to renovate a life. The loss of parents and two homes, a marriage ending and a business closure create a perfect storm of crisis for the author, forcing a review of his past to find solutions to live a more authentic future.

A men’s retreat begins a writing process, leading to a blog exposing the pain caused when, distracted by the business of life, passions go dormant. Within a year, old skis dance through moguls, instructing with his son a group of young children who teach him more about love and happiness than they learn.

A dusty guitar is restrung after years of silence and new songs pour out as if guiding the author to sing a message of living passionately and following dreams. To showcase his original music, he forms a band and begins to play out, eventually making small tours and culminating on the stage of New York’s famous Bitter End.

On the pages in between, the book examines a childhood where the only real baggage seemed to be about a fanny pack’s worth of being loved too much and suffering a father too abundant in talent to easily imitate his success. Captain of the football team who became a president of the world and a cheerleader for life, his parents modeled that anything is possible, but in retrospect, the author realizes that insidious expectations can lead to a lifetime of self-sabotage. In response, he redefines his relationship with his own son and begins to teach that communicating love is more important than setting a standard of excellence.

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