Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Working Title   Leave a comment

“Everybody’s working for the weekend” – Loverboy

“I don’t wanna work, I want to bang on the drum all day” – Todd Rundgren

 One of my favorite memories of my high school years was Friday nights as an equipment manager/statistician for the football team, riding in the equipment van to away football games.  The radio station we listened to on the way played the same set of songs every Friday at 5:00, leading off with the two songs quoted above.  At that time, they were just catchy tunes that I heard every Friday.  I was many years away from truly understanding why playing them on Friday at 5:00 had any real meaning.

Unless your parents have the last name Bezos, Gates, Buffett, Zuckerberg, Walton, or one of a handful of others, you have to (or will eventually have to) work for a living.  A precious few of us manage to earn a living doing something we truly and thoroughly enjoy.  Most of use our God-given talents to find the most lucrative job we can tolerate.  Even in a 21st century where work-life balance has gained a tremendous amount of emphasis, far too many of us still hold jobs where the real or perceived pressure to perform at our jobs results in working so much that we end up sacrificing one or more of the following: relationship with spouse, relationship with children, physical well-being, emotional well-being, spiritual well-being.

If you are an employee and that last sentence describes you, I’m not here to advise you on what to do other than make the decision that you feel is best for you and your family.  If you are a director, manager, or anybody else who has a significant influence on the work-life balance of others, I’d kindly ask that you consider what I have to say.

One of the biggest problems is that our work world rarely intersects with our other worlds (family, friends, church, community activities, etc.).  For many of us, how we treat people at work is never known by any of the other people in our lives.  I’m a perfect example.  Now I’ve only been at my new office for eight months, but I’ve yet to run into anyone I work with outside of work, and I’ve yet to meet anyone outside of work who knows anyone I work with.  I could be an entirely different person at work than I am anywhere else and nobody would know.

If you are in a position of authority at work, I kindly ask you to think about how you treat your staff.  Now imagine that your spouse followed you around every day at work.  What would (s)he think?  What about your kids?  What about your friends?  What about the pastor of your church?  Would any of them significantly change what they think about you if they saw how you treat people at work?  If so, what does that mean?

As a manager, I understand that managers have responsibilities.  We have an obligation to our employers to enforce certain rules and hold employees accountable for certain things.  There are clearly times when decisions have to be made that are not popular with some or all employees.  However, I try my hardest (with the recognition that I am far from perfect) to keep in mind that everybody who works for me has a life.  I’m paying them to do their jobs because nobody is going to do their jobs for free.  They want to earn their paychecks but then they want to go do other things.  I shouldn’t be exercising my authority to worsen their work-life balance just because I can.  I shouldn’t do it just to go on some kind of power trip, or because that’s how one of my managers treats/treated me, or because I got discriminated against by someone else, or because I’m jealous of some life situation of theirs compared to mine.  I don’t want to unnecessarily be the reason someone doesn’t get to go to their kid’s baseball game or dance recital, or is late for their Thursday night poker game, or has to cancel a family vacation they have planned.

Your hear a lot of people say that the world would be a better place if we’d all just be nicer to each other.  That applies at work just as much, if not more so, than anywhere else.


Posted April 21, 2018 by Andrew Cabiness in Family

November 17, 2017: Full Circle   Leave a comment

“Back and better than ever”
-Mike Greenberg, thousands of mornings from 2000-2017

Note: I really wanted this post to be more timely, but it’s been a very hectic several weeks.  I hope to get one or two more posts out today after this one because I have a lot on my mind.

On September 27, 1999, when I started my career with the US Census Bureau at the Chicago Regional Office, ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning was still fourteen weeks away from debuting.  It would be another sixteen weeks before I discovered the show that got me through my morning commute to the Census Bureau in three different cities over the next 17½ years.

Friday, November 17, marked the end of one era and the beginning of another.  As ESPN goes through a series of reorganizations of on air talent and programming, that day was the last day that Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg hosted their iconic morning show together before moving on to new and separate shows.  It was also the same day that, due to my previous decision to transfer back to the Chicago Regional Office, our family moved into our new home in Munster, Indiana.

On both the first and last days I ever listened to Mike & Mike in the Morning, I commuted back and forth to the same office (though the office itself did move in the meantime).  While their show was a constant for all those years, my life sure did change quite a bit.  I went from being single and living alone to married with two kids, and too many ups and downs along the way to count.

While I have been very frequently been sternly reminded by a higher power, usually through messages delivered by others, that I am not in full control of my life, I do both hope and believe that I am now settled in a home that will see my kids graduate from high school and my eventual retirement.  While I have visited, semi-regularly attended, and regularly attended many churches over the years, for the first time I’m actually attending a church that I truly feel called to be a part of.  I very strongly believe that I am where I am for a very important purpose, though I don’t know exactly what that is yet.

I’m anxious to reach the point where I’m ‘settled in’ and can start getting more involved in my church and community.  If you live in the Munster/Hammond/Lansing area and happened upon this post I’d love to make some local connections via Facebook and/or LinkedIn.

Posted December 3, 2017 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Indiana, Sports

10 Places I Will Miss in Southern IN/Louisville   Leave a comment

Only six more days until I move north.  Before I go, I would like to mention ten places that my family and I will miss about this area (aside from this really awesome house that’s for sale).  Some are local, others are chains that just aren’t in the Chicago area as of now.  I was having a hard time ranking them, so I took the easy way out and listed them alphabetically.

Buckhead Mountain Grill – Very good menu variety and quality with prices comparable to an Applebee’s or Friday’s without the chain feel.  The Jeffersonville location has a great view of the river and of Downtown Louisville.

Bubba’s 33 – A fairly new chain that has a location in Clarksville.  If you like bacon on your burgers, you’ll love Bubba’s because they not only put bacon on the burger, they put bacon in the burger.  My only complaint is that the beer selection tilts too heavily towards lagers and IPAs.  Still, I’m hoping this chain one day makes its way to NWI (Northwest Indiana).

Churchill Downs – I was never into horse racing at all before moving to Southern Indiana, but I love it now.  We’ve never actually made it to the Oaks or Derby because seats are expensive and the infield just isn’t my thing, but we’ve been to the Downs to see (and bet on) races on other days and we’ve loved it.  The movie in the museum is fantastic as well.

Floyd County Brewing Company – This is a fairly new place in downtown New Albany that quickly became a favorite.  Excellent beer, excellent atmosphere and good food.  Not an easy-to-find combination.

Graeter’s – Really, really, really good ice cream.  You know it’s really, really, really good because it’s expensive and people still buy it.  I’ll probably lose weight faster by not living within a mile of a Greater’s.

Huber’s Orchard and Winery – I will admit that our trips to Huber’s became less frequent when they got rid of the animals that the kids loved to visit, but the winery and farm market are still worth a few trips each year.  Heritage is still my favorite dry red I’ve ever had.

Pizza King – If you have kids who like pizza and like trains, the “the place where the train brings your drinks” is probably someplace you frequent.  I was surprised to learn that their footprint does not include NWI.

Rite Aid – What? A drugstore?  What’s special about Rite Aid that you can’t get at Walgreen’s or CVS.  Well, when you spend $1000 or more per year at Rite Aid you get a 20% discount on everything (except alcohol, tobacco, lottery and prescriptions) all year long.  Plus, Norman, who manages the Rite Aid at 10th and Holmans in Jeffersonville is the best store manager I’ve ever met.  If everybody had the same enthusiasm for their job that he has for his, the world would be a much better place.

Turtle Run Winery – It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Huber’s has, but they have a large selection of really good wines made and sold by a family that’s very knowledgeable and passionate about wine.  Well worth the trip to eastern Harrison County.

World of Beer – On my first trip back to the area after moving away, this is the very first place I will want to go for food and drink.  It’s a fantastic place, and thanks to the new East End Bridge it’s now in a fantastic location for those coming from Indiana.  They have tablets at the tables where you can browse beers by type or country.

Any local places that you think should be included on this list?




Posted August 11, 2017 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Indiana

Major Announcement   3 comments

Ever since my parents took me to my first White Sox game when I was 9, I’ve loved Chicago.  I always imagined I would end up living there someday.  I considered going to college at DePaul before choosing Notre Dame.  I almost went to graduate school at UIC before settling on Michigan State.  I did eventually end up in Chicago for 5½ years when I began my Census Bureau career.  When I left by accepting a transfer to Maryland, and then to here in Southern Indiana, I thought I would be back.  Twelve years and two kids later, the idea of returning to Chicago began to seem less and less likely.

However, and opportunity has presented itself, and after some very serious and careful consideration, I have decided to accept a transfer back to the Census Bureau’s Chicago Regional Office, located in Oak Brook.  Nearly all of the details are yet to be worked out, but my first day there is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 21.  My eleven years of working for the Bureau’s Jeffersonville (NPC) office have been both rewarding and challenging, and I feel that I am at a point in my career where I need a change of scenery.

We have just barely begun the process of looking for a new home, so I can’t yet tell you where we will be living, but we are focused on the western portions of Lake County, Indiana.  As a native Hoosier, I am partial to my home state and living in Illinois doesn’t seem terribly appealing right now.  Still, I want the commute to not be any lengthier than necessary, thus western Lake County.  I will provide more details once they are determined.

Even though I’ve lived in Southern Indiana for 11 years now, I’ve always favored the northern part of the state over the southern.  There are people and things about this area that I will miss, but the opportunity to take full advantage of everything Chicago far outweighs that for me.  More/better cultural opportunities, closer to White Sox games, closer to Notre Dame football games (which only becomes relevant after they wake up and ditch their coach) and closer to a beach.  Also, you may find this weird, but I’m very excited to be moving back to the Central Time Zone, which is what all of Indiana should be on anyway.

My wife and children have developed strong bonds that will have to be severed, and I am very appreciative that they are supporting this move as one that will be best for the family even though not their personal preference.  My wife will have to leave a job and co-workers that she absolutely loves.  The kids will both have to change schools again, leave behind friends, and find new Cub and Girl Scout packs/troops.  I want to especially thank the babysitters, preschool teachers, elementary school teachers, Sunday school teachers and scout leaders who have all been a very important influence on the first 9 and 7½ years of our children’s lives.  Perhaps the most important challenge that my wife and I face in this move is finding and selecting the right people to fill these new roles for our children.

While there are still a lot of uncertainties that are the source of anxiety right now, I am very excited to start the next chapter of my career and life.  I have updated and will continue to update my About page as we sort out exactly where we are going to live.



Posted July 13, 2017 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Indiana

What a Fool Believes (on His Anniversary)   Leave a comment

“She had a place in his life.
He never made her think twice.”
-Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins

 Aside from being from a double Grammy-winning song for the Doobie Brothers, the line above perfectly describes the first 28½ years of my life.  I was the absolute king of the Friend Zone long before the term was ever invented.  I lost count of the number of times that I fell very hard for a woman who was never, ever going to see me as more than a friend.

 Then, after returning from a work trip to Colorado in July 2002, I sent an introductory e-mail over an internet dating website not unlike many others I’d sent.  This one changed my life forever, entirely for the better.  Less than ten months later, I was married, and it didn’t at all seem too fast.

 Now, back to the opening quote.  I picked it not only because of its relevance to my life, but because while I love Michael McDonald’s music, my wife absolutely hates it, and that is one of those things that helps me realize that there really are no true soulmates in this world.  You are married to or are going to be married to someone who has at least one aspect of life that doesn’t click with you.

 I strongly believe that only a very small percentage of marriages fail because of “marrying the wrong person” or because “one/both partners changed from who they were when they married.”  Certainly there are people who are in relationships where they suffer physical, emotional or financial abuse and they really do need to get out, but I truly feel that loving someone enough to make marriage work is not something that just happens but is something you have to consciously choose to do and to make a priority over everything else.  I could really go on for several pages on that thought alone but instead I will say that if that statement intrigues you, I urge you to check out either one of several books with that theme or a professional counselor

 I believe that there are far too many of us who are giving up on marriages that shouldn’t be ending, and there are consequences for making that decision, and if you have children those consequences can last their entire lives.  I don’t want to sound judgmental, but in the majority of cases, divorce is the easy and selfish choice. I realize that for many, their spouse has made the decision to end the marriage and they are left with no choice, but for those who still have that choice I urge you think about it a lot (and pray about it a lot if that’s something you do) before deciding to end things.  Regardless of what the government, your church and your own personal beliefs say about divorce, I think we can all agree that a high divorce rate is a major contributor to societal problems.  I want to encourage you to exhaust all other options before making this decision.

 I want to conclude by saying that by having this view on marriage, or by having managed to stay married for 14 years, I’m not any more righteous than those who have had marriages end in divorce.  I think because I had such a hard time getting to the relationship stage early in life, I developed an appreciation for how hard it is to accomplish and that has highly motivated me to do whatever necessary to avoid having to do it again.

 If this post has engaged your thoughts, I encourage you to comment on it. If this post has engaged your emotions, I encourage you to share it.

Posted May 17, 2017 by Andrew Cabiness in Family

It’s Been a Busy Seven Months   Leave a comment

Not that there are a lot of you out there who have really missed my blog posts (I average less than 100 hits per post), but I haven’t posted because it’s been a very busy seven months for me

Since getting a house into a sellable condition while living in it with two kids under ten is pretty much impossible, we had to buy our new house and move to it before putting our old house on the market.  That led to a very stressful period of owning two houses with two house payments, plus not being able to fully furnish our new house until the sale on the old house closed.

Things have finally settled down, and I hope to get back to writing more regularly.  All the changes that have gone on have reminded me to update my About page, which hadn’t been updated since I first started the blog.

Posted October 13, 2016 by Andrew Cabiness in Family

Praying Is Something We Do In Our Time   Leave a comment

Praying is something we do in our time, the answers come in God’s time

Father Cavanaugh, in the movie Rudy

 I don’t know whether or not Father Cavanaugh ever said such a thing in real life, but in either case I’m very glad that line was in the movie, especially since I am very much not a patient person by nature.  It’s a movie that connects with me for obvious reasons.  Even after seeing it dozens of times, I still tear up during the scene where Rudy opens his acceptance letter from Notre Dame, just like I teared up when I received my own acceptance letter from Notre Dame on December 14, 1991.

 For those of us who pray, I think the line is a very important reminder regardless of how you feel about Rudy or Notre Dame.  It’s very easy to get discouraged when we pray for something and it doesn’t happen right away.  God has a bigger plan and sometimes those answers take weeks, months, and sometimes even years.

 Since this is MLK day, a good example to use is the fight for equality in this country.  A whole lot of people have been praying for generations for equality and fair treatment in this country.  Progress has never been as rapid as it should have been, but God has been busy changing the hearts that need to be changed to bring about the needed progress, and it is clear that more hearts still need to be changed.

 I think back on my own life where I have had to wait an awful long time for answers to prayers.  I prayed to God for a wife for years before my prayer was answered.  If my prayers had been answered any earlier, I wouldn’t have the wonderful wife I have today.  Sometimes the answers come in different forms than we are expecting.  I have been praying for years for a more satisfying job situation.  My assumption was that this was going to come in the form of a new job.  The jury is still out, but it’s possible that God’s answer is improving the situation at my current job.

 So every time I find myself in a situation where I am praying for something, I need to remind myself that the answers will come on God’s schedule and not my own.


Posted January 19, 2015 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Notre Dame

%d bloggers like this: