Sunday, February 11, 2018

Lights. Camera. Action.

Ever been in a competitive race?

Doesn't matter the level. Whether you are competing for the winning gold or a handmade ribbon from your first grade teacher, there is one constant; nothing happens until someone shouts 'go!' Ready and set just put you in the right place. The word 'go' gives you the freedom to run.

Ever fire a gun? Again, nothing happens until the word 'fire.' Ready and aim just give you the target to shoot for.

I am not here to trivialize the act of putting you in the right place to run the race or setting up the target before you shoot but there are so many people in life who stall at the first two parts. They don't take the next step; action.

Recently, I have had several personal and professional experiences where action was required. It had been brainstormed, strategized, dreamt up, mapped out, visualized, blueprinted, whiteboarded, slept on, bar-napkined, drank over, simulated, and lost sleep over to death. It was time to actually put the plan in place.

Too many people get caught up in setting the table. Not enough people actually dine.

Start the race. Shoot the gun. Eat (or as my Dad used to say in Italian; MANGIA)!

Look...with no action, you either get cramps from being in the set position too long or you become blinded from the lights.

Just go already!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Touch of This, a Dash of That and a Sprinkle of Those.

Recently, I was talking to a friend about another friend (telling this story for a friend) and he asked me what makes her so successful at what she does. After thinking about it, I came up with three character traits that are the bedrock for her success.

Intelligence. Passion. Compassion.

Intelligence. I am talking sexy smart here. The ability to see the forest and the trees. The ability to keep one eye looking at things thru the telescope and one eye tracking the microscope. The ability to read people and situations. Well read. Well versed. A beautiful mind.

Passion. Each and every one of us has an internal passion fire. For some the pilot light never lights. For others, it burns so bright it can light up a room. Not one directional passion. It's a passion for their whole universe. It's a passion that drives. It gives strength.

Compassion. The ability to understand the human journey. The ability to see the heart of the other. The ability to feel. A gentle touch. A tender smile. Well timed. Well placed.

People love working with her. She 'gets' it.

She makes others around her better.


Monday, November 20, 2017

A Casket too Small and an Urn.

Recently, I had two funerals. Sad, tragic ones. 

One was for a 10 year old boy with special needs. One was for a 52 year old man who shot himself. 
The little boy lived longer than he was supposed to.  The man didn't want to live anymore. 
The little boy never knew how much he wasn't "normal."  The man never felt "normal." 
One brought hope in his life. The other lost hope. 
One felt loved. The other felt lost. 

Same church. Same pastor. Same overwhelming sense of sadness. 

You understand when someone is supposed to die. "They lived a good life." That's what people say. 
 It makes sense. 

Neither one of these did. 

Unanswered questions. 


How to process?  Just squeeze the ones you love and hold them tight. Enjoy the moment. Don't let insecurities get the best of you. Be nice. Listen. 



Sunday, November 5, 2017

Get Well

I have worked at my company for 22 years.

I accumulate 10 sick days a year that carryover.

That's 220 sick days I have earned.

Now...through the years I have used a few here and there (not counting being home for sick kids) but not many. Maybe 7? 8?

Let's just round it off to even 10. That's 210 days I have left to use.

I recently was fighting a bad cold. I know my body well and I know when I am right on the precipice between "just a cold" and something worse.

This was one of those times. Coughing. Body aches. Chest hurt. Not sleeping. The whole enchilada.

I decided to call it around 4 in the morning. I wasn't going to make it.

I took the day and did very little but rest that day. Not quite sloth-like but close.

I needed it. I felt so much better that night and was able to beat the potential plague that was lurking around the corner in my body. Time well spent. Time well invested.

I will probably work another 15 years. That's another 150 sick days.

Barring the unforseen, I will probably only use a few more before I retire.

Sick days have a negative connotation in some work environments. "Not giving 100%." "Not giving it your all." "Not a team player." That's BS.

The bottom line is this; you have X amount of "well" days during the year and if you want to maximize them, don't be afraid to take the one sick day. Sometimes, the 8 hours you invest in yourself that day will earn interest for several more days, weeks and months and produce much more than you ever could've done in that one day alone.

A day in the life.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

On Your Mark...

When did it happen?

How did it happen?

It happened so fast.

It's that moment in life where you realize you no longer are considered young.

Don't get me wrong...this isn't going to be some mopey, lick my wounds, feeling sorry for myself kind of rant as I approach AARP status. I know all about being young at heart. I really am just curious.

You go through life and you take over a position on the football team. You replace a retired co-worker. You are on the hike up.

Then one day, you are now on the other side of the teeter totter.

"I'm in the autumn of the year."

Some look at it as the proverbial "passing of the torch." One flame expires while another replaces it. I tend to see it more as a relay race; a passing of the baton. Yes, you hand off and your portion of the race is done but without you there is no race in the first place.

You don't realize it when it happens. It just does.

It's one leg in the race of life.

Gotta run.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Shirt Off Your Back

It served many a purpose over the years.

Went through several transitions.

Made it through 17 years.

Was there for me in parts of my 20's, all of my 30's and most of my 40's.

An oldie but a goodie.

It's time had come though.

Tattered and faded. Fraying at the edges. No longer recognizable.

Some say I probably waited too long. Maybe.

Knowing when to say good-bye is a delicate walk on a balance beam.

Knowing when to let go is the hardest task to tackle.

Moving on.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Save The Date

Your birthday. Christmas. Halloween.

These are some of the obvious ones.

Dates you remember. Dates you circle on a calendar.

Dates you celebrate or do what is customary or traditional in nature.

These dates typically create memories. These dates everyone knows.

But what about the not so obvious ones for each of us? What about the ones that when you look back, you realize that these dates defined you for the rest of your life?

They become more than numbers on a calendar. They become part of the true fabric of who you are.

For me, two days became a lifetime. Two random days, connected by number sequences only at first now have become the blueprint for how my life script plays out. Two pages in a book that write the whole epilogue.

Lost and found. Life and death.

No need to circle them. I won't forget.