Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Good Stuff is Always on the Top Shelf

Recently, I was talking to someone about whether or not a mutual friend was excited about a big life move.  She responded with "no, you know how Jim is...doesn't want to set the bar too high because he doesn't want to be disappointed if things go south." 

I honestly am still shaking my head every time those words rattle around my brain. 

"Doesn't want to set the bar too high." 

What the hell kind of way is that to live life?!

Life is all about skyrocketing as high as you can and all the while knowing your fall back to earth will not end with a soft landing.  Life is all about riding the roller coaster to the top and then having your stomach get caught up in your throat on the way back down.  Life is all about winning that championship and knowing that you have a bullseye on your back the next season.

Life is all about the ride up and the ride down.

My wife's favorite line is always "things really do work out for me."  What she doesn't add to that is that she knows she skins her knees along the way up the mountain to get to the top. 

It's because she sets the bar high.

Shoot for the moon.  The only time you should lower the bar is when your barstools are too short.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Essence of Kelly

The Essence of Grace is every step one takes is a dance onto itself.

The Essence of Beauty is an inner light and outward light that radiates into the darkest corners.

The Essence of Love is the unequivocal opening up of a true heart to all.

The Essence of Care is the unselfish act of always giving without expecting it returned.

The Essence of Fun is when a smile and a laugh can wipe away the hurt and the tears.

The Essence of Spirit is the inner pilot light that always is lit.

All are the Essence of our precious Kelly.

Daughter. Mother. Wife. Sister. Aunt. Friend.

We will always love you. Forever.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Flashpoint In Real Life

Transitions. Changeovers.

Passages. Alterations.

They happen all of the time in life.

Most of the time we aren't even aware or cognizant of them.

When you become aware in the moment, it's a powerful thing.

Last night, it happened to me. At a business event with both the past and future present. Past co-workers, teammates, people I trained, mentors. People with whom I commiserated the losses and celebrated the wins. Some will stay in my life. Some won't. I started there.

Then...onto the future. New co-workers, new teammates, new people I will train. Wins, losses, toasts, hugs and handshakes. Maybe even a shoulder. All new.

For a moment, I was frozen between the two. Then it was time to move forward.

When you are conscious and in the moment and realize the transition point, you are able to remove yourself from the scene. You process the feelings and emotions of the people in your life; both past and future. You become aware of your hindsight and your foresight all at once. The past experience becomes the training ground for the future.

It's a cool moment because you are in the moment.

I am a huge superhero geek so I will draw the analogy. It's like when Flash travels back in time and sees another version of himself. He sees who he was and connects the dots to who he is.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

How Deep is the Cut?

Did you ever get cut? Not the physical kind where a well placed band-aid can save the day. Not insulted upon or ripped on either. I am talking about trying out for the team and not making the final roster (and please, getting fired doesn't count).

It sucks.

You put in months, maybe even years of work and it was all of naught (not really).

They had to draw an imaginary line somewhere. "We can only keep 12 kids." In this case, 13 really is an unlucky number. What separates 12 and 13? Probably not a lot. Maybe one kid can hit a little better. Maybe another can field a little better. Maybe it's a team chemistry thing. Whatever it is, it creates that line of separation.

Would you rather be the first or the last one cut? Both hurt...but for different reasons. Both can be motivating and demotivating at the same time.

There is no debating. It does suck...for awhile. But after awhile, you move on and build perspective.

It's happened to me. It's happened to my kids. It's probably happened to us all at some point or to some degree.

One of two things usually happens; either you work harder to make the team next year or you find something else to do.

It's one of those life lessons that you don't realize until you look at the situation in the rear view mirror.

It stings for a bit but it becomes the Bactine of life.

There. All better.

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.