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.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

More Random Thoughts on a Sunday Morning From the Bed (and not waking everyone else up)

Been a long time since I went all stream of consciousness with you but it felt right today because I have lots of topics that don't need a lot of words. 

Death is the perfect synonym for the circle of life. You lose someone but reconnect or connect with others. 

Art does indeed imitate life. And vice versa. 

The older one gets, the less patience one has for blatant stupidity and bullshit. 

One beautiful, glorious day can erase 6 other mundane, morose days in the week.  

For the real fan, following your team creates the highest of highs and the lowest of lows...all within one game. 

Can an atheist believe in reincarnation?  I think yes, counselor. 

Managers manage from a short-sighted and small minded perspective. Make the month mentality. Leaders lead from a big picture, outside the box perspective. Make their lifetime mentality. 

Pets are a true panacea for what ails. 

I would pay twice the price of the drink just for a good bartender. 

We are all stumbling around life blindly until we bump into those people that make the difference. Then we can finally see. 

Love the feel of a real page in a real book. Also, love turning that aforementioned page. 

We hold ourselves back for two reasons; fear of the unknown and a perceived lack of safety nets. 

A great hug is priceless. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Path of Least Resistance

This is the story of two driveways. 

One was long and steep and led to a beautiful new house. 

The other was short and flat and led to an older abode. 

When compared side by side, it's no contest. You would take the former rather than the latter. No cracks.  No mis-laid pieces of pavement. No parts of your lawn growing through like the expanding growth through the pages of Jumanji. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. Game over. 

But upon further expection...the latter is what mattered. 

This relatively unsightly pathway was the perfect fit. The ideal prologue to home and epilouge from the rest of the world.  Uneven. Overgrown. Down right old.  And I am not talking about quaint or vintage or even antique. More like rundown, overused and commonplace.  

What gives you ask? How can I possibly come to this conclusion?  Am I mad? 

Not about driveways. 

See, I came to this conclusion while shoveling. 

Piece of white fluffy cake. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Life in the Day

Recently, I had a day.

A lifetime packed into one 24 hour present.

The love. The pain. The smiles. The tears. It had everything.

It started with a lovely breakfast in bed. Intertwined and passionate.

Then a phone call. I found out a dear friend had passed during the night. Too young. Tragic.

More phone calls with friends to ease the shock and pain. To try and get answers. Why?

Then a contemplative long drive. An opportunity to think about the coming and going of the morn.

The big game with a long time friend.

And of course...a loss in the big game.

A retreat home. Peaceful and quiet.

These specific 1440 minutes carried the weight of a lifetime. These 1440 minutes were a test of perspective. A strange concoction of the pain and joy of life.

I look back on this day and tilt my head in amazement.

One clock filled with minutes and hours.

The roller coaster of life.