99 Years Old and Looking Back

I have to swallow hard when I refer to the song, “100 Years” by Vladimir John Ondrasik III, known by his stage name, “Five for Fighting,” as an “oldie.”


I mean, after all, a song released in 2003 should not fall in that category; it’s a description meant for The Everly Brothers or The Beach Boys. Nonetheless, if the Earth Shoe fits…

Sorry, I got distracted… back to the issue at hand…

“100 Years” is an amazingly powerful song.

If you don’t have it cued up on your iTunes playlist right now, let me sum it up. Each of us gets 100 years to live, and during that period we go through various stages. The poignant lingering lyrics guide us through those times, beginning at 15 (“There’s still time for you…”) and progressing all the way to 99 (“Time for just another moment…”). So poignant are the words that there’s a webpage to discuss the interpretation. (I don’t make any commission on its purchase nor am I affiliated with Mr. Ondrasik, but it’s worth your time to check out the song.)

My interpretation is that each of us given the gift of one century, which passes in the “blink of an eye.”

So, imagine you live exactly, to the day, 100 years. (In my case, that would mean I exit on September 28, 2054.) Take it to your last day and then back it off to one day before you’re gone; see yourself at 99 years, 364 days old. By sunset tomorrow, you will be no more; you have gathered all the knowledge and wisdom possible in this lifetime. You are completed.

Now suppose that 99-year-old-You could send a message back to the Current-You, right here, right now, reading these words.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Ceremony

wedding-invitation

From its dawn through the mid-twentieth century, 90 percent of all gloves sold in the United States were manufactured in Gloversville, New York; making it one of the most appropriately named cities on the continent.

Originally known as “Stump City” because of all the trees that had been cut down it was incorporated in 1890. Having spent three weeks there, I can tell you firsthand that the sidewalks have probably not been repaired since that date. In many places, taking a walk was akin to scaling miniature cement mountains, circumventing canyons, crevices, and summits that substituted for a walkway.

Yet, it surpassed Augusta, Maine’s sidewalks, which were non-existent.

Trying to navigate the roadway to the shopping center, a distance of about one half mile, was analogous to open field running in a war zone. One scouts oncoming traffic waiting for a break, upon a clear patch, dash hurriedly down the road to the next safe haven, pause again for traffic, and repeat the process. (If more communities had decent sidewalks, it sure would help solve our obesity problem. However, that’s another topic.)

In the previous 94 days, I traveled 18,594.6 miles (give or take), from Anchorage to Augusta, Rutland to Redding.

While on the road, I visited a 20-foot tall chocolate fountain in Alaska. I resisted the urge to climb in, but succumbed to sampling real honest-to-goodness Vermont-made maple syrup while in Burlington. If you have not this pleasure, imagine the taste of a warm sunrise lightly brushed with natural honey gliding over your tongue, evaporating into airy nothingness.

Although mostly work-related, my journeys were book-ended by highly personal, deeply emotional events.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Take Time to be Alone

dream-written-in-sand

Take time to be alone more often than you think you need to.

One of the prime triggers in engaging in a bad habit is looking for a way to give to yourself, especially if you’ve been very busy and overwhelmed.  When we don’t take time for ourselves, we end up “rewarding” ourselves with our habits. It’s a way of taking care of ourselves in the moment, but it doesn’t feel so great when we’re done.

If you want to improve the chances you’ll stay on program and you won’t suffer from a “guilt dessert,” take a few minutes to be alone every day; long enough to decompress.

It doesn’t have to be very long, just long enough to get yourself centered.

By the way, “alone” is not “lonely” – unless you choose to make it so.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

When Stuck, Look to Your WHY NOTs

stuck-man

“Stuck” does not just happen.

There’s a reason.

  •     If you keep taking off and putting on the same few pounds no matter what you do, there’s a reason.
  •     If you keep “trying” to change a habit and it never seems to work, there’s a reason.
  •     If you’re always making promises to yourself but you’re not keeping them, there’s a reason.

If you want to understand the reason, it’s important to know your “WHY NOTs.”

We usually know why we want to change our habits (health, happiness, success) but we rarely pay attention to why we DO NOT, referred to as our “WHY NOTs.”

Understanding your WHY NOTs will move you forward.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

I Think Therefore I Become

Next to my bed is a nightstand.

man-in-bed-in-bedroom

I presume that is a common arrangement in many bedrooms. Upon the shelf of the nightstand are many books; this too I assume is widespread.

Like me, I take for granted that many people have three categories of books populating their nightstands:

Some wait to be read. While at a bookstore, the concept between its covers was so striking that I plunked down money, thinking, “I will read that someday.” Alas, “someday” has yet to make its appearance. Being optimistic, I’m sure it will (probably about the same time as when “I get my act together”).

The second classification is books started but still unfinished. Maybe I lost interest, the story was not as expected, or simply “life kicked in.” I could give them away but feel like I betrayed them, (does co-dependence apply to books?) so I pledge to finish reading them in the future. Until that fateful moment, they too shall gather dust.

Finally comes the definitive category: Books completed. Residing here include authors such as Robert B. Parker, Dean Koonz, and Roger McBride Allen. Most are novels because I like to “escape.” However, there is one self-help book I have read over and over again. Although I do not buy into everything she says, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay is infused with 210 pages of brilliantly simple wisdom (usually the best kind).

Hay’s philosophy, outlined in the foreword, includes:

  • We are each responsible for our experiences
  • Resentment, criticism, and guilt are damaging, and
  • It’s only a thought, which can be changed.

Furthermore, says Hay, feelings are “thoughts that stick.”

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS