Lessons in Patience from the World’s Slowest Pedestrian

I’m impatient, tense, and in a frenzy as I pull up to the intersection to turn right.

angry driver

The light’s green but because a meandering male pedestrian is wandering unhurriedly across the crosswalk on the street to which I’m trying to turn, I’m stalled.

He’s quite the eyeful; forty and short – maybe five and a half feet tall, with a hobbit-type potbelly.

His brown hair is a bird nest of a toupee with the crown not even pretending to match the temples. He’s adorned in a garish, undersized, well-worn, striped, algae-greenish, polyester sports coat that doesn’t fit him — or the current decade. His trousers are twisted so his fly doesn’t line up with his belt buckle. Neither is aligned with the center of his body, each wrenched askew in a different direction. The waist of his pants is pulled up so high, resulting in the pant-legs being too short, exposing his calves well above his socks. (As a kid, we called those, “high waters” because if there were a flood, you wouldn’t get your pants wet.) Pants, grey; shoes, maroon; socks yellow — he obviously did not have a wife to help him choose his clothes.

Wrapped within his short arms that the sport coat’s sleeves do not cover, pressed to his chest, are too many files in too few folders. While navigating the crosswalk, he’s trying to prevent the papers from sliding out of the packets on to the ground, causing his hands to be constantly in motion, sliding hither and yon across them. Further complicating this maneuver, is his Styrofoam cup full of coffee held at a dangerously perilous angle. With each step, the brown liquid sloshes over the brim of the cup, splashing him and his documents. It’s clearly hot because when it makes contact, he winces.

To top it off, he’s slower than a sloth.

Granted, if I wasn’t so stressed, it might not have bothered me. After all, it was almost like observing the offspring of a gnome and a businessman, and how often does one see that?

[Read more…]

Share and Enjoy

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

National “Give a Compliment Day”

It’s national “Give a Compliment Day.”


Okay, I lied.

I am not familiar with any holiday by that name on any date but I figured it couldn’t hurt to make one, could it?

So, how do you celebrate it? [Read more…]

Share and Enjoy

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

Leave a Note for a Friend, Family Member, or Co-Worker

Leave a surprise note for someone.

Remember how you felt the last time someone left you a surprise note?

Whether it was your spouse, your parent, or just a friend; there’s something special about finding a friendly note when you least expect it.

No matter how good your mood was before you got the note, it got better afterwards.

A few years ago, I bought some really inexpensive plastic hearts at a dollar store for Valentine’s Day (above). I put candies in them for my wife. However, I still have them and periodically, I will put short, fun notes in them and hide them in various places around the house for her. It might take weeks before she finds them – and I’m sure we’re still missing some that were never retrieved. I don’t tell her. As she stumbles upon them, it brightens her mood and mine (because I’ll hear her surprised laugh or “Aww, that’s so sweet!).

Why not try it yourself and watch what happens to your mood?  (No, it doesn’t have to be a romantic note.)

Examples of what you could do:

[Read more…]

Share and Enjoy

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

Looking Forward to Getting Old

old coupleAs children, we couldn’t wait to get older.

The first coolest thing was when our ages hit double digits. Then, something else new and exciting was always around the bend. At 13, it was my Bar Mitzvah. Sixteen brought a driver’s license; 18 ushered in the newly earned right to vote; 21 celebrated with (too much) champagne. There was always another reason to move on to the next year. Bring ‘em on. Line ‘em up! Don’t stop!

However as John Mellencamp lamented in, “The Real Life,”

It’s a lonely proposition when you realize/That there’s less days in front of the horse/Than riding in the back of this cart.

Aside from the fact that it should be “fewer days,” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) the concept is spot on. It’s macabrely humorous that as soon as one begins to realize he’s on the downward slope of the hill, vainly pumping the brakes, the calendar’s pages flip ever faster. When we were young and immortal, time crawled at a fossil’s pace. As the clock ticks louder, it also accelerates.

The result is many of us begin to poorly affirm what aging is about, viewing it negatively.

I mean, yeah, sure, there’s that “death thing” looming out there, which does cast a pallid gloom on post-middle-age. Yet, spending my remaining (hopefully) many years bemoaning a natural and unavoidable process seems a pretty rotten way to appreciate those very years, wouldn’t you say? Therefore, I thought it would be good to wrap my brain around the cool things about getting older so whenever yanked to the getting-older-sucks magnet, I can repel easier.

First, the hastening stride of time allows a much richer appreciation of “smaller moments.”

[Read more…]

Share and Enjoy

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

Reinventing Myself: Realizing What Really Matters

This week marks exactly one year since our dog, Jack, abruptly left us.

jack-&-I

Appearing fine with the rising of the sun, by nightfall he was no more. That’s a grim progression to experience any time, but to complicate this horribly unpleasant and unexpected bump in our highway of life, Jack’s passing occurred the exact morning I was slated to leave town for three months of contracted work. My wife and I, heartbroken, left the veterinarian and, upon arriving home, tearfully hugged each other as I slid into my rental car, and left her forlorn and isolated in our grievously hollow home.

Intertwined throughout the choking weight of sadness I carried was woven a heavy rope of guilt. But what are you going to do? It was three months worth of employment, planned well in advance. If your occupation takes you away — even when it’s more than inconvenient — you’re bound to go.

Life goes on — so to speak.

When my travel concluded, my wife requested,

“I know you love what you do – and I want you to be happy. But, I really need you not to travel so often. Would you please try and earn more of your income here?”

I agreed, not only because of her request, but also because I had been growing weary of the travel hassles. Her vocalizing my thoughts cemented the decision. So, for the last several months, I have been “reinventing myself at 60,” not something I intended – nor something I recommend, but as they say, “Life is what happens while we’re making other plans.” Mostly, short of scurrying hither and yon sussing out new modes of income, I’m doing okay. To that end, I do more coaching, both in person and on-line. I’m producing my own local seminars. I’ve snagged more hours assisting clients with marketing and consulting. And, I’m pleased as heck that even after 20 years together, I really do still enjoy spending so many hours with my lovely bride (and how cool is it that she says she enjoys having me around).

Today however brought forth an unexpected revelation: The most difficult component of my reinvention is that I no longer know who I am.

[Read more…]

Share and Enjoy

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