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

Finding Abundance

The year prior to last was frankly put, lousy.

We had some health issues, which, as you know, are not only frightening, but also expensive. To make matters worse, what I thought was a very successful business model suddenly collapsed as if built on rotten toothpicks, leaving me financially scrambling. I’m fortunate; I’ve always put money away for a rainy day, but this was a downpour.

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said,

“That which does not kill me makes me stronger.”

So, I guess I am sturdier for the experience. Yet, I retained scars.

One result was that I hunkered down, even as the tides began shifting. I looked for where I could shrink my life instead of how I could once again blossom. Because I attempt to live simply (all things being relative), there wasn’t a great deal to prune. I was faced with decisions akin to, “How can I save three dollars on the power bill? Is it really essential to patch the roof now or can we wait? How long can I hold off before replacing my brakes?”

Don’t misunderstand, we muddle up our existence with all too much unnecessary clutter so, if given the luxury, living within one’s means is admirable and even virtuous. However, unless one is extravagant or wealthy (or both), he or she can only cut so much fat before grinding away through bone.

Eventually, I was fortunate enough to be confronted by someone willing to have with me one of those unpleasant — but many times necessary — “courageous conversations.”

[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