In a previous lifetime, when I was in radio, there was an expression:
“You can tell how successful a disc-jockey is by the size of the trailer attached to his car.”
This was a reference to how often on-air personalities had to pack up and move, usually seeking larger markets or better opportunities.
Such is the saga as to how Humboldt County became my home.
Much like Harry Chapin’s song, “W-O-L-D,” I bounced around the western U.S., ending up as morning personality and music director at a classic rock station in Southern California, where I also published an industry newsletter. A newly hired consultant for a pair of radio stations among the redwoods followed my periodical and brought me up here. Initially, my strategy was to remain “a couple of years” and take family and trailer to San Francisco. If 31 years constitutes “a couple of years,” I might still be on track. Elsewise, it looks like I’m here for the duration.
After leaving radio with a background in promotion, I earned my take as a marketing consultant (which I still do at times). Some of my clients were political campaigns.
Following so far? (There will be a test.)
Anyhoo, a dozen years ago, I was one cog in the wheel of a team that helped manage the successful campaign of a local official, who was since been re-elected twice, and is now retiring. We don’t see each other very much these days. It’s not that there’s any animosity, quite the contrary; he’s always very warm when we bump into each other. It’s just, you know how life is, right? He’s doing his thing and I do mine. However, recently his “team” personally reached out to me, extending a special invitation to his retirement soiree, basically saying, “You were there at the beginning. It would be great if you showed up.”
Touched by the genuine warmth in the invite, I skipped the last half of Zumba (no small sacrifice I assure you) and attended the party. I had not seen most of those in attendance for the better part of a decade; yet, you wouldn’t have known it by my reception. I was greeted by double-clasped handshakes and all encompassing hugs of which a bear would be proud. Although initially planning to stay a few minutes and get on with my night, I was surrounded by so many good wishes and regaled with stories of the past dozen years that I altered my plans. Although neither food nor drink passed my lips, I left the gathering with more of a sense of satisfaction and fullness than any meal could provide.
Therein lies the moral of the story.
Especially this time of year, we are surrounded — nay, buried — in all manner of sugary indulgences. It often doesn’t feel like “holidays” if I don’t get to have my favorites. A few here and there would not be a problem — if I kept myself in check. Alas, one leads to two, which becomes six, which turns out to be ten. Before one can say, “Ho, Ho, Ho,” any plans to stay in control are more of a memory than is my first Christmas.
Yet, if we slow down for a moment, we realize that what really, really matters — not only this time of year but for the remainder of the calendar — is the quality of the relationships which surround us. A “catching up” conversation with a rarely seen friend or an “I’ve-really-missed-you” hug from a former co-worker whom you bumped into on the street are actually what provide the true sweetness to our existence. Time spent with those we care about — past and present — lends itself to a sense of fullness that no amount of chocolate fudge will ever satisfy.
May your holidays be full.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a nationally known weight loss expert for baby boomers and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com. Check out his new 30-day, two-minute-a-day program to help combat yo-yo dieting in conjunction with Avanoo.com. Find out more at scottq.avanoo.com or visit his website.