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Posts Tagged ‘Happiness’

Vacation…

I just returned from vacation; actually, a “stay-cation”.  Hermited for a few; just me, my wife, our dog and our horses.  No deadlines; no stress – just horse manure; dog treats; relaxing; and recharging!

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking. 

Earl Wilson

We sprint for as long as we can – then rest and recharge via vacation.  And when I vacation, I unplug.  Do you?  I know… when I returned to work Tuesday, I had 289 emails waiting for me, too.  I’m still catching up.  But that’s OK; when I was gone, I was “gone”.

During my vacation from my full-time job, I actually worked in my other job – my wife’s company.  We staffed a booth at Taste of Colorado Thursday through Monday; 7:30 am until 10:30 pm.  15 hour days in 90-degree heat – now she’s ready for a vacation!

No rest for the weary.  One’s heavy workload is due to one’s own choice. 

Unknown Sage

Truth be told, we don’t have a high-stress jobs.  Stress in our world is self-imposed.  We take what we do seriously.  For those of you like us I know you can relate – we are all professionals at our profession, don’t you agree?  Perfection may not be demanded by others, but we professionals believe we should do our best to the best of our ability.

Work for professionals like us is fulfilling.  And for those of us lucky to be in fulfilling professions, we would like to enjoy this fulfillment for as long as we are able, true?  That premise coupled with the start of the football season, brings Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas to mind:

Live today, and every day, to the fullest; with awe and enthusiasm; because when you die, you’re dead for a long, long time.

This time of year, we hear of NFL players who don’t want to retire; still want to play in the lime light; don’t know what to do next.  The problem in athletics is Father Time is undefeated.  We all have to find our “next” in our lifetime.

And now I’m back, I’m rested; recharged; and ready to re-engage with my fulfilling work.  I continue to support my wife and her company – no rest ‘til Brooklyn for her I’m afraid.  Thanks Beastie Boys!

But that’s OK – she loves the company she launched four years ago as her “next”.  She has never been so engaged.  Even at our age, she and I found our wonderfully fulfilling “next”.  Still fending off Father Time; with awe and enthusiasm!

Not everyone though.  According to survey after survey in 2017 employee engagement is at historical lows.  Certain recent research suggests as many as 70% of employees are not fully engaged in their work.  70%!  Did they not take a vacation?  Or when they were gone, were they actually not “gone”?  Didn’t know how to “unplug”?

Can it be as simple as simply unplugging when you’re on vacation?  Or is there more to it?  Do 7 of 10 employees today really hate their job?  Scary!  Maybe we need to lighten things up a bit:

Oh, you hate your job?  Why didn’t you say so?  There’s a support group for that.  It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar. 

Drew Carey

Come on 70%’ers; before hoping for some miraculous “next” without engagement – get out of the bar; take a vacation; unplug; and then get back in the game called life.  Johnny Unitas would if he were here today.

GAP

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Christ’s birthday…

Merry Christmas to all!

Wishing you a day of peace, hope, joy and celebration with family and friends.  Thank you in advance for permitting me to re-post this little ditty – it’s one of my favorites.

Of course, Christmas is more than just one day, true?  Whatever our spiritual beliefs, may each of us find meaning to our life during this season in a way that lasts throughout the entire year.  So here’s to looking back and celebrating 2016; and to looking forward to an even better 2017!

Lest there be any confusion, may we be reminded of that which was important this year, and that which wasn’t.

We are reminded by bankers to be of good cheer:

A little boy received a new drum for Christmas.  Shortly thereafter, his father came home from work and the mother told him, “I don’t think the man upstairs likes to hear Georgie play his new drum, but he’s certainly subtle about it.  “How do you know”? asked the father.  “Well, this afternoon he gave Georgie a knife and asked him if he knew what was inside the drum.” 

Herbert Prochnow

We are reminded by strangers not to lose sight of our common sense:

On most brands of Christmas lights:

“For indoor or outdoor use only.”

(As opposed to…what?)

Unknown Sage

We are reminded by the gospel to be satisfied with who we are not what we bought:

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less.  That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. 

Matthew

We are reminded by the novelists to remember (and be thankful for) our “fortunes”:

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. 

Charles Dickens

We are reminded by the politicians (of all people) to remember why this is a holiday to begin with…

How many observe Christ’s birthday; how few His precepts.  O ‘tis easier to keep a Holiday, than Commandments.

Benjamin Franklin

We are reminded to offer His blessings to you and yours from me and mine.

And to all a good night!

GAP

Just for fun…

Thought I’d lighten things up a bit today after writing a few heavy posts recently.  I mean, I know life can be tough; but it also can get better:

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts. 

Ernest Hemingway

My wife and I went on a weekend getaway with our best friends Steve and Jacquie.  Beer; bear country; and besties – we headed out to mend a few of those broken parts.  We didn’t see any bears but the trip reminded me of my favorite sighting:

A bear who, displaying a $5 bill, had entered a bar and ordered a beer and; the owner of the bar directed the bartender to give the bear the beer, saying that since the bear didn’t look very smart to only give it 25 cents in change.

Having done as he had been instructed, and having watched incredulously as the bear placidly sipped the beer, the bartender finally could no longer contain himself and sought to engage the bear in conversation.  “You know”, he said to the bear, “we don’t get many bears in this bar.”  To which the bear is said to have replied, “at $4.75 a beer, it’s no wonder.” 

Norman R. Augustine

Ah that Norman R. Augustine, former head of Martin Marietta Corporation a huge US Government aerospace contractor.  Talk about broken parts!  Norman shared his sense of humor in his book, Augustine’s Laws ©.  Here’s an excerpt courtesy of Wikipedia:

Law Number III: There are no lazy veteran lion hunters.

Law Number XIII: There are many highly successful businesses in the United States. There are also many highly paid executives. The policy is not to intermingle the two.

Law Number XIX: Although most products will soon be too costly to purchase, there will be a thriving market in the sale of books on how to fix them.

Law Number XXXI: The optimum committee has no members.

Law Number XXXVI: The thickness of the proposal required to win a multi-million dollar contract is about one millimeter per million dollars. If all the proposals conforming to this standard were piled on top of each other at the bottom of the Grand Canyon it would probably be a good idea.

Law Number LII: People working in the private sector should try to save money. There remains the possibility that it may someday be valuable again.

I know it’s not fair to poke fun at our government during an election year.  In the 1930’s America’s leading political wit, Will Rogers, couldn’t help himself:

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.

If America’s political process doesn’t drive us all nuts, the cost of living certainly can:

It seems that there was a pretzel stand in front of an office building in New York City.  One day a man came out of the building, plunked down a quarter, and then went on his way without taking a pretzel.  This happened every day for three weeks.  Finally, the old lady running the stand spoke up, “Sir, excuse me.  May I have a word with you?”  The fellow answered,I know what you’re going to say.  You’re going to ask me why I give you a quarter every day and don’t take a pretzel.” The woman replied, “Not at all.  I just wanted to tell you that the price is now 35 cents.”

William Schreyer

Grab your besties everyone – let’s head to bear country for a few beers.  I’m buying!

GAP

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Full measure…

Our favorite, Unknown Sage once said,

Life can be measured by the number of moments that take your breath away.

Based on that metric, I enjoy a very, full-measured life.  Last Saturday was my 43rd wedding anniversary.   The journey has actually been even longer – my future wife and I met in the 7th grade.  She still takes my breath away!

Over the years, I have occasionally rocked the foundation of our comfort zone – failed investments; family feuds; job changes; you know the usual stuff.

My wife is half Irish; and I know I have provided her ample opportunities to invoke that Irish Blessing:

May you never forget what is worth remembering, or remember what is worth forgetting.

So permit me to pause from the daily drum beat of my career coupled recently with her start-up business, and devote a few thoughts toward never forgetting what is worth remembering.

Relationships – husbands and wives; parents and children; brothers and sisters; colleagues; BFF’s; no matter.  Let’s pause for a moment to focus on those special people that have taken our breath away.  It’s time to give them a call (no voicemails please); write them a letter (texts don’t count – give them the ink!); and let’s offer a full measure of thanks to our pride and joy.

Relationships – family, friends, colleagues.  The currency of a fulfilling, meaningful life, don’t you think?  And like any other “bank account”, relationships entail “deposits” and “withdrawals”.  I have benefited often from the deposits the special people surrounding me have made.  And in so doing, each of these special people have enriched my life.

What did we do to celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary?  We worked a 16-hour day at the Colorado Springs Horse Expo, of course.  You see, this year we have embarked on a new journey – that of a family owned company.  Stressful.  In January, we worked together for 16 straight days in a “phone booth”:

NWSS_Booth

OK, it was actually an 8’x 10’ vendor booth at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.  And to be fair, I wasn’t in her booth morning, noon, and night. During the week, I worked my full time job.  I attended to my second job in the evenings only – and then morning, noon and night on weekends.  8’x 10’; 80 square feet; working elbow to elbow in a family owned business; with differing points of business view:

The opinions expressed by the husband do not reflect the opinions enforced by Management.

Don’t get me wrong – I believe that business success is an important contribution to a healthy relationship.  It can be another source of pride and joy.  It’s just deciding to pursue a new business “adventure” this far into our marriage can be a bit stressful.  No worries though – after enjoying a lifetime together, we are up to it!

So today I’m focused on my wife of 43 years – staying married to me, she has certainly earned it!  I’m thankful for the good fortune to have her in my life.  Along with family, friends, and business colleagues – all have made me a rich man.

And I salute those of you who enjoy long-lasting, loving marriages, too.  Perhaps we would agree in Harold Nicholson’s revelation:

The great secret of successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.

Now let’s all go out and buy flowers for our wife, or send a handwritten card to those special people that have enriched our life – all deserving a full measure of our appreciation.

GAP

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“That man”…

I’m positively perky over a plethora of people who have progressively prompted my professional pursuits for prolonged periods.  Permit me to pore over a pair today – maybe you can relate.

Tony was one of my very first colleagues when I entered the technology business 35 years ago.  And Tony remains a good friend to this day.  Leading by example, he has helped me develop an inner sense of self-peace – maybe you can relate.

You see, when I was growing up as a young, sales professional, I was just good enough to seemingly always be in over my head.  As a result, I couldn’t rely on raw talent or innate confidence.  Throughout my career I’ve had to work at it and compete for it – every day; every deal; 35 years, and continuing.  In so doing, I’ve developed a tenacity that’s become my foundation for competitive success.  And I am extremely competitive.

Unfortunately, my unfettered, competitive foundation also made for an angry, arrogant, unlikeable, and somewhat paranoid persona.  I remember to this day my sales manager at Oracle taking me off to the side and asking me to dampen my intensity – I was intimidating my colleagues.  Intimidating my colleagues – at Oracle!  The original, “fire breathing” sales culture; developed by one of the industry’s original “fire breathers” – Larry Ellison.

My friend Tony can relate – he was a “fire breather” back in the day too.  But wait – when he helped me launch my consulting practice after I had not seen him for a few years, I noticed a distinct difference in his style.  Gone the “fire breather”; he was now a mature, self-confident, soft-spoken, executive.  When I asked him about his metamorphosis, he simply replied:

I don’t want to be “that man” anymore.

Adam was one of my very first colleagues at my current company – twice!  You see, I am one of those “break in service” employees who left and was recruited back.  And in the coming back part, coincidently I was re-teamed with Adam.  As a young sales professional – he seemed curious about my background and experience.  Adam has an intensity about him – reminds me of me, back in the day.  He has noticed the dichotomy between my present-day persona and “that man” from my “war stories days”.  When asked, I echoed my friend Tony:

I don’t want to be “that man” anymore.

To be clear, I still consider myself (A) in a bit over my head, and (B) a “fire breather” – some things never change.  However, I am trying to portray a little less intensity.  Similar perhaps to Stanley Gault, former CEO of Rubbermaid:

He responds to the accusation of being a tyrant with the statement, “Yes, but I’m a sincere tyrant.”

I wonder what man Adam will evolve to be.  He’s in the prime years of building his career.  Tony and I are at the other end: 

The young are luckier:  They don’t need to remember what the rest of us are trying to forget.

Jan Carroll

I’m a “fire breather”; following Stanley Gault’s example, “Yes, but I’m a sincere fire breather”.  My competitive intensity remains.  However I believe having such intensity, albeit best kept under control, is a good thing:

Don’t settle for less than your potential.  Remember, average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top.

Abigail Van Buren

I know “that man” I don’t want to be anymore.  Maybe you can relate.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Full measure…

Our favorite, Unknown Sage once said,

Life can be measured by the number of moments that take your breath away.

Based on that metric, I enjoy a very, full-measured life.  Today is my 41st wedding anniversary.   And I met my high school sweetheart when we were both in the 7th grade.  She still takes my breath away.  Happy anniversary, Debbie!

Over the years, I have occasionally rocked the foundation of our comfort zone – failed investments; family feuds; job changes; you know the usual stuff.  There have been happy surprises, too – dream vacations; company promotions; flowers with a nice card – just ‘cause.

She’s half Irish; and I know I have provided her many opportunities to invoke that Irish Blessing:

May you never forget what is worth remembering, or remember what is worth forgetting.

So permit me to pause from the weekly drum beat of business, finance, sales, and the pursuit of career fulfillment and devote a few thoughts toward never forgetting what is worth remembering, OK?

Relationships – whether formal or informal; between husbands and wives; among parents and their children; bonds between brothers and sisters; shared with colleagues; or with our BFF’s; no matter.  Let’s pause for a moment to focus on those special people we know that have taken our breath away.  Yep, it’s time to give them a call (no voicemails please); write them a letter (texts don’t count – they deserve the ink!); and let’s give out plenty of hugs – just ‘cause.

Relationships – family, friends, colleagues.  The currency of a fulfilling, meaningful life, don’t you think?  And like any other “bank account”, there are deposits and withdrawals that relationships have on the balance of our lives.  I have benefited often from the deposits those relationships that surround me have made.  And in so doing, each of these special people have enriched my life.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our careers.  Often our jobs hold a powerful grasp over our minds, bodies, and sometimes even our souls.  Our daily routine captures us.  We have good intentions; we just seem to run out of time or run short of energy, and we don’t get to those special people before bedtime.  We wake early the next morning and repeat the pattern.  Before you know it, a lot of time has passed between meaningful interactions with our loved ones.

Now don’t get me wrong – I believe that being successful is very important to those that have emotionally invested in us.  It’s very important to them to see us succeed.  We’re one of their sources of pride and joy.  They don’t complain often (if at all).  They’ll just silently, wish us well and wait for us to focus on them once again someday.  And when we do – it warms their heart!

So today I’m focused on my wife of 41 years – staying married to me, she has certainly earned it!  And I’m thankful for the good fortune to have her, my family, my friends, and my business colleagues in my life – they have made me a rich man.  And I salute those of you who enjoy long-lasting, loving marriages, too.  Perhaps we would agree in Harold Nicholson’s revelation:

The great secret of successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.

Let’s go buy some flowers and a nice greeting card for our wife, or husband, significant other, or BFF – just ‘cause.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Hoping in Duple Time…

What stimulates your hope?

The Polka is a happy, little tune – don’t you think?  (“Really, Gary?  The Polka?  Slow day?”)

No, really.  I was station-surfing the other day; looking for a little hard-rock music.  It was Monday, which for me is Mandatory Metallica (helps me start my week).  I came across Polka music on the radio and it immediately triggered memories of my childhood – and the movie “Home Alone”.  Did you see that movie?  John Candy played Gus Polinski, the leader of a Polka Band from Milwaukee. Remember his pride over one of their hits, “Polka-Polka-Polka”?  Classic!

From Centralhome.com (of all places):

Polka is defined as a vivacious couple dance of Bohemian origin in duple time; it is a basic pattern of hop-step-close-step; a lively dance tune in 2/4 time.

Vivacious; lively; duple time; doesn’t that just perk you right up?  OK, who brought the accordian?

Answer.com adds:

Polka music is a form of European dance music which originated in Bohemia (what is now an area within the Czech Republic).

And from Wikipedia:

Apparently, it was so well-received that it became a sort of dance craze, spreading across all of Europe, and to the US.

“OK Gary, but the Polka?  Today?  How does that stimulate hope?”

Well, you see the Polka is part of my family roots.  When I was in grade school my Cousin John in Chicago played the accordion and everyone would dance (lively; in duple time!).  I remember the cold beer would flow, as would the rich happiness of blue collar, working families, who made the most of celebrations that they could rarely afford.  Although they struggled to make ends meet, when they partied – they really partied – and they Polka’ed!

There have been other dance crazes, for sure.  In the ‘60’s it was the Twist.  Who remembers doing the Hustle in the ‘70’s? Today, who hasn’t done the Electric Slide?   How many of these dances will outlast the Polka?

Back to Wikipedia:

The actual dance and accompanying music called “polka” are generally attributed to a girl, Anna Slezakova of Labska Tynice, Bohemia, in 1834.

Alright Anna! 179 years and still going strong!

When my relatives danced the Polka years ago, it was all about celebration.  Celebrating some occasion, for sure; but also celebrating family; celebrating life; celebrating hope!  The hardest working people are often the ones that enjoy family gatherings and modest accouterments the most, yes?

These celebrations are enthusiastic expressions of hope.  Hard working people stay pretty focused day-to-day; living paycheck to paycheck.  They have to.  But when it’s time for a family celebration, hope springs eternal!

Throughout the ages, dances of hope were common among many people. Texas Bix Bender, who brought us such sage advice as:

Don’t squat with your boots on.

and,

Never drink down stream from the herd.

Also offers us insight about dance, the future, timing, and hope.  In the Great Plains and throughout the West, for instance, we’ve all read lore about the rain dance.  And Texas Bix said:

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

So I’m smiling today about the timing of my life and the opportunity to envision memories of my Cousin John playing the accordion while my Uncle Frank and Aunt Bernice danced the Polka into the wee hours of the morning. Yes – the Polka – a happy (and hopeful) little tune indeed.

What stimulates your hope?

GAP

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40…

Does that number bring some special meaning to mind?  Maybe the number of Girl Scout cookies you ordered?  (Or ate over the weekend?  Egads!)  Perhaps it’s the number of wins an NBA Eastern Division team will need to make the playoffs?

Back in 2011, Jodi Sawyer, RN posted this little ditty for women on the Dr. Oz website;

 “Making 40 the new 30”

Maybe you’re turning the big 4 – 0 this year?  Maybe 2013 is your 40th high school or college reunion year?

Round numbers like 40 tend to stand out, yes?  And that’s true for me, too.  You see tomorrow is my 40th wedding anniversary.  40!  Egads!

I’ve written about my wife frequently.  It’s one of those fact-greater-than-fiction tales; high school sweethearts; eloped (she was still a teenager, Egads!); raised a family; going strong 40 years later.  Now, I know why I’m still married to her; but why she’s kept me around – well that’s quite the puzzlement.

Oh, we’ve had our ups and downs.  But here’s a little known fact:  she has never, ever, even once, raised her voice to me.  Much as I have given her good reason… Egads!  Really; never.  I on the other hand, can not count avoidance of voice-raising as one of my “features”.  I’m still trying to learn life’s key lessons from our favorite, Unknown Sage:

Pratter’s Prayer 

Lord, make my words as sweet as honey, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.

I do think we communicate well.  That feature seems to be working.  Maybe I somehow mastered Harlan Miller’s advice:

Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving three or four things a day unsaid.

Over the years like so many couples we have changed our residence; changed our lifestyles; changed our interests.  Maybe it’s been her discovery of the enjoyment from horses that has helped her keep me around?

My husband said if I don’t sell my horses, he will leave me.  Some days I miss him.

Unknown Sage

Egads!

She comes from a family of long-lasting marriages.  I knew her parents and her maternal grandparents well.  Her sisters have long and successful marriages going on; my brother, too.  My Mom and Dad would likely have enjoyed a long-lasting marriage if not for the cancer that took my Mom’s life when she was just 56.

Difficult one might ask?  Maybe.  But I’m not sure when in a relationship what the relationship is between difficulty and longevity.  Here’s one point of view:

The difficult we do immediately.  The impossible takes a little longer.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Many of you are in a long-lasting relationship, too; many have been married longer than we.  When you find that special person, it’s not difficult is it?  No, I don’t consider maintaining a lasting relationship to be difficult.  (My wife’s point of view on the other hand?  Just kidding – I hope!).

Life is difficult.  This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we know that life is difficult – then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

M. Scott Peck 

So I suppose the thing that matters most is simple and obvious:

Love is a rock against the wind.

Etheridge Knight 

Happy 40th Anniversary Dear.  I love you.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Business Fun…

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and their manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.  They rub it and a Genie comes out.  The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish.”   

“Me first!  Me first!” says the administration clerk.  “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”  Puff!  She’s gone.   

“Me next!  Me next!” says the sale rep.  “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Peña Coladas and the love of my life.”  Puff! He’s gone. 

“OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager.  The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.” 

Brenda Morris 

Sound like your Manager?  Sound like you?  Question:  How much fun are you to work with or work for? 

I’ve often felt that a primary role of our business leaders is to keep their followers appropriately entertained so the followers will solve the big, business challenges the company has for our leaders.  In short, I expect my manager to incorporate “Business Fun” into our day. 

“Business Fun”; what’s that you ask?  Look, if we have to work for a living + put in the extra hours + bring our work home from the office + be available seemingly 7×24 via cell phone; then at the very least we should be able to have a little fun doing it, don’t you think?  

I’m not implying the, “whistle while you work” kind of cartoon fantasy fun.  I mean, it’s nice when our Manager surprises us when she offers to make a Starbucks run at 10:00 am; or tells us, “take the afternoon off and go see your kids”; or simply has something nice to say to us each day. 

Yes, yes, I know – we get paid for our work.  Some say that should be good ‘nough.  Sports fanatics and media state that case often when complaining about some star athlete who is not starring.  “So and so should be dominating the league – after all, he’s being paid $20 Million a year!”  Yea well, how’s that working for you?  When you’re having, “one of those days”, do you merely think about your coming paycheck, and that makes it all better?  Me either. 

That’s not how comp plans work in the first place: 

The purpose of a compensation system should not be to get the right behaviors from the wrong people, but to get the right people on the bus in the first place, and to keep them there. 

Jim Collins 

I would offer, once you get the right people on your bus, a little “Business Fun” helps to keep them there.  For leaders – like it or not – talented people can get a job anywhere.  So even in a down economy, if you think your people should be thankful you gave them a job, beware.  That theory only applies to the untalented!  Just ask our favorite, Unknown Sage: 

Among the chief worries of today’s business executives is the large number of unemployed still on the payrolls. 

So come on, business leaders; lighten up!  We’ll get the job done.  Believe me; it will be easier on you if you think about ways to lift our spirits.  Otherwise, we can always entertain ourselves by making you the brunt of our amusement (while spending company time looking for another job, that is).  

GAP 

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Moms are special…

My Mom was – I bet your Mom is, too.  This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day.  In mind; in memory; or in person; be sure to make it a special day for Mom, OK?

My wife is a Mom.  She maintains a close and active relationship with our children.  And she continues to lovingly mother our grown boys even while their father asks, “Will I ever get these guys off the payroll?”  But I digress.

Moms have special skills.  Ashley is the mother of my grandson.  She’s currently an unemployed waitress with a college degree – making her one of many college graduates who can’t find suitable employment in today’s tough economy, yes?  However, she is the love of my older son; and a loving, patient, and skilled mother of my grandson. 

Ashley’s efforts remind me of the skill (and success) the parents who raised me and my generation had.  Those Moms had special skills to care for and raise their families.  Their skills were valued just as much as earning a paycheck.  Because of Ashley’s work – my grandson will benefit tremendously.

 Our Moms have a sense of humor – just ask our Unknown Sage:  

A wife invited some people to dinner.  At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”  I wouldn’t know what to say”, the girl replied.  “Just say what you hear Mommy say”, the wife answered.  The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

Our Moms are teachers.  My daughter-in-law, Sierra, is a great teacher (among her many other motherly skills).  With my younger son’s support, Sierra does an excellent job of teaching her teenage children by example; perhaps the highest degree of difficulty when teaching teenagers – do as I say and as I do!

Yes, Moms are teachers.  I bet you remember many of the life-lessons you learned from your Mom.  And our Mother’s lessons last a lifetime, yes?  Back to our Unknown Sage: 

            What my Mother taught me: 

My Mother taught me logic; “Because I said so, that’s why.”

My Mother taught me irony; “Keep laughing and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My Mother taught me about the science of osmosis:  “Shut your mouth and eat your supper!” 

And our Moms have an immeasurable reservoir of power.  I bet your Mom has power; my Mom did: 

I watched my Mom’s great power, which she needed in order to deal with a new cancer treatment in the late 1960’s that was so unimaginably harsh – that the administration of this treatment was solely based on the primitive science of trial and error – where the doctors’ routine consisted of observing how much of a dose could she tolerate without dying from the treatment.  It was an experimental treatment back then; offered only as a last resort for terminally ill cancer patients. This wasn’t a cancer cure; just a radical option to extend one’s life another year or two.  It was due to her staying power (and that of many other patients like her) before she finally succumbed in 1974, that has helped pave the way to the development of the commonly used, life-saving cancer treatment we all know today as chemotherapy. 

Sunday is Mother’s Day – make it special for your Mom if she’s living; make it special for you through your memories of your Mom if she’s not. 

GAP 

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