It’s a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get. ~ Arnold Palmer

I know it’s been a minute since I’ve written anything, but, in my defense, I’ve been busy as a long-tailed cat at a rocking-chair convention. Work is kicking my ass with more and diverse projects. School is awesome, but a ton of work. Family, well, I have a teenage boy, need I say more? I guess you could say I’m busy and be technically accurate. In past lives, I perhaps would have been simply just freaked out. I mean, it’s all so overwhelming, right?! The weird thing is that I’m at peace. Favor with my bosses by way of a promotion (after 11 months in my current position). Favor with the grade gods at school (closed out my first college class in 20 years with a solid A). A teenage boy who actually smiled for three whole seconds this afternoon. Without trying to jinx myself, right at the moment, things are going pretty dang good. Lucky? Well, if by luck you mean, working my ass off and being recognized for it, then hell yeah I’m lucky! Turns out, being present, engaged and putting in the work really does pay dividends. Does that mean that life’s easy? Ummm, no, I’ve got more balls in the air than a Harlem Globetrotter and, yeah, I’m a little scared because, well, it’s a lot of balls to be managing. But, when I get a little freaked out, I remind myself of something a professor shared: “I can so do this!”

Here’s to all the hard work that goes in to being lucky in life. Cheers y’all!

Categories: Growth, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

Running out of life

A happy life consists in tranquility of mind. ~ Cicero

I’ve come to the conclusion that stress equals death. At least, that’s my take away after reading the opening paragraph’s from Jonah Lehrer’s Wired article over at ScienceBlogs. Why is this important? Mostly because my doc keeps harping on me about my levels of stress. Why? Jonah so thoughtfully explains…

Here’s one example of how stress destroys the body. Elissa Epel, a former grad student of Sapolsky’s and a professor of psychiatry at UCSF, has demonstrated that mothers caring for chronically ill report much higher levels of stress. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that these women also have dramatically shortened telomeres, those caps on the end of chromosomes that keep our DNA from disintegrating. (Women with the highest levels of stress had telomere shortening equal “to at least one decade of additional aging.”) When our telomeres run out, our cells stop dividing; we’ve run out of life. Stress makes us run out of life faster.

If that doesn’t scare the sh*t out of you, then maybe this little tidbit will (especially if you’re a guy – emphasis mine)…

Stress hollows out our bones and atrophies our muscles. It triggers adult onset diabetes and is a leading cause of male impotence. In fact, numerous studies of human longevity in developed countries have found that “psychosocial” factors such as stress are the single most important variable in determining the length of a life. It’s not that genes and risk factors like smoking don’t matter. It’s that our levels of stress matter more.

No wonder my doc keeps saying “cut it out!”

Here’s to living a happy and LOOOOONG life! Cheers y’all!

Categories: Health, Stress | Leave a comment

the “S” word

I can’t believe I said the “S” word!

A couple of years ago while cleaning off the dinner table, Paris dropped that little bomb-shell on me. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember him saying the “S” word. Adult words just aren’t something a kid should say, right?! When did he say it? Had he said it at school and was feeling guilty? Had he said it under his breath after I had scolded him for typical kid behavior? Since the answer was not forthcoming, I asked him; “when did you say the “S” word?” He looked at me like I was crazy and then said…

I can’t believe I said I’m sorry!”

What, that was it? That was his big “confession?” I laughed and hugged him! I told him that it was a good thing that he was willing to admit that he was sorry for behavior that wasn’t quite appropriate.

Walking away, my brain puzzled over our interaction. Since when did the word “sorry” turn into a cuss word? And not just with my kid! It’s like it’s an epidemic in our world at large. Instead of taking responsibility for poor choices and behavior, invariably we hear a lengthy litany of excuses about why we are not at fault.

My little guy said he was sorry! It surprised him that he would be willing to take responsibility for his actions! I tried to encourage him that he had done the right thing! Since then, I’ve tried to remind myself that my kid models my behavior. Does he see me taking responsibility for my actions? Or, is he more likely to see my actions and think that “sorry” is a cuss word?

Here’s to learning that the “S” word isn’t a bad word! Cheer’s y’all!

Categories: Confession, Paris, Responsibility, Sorry, Thought for Day | 1 Comment

Memorial Day Gratitude!

You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

This Memorial Day weekend we remember those who have died in pursuit of the liberty and freedoms that we as Americans enjoy. Often this means spending time with family and friends over good food and activities designed to remind us that we are truly blessed. This has perfectly described my weekend. On Saturday, we headed out to my parents’ home to celebrate the birthday of my nephew who just turned 8. Family, friends and good food! It was the recipe for a perfect day. Yesterday, we loaded up the car and headed to my in-laws who were hosting a BBQ. Again we were surrounded by family, friends and good food. Watching my kid play basketball with his cousins and grandpa, chow down on ribs and smores, I was reminded just how blessed I am. While we aren’t Bill Gates wealthy, our lives are filled with abundance. One of the learning points in this week’s lesson is “Change your perspective.” Sometimes in the humdrum of life, we forget just how much we are blessed with. If we could just scrape enough together for that new car, or a larger TV or more of this or that, we could then feel like we’re really living the good life. But over this Memorial Day weekend, as nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles as well as grandparents surrounded us, I was reminded what an incredibly wealthy man I am! Today, as we remember those who gave their lives so that we could enjoy our families in freedom, I want to remember to always live in this attitude of gratitude. To be this blessed and not show thanks would be a true tragedy.

Here’s to recognizing the abundance that fills our lives! Cheers y’all!

Categories: Children, Family, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

Language of the Soul

Language is magic: it makes things appear and disappear. ~ Nicole Brossard

Tuesday’s are incredibly busy at my house. I’m out the door by 7:30 in the morning with the knowledge that I won’t be pulling back in the driveway until well after 10:00 that night. Tuesday is also the night of one of my favorite TV shows, So You Think You Can Dance. Thankfully, due to the wonders of technology, I don’t have to miss this rather marvelous show. So, Wednesday night, Paris and I sat down, hit play on the DVR and were treated to some amazing dancing. Interspersed between dance sequences were some great stories designed to tug at the heart strings. The story of Shane Garcia was particularly beautiful. We were introduced to Shane in an interview with the host and we quickly found out that this kid could barely string together more than two words without stuttering so badly one practically couldn’t understand him. I remember thinking, “gosh, I hope this guy can dance, otherwise telling his story would be kind of crass!” Then he took the stage and when he was done, he had told his story in such a magical way that those of us witnessing were left speechless. This kid may not be able to have an easy-going conversation like I can, but he has learned a language that transcends words. He told us that his world wasn’t confined by the words he could barely utter anyway…his world was bigger somehow. It was pure, unadulterated magic AND a valuable lesson for me. There are all sorts of limitations that I have, whether they be imposed by society or self-imposed. Whatever those limitations, they have served at times to keep me from the abundant life I was created to live. What would happen if I realized that a limitation in one area doesn’t confine me in all areas? By releasing myself from the limitations I carry, perhaps my own magic would start to appear. It’s worth a thought!

Here’s to realizing the magic in each of us! Cheers y’all!

Categories: Growth, Passion, Success, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

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