Tuesday, March 9, 2021

I'm Sorry

 

        My friend, filmmaker Onur Tukel, recently posted on Facebook that with all the “days” we have we need an Apology Day. It’s a day you’d reach out to someone you’ve wronged and say, “I’m sorry.”
Interestingly, Australia has National Sorry Day on May 26 and it’s a day on which citizens do exactly what Onur suggests.
In 2003, Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton starred in the romcom, Something’s Gotta Give. After having a heart episode that pushes him to reconsider his life Nicholson visits past relationships and apologizes for his behaviors. 
        In 2010, I did something similar and it seemed to help some folks, and me, find closure. Any effort like that is certainly a challenge. And yes, there were a couple of people who had the opportunity to say exactly what had been on their minds.  
        I’ve started thinking, again, about to whom I’d reach out if we had a National Apology Day. Whose toes have I stepped on? How might I have embarrassed someone? 
        How about you; anyone you might reach out to?

If you think this message might help someone please pass it on.


Monday, March 8, 2021

Flying Joy

 

Will someone PLEASE tell me why I’ve become infatuated with youtube videos showing guys proposing to their girlfriends while flying a plane?

No kidding…

There’s an anticipation/surprise/delight to them that I’m having trouble getting away from. I’m convinced that these moments of airborne joy are punching holes in my Rona-greyness.

This is the best one I’ve seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrbxXXCInhE

Find something new that brings you joy and try it. Springtime is here—or, at least we know it’s on the way—vaccinations are increasing, hospitalizations are dropping, we’re not seeing idiotic Tweets every morning when we wake up. 

Get to smiling!!


Sunday, March 7, 2021

"Age doesn't matter unless you're a cheese."

 

“Age doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese.” Billie Burke


The first time I saw Billie Burke’s quote was on the cover of the book above. Kathryn and Ross Petras, the authors, have created a couple of quote books. I love their work, first, because I love quotes; but, mainly because they feature tons of quotes you won’t see in other sources.

The quote hit me because, like many of you, I’m walking around on the field here in the 4th quarter of the game of life and the issue of aging…or…more to the point, how much time is left in the game, keeps slithering into my consciousness.

As you can imagine, the more I think of these big issues the more Life (or my reticular activation system…look it up…or, wait for me to tell you about it at another time) keeps dropping hints/clues, information and people into my life to help me figure out the hazy times and try to come up with answers. The quote and book have been a wonderful clue. 

On Saturday, I drove over to Chapel Hill looking for a new Carolina hat to wear while I watched the Dook game that evening. I checked 4 places downtown and nothing jumped off the shelves at me. 

So I figured, what the hey, I’ll head over to the UNC Student Store on campus and check out their selection. As has often happened, they had exactly what I wanted; black baseball cap with black, interlocking NC. When I walked over to the checkout counter there was a box of books with a sign, $1/book. Ever the sucker for a cheap book I fumbled through the half-dozen left.

On the bottom of the bunch was Carpe Diem by Roman Krznaric. This has long been one of my favorite phrases. Over 2000 years-old, the command from the Roman poet, Horace, means Seize the Day.

As soon as I pulled my Visa card out of the scanner and collected my receipt I donned my new hat and walked over to the snack bar. Three minutes later I’m sitting at a table with a pint of milk, two protein bars, and my pen out underlining phrases that jumped off the page at me.

This wonderful bargain offered the history of the phrase and how we experience it today. Metallica played Carpe Diem Baby!, in the movie Dead Poets Society Robin Williams gives the advice, Nike’s interpretation is Just Do It, and a T-shirt company sells one with, Carpe That F*cking Diem! Actress Dame Judi Dench had Carpe Diem tattooed on her wrist on her 81st birthday.

I started getting the message about why I found Carpe Diem with its range of interpretations: Do we live each day as if it is our last? Or, do we live today as if it is our first? Do we use the quote as a motivator for getting the truly important things in life done? Do we use it as a prompt to cut out the petty, inconsequential thoughts/actions that plague us? Which appeal to you?

If you’re in the 4th quarter, or anywhere in the game, what’s the score? Maybe how you keep your scare, what really matters to you, is not the score that matters to others, or to society, or to traditional measures of success. Nothing wrong with that as long as you are seizing the day.

I believe this is the point at which the quote, “Age doesn’t matter unless you’re cheese,” applies. If you know me, you know the humor of the message hit me first, but the wisdom is unmistakable. Yes, some of age is physical, but most of it is mental. The most wonderful and scary element about being human is that the majority of our living happens in our minds…and with the power of choice we can change our minds. If you think not, you’ve made a choice. If you think so, same answer.

What clues are you getting about the big choices in life? About your game? 

By the way, Billie Burke, or, Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke, was an actress in the early-20th century. She was married to “Flo” Ziegfeld, the guy who created The Ziegfeld Follies. All of us know her, though. Billie Burke was Glinda the Good Witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz.

And the game…91-73, Go Heels!!

If you know someone who might appreciate this zap it to them.


Saturday, March 6, 2021

Have Some Fun!

    It’s Saturday and that means it’s time to have a little fun! What are you going to do?

Yes, I know you’re a grownup and you have a range of responsibilities, but there’s no reason you can’t find something fun to do that prompts a smile.

Here in Raleigh the temp is mid-50s (going to be chilly tonight…mid-20s) so I’ll take a bike ride and get ready for tonight’s Carolina/dook basketball game. And yes, for Carolina fans, I spelled dook correctly.

See, wasn’t that fun?!


 

Friday, March 5, 2021

DON'T DO IT!!!

 

    As much as I encourage the use of a To-Do List and push the thought of finding the 2-3 things I must do today, I believe I’m even more supportive of a To-Don’t List.

What are the things you should STOP doing? Or, at the very least, you should assign less importance to those things.

I have a To-Don’t List that includes small things such as wearing a tie unless I’m going to a funeral or…well…there are some things I did in college that I won’t do again…at least until the statute of limitations runs out…but, that’s another story.

You get my point.

We’ve all wasted days and years of our lives doing things we don’t really want to do or that we know are not good for us. Might be time to come up with that To-Don’t List.

What’s one thing you’ll commit to not doing again?


If you think someone might benefit from this please send it to them.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Big 3

 


    I’ve taught the importance of doing a To-Do List for a couple of decades now. Maybe I didn’t go far enough.

A few years ago two researchers from Princeton did a study to find out how many things the average American thinks they ought to be doing. You know, kinda like a mental To-Do List.

So, the average American has 137 thing they think they need to do. The items ranged from, “take out the trash” and “mow the lawn” to “get a graduate degree” and “have that mole on my back checked out.”

Recently, I heard a wonderful discussion in which the topic of To-Do Lists came up and one of the folks said, “A To-Do List is the next-to-the-last thing you do before you get to work. The last thing is to pick three things that have to be done today…and get started on them.”

That makes a ton of sense!

It’s easy to get bogged down in a heavy To-Do List…in fact, I tell folks not to have more than 10 things on a list at any one time.

But, I love that prioritization of 3 things; keeps the number down to doable and improves focus. 

What are the 3 things you’ve got to get done tomorrow?


If you think this might help someone, pass it on.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Too Many Shirts

 

    A couple of weeks ago I asked this question on Facebook, “What have you learned during the last year of The Rona?”

One of the most interesting thoughts was from a lifelong friend who said, “I learned that I have too many shirts.”

Here’s a simple exercise we all should try: Go into your closets, chest-of-drawers, dresser and wherever you keep clothes. Understand that you wear 20% of what you have 80% of the time. There’s another 20% of your clothes you NEVER wear.

Now, grab a box or big trash bag and collect the 20% you don’t wear and give it to a local church, homeless shelter or nonprofit that gets clothes to folks who really need them.

A high school friend started an organization that collects really nice, donated clothes from women and provides them to down-on-their-luck women to use for job interviews and work.

The last year has put in stark relief the differences in how many of us live; some are doing well while others find themselves in dire consequences. The year has offered, and continues to offer, wonderful opportunities to entertain our better angels.


If you think others might appreciate this message please pass it on.