The world is an interesting place these days.   Last year, Aston Martin was showcasing its first ever electric car, a new treatment for peanut allergies was unveiled, a ban was placed on facial recognition software and Jeff Koons’s 1986 “Rabbit” sculpture sold for $91.1 million at auction, which are just a few of many newsworthy stories.

Fast forward to 2020, and as we say in the sticks, “the animals have let loose from the barn!”  This year hit with a vengeance.  The #metoo movement kept it’s momentum, which should have caused every man in America to question every word and motion made with a woman in the vicinity— to the Covid pathogen unleashing it’s war on immune systems across the globe crippling healthcare capacities —and just when we thought we had our limit—four police officers in Minneapolis unleash a firestorm.  People went from dragging themselves out of their houses to go to work—to wishing they could leave their house without fear of judgement or an attack on their immune system—and that was the first half of 2020!  Brace for the second half!

I would best describe 2020 as the ‘Side of Beef Swinging in a Shark Tank’ tour.  Each new month we brace for what could be next.  If we manage to see pigs fly, our pets start speaking English to us and aliens land in New York to bring dessert—it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Stand back to watch how society interact these days— there is no middle ground.  People either are courteous, kind and thoughtful—or—they are narcissistic, rude and abrasive.

Everything has two sides.  If you wear a mask, you could be labeled as a conformist or a caring person who wants to protect others.  Whomever would have thought a piece of cloth worn over the nose and mouth would cause such controversy.  I’m excluding those that have yet to figure out the proper way to wear a mask, wearing it on their chin with their entire face exposed.  The medical community are screaming for help from the general public, the CDC gives daily new rising case numbers and the largest news story today is to stop buying Goya brand anything because the CEO gave the president a compliment.  It is an interesting world we live in.

Bring it down to daily life.  Where did kindness go?

The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, the decisions you make, what you think, what you do, who you become—all on you. A liar does not have “class”— a cheater does not have “integrity” —loneliness is the outcome of the lack of both —loneliness does not necessarily mean you are physically alone — it can mean you are surrounded by people who in the end do not care about anything except their own personal gain.  Is it love if in the inner core, you only worry about your own happiness?

Which brings up the question—Do we ever really know people? The answer to this depends on if people are willing to show who they truly are. My grandmother used to say, “it’s easy for someone to be great in good times, however the true character comes out in difficult times.”

Is it considered lying if someone doesn’t share information they think would hurt you?  Eventually the truth will surface causing exponentially more pain.  Why not share the complete truth from the beginning?  Because truth be known, those people have an agenda for themselves.  They aren’t worried about hurting you, they are concerned with their own self preservation.

When the truth does surface, the pain inflicted is beyond measure.

Recently, I had a person show their inner core.  In seconds, what I had thought was a good hearted person, became adolescent—vicious—violent—pitiful.  Why the turn?  This person was confronted with a lie they had been keeping.   Venom will spew from those that realize their true darkness has been uncovered.

Imagine a grown human, prancing around on the balls of their feet, swinging their weight while walking back and forth in a 4 foot spread.  Their arm swinging in the air—hand holding their cell phone—eyes bugging out of their skull—mouth foaming—all while barking, “I’m an adult! I am an adult!”  The sad display causing one to question whether an exorcism or a cage is needed.  Maybe both.

Of course, in their mind, none of this would be their fault.  Deflection is a true art to those who can not hold themselves accountable.

Where does this leave those standing around trying to wrap their head around the pitiful production in front of them?  Sometimes the difficult decision is to walk away from someone who clearly would rather grasp onto denial than accept help.

All we can do is make the best decisions we can based on the facts we have at the time.  It is not our job to fix the mess of another whose only mission is to control and destroy.  Toxic people destroy everything around them.

Always remember:

Direction, not intention, determines destination.

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Adjust.  Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. The only people criticizing you are those too afraid to enter themselves. This is your moment. Own it.

In this odd world we are experiencing—do not lose sight of yourself.  Do not allow anyone to manipulate or control you.

Stay focused.  Clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters your mind.  Live with dogged determination.  Selecting what takes up space in your mind the same way you select your clothes every day.  Own your power.  Know your truth.  It’s not what you are exposed to that matters.  It’s how you react to that exposure.  Eliminate exposure to toxic people.

Victim mentality holds zero production.  Those who hold it become stunted—boxed in.

Intelligent decision making requires you to evaluate the situation as it exists today.  The windshield is larger than the rearview mirror for a reason.

Own your truth—discover your true potential. The only box you can be forced in to—is the one you allow yourself to be.

If only as a society we focused on the simple things, it would be a much happier place.  To quote one of my favorite poems by Robert Fulgham’s:

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Remember to look both ways before crossing the street.

Hold hands and don’t lose anyone.
Stay healthy!

Until you experience certain things in life and have lived through different experiences, most  really don’t have a true perspective or awareness.  I’ve recently become very cognizant of the meaning behind this statement.

Ever had someone, be it family or friend, whom you thought you knew, only to either witness or find out about behavior you never dreamed them capable of?  It is a sobering experience.

There is nothing more pitiful than a person who can’t take responsibility for their actions.  Instead, they blame others for their indiscretions and incompetencies.  Even more interesting, when they are hypocritical by judging those that resemble their own behavior.

To say it is a kick in the gut, is an understatement.  What should you feel?  Pity is the only word I can use.  Pity for the person who can’t take responsibility for themself.  Pity they are so clueless to their poor behavior they have to blame others for their faults.  Pity they have no clue how much self respect and dignity they lost.  Pity they hurt people who were loyal to them, yet all they can think about is themself.  Pity they haven’t a clue how harsh words can destroy.  Pity as their behavior will never be forgotten, no matter how much they deflect.

When you have to face ignorance in it’s most evil form—I challenge you to not let their words penetrate into you.  Instead, remember this mantra.  Pity—Not Pain.  Pity them, do not let yourself take a direct hit.  As their goal is to inflict as much damage as possible. If you keep your brain in check, and your emotions at bay, take a deep breath and pity them.

It’s times like this I reflect on what really matters in life.  My grandmother always said, “It’s easy to be a great person during great times.  However, it’s times of adversity that define your character.”

This week the country has seen some sobering experiences as well.  With everyone so divided, how will this country move in a positive direction?

Memorial Day was a couple of weeks ago.  A time for reflection and remembrance for those that have fallen while serving, who gave all, so that we can live free.  “Live Free”—what does that mean?

Four days ago was the anniversary of a dark day in my life.  A day that nearly put me 6 feet under.   A day that defined for me the statement, “What doesn’t kill you does make you stronger.”  What was once a dark day is now a reminder how short life is.

Physical pain is so much easier to heal than that which is inflicted mentally.  Words are so much more detrimental.  With maturity, we learn to think before we speak.  As I heard it described, “once the toothpaste is out of the tube— it can’t be put back in.”

To those of you who have had to take on the harsh words of a toxic individual.  My hope is that you felt pity—not pain.  Their actions reflect on them.  A self absorbed person only can see the faults of others. They are blind to their own.

Always find the positive. Squeeze every ounce of joy out of every second of every day.  In an instant, life can change.  Granted time is a privilege not to be wasted!

Find laughter.  There are smiles in every day.  A laugh is a smile that bursts!

Inhale strength—exhale negativity—may all of your inhales give you strength and may you have many smiles that burst!

Stay Healthy!


The “new normal”.  Every news outlet is talking about it.  For those who avoid change, their struggle is just beginning.  People have been locked down for weeks on end.  Some have embraced being hunkered down.  Others, defied it.  My mother has a saying, “only boring people get bored”.  Never did I think the entire world would be put to the test of this.  Those that followed the guidelines and sheltered at home, were challenged with keeping themselves active.  For some, another saying came into play, “it was like watching grass grow”.

I’ve thought about that while hunkered down these last two months and can say watching grass grow is actually becoming quite exciting.  Clearly those folks were never home enough to actually watch grass grow because then they would understand, like me, just how interesting it is to watch the lawn crew come each week.  Who knew grass grew so much in a week!  As always, context and perspective help us evolve.

Context and perspective.

Two interesting concepts.  I’m remembering the story of two children thrown into a room with a pile of manure.  One child begins crying uncontrollably while throwing themself on the ground, the other excited, thrilled, laughing, digging frantically to find the pony responsible for the pile of manure.

Perspective.

Your perception becomes your reality.

Today, everyone is hyper sensitive to everything.  Whomever would have thought to wear a mask—or not wear a mask would define your political views, how courteous you are, if you care about others, if your parents raised you right, or if you have fashion sense.  Amazing how a little, simple face mask can be so telling.

Simple tasks such as going to the market have become beacons for how a person follows directions.  One way aisles, social distancing markers on where to stand and plexiglass barriers have become a part of our lives.  Some folks apparently never learned to pay attention, as they are wondering around going the wrong way, ignoring directions, as people glare at them.  I would hate to see these people driving in large cities with one way streets.  My question is, when will the passing lanes be implemented?

This morning, Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi,” came to mind.  If you don’t know the chorus:

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know

What you’ve got 

Til it’s gone

Some days, it feels like a lot of what we had is now gone. Simple things like shopping, working out at the gym, walking on the beach, going to a movie, or just leaving the house have potential to expose us to a life threatening virus.

Do we appreciate our lives enough?

There are people clinging to life from cataclysmic illness begging for one more day.  While others abuse their bodies with the careless excuse “you have to die of something”.

Why do we go through time ignoring the amazing wonderment of life, to only appreciate it when the threat of losing life happens?

If only we could go back to 6 months ago.  Germs weren’t on the radar.  We were safe in a country that was flourishing.  Our biggest news stories—who in Hollywood was cheating on whom, the newest diet fad guaranteed to lose weight fast, and the incessant fighting in D.C.

How quickly our world changed.  Our bubble of safety broken.

The other day, I witnessed two people fighting.  Over what you ask?  A canister of baking yeast.  Whomever would have thought the American populous filled with fast food, prepared food, impatient mindsets would be fighting over baking yeast.  Yet, here we are.

First it was paper products.  Your wealth was defined by your stockpile of toilet paper.

Second society went for stockpiling rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel.  The ingredients to make hand sanitizer.

Third was the shift to meat.  As there might be a shortage there.  Markets had to limit quantities.

Now we apparently are on a baking frenzy.  Forget about the bakeries surrounding us, we must fight over yeast to make things ourselves!  Prior to now, I was a lone wolf in baking bread.  Now, apparently, I have many fellow bread bakers.  Do they realize it takes hours to make bread, or are they merely fighting over yeast because it’s been reported in short supply?

Do we as a society just like to fight and stockpile?

We can look back on January and wonder at the trivial things we let consume us.

Why did we spend so much time clutching after things that don’t matter?

Were we fools, taking life for granted?

There are always people in much better fortune than us—and conversely in much worse.  Why do we not see the goodness in our own lives instead of comparison shopping our lives to others?

That grass we are watching grow over the fence might look greener, be careful it isn’t spray painted.  Maybe we should just water our own yard.

Why are we so afraid of change?  Afraid to a point we would rather sit in misery than manage the change.

Inevitably, when that change is forced on us, we get angry, feel pity, blame everyone but ourselves.

We can embrace the change, look at the positive and evolve.  Manage our own change.  Control it.  Or we can push back on the change, stress, get angry and let the change force itself on us.

Perception is our reality.  Be it positive or negative.

We live in a time that every person in history before us would have traded places in an instant. For many of them, it would’ve seemed an incredible utopia.

Be grateful for what you have, manage positive change and let your reality flourish!  Remember, there must be a pony in the pile of manure somewhere!

Stay healthy!

 

 

 

 A day in lockdown—-with the exception of those working in an essential business we have all been in quarantine mode.  Social distancing—wearing a mask—washing hands for 20 seconds has become our reality.  A simple cough in public from allergies will lead to hysteria.  The popular chatter around what the “new normal” will look like once quarantine is over.

The positive effect—people are spending more time outside.  Walking—biking—jogging—anything to feel active.  People are meeting their neighbors for the first time in years.

Some are eating their way through the shutdown.

Others utilizing the time to exercise.

Dogs are thrilled with walks every hour.

Cats are dreading another day with humans in their house.

For some who live with a spouse and kids, isolation might be welcome. For others, the isolation will get to them.  It’s one thing to say you like being isolated from society.  It’s another thing to live it.  There is a difference between alone—and lonely.  One does not have to be by themself to feel lonely.  Some of the loneliest—have people around them nonstop.

There is a saying, “you have to live intentionally”.  Those words—live intentionally—my analyzer brain giving detailed examination.  There are some who think life is already preplanned—In life we just go through the motions.  It’s a way to justify being lazy.  If that were true—one could feasibly sit on a chair doing zero —their life would happen anyway.  To try at anything being irrelevant.

If it is true that we must live with a focused intent.  We must do the work to define our future.  Then we can’t be a leaf moving around in the water wildly.  We have to put oars in the water to guide ourself to where we want to go.  Staying centered—Calm—focused.

Sometimes to know where you want to go you have to know where you’ve been.  Society develops perceptions based on how we look—aesthetics.  I believe a lot of how we look is based on what’s happening internally.  If you’ve stayed engaged in life—stayed active—that’s part of it.  Nutrition is the other—food is medicine.  Healthy foods keep the body working at optimum performance.  Garbage in—the body breaks down.

Some say it’s easier to be older.  However, when we are older, we have many more memories to sift through.  If you’re lucky, they’re all good memories.

Make peace with whatever is looking at you in the mirror.  To be comfortable in your own skin. They say that comes with age.  In reality, that comes with wisdom.  The wisdom to not define yourself by family—money—status—or any other superficial theory.  The theories that weigh people down with superfluous ideas of success.  We should define ourselves by what really defines us—heart—trust—loyalty—our ability to love and be loved.  Legacies aren’t defined by wealth—they are defined by character.

In this virtual life we are living, one that affords remote working in pajamas and forces us to live within the lives we have built for ourselves—to solve the human equation—we need to add love—subtract hate—multiply good—and divide between truth and error!

Stay healthy!

 

 

 

We all have scars be it internal—external—or both.  Never be ashamed of a scar.  It only is a symbol you are stronger than what tried to hurt you.  The proximate cause of that scar can drop us to our knees at the time of the initial wound.  It’s up to us whether we look toward the light—or the dark.  Positive is always a better option than dark and negative.

No matter what you do—no matter how hard you work—no matter the level of your try—there will always be a negative darkness standing there to judge—doubt —talk bad about you.  Just smile and make the best decisions you can based on the facts you have at the time.  I stopped explaining— rather defending myself because the realization hit me that people understand only what they want to.  It’s not necessarily based on any facts.

If you’re an analyzer brain like me—we break it down in our minds.  To understand the rationale—the why—the what—the how.  To judge ourselves from others’ vantage points is not necessary.

An example—I once was told a cake was dry.  My brain immediately went to the why.  I asked, “was the cake made from a mix or from scratch?”  Which immediately prompted a harsh, “That’s a stupid question!  How dumb is that!  What a dumb question!”  What I heard was, “You’re an idiot! You moron!”   When in actuality, my question wasn’t dumb at all but part of a methodical process question.  If the cake was dry—my first thought to start the process was mix or scratch—scratch maybe too much flour—mix maybe baked too long—the person I was speaking to could have responded “let’s not break it down, it doesn’t matter” and all would have been fine.  Instead, the violent reaction caused me to pause—doubt myself—and think maybe I was dumb.  Before the conversation could continue — I heard “I’m hanging up.”  Several seconds passed—I sat in silence staring at the floor.  Thinking to myself, “Am I dumb?” Was my question dumb or had the person who angered at such a simple question been off kilter in their perception.  How people act defines who they are —how we react to their behavior is what defines ourselves.  We only have control of one side of that equation.

Everyone’s individual perception is their reality.  If they choose to think negatively or positively of us—it’s not within our control.

Don’t believe me?  Ever watched a parent with their child?  That’s perception vs reality in its truest form.  Their child could be eating paint but to that parent they have the brains to achieve a double doctorate and win the next Nobel Prize.

Stop explaining yourself —people understand only what they want.  You can’t fix them with self hate or by defending yourself.  Their perception is their reality no matter what you do.  All you can do is identify the filters through which you view the world.  Your opinion and perception of yourself —do not confuse those with facts and truths.  Change your perception of things and you will change your reality.  Never let anyone change those for you.

As Robert Bolano states, “People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth…”

My grandmother used to say, “never overlook the simplest sound of a bird—or flower most think of as a weed—if you can see beautiful things in humble places, where others see nothing, then you are granted a gift few people know….”

Never let other people’s limited perception define who you are.  You are essential.  Believe you can.

Hold your chin up—and strut!

Stay healthy!

 

If you’ve been following state and federal mandates, you are one of the millions of people quarantined in their home.  Social Distancing—Remote Working—Online Learning—have become phrases within daily conversations.

Never again will we look at our homes the same.  From this point forward, new home purchases will be determined by a question “would this structure be a good quarantine location?”

My first NYC apartment was 600 square feet.  My living/dining/kitchen area were one long hallway.  I could sit on my sofa and change the channel with my foot.  Remote unnecessary.  It was an adventure.  A great starter 3 story walk up apartment.  I named it my, “compartment”.   I can’t imagine being in quarantine there.

Admit it — you’ve thought about the perfect place to quarantine.

No matter where you are living—hopefully you are quarantined to protect the greater good.

Quarantined.  A word equestrians use when importing a new prospect.  Whomever would have thought we would be using that word for the greater populous of humans in the world.

People are losing track of how many days they’ve been “locked down”.

Conversations are started with “Day # of the lock down and all’s well.  How are you holding up?”

We are quickly learning why dog’s get bored in the house and tear up furniture.

Also, a dog doesn’t need 35 walks a day.  They too tire out.

People are having conversations with household appliances.  One even had a conference with the microwave and stove.

Someone mentioned they didn’t get an opinion from the washer because that thing puts a different spin on facts.

If you hear the door tell you, “you’re unhinged”—time to take a walk and get fresh air.

Since the fridge isn’t going to lock itself after your 10th ice cream trip— maybe try getting out of your jammies and into some workout clothes.  Get those endorphins flying.

People are virtual dating.  Virtual working.  Virtual shopping.  Virtual exercising.  Virtual living.  It is possible to live a full life and never exit your living space.  Who knew?

Others are dressing up to stay home.  Just to feel “normal”.

None of us can avoid this pandemic.  Some have been labeled a “germaphobe” because they want everyone to practice safe distancing and quarantine methods.  I don’t want to test nature and see if I can beat the virus when there are easy, common sense ways to avoid it.  If that makes me a dreaded “germaphobe” I’ll gladly take the title.

Germaphobes unite!

Those that say they don’t care aren’t educated or are misinformed.  No sane, prudent individual would carelessly run amuck not caring about getting infected or worse—whom they infect.  Those individuals should be forcibly quarantined.

One Midwest manager proudly posted a sign for those feeling ill to please stay home and “corn teen” yourself.  I’m hoping that misspell was a joke.

As we push through these interesting times, one thing is for sure.  Good humor—creative ways to stay busy—a sound mind—staying connected to people —are all necessary.

We will come out stronger—better equipped to handle whatever is thrown at us.

Stay healthy and quarantine!

 

 

 

 

There is only so much torture we can go through—the rest is just showing off.  My grandfather used to say that to me, typically after I had just been through something very difficult.  We are all going through difficult isolated times at the moment.  We have labeled it a pandemic. “Stay at Home” orders are in most states.  Again, there are different groups of people.  Those that are afraid to leave their homes in fear of exposing to the virus.  Another group are being cautious, yet still venturing out to find hiking trails they haven’t stepped on in years.  The last group, have no clue yet what quarantine or social distancing actually are.  Washing their hands properly is an anomaly.  Their thoughts are they will slap the virus in the face and whomever wins the battle is meant to be.  Those people need more than hand sanitizer.

No matter which of the groups you’re in—we are all in this together.

It’s in times like these we can ponder life.  We can make a situation as difficult or as simple as desired.  Kind of like fishing.  Think about it.  Fishing isn’t really about fishing.  It’s about letting things happen.  When you throw the line into the water, what happens next isn’t within your control.  You sit and wait.  The water treading against the boat, or the shoreline, whichever you happen to be.  The fisherman can sit in peace and enjoy the sounds of nature.  The calm nurturing their soul.  Or—people with no patience nor the ability to relax will stress out—become impatient—pull their line in and recast again and again all the while complaining about how bad the fishing is.  Their music blaring.  Stress emblazoning their bodies.  Until they no longer enjoy what fishing is all about.  Because in that moment of peaceful nature, we can either meditate in the calm.  Or we can push away the pain of our thoughts—and find something to fill the void until we are a ball of stress no longer able to bounce.

We are told that love is what life is all about.  Love is vulnerable—warm—sometimes painful.  A friend of mine was depressed the other day—she is single with no current prospects.  She’s jumped from one relationship to another—never spending time with herself.  Being by yourself isn’t “alone”.  Some of the loneliest people have been married for years.  We are individually capable of making ourselves happy or sad.  The people we choose to be create our sense of worth.  Afford us the ability to like ourselves—or criticize as well.  We are our most harsh critic.  What outside stimulus affects that is up to us.

So if it is love that unites us.  Walks us through the dark times.  Gives us the strength to push through to happiness again.  If it’s love that lifts us out of our darkness.  When people put their lies on you—attack you—try to take you out because of jealousy—hate—insecurity.  Remember to let the love from those around you carry you through.  Let it bring you back into the brightness of life.  The truth is, ignorance and hate hold hands.  They try to blind us.  Smother us with darkness.  They try to destroy the light of hope.  Take away what make us happy.  If we pay attention—drive the negative away—our love can consume the darkness and drive out the hate.  That love might not change everyone.  For their darkness runs too deep.  You might still run up against people who like their darkness, or have become so consumed they are blinded by it.  Their hate is all they know.  It’s what they survive on.

When we are exposed to that darkness and hate.  It’s in those moments we have to hold on to those that shine their light on us.  Fill us with love.  We have to hold on to those that give our life meaning—are there for us no matter the cost.  Because it’s that love that brings us hope.  If we live the truth—love completely—accept each other at who they truly are—then our lights will shine brightly and drive out all hate and darkness.

I’ve let darkness infect the great love of my life.  Let past experiences knee jerk my response to the darkness.  Let that darkness create suspicion —lies—tear what was genuine into shreds of doubt.  Only to awake to figure out it wasn’t the love that wasn’t pure—but the darkness trying to rip it apart.  If the past could be repeated—if mulligans were afforded in life—I would hold on to that love —hold on to the light from it—use it to push the darkness away.  My hope —that love remains and will find its way to shine  through again.  For true love never waivers.  It has peaks and valleys— but remains strong—and will always find its way to shine again.

Thoughts lead us to purpose.  When that purpose becomes strong enough—action takes over.  Actions form habits—which in time those habits build our character.  It’s that character that fixes our destiny.

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of their opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of their difficulties.

In this time of uncertainty—find your purpose—let it move you to action.  We have control of our destiny as long as we don’t allow darkness to invade it.

Stay Healthy!

 

Someone asked me who has been the greatest influence in my life.  Every day of our lives we are evolving.  The question itself is very simple. The answer much more complicated.  The answer is fluid and can change in an instant.  Just when we think we know that greatest influence—Someone comes into our life unexpectedly and suddenly we see the world different.  A new lens replaces the world as we knew it.  That person teaches us it’s ok to let people in.  Start over.   You can go your whole life thinking you know the answer.  And then one day you realize your greatest Influence in your life might be someone else.  Sometimes the answer isn’t who influenced you the most but what.  Or a combination of both.

As a child, my grandmother taught me how to calm the storm.  Be it external or internal.  Negative influences taught me self protection.  How to compartmentalize instead of dealing with issues.  My horses—a quiet, yet powerful escape.  My dog—able to be with me anywhere I went.  I learned to protect the ones I cared about.

Society to us is nothing more than the grouping of humans surrounding us.  If we let them, they will define what is right —expected—successful.  Change the environment—society changes—expectations change.

Childhood idols who through a young eye seemed so strong—independent —wise.  Through the lens of an adult become weak—dependent—narcissistic.

People make assumptions like blood is loyal—trustworthy—kind.  When in reality it can be destructive —cruel—toxic.  From the inside of the box—the lens can be blind.

Anytime a situation resembled past dysfunction—I Immediately categorized it with the same  consequences and outcome as life had previously taught.  Whether you believe in your success—or whether you believe in your failure—either way you are correct.

When an incredible person comes into our life—they arrive with positives and negatives.  How we deal with each is important.

People come and go from our lives.  But only a handful truly make a difference in our future.  It’s impossible to chose one who influenced my life the most. It’s what they all taught me that matters.  Things like loyalty— trust— respect.  To feel the accomplishment of earning those is a gift of priceless value.  So if I had to pick the single greatest influence.  If I have to give an answer —it has to be my adoption.  Being adopted creates a sense of isolation—independence—strength.  There is no fall back on blood—you are who you become.   You set your goals—define them—accomplish —make new ones.  I worked hard until I managed to get a goal right—and then worked harder until I couldn’t get it wrong.

When the student is ready—the teacher arrives.

What we do with that knowledge—how we adapt our lens—is up to us.

Stay healthy!

 

Have you ever stopped to people watch?  If you haven’t, try it.  To watch human behavior is a dynamic so intriguing, it can make for great distractions during times of difficulty.  Society is in a state of panic at the moment.  Corona Virus AKA COVID-19 has consumed everything from news, media, internet and conversation.  In the hysteria of a respiratory illness, people are fighting over basic home goods such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies and paper towels.  How we went from a respiratory illness to stock piling 7500 rolls of toilet paper is an anomaly.  Walking into a supermarket is like stepping into an armageddon movie scene.  Everything that destroys the immune system — processed food, dairy, candy, soda are all baron shelves.  People have become so parsimonious they have caused a shortage.  Have no fear though—Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, probiotics, oat milk or any other kind of health food item are of ample stock.  In other words, if it’s healthy—it’s on the shelves.  If it tears the body down—it’s gone.  It’s obvious few know how the immune system actually works.

 

Every day people have a new rationale for the virus.  How to avoid it.  What to do if you get it.  I’ve read everything from sitting in a hot tub, running a blow dryer at the hottest setting up your nose, to sitting in a sauna.  Some are saying to gargle with salt water and drink gallons of water in case you are exposed the virus will wash into your stomach and the acids will kill it.  Seriously?  The virus attaches to the mucous and goes into the lungs.  It is a respiratory illness.   Are people not aware they have a trachea and an esophagus?  Ever tried to inhale water?

It is humanly impossible to think and panic at the same time.

 

Some are focused on what businesses have been forced to shut down because groups of people congregating are now seen as careless ways to spread illness.  People are focusing on when the next official news conference will be.  Droves of people are working from home in an attempt to self quarantine.  There are three groups of people it seems.  The ones that are self quarantined in an attempt to keep infection down.  The other a group of “won’t happen to me, I’m healthy” moving about in a business as usual fashion.  Which group is correct?  Time will tell.  Those who are working remote have a far less chance of contracting anything.  Those moving about as normal will soon see how “normal” things are if they have been exposed to the virus.  The next 2-14 days could be an eye opener for them—maybe. Oh—let’s not forget the third group.  The ones who have gone into sheer panic because this IS the end of the world as we know it.  All of us will die.  No one will survive.
The people in that group need more than quarantine.

 

Can you imagine being a hypochondriac in this mess?

 

Introverts are ecstatic as they’ve been training to “self quarantine” most of their lives.

Parents have been catapulted into home schooling.  The only thing to say to that is, parents, “May the force be with you.”

People that can’t sit still are trying to go about business as usual, except most everything is closed or has shortened hours of operation.  So, they find themselves going to the market several times a day, just to analyze the empty shelves.

 

Some are posting memes in an effort to find humor.

FaceTime and Skype are on fire.

It is deemed the average person touches their face approximately 2000 times per day.  Say it isn’t so.  Don’t do it.  Don’t touch your face.

Others are calculating how many squares of toilet paper does one actually use per “go” in an effort to calm people down.  Whomever would have thought wealth would ever be defined by the stockpile of toilet paper one has.

 

People who can live off the land, hunt, grow their own food, fish and have an arsenal of weaponry to defend themselves have a heightened status in the world.  If only for a brief moment in time.

 

There are masks, gloves, homemade sanitizer, goggles, ear plugs and anything else people can think of to avoid the dreaded COVID-19.

 

“Wash your hands” has become common place to ask.  Shockingly, most people do not wash their hands regularly or correctly!  How did that happen?  Having soap merely touch your hand, slapping it against the other hand and rinsing is no longer acceptable.  We have all become evaluators of how hands are washed.  Wash your hands—correctly!  If nothing else, COVID-19 has renewed the importance of hygiene.

 

In other times I would say the best defense is to hold hands so as not to lose anyone.  In these times, touching anything or anyone has been deemed hazardous to one’s health.  Touching your face could be lethal, let alone another person.

 

Since we are all in this together, let’s let everyone important in our lives know how important they are.  Daily at least.  The world — life — can shift in an instant.  Be good with the last conversation you had with anyone, as it could be the last words you say to them.  A new day is never guaranteed.  Do not take it for granted.  Times like these should be a reminder of how fragile life is.  Hysteria isn’t needed.

 

Let’s all remember to think of others before ourselves.  Continue to look both ways before crossing the street.  Be humble.  Be calm.  Relax on panic stockpiling.  And don’t forget anyone.

 

To quote Ellen Degeneres—“Be kind to one another”

 

Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone has days where stress is at its maximum.  The kind of day whereby the moment we awake, the world is compressing around us.  Yesterday, was that kind of day for me.  My first text came in at 5:45am, from one of my associates.   She didn’t feel well enough to head into the office.  The flu bug had struck again.  We were officially short staffed.  It was a Friday, so all would be well.  How does one have a bad Friday, right?

On the other hand, it’s January.  Like everyone else, I’ve made new goals for the year.  One of which is to drink more water.  I lug huge bottles of water with me everywhere to remind me to drink.  This will become more prevalent in a moment.

As the morning progressed from one phone call, conference call, question and issue to another.  My Friday quickly resembled that of a Monday.   I took each call with detail, reminding myself of my hydration goal as I went.  Gulping down water when I could.

At the end of every call, my body reminding me of nature.  My brain however, kept me on point—focused—solving problems.  The advice of “listen to your body” forgotten in the Monotony.

In the middle of the mayhem, my text chimed.  I had forgotten about a meeting, offsite.  I ended my call, grabbed my briefcase and rushed out the door.  Cell phones have made it easy to be in two places at one time.  I called into the meeting, while explaining I was in route.

The elevator wasn’t an option as I would lose the call, so down the stairs I flew.   My body screaming at me that nature was calling from the massive water consumption of my morning.  Finally, the first floor lobby.  It is a carpeted hallway from the stairwell door to the main lobby.  At the main lobby the carpet connects to tile.   With the meeting in my ear—nature beating down on my body —and an urgency to get to the meeting—the small tent stating “slick floor” missed my line of sight.  My heel stepped off the carpet, onto the tile —my body flew up like Charlie Brown when Lucy would pull the football—hitting the floor with a “thud”.  It took a few seconds for my brain to register what had just happened.  There must have been a noise when I hit, because in my ear I could hear “ARE YOU OK?!”— “WHAT IS GOING ON?!”  As I collected myself to speak—I managed to get out “all is good.” While a scan of injuries ensued.  All body parts seemed to be in tact—all appendages unbroken—all was well.  Except—I felt this warm sensation on my slacks.  Was the floor still wet from the cleaning crew’s mop?  If only that were the case.  Remember nature beating down on my body?  Nature had taken control when my body hit the floor.

Embarrassed — I took a scan of the lobby.  For once in my life, no one was around.  Scooping myself up to my feet—I began to laugh.  What it must have looked like to see my body fly through the air—hit the ground—and then mortifyingly my bladder partly release.

I ran out of the lobby—drove home— showered—restarted my day and made it to the meeting.  All the while, laughing at myself!

In life, we must always remember to slow down enough to not only remember our goals, but listen to our bodies.  Especially when our bodies are screaming at us!

Even after an embarrassing moment—Hold your head high—and Strut!