How to keep priority #1 – Communicate.

Does creating your priority list cause you anxiety?   At times, my to-do lists are overflowing with a million things.  I struggle determining which item is the top priority which creates worry in-and-of-itself.   Now that I have moved into ‘semi-retirement’ I finally found the most important way of How to keep priority #1 – Communicate.

3-11 Day – An End to Bullying

The ‘terror attack’ of 9-11 seared a memory that permanently changed the lives and minds of many.  Post-traumatic experiences burn a scar on the mind with both a pain-filled fear and a hate towards the terror inducer.  This average mind and that of all in our family were rocked in the same year of 9-11.  It was forever branded as ‘3-11’ day by we who were touched by the bullet of a bully.     Indeed, it was a family’s worst nightmare on that horrible evening of March 11, 2001.  Sixteen years later, I tell the story of the biggest lesson gained and how to be sure to Put an End to Bullying.

Quit Quibbling

It seems that no matter what anyone says or does lately it sets off a media storm and some average Joe’s cannot hold back spewing their anger laced opinions.  ‘I am right, you are wrong’.   ‘I am better than you are or smarter than you’.  Who is the greatest (or worst)?   The division amongst all parties has produced far more enemies than friends.  I had a quick pre-flight lunch stop at Quizno’s this week that led me to stop, think, and be inspired too – Quit Quibbling.

We all desire to be first, how would you feel about being better than first?

A Message From Beyond?

I usually pass right by science fiction stories and look with much skepticism at testimonials from kooks who claim they have received a ‘message from beyond’.  Little did I ever expect I would have one to tell myself, from exactly five years ago today, hear me out and you be the judge…

Learning to Li(o)ve

Christmas brings a time of reflection as we see the picture of a baby born in a manger surrounded by animals in a stable.   The ‘Christ’ian belief is that God came down from heaven, was born as a baby and grew to be a man who came to show us how to live on earth as God intended us to live.  He portrayed love.  We learned that ultimately that love was displayed when the man willingly sacrificed his life as he was crucified at the hands of ruthless people.  Each December 25th around the world people commemorate the day of His birth and give gifts to one another as we try to learn to live with the same love that, God in the form of man, showed us how to live.   The baton was passed to each of us and today we walk on earth Learning To Live, somehow with the same type of Love.

Under The Holiday Pressure

under-the-pressure-1Feeling Under the Holiday Pressure? Pressure handling is a trait some take pride in, have you ever heard yourself say ‘the more stress, the better I perform?’.  I like to say ‘that’s me’.   The other day I found myself stuck in bed, so filled with anxiety from demands from other people, I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay there the rest of the day.  I was frozen stiff with stress oozing from every pore.  Demands for our time and money are a constant.   At what point do we say, ENOUGH!

Thank You Note Writers

ty-cardsThank you is such a simple statement but it means so much in many ways.  Yet today’s culture seems to have forgotten how to express those two very important words.

Perhaps it is social media; after receiving 64 Happy Birthday’s who wants to write a single thank you note for all of them?   Instead we write one post and say: ‘Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes’.    Perhaps it is because stamps are too expensive and a box of cards breaks the budget.   Or, some argue that the digital age has sequestered people so much that they have forgotten how to communicate.  Or perhaps, no one has taught, what I will cautiously call the younger generation, just how important the words, THANK YOU,  really are!

Brevity

brevityTwenty-six hours of meeting time from pickup from our clients corporate jet to drop off.  This is our one and only chance to introduce them to sixty different people and cover twenty-five different topics.  Every word and moment during lunch, dinner, before and after cocktails, breakfast and back-to-back blocks of presentations must be concise and to the point.  Each second in the car rides must show our best and avoid negative issues, of which there are a few, as we want this brief meeting time to be ALL positive.  We have $millions in business to keep and must find new opportunities to make it grow.

Whew, this meeting was the crux of stress for the past four days for this Average Joe.  Brevity is not my gift, but it certainly is one of importance in this day and age where everyone is cramming their schedules full.  How do we forge relationships when tied down with a time squeeze squirting its innards out during every visit?

The Day my son Cory died.

CoryTriggers set off memories,  sometimes good ones and sometimes not so good ones.  A picture was posted of a recent Cleveland Indians game with a fan wearing a throwback uniform of one of my old favorite baseball players, Cory Snyder.  It brought back memories of the day my son Cory died.*

I recall back in 1988 being so excited that our next try for child number two was going much smoother than the first (which had turned into an early term miscarriage).    We were now at week 16 and the doctors said you have crossed that hump.   We could not wait to see the results of the ultra-sound.  The pound pound pound of the heartbeat increased our heartbeats to our hearts being filled with joy.

We just had to know, so the doc zoomed in to the middle to find out, is this a boy or a girl.

Stand Together!

Sit In Group

Do you care? What are you going to do about it?  The words rang in my ears as a black woman shouted at me and my son and a friend as we were leaving a baseball game and passing through a small but loud and raucous black lives matter protest in Greensboro, NC Thursday night, July 7th.   I was shocked.  Of course I care, I love all people.  I said back to her, ‘YES, I care’.  She shouted again,  ‘If it were your kids, what would you do? Do you care?’   I said, WE CARE!’   She repeated her lines a bit louder, I replied ‘WE CARE!   A bit of fear started to build up as I glanced around and saw people turning their attention to us.

Memorial Day – Gratitude

1942 LouisLaposMy Father pictured here in this 1942 Navy photo did not talk much about his days in WWII.  We know he was a flag man (aka Landing Signal Officer) on an ocean carrier and helped land planes.   Normally I don’t think much about what it must have been like for him and the many others that fought to save our country from the mad men in Germany and Japan, but this year it is different.  It is different because we have a President running our country who has reached out to Japan regarding the act that ended the war, to a country whose leaders at the time cost the lives of millions of people and many of the 420,000 Americans killed.  It has made me ponder my gratitude towards what he and others did, while questioning just what kind of world do we live in.

I cannot imagine what it must have been like for my Father sitting on a boat in the middle of the ocean wondering when and if one of the 7000+ known Kamikaze flights may have made its way to his ship.  Reading from the stories written by those who experienced this  shocking (read here)  fear I am horrified just thinking about it.       And to think, the possibility is very high that I wouldn’t be here to write about it today, had he not been fortunate to survive.   I am grateful for all he and the many soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.Kamikaze attack

30 Years Together – 30 tips on how we made it this far.

30 years together

Thirty years ago today my bride and I made vows to live for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, to stay together forever.   Last night I got the urge to write just how we made it 30 years.  I wanted to search Google for what others have done to have it exactly right. Instead, I said, if I can’t come up with 30 reasons off the top of my head how we made it this far, I stink.   Seriously, if it is supposed to be my most important goal in life, why should I not be able to rattle off the top of my head those things I strive for daily?

Disclaimer – This really was done on the fly, no change to the order, or going back to some important note all the books taught us in the past would say are ‘key’.  I did run it by my bride, who thumbs upped most of it.  Those were the only edits (and my typos)   So here it goes:

30 Tips to stay married 30 years

Standalone Ready!

Z-ontopoftheworldStandalone Ready!

What a great joy to see your son or daughter cross into the threshold of adulthood on high school graduation day.  Yet at the same time inside your gut, it is welling up with fear and anxiety as they head off into the vast uncertain universe.   Internal questions run amuck wondering if we screwed up as parents, or did we do all we could to help them be Standalone Ready?

(Not) another, my kid is great story. Ending

Brain_No WordsDid you even wonder what would happen if you had no sleep for days?  Our cover picture is a drawing my creative son drew when we asked him to depict what his thoughts were, during and after, his brain breaking traumatic experience.  For he and all of us, it was an encounter with hell.

In trying to piece together what caused such an escapade I had to do some deep research to not only find out what was going on, but why.  His first symptom was near complete memory loss.  Can you imagine forgetting every password you have including ‘9999’ to get into your phone?  He was also literally seeing fog everywhere, feeling like the walls were melting, imagining that a swat team was on the roof of our house, and hearing voices when no one was in the room, amongst other things.   This stunning article provides a pictorial from Science.mic that describes exactly how and why this can happen.

(Not) another, my kid is great story.

Not another my kid is great storyN(not) another, my kid is great story.

Time flies by so quickly and for a parent before we know it our baby is an adult.   With the permission of my  one and only son, I have the honor of telling two stories of his miraculous life.

I start first with that little doubt that rolls in all parents heads.  It gets set off when those nauseating stories are heard when someone talks or posts pictures about how great their child is.   Some parents today are so full of, or lack thereof, their own dna pride they seem to have to prove it to the world through their children.   But where did it really come from and why do some get that ‘gifted’ child, and some not?  Why is a Lebron James body born in one and a Mr. Bean in another?

That moment, when you are thankful for what did not happen.

That Moment When you are thanful

Thanksgiving is here and it’s time to think about all the things we are thankful for.   I am so grateful for my family, friends, good health and a long list of other things.    I am quite blessed and thankful to our God who loves us as a son or daughter caring about our every need.  We usually go around the table every Thanksgiving in our house and have everyone name one thing they are thankful for.   This year I’m going to change the pattern as the story behind this picture I took last week is all about that moment, when you are thankful for what did not happen.