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?

Neck Pain Relieved!

NeckPainGone

Neck Pain Relieved!

Life can be a real pain in the neck.   Take a few sports injuries, mountains of stress, take many long driving stints for years,  stare down at a computer for hours every day, and bend your neck to hold a phone in place while multi-tasking, and ultimately you look and feel like Quasimodo.

.quasimodo

For many years I, like many people, have walked around with constant pain in my back. The neck had become so jammed up that I could not look over my shoulder to see if a car was in the blind spot.   Thanks to side view mirrors I could make those heavy traffic lane switches without too much trouble.  But at times, the pain had become excruciating to where that is the only direction I could turn my head.

(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.

Of All the Days! My Coming out of the Closet!

Coming out of the Closet on Good Friday.

Of all the Days!

It is Good Friday.   Today I’m coming out of the closet.

(Please note –  I wrote this 3 years ago exactly on Good Friday 2013, but was in my ‘I’m too fearful to go public with my writing days’.  This is it  in its original form with a few minor changes.  It was written at the time everyone was putting this:red flag

on their Facebook page over their pictures, remember that?)

Defeating Defeat – Whilst Dealing with Doubt

Dealing with DoubtThe definition of Defeated – de·feat·ed – having been beaten in a battle or other contest. “the defeated army”,   demoralized and overcome by adversity.

The definition of Doubt – to be uncertain in opinion or belief; to be undecided, to be inclined to disbelief, to hesitate.

I started off this week feeling pretty defeated. First my football team lost in the Super Bowl, so that didn’t help. On the job front, my inbox and to-do list was overwhelming every portion of my mind. How can I ever get all of these demands completed? And even if I fulfill all of them, the odds of seeing positive results seem extremely slim. The negative vibes can sure leave one feeling very defeated at times, ever feel that way?

Defeating Defeat – (Final Sales Meeting Post)

josh-normanIt amazes me how critical people, who have not made it anywhere in life, so easily criticize the reactions of how others respond in defeat in a major event.   We all know the results of the Super Bowl now and those who won celebrated to the max and those who tasted defeat had various reactions including one of the Panthers players ‘breakdown’ pictured above. Losing is hard to take, all the more so, when you are so close to being #1. Having a mindset of winning internally, is a worthy battle, but a virtue we all can benefit from, it takes Defeating Defeat.

How much would you pay to PLAY in Super Bowl 50?

superbowlfieldTickets to see Super Bowl 50 are the most expensive in Sports History! See article here    Just to watch a football game, in a seat and be part of the experience to be at the game,  people are spending thousands of dollars. How much would you pay to be there?

I have had the fortune of being at a few championship games.  I hate to admit it, but yes,  it was worth every penny.   Although it is a bit hilarious to note how much money you pay for a seat, that you barely sit in for most of the game, because people stand for the whole game.

Imagine though, if the head coach of your very favorite team, soccer, basketball, baseball, any sport, offered you the opportunity to be on the field for the super game. Only a few with really big bucks or close ties to someone in ownership gain that opportunity to stand on the sidelines. If given the opportunity to be on the field standing on the sidelines with the team,  How much would you pay?

Average Joe’s Sales Meeting Notes- In the same boat

rowboatDay 2 of our sales meeting was the same as usual, but this year seemed to have a tinge of extra respect included.  We share in what has typically been a steady industry deemed ‘telecommunications’.   While our company has remained steady and strong, consolidation of our customers has taken a toll on the people.

Telecomm became a competitive industry back in 1984 after the breakup of AT&T.   click here for a history lesson   Today the break up has nearly been reversed as a consolidation of many of the startups from that era has taken place. The result has been a mass reduction in good paying jobs as layoffs abound.   Many of the people I have worked with for years find themselves doing the workload of what used to be accomplished by three people.

The net result is high stress and negativity in the workplace.

Average Joe’s Sales Meeting Notes- Time Squeeze

SqueezedForTimeSmallI should have known my aggressive goal to try and blog almost real time during a sales meeting would be, IMPOSSIBLE!   We sales people know how to squeeze every 65 seconds out of every minute and yes, it is expected.

The schedule here on Day 4, the last day is the one we all look forward to the most, as we can finally get a little rest on the airplane this afternoon.

Avg Joe’s Sales meeting 2016 Day 1

tsaprecheckDid you ever wonder what goes through the mind of a salesman throughout a typical long and laborious sales meeting? Maybe you are the spouse, or the curious accountant wondering what goes on at these events that send a person off in the air to a rah rah meeting.

This is year #32 for this Average Joe, 16 of them with the same firm.  Stick with me from ground CLT airport to the Mecca called Huntsville, Alabama, that we admirably call ‘HuntsVegas’,  for Average Joe’s thoughts as I soar through another sales team week. (noting they will have a time delay, no time to do them live, I am at my real Job)

For a guy whose blog theme #1 is ‘Pursuing Peace’ (if this is your first time here, click here for a backgrounder) what better place to start than from my closet packing to go to the airport?

Shattered

shattered coffee cupSmashing to the floor, not once, not twice, but three times on the same day, flew some of our dinner dishes.   How can the sound of a plate crashing onto a ceramic tile be so loud and painful?   More unbelievable is my wife slept right through all three drops. Equally strange were my reactions. The first two times I was perturbed with the mess, but after number three I had one of my Mom’s thoughts run through my head, fantastic, things always come in threes, so all the bad things are over. End of story,   NOT.

My dueling doubt mind was not going to let this ‘happening’ get by so easily.  I always look for the secret message whenever

Fear of flying – My flight with Maurice Clarett, 2003

OSU_Miami Ticket_001Twelve years ago I was so blessed to witness live Ohio State winning the Fiesta Bowl National Championship with my 15-year-old daughter.   I vividly recall screaming at the top of my lungs, throw the flag, throw the flag at the ref who nearly turned the greatest game in college football history Read Here for the Game Recap    into the worst no call in history. I knew it was my voice from 40 yards away that caused him to pull that flag out.   Instead of yet another horrible memory and loss, mine and all other tortured Cleveland and Ohio State fans pain came to an end. What a thrill it was to watch Maurice Clarett, an Ohio kid from Youngstown, scoring the game winning TD and then the D’ stopping Miami in the 2nd Overtime for the Buckeyes victory.

A few days later we were flying from Phoenix and boarded our connecting flight from Cleveland to Columbus.   Erin and I were the first to board the small plane and she walked quickly on to the plane ahead of me when I stopped in my tracks. Sitting in the first seat all

Peace on Earth. Where is it? Oh yeah and, Merry Christmas

peac on earthGrowing up with a family of eight kids in a house of yellers at times made finding peace on Christmas Day even harder than finding a good candidate to vote for President.   Each holiday, bets were on to see who would ruin Christmas this year. Today I actually find myself missing those days since my parents passed a few years ago and all of us are spread across the states. Most of our emails or cards are typically to announce the latest illness or passing of one of our pets. Thus I ponder, why is peace so hard to find?

How to part ways, The Wrong Way – Does Loyalty Pay #7

You're fired Fortunately I have only heard those dreaded words once in my life, but how else can one tell someone how not to do something unless you’ve messed it up at least once in your life?

My experience could not have come at a worse moment as my wife was 5 months pregnant with our first child and ‘we was broke’.

I was working as a green sales rep selling computers to anybody that might buy one in those days. It was an exciting time as you could purchase a really expensive computer with (2) 5 1/4″ floppy drives for your business and be ultra productive if you had one. I was knocking on doors of doctors, dentists, lawyers and any business that the co-owners of the company in run down Toledo thought might buy one.

computer 5

How to DEMAND returned Loyalty from a Business – Loyalty Pay Pt. 6

Tug-of-war-with-zoo-tiger

It used to be that loyalty meant something to some businesses. Some industries even tout loyalty and advertise they will give you huge discounts when you are loyal to them. I have found the secret to demanding the loyalty you deserve from businesses for the loyalty you have given them.

Do You Dare?

ConformityImagine a group of eighth graders all ticked off at a teacher and plotting to teach her a lesson.  She’s been mean, rude, yelling at us every minute, and everyone’s had it with this witch in an elective class, choir. Seriously how important is choir? And this is the largest group ever assembled because we were good last year.   Let’s have a mutiny!   We all decide we’re going to drop out of the class and teach her a lesson. All of us!

I’m the quiet kid in the group that never raises a nerve. This rebellion idea sounds really good. Singing the same line over and over again, that is dumb and irritating.   The next morning I march straight down to the principal’s office and drop the class and take another elective. I’m so excited I have the guts to join in the overthrow and cannot wait to see the look on her face when NO ONE shows up in class. We will teach her a lesson, won’t we.

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.