Passing Moments


My youngest daughter is turning three in a couple of weeks.  So, that means she is just about out of her “terrible twos”.  Though, a little known fact is that the “terribl-er threes” are coming…

Anyway, she has been a very strong test of patience.  A test that I have probably been failing.  But there are moments.  Moments when we catch her with her guard down.  Moments where she is the perfect sweet angel we know she can be when she wants to be.

For example, every night she will start to whine/moan/cry a couple of times because she has kicked her blankets off.  She’s not even fully awake, just awake enough to know that she is uncomfortable.  So, I get up and walk to her room, cover her up and go back to sleep.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “What’s so precious about that?”  Well, every now and then, after I cover her up, a tiny whisper voice will say “Tank you Dada”.

THAT is a moment worth savoring.

Taking this a step further, we all have our bedtime routine.  For as long as I can remember, I blow two kisses to my kids before I leave each of their rooms at the end of the night.  My oldest has had this done to him for years now and he returns the kisses in earnest.  Lately, my daughter has also started to return them as well from her bed.  Those are great moments too….little affirmations every night that no matter how trying the kids can be, love is still abundantly present.

One of my daughter’s favorite games is to play “nap time” with her playmates, whether they be her dolls, stuffed animals, me or her grandparents.  And in her dramatic play, when she leaves the room, she also blows two kisses.  It’s awesome.

So, what’s the point of all this mushy kid talk?  It’s that we should never take these moments for granted.  These little moments will eventually fade away and make room for new moments as time goes on.  I feel that building these moments of affection and love in my kids’ heart will stick with them as they grow older.  Furthermore, I hope this will lead to an open and trusting relationship between us that will last a lifetime.

The grandest moments in life are really just a succession of cumulative smaller moments that combine into a larger whole.


The Key to the Future

The Key to the Future

The notable quote is that “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” That’s what we remember it, but the true quote is “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” For the sake of this post, I like the second a bit better.

Let me tell you a story.  A few years back, I went back to school and got my master’s degree.  My intent was to educate myself and work my way into a management position.  A couple of years later, I got that chance and became a manager for a company that I had worked for previously.  Since I had no real management experience, I knew it was a very fortunate circumstance and put all of my effort into making it work.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago.  I was recently laid off from that position.  It was heart breaking.  I’m not going to sit here and make excuses.  I will admit that I failed.  I failed my employees.  I failed my boss.

It was hard, but what it did was force me to reflect on the time I had there and determine what my next steps would be.  I ended up being hired within a couple of weeks, and again with today’s economy I am grateful for this fortune.

In my reflection, I came up with a couple of revelations:

  • I wasn’t up to the expectations of my previous employer, thus I failed.
  • I do give my all to the success of myself.
  • I have confidence in my skills and abilities.

Even though it was heartbreaking to lose my job, I took heart in the 2nd and 3rd revelation and this allowed me to pursue a job search and interview with complete confidence.  I ended up getting an offer that was higher than the job posted (both in position and salary) and I attribute that to being sure of myself when presenting why I would be an asset to the organization.

Now I sit in a position, that isn’t management, but is of seniority and look to the future.  It is bright because I can look back at my recent failure, see what I did wrong and not repeat the process.

This is the combined power of reflection and looking back.  I did not dwell on the past, but turned it to my advantage for a brighter future.  What I learned most was that I should do this, not only in times of crisis, but on a semi-regular basis to make sure I am still aligned.  Examination leads to enlightenment, enlightenment leads to success.


Rhythm of Life

Rhythm of Life

So, I found myself wondering today, “Where did the day go?”  I mean, I sat down at my desk and started doing my tasks and all of a sudden I was 30 minutes late to leave.  Weird.  We’ve all experienced it, though, so it’s not a new concept.

Then I thought about the month and a half absence I took from this blog, albeit unintentionally, and realized that my life has been at a pretty fast clip for…well…a long time.  Probably the past two years.

If I had to equate my life to a song, I have been following the beat of “The Lone Ranger” when I should have been following “Fur Elise”.  Now there’s a classical reference that I’m sure not everyone will get.

My point is…I need to slow it down.  I’ve already started taking steps towards that end.  I’m taking a sabbatical from Marathon Coaching starting in September.  I’m focusing on spending more time with my family.  I’m going to actually START writing my book.  Basically, I’m going to become Mr. Fur Elise.

So, what’s your life’s theme song?  Are you “Mission Impossible” or Kenny G?  I suppose you can be set to a beat that is too slow also.  Remember, it’s the extremes you want to be careful of.  Do you need to slow down or pick it up?

Take a look….or a listen….


Time in a Bottle

Time in a Bottle

Yep…a old Jim Croce song.  I heard it today and it made me think about how I use my time.  If I could, would I save up time now to use later?  After careful consideration, I would not.

Am I saying that I wouldn’t wish for more time with those I’ve lost?  No, of course I would.  But would I go back and change decisions I’ve made in the past?  No, I don’t think I would.  There are always things in our pasts that we wish we could change, but remember that you are who you are BECAUSE of those things.  Every bad decision I made is a learned experience.  If I went back and changed one bad decision, what’s to say that I wouldn’t make that same bad decision later and maybe even at a more inappropriate time?

We could get into a discussion about time-travel and its repercussions, but that is not what this blog is about.  This blog is about examining your life as it is now and how to make the best with what you’ve got.  LEARN from the past, MAKE your future the best it can be.

A friend of mine recently told me that an old flame had sent him an e-mail saying that she wanted to meet him and catch up.  He asked me what his action should be.  He was engaged to be married and this person had been out of his life for 5 or so years.  In answer, I simply asked him what possible outcomes could come from re-starting the friendship.  What he told me was that he was hurt by her and that was his lasting impression.  Why should he let her back in?  What good would come  from it?  In the end, he did not respond to her and deleted the e-mail.

This was a great example of learning from his mistakes.  If she just wanted to make amends and that’s it, she’ll e-mail again.  He knows that he’s happy right now, and there is no reason to drag his past into his present….in this particular case, it would NOT help his future.

So, think about what you might be holding on to.  How much time are you trying to store in a bottle?  Is it holding you back from fulfilling your potential?  I hope not.  If it is, it’s TIME to let go.


Time Heals All Wounds…?

Time Heals All Wounds...?I’ve been thinking about the word legacy today.  How is legacy defined?  What will our legacy be when we’re gone?  Does it even matter?

More personalized, how does the legacy of a thought or an action define how we perceive others?  Does that perception change over time?  Does time, actually, heal all wounds?  Maybe, maybe not.  The choice is yours.

Are you defined by one moment or a series of actions?  Do you define others the same way?  I would like to believe that one simple action cannot, or should not, trump all others.  There are exceptions, of course.  A heinous crime cannot be overlooked by a series of good deeds.  But a mistake should not always the basis of judgement when looking at the big picture.

Remember that no one is perfect.  If perfection, in a human being existed, we would be able to reproduce it on a mass scale.  But it does not.  Mistakes happen.  Lapse in judgement happens.  If it happens once or twice, it should be noted, but forgiven….if it happens continuously, that makes it a pattern….a legacy, if you will.

Take a look at your relationships, at your friends and acquaintances and decide for yourself how you really ‘see’ them.  This past week, we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He has his great quote about the content of our character.  THAT should be what our legacy is about.  Take in the BIG picture.  Don’t judge every miniscule effort, but the actions as a whole.


Infinite Possibilities

Infinite PossibilitiesAs time marches on, so does your path along the road of life.  We’ve talked a bit about fate and predetermination around this site, so let’s delve a bit deeper, shall we?

I believe that one our path, we come across many crossings or forks.  Where we have to make a decision and that then forever alters our future path.  However, I don’t believe in absolutes.  I think that a decision today can lead us in one direction and a decision tomorrow can lead us back to the direction we were normally headed.

Is this a good thing?  Well, yes.  I do believe that there is one beginning and one end.  An absolute?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The road we travel will vary with all of our influences.  Our decisions, our friends, our families, our schooling and our jobs.  Kind of like a very windy and twisting Yellow Brick Road with a whole slew of Munchkins to lead our way.

So, what’s your Yellow Brick Road?  You don’t know, huh?  Well, that’s good.  If you did, wouldn’t life be boring?  If you knew exactly what was going to happen and when…then what is there to look forward to?  There are very few genuine surprises in life, so let’s keep those that we have.  Like what tomorrow is going to bring.

I wake up everyday with the hope that something new and wonderful will happen to me.  And you know what?  It does.  It may be that I had a traffic free route to work.  Or that my wife gave me one of her “I LOVE YOU” looks or that my son had a “smile explosion” when he saw me.

The point is that if you can look past all the drama or the negativity in life, there is certain to be one bright spot every day.  Take this bright spot and dwell on it.  Make it your focal point.  Let it light your way, light your path for the rest of the day and into tomorrow.

If you can do that, then you will see that anything is infinitely possible.


PrioritiesTime is a funny thing.  No matter what we do, it always keeps on ticking.  How many times have you wished for more hours in the day?  How often do you get to the end of the day and think, gosh I still have SO MUCH to do.

Priorities are also funny.  Because they shift.  How many times did you wake up saying I NEED to get the lawn mowed….but then your baby was awake and needed tending too, a snack needed to be made, a run with the wife and kid needed to take place, a hair appointment had to be fulfilled, a pair of swim diapers and 6 mo. swim trunks needed to be bought, more play time needed to be had, dinner needed to be cooked, baby needed to be put to sleep.  Oh yeah, now you’re exhausted.  Well, that was MY day today.  And here I am writing a blog post….why?  Well, because I MISSED one on Friday.

Why did I miss one on Friday?  Well, it was the second day of my business’ merger AND my wife’s birthday.  Sorry, Examine the Glass…you just dropped on my priority list.  So, here you go, a last-minute Labor Day weekend post about priorities.

Something I do at work is every morning, I assess what I need to get done for my job.  I type it out in my Outlook task manager and prioritize it.  At the end of the day, I see what is left and make those #1 priorities for the next day.  You would think this would be easy to translate over into real life.  Well, it isn’t.  I’ll be the first to tell you (followed closely by my wife who will confirm!) that I am not the greatest prioritizing person.  I try, but I don’t always succeed.  I recognize this as a fault and am trying to improve on it.

That’s what self-improvement is all about.  And if you read this blog, maybe you’re looking for a little advice in how to improve your own priorities.  This all comes back around to finding out what is really important to you and what you need to do in order to advance your station to where you want to be.

So, where do you want to be?  I’ll tell you where I want to be.  I want to be about 25 pounds lighter than I am.  So, guess what I just did?  I joined a Facebook friends’ Biggest Loser competition.  Done and done.  Now I will be kept accountable to something that I have tried and failed to do in the past.

I took the step, are you ready to take yours?


Time Marches On

Time Marches OnThis past weekend, I went to my cousin’s 17th birthday party.  One of those “you know you’re old when..” moments for me because I remember holding her as a baby.  The last baby I held, in fact, before the birth of my own son last February.

At said party, I traded jabs with my uncle.  He commented on how much I’ve “changed” (sarcastically) because I gave up TV this summer to spend more time with my baby and I couldn’t go to a Seahawks game this Friday because it’s my wife’s birthday.  Now, being the Seahawks aside, I normally wouldn’t have even hesitated, for I am a fan.  A big fan!  One of 10, I believe of the ‘Hawks.  But I digress.  I also commented on how much he has “changed” as in I stole his potato chips….and returned them before he even seemed to notice they were gone.  I claim maturity for my changes, he claims old age for his.

The point is, time, does indeed, march on.  It’s inevitable in its approach and departure, it’s kind in its reliability and harsh in its effects.  Sometimes.  How you approach time greatly determines who it affects you.  There are things you can do to change or alter the appearance of the effects of time, but you cannot reverse the actual effects.  You can’t change the past, you can’t predict the future.  You CAN live in the moment and enjoy what has been given to you and that you have things to look forward to.

If you find yourself without anything to look forward to, you may be looking too broadly.  Examine that glass and find that there are small victories all around you.  Remember that if today was as bad as it gets, tomorrow is guaranteed to be better.  Even if the clouds are out, you know the sun is there just waiting to shine down upon you.  And thanks to the continual drum-beat of time, that sun will come out again.

Today is only as “bad” as you make it and tomorrow will be as “bright” as you want it to be.  Today is your platform to jump from to make tomorrow better.  If you stay complacent and don’t make the moves to improve your situation, tomorrow will just be like today.  Even if that does happen (and I know it can and will) then tomorrow becomes today and presents you with yet another platform to jump to.

So, take a look around you.  Find the next step to take.  Take it.  Tomorrow will thank you.