Hell of a Guy
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life - Albert Camus

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Morning Song…

01/31/2008

Just east of the Farm lay Sleepy Creek Mountain in all its majesty; for a short period of time The Nancy and I drive parallel to it on our way to work.  This morning in Morgan County, West Virginia was what could be described as a perfect example of what a mid-winter’s morning should look like.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  The leafless trees all appeared to have their bare branches reaching toward the heavens begging God for some warmth, the temperature hovering at 21 degrees.  As The Nancy and I drove along the route to our offices, I glanced over at the mountain and noticed the sun just about to rise above it.  There was a glorious glow that formed a semicircle in the sky above the mountain with the non-seen sun as its source, and its light shining through the trees on the top of the mountain looked like delicate lace. 

I have always been enamored with sunrise.  Many times I have sat in my car at the top of a hill, cup of coffee in hand, anticipating the moment when the sun would begin to break the horizon.  It is the time I feel closest to the God I denied for so many years.  This day was no exception, though it was a little tough to drive and at the same time watch the sun out of the corner of my eye.  Just about the time the sun broke over the mountain I asked The Nancy about her day.  Her reply:  “I am a courageous, joyful, giving woman, dedicated to creating peace, love and unity.”

I have heard my wife make that statement many times over the past few years.  It is her mantra, and it is how she begins each day.  And each day she is exactly what she said she is and does exactly what she dedicates herself to do.  It is why I love her so much.  She is my little selfless flower. 

Thank you, God, for this day.  And thank you, God, for this woman who makes me happy everyday, even if the sun doesn’t rise.

And that is all I have to say about that…

 

 
Monday, January 28, 2008

The Value of Tenure and Voice…

01/28/2008

This was written on the 14th.  I got so busy during my meetings and with the assignments I was given that I simply allowed my soon-to-be 65-year old brain to forget to post it.  So here it is, for what it’s worth…

So here I sit on an airplane again, United Airlines flight 207, somewhere over the mid-west loving not a single minute of this five-hour, forty-minute excursion to Los Angeles.  I’ve popped off a hundred or so pages of Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth,” had a Diet Coke, a bag of nuts, ate a six-inch, very nasty something or other from Subway called a Breakfast Omelet Sandwich (Subway, the worst sandwich company in the world - Subway is to sandwiches what Budweiser is to beer), and already made two trips to the restroom.  The seat I am in, though charged for and receiving extra leg room is not designed to take long trips in, especially with fat posteriors such as the one I came equipped with.  I feel as though my buttocks being a gripped in a vice.  The only good part of this is the channel with Audio Visions “New Age” music I have found on the aircrafts in-flight entertainment network.  I can get very lost with soft, ethereal music going into my ears; however, the older I get, the less fun this air travel stuff is.

I am on my way to my company’s headquarters for what is called a “Managers’ Meeting.”  Me and my compatriots are being assembled from around the far reaches of the United States for a meeting of the minds: we are being asked to be brutally honest and tell “real management” what this company needs to do to increase sales overall.  Hmmm?

Brutally honest does not mean we get to be brutally honest.  My company has always had a non-written, though tacit, policy of avoiding the negative.  So here’s the conundrum, do I go in being honest to a fault and save my vice-gripped ass, or do I open up from the heart and let it all out?

In the old days, before I found my voice (the result of the Red-Black Game - but don’t ask, for I won’t tell) would have had me sit in the back of the room or in the place where I might be least noticed and probably not called on, and you just know I never volunteered.  Today it is a little different.  After twenty-five years with the company, twenty-two as a sales manager, this boy from Baltimore with exactly twenty-two college credits has a voice, and without sounding braggadocios, a respected voice.  Nowadays when this boy speaks, people do listen.  My new voice does come from the heart and suggests alternatives solely based on the theory of “win-win.”  I cannot abide by winning if someone loses at any of the games of life.

I suppose some of that comes with age and tenure, but a huge difference these days is that I use my voice, and more importantly to me, I step up and I step in.  We Millennium folk like to call that “committed action.”

And that is all I have to say about that…   

 
Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Call from Albuquerque

01/27/2008

Friday evening found me to be exhausted.  After about eight o’clock I found it almost impossible to keep my eyes open.  The shows on TV offered nothing interesting and even my favorite, The Food Network, didn’t do the trick; my eyes kept closing.  Reading anything was completely out of the question.  It would have put me to sleep in minutes.  After struggling to stay awake until 9:30, I finally succumbed and announced to The Nancy I was going to bed.  It didn’t take very long after my head hit my pillow and I was fast asleep.

I was brought out of a deep sleep by the sound of a ringing phone, and after a few moments of my groggy mind evaluating the source of it, I realized my wife was answering the phone.  My first inclination was to partially open my eyes and take a gander at the clock on my nightstand.  It read “1:05.”  My first thought was who the hell could it be at this ungodly hour, and I hope this isn’t bad news.  Well, I should have guessed.  The call was from one of my all time, best of friends.  The call was from Dale and he was calling to tell me he loves me.

Dale lives in Albuquerque.  I have known him and his wife Judy for a little over three years.  Dale and Judy and The Nancy and I have become very close.  Dale is my mentor, my friend, my father, my uncle and my son.  We have shared a lot.  He says I saved his life, and he has certainly inspired mine.  Dale makes me happy as soon as I hear his voice on the phone, and this time, in the middle of the night, was no exception.  I awakened instantly with a smile covering my face.

He and Judy were sitting, no doubt, at a table in their kitchen with a couple of other our mutual friends (more like family) and I got to speak with each of the four of them.  We shared heartfelt “I love yous” and “I wish you were heres” and had the call gone on much longer I might have been in tears.  These are people I love and love to be with, and they took time to call me to express the same sentiment.  Money will not buy that.

I have written this before, but here it is again.  Live While You Are Alive.  If there is someone in your life that has inspired you, raised you, consoled you, loved you or is someone you adore for whatever reason, please, do not miss the opportunity to tell them you love them, and if that is too hard for you, just let them know they are very special in some way that is very special to you.  Life is too short for drama & petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly.  Forgive now those who made you cry.  You might not get a second time.


And that is all I have to say about that…

 
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Honesty is, Afterall, a Good Policy…

01/16/2008

So here I sit on United Airlines flight 207 somewhere over the mid-west loving not a single minute of this five-hour, forty-minute excursion to Los Angeles.  I’ve popped off a hundred or so pages of Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth,” had a Diet Coke, a bag of nuts, ate a six-inch, very nasty something or other from Subway (the worst sandwich company in the world - Subway is to sandwiches what Bud is to beer) called a Breakfast Omelet Sandwich, and already made two trips to the restroom.  The seat I am in, though charged for and receiving extra leg room, is still not designed for fat posteriors, such as the one I came equipped with, to take long trips in.  I feel as though my buttocks being a gripped in a vice.  The only good part of this is the Audio Visions “New Age” music channel I have found on the aircrafts in-flight entertainment network.  The older I get, the less fun this travel stuff is.

I am on my way to my company’s headquarters for what is called a “Managers’ Meeting.”  Me and my compatriots are being assembled from around the far reaches of the United States for a meeting of the minds: we are being asked to be brutally honest and tell “real management” what this company needs to do to increase sales overall.  Hmmm?

Brutally honest does not mean we get to be brutally honest.  My company has always had a non-written, though tacit, policy of avoiding the negative.  So here’s the conundrum, do I go in being honest to a fault and save my vice-gripped ass, or do I open up from the heart and let it all out?

In the old days, before I found my voice (the result of the Red-Black Game, but don’t ask, for I won’t tell) would have had me sit in the back of the room or in the place where I might be least noticed and probably not called on, and you just know I never volunteered.  Today it is a little different.  After twenty-five years with the company, twenty-two as a sales manager, this boy from Baltimore with exactly twenty-two college credits and former poster boy of underachievement, has a voice and without sounding braggadocios, a respected voice.  Nowadays when this boy speaks, people listen.

I suppose some of that comes with age and tenure, but a huge difference these days, having found my voice, is that I use it, and more importantly to me, I step up and I step in.  We Millennium folk like to call that “committed action.”

And that is all I have to say about that…   

 
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >