Monday, May 13, 2013

How Time Flies

                           How Time Flies
21 months ago when our daughter told us she was going to have her first child, all we could think about was becoming grandparents.  12 months ago when Olive was born we said we didn’t want to miss any of the stages of her growing up. And this weekend at her 1st birthday party, we realized how time flies.

Even though we started the process of moving back to Las Vegas all those months ago, it wasn’t until just recently that we completed the move and began the daily observations of how quickly kids grow and learn and change.  And now we’re figuratively kicking ourselves for not moving faster.

But it’s not so easy to move quickly, and I don’t just mean the process of physically moving.  Thinking, planning and moving towards the future are difficult when houses have to be bought and sold, things to do have to be arranged and organized, and habits have to be changed and revised. We all talk about change and what it takes to accomplish it, but deep down we drag our feet when change is imminent.  Whether in an organization, a family or in ourselves, we hold onto the past and all that we know about it, and hesitantly and reluctantly squint at and move towards the future.

But once we get through any of life’s changes, it’s usually hard to understand what the reticence and anxiety were all about.  Once we see the opportunities and experience the excitement that the future holds we are shocked at the foolishness that led to dragging our feet in the first place.  And in this case, once we saw how much Olive had and continues to grow we knew that we had to change our whole mindset in order to keep up with our grand-parenting interests and responsibilities. 

So we’ve now learned all over again how important it is to understand what’s needed in life and to quickly get on with getting there.  Olive is 1, and we now realize how important it is to be there for and be a part of every one of her days.  And hold on: her parents just announced that soon Olive is going to be a big sister!  So it’s good that we’re already here and now won’t have to miss any of our next grandchild’s days of growing and learning.  The moral of this story: change is good.  Because life together with family is good!

My message this week is about the timeliness of acting on our goals:

“Have a bias toward action - let's see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.” Indira Gandhi

Professionals always have a plan!  They are deliberate and disciplined, and that helps them to succeed.  Like a carpenter who “measures twice and cuts once”: simple, straight-forward and assured gets the job done right.  So, do you have a plan?  Doesn’t matter if it’s for something big or small – everything goes better when it’s planned.  And while it’s good to know exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, it’s also important to sweat the small stuff: break the big plan into small steps and then take the first step right away.  After that, re-look at the plan often and amend it as needed from all that you learn along the way.  Remember: if you want to do something – make a plan now and have a bias towards action.  Be prepared and active today!

Stay well!                            

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Moving Day

                         Moving Day
Ok – I promise – only one more ARTicle about moving and then I’ll move on. Moving day finally came last week and everything had to get put in boxes so the truck could take it all away.  Easier said than done!

We lived in a small apartment in Brooklyn for only 2 years, but you’d have thought it was much longer.  The big stuff was easy – large handfuls of clothes and books go into big boxes, sealed up with that tape that is nearly impossible to get started off the roll and to cut. The desk, the vacuum cleaner, pillows and bedding, towels – a piece of cake.  But where did all that stuff in the drawers come from?

When we moved in we made a conscious decision that we wouldn’t hoard – right!  But then there were matches from favorite restaurants, cards from people we met, spare change, quickly written notes, paper clips, hair bands, erasers, spare keys, bills, notices, prospectuses, magazines, unopened mail, mail that might be useful, bar-coded cards from the super market loyalty programs, pens, a spare dog leash, addresses and phone numbers…’s endless.  And it seems the desire to save irrelevant and never-to-be-used stuff is stronger than the resolution not to.  Human nature has some weird habits.

My hands shook as I tried to just toss it all out…..and that led to handling each item and ruminating about it, which led to finally putting it into a small box marked “Miscellaneous”.  That seemed like a good compromise – NOT!  When the boxes arrived here in Las Vegas yesterday, that small box of miscellaneous items joined several (read: dozens) others all marked the same, some of which have made it unopened through multiple past moves.  Yikes – there’s no place for all this stuff (read: junk)! What if I just threw all the unopened boxes out?  I mean…if I haven’t touched or used any of that stuff in years, how important or useful could it be?

What is it that makes us want to save old stuff?  And does all that old stuff constrict our ability to learn and grow from the future (which will be filled in part with more stuff)? It’s only May, but I’m going to make a new New Year’s resolution not to hoard the small stuff anymore. And to give my soul a chance to soar unfettered by all the minutia that is meaningless.  Wish me luck!

My message this week is about continually trying to be the person I really want to be:

“I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” Michel de Montaigne

Do you care about yourself? Do you care how you look, about the kind of overall presentation you make, how others see you, or what others remember about you later – these are all how or what you are to others.  Do you also care about the kind of person you are, whether you choose right or wrong, giving of yourself even when the kindness is not returned, and living a righteous and humble life – these are what you see in and think about yourself. While it does matter what others think, it’s more important that you live up to your own goals and expectations because that determines what you are to yourself.  So make sure you do the things that make you proud of who and what you are today!

Stay well!