Note: this is the second of three blogs this week, one for each of my last three days in the Adirondack Mountains this year.
Remember as a kid when you’d chant, “2-4-6-8”, followed by “who do we appreciate”? Then you’d name your parents, a teacher, a friend, or maybe a school or team. Kids always had chants, and taunts, and things they mimicked as though they were cool. The good news is we outgrew those things – sort of.
I’ve got an old Jeep we leave here in the mountains: it came from Las Vegas and between the weather there and the fact it’s never been out in the winter here, it’s never seen bad weather. Hopefully it will last forever. So when I saw the speedometer change to 124,680 miles, that old chant came back to me like it was yesterday.
Fact is I appreciate this old car, and the trustworthy mechanic who keeps it running. I also appreciate the old friends and familiar places around here that renew my spirits every year, these mountains and their unchanging ways that keep me grounded, and the family and friends that always reminds me where I came from. And I appreciate the fact that I’m still here to enjoy it all.
Every time I get into our Jeep for the first time after coming back here each year - with it’s seats that have contoured to us, and the familiar squeaks and loose steering - I get re-centered after another year out there, there being almost anywhere but here in the Adirondack Mountains. This place is so the opposite of Las Vegas - no lights, no traffic, no people, and no cell phone coverage – we come here to get away from all of that. And to get another dose of who we are, where we came from, and what we believe.
Everybody needs to find a place and take the time to get back to who and what they really are. We all need to re-boot ourselves and get re-grounded, to realize what’s really important, to appreciate all that we have, and to make sure we’re prepared for all the tomorrows that lie ahead. Life if busy and fast, and unless we take time to do these kinds of things we just might miss what’s important.
So: 2-4-6-8, what do I appreciate? This little spot of paradise in the middle of nowhere, and all that it makes me remember and appreciate.
My message this week is about sticking with the things that matter:
“A friend who will never fail is the one who will stand by you regardless of the situation, time or location.” Ellen J. Barrier
How many friends do you have who will stand by you? Not just the ones who are there when things are good, but also the ones who are there no matter what. Not just the ones who want or need something, but also those who want nothing more than your friendship. Not just the ones who are there only when you’re right, but also the ones who forgive and forget when you’re wrong. A true friend never fails to stand by you regardless of the situation, time or location. That’s called loyalty: something real friends, and you, give without any second thoughts because it’s earned and deserved. These are the kinds of friends and colleagues you want to cultivate and have: they give straight answers, honest feedback, and unconditional support. Stand by others for the right reasons if you want them to stand by you today!