Time – Life’s one-way street…

June 12, 2015

Yesterday I got a “like” message from Chris Nicholas, an Australian author. I visited his blog as I do just with just about everybody who takes the time to comment on my blog or “like” it. While there I was introduced to a word that I had not heard or used before –  Thanatophobia. Chris has a nice post about that word and its meaning in his life, which you can read here. Basically Thanatophobia is an overwhelming anxiety about one’s own death. Perhaps it is brought about by the realization that time is a one-way street.

overwhelmedThe name Thanatophobia is made from the Greek figure of death known as Thanatos. Thanatophibia or death anxiety is the morbid, abnormal or persistent fear of one’s own mortality. One definition of death anxiety is a “feeling of dread, apprehension or solicitude (anxiety) when one thinks of the process of dying, or ceasing to ‘be’”. It is distinguished from necrophobia, which is a specific fear of dead or dying persons and/or things (i.e. others who are dead or dying, not one’s own death or dying).

I suspect that we all experience some form of Thanatophobia in our lives. Hopefully it is mild and fleeting for you and not debilitating. The thing that I think may often precede those thoughts about our own death is the point in time in our lives that we come to the realization that time is a one way street. There is no going back in time. One may try again, but that is not a do-over because time has passed and one cannot get back to a previous state in time. Once you wrap your head around that concept the next thing that pops to mind is that our time, the time we have here in this human state, is limited. There was a beginning (which few of us remember much about) and there will be an end (which none of us can predict). Time is life’s one-way street. No matter how many twists and turns your life may take, time marches on in a straight line and headed towards that inevitable end point.

I suspect that it was this realization that at some point in history caused man to invent modern religions. Before that what might have passed for religion in mankind was more a fear of and wonderment about Nature and the events going on around them. The initial “religions” of mankind didn’t seem to assign human characteristics to the great unknowns praying in different religionsthat they feared or worshiped. It didn’t take too long before man’s growing ego about his place in the world began to be reflected in his religions and he bagan assigning names and human faces and characteristics to the Gods that he imagined – Gods which by then had taken on human visages in many religions.

The next step was man’s need to believe in some role for himself (again an ego-driven thing) after death, which led to the creation of very complex scenarios for life after death. Most modern religions have those scenarios and many of them are very much driven by visions of the afterlife within the context of our current lives – only much better. Most of the afterlife explanations are also derived from male-dominated scenarios, i.e. I will have many wives and they will all be virgins. I can’t see how that would be considered to be heaven for the virgins involved. Perhaps having streets paved with gold and honey flowing like rivers would appeal to some, but may not be for everyone. Most religions, but not all, also settled on a single God, which allowed focus, as opposed to the multiple Gods religions which required worshiping all of them somehow.

So, we now have religions that are there to make us feel better about the end time – our own deaths – and to hold out the hope (a devout Christian would say the certainty) that there is something after death. Fortunately, the Gods that we’ve created look a lot like us so we don’t have to use much imagination to picture them or to depict them in paintings. They have also promised us some level of existence after death and once again made it more convenient for us by excluding those who, unlike us, don’t believe in them. After all, we wouldn’t want our heaven to get too crowded with all of those non-believers. To give the believers something to hold on to all of the modern religions have also created books which are believed to contain the words and wisdom of their Gods and religious leaders, although all of the books were written and edited by men. We have also created elaborate organizations called relions to promote and carry on our beliefs and built buildings in which to gather to worship our Gods. All of this made us feel better about ourselves; yet none of it changed the fact that time is a one-way street.

Is the anxiety about pour own deaths justified or have we created enough of a ruse for ourselves about life after death in our religions to bring us comfort? I suppose that is a question that each person must answer for themselves. My hand reaching for heavenpersonal philosophy is to try to focus more on living each day to its fullest and not to spend time or energy worrying about something that I can neither predict nor prevent. I choose to believe in life after death, but I temper that with a skeptical view that it will involve my physical body or that heaven will look just like earth only better. Making that choice to believe that some “essence” of me will live on after death is an ego thing, too, and I understand that. Still, it is more comforting to believe that than to spend what time I have worrying about death. Time is a one way street and I intend to travel it as far as I can and to spend my time enjoying the journey. At the end of the line, I hope that my faith is the transfer ticket that I believe it is for the next ride.

Have a great day today and don’t worry about tomorrow.

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” ― H.G. Wells

June 11, 2015

“Ambition is the path to success.  Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”  (Bill Bradley) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I would add to Bradley’s quote that “perseverance is the fuel that keeps the vehicle going”.  There are a number of quotes that have to do with people quitting when they are in reality just around the next corner from reaching their goal. They had the ambition and they may have been persistent in pursuing their goal for some time, but eventually theystruggle could not persevere through the setbacks that they hit along the way.

On the Dictionary.com site the word to persevere means to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly. In my real estate business life I tell would-be sellers that they need to mind their P’s and C’s. The three P’s of real estate are Price, Persistence and Perseverance. While the Realtor will provide useful information and market guidance to help the seller set the price, it is really up to them. After that they must be persistent in their efforts to keep the house ready to show at any time and they must persevere through what could be a long process, with potentially many disappointments when offers don’t materialized or work out.

The three C’s that are also their responsibility are Condition, Clutter and Cleanliness. They need to take care of the things that could detract from the marketability of the house, whether that be routine maintenance items or something bigger. Of course getting rid of clutter and keeping the place clean for a showing comes with the territory, too. I suspect that there is value in applying those same guidelines to life in general, by keeping yourself maintained (in good health and condition and looking presentable) and decluttering your life. I’m just going to assume that you keep yourself clean (literally and figuratively).

reaching goalAs I revisit the first sentence in today’s little saying I think that ambition is what turns dreams into goals and plans to achieve those goals. We all have dreams about getting somewhere in life or achieving some goals in life, but not everyone takes the next steps with those dreams and creates plans to achieve them (ambitions). Those plans are the road maps (the paths if you will) for how to get there (what you have to do) to achieve those dreams. There may be stops or turns along the way and those may be intermediate goals. Dreams that are never turned into ambitions are sometimes called pipe dreams.

Some people advise us to pray for what we want in life. I would advise that you pray for the perseverance needed to get what you want in life. Pray for the strength to work through adversity, to endure the pains and burdens that you may have to bear and for the belief in yourself that you will achieve your goals if you just work long enough and hard enough towards them. Instead of saying “Lord, do this for me”, pray instead, “Lord, give me the strength, the courage, the faith and the perseverance to do this myself.” Then, as you are on the journey towards achieving your ambitions; when your persistent efforts exhaust you; you’ll know who to turn to in order to refill your tank (to persevere).

Here’s a great little saying by Mary Anne Radmacher –  “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”  That is the courage to persevere. Have a great today and tomorrow.

When Life gets in the way…

June 10, 2015

As seen on a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “Reality has a way of intruding into one’s life.” (Joe Biden) Vice-President Biden recently lost his son Bo to brain cancer and has suffered other   big losses in his life.

I often use the little phrase “life gets in the way” as a way of explaining why I didn’t get something done or why I had to change my plans. Life is reality and reality is life and they do have a way of intruding and changing one’s plans.

We all tend to live in our own little worlds of hopes, dreams, plans and routines and very often all of those things are put man rushing
on hold when reality (life) gets in the way. I don’t know about you; but I tend to get annoyed if I’m late for some appointment or commitment. For me it seems important at the time to be on time; however, many times the thing that I’m rushing to get to or do isn’t really all that important and my wife will bring some reality into the situation by saying something like, “why hurry; what have you got to do for the rest of the day?” She’s usually right; whether I’m there right on time or a few minutes late will make no difference. Life gets in the way.

The other thing that happens often is that all of the careful plans that I may have spent hours worrying about go out the window if there’s even one small change or thing that I didn’t consider (which is often the case).  Over planning or over thinking situations is an unfortunate character trait that I seem to have passed on to my son. My wife is much more laid back, with a “whatever” attitude about most things in life (as is his wife, thankfully). I surrounded by sharksjust have trouble letting go of any perceived control and “going with the flow.” Life gets in the way.

I think the biggest problem that most of us have with the intrusiveness of life is the fact that we’re trying to live life as if we did have some control over it. At best, we have control over how we react to the things that the reality of life throws at us. It’s sort of like we’re over here living in our own little bubble (our perception of reality) and things (real life) keep poking at our bubble. We can choose to ignore some things (the things that don’t make it through our protective bubble); but some things break through and demand our attention. We have to stop what we were contentedly doing and deal with this new reality. Life gets in the way.

The things that may not make it through our protecting bubble could be things like racism or prejudices. We may think woman in a bubblethat we can ignore them and look the other way and continue to be content in our own reality. For many that seems to work as a day-to-day way to live their lives. Refusing to acknowledge that there are problems for them means not having to confront and deal with them. Occasionally one of those problems may break through because they hit too close to home – a racially motivated incident in our own town or perhaps witnessing directly the hate that can accompany prejudice. In those times we must react and find our own way to deal with the intrusion of this new reality. Life gets in the way.

I suspect that the main difference between those who might be called “regular people” and those labeled as “activists” is that the activists have dropped the pretense of life in a bubble and seek to confront and affect change in the realities of the life that they see around them. They have found that they cannot ignore the injustices that they can clearly see and have decided to take action. They have decided that when life gets in the way, they will find a way to change reality rather than just accept it. You have to admire that.

woman boxerSo, what will you do when life gets in the way and when reality intrudes on your life? At a minimum, you are in control of how you react and deal with the intrusion into your bubble. Will you try to turn away and ignore the intrusion, in hopes that it will just go away; or will you decide to take action and change the reality that you face. If you start each day with the attitude of “bring it on, I’m ready for whatever you’ve got”, you’ll be much better prepared for when life gets in the way.

Have a great day, but be ready for when life gets in the way.

Take the easy way out…

June 8, 2015

“When in doubt, tell the truth.”  (Mark Twain) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Jack went on to write –  I often use “Snopes” to determine whether or not something on the internet is true.  But, how do we determine if someone in our life is telling the truth?  Do we look for flaming trousers…or a Pinocchio nose?  M.T., in his quote, is not writing about others, he’s directing the words at us.  Life goes better when we tell the truth.  And there’s another benefit:  “If we tell the truth, we don’t need a good memory.”

I emphasize with my real estate clients that I believe in total transparency in our dealings. That involves not only hold to today’s little quote to tell the truth, but also to be totally honest with them and to not do anything behind their backs. You may be wondering why that would even be an issue. It has to do with how real estate transactions are conducted.

handshake2In real estate transactions there is usually no direct buyer-seller interaction until both parties get to the closing table. Everything up to that point usually goes through the two real estate agents involved (or one in those cases where one agent represents both sides). That means that the buyer sees the house with his/her agent and makes their subsequent offer through that agent. In the interim the buyer and their agent may have discussions about the market value of the house, based upon “Comps” that the buyer’s agent may find. In some cases the buyer may instruct his agent to try to discern what leeway there may be in the asking price. There is the potential for some back and forth between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent during this period and that agent-to-agent dialogue is where the opportunity for some shenanigans exists.

Sometime agents get so full of themselves that they decide that they know what’s best for their clients and don’t consultopinionated with them about what information may be exchanged with the other side. Even worse, sometimes the agents are so intent on closing a sale to make their commission that they forget about their clients best interests and do whatever is necessary to move the sale along. I’ve hit agents who do most of the negotiating on a sale without even talking to their clients – usually young, first-time buyers who have misplaced their trust in their “experienced agent.”

My business philosophy is that I’m an experienced facilitator of the sale and an educator of my clients. I understand the real estate sale process and  see my job as helping them understand all of the facts and alternatives at each decision point, so that they can make an informed decision. It is not my job to make those decisions for them. Total transparency is required in order to make that philosophy work. I can’t hold back information or tell them only a part of what I’ve said to the other agent. In fact I can’t say anything to the other side that does not reflect the desires or decisions that my client have made. I’m not buying the house; they are. To make sure that I follow that guideline, I always copy my clients in any and all emails that go back and forth to the other side.

Sometimes this commitment to transparency does slow the sale a bit, just due to the time it may take to communicate and educate about the decisions that need to be made or the consequences of those decisions. That’s OK with me. I think of a little saying by John Wooden during those times –

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

I don’t like do-overs or having to go back and correct mistakes or repair damage. The most efficient and easiest things to do is to do it right the first time and that means being totally open and honest throughout the transaction – being transparent.

friends holdi handsPerhaps being transparent is a good way to live life in general. At least, like Jack said in his post you don’t have to have a good memory. You don’t have to remember which “truth” you told the person that you’re currently with or whether you have been holding something back from them.  That’s not to say that you shouldn’t exercise some restraint in what and how you share things. Some people are known for being “blunt” with others and that is because they sometimes share too much, too honestly and too quickly. When someone asks, “Does this dress make me look fat?”; one doesn’t have to blurt out “Yes!” Saying something that is honest but less blunt, like “I’m not sure that the lines are right for you” or “It’s not as flattering as on you as that dress you had on last” is still being honest without being hurtful.

In the long run, true friends and even co-workers will come to value your truthfulness and strengthen their bond of friendship because they know that they can count on you to be honest with them. Establishing a bond based uponfreinds - 3 honesty and openness is an essential step towards eventually dropping your emotional shields and sharing your emotions and deepest thoughts. That happens in successful marriages and with those whom we are truly BFF’s.

So start each day with Mark Twain’s little saying in mind – “When in doubt, tell the truth.” – because you probably won’t get the opportunity to go back later and do it over. Have a great week ahead.

Don’t miss your life…

June 6, 2015

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  (From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

It’s Saturday; a time to rest from the week of work or maybe to just have some fun –or at least that’s the way it used to be. These days Saturdays, and for some Sunday’s too; have become days when we shift from the pressures and man with toolsrunning around of the week to the pressures and running around of the weekend. Many of us try to catch up with all of the things that we didn’t have time to get to during the week, because we were working so long and so hard. Maybe mowing the grass was put off during the week or making home repairs or grocery shopping or whatever. For whatever reason, for many the weekend has begun to feel almost like a second work week.

For another group – the ones with all of the toys – the weekend is a time to cram in as much use of those toys as possible; so, it is full of riding or boating or maybe playing sports. Whatever the activities, there is never a dull (or quiet) moment. Those with younger children may spend the entire weekend traveling to tournaments or competitions. These people rush around all weekend and end up exhausted on Monday morning.

So, many of us are living life in the fast lane seven days a week. We may be used to it and think nothing of it. That’s life, right? Not really. Someday many of these people will look back and see that the blur of activities that they thought was hamster wheeltheir life was nothing more than that – a blur. They’ll ask themselves, “What happened? How did I get so old and have so little to remember that is satisfying?” Of course, it’s easy to rationalize this all by trying to convince yourself that you just were doing what had to be done to get through life. That’s what you were doing – just getting through life. As Ferris Bueller might say, “Stop, look around, relax and enjoy your life and the people in it every now and then.”

I think the key to this is pausing to keep things in your life in perspective. What is more important to you, getting that report for work done over the weekend so that you might look like a hero at work or going to your child’s ball game so that you are a hero at home? Is taking your daughter to the father-daughter dance something that you’ll put off until father-daughter danceyou’re dancing with her at her wedding and wondering what happen to that little girl that you used to give horsy rides to on your leg? As you hug your son goodbye when he ships off to service in some foreign land something that you meant to do more often when he was growing up, but just never seemed to have the time for? Do you want to wake up one morning and realize that the beautiful bride that you’ve been working so hard to provide for is now gray haired and having trouble with stairs? Where did your life go while you weren’t looking? More importantly, why weren’t you looking and living in those moments that you’ve missed?

Take a hint from Ferris and take a day off every now and then to stop and look around and enjoy your life and those in it. Even better; start each day by mentally setting aside some time for the others in your lifer and for yourself. Don’t miss man relaxingyou own life. There will be no do-overs allowed. Life is not a contest to see how much you can cram into it; rather it is there to see how much you can get out of it. At the end of your life, no one will read in your obituary about what a great employee or business owner you were. The obits usually list that you were the loving spouse of, the loving parent of, the loved son/daughter brother/sister of… Make sure that this is a long list of people whom you loved and who loved you back and you will have been a success in life. Don’t miss your life.

Have a great and relaxing weekend doing things that you enjoy surrounded by those that you love. Work will wait  for you to get back, life won’t.

What kind of pictures do you paint?

June 5, 2015

“Words are but pictures of our thoughts.”  (John Dryden), as seen on a recent blog post at the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

There is another old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. I wonder how many words it takes to draw a picture of our thoughts? The folks who are into it might say just two (see 2wordstory.com); but I’m not sure that I would agree that those two words tell a story, so much as they evoke a story in people’s minds; each story a different reaction or memory keyed off by those two words,  I suspect.

If words do represent pictures of our thoughts, what must people think us when we spew vitriolic words or perhapsdumb blob guy when say really stupid things? What picture comes to their mind if we misuse words or speak mainly in monosyllables? If people thought we might not be all that bright to begin with, why open our mouths and draw them a picture that removes all doubt about that? Even people with strange accents can draw pictures with their words that paint them as being intelligent or thoughtful or kind. However, those whose accents mimic ours cannot long hide their level of ignorance, thoughtlessness or gracelessness if they paint those pictures with their words.

So, choose your words well before or as you speak, because once out there the picture that they paint of you is hard to erase or cover over. Your words might be perceived as beautiful images of the thoughts of someone that we’d like to get to know better or as the crass graffiti of someone that we’d like to avoid. The pictures that you draw with your words are up to you; but, what they are seen as by others is up to them. opinionatedFilth looks as bad in a picture as it sounds coming out of your mouth. The color pallet of hate is as dark and red as the thoughts that are behind it. None of the pictures drawn by words of bigotry, racism, homophobia or intolerance may be made pretty by trying to wrap them in words about religion and beliefs. To steal and paraphrase a line from the movie  Forest Gump – Ugly is as ugly says.

The secret to success in painting great verbal pictures may well lie in the sequence behind the little saying. If words are but pictures that we paint based upon our thoughts; then we need to get out thoughts in the right place first and then the right words will naturally follow. That can start with trying to start each day in a positive frame of mind. That will shove a whole lot of negative words into the background. Eventually, if you don’t use them for a while, maybe they’ll drop off into the bit-bucket and out of your vocabulary. As they drop off, try finding and adding new, more positive and upbeat words to add.

Soon you may noticegirl with smile picture that the verbal pallet that you are painting your pictures from is bright and cheery. You will likely also notice that many more people are interested in the pictures that you now paint. How much nicer it is to be known as someone who is “well spoken” than to be labeled a “potty mouth” or worse. It’s not that hard; but, you do have to stay in sequence – think before you start painting your verbal pictures.

Have a great day and a great weekend. Try to paint some pictures that will make others happy and they will like what they see and think better of you.

Trying to be cool isn’t cool…

June 4, 2015

As I’ve gotten older I’ve become a lot more aware and a little bit more comfortable with the fact that I will never be “cool” in the old sense of that word. I’m neither a fashion setter nor even trendy and I’ve gotten comfortable with that too. smiling manWhile I associate with quite a few younger people in my day-today life, I also realize that they have completely different tastes and, even if I wanted to, trying to “hang with them” isn’t really going to make me cool either.

It needn’t take a lifetime to realize that trying to emulate someone else or compromising your own values to try to fit in with a different group of people is a waste of your time. You need to become comfortable with who you are and stay true to that, no matter who you choose to hang with from time to time. Steve Jobs put it well when he said,

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

 The funny thing is that most of the people who are living the life that you are trying to emulate are following Steve’s advice. You may see them as leaders or just as cool people, but most of them just see themselves as normal people who are pursuing their dreams.

exclusionIt’s true that you will hit little cliques of people (usually younger and many times in school) who have all adopted some set of characteristics, like dressing a certain way or talking a certain way; however, they aren’t really cool. Quite the opposite; they are so insecure and unsure of themselves that they have sought refuge in their charade of being cool. The fact that they band together and often make a show of excluding others is actually proof of how insecure they are about themselves. They almost always quickly become caricatures of the cool people that they think they are portraying.

So, if being “one of them” isn’t cool, what is?  Maybe you should try “being the only one of me” instead. Like yourself first andConfidence isothers will like you, too. Be happy with who you are, with your unique talents and outlook on life. Create your own “style”. Wear what appeals to you, not necessarily what “everyone else” is wearing. Do the things that interest you and don’t worry about “what everyone else is doing.” Hang around a variety of people and try to learn from each person or group. Make decisions based upon your own moral compass, not based upon what everybody else is doing.

Finally, don’t try to be cool. Coolness comes from self-confidence not from being a follower. You might be surprised that others are attracted to you, just because you are content just being yourself.

Follow your heart. That’s cool. Have a great day.

Make today your DIY project…

June 3, 2015

“I hope that everyone that is reading this is having a really good day.  And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that.”  (Gillian Anderson) – As seen recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Gillian’s advice focus attention on the fact that only you can change the way the day is going and your attitude and reaction to the events that are unfolding in front of you. You may choose to shrink down into a fetal ball and cry or wail overwhelmed“Woe is me” or you can decide to take action to change things – starting with your response to events. Sometimes we confuse a flurry of activity with actually accomplishing something, when all that it does is take our mind off things for a short while. There’s a little saying about that – “When in trouble or in doubt; run in circles, scream and shout.” That may sound funny to read, but that is what many of us do (at least emotionally) in a crisis. Accept the fact that in order to make things better, you must Do It Yourself (DIY).

So, today’s advice is about dealing with what life throws what you and changing how you let it affect you. There’s a little personal safety ditty about what to do if you should somehow catch fire (your clothing, I presume) – it goes “Stop, Drop and Roll”. Apparently, the initial reaction for many who catch fire might be to run, which only fans the flames more. So stopping rather than running is a good first step. The drop and roll advice is the way to smother the fire by taking away its air source. DIY.

thinking womanIn the normal day to day world we seldom catch fire; however, there are things that can burn us, whether they are work related or personal. Sometimes out initial reaction may be to run away from those things or maybe to run our mouths in reaction to them. Perhaps we should adopt a variation of the fire advice and “Pause, Think and Act”. DIY.

The first thing to do is to stop; to pause and let the event sink in a bit while you take step two which is thinking. The tendency to react to things too quickly usually gets us into more trouble. Lashing back at something or someone, whether physically or verbally, seldom does anything but add to the problem. Stopping to give yourself time to think allows you to formulate a proper response to things and not just a knee-jerk reaction. Sometimes, if the event involves another person, pausing also gives them a moment to reflect on what they just said or did and it gives them time to quickly apologize before you react. DIY.

The next step is thinking about how to react to the event. Perhaps making an effort to better understand what just happened or what caused it can help. Maybe saying, “Wow, I didn’t know that you felt that way” or “What brought that loving coupleon; was it something that I did?” will give the other party a chance to explain their own outburst or action. It is important to understand that for the other person, there is a perception of reality that you currently don’t get. They see things differently than you do at that moment. Neither one of you are necessarily right or wrong, just on different wavelengths at that moment. Finding a way to a common understanding of the issues is the first step to resolving the difference. So now you’re thinking. DIY.

The next step – the “Act” part – is the first important step to resolving the issues. It is important that you act instead of react. Reacting to situations, unless you are very well trained and experienced in just such events, is almost always a self-protective move. You are punched, so you punch back. You are insulted, so you insult back. You are hurt, so you try to hurt back. Rather than react in those self-protective ways; having paused and thought about it, it is better to act in a way that will result in a more positive outcome. Maybe that will be to turn the other cheek. Maybe it will be not to take the bait of an insult or a hurtful remark. Perhaps it is as simple as asking yourself, “How can I make this better?” DIY.

painted into cornerIt is not easy to always follow this advice, but I think that if you practice it on some of the simple things that you run into on a daily basis it will start to ingrain itself in you such that the little “Stop, Think, Act” ditty will pop into your mind when you hit a problem. When that happens you are in control. It may not make getting through some issues any easier, but it won’t make them any harder, which is what your old way of thinking may have done.  You’ll also feel a little better if you start out with the thought “I’ve got control of  this” in mind, rather than just panicking. DIY.

Like Gillian, I hope that you’ll have a great day, too; however, if things aren’t going the way you’d like them to remember to Pause, Think and Act. DIY.

We all understand the lyrics sometime…

June 2, 2015

“In good times, we enjoy the music.  In hard times, we understand the lyrics.”  (Unknown), from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

This is one of those “ain’t that the truth” sayings. Much of the music that we hear and enjoy for the beat or sound listening to musiccontains lyrics that are about hard times – a relationship gone bad, the loss of a loved one or just being down on one’s luck. That seems to be especially true of Country music. It seems that all of the cowboys, farmers, truck drivers, waitresses, wives and girlfriends who’ve been cheated on,  and others referred to in those Country songs had hardscrabble lives (or so they want you to believe).  And who doesn’t relate the religious songs “Rock of Ages” or “Amazing Grace” with some funerals that we’ve attended?

Sometimes I can’t tell what the words are to a song, especially some of the newer songs. If I really want to know I can always Google them and find the lyrics on line somewhere. I vividly remember how apropos the lyrics of Paul McCartney’s song “Yesterday” were to my first college sweetheart breakup. That song captured perfectly the feeling of loss brought on by that event. A little later, in a college bar, with “Hang on man dancingSloopy” blasting in the background, I met the women who was to be my wife for 50 years. I didn’t care about the lyrics, it was just a great song that made everybody feel good (especially those who had been in the bar for a while).

Since then there have been a few songs that just seemed to fit the occasion or moment for us, as we had a life together – mostly they’ve been happy songs, songs about love and devotion; but, there have been a few “Rock of Ages” moments and more than a few “Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This” times. Through it all there were songs that reinforced the reasons for staying together and fighting our way through whatever adversity we faced. Sometimes those just played in the background like elevator music and sometimes they reached a crescendo at just the right time to help. Now, as our lives reach a mellow age, songs like John Legend’s “All of Me” listening toi musichave greater meaning.

What songs have had meaning in your life? Are there sad songs and happy songs that go along with events and milestones for you? Do you know and understand the words to those songs? How do these songs move you when you think about them. Which ones make you smile? Maybe those are th ones to keep in mind. It’s OK to just be moved by the beat, but someday, when your life starts to slow down a bit, you’ll want to understand the lyrics too. The good news is that, by then, you’ll be mature enough to actually do that.

Have a great day and rest of your week and tune into the lyrics on a few songs.