Salad and Spreadsheets

What did I wake up to yesterday? Salad and spreadsheets on my mind, and thus the day began. And a pork chop, couldn’t forget the pork chop I was to make that evening. My mind was clicking from the moment I woke up. Lots to do, lots to do.

And?

The salad turned out to be tasty. The spreadsheets did what they were supposed to.

All good. And that’s…?

GOOD.

Finally, twelve hours later, the pork chop turned out to be muy delicioso…first time making it too. NICE.

Lesson? Don’t fret if your mind starts racing. Pull it back with a few deep breaths and maybe a list if needed.

And then? Ah yes, that common refrain:

GET AFTER IT.

Simple Suggestions

Boiling life down into bite-size bits and basic ideas we can learn and hold on to day-in, day-out? Might just be a superpower secret to living a good and happy life. These are concepts we should not only live by everyday, but pass along to those around us, especially our children, if we have them.

One of my favorite people and friend for more than 30 years lives by simple principles. He’s the father of five kids. He’s a successful business person, self-made.

These simple suggestions can make a big impact, if you remember to follow them, apply them each day.

“Life is easy,” he likes to say to his kids (and others)…

1/ Make a friend.

2/ Stand up for someone who needs it.

3/ Smile.

And then there are three more below from my kids’ elementary school. The ethos of the school might be summarized thus; it lists what should guide the students’ behavior everyday.

They call them “The Three B’s:”

Be Respectful.

Be Responsible.

Be Safe.

Gettaway

Lucky for the little things. Lucky to be married to a great human, smart and patient and beautiful and thoughtful. Eleven years married, a mark we just passed.

And so we’ve got a little gettaway planned. Nothing fancy, but it happens to be my favorite format: short escape to a place not far away, but quite different than the usual, all the same. In the shadows, to the north, looms gray-green San Pedro Mountain and inland hulks pristine Montara Mountain.

And it’s a chance to be just the two of us, rather than we five as we usually are, when we’re with our three kids too. Lucky to have this little escape.

An overnight on the coast, a couple hikes, a nice dinner, just the two of us, so fortunate, so blessed.

A gettaway, what a nice treat.

Sky, Clouds, Trees

What We Do

What do we do when we’re married? What do we do when we’re parents? What do we do after a long day, a long week?

We take care of business, that’s what we do. We go to the practice, we wash the dishes, we’re sociable, even if maybe we’re not feeling it. Who knows, it might be a good conversation…

It’s how we act, the choices we make when we’re tired, when we’re done, when we’ve had enough, or maybe too much, when the decision’s hard, what do we do?

Sometimes we fail, maybe more often than not. We make the wrong choice, we’re lazy, we give in, we take the easy path, selfish and weak.

But maybe, just maybe, if we really dig in, we can make that tougher choice now and again. We can do the chore, talk the talk, walk the walk right down that ol’ path, the higher road waiting if we give it a chance.

If we make that tough call at the moment of truth, have the courage to face that fear from our youth, that thing we thought gone, but waiting instead, ready to blow up inside of our head…

If we face that fear, if we set in to do what we know we should do, we might just find then, that we can do it again. And again, and again, and again, AMEN.

Good Peeps

There are many people we meet throughout our life. Some we’ll be friendly with. A few will become good friends. Life-long even, if we’re lucky.

And there are those folks we see seldom, they live too far away, or are living busy lives like many (all?) of us are. Consumed by the day-to-day, week-to-week responsibilities and interests and fast-paced world, it’s difficult to make “extra” time for others outside our immediate sphere.

But then we get lucky. We find a sliver, a segment of time that’s FREE!, and the starts align, and the other person can do the same. And then maybe magic happens. We’re able to reconnect easily with another because of common values and maybe experiences and certainly mutual affection and appreciation, we slide ride back into easy convo even if it’s been a long while since you last saw one another.

My family had the good fortune to reconnect with another family recently. They live in So. Cal.; we live in Nor. Cal. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. Didn’t matter. Our families are pretty much the same format: three kids, each fam; two girls each, one boy each; fun-loving and pretty easy-going and soul-full and intent on living the best family life we can. We adults catch up and swap stories; the kids get along ok, and play and live another day, like kids most often seem to do if given the chance.

And that sort of connection, that validation of relationship and history and commonality and appreciation? There’s really not much else in the world like it, I suggest. That sort of experience makes us happy and thankful and feeling lucky, at least it should. Because that sort of experience is special; being connected to other people is special.

One might argue that we humans are of course, social animals, so these connections are not unique, special, sacred. But I would say instead, these connections with others are what make our life experience worthwhile, adding depth and dimension and texture that makes us whole.

Pretty thankful for good peeps.