My neighbors and I have a great relationship. Part of that relationship includes the keeping of each others house keys in the event of assistance.
There have been multiple times that one of us required our dogs being fed or plants watered, and we always have friends available to do so.
Recently, I needed to find the keys for my next door neighbor. Turns out…I have a lot of keys.
There’s an old baseball saying that you are what the back of your baseball card says you are.
I started collecting baseball trading cards at about 9 years old. Baseball became my favorite sport at that time. I collected cards for about another 15 years before petering out, but still kept my collection.
While no longer my favorite sport, I still love baseball. The axiom about the back of the card still rings true.
Allow me to explain…
This past Saturday was Outbound Orientation for a group of high school students preparing to go on a year-long foreign exchange experience through Rotary. I’ve been involved in Rotary Youth Exchange since 1994, and find that this process exhilarating for all parties.
My job was to give a 45-minute presentation on being resilient. My goal is to make the session interactive by proposing ideas and then asking questions of the students.
At the conclusion, I always ask for what most resonated with each of them. I never cease to be amazed by the answers because very often, it’s not what I expected.
Several of the students mentioned to a point I made about midway through the presentation. The point was summarized in a brief bullet point stating,
“Always ask, what could go wrong OR right?”
“What if I leave the ball in the damn sand?”
As most of you know, I picked up a part-time job this Spring as the Boys Golf Coach at my local high school.
I was feeling good about my game going into the season. Over last summer, I dropped nine strokes off my handicap. I was primed to do some coaching.
And then I get on the driving range.
All of a sudden, a new pressure emerged. The opportunity to demonstrate as a coach is constant. Standing in front of either one or a group of players to hit a ball without having warmed up or hitting a few practice shots conjures up a few demons in one’s head. At least mine! I’m supposed to be good. I’m supposed to teach them! It’s a completely different and more demanding pressure than playing a round with my pals on a random Monday morning.
I recently played 9 holes with my golf coach. While practicing in front of a simulator to work on my golf swing is good, it’s even better to get on the course and have a playing lesson.
Eric didn’t coach me at all during the round; rather he simply asked me questions and took a lot of notes. He’d ask me to talk about my strategy for each shot, where I was aiming, and why I was choosing certain clubs to use in different situations.
At the conclusion, we walked off the course and he gave me his feedback.
While overall he had some good things to day, he didn’t hold back in giving me a less than flattering grade, “I’m giving you a D in one area – alignment.”
Today marks my mother’s 98th birthday. Yes, she passed away just over seven years ago but that makes it no less her birthday. And this date still resonates with me even though she’s no longer with us in body, yet still in memory.
As much as my memory recalls the days of my youth when Mom was younger, I still will default back to the final five years of her life when she battled dementia. In retrospect, my guess is we battled it more than she did. At some point, she didn’t understand that she even had it, but we sure did.
Mom lived with Barb and me for two years after Dad died, and before we moved her to a memory care location when it became too much for our “skills” to take care of her. Too often, I harken back to times where my struggle with patience, empathy, and kindness were tested. And the number of times I flat out failed!
This afternoon (Friday, March 25th) at about 2:45 we said goodbye to our beloved Captain Jack. The picture below is the last one we took together.
He insisted on scribing his own obituary. It’s below.
We thank you in advance for your kind words of friendship and support. This has been a difficult couple days for us. We embrace that we had our time together and celebrate his life.
This past week has been an active one in NFL Free Agency. If you follow the National Football League like I do, you may experience the same level of anticipation and excitement.
There have been numerous transactions involving quarterbacks. Teams have signed and traded away and for their “field general,” referred to in the league as QB1. For those that don’t follow the game, that’s the first-string quarterback.
Here in my city, the Seahawks traded their franchise quarterback over the last decade, Russell Wilson. Green Bay signed Aaron Rodgers to a contract that will likely keep him on that team for the rest of his career. The Browns made a blockbuster trade to acquire DeShaun Watson, in spite of civil litigation pending against him. And just the other day, Tom Brady at age 44 came out of about a 30-day “retirement” to return to Tampa Bay. Each of these organizations were desperate to find the right person to move their teams forward both now and into the future.
What does this have to do with business?
“Pops, I think this is the most fun thing I do with you…”
These words were spoken by my 4-year old granddaughter Ellie as we were taking a walk through the neighborhood. It was the sweetest thing I could ever hear.
Her sister Maddie had started out with us, but the precocious 3-year old made a business decision in the nippy weather and decided quickly to return to the warm living room with Barb and the dogs.
It dawned on me that this was the exact same sidewalk stroll I had regularly made with my mother about a decade ago.