Saturday, January 1, 2011

10 Things I learned in 2010

Lesson 1:

Anyone who holds a conversation with you and tells you with every other breath what a great Christian they are, watch your back. I had a client this past year with whom I had that experience. They tried to throw me under the bus on a deal, yet all the while telling me how close they were to Jesus. Don't listen so much to what they say. Just watch what they do.

Lesson 2

If you are healthy then give mucho thanks. My wife came within 24 hours of the pearly gates this past spring. After almost 6 weeks in the hospital at a cost of $250,000 and now many months of trying to come back she is still not where she was before. She is trying hard and is still here. Life is very, very hard without your health.

Lesson 3

I saw a great bumper sticker this year. It said "Wag more, bark less." Isn't that a wonderful idea? We naturally like to grouse and complain, at least I do. We should try very hard to be a bit more positive and way less negative.

Lesson 4

There is still independence in the citizenry of this country. The tea party movement was a real deal. We sent a 24 year vetted Congressman home here in North Florida because he got on the wrong side of the tea party. That scenario was replicated all over America. The will of the people is still something to be reckoned with.

Lesson 5

Friends are hard to find. I discovered this year that people who I would have thought would stand up and fight with me over nearly any issue that was important to me can toss you aside and never even return your phone calls. You are lucky if you have 2 or 3 people whom you can call friend. Most of those you can truly count on come from the midst of your own family. Be nice to people in general but lean on those 2 or 3 that are closest.

Lesson 6

Hang out with 2 and 3 year olds more. I was having a particularly hard day this past year. I went to see my 2 year old grandson, Benjamin. I found him out in his driveway playing with his cars. His favorite is 'Mater from the movie "Cars". I was telling him about my bad day and he looked at me and said, " Go fast, Pop." He then roared off down the driveway pushing 'Mater as fast as he could. He was consumed with enthusiasm and happiness. Nothing seemed to worry him. I have tried to remember that attitude when the sledding gets rough.

Lesson 7

This recession we are in is seriously real. In my business I have seen more and more people who have had to reinvent themselves and move on to something new. I know dozens of people who have lost their homes, jobs, life savings and their joy and happiness. This recession is real.

Lesson 8

Things change. That beautiful young lady you knew back in college is just as old and wrinkled and most likely as unattractive as you are. She has changed. If you have not kept up with technology you are out of touch and unless you make some herculean adjustments you will remain out of touch. The music that young people like nowadays is not going to do it for you. Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson and Elvis are dead. Things change. Adopt it or get run over by it.

Lesson 9

Sometimes you have to die to get better. I lost one of the best friends I ever had this past year to cancer. He was just shy of 60. I had known him for 6 years. He was
a soulmate. I and others stayed with him as the cancer began to eat him away. He fought it as courageously as is possible. In the end he labored for every breath and groaned in agony. The only way for him to get better was for him to die. I was in his presence after he died. He was peaceful and serene. Sometimes you have to die to get better.

Lesson 10

You need to go on vacation. Two of the high points of this past year were a trip to Savannah with my wife back in January. It was record cold. We were about the only people there and had Savannah almost to ourselves. We stayed 4 nights in a bed and breakfast before she got so sick. We watched 'Bama win the national football Championship from that B&B. Into the summer the whole family spent a week on the banks of the Tuckaseegee river in a mountain home in Sylva North Carolina. It was a week of playing with the little ones, laughing and watching movies and playing board games and of course eating lots of chow. This was after my wife's illness and it was restorative for all of us, especially her.

1 comment:

Cory said...

Wow - those are some serious life lessons! I like #3 the best.

Hope all is going well - congrats on the new addition to the family.