Thelma and Louise 2015
“Hey Volunteer – you want to help out this year”?
Up at 5:00 am and loaded with nothing but a steamy mug of coffee, an over-sized sweat shirt to keep the morning chill away –please drive yourself the required 13 miles down the curvy river road to your location. Soon other volunteers will be showing up to help you load the 1000’s of bags from the runners onto the waiting trucks that will haul them back to town to the next volunteer crew.
Volunteers wipe the sleep from your eyes and get busy helping to park buses
and utility vehicles, or help at the start of the race. Many of you volunteers will be busy the day before setting up the start and finish lines; handing out packets; running unending errands - only to turn around and be back out into the elements
the next morning. Come rain or shine the day is before us!
Volunteers will line the 13 mile course as marshal’s, trackers, water station aids, and even a Tiako drummer group will be available to help encourage the runners to continue the pace. The view along the route is spectacular, and there is personal satisfaction in knowing that there is a river bank location with your name on it after you're done. Now, get yourself a breakfast burrito and coffee at the Volunteer booth - let's get going!
Crossing that finish line is golden!
The finish line is filled with more volunteers happily greeting runners and quickly assessing run times. Runners are herded to aid stations which will help the tired but exuberant finishers. Need a massage? The volunteers got you covered. How about food to replenish those muscles and nurture hammered bones? Volunteers again.
The brew crew has a bubbly beer in the beer garden to help wash down the sweat and tears and ease those victory woes. Don't Judge!
Don’t forget all those folks who are walking the river roadway cleaning up debris, and those who help to tear down after the race. Those on emergency call and the organizers on the radios, to those carrying flags - they know the value of what they do. It's all for the REWARD. The real reward is self-satisfaction in knowing you’ve done something to contribute to a community event! An event that brings prominence to our little piece of property on this small planet called earth. Or better yet, that speck of red dirt called Moab Utah!
Volunteers from every walk of life show up to help. You have teachers, doctors, lawyers, honor society members, brewery folk, youth garden kids, and construction workers, democrats and republicans, and more. Why? Because they can. Because they care. It isn’t one person, but many. Each deserving and caring enough to “show up”. Have fun!
Just show up! Say YES! ..
Best part... the volunteer party!
All creativity was dismissed until it was needed by someone else: but by that time they had already put someone else's name on the idea.
In retrospect I have to say that my career hiccup was probably the best thing to ever happen to me. Being able to go out into the general population and meet and greet people on my own terms has been so rewarding. I’m alive again. It’s given me my sanity back, my compassion for others, and my awareness of just how short life is. I've found my voice - and I will tell you what I think.
Working under a dictator is not healthy for anyone. At some point you have to break free – and live for you. Work should never be overly controlling of your life nor continually depressing month end, year out. Work is work, but there are limits to acceptability. Sometimes you just have to walk away.
In retrospect I have to say that my career hiccup was probably the best thing to ever happen to me.
Things to help you overcome your career hiccup:
Maybe a few items above sound trivial. But until you have lost them in your life, you will never know how valuable they really are. Maybe you do know. Maybe you are walking that fine line between normal and not quite right. Something has been eating at your insides. Something "good" is missing.
Working for a living is different than living for work. Make the choice to be free of the squabbling and arrogant types. Set up an environment that fits your new happy-go-lucky life style, and breath.
Live life your way
It's not hard to image a time when you are sitting at your desk and the world is wonderful. You are on top of your game, coworkers respect you, your clients rely on you, and you get satisfaction from mostly everything you do. Life is good. The next day your world is shattered and left in ruin. Shaking your head you can’t believe what is happening around you, why it is happening to you, and who’s to blame. Something, or most likely someone sinister has just dug claws into your backside.
Being caught up in maliciousness behavior from those in authority, or fellow co-workers – it all hurts the same. The giant monster has just raised its ugly head, and it has a name; actually it has many names. Names like:
I assume you get the point all too well. What you don’t generally get is a way out of the situation. Especially when the situation presents you without any warning. What you need in these situations is a means to escape from the giant monster now beating at your door. Seriously who actually plans for sinister life changing events brought on by others?
Seriously who actually plans for sinister life changing events brought on by others?
I have learned to plan for these types of attacks on some scale, but not all. We all have those giant monsters that we have to face in our lifetimes. These giants come in all shapes and sizes. While they can look overpowering and can plague us until we see no hope in escaping them – we generally still have that inner
voice telling us to go on. Our giants often laugh in our faces, beating down at the walls we so carefully build up each day. Yet, that little voice can still be heard, ever so softly in the back ground saying, “keep going”.
Our giants often mock us and challenge us to come and defeat them. Shaken to the core we have to run for our lives, cower in fear, or meet the aggressor on their own terms. A lot of times the giant monsters are the comedians in the crowd, the know it all’s, and the blow-hard. But not always, sometimes they are the quiet individual who is cold and calculating – so know your monsters.
Once in a while life does throw us a bone and identifies a pathway out. A pathway leading to triumph over adversity and challenge. A pathway filled with a strategy which we use to bring about the defeat of the giant monsters we face. If you see this pathway “TAKE IT”. Stop making excuses it's time to take the giant monster down.
If you see this pathway “ TAKE IT”. Stop making excuses it's time to take the giant monster down.
I am not one who believes in keeping your enemies (giants) close. Rather, ignoring them and keeping them at a distance is much more calculating and doesn’t produce additional stress. Giving your enemy access to put their claws into you is a bad idea. Some enemies have no filters for their aggressions. They simply strike out whenever they want. There is no warning, no smoke signals – just volatile anger, and it can be over the simplest of things. Something as simple such as an IDEA, can set them off in your direction.
You may think you haven’t done anything wrong, and you probably are right. But if you think your enemy will be convinced of that fact, you are wasting your words. You can’t fix things either – that only antagonizes the enemy more. What I have learned is that the more you try to fix things the more the enemy sees those attempts as a way to undermine their position or status, and or it stirs up feelings of bitterness and expands the insecurity your enemy already has.
Some people just don’t have a “fix it” meter. They like controversy and if you feed into it – you give them power. Does that sound a little warped? It is, but that is how they operate. You can’t fix them - their meter is broken, or the dipstick comes up empty. All you can do is help yourself. Build in escape routes so you can survive another day.
Walk away and leave them alone.
Once you leave the office have nothing to do with your giant monster. Take a stance that you will become unresponsiveness to their bantering. Become so firm in that stance, to the point they no longer have any control over your thoughts and actions on the job or off. Don’t’ friend them on social media, volunteer at the same events, nor do luncheons for old time sake.
Fight your giant monsters where they live – in your head, in your office, in your school, or event. Plan for giant monster meetings if you have to go into one. Quickly trivialize their attempts to gain power over you. Just brush it off and ignore their challenges. Make sure you take the high road and they will become just another giant monster under the bed, and once they are there, you will be able to gently sweep them away.
Monsters be gone.
Picking a time in my past that was riddled with mistakes and completely altered my life course, I ponder on how things could have gone differently. We tend to focus only on the negative and often times allow that negativity to guide our present and future decisions. Unfortunately, this way of thinking doesn't help us resolve the conflicts or problems that haunt our memories.
If we use the past as a guide and look for the things that went right instead of focusing on the negative, we have a valuable tool at our disposal. Using what we know today and incorporating the positive things of the past helps us make better future decisions.
I recall a matter between an individual who was very close in the business sense as well as being a close friend. I trusted this person with my back in every sense. I knew he was going through an extreme amount of turmoil in his professional and family life. I too was caught up in my own personal life struggles. While we were very close, we really didn't know each other like we thought. If we could have looked at the struggles each of us was facing, together, we might have avoided a head-on clash of wills. A clash that would last for years. An unfortunate error called "being human".
We each had our own set of values for life, complete with it's checks and balances. But were those checks and balances flawed? Could either of us today remember the real story the way it really happened or did we just reflect the story as it related to our own concept of reality? The pictures we have of life are often murky when we are facing difficulties. Truth too often gets in the way. Our anger and our feelings of being wounded cloud our better judgment.
Letting the Past Guide the Way
The upside to many of our past problems is knowing that the past is also filled with things that went right. Things that are good and bring light and happiness to the faces of those who care to remember. If we use the things that went right we can help make the present much more relaxing, and the future peaceful. Letting go of our flawed memories is a good start.
I acknowledge that some things in the past need to stay there. But for the honest mistakes and misunderstandings the old saying Let It Go applies. When the past becomes the guide you are on the path to regaining those valued relationships. Trust can be re-established and friendships renewed, but it's a focus on what went right that will get you there.
In a working environment, I'm to the conclusion that if you aren't in on key decisions and one of the movers and shakers - the fault may lie with them. “Them” being those in power, or above us in rank - someone else in the know. I’m not necessarily challenged by authority unless it has proven to be less than scrupulous. So if the fault has to find a home, I hope it is with them, the movers and the shakers.
But what if I am one of the movers and shakers? First, I don't want someone else's mistakes. I want to start fresh and correct my own mistakes. It's a difficult task to jump into the middle of a project and take ownership. Rather, it requires research and time; plus a sense of humility as you begin to deal with people who have no loyalty toward you at first. You have to build those relationships and prove your worth. Let others praise your work - there is greater value in that than praising yourself. Humble yourself and you will be lifted up.
Secondly, there are those who would like nothing better than to sit back and talk about opposing issues, and add roadblocks to your designs, inventions, and other such handiwork. To those, I would refer to an old saying, “what other people think is really none of your business”.
“What other people think is really none of your business”
Somedays we have to just go home and fire ourselves. That is such an awful word “fire” when used in the context of someone's livelihood. No one wants to lose a job - or asks to lose a job. But it happens, for good or bad people get fired, laid off, or suffer a reduction in force. When you are the boss, the only person who can fire you is YOU! That isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you are the boss. Letting go of pieces of a project and learning to allow others through delegation to complete a task can be rewarding. For one, you get rid of the stress, and two, you increase the value of one of your employees.
Firing yourself doesn’t mean you can’t come back the next day with a better attitude. Usually when you get to this level you are ready for a change, a good swift kick in the you know what, to mend those attitudes of displeasure. Your own attitudes.
When you walk into the door at work tomorrow give some thought to some valuable points when you do:
It’s how you approach your life. Not how others approach your life. You make the final decision on how happy or successful you will be. Success is measured in happiness.
"Success is measured in happiness"
I think age changes how we spend our free time, and who we choose to spend it with. While a few of my friends could still be accused of running around with a lampshade on their head, a larger number of them have graduated to being a bonified home body. I find myself stuck in the middle of my friends - I'm not a wild child, nor a doormat. But when the two sides get to be over-whelming for me - out come my rose colored glasses. Glasses needed to be able to fit all those around me into that neat little mind box.
Glasses needed to be able to fit all those around me into that neat little mind box.
Age (and my glasses) makes tolerance for others easier. It also makes me more aware of the little things that often get overlooked. But with my rose colored glasses that is all I am searching for anyways - the little things.
From Monday to Friday, or whatever the workweek looks like - finding those spare moments to look at the positive and not focus on the negative aspects of the job are important. It is okay if you take a peek through your rose colored glasses if you need a pick me up once in a while. What they help you understand is:
1. You have a job
2. Maybe you have a great position or work with others on a wonderful project
3. Maybe you have the ability to do what you want on the job, and people trust you.
4. Maybe you are the employee morale builder.
Whatever your circumstances, see number one above if you on the bridge of your nose and look forward. I don't understand how people can be so dissatisfied with just having enough. Maybe until people begin to understand what it is like to not have enough -that they will begin to see things through a different lens.
If you have something, something you earned - then life is good. If you have nothing, and you haven't earned anything, make personal changes in your life. Do whatever it is to help yourself feel satisfied. Not too much, not too little, just enough to afford a set of rose colored glasses. You'll need them.
Have you ever thought about a thought?
As we grow older being told something isn’t right, or learning we will have to do something differently isn’t generally what we want to hear. Change sucks. I know many of us have gotten so busy that we just tend to do things all by ourselves. Maybe someone else could of made a process easier for us, maybe not. But we won’t know because letting go of a situation or work event isn’t something we are used to doing. Let’s face it, our day planners are full. We go a little zombie like, and then we don’t know how to climb out of that mode.
Learning is a different process for everyone. Some are just faster than a whip with everything they lay their hands on. Others like to take things one bite at a time. You can’t force the unwilling to learn, and nobody wants to listen to the know it all's. People need to be motivated to learn or change. As I’ve aged, motivation I have
discovered is in short supply. Those who once motivated me, now sound like a broken parrot “right”, “you know what I mean”, “right”, “right”. Ugh!
Age changes how you learn. I find that I’m just not interested any longer in those ideas I thought were so cool in my younger days. Those items that used to be on my ole bucket list have already been checked marked off. Sure there are things I want to do – but not the things I wanted to do ten or twenty years ago. My bucket list looks more like a shopping list for a leisurely day at the pool -rather than a vacation to some far away resort. Although I would go to the resort if someone buy me a ticket. Please buy me a ticket. But then I regress.
I sat down with my grandchild to try to discover if I could see into the mind of a 6 year old and come up with an answer to my lack of motivation, and my empty bucket list. What I forgot to notice until after she had gone home with her family was how much she motivated me just to want to stay in one place. I like peace and quiet. I was motivated to get back to that - the stillness of the day. In our search for items to put on our bucket lists, don’t leave off peace and quiet. Those really are motivating factors to help you gain a better perspective on life.
Bucket List Items that might not be on your list, but could be:
I am off to draw stick figures on the side walk. We have to draw a full scale ranch with horses and cows. Could take up to four or five concrete sections.
My bucket list is full
There was a day when men shook hands and agreed a gentlemen’s agreement between two. A man’s word was his honor. Nowadays attorneys draft up legal documents that are crafted to look for deception and deceit. Where has honor gone? Speaking the truth should never be hard to do. Many preach about truth and justice, yet they drag out an attorney when the truth is directed at them.
Along with honor comes respect. Respect for your fellow man or woman. Meeting a call to justice to help someone in need. Believing in others, and relying on a friendly hand. Honor, respect, and dignity, are the strength and the armor that uphold strong men and women.
Integrity - the truth. Integrity is becoming a rare thing. Yet it is something worth fighting to hold on to. No matter how weak your voice may be, you may be the only voice someone else has. Injustice can overwhelm an individual soul quickly – but with many there is triumph as they come together. Speak the truth. Value integrity above all.
Not every argument can be won in a court of law. Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” is all that is needed. Waging war over trivial pursuits never ends well, if at all.
Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” is all that is needed.
What is important is that you stand up and your voice be heard. Speak about those passions you hold dear inside. Especially when others would keep your voice from being heard if they could. Don't let fear or intimidation keep you from doing what is right. Your voice might be all it takes to change an empire, regain a friendship, mend a broken heart. But unless you stand up and let your voice be heard – others will steal the soil out from under your feet - the very ground you walk upon.
INTEGRITY, RESPECT, HONOR
Rise up, ever so weak – yet strong because you decided to take a stand. Integrity, respect, and honor – there really isn’t any amount of money that can buy those attributes. As human as these attributes are, they will give you a greater sense of value about life, and grace you with a peaceful mind. Without them – anxiety, crippling envy and stress take the very life from your own hands. What are your gains if you aren't around to enjoy them, or can't feel satisfaction for the things that you tried to build? Fake friends will praise you in the morning, and damn you in the night.
Life is simple. Live with a giving hand, a kind shoulder to lean on, and stand up when integrity demands a voice. Stand up, let your voice be heard.
We have to allow ourselves to be generous, kind, and forgiving. When we really search out those things that give us joy we find a new meaning, a new purpose - a reason to go on.
When happiness catches your eye, linger on the moment without jumping to the next moment. Spend time relaxing and drinking in the calm. Live in the moment.
Live in the moment
We have to practice happiness. I found this video on the surprising science of happiness - something to ponder on.
How long has it been seen you have felt the Adrenalin pumping through your veins as you landed your first big deal, sold that property, or made the biggest financial score of your life time? What risks do you remember taking? Would you take them again? Would you advise others to take the same risks?
I happened upon a group of young adults this past weekend who were enjoying themselves by swinging off the walking bridge that spans the width of the Colorado River, just outside of Moab Utah. With nothing more than a rope and true grit, each young man took their turn toppling off the side of the bridge holding onto a rope about 8 to 10 feet long. The rope they were swinging from wasn't a bungee cord either, so once their bodies weight hit the end of the rope, their shoulders would have to take the full force of the blow. But the thrill - it'll get yea, and that is what these young adults were after.
But the thrill - it'll get yea.
Risk takers, thrill seekers. As their bodies are swinging in mid-air, there is the additional thrill of knowing you have to let go of the rope and drop your body into the wild and muddy Colorado below you. Then you will need to swim out of the river and hope you don't get caught in an underwater eddie. Then there is the potential that the cops will be called and your mom will have to pick you up at the police department. Putting caution to the wind - you take that risk anyways.
..you take that risk anyways.
Some opportunities in life and in business don't come along very often. Even when they do, we forget to take those risks, and instead favor the easy route - or easy chair. Age refines us, and defines us. We no longer want to jump in feet first without seeing the bottom of the pool. If you want to see whats at the bottom of the pool, that is perfectly fine. It just means you've learned a little along life's highway. A good dose of business savvy has set it's mark upon your life.
You may no longer be that dare devil you were in your early years, or that thrill seeker who just couldn't stop to ask "is thing safe?" But It is still very important to make sure that you never allow yourself to be defined by others. There are still some risks out there for you.
The risks you take now days depend on your level of physical and mental preparedness. We know how fun it is to win, but our journey through life teaches us lessons. Lessons that help us define our own character and balance our daily living. I do have to admit, that if I were years younger I would be joining those very same young men for a dive into the river. I'd be crazy not too!
Let the young be young - even in their 50's, 60's, and beyond.