Friday, January 15, 2010

Awesome Things

In the not too distant past I discovered a website called "1000 Awesomethings". Inspired by this site I have tried to include a daily "Awesome Thing" in my morning emails to my staff and co-workers. Here's a few that I have included lately. These, of course, are things that I think are awesome.

Music DVD's in 5.1 Surround Sound. I've seen a lot of music in my day, from blues played in a smoky bars to mega events like the Rolling Stones at Churchill Downs. I love rock and roll but the older I get the harder it is to tolerate the crowds and the work associated with attending concerts. Music DVD's are like sitting in the front row in a reserved section. I have a nice television with a great sound system. I can crank it up. Sitting in my Lazy Boy chair with a remote in my hand, I control the situation. No one falls on me and I am never doused with beer from drunken music freaks. If I have to go to the bathroom, I can pause the music and go do what I need to do. There's never a line and the bathroom is clean. Occasionally the grandmother I am married to will join me. Sometimes we actually stay awake for the entire concert.

Being alone in your car, getting on the Interstate, and having the classic rock song "Radar Love" come on the radio. This happened to me yesterday. If you are familiar with this song, you know it's almost impossible to not drive 80 miles an hour when it is playing. This song must have been playing last summer when I received a $173 speeding ticket while I was on my way to the monastery to "slow down". Today's second awesome thing is that moment when you realize that you're starting to feel the heat in your car. The temperatures have been below freezing for two weeks so everyday when I leave my car feels like a deep freeze when I first get into it. By the time I get to 3rd and Main I can feel the heat in my seat "bun warmers" ( I have heated seats. Yes, I know I am blessed) and when I pull into my wife's parking garage where I wait for her the heat is going full blast. Unfortunately, waiting in a warm car, at the end of a work day, often puts me in serious hand to hand combat with the Sandman. I usually lose. The other day my wife was beating on the window and I was out like a light. She scared the heck out of me!

Finding a balance within yourself between your head and your heart. Life is challenging. One must be both logical and compassionate. I use my intellect to manage inventory and other things related to numbers and the practical. I use my heart, however, to deal with people who are often neither logical or practical. Seldom can one be totally logical or totally compassionate. Sometimes logic needs a touch of compassion. Compassion usually needs a dose of logic. This is where the balance comes in. Learning to do both with grace and skill takes time and often the wisdom of years. The best way to be intellectual and logical is to simply think. Stop, take time, pause, and simply think. Don't always shoot from the hip. Compassion is acquired from treating others as you would like to be treated. We all sometimes need other's compassion. The head and the heart should work together and not be in conflict with one another although sometimes it does feel like a tug of war.

A springlike day in the middle of winter. After two weeks of below freezing temperatures and a week of snow and ice it is wonderful to feel the warmth of the sun and to shake the chill from your bones.

A deep conversation with my granddaughter.

Chloe: I'm a child and you're an adult.

Pa Paw: Can I be a child?

Chloe: No, because you are old.

Pa Paw: Why am I old?

Chloe: Because your hair is white and you have old skin. Look at your hands.

Pa Paw: Is Meemo old?

Chloe: No, because her hair isn't white like yours.

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