The other day I was sitting in a restaurant and a friend asked me “why is the YMCA referred to as a movement?” Frankly, I had been calling the Y a “movement” for so long that I just assumed everyone considered it as such…. I guess I was mistaken.
I could never get hired at Hallmark. My assumption is that all Hallmark employees must know how to write the “catchy front cover stuff” as well as the “thoughtful, compassionate and poignant stuff” that shows up on the inside of a greeting card.
The other day I mentioned to someone that I had recently started a tradition. The look on their face conveyed a bit of skepticism, so I felt compelled to validate my history of success as a “tradition-builder”.
Lately I have noticed a pattern. The older I get, the more I tend to say things twice. I don’t really know when it happened. I think it was a somewhat organic process, which occurred over time. Or maybe I just came to the subconscious conclusion that saying something once was inadequate. Saying things twice adds a level of emphasis that seems to put my mind at ease. I have no idea where it puts the person’s mind that has to listen to me, but that is not a mystery I plan to spend any time investigating.
I don’t know about you, but I have always found saying “I’m done” to be very liberating. As a child, being able to say “I’m done” was a big deal. Making this announcement not only gave me a sense of accomplishment, it established my preliminary position on my current status. I liked establishing my position early, and I typically felt strongly about it. Often I would push back my booster seat, rip off my bib and announce “I’m done.” This announcement would be accentuated by a spastic uplift of both arms, like a calf roper at the national finals rodeo.
For some crazy reason, I recently decided to attend a few management technique conferences. This is rare for me. Usually my conference attendance is sporadic at best. I have found that if I spend two days listening to hyper-energetic speakers spouting off the latest management technique buzz words and sound bites, I need to allow at least 8-10 months for self-reflection so that I can quietly consider my conference takeaways at my own leisure.
I do not sleep well. Actually, that is not entirely correct. When I sleep, my sleeping ability ranks right up there with the average sleeper. It’s the frequent times when the average sleeper is sleeping but I am not that my ability to sleep could be judged as inadequate.
The first time I even remember being accused of “giving up” was by my second grade Pee-Wee football coach. It was the third quarter of the Regional finals, we were down by seven and the thought occurred to me that I might be bleeding internally. I mentioned my perceived condition to Tommy Smith, who had also been sitting on the bench for the entire game, and he recommended I share my health concerns with the coaching staff.
Lately I have been thinking about how I tend to separate myself from things that make me uncomfortable by prefacing them with the word “the.” I don’t know why I do it, or when I made the decision to use this three-letter preface, but I did.