Monday, June 28, 2010

But Would They Flash If You Asked?

Just about a week or two ago, I witnessed something on my 35 minute commute to work. This commute of mine is primarily charted on the Garden State Parkway. Any of my New Jersey readers know what this particular trail can look like during any rush hour. For those of you who don’t, you probably drink less than me at night.

This morning, I reached some congestion far before I normally did. I muttered a few expletives at the possible broken down vehicle, construction site or man mowing the lawn and waited it out. I couldn’t believe what I saw when I got there.

A goose was WALKING across the Garden State Parkway… during morning rush hour.

…((Time Warp: When I first got my driver’s license, I was driving down a side street by my house when I noticed a police man following closely behind. The second I took my eye off the rear-view mirror, I noticed a chipmunk about to run in front of my car. I said, “DON’T DO IT!” … but he did it. I slammed on my breaks to avoid Chip and Dale and the police man skidded up onto the curb to avoid hitting me. Needless to say, he flashed his lights and pulled me over. Sweating, I watched him approach my window. I couldn’t figure out which square was my registration, which was my insurance and which one I was supposed to give him anyway. To my surprise – he said, “Don’t worry – I would have done the same thing” and walked away.)) …

Right in front of me, this goose was walking across the Garden State Parkway.

Please imagine my stress at the site of this goose. But see – that was the thing. I was far more stressed out than the goose was. This friggin’ thing, confident as all hell, held his head high and patiently timed his moves across the 4-laned highway. Sometimes he walked, sometimes he ran and sometimes he stopped. One woman stopped her car behind him and put on her flashers. This woman actually got out of her car (on the Garden State Parkway, during rush-hour, in a hole, in the floor, of the bottom of the sea) to aid his journey to the other side. The whole time I just kept saying to myself, “doesn’t he know he can fly?”

But, it’s true. Sometimes we don’t realize we can fly. Sometimes, because of circumstances (whether they are the economy, health, injury, tragedy, etc.) we are temporarily unable to fly. Sometimes, all we can do is hold our heads high, muster up all of our confidence, all of our will-power, be patient with timing and just MOVE FOWARD.
As demonstrated by the goose thought-leader himself, it also helps to surround yourself by the right people. Take a look at who you surround yourself with. You are a product of your environment. When it’s go-time, when you have to really give it all you got… are they going to be 15 minutes late for work and get out of their car on the Parkway and put their flashers on for you? Because there are times you are going to need people with patience. I know this. Find some of these people. Oh – and if you’re anything like me, you will be happy to know… he made it across and into the woods.

Lucky for me I know many of these people. I live with one, work with them at WithumSmith+Brown, dance with them during Zumba classes and choose them as friends. So please don't be offended if I wonder if you'd flash for me.  I just returned from the Association of Accounting Marketing Summit in Washington, DC. It was my first time and here, I had the opportunity to meet so many of these people. I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to surround myself by people who deal with the exact same things I do on a daily basis. Accounting Marketing is a pretty specific niche and I am completely energized by the group of people I met. Check out the organization. AAM

So get down with your professional-development self, hold your head high and rock that confidence – it looks good on you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to find some flashers. That being said - I will tell you this: If you come back wearing beads around your neck or if I catch you playing Frogger on the freeway, I am going to suggest that you completely misunderstood this post.

Until next time, many high-fives.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You Are Young

I can say that, you know.  I can say that without even knowing you.  I can even say it knowing you are 95-years-old.

Most of my readers know me and know that 9 out of every 10 vacations I take are to Disney World. (Where my Hannah Montana socks fit in.)  It’s no secret that I’m quirky and I’ll be the first to tell you that I feel right at home where you’re encouraged to channel your inner believer.  I work hard.  I pay a mortgage.  I understand business.  I negotiate contracts.  I wear a suit.  But I find myself balancing these things with my own type of pixie dust.  A certain dream.  A certain bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.  I am young.

I’ve recently had the privilege of taking off my Mickey ears and climbing out of my box to take a trip across the world and visit places I never thought I would.  This past Sunday, I returned from visiting Rome, Sicily, Turkey, Athens and Crete.

I found myself standing in the middle of certain settings that I’ve read about in text books, searched libraries for in order to complete elementary school projects, tested on in high school and watched TV specials on before James Bond-ing the remote out of Chris’ hands while he was sleeping to change.

I was where the Virgin Mary lived, where the first Olympics were held, in the Colosseum and Pantheon, walked through the Acropolis and climbed up ancient amphitheater steps in the ruins of Ephesus, Turkey.  Even through Chris’ pretend gladiator fights, I took advantage of some silence.  I learned so many things on this trip to Europe but one thing stood out the most.

I am young.

I have so many friends and family members re-evaluating their lives at so many different ages and it’s so motivating.  A family member of mine went back to work after not working for 25+ years.  I have friends making the decision to go back to school.  I graduated college sitting next to a 60-year-old woman who was so excited for her new life to START.  You won’t live forever but it’s so refreshing to know that as long as you’re living, you’re young.

And even though I’m young, the longer I live… the more I realize that attitude has an impact on the life I live.  It’s been said before, but nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.