Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SAVE THE DATE - Bowl For Kids Sake 2009 - March 28th and March 29th

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl For Kids Sake Event is gearing up! The Elves here are the ones that make this event truly special. The Bowl For Kids Sake 2009 event is being held Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th at Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, ME.

So...for my friends in the State of Maine, who live in, near, or will travel to Androscoggin County, you are expected to be at this event to support the great work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Androscoggin County.

Save the date...March 28th and March 29th!

Here is how you can help:

1. Donate a Flat-Rate Pledge!
2. Be a Team Captain and create teams of family and friends to bowl at the event!
3. Volunteer your time to make the event a success.
4. Spread the word by being a BFKS Representative at your business! Company challenges are great ways to have fun together and help the community!

If you need any information, I am sure one of the elves at Big Brothers Big Sisters can help you! Call Big Brothers Big Sisters today at (207) 782-5437 x76

Help if you can, make a difference in the life of a child!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Line Up Those Ducks!

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.

—Herbert Otto

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mass of Dots

Life is like a mass of dots, isn’t it? You look around at what is going on in your life and all you have is dots. One dot for each item. Like a bullet point on your list of life.

• Call Mom
• Go to the store
• Put up your Christmas Tree
• Prepare the agendas for your meetings next week
• Search the stack of newspapers for the Honor Roll with your daughter’s name
• Begin to get your attitude in gear for the fundraiser of the year
• Get the holiday music together
• Review the missing items in your database
• Remember to get those holiday cards out
• Try and find some money for your mentoring programs
• Get in the holiday spirit
• Buy a real shovel
• Take the bottles to the redemption center
• Pay the bills
• Do another blog
• Really put your office together
• Get the crap off the stairs that has been growing for weeks
• Send thank you cards for the birthday thoughts/gifts
• Get those empty cans off the car floor
• Stop thinking about dead relatives so frequently
• Be happy; others have it far worse
• Put in request for time off during the holidays
• Log in those poor Pez that have patiently been waiting
• Did you even think of the chocolate season yet?

And so the list goes on and on and on…and I realize that the huge mass of dots in my life seem out there on their own, waiting for me to pick them. I hear a sort of “Pick Me!” … “No, Pick Me!” … “Umm, Hello, Pick MEEE!” … in my head. I look at the dots and sometimes I just go sit down to contemplate my next choice; my next dot. Then, out of the blue, an emotion takes over me and I get up, almost in a rage, to do a random thing. I get it done with a lot of effort and forced speed.

As I contemplate my next dot in the mass in front of me, I realize that doing that one thing led me to do the next natural thing because I was already moving. As I sit and revel in my success, I realize I completed more than one or two dots.

The Christmas Tree is up. And to get the Christmas Tree up, I had to move the newspapers, so before I did that, I searched them for the clippings I needed. I also had to get the holiday music on, because you can’t decorate a tree without the music, and this put me in the mood for the holiday season. And while I was hauling things around, I took time to clear the crap at the bottom of the stairs and on the stairs. I hung the stockings on the doors.

I am thinking about dead relatives.

12 hours or so later, I am looking at my tree. It is ok. I begin to think about my dead relatives again. How Dad never saw my daughter, never saw my tree, and never got to share anything at all with her. Last night, as I hung the only ornament made by my father on my tree, it made me pause for a moment with a big gulp. I am wondering why that moment was something to pause about.

As I brought the empty holiday boxes to the basement, I saw my Uncle’s wooden baskets he used to make and give out on Christmas Eve. How we miss him and how appreciated he felt with those baskets. We would cheer when the basket was unwrapped! We all wanted one.

I think of how a friend, who was like a second father to me, would be laughing…over the stupidest things, but I knew he would support me in laughter. When I was unsure, I would look to him in confidence because I knew he would be there supporting me with a smile, a laugh, or both. He appreciated my every thought, sometimes adding to it in fun.

As I sat there, and as dramatic as it sounds, a single tear came down my cheek, followed by a smile. I realized that the mass of dots around me provide me with the joy of connecting them. And without my dead relatives memories, I couldn't proceed to make my own memories. And those lone dots in that mass are there for a reason, and they are for connecting. Connecting our past, our present, and our future.

As the season approaches that we celebrate our religion, our families, and our successes, just remember that we are all dots and we need to continue to connect those dots. This is what makes life worth living. Dots never stop. Dots provide meaning. Dots provide growth. Dots provide understanding.

Just a random thought I had today…why I am sharing? I have no idea. What are your dots? How do you find they connect themselves in wonderous ways?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Memories of Holidays Past

As houses change from dark to brilliant lights,
As lawns begin to get covered with sticky white,
The memories of holidays past begin to ignite.

As a little guy Santa was a powerful thought,
I wondered if I’d see him, or get a quick snap-shot!
See the reindeer, the magic, and the presents he brought!

I remember decorating the house with gadgets and stuff,
Making it look over-festive til Mom said, “Enough!”
Dad was tall; hit his head on a hanging Christmas ball.

Christmas Eve was special; the family all together,
We would flock to Mom’s like birds of a feather,
No matter what happened; no matter the weather.

Each year Uncle Joe made his baskets of wood,
And Aunt Connie brought ham that was finger-lickin’ good
Everything was good, fun, and made it a great childhood.

As a married man, I whispered a huge thanks to the Lord above
As we experienced our first Christmas; full of hope and love,
But I remember the first divorce holiday; with none of the above.

The magic of children at Christmas makes the holiday great.
Watching their innocence in motion as they celebrate.
You see the hope in their eyes as they lay down to wait.

In the morning they awake to a different feeling; a different day;
Justin is excited for the bowling ball he has wanted in the worst way.
Alexandra opens the Barbie Doll as tall as she…it’s a happy holiday.

The family gets together to eat leftovers and to share,
The joys of the day, and what happened here and there.
The kids are over-tired; hugging good ole Mr. Teddy Bear.

As I sit here thinking; of all the holidays that have passed,
I know that I am lucky; because it has been a total blast!

What is your favorite holiday memory? Will you share it with us?
Did someone drop a pie, did grandma make a big fuss?
Hit the comment button and type…don’t be a “Gloomy Gus!”

Friday, December 5, 2008

Do Something With The Duck!

Here's an interesting quote that was sent to me today:

Getting your ducks in a row is not nearly as powerful as actually doing something with your duck.
-Seth Godin

So what does this mean to you? I know a lot of workers who toil everyday to get their ducks in a row. These ducks in a line help you achieve your job goal for which you are reviewed on at some point in the year. I am sure that some people line up their ducks and do nothing with them at all. They can line up a ton of ducks, but can't do anything with the ducks.

I tend to think that I line up a ton of ducks. I do execute the ducks that I have and some ducks are successful and other ducks are failures. There is nothing worse than a duck that can't swim. I have certainly had enough duck failures to know, but I have also had many duck successes. To some, I may do too much with my ducks because then they are asked to line up ducks as well and execute those ducks. I line up my ducks and do something with my ducks because I see the larger pond at the end of the horizon. Once you line up enough ducks, they can actually move to the place you want them, but not without great guidance and care. And sometimes you pick up random ducks along the way and the line gets bigger than you thought it would. Ok, you might lose a few along the way too, but there is always a hint of "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST" in the duck process.

To be honest, I have recently begun to get bored with lining up ducks and doing something with the ducks. I used to have so much fun lining up those darned ducks, and even if I failed, it was a testament to what really worked. This is Duck Research. I sometimes think that I have executed so many ducks that I dream of simply lining them up again and letting someone else do something with the ducks...a sort of team effort. My view of the pond has changed. Somewhere along the way it became a raging river. I know I led the ducks to this, but can you do too much with the ducks? I think so.

Just yesterday I had to walk myself from the ledge. And I was wondering how I got to the ledge in the first place. Then this quote came along, and with all my other thoughts, it hit me...I am lining up ducks and doing something with the ducks, but maybe it is not what is wanted, or maybe I am more concerned with the ducks safety than anyone else. Failure can be success. But what I experienced lately was that I lined up the ducks, and was doing something with the ducks, when out of the blue someone else came in and took ownership of my duck. So while I am not the one leading it to the great pond (or river), I did help bring that duck "in line" and to a place where it can be used for success. It just won't be my success.

So while some people just line up ducks, and others execute ducks in proper fashion, and some do both, I see my duck being taken from my line to another line. My first thought was that the whole situation was a waste of time...and in many ways it was, but the duck will live. And this duck will provide job protection, company profits, and community spirit to many, but not for me. At first this made me emotional, and now it merely "quacks" me up. I am happy my duck will live to bring so much joy; even if it is not my personal joy. A good duck is a good duck, isn't it?

I don't think I can line up ducks like I used to. I don't think I can do anything with the volume of ducks. I think I might watch the pond, and help those individual ducks that need attention. I will allow the others around me to line up ducks and give it a whirl. I have experienced a lot from my ducks, and worked hard for a lot of my ducks, but maybe those around me have not. And while they complain about the size of the pond, maybe I need to just "duck out" for a while and see if others populate the pond. I know they can. They know they can. And we will see if they want to really work to achieve the experiences of duck failure and duck success.

Interesting quote, isn't it? Read it again yourself and see what comes into your mind. There is no right or wrong answer. Do it. What the duck do you have to lose anyway?