The Blog

After a few installments of the talk show where I seemed to get better and better--this was last summer, if memory serves--I told Darrell my goal was to have every performance top the previous one.

He looked at me.

“That’s impossible,” he said.

Really?

“Sure,” he said. He pointed to an episode that was practically flawless (thanks, honey) and told me there wasn’t enough room between that and perfect to constitute a gap in skill level. My handlers might disagree (hi, Skip!), but I have nothing in Darrell if not a devoted fan.

“Besides,” he continued, “people don’t go to the ballpark expecting someone to pitch a perfect game. They go to the ballpark hoping to be there when it happens…”

Baseball would be boring--more boring, that is (to me anyway) (most of the time)--if pitchers only threw perfect games.

Doing better and better, every time, when you’re already pretty good--is not only impossible, but overrated.

Cool.

share your love
July 31, 2013

Wanted. A job where it’s my task to find two people every week who will be fun to talk with, and who can teach me something. They’ll want to talk with me because it’s fun, and because our conversations will be shared with a lot of other people--mostly on the radio, but also by podcast and in a couple of blogs.

Check.

I’m telling you how happy I am to have found that work only to illustrate what career coach Barbara Winter said. A really good business is simply a way to repeatedly share what we love with others.

I love sparkling conversation, and I love being able to share that with you.
Darrell sometimes can’t see what I find unappealing about visuals. I sometimes can’t hear what he finds problematic about audio.

The first step in polishing either, as a team, is to make allowances for different perspectives.

How can you expect someone to change something that, to him, looks or sounds fine? We remind each other the one who’s pickier has the deciding vote.

That’s a big reason we can work together 24/7 without even the occasional urge to kill each other!

swap report cards
July 31, 2013

In the course of twelve hours Darrell told me not once but four or five times how much fun I am to work with, to live with, to be around.

I basked in that.

If you aren’t careful, you’ll start to measure your worth by how many clicks your latest online offering snags. Which is understandable--and sad.

How about measuring your success by how much fun you’re having--and being?
I used a swear word recently in front of a friend and her teenager. It wasn’t a bad one, mind you. It wasn’t something you’d substitute “fudge” for.

No, as swear words go it was relatively tame. I’ve used it on the show, and I’ve used it in this blog.

Darrell and Katie were with me, and my friend appreciated Kate scolding me for my word choice. She hadn’t realized Katie was teasing--and neither had I. But I skipped right over this little burp. I barely paused as I continued with my anecdote.

This is a good friend. I’ve known her a long time. I applaud her for trying to keep things wholesome around the kid.

I mention it only to illustrate how far I’ve come. As recently as five years ago, I would’ve picked up on my friend’s discomfort--and beaten myself up about that. Not because I’d done anything wrong, but because she disapproved of it.

They say it sucks to get old, and “they” are wrong. Age has rewards. Now I can appreciate the standards my friends are trying to uphold--without feeling ashamed I don’t happen to share them. I can still see my friend’s daughter grinning at me when the supposedly bad word escaped my lips, and I know she’s subjected to much worse on the two-minute trip to her locker in middle school.

I used to think it was more important to be liked than to be genuine, only to realize the reverse feels a lot better.

And, ironically, it makes you more likeable!

know better
July 31, 2013

“Advice is what you ask for when you know the answer but wish you didn’t.”

Ever heard that one? 

I remembered it after a pal pointed out how much grief I’d be signing up for if I told someone her gift of a pony, figuratively speaking, had created nothing but trouble on this end. We’re not set up for a pony, we have no way of taking care of a pony, blah blah. I’d told her how sweet she was for offering, sent her heartfelt thanks in a oh-so-carefully crafted “it’s the thought that counts” note, and pretty much begged her not to send us that pony. 

The “pony” arrived the next day.

Now what?

Nothing. Clean up the mess and move on.

When in doubt, disengage.

eschew college
July 30, 2013

When my friend’s daughter was ten, he took her to see one of his friends--who owned a tattoo parlor.

That was it. That's how quickly the daughter knew this was going to be her life.

She’s a tattoo artist now, and to say she loves her work doesn’t do justice to the phrase. Her dad showed us his new tattoo, the one he promised he’d get when she got her license, and it’s beautiful.

It’s beautiful, but it isn’t my thing. No matter. That isn’t the point of this post. The point is how quickly the woman turned down any help from Dad with college. She had no interest. She knows what she wants to do with her life and she’s doing it.

She’s an artist whose work people will wear on their bodies for the rest of their lives.

I’ve always thought of a tattoo that way, but never from the perspective of the person creating it. And while you can get a tattoo removed, from what I hear the process is painful--or at least, expensive (which is also painful) (hi, Darrell!). My friend’s daughter wants to make sure that doesn’t happen. She’s serious about her art.

She’s creative.

She lives creatively.

Her life is a work of art.

read this blog
July 30, 2013

I used to love crossing the border into the state of Iowa. Not because it was Iowa--no offense, but not at all--but because of the state slogan: “A place to grow.”

I loved that. I loved it. It described the economy perfectly--but left you (or at least, me) feeling bouncy and inspired.

Many people didn’t like it. It was too easy for graffiti artists, for example, to add the word “pot” to the end of it and defame the whole state.

But that’s another story.

I bring it up because Seth Godin’s reverie on business as gardening reminded me of it.

If all I ever did in my blog was link to Seth’s, there are probably worse uses of my time!