Color Me Rosy

give your attitude a high-five

The items may have shifted and could fall out.

I was boarding a Southwest Airlines flight to somewhere a couple years ago; as I made my way down the aisle to an open seat I was held up by a man who was attempting to place his oversized bag in the overhead compartment. It seemed to be obvious to everyone except this man there was no way his bag was going into that space. But he was determined and started becoming very upset. He was upset to the point of cursing the airline, the airplane, the people who designed the baggage compartments, the people who sell bags that don't fit into the compartments and even became very angry at the flight attendant who eventually carried his bag to the front and checked it for him. As I waited for the situation to be resolved I had a few thoughts - what could I have said or done to help? This person's anger was preventing him from seeing so many incredible, amazing, positive and simply miraculous things about our situation. So in that moment I made a mental list:
1. On Southwest Airlines you don't have to pay for checking a bag.
2. Our flight was not delayed.
3. We were about to fly at 37,000 feet above the earth, that's awesome!
4. We didn't have to drive to our destination
5. We were about to travel about 1,000 miles within the space of a couple hours.
6. This cabin will be pressurized for our comfort!
7. We didn't have to walk.

When I thought of number seven I was tempted to suggest to this man that if he didn't like that his bag doesn't fit in the compartment he was welcome to walk to our destination. Knowing that his disposition was beyond comprehending my sarcasm, I kept my mouth shut.

This experience is a reminder to me that no matter our circumstances, there is always something positive that we can think of which can diffuse our anger. Yes, even in situations worse that oversized baggage. Give a try, next time something makes you angry, think of something positive about your situation and if you are really trying I know that you will find it.

Taking Out The Trash

I opened the door to the garage with my arms full this evening and looked at the obstacle course that was before me; a one car garage with my car, 3 bikes, 2 sets of shelves the bike trailer, golf clubs, a skate board, tools, chairs and some other junk standing in my way. I was trying to take out the trash, and the garbage cans were on the other side. I turned sideways to pass by the car, having to lift the 30 pound bag of trash over my head to squeeze by, my other arm wrapped around some empty boxes. Half way through the obstacle course I asked myself why I had chosen to lift the heavy garbage bag over my head instead of the light empty boxes. Who knows, then BAM, my adventure to the other side of the garage became an inspirational moment.. If sometimes we choose to do hard things even when we don't have to, we become used to and even comfortable with doing hard things. Then when difficult things come our way without our choosing, they are more easily overcome. Ha, you thought I was just going to tell a story about taking out the trash didn't you. Yes there is inspiration to be found, even in taking out the trash.


apple pie


chilly weather

snow on the mountains

fresh powder

camp fires

clear starry nights

smooth pavement with no traffic

finishing a workout

my family

sleeping in until 10

using tools

rock climbing

the hammock by the beach in turtle bay

Jamba Juice

Nacho Libre

the sound of maple connecting with a fastball

finishing the swim segment of a triathlon

the list goes on...

take 10 minutes and see what you can come up with


BW: So you’re not in your 20’s anymore, how do you feel about that?

Me: Like I’ve been on the earth long enough for it to make 30 trips around the sun.

BW: …Ok, what does that mean?

Me: . . .

BW: We’re off to a good start aren’t we?  Really though, how do you feel?

Me: The same as I did yesterday, I’m healthy and my knees work. My hair is getting thin but not so thin I have to buzz it all off.

BW: You are taking it pretty well; some people have a hard time with turning 30, do you wish you could be 20 again?

Me: Yeah I can understand that. Sometimes I see younger guys out partying, staying up late, eating junk, spending all their money on video games or nice cars and I think, Wow those guys are…nope, I hope I never was like that. So no, I don’t want to be 20 again.

BW: What is your biggest accomplishment so far then?

Me: My family. I can’t take credit for everything they are, and how ridiculously good looking my children are, but since I’m here right now if you want to give credit to someone, I’ll take it.

BW: What is one thing you are looking forward to this decade?

Me: There are lots of things, some material things like getting a bigger house but I also want to finish my Master’s Degree soon so I can move on to learning other things. Maybe move somewhere that isn’t a desert, closer to family. I would like to get back into triathlons, it has been over a year since I competed and becoming more competitive is an important goal for me. Stay healthy.

BW: Staying healthy is a pretty big one for you right? You kind of had an experience last year.

Me: Yes, being diagnosed with cancer was scary. I have great family, friends and faith that made it go a lot better than it could have. I have been blessed lot this year too. Very few side effects from the medication, I was back on my bicycle within a couple months.

BW: What would you say to anyone who is feeling bad about getting older?

Me: There are lots of people who had their big break in their 30’s so there is no reason for anyone to feel bad about it. I bet everyone 40 and over is laughing at me right now. Anyway, think about people like Adam Levine, Jenna Fischer, Zooey Deschannel, Peyton Manning, David Ortiz, they are all in their 30’s. Tina Fey started writing for SNL in her 30’s, Will Ferrell was 36 when he did Elf and 37 when he did Anchorman, J.K. Rowling published the first Harry Potter book in her 30’s, Sylvester Stallone was 30 when Rocky was released and Harrison Ford was 35 when he played Han Solo. And there is one other person to feel good about, me.

BW: Did you ever see that movie, “13 Going on 30”?

Me: I have no idea what you are talking about.

Happy Summer

School is about out and pretty soon there will be more tweens on skateboards taking over our parking lots and roads than in the past nine months.  How do we keep our kids from being total couch potatoes during the summer months?  Here are a few ideas to get your kids out of the house and involved in volunteer work.

  1. Hospitals:  If your teenager is interested in medicine, encourage them to call up the local hospital and ask to speak to a volunteer coordinator.  There are various “odd jobs” that need to be done, as well as an opportunity to visit with patients if needed.  
  2. Nursing homes:  Retirement homes and nursing homes are always in need of volunteers.  I did a lot of this in college and I can tell you that it is never dull.  Besides, old people have a way of talking to kids/teenagers without imposing or being condescending.  Wisdom really does come with age.  Your kids might learn a thing or two while helping recreate memories of the elderly they get to know.
  3. Nurseries:  Does your child/teen have a green thumb?  Do they like to get their hands a little dirty?  Set ‘em loose at the local nursery.
  4. Animal shelter:  There are a lot of neglected animals that need a lot of TLC.  It takes a special kind of individual to provide it.  Someone with a love for animals.  Ringing any bells?
  5. Volunteer Center:  If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas on your own, head to the volunteer center in your area.  I guarantee they’ll be able to help.

Volunteer work always looks good on a resume or job application, and who knows?  Maybe they’ll love your teen so much that they’ll hire him/her on for a paying gig next summer.

*A note to teens:  Remember that while volunteer work is unpaid, do try to be responsible.  Don’t skip out, arrive on time, do without being asked, and to ensure the job gets done correctly don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Most importantly, have fun!