*Originally released last May, however, with Halloween in our near rear-view mirror, and the hope ahead of a Holiday full of Smiling faces... smiling faces we can actually SEE smiling at us, because the masks will become a thing of the past, I thought I'd Re-Release this Mask-less Beast...
OK Y'all, todays May 15th, for a point of reference inside our Pandemic, Pandemonium Timeline...
Went Grocery shopping this morning...
First person, only Person that I saw, but the first person I know that was NOT wearing a mask today... I had it hangin around my neck, on its bungee leash.
The same bungee leash that I wear, 7 days a week, for over a damn year now, easily visible, everybody could see it, though that's not the why behind the leash, its more about convenience and compliance and respect, and that I'd rather never rely on my memory to not forget it, forget the mask, so, always around my neck. Hanging in front, it looks like a black little baby bib to catch my crumbs, but whip it around to the back and I'm a super villain with the worlds teensiest black cape...
The Wife is Sooooo Over my Mask on a Leash!
But that wasnt what it was about.
Everybody else, EVERYBODY Else, EVERYBODY ELSE in that grocery store was wearing a mask. Why's that news?
Well the CDC (Center for Disease Control... or maybe it's the Covid Dis-Information Community... can't keep it straight), so, the CDC just said, you don't have to... don't have to, wear a Mask, that is.
Masks on everyone. Most of them, full- facial. Some of them, a few, with, ya know, their nose... exposed... that type of thing...hmmm.
But it wasn't that I was being a rebel, but it was that I was Actually paying attention, to the sound, and the science, and the signs... the rules...
See, as I walked into the store, there was a sign out front that said "Masks, recommended, for everyone's safety."
Well I've been double Vaxxed,.
Whether people like it or not, it's their choice to, or not, thats not what this is about...
Favorite quote I heard...
You're NOT Vaxxed... your choice.
But since nuthin' is guaranteed 100% bullet proof, just don't give your 'chit to me!
See, that perspective, Tha'ts not even a debate, because its a choice, and choice, that does not impact anyone else, is not a debate.
But... I was the only person, until, the very very end of this experience, the end of this grocery store story. ..
And the whole hour, I felt less like a Leader, and just more like I was no longer part of some "Club".
I'll admit, I was putting the mask on as I was walking into the Store, when what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a sign at the front that was Different than it had been all last year...
Big Sandwich board sign, Black with Chalk writing, that said...
"Masks Recommended for Everyone's Safety."
I had to pause, skip a beat and almost stumbled a step...
It had for what seemed like forever said Required. ...
But no more, now, per public guidelines, this store, by the way, they brag about being employee owned, this store changed to follow guidelines that said Recommended.
As I approached the sliding doors, where the carts were behind, my pulse quickened, my eyes darted around, and I had my mask tween my fingers, prepared to put it on, and...
I let myself walk in...
All 100% Nekkid Faced..
Nude from Nose to Neck...
For a moment,
It felt somewhere between pornographic and powerful, and then I remembered what it was...
Normal,... Human, ...Free Will... again, after all this time.
I shopped a little, smiling the whole time, and Im the kind who looks everyone in the eye, smiles to their face, polite in my passes by... but No One, and I mean NO One, looked me in the eye, the whole 30+ minutes I made my way from The Frozen Chicken breasts to the check out line.
Was I invisible, without my mask...
Or just not worthy to look at because I was no longer part of the club.
Earlier, I mentioned that I was the only person, until, the very very end of this experience, the end of this grocery store story. .. well, it was interesting, because as Im walking out, pushing my cart-full of paid for perisables, and sacked up snacks, there was a gentleman that had just walked in, and grabbed an empty cart, I walked past him with my cart, we were about the same age, though he had a whole lot more hair than I did,...
Now we passed each other just feet, literally just feet, beyond that sign I earlier referenced, saying "Masks recommended for everyone's safety"...
And he looked at me, only person I can remember over the last half hour, except for the cashier...
Only person to look me square in the eye...
And he pulled his mask down.
Elastic Still around his ears, but now under his chin and jaw. I didnt say anything, didn't even hang around long enough to see if he chuckled or smiled.
I just went on about my business.
My business of respect. .. respecting the expressed wishes of that privately owned business.
See, if that sign had said "Masks REQUIRED For everyones safety", like it had for the last year, I'd have masked up quicker than Ironman.
But it said recommended... it left the choice, the responsibility, the freedom, up to each individual.
I respect that business.
I respect every person in that stores right and freedom to choose.
And I respect that man I saw on my way out, who showed up looking like everyone else... but showed the world its alright not to.
Interesting side note, whole time I was in there, walking around with the name of my business embroidered and emblazened on the back of my jacket, I was anticipating the chance I might be confronted, and that now after the fact, I might be cancelled.
Cancel culture takes a pic of me in the store, posts it like a "One of these things doesn't match" kinda pic...
Like someone was ready to "brand me a Conservative" (heaven forbid) as part of their Cancel-Culture-Club... yeah, like that spin on the Boy George Band...
The Cancel Culture Club...
Never happened though...
And ya know what was on my satellite radio, in the car, the moment I sat inside, cranked the keys and the radio screen came on, telling me the Artist and song title...
Culture Club, and "The Church Of The Poisoned Mind."
The church of the Poisoned mind...
Walking out of that Mask Covered Grocery store, I felt I'd just left, the church of a poisoned mind...
Come on folks, the sign said, ya dont need to have that membership card to get inside...
"Hey Baby, wanna spoon with me? Wanna' "fork" in the silverware drawer? ( careful how you ask, or it may be Knives Out!" )
The subject of silverware is not a "flat" one, and the lessons of the Silverware drawer are not easily open and shut, but they are definitely something I do "give a Fork" about...
Yeah, pull up a chair there's gunna' be a dose of "Do's and Don'ts" in here about cutlery and what cuts the mustard, and what just cuts the cheese in relationships,
We have a Really hip Psychiatrist to thank for the lesson that actually may help Your relationships.
It actually may have saved our marriage, or definitely helped save me from slicing my fingers off many a time... definitely helped keep me from cutting my nose off, in spite of my face. So... Ready?
So, in most homes, in most kitchens, dare I say in America, over 90% of kitchens have this drawer, a specific drawer, and inside that drawer is a system of, shall we say, dividers...
and within or between these dividers are what we refer to as "flatware" or "silverware"...
and THIS, is the Silverware drawer...
Got one? Ever seen one?
So You know what I'm talkin about here.
Now, inside that drawer, that silverware drawer, are those dividers, segmented sections, partitioned places for...well, for what?!?!
Why are they there?
What purpose do they perform?
Well, tha'ts easy, right?!? They're there to keep the forks and knives and spoons where they belong... forks with forks (usually Long with long and short with short... a kind of "silverware segregation system", you might say...) Let's not go any further and piss people off here, what we're talking here is what we use to set places, not races.
So... "place-setting stuff", segregated by other types that look the type.
Forks with forks, knives with knives, spoons-spooning other spoons...
That's what the drawer is for, right? !?!?
Yeah, Tight!!! Not so fast, my flatware aficionado !
See... not where I live -
I started to say, "Not in MY house", but then I remembered it's not MY house... its OUR house.
OUR home; and that's the morale behind our story here...
Silverware drawers... apparently, well, they're NOT just for organization anymore.
If I came to your house and asked you to show me your birth certificate, would you know where to find it?
Your Social Security card? (Don't ask me, it's in the house somewhere, so technically its not Lost, or missing, its just hiding right now...)
What about a safety pin?
Your spare checks for your checkbook?
he receipt for your Laptop and Warranty?
Howzabout Your 2014 tax returns?
Regardless of how many, or how few of these you could instantly produce without too much digging and rooting around, I bet that if I were to ask you for a Fork, you would know EXACTLY where to go to get one.
Why? Because the system for organizing your silverware is SUPPOSED to demonstrate your organizing principles:
Something along these lines, perhaps;
1. Forks are SUPPOSED to be kept with forks.
2. Forks are SUPPOSED to have a single and consistent home, or space.
3. Forks are put back there after being used (and, of course, washed!).
4. And EVERYONE in the household is in agreement about it.... Whoops! Say that again...that part how Everyone agrees where the forks, spoons and knives reside?
Well not in our house, and for years it brought frustration, fights and tears, yes, tears... because the difference between my wife and myself on the subject of spoons, spooning other spoons, well, it started spats and then frustrating words were spit out, fights were started, wars were waged, and all because SHE just threw all the forks, knives and spoons into the drawer, all "willy-nilly" and "willy-wonka'd" and outta whack! There were spoons "fork-nicating" each other with the perverted little perforated knives cutting in on the dance.
There was no fork file, no spoon segment, and no nook for the knives. They all just got thrown in, in whatever way they came outta the dishwasher.
(Yeah, I know, don't get me started on right and wrong ways to load a dam' dishwasher here, Martha Stewart, just stow it... you're missing the story here.)
See my Wife and I were vastly different here, I like em one way, she liked em another, ..
I liked knowing when my finger tips were at risk from a sharp knife tip, and She... well, She never seemed to care.
Me, I liked what I saw was the efficiency of knowing exactly where a fork was when I felt my way around for it in the dark reality of a midnight munchie march, and She saw NO advantage to segregating the silverware...
Enter, the Psychiatrist. No, we didn't hire one; we're friends with one, and in just having basic discourse, this subject came up, (doesn't everyone talk table-settings with their friendly, neighborhood "Noodle, Soothing, Noggin-Doctor") and the Psychiatrist chose to ask me... He asked "ME", the "normal" person who LIKED an organized silverware drawer... He asked me what was the "why" behind it mattering to me...
I kept my calm, and played along...
I was sure he was just flipping the perspective so SHE ( my wonderful Wife) wouldn't get too defensive when he asked her why She was So disorganized... So I answered his asking for my "why"...
I said, "well its more efficient to quickly get what you want, right when you want it, and its safer than fingering through forks to be surprised by a steak knife..."
I said back to him, "Get the point?"
I guess I got too cute and clever with the cutlery commentary...
Well, I guess I deserved what I got served next...
He said "Are you sure? How do you know its faster? Has anyone ever done a time study on which takes more or less time, taking the time to specifically place each piece in the drawer, vs, the time it takes to search for a piece when you need it?
Hmmmm?!?", he hintingly, hit home!
Oh Crap, I thought... I knew I'd forgotten something;
I forgot to bring my time-motion-study data to this debate... and that was because ... it doesn't exist!
He was right.
And then, the dagger was driven in like a butter knife in between my big spoons...
He said "And besides, its half her silverware too".
And with that, I realized I didn't want to lose half of my... I mean half of OUR silverware, or Half of My... I mean Half of OUR home, or have to lose Her for the rest of ALL of My Life.
It's half her silverware too...
And it's only forks and knives here, and ever since, our spooning has EXPANDED and Improved.
Thanks Doc... you taught me, taught us, the meaning to a happier relationship can be kept safely tucked, or tossed, inside our Silverware drawer.
Goals are good, Goals are great, but sometimes, setting goals needs to wait.
Now, STOP setting New Years Goals...
you're doing it wrong...
Hey, If you're happy with all your past outcomes, please, stop reading now, put this down, and pick up pen & paper or your keyboarded device and get busy helping the world to be a better, brighter place by sharing all your success secrets.
💥If you've got the whole, Personal-change-game 100% down "pat", then please... pass it on to the rest of the world.💥
What's that? No, you're NOT the person with the perfect track record.
Join the club, me neither, and Nobody that I know, is...
But a while back I found myself face down on life's floor, and when I flopped over and looked up, what I saw wasn't what was holding me down there, but what kept sending me there...
and would do so again, unless I changed how I did life, Big-Time!
I couldn't keep trying the same old things the same old way.
Sometimes the worst advice we can seek & accept is that which comes from experts. Especially when it seems like ALL the experts are saying the same thing, re-canned and re-hashed, over & over again, but for some reason, that same thing seems to fall short for us... over and over again.
So this year, if you wannna' bring about change and you've struggled in the past making it "stick", then maybe it's time to tell those experts and their so-called "S.M.A.R.T." goals, to go "stick" 'em... 'cuz if it don't work for you, SMART goals, are just dumb.
You've probably heard about the SMART Goal format; make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.= Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relative (to You) and Time specific. Sounds like a "Smart" plan, right?
Well then, I'm sure they have a great success rate... right?
But if they do, then why are people who've heard about this format for all these years, still struggling with change, improvement and empowerment, after all these years.
There have been a countless number of Great, Smart Business plans over the years... have they ALL succeeded?
NO... of course not, and I'll bet, more of them have failed than flown.
And countless invention ideas have been introduced to the marketplace as Smart, Exciting improvements to our world. Have they overwhelmingly succeeded? No, of course not. Were they Smart ideas? Certainly many were. So why did they fail? Was it just dumb luck?
NO..., thinking it was any kind of "luck" would be dumb.
It's less about the Goals and Plans, and more about the Planner and Goal-setter.
I'm not saying "they" were the wrong People to succeed, but likely, they were just ordinary people like you and I, doing the good things, but at the wrong time, in the wrong order, and THAT error in judgement, made them the wrong person, at THAT time.
I'm not saying it's a problem to HAVE Goals; Goals are good, goals are great. The problem is if you're setting those goals at the wrong time, in the wrong order, before You ARE the person where the "who you are" and the "what you want", line-up.
No Way, No Plan, No Approach, NO matter how "SMART" it seems, will provide lasting & sustainable results for any of us, if we can't see ourselves in life's mirror as being capable and qualified to sustain them. It's not the magic plan, nor the power of planning, it's the basics of becoming... become the person we believe will succeed, before we believe blindly in a plan for success.
💥We've gotta' prove it to us, and for us, FIRST!
...It's not the plan that makes the Man (Woman).💥
So this New Year, do it a New way, a different way that's designed to prove to you and the world that the "smart-est" goals are the ones chosen to fit the individual that you are, and you KNOW you can sustain their results, and not follow a generic path spewed out by a generic expert.
To succeed this year, Learn how to spell out your personal Change with "5-F's"...,
and NOT needing to have a single "A".
Complicating things Sucks!
We need a simple structure or system to follow if our resolutions are going to last into Next Year, hell, next month or even beyond next week (I'm working on one now that I 100% KNOW I will want to throw in the towel on before next weekend, so I set up a system of checks, balances and bite-sized steps to get me thru & beyond my own short-sightedness... but I digress. Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog about needing 5-F's and No A's in change).
For change to last, it has to feel like it fits, like it was always supposed to be this way, but we just hadn't found it's foundation...yet! Simple, right?!?
Following the approach of The "5 F's" (or really, 5-F-Words) is so essential, that when taken IN ORDER, they become our reliable foundation. Notice what I said; IN ORDER !
The 5 F-Words (which YES, I am about to share with you...Parental Guidance suggested) will make You a Master of Change, with a simple stair-step approach you can ALWAYS fall back on (because we ALWAYS face times we may fall back).
The reason for these 5-F's, is that they apply to ALL of us, Universally, and because we don't need to get or give ourselves an "A-Grade" in order to rely on them, we just need to believe that we "know the course material" well enough to apply it, on demand, in the real world.
So, No Perfect "A-Grade-performance" is required to spell-out C-H-A-N-G-E. (Hence the "No A's required) -
Just these 5-F's...
...and yes, You Must endure the first four before you can really enjoy #5 !
(I have some friends & family members who've balked hardcore at this, only to eventually admit they had to "employ" the first 4 to "enjoy" the last 1... read on to learn why)
This order makes tackling the unknown not so intimidating, and less reliant on some sort of "will-power", and more managed by your innate power, with what feels more like the perfectly, programmed, auto-pilot...
The great thing about accepting that FUEL is our foundation, is that we don't have to control it 100% of the time, BUT, (and that's a Big-But) it is the ONLY F-Word you DO have "Solo-Control" over, 100% of the time! Whether you feel it or not, You & ONLY You control what goes into you, and what you feel about that doesn't change that fact... feelings, are not facts, my friend, and that's a fact you can feel good enough about to base and build any and all change on.
So, FUEL must be our First Priority, but the next step is to prioritize what you do with that Fuel, and that is through FITNESS.
I've been a trainer over 35 years, and I've NEVER met the athlete who can bring about any outstanding outcome they wanted, with just any old "feed my face" approach. If you wanna build it, ya gotta feed it, then focus that "all-fueled-up" and ready to go gear of yours at your goals.
Followed in this order, We now have a reliable foundation that supports Health, Energy, Drive and Adventure.
Like Life itself, It's that simple... didn't say it was easy, just simple.
Now we've taken Fuel-steps & Fit-steps on our trek to the top, we should be feeling a “little” better about ourselves (hopefully, a LOT better). You know what happens next... right? Everything will just FANTASTICALLY fall right into place, and the Universe will grant your every Freakin' Wish, right?
(That aint’ what happens in MY Reality!)
Nope, NOW is when Life will test you, and try to trip you up. Always has, always will, and it seems to be, in just about "all ways possible."
So gather yourself, and your newly realized “Fuel & Fitness Command in the palm of My Hands” approach, collect some Confidence, Courage and Commitment to Clearly define what you are willing to FIGHT for… 'cuz Cupcake, you are gunna’ be tested.
One man's opposition is another man's opportunity.
If on occasion, you don't find yourself running head to head against the Devil himself, perhaps, it's because you're BOTH headed in the same direction...hmmmm?!?
See, this is where most folks mess up and get clobbered trying to do big important things, from big important wish-lists, in the wrong order. If you don't know your FIGHT before you plan your FUTURE (the next F-Word) , you puttin' the cart before the horse, as my Great-Grandma used to say...and she crossed the country in a buckboard wagon, so she knew first-hand!
Know the FIGHT you have in You, and the "Why" of what you're fighting for, before you go pick another fight (Goals/FUTURE).
Train and trust your resilience before you throw yourself head first against/into the new resistance.
FUEL empowers you, FITNESS Improves you, and your FIGHT will Inspire you to see yourself through... beyond the end of next week, like I said earlier about myself.
Know what you stand for when you get outta' bed everyday, so when you fall, and you will, you'll stand back up because of it… every time.
Now, you're ready to venture into Tomorrow-Land... The Future is where your Goals will deliver you and you will be their driver.
Tomorrow is coming, you can't control it, or completely contain it, and trying to "class-it-up" by convincing yourself that "everything's just gunna turn out OK", could be about as effective as "painting pin-stripes on The Titanic"; might look better, but still useless.
NOW is when S.M.A.R.T. goals are The SMART way to go, because ' proven to yourself that you're smart enuff to be entrusted with goals and going after them.
So what do You Plan for your FUTURE to look like?!?
Your Future Physically, Mentally, Geographically, Fiscally and Satisfactorily. ..?!?
What are YOUR Goals for "You"?
Goals are good... Goals are great... Now, Let's go get 'em, I can't wait!
To be honest, this, is NOT, my strong-event, so I went straight to the source; that wonderful Italian Wife of mine, for some input and insight, which, I gotta' tell ya', was Very Much To The "Point & Bottom Line", as she calls it.
She told me “I don’t know; I just like to laugh, make people happy, see the ones I care about having fun.” My Wife, for lack of a verbose descript (see what I did there), has FUN in life, like a child. Fun almost ALWAYS comes first for her consciousness, and at our Age, (combined ages WELL over 100... She hates when I mention that)maybe that perspective on Fun’s a good thing.
See, you’ve just done all the “adult” things to lay out your path to progress... FUEL? FIT? FIGHT? Planned your FUTURE?
You’ve done the heavy lifting, and built one Bad-Ass-Beast of a behavioral War-chest you can trust yourself with...
Saving FUN for last in all of this, is less about discipline and more about common sense, ‘cuz now, you’re the best version of YOU, to have the best FUN you can.
FUN, is a function of a Life, lived "in the moment".
-But sometimes... well, sometimes FUN is harder to find, amidst what seems like the uncertain Grind of the Day-to-Day.
- Well if, occasionally, all else fails within your FUN-Zone, you can comfortably step back and focus on your FUTURE; a future to have FUN again… we've ALL had to do that, after 2020... it’s a thing called “Hope.”
- And If your FUTURE looks blurry, it's time to Focus on the FIGHT to know & show that you are strong enough to build a tomorrow You can enjoy and have new, different FUN… you did it before, that’s the proof necessary you can again.
-If your FIGHT ever feels faded, well, take a break, take a walk, workout, breathe... become energized and stronger to renew your energetic FIGHT for that FUTURE, & FUN. (can you see where this whole process is going?)
-Best yet, if you're laid up, and can’t workout, then nurture yourself with the FUEL that heals and helps bring real health... back to your basics... Back to where you started...FUEL yourself, don't fool yourself.
It’s always good to know you can go home again.
Next up; The Basics of FUEL that will change your LIFE in less than a month!