Have you ever been bored or mildly depressed, but had no desire or energy to do anything about it?
It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon and it felt like the walls were caving in. I was bored, lethargic, and lazy. For a brief minute, I selfishly felt sorry for myself. It was not a proud moment.
“For the love of God, snap out of it,” I told myself. Do something — anything.
I made a quick decision. Take a bike ride. Don’t second-guess it. Don’t say no to yourself. Don’t allow yourself to change your mind. Do it!
In life, sometimes we encounter people who seem to have a knack for pressing our buttons. They know exactly what to do to get a rise out of us. And when we react the way they anticipate, we play right into their hands and regret it almost every time.
How do we stop these people from their obnoxious behavior? The answer is not to give them what they want. Make it not worth their time to instigate. My 13-year-old self learned that it sometimes actually works.
In seventh grade, it was recess at my school on a cold winter day…
Another Christmas is behind us. The last of the presents have been opened. Bellies are full from the holiday meals. It is that time when we likely pause and reflect on the most recent Christmas past.
What gifts did you receive that were really special? What made them special? Was it the monetary value? Was it the person who gave it to you? Or was it something else?
Every year, I cringe when people approach me to request my “gift list” — those items that I want to receive as a Christmas present. It seems ungrateful, but I cannot get…
In a household with seven kids, there is rarely a dull moment. As the oldest brother and second-oldest overall, I felt a sense of duty to look out for my younger siblings.
I also tried to teach them valuable life lessons, especially when they were acting like jerks. Sometimes it called for throwing cold water on a situation. I mean that literally.
My 21-year-old self was home from college on spring break. I was relaxing in our downstairs family room watching TV with two of my four brothers, ages 13 and 7. Our parents were in the upstairs living room.
A few years ago, I took a mid-workday run outside our office building. It was still late morning, so the nearby trails were mostly empty.
Jogging along a path in the back of a parking ramp, I approached a grove of bushes. Behind one of the bushes, I noticed two pairs of feet facing each other standing very close together. My gut told me I was about to interrupt a romantic encounter.
The two individuals attached to those legs must have heard my footsteps because the four feet quickly separated and jumped back on the trail headed toward me.
It was early afternoon. After finishing a quick lunch, I was ready to get back to work. But a voice in my head told me I needed to call someone first.
I picked up my phone and dialed the number. Three rings later, a woman answered, “Hello?”
“Hi Mom. It’s Steve.”
“Oh. Hi." she responded. She said nothing else.
“How are you and Dad doing?” I asked.
“We’re fine,” she answered. Again, nothing else. There was no ‘how are you' or ‘nice to hear from you’. Just silence.
I sensed something was wrong. …
Over the past few months, I have fallen into a pattern of napping much more than usual. At least once a day, a feeling comes over me where I simply cannot keep my eyes open.
At the end of many work days, I will log off my computer, come downstairs, and relax a bit before eating dinner. Almost immediately afterward, my eyes start drooping and an immense feeling of sleepiness washes over me. Before long, I am passed out in my recliner.
Or, I am upstairs in my home office working remotely like so many others, staring at a computer…
My last published story on Medium was over a month ago. I hit a major dry spell. It wasn’t that I couldn’t think of any story topics. On the contrary — lots of ideas were dancing around in my head.
Random thoughts would prompt me to say to myself, “That would make a good Medium story.” Then, I would fire up my laptop, write a few sentences or paragraphs, and then…nothing. <cue crickets chirping>
It was getting on my nerves.
I could attribute my lack of motivation to being very busy at work. Leading a team remotely during a pandemic…
I am sitting on a secret.
One of my employees has been accepted into a multi-year leadership development program at our organization.
He doesn’t know it yet, because it has not been announced.
As his manager, I cannot wait to tell him. It is a promotion he worked hard for, and I could not be happier for him.
Another part of me is thinking, “Shit! I am losing a valuable employee.”
We work so well together that it will feel like I lost my right arm when he leaves.
He generally kept to himself, but did excellent work.
It was 90 degrees outside with 70 percent humidity. It was a day that would make anyone feel lethargic and willing to make up any excuse to not do anything.
I had two options:
For those who are familiar with my past stories, which option do you think I chose?
Pedaling along a paved trail adjacent to a divided highway, I wondered what the passengers of those vehicles were thinking as they passed by that lone biker sweating…
Casual observations of the world around me. Trying to make my mark in the world, bit by bit.