Archive for November 14th, 2009

Hungry Ghosts

| November 14, 2009 | Reply
Hungry Ghosts

I recently came out of an emotional bad spell – emerging from it felt a lot like hitting the surface after you’ve been underwater just a little too long. This spell of anxiety/fear/depression/whatever it was taught me more than usual because it happened smack dab after I had a really awesome year business wise. I was on a high. Things were so good I had to go buy a suit so I could go to Las Vegas and get an award for being so awesome. That is important to note not because getting an award is important (but it is kind of cool, right?) but because of what happened after the award.

Intellectually I knew that all the activity I had in the funnel would end, and I’d be back in building mode. I knew it and even tried to prepare myself for the letdown. My business is cyclical – I know that. And I like building mode. Building mode is how one gets to closing mode. I just had a run of especially good fortune and my building mode was a distant memory, which I knew was not such a great thing for me. In the midst of my crazy happy frenetic good luck mode, I tried to prepare for what would come after the constant activity of balancing all the stuff in the hopper died down. I know how I can be – I get squirrley sometimes, so I tried to prepare.

There is a saying: “Trying lets us fail with honor.” I failed. I’m not sure I had any honor, either.

“I woke up one morning and I was scared. Not just a little scared, either. I was in full-on panic mode. I remember thinking, “Dammit, Lisa, this is exactly what you worked to prevent.” Yep it sure was. In my defense, I had a crazy end of September/October. We had family in from out of town (stressful), my Mom had spine surgery (surprisingly stressful), the foster greyhound we rescued need to be carried up and down our stairs in order to go outside (it takes both of us – constantly coordinating schedules is stressful), I bought a car (consumerism is, for me, fraught with drama, tension and guilt – stressful, but I sure like the car) and Ginger decided to feng shui our bedroom. Not only was I going through something hard, I had to do it with our bed facing a new and opposite wall. Things like that do bad things to me. I spent an entire sleepless night focused on whether the bed facing the other direction was symbolic of me never closing another deal. During that mental wrestling match I started doubting my employ-ability (I only have one suit!!) and by morning I had tearfully decided my only option was to make this thing work or I’d end up living in a paper box. I went to bed scared, I woke up panicked and I think Ginger wanted to throttle me (I wanted to throttle me).

[more . . . ]

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An atheist’s response to a religious greeting

| November 14, 2009 | 8 Replies
An atheist’s response to a religious greeting

I have an acquaintance at the gym, let’s call him “Greg”. I like Greg. Whenever I ask him how he’s feeling Greg answers, “I am blessed!”

If I see him when I’m on my way out and I say, “See ya later Greg!’, he always says something like, “God bless!” or “God willing!”

Greg is obviously a devout man. He hurt his wrist in a bad fall recently and told me how God was looking out for him because it could have been much worse. I nodded silently. Greg doesn’t know I am a doubter and I would never bring it up in the gym.

The strange thing is that lately I have found myself returning his greeting in kind. The other day Greg saw me before I saw him and he greeted me first.

“How’s it going today Mike?”

“I am blessed!”, I found myself saying (much to my surprise) and I meant it!

“You know it!”, he said with a knowing smile, and walked on.

It’s true! I do feel “blessed”, whatever that means. I’m very grateful for the things, the people, my health and the opportunities that I have in my life. I think about it every day. I often say that I feel like I live in a constant state of thankfulness. If that isn’t blessed I don’t know what is!

So now whenever I see Greg I greet him in a way that I’m sure leads him to think that I am a believer like him. My beliefs haven’t changed, I’m still an atheist, but it makes me feel good to say it and hear him say it back.

Is that wrong??

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Welcome to our store! . . . sort of . . .

| November 14, 2009 | 1 Reply
Welcome to our store! . . . sort of . . .

Customers of this Dollar Tree store in St. Louis are greeted with the following signs located on the main entry door:

img_0210

Here’s how I interpret the above: Welcome, honored guests, but it you rip us off, we’ll throw your ass in the slammer before you can even utter “Merry Christmas.”

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Mississippi

| November 14, 2009 | Reply
Mississippi

One of the readers of this blog, Jim Shank, has offered me the right to publish some of his photos. This is one of his photos, a morning scene of the Mississippi River, about ten miles north of St. Louis, which is also a few miles south of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi.

chain-of-rocks-jim-shank

This shot was taken from the “Chain of Rocks Bridge,” which has been reconfigured to be only for pedestrians and bicycles–no motor vehicles. This is also a spot where, in January and February, you can spot American Bald eagles.

Speaking of St. Louis, Jim also captured this reflection of the Arch, taken from a nearby collection of rehabbed warehouses (now serving as offices and retail) known as Laclede’s Landing.

lacledes_landing_jim-shanks

Thanks, Jim.

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