So this week I’m heading to Orlando on a business trip. I’m actually looking forward to that part. Monday is my travel day followed by two days at the convention, then a half day and travel home. Seemed simple enough. Only one layover each way and no red eye flights. What could go wrong?
Last November I ended up on a three day blur of a trip the week of Thanksgiving, red eyes included, and had some tough travel days. The trip itself was well worth it but it was hard. This trip seemed like it would be soooooo much better. I got into the office this morning, went over some final items with my boss and had lunch with him before heading to the airport. Once I got there I realized that I had the wrong cord for my phone. Well, it’s not the wrong cord but it’s not the best cord. I have a portable charging block and I can’t use my home charger for it. I have a special charging cable for when I travel but it was left in my car. At the time my car was 1 mile down the road but I wasn’t going to have a coworker bring it to me. It’s a small thing and I’d survive.
“Go big or go home.” I don’t know how many times I’ve uttered those words. If you grew up in the nineties where the X Games and Mountain Dew reigned supreme you know what I mean. It was this quest to do things bigger and better than those before us. I remember being glued to the TV as I watched Tony Hawk attempt to land the 900 for the first time. Attempt after failed attempt he got closer and closer. It was like everything was standing still and then he landed it. It was crazy and I was awe struck at what he had accomplished. The idea of being the first person to ever do something was mind blowing.
What you don’t see is the years he spent learning how to skateboard. The hours spent repeating the same tricks over and over until they could be done in his sleep. There was a day when an ollie was a big deal for him. Then maybe when he got really good at that he tried a kickflip. Today I can picture in my mind this gradual progression that started from some kid with a skateboard to a history making moment. That’s when I look at my own goals and ideas and take a step back. I need to start small.
I’ve never been real good at keeping a schedule. Now let me clarify for a moment. That doesn’t mean I’m not on time it just means that I don’t keep a schedule. When I think of a schedule I think of some sort of planner with every minute of my day mapped out. To me that suffocating. I keep track of the stuff I have to do like work, a doctor visit or a kids game. That’s easy. It’s important. It’s the other time that I don’t plan for. I sort of just let it happen.
What I’m finding is that time is either spent or lost. Well, maybe it’s just always spent. Sometimes on something worthwhile and other times on nothing. Time is my greatest asset right now. I have just as much as everyone else. That’s a crazy concept right? Bill Gates may have more money but you have the same 24 hours in the day. What you choose to spend those 24 hours is probably a bigger difference maker than the money you don’t have.
In fact I would go so far as to say that if you invest your time in something or someone you’ll have some sort of return. Actually, I guarantee it. If you pick any pursuit or idea and invest time in it you will see a return. I don’t know how big that return will be and I suppose that depends on how efficient you are with that investment.
Seems like a lot of new cars have push to start now. You don’t even have to take the key out of your pocket. You just hop in and push the button and you’re on your way. It’s cool. It’s novel. It’s a sign of class and refinement. It’s also easy. If you’ve ever ridden a dirt bike you’ll know you don’t always get push to start. In fact, more often than not it’s kick start.
Kick starting a dirt bike is not always easy but it can be. If your bike is well cared for with fresh spark plugs, good gas and oiled with care then it shouldn’t be too bad. Even with all the proper steps starting a cold bike, especially on a cold day, can be tough. Several kicks might be needed. Open the choke, give it a little gas but not too much. Older bikes can be even harder especially if it’s been a long time since they ran.
With every kick you can hear the motor trying to ignite itself. With every kick you create activity that can lead to combustion. The sound changes as you get closer and you might even get a sputter before the last kick that gets everything going. The sound of the exhaust and the puff of smoke that erupts from the tail pipe are like magic. As the idle of the motor settles down you are ready for your next journey.
“We have to wait on them to fix everything and everyday they feel like they are failing us.” – Lucille Gould (Cinderella Man)
I wish I could give my wife everything her heart desired. I wish there were no limits to what I could provide but there are. I think this is something that is common to all men. Deep within us is a drive to be the hero to our families. We want to save the day and be there to deliver them from disappointment, fear or pain. If we aren’t able to do this in some capacity, real or perceived, we feel useless. It’s a blessing and a curse but something that will always hang over our head.
I clearly remember staring into my wife’s eyes on our wedding day as we stood holding hands about to jump into the uncertain void of adulthood. I was 20 years old and had ignored the half hearted attempts by my parents requesting that we wait. I had a confidence that I would be able to meet any and every want and desire my wife could ever come up with. Her eyes looked back into mine without a shimmer of doubt that I was going to be someone she could place her full faith in.