“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
I recently had a conversation with a highly regarded old friend. This friend is internationally respected for contributions made that have resulted in better lives for thousands, if not millions of people all over the world. My friend is highly regarded by scientists, public officials and peers. My friend has a high position on one of the world’s most respected international organization, a position that includes title, prestige and a large salary.
There a few that I know who have done so much and deserve so much, and yet….the job has provided little time for personal happiness. Global deadlines, relentless pressure, long hours, and constant travel to all parts of the world have left little time for family or friends.
In some ways what I heard reminded me of the dilemma I faced more than twenty years ago. While my job at the time was nowhere as significant as my friends, it was both lucrative and substantial. I managed an organization filled with people I regarded. I loved being part of the burgeoning computer industry even though it was in turmoil in the early nineties as the restructuring of the American workforce. Unfortunately my job soon lost its luster; I like my friend had little time for friends or family while my days were filled with the job of laying off both friends and loyal employees.
I found myself trapped, I needed the income to sustain my life style, I needed the benefits to provide health care and more, and I was dependent on my rapidly growing retirement accounts. There was just no way I could leave and then a friend asked me if it was all worth it, he asked why I thought it would get better and did I really want to trade happiness for title and income. I thought about it, talked to my wife and then did the unthinkable, I took very early retirement. And you know what, it was the best thing I ever did. While the income has not been there and the retirement benefits substantially less, my life experiences have exceeded my wildest dreams. Freeing myself from the bounds of apparent security allowed me to go where I never would have ventured in my previous life.
So the other day when my friend said she needed to make the big bucks in order to sustain her lifestyle, my question was, why maintain it if it just allowed the unhappiness to continue unchecked? I wonder why we put so much value on what we can buy and so little value on what holds the key to our happiness. Do you know the answer?
“The key to change… is to let go of fear.”
“How’s your mother,” a friend asked.
“Not good,” I answered. “She’s got chronic frontal sinusitis.”
“My goodness,” the friend said. “Where did she get that?”
“Reader’s Digest. Last month’s issue.”
Practice makes perfect, but if nobody’s perfect, why practice?
She said: The bank where I work had just installed its first 24- hour cash machine. I encouraged an elderly gentleman to take an application for the new plastic identification cards, explaining that he would be able to get cash any time of day or night.
He declined, saying, “Lady, anything I’d need money for that late at night I shouldn’t be doing.”
“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
I wonder if he means we work hard to be just like everyone else instead of being ourselves.
When the employees of a restaurant attended a fire safety seminar, they watched a fire official demonstrate the proper way to operate an extinguisher.
“Pull the pin like a hand grenade,” he explained, “then depress the trigger to release the foam.”
Later an employee was selected to extinguish a controlled fire in the parking lot. In her nervousness, she forgot to pull the pin.
The instructor hinted, “Like a hand grenade, remember?”
In a burst of confidence she pulled the pin …. and hurled the extinguisher at the blaze.
Judge: Was the child born out of wedlock?
Mother: No, Sir, just outside of Louisville.
My mom had decided to trim her household budget wherever possible, so instead of having a dress dry-cleaned by Stein’s Laundry she washed it by hand. Proud of her savings, she boasted to my father, “Just think, Sam, we are five dollars richer because I washed this dress by hand.”
“Good,” my dad quickly replied. “Wash it again!”
Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
The day I started my construction job, I was in the office filling out an employee form when I came to the section that wanted to know:
Single__, Married__, Divorced__.
I marked single. Glancing at the man next to me, who was filling out the same form, I noticed he hadn’t marked any of the blanks. Instead he’d written, “Yes, in that order.”
All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific.
Two girls were discussing pranks they had played on people in the past while waiting for a bus. After they boarded a crowded bus and one of them whispered to the other, “Watch me embarrass a man into giving me his seat.” Pushing her way through the crowd, she turned all her charms upon a gentleman who looked like he might embarrass easily.
“My dear Mr. Wilson,” she gushed, “fancy meeting you on the bus. Am I glad to see you. Why, you’re almost a stranger. My, but I’m tired.”
The sedate gentleman looked up at the girl. He had never seen her before, but he rose and said pleasantly, “Sit down, Mary, my girl. It isn’t often I see you on washday. No wonder you’re tired. Being pregnant isn’t easy. By the way, don’t deliver the wash until Thursday. My wife is going to the District Attorney’s office to see whether she can get your husband out of jail.”
“Change is the essence of life.
Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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