Sunday Post 166: Comfortable

I think one of the biggest challenges in life is becoming comfortable with yourself.

I was talking to a buddy who was really struggling in a relationship.  He was in love and just didn’t think he could go on without this woman who was sending some significant signals that she was through with him.

In our conversation, I asked him what he was going to do – how he was going to move on.

He said, “I guess I’m going to find another woman.”

Although that’s a great idea, I think a larger issue is why he can’t find happiness without someone else.  Why isn’t he happy with him?

I watch people; I watch people a lot.  I find them fascinating.

I love it when I see folks who really seem comfortable in their own skin.  There’s a confidence about them.  They seem to have a strong realization of their strengths and weaknesses.  They aren’t cocky.  They also aren’t concerned with what others think.  They genuinely seem happy.  They get a kick at being with themselves regardless of what’s going on around them.

I went to high school with a girl named Alice.  I’d describe her as popular, but in a very unconventional way.

She hung out with everyone.  She was nice and kind to the dorkiest dorks, I know that first hand.  She’d walk through the halls with them and laugh at their jokes.

At lunch, you might find her sitting with the coolest kids – the ones who dressed the best and who were members of the country club.

At 10-minute break, she might even venture out onto the concourse which was the only place you could smoke on campus.  Hard to believe you could actually smoke on a high school campus in the early 80’s.

Alice might spend a weekend night at home alone watching a movie she’d been dying to see.  And that was her choice.

She was just so stinkin’ cool.

Somehow, she had found herself and at a very young age.

I think I’m really getting there, but it hasn’t always been a simple journey.  There have been times I’ve wished – wished I was more, or different.  Wished I was included or perhaps excluded in a few situations.  I’ve spent time not focused and happy with the here and now but more focused on the what could be.  Too much energy asking “Why didn’t…?”

When you hit that point, the one where you look in the mirror and genuinely like what you see, that’s when, I believe, you’ve made it.

I don’t believe I’ll ever really find that deep down contentment in a new wife, or a job or with money or fame or even through my children.  All of those things can bring me joy, but if I don’t like me, if I don’t trust my instincts, if I can’t find happiness just being, I don’t think I’ll ever get there.  So that’s what I’ll work on.

Sunday Post 108: Gooooo Danny!

I was watching Stephanie cheer at the school basketball game this week.  As I was sitting there, after the half time show of course, I pulled out my phone to check a couple of emails.  One had come in late that afternoon.  It was from one of my mom’s friends.  She told me how much she liked my blog and how proud she was of me.  She has no proof of this, but she also told me I was a good father.

As the second half of the game started, it dawned on me:  Everyone needs a cheerleader!

What if everywhere you went there were 12 people cheering and chanting for you?  In a meeting before you were about to make a great point, the squad would break out…

Clap your hands

Stomp your feet

Listen to the rhythm of the Dan-ny beat!

Everyone would get silent.  As I concluded my observations about the January budget figures, the girls would go wild!  Pom-poms in the air.  A Herkie, a Toe Touch and a Spread Eagle Jump in each corner of the conference room.  Whoa-whoa!  Great point Dan-ny!  Go Danny.

As I entered a meeting with an angry Y member, the team would run in –

He ain’t bad

and he ain’t cocky

He’s gonna ride over you

like a Kawasaki!

Zoom Zoom…

I bet the member would think twice before crossing me.

I’m actually pretty lucky.  Like my mom’s friend, since Lisa died I have had a ton of people who tell me I’m doing a good job and some with nothing to substantiate their praise.

I’ve seen a lot of suffering kids throughout my career at the Y, no one, not even their mama or daddy is cheering them on.  I see folks who drive the taxi I ride in or who wait on my tables at the Waffle House or who bag my groceries at the Harris Teeter and seldom do I hear a “thank you” or a “way to go.”  I know folks at church who quietly serve others but who receive little recognition.

There are times I don’t even take the time to praise my own kids because I’m too wrapped up in what I want to do.

I never thought I could be a cheerleader.  I can’t do a cart-wheel and the herkie’s a killer.  But there is simply no reason that I can’t do a better job of cheerleading for those I come in contact with throughout my life.  Folks are constantly encouraging me, I ought to be doing the same.

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