Just Ask

I recently took a flight that normally takes 1 hr 40 min … yet we arrived in 1 hr 13 min.  Why?  Because the Airport I flew into has an airshow tomorrow and they wanted to practice today, so they requested all incoming flights to come earlier or later, to create an open window where they could run through their moves sans normal air traffic.  

I fly a fair amount, and I have to say, this has never happened before, and I'll dare say it doesn't happen often.

But it does illustrate something that is one of my key ideals:   JUST ASK.

I can't tell you how many exceptions I have gotten by politely asking for the unusual.

I think at least 50% of the time, the other person grants what I'm requesting, or at least meets me half way in terms of accommodating me.

The thing is, the as you get used to asking , the easier it becomes; in addition, your confidence grows, as does how you present yourself, which generally allows the other person to take your request more seriously.

I say it to my kids all the time: You have not, because you ask not.

(not an original quote.  If you're curious as to who said it, Google it!)


When going on a trip, do you 

A) Bring everything … so that you are prepared, so you can help others who don't have "x", love choices, and enjoy bringing much of you to wherever you are going?


B) Bring as little as possible, feeling the challenge to use everything you brought and for you less is more?


I fall in the latter category … I tend to pack my bag a week in advance … it sits in the corner of the room and I put stuff in a pile all week and then at some point, weed out whatever I can.  I know this will sound absolutely ridiculous, but as often as possible, I travel with a computer bag as my suitcase.  Because I am '5 foot nothin' as a tall friend referred to me once … I struggle to reach the overhead compartments on planes and usually, I like to carry on my bag just to save time on the other end.  So with a computer bag, I can put it under the seat and I don't have to ask for help.  

I'm leaving on a four day trip with two nice evening events.  I almost have it all in … I might have to actually carry my computer in hand (!) … but I bet if I work at it, I can get it in too.  Right now I have my toiletries bag, a pair of shoes, two pairs of pants, PJs three nice shirt / sweater combos, a cello tuner, music, a book, and underwear, socks, jewelry, etc. And, of course the outfit I am wearing.  But I would really like to take my glasses, journal, and fit my computer in it and not burst a zipper.

What to do.  

I want to take it all (my version of "all"), yet I also want unencumbered freedom  - I loath carrying things – no purse or other carry on … just a present for the person I am going to see (which, humorously is larger than my bag and therefore will have to go up in the bin!!  But it's not heavy, so I can do it myself).

This is how life is too.  Everything you add in is a weight.  However, it usually also brings a blessing.  So the question is, does the benefit out weight the cost?  

The cost/benefit ratio … that is really what life's choices are about.  Our highest values determine what we are willing to pay in terms of costs and what we consider to be benefits.  

The real issue is:

Often, we are truly unaware of the costs.

And under / over estimate the benefits.

So … a good life comes from knowing how to accurately determine these.


Cyber Demons

What do you do when you are facing a deadline and nothing cyber will work?

Do it again and again and again.

Try the help people, who often are no help.

Try typing in what you think the link might be to circumvent the problem.


Close all open applications to see if they are somehow jinxing you.

Go to the bathroom and hope it will be better when you come back.

Reboot the page.

Try every variation possible.

Sigh again.

What do you do when you don't know what to do?

I love the amazingness of the internet and all that can be done faster, better, etc.  But I do not enjoy when what is supposed to work (and now, I believe is my GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO HAVE IT WORK) and no matter what I do, it just wont cooperate with me.

I have found sometimes if you just walk away calmly, later, after the cyber demons have had their laugh at my expense, eventually, they go and hassle someone else and then I am free to do what I need to do.  

Like log onto a website that I logged on ten minutes earlier and did just fine, but now they are telling me they do not have my e mail address on file and my password wont work and they just don't like me.  

So, I took some time to write this, and now, I'm going to go back and kick some cyber-demon butt.

Do Something Different

Its quoted so often that it is now a cliche' – Einstein's comment about insanity being a function of doing the same thing, yet hoping against hope for some different result.

I believe we are seriously blind to this in ourselves; yet it is SO easy to see in others.  I talked with several people recently who have told me the same story dozens of times … things that happen repeatedly in their lives.  There were many tears and pleas for different outcomes.  But there never will be.  Not until they do something, anything differently than they are doing now.  The new thing does not guarantee the desired outcome, but to do the same ensures a familiar and dismal result.

If you are frustrated with something / someone … DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

(Sorry for the shouting.  Just DONE with same story, same results).  I'm speaking to me too, btw.

Killer Bees

So somehow we got on the topic of killer bees and as I Googled them to see the latest, there was a moving map that showed when they first were seen in the US and then to date how far North they had marched. In a relatively short time, they have spread over several states. My takeaways from the conversation:

A) Praise God we have winters that get seriously cold – too cold for the nasty bees.

B) I really, really, REALLY hate insects in general and stingy ones in specific. I killed six budding nests already this spring and there's a massive one I just found in the barn that I am screwing up my courage to deal with in the near future.

C) The Africanized bees (aka killer bees) have a relentless, pervasive expansion North. A little bit farther each year. I'm sure most people said, "They'll never get this far" – I remember as a kid thinking, well, at least they won't ever reach my state. We're too far away. However, now they have arrived in the southern edge. So it makes me ask the question: What miserable habit is steadily creeping its way further and further into my life, taking over places I don't want it to?

It's the small bit of emotional landscape that is the killer, because it's easy to rationalize or say, "I don't do it that often" – yet when you are honest, you have to realize its more than you think. Here are some I've come up with on the spot:

I'm addicted to sugar, for sure.

I'd rather passively ignore the interpersonal issue, than deal with it directly and create conflict.

I keep thinking I'll deal with those extra pounds tomorrow.

I repeatedly expect I'll finish the details from some home projects (like the molding on several walls) the next weekend (this has happened for 4 years now, with few exceptions).

Each time I give in to these things, a little more territory is given over.  A little more of the me I wish to be is given over to the self-destructive me.  I need to find a way to stop the oozing North and take back some of the ground.

I did recently buy a very cool chop saw (miter) to finish all the places that are molding-less.  I thought it was going to be last weekend.  And then I thought maybe this one.  

Perhaps the next?   : )