Musings from George


Happy and sad
May 17, 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of my kids’ teachers asked me today if anything was bothering me. I had a bad day recently where my son didn’t want to go to school, and I left him crying in a teacher’s arms. Not a good day.

I explained that I had a bad day, but overall things were great. She said that she (or more accurately, “we” meaning the teachers) view me as a role model of happiness and gentleness, so they were concerned that it must really be something terrible if it was enough to knock me off my normal bliss.

That caused me to stop and consider a few things. (1) am I really that unusual because I smile most of the time and I am nice to everyone? isn’t that a sad statement? (2) if a little tussle with my son can knock me off my bearings, and cause me to lose my halo of happy, what can I do to make sure that I keep my bearings?

I was invited to a YMCA celebration last night for donors (yes, I gave them money) and got to sit next to one of the featured speakers. He was exactly the reason I give money to the YMCA, a kid who wouldn’t otherwise get to spend time in the gym or get to travel to college campuses to see what the future could hold. I enjoyed meeting him and meeting his brother, both of whom were warm and intelligent kids who were NOTHING like the donors in the room. I was also glad to know that my parents raised me to be color-blind, and raised me poor enough to appreciate the breaks that I have been given — it makes it that much sweeter to be able to give back to those who need breaks today.

Went to the gym today (the YMCA), and the executive director recognized me from the dinner — it was a great event, and I look forward to being even more involved with the program in the future.

Totally different thread, I’m on the board of a nonprofit and we went to pitch our application for funding from the SV2  last week. Found out tonight that we will receive the funding grant, chosen out of the 12 invited applicants. That’s good money, targeted at strategic issues (rather than operations), and is a great validation of the value of the program and the services we provide to under-resourced neighborhoods. That feels pretty good.

Sad? I’m not, really. And I’ll try not to let the little things that go wrong cause me to give my friends reason to worry. I really am happy, and the smile and interest in everyone else’s lives are real. So much in my life approaches a fairy tale that it feels cheap to complain about the pieces that bore me or make me less than happy. So if you know me, keep me honest — most days are great, and I have a lot of friends. I love my family and am proud of my kids. I do a good job, and the company treats me well on balance. I do a lot of good things, and meet a lot of great people as a result.

Don’t worry, be happy. Life is good if you have the right attitude.

George

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