The name flush

missing nameI have a great ability to forget your name immediately after you tell me. This is not good.

Why do I forget? Maybe at a subconscious level, I think I don’t need to remember your name. Definitely, I am overwhelmed with keeping up with the flood of information I need to remember for work or to keep the wheels of life spinning. In any case, when I forget your name, I am cheating you. I am cheating myself. At a very basic level, if I remember your name, I am telling you that I value you. I am opening the door to a relationship and am showing you I think you are worth getting to know.

Work with me on this. Let’s try to remember names.


We love to be the first

trander joe's foursquare checkin screen shotI was definitely not the first customer to enter the new Centennial Trader Joe’s on opening day. I also wasn’t the first one to leave without buying anything, because of my impatience with the long checkout line.

I was the first person to be Foursquare Mayor – a very small – and ephemeral – thrill.

For many people in Denver, the arrival of three Trader Joe’s store on the same day was exciting news. Great food at even greater prices is worth celebrating. (And I did go back the next morning to endure the long wait. My reward was some inexpensive Sriracha, among other things.)

My question is: What makes us want to be the first to experience something that is all the rage?


We are all weak

magic shoe insertAbout nine months ago, I started experiencing pain in my left foot that just wouldn’t go away. Eventually, it reached the point where walking was painful. I put up with that for at least four months. I finally remembered my brother had experienced foot pain. I called him and he shared his experience of plantar fasciitis. Then I sought treatment, which meant a visit to a local foot pain specialist.

Complete healing came within about two months. Aaah! The difference has been dramatic. (Part of the solution was using the shoe inserts you see in this photo, and part of the solution was doing regular stretches for my foot muscles.)

The point of my little story is not to tell you where to go if you have foot pain, but rather to remind you to reach out to someone if you have a problem! Don’t wait. You may find an end to your misery a lot sooner than you imagine.

It may have been pride or simply laziness that prevented me from calling my brother. But if I had known that pain relief was within reach, I would have called much sooner. Please call someone you know who might be able to help with your problem. Even if they don’t know a solution, they may know someone who does.


Generation Gaps

This is a guest post by my brother Bill, for your enjoyment. (Thanks Bill!)

the gapLately I’ve been thinking about generation gaps. (From this point on, I’ll refer to them as GGs.) I will turn 57 in a few weeks (the new 52). While I don’t have any children, I do have a group of beloved nephews and nieces, ranging from young children to adults. In my volunteer job, I also work with a bunch of twenty-somethings. I’ve sometimes been reflecting on our differences, and also trying to remember how I viewed the GG when I was on the younger side of it.

Here are three stories and observations to expound on my perspective.

When the Beatles debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show in America, they caused a huge stir on both sides of the GG. I sometimes wonder what ol’ Ed thought as the foursome performed to that screaming studio audience. I’m sure his reaction is well documented, but I’ve never gotten around to reading about it. Maybe he thought, “Wow, this is really awful stuff! I hate this so-called ‘rock ‘n’ roll,’ but I’m gonna LOVE the ratings for this show, and the news we’re making!” In any case, when I feel irritation or other negative emotions about today’s popular music (especially hip-hop, which is I do not like), I usually also think, “My reaction is probably the same as the older generation’s reaction to rock ‘n’ roll back when it was getting big.”

My “baby sister” is twelve years younger than I. Her next oldest sibling is seven years older. When she was going through high school, all three of us (her older siblings) were gone to college and/or starting our adult lives. My dad was in his sixties then, and while there was love, there was also a lot of friction over dating, ear-piercings, and other issues. I’ve always felt that the pair of them had TWO GGs to deal with, or maybe a double-wide GG, since my dad was so much older than her. (I don’t think my mom factored into the situation as much, possibly because she was nine years younger than my dad.)

Here are a few things that annoy me about “the younger generation” today: the backward ball caps, the smartphones attached to their ears or thumbs (and the need to use the gadgets seemingly every couple of minutes), their “need for speed” on the freeways, the style of pants worn by young men… (I could go on.) Then there are more serious things, such as the fear I have that their ability to communicate normally with fellow humans has been reduced by electronic devices. Plus there are things I just don’t understand or “get” – many of the texting acronyms, the constantly new social networking sites/apps that keep popping up (what is Vine?), etc. Of course, when I look at this list, I see a few that could have described ME when I was young (ex., need for speed).

If I could go back in time and give advice to my younger self, there are many things I’d recommend, especially being more tolerant and respectful of my elders, because one day, I would be on the other side of the GG divide! Sadly, my younger self probably would have been pretty scornful of such advice.

Photo taken in Alaska by Travis S. Creative Commons licensed.