make me smile
Oh, and if you’re in the mood –
Leaves have fallen and the air is crisp; today is the first day I smelt autumn.
I love this time of year.
It’s my favourite season for so many reasons: the deep brown colours, the change of temperature and the quiet, slow excitement of what’s to come. Autumn’s arrival tells me my birthday is near.
Except, things are different this time.
I don’t know if any of you have ever had your birthday ruined before. It’s not a nice feeling. In fact, it’s pretty bloody awful. Close friends will know (as will those who have read the piece I wrote for CALM) that my birthday last year was probably the worst day of 2010.
The day before, was amazing. A great day out shopping & hanging out in town then later, my awesome birthday party. Benny came dressed as Beetlejuice, friends old and new mixed together, hell, even my family came.
Less than 24hrs later, on the evening of November 21st – my actual birthday – my then girlfriend of two years decided that it would be an ideal time to end our relationship over [what I was then told] ‘trust issues’. Wrongly accusing me of cheating, she was up and out of the flat before the week was out.
It nearly killed me. How do you prove yourself innocent when the other party has convinced themselves you’re guilty?
After months of blaming myself, I uncovered the truth: she hadn’t broken up with me over trust at all. She had, in fact, decided to leave me for one of my alleged best mates and was too cowardly to tell me. A chance meeting with the latter (after general avoidance and non-returning of calls) back in March started that avalanche of information.
The night I found out everything, the week before I headed off to Siberia, my friends were stunned. They expected me to be livid, to be more angry. But honestly? When all the pieces finally fell into place? I felt relieved.
Relieved that I wasn’t at fault, relieved that the pain and angst I’d been carrying around for months could finally lift and most of all relieved that I was out of the sick, twisted, horrid mess that I’d mistaken for two people I could love and trust.
Today is the first day of autumn for me. My birthday is just around the corner. I stepped out of the flat this afternoon, took a huge lung full of air and… I remembered.
A couple of weeks ago someone dear to me asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. “I don’t know” I replied. Then I remembered what happened last year. The fake smiles at the party, the secret plans behind my back – I panicked.
“What will I do? What can I do? God, last year was terrible..”
But y’know what? Life is better now. So much better. Life has moved on, love has moved on and, best of all, the people around me are amazing.
When I first started writing this about an hour ago, I was full expecting it to a be low, melancholic exploration of how now the change of season has made me sad. Instead it’s a celebration of autumn, the beautiful season it is and a look up toward the amazing birthday I’ve got lined up for next month.
Bring. It. On.
[Private post – made public Dec 23rd, 2011]
If you’ve clicked through in the vein hope of finding my next post on why ‘relationship marketing matters to brands’ then sorry, not today. Today is about something else.
Your relationships matter. Your family. Your friends. Your loved ones. Your other half. Your soul-mate. The relationships you have with the people that matter, matter.
I would’ve quit my job last year if it would’ve meant saving my relationship. Alas, for me, it was too late. I heard a story today of someone else going through a break up because of work and just last night someone else told let me that, after a particularly bad period, they introduced a work veto; if at any point work gets too much, and has a negative impact on their lives together, then it stops. The work, the fighting. Everything.
Life is too short, too damn complicated and far too sweet to spend it working every God-given day and night on something that – if it really doesn’t make a difference to life or death – really isn’t worth it.
If this is you, then stop. Right now.
It isn’t worth it.
Not the one between you and your client. Nor the one between you and your customers. But the one between you, the love of your life and your kids.
Life is short, make the most of it.
Yes, I’m talking to you.
a parable for the envious
There are times in my life when I love my job, there are times in my life when I hate my job, there are times in my life when my job opens my eyes to something so freakingly awesome but no matter what happens, I can never tell anyone.
Friends ask me often if I enjoy what I do, whether I’ve seen anything cool lately and/or if I can tell them of anything I’ve seen – “Y’know, blogger to blogger?”
More often than not, I respond with the following – “It’s like the old joke…”
A preacher who liked to play golf every Wednesday at a modest public golf course was standing on the elevated tee at the sixth hole of that course...
He took a few practice swings, and looked across the river to the immaculate private country club nearby.
“Just once I’d like to play at that gorgeous course,” the preacher said to his foursome.
Another player spoke up:
“My company has a reserved tee time at that club for us every Sunday morning, and it’s all paid for, too. But all of a sudden yesterday the boss says we have to travel out of town for a week. It’s a shame to let that tee time go to waste. I could give you a guest pass and you could have it all to yourself. Would do you say?”
Of course this was a dream come true for the preacher, but it put him in a terrible predicament. If he accepted the gift, he would have to miss Sunday worship. He thought to himself,
“I haven’t missed a Sunday service in 17 years of preaching. A sin to be sure, but I am after all just a man trying to do my best like all the rest.”
He succumbed to temptation and accepted the invitation.
On Sunday, the preacher awoke, called his deacon, and said, “I’m terribly sick today, and will not be able to offer service.”
“Well, we surely hope you are feeling better soon,” said the deacon. “What matters most it that your health is blessed, and we shall all pray for you today.”
This made the preacher feel a little guilty, but it was a beautiful clear cool morning, and promised to be a beautiful day. He opened a box from under the bed that had a new folded golf shirt, his cleaned and polished golf shoes, and he put them on instead of his usual clothes.
Later, on the beautiful practice green, the preacher fit right in but couldn’t help feeling conspicuous. At that exact moment up in Heaven, Saint Peter was looking down. He said to God,
“Do you see what is happening down there? I’m very disappointed in this preacher. Surely you are going to do something?”
God replied, “Don’t worry Pete, I’ve got it all figured out.”
St. Pete knew it was best not to question any further, but to just wait patiently and watch for it all to play out. He watched the preacher walk confidently to the first tee, a short par-4. The preacher teed it up, and hit a pretty fair drive, low and straight.
But just then, God waived his hand and created the perfect little wind. The wind carried the ball as if in the hand of God and lifted it down the fairway. The ball took once bounce and landed on the green, kept rolling, swung to the right, barely crept up to the hole, and fell in. It was beautiful.
Up in heaven, St. Pete was very upset.
“An albatross! Are you kidding me? Here is one of our own preachers committing this sin, on a Sunday no less. Just when I’m certain that you are going to offer up the perfect punishment to befit the sin, you instead go and reward him with a once-in-a-lifetime shot?”
God says, “Yes, but calm down Pete. Who is he going to tell?”
I love my job.
I get to see the coolest things in the world before anyone ever will.
My eternal curse is that 99.99 times out of 100?
I’m never going to be able to tell anyone.
Images via Paul Clarke
Moleskine entry: July 15th, 2010
It’s not too bad. Today’s date is July 15th 2010. In 20mins I’ll be in Canada which… is interesting. I was upgraded today. Seat 3G. That was nice.
Saying that, I am tired. But to be fair, that’s down to lack of sleep over and above anything else.
Son, Daughter – one day I hope you’ll read this. Read about ‘Dad’s Travels’. I bought my first map last week. Stickers a plenty all over it, yours too one day.
Where was I?
Yes, that’s it; Son, Daughter – take one piece of advice from your old man; Be Happy. There aren’t many things in life that are really, truly worth worrying about. Life & Death, certainly. But that’s it. Your life can be as happy as you want it to be. Good things happen to good people. It’s true! Now don’t mock the cliché, please. I mean it. My endless optimism has seen me all right so far. I hope and hope that, if anything, you get that from me.
— who one day, will be your Dad, X
If you can’t be bothered to click through I’ll summarise:
Ricky has just recently got engaged right and that’s all good.
He’s a very happy chappy indeed.
So his jaiku says that tonight he is organising ‘date night’.
And it *really* made me smile —->
Well this is something that he and his affianced decided would be something they do once a month, every month, whether they can afford it or not, for the rest of their lives.
And it certainly gets my vote as a relationship winner.
This kind of stuff properly warms my heart.
So I mentioned to Ricky that it was a great idea and that I’d be adding this to ‘my list’.
That is, my list of love philosophies: Little guidelines and helpful tips to make sure that the relationship that you find yourself in is loving, caring and consistent.
I replied to the Jaiku that Ricky had inspired me to blog and lo and behold, here I am.
(We’ll conveniently forget all the other things I promised in my last post huh?)
And what nugget of information am I sharing? Well – a philosophy that is very dear to my heart – that was told to me by a very close friend of mine not soon after my Wife and I went our separate ways –
(and if you didn’t know that then there’s probably more stuff you didn’t know about me)
Today I give you…
The Five Projections of Love
The five projections of love are touch, time, words, actions and presents.
Every single act of love can be defined by one of the above.
We all like all five, all of us do… in varying ways.
But on average, we each tend to favour two or three over the others… on average.
Now, the thing about our favourite ways of projecting our love is that they also double up as our favourite ways of receiving love.
In that – If I give you something, like a watch or something, as a thank you for something or whatever, then that is me demonstrating my love for/to you.
That being the case, then the best way to speak to my heart, to show me love, would be to get me a present in return. That’s just in this example…
Another example I can give is from a former relationship –
…and this is something I rarely talk about in my blogs, (relationships etc), but, in an effort to make this stuff more personal and to also add a bit more clarity to what I’m talking about, I’ll carry on regardless…
In a previous relationship my ex would for instance:
Cancel her plans for the evening, get home from work early and clean the house – all through her love for me.
That is the best way she knows how to show her love. Why should she show it any different? That’s what being loved is to her…
Me on the other hand?
I wouldn’t rush home early, instead I would go shopping to buy her something nice to bring home and then when I’d home all I’d want to do was hug this person that I’d missed so much throughout the day.
Four completely different projections of love there. I was blind to hers and she may well have been blind to mine.
I’m not saying that that is what ended the relationship – not by a long shot – but when starting something new, or meeting someone new or even if you’re in a relationship right now, old or otherwise, albeit with a friend or a lover…
Keep an eye out for how they project their love.
By doing something similar to/for them back you may make them feel the most loved person in the world.
And THAT is a beautiful feeling.
It’s just about being aware I guess.
As I said – that’s one of my philosophies. Take it and do what you will.
Thanks for reading.. and just take a moment and think it over.
Touch. Time. Words. Actions. Presents.
Which ones are yours?
PS – And you’ll notice too that some of the closest people to you may share your projections. Funny that huh? 😉