Yesterday I was privileged to spend a day with a really phenomenal guy and his equally phenomenal wife…just catching up and laughing and making a few pretty horrible jokes.  This guy happens to be the man that taught me my job wasn’t recruiting, it was listening…and he taught me how to use peoples’ names when I talk to them.  Have you ever thought about the conversations we have where we don’t EVER call the person by name?  Listen to yourself…

Anywhooo.  I’d taken a friend with me over to his place in Maryland as I knew that they would instantly get along and have very similar interests (and personalities).  I wasn’t off on that one at all.  After crabs and a couple of beers and whatnot on the dock, we moved inside to cozy up with several of the eight dogs present and just take on the world with BS and all that fun stuff.  Eye-opening to me.

I often speak of the ‘proverbial bus’ coming down to take you out on the road of life.  I’m tasked with coming up with a succession plan for my role in my company.  I do not need that stuff.  I am bullet proof.  But one day you go in for quasi-elective surgery and come out on the other side with a massive infection that really does take you out of the game.  Totally.

My dear friend has that going on with him now.  A little fix the broken foot, oh look!  Houston, we have a problem.  Without going into the whatevers and whatfors…his issues are very real and very current and very painful.  So when I talked to him about what it meant to me about conquering the world and happiness and blather…he listened very patiently (thank you!)…and then pointed out that he had never really taken more than five days off in about thirty years.  And suddenly was faced with a ten WEEK layover that the clock is still ticking on.

He very aptly pointed out that the bus doesn’t always kill you, but it does make you stop in your tracks and have to regroup, redesign and redirect.  The recent VW commercial series of startling car accidents with the comment, Life Happens at You Fast, is about those changes.  Yes, safety in automobile design is important.  But much more important is designing your life so that you remain in charge.  In peace with the evolution.  Plan ahead.  Plan accurately.  Dream wildly.

He told my friend, as they discussed investment property and a myriad of other things, watch what I do and do the exact opposite.  Surrounded by the beauty of what he’s done and achieved with his brilliant wife, I don’t believe that.  I know that he meant timing is important and listening to the undertows of the market.  But life?  It happens at you fast.  And heaven forbid that we should wait for the timing to be right.

Thanks for the day and the lessons learned.  I appreciate it.