Never Up, Never In

So, some observations as I made my way first to Jacksonville and then to Islamorada Key yesterday and today.

This is a holiday weekend, which is why I’m traveling along with several thousand other people on this narrow little strip of highway that juts straight out into the ocean after you leave the security of Miami, Homestead and environs. There is a lot of traffic. I mean red line on the Apple Maps app, bumper to bumper fifteen mph type traffic. And it’s not like you can just blow your horn and go around, unless you have an airboat or a Hovercraft.

It’s enough to make you seethe except for one thing. You’re in the Florida Keys, baby. Keys Disease is already taking over, miles out.

Okay.

Whatever.

Whenever.

I’ll just watch the sunset.

I did have one flashing thought though, as I sat there and waited to escape the terrestrial gravitational pull of the Mainland.

Even when the traveling is hard, if you never get there, you can’t be there.

Of course it would be easier to stay at home.

Of course it would be cheaper to eat leftovers.

Of course it would be okay to have wild caught salmon from Publix.

But if you never get up and move, change, explore, and discover, you will never experience anything new.

If you never drink the martinis Hemingway drank, you will know less about the man.

If you never experience a sunset in the Keys, you will think all sunsets are the same.

If you never drive all the way to the Point (thank you, Virginia), you can’t say you’ve been to Key West.

In golf, the saying is “never up, never in”.

In life, if you never push yourself to get there, then you can never truly be there.

And if you’re never truly been there, you’ve missed out.

Your life is not as complete as it could be.

Figure out where you really need or want to be tomorrow and get yourself there.

Make your own breaks.

Get to the brink, and then push further.

You’ll see how really good that feels.

Goodnight from the beautiful Florida Keys.

#threewords2015, #breaks, #brinks

2015/01/img_8289.jpg

Three Little Words

As Chris Brogan and others have made customary in the blogging world, I offer up my three little words for 2015.

1) Books

I have thought about how I spent my time in 2014 and the recent years before. I found that a lot of my “ear time” was taken up by listening to music, but sometimes even more time was taken up by listening to podcasts. Tech podcasts. Mac podcasts. News podcasts. Productivity podcasts. A lot of time. Like hours and hours. Some of these podcasts are one and a half hours long or longer. Geez.

The fact is that the ear candy that is podcasting is a pleasant diversion akin to mental masturbation. Like the real thing, it feels very good but it’s not nearly as satisfying as a real relationship.

Enter books.

Remember those? Real ones with covers or audio ones on audible.com or your collector and distributor of choice. I have always loved books and I used to be an avid reader. Somewhere along the busy byways of life I lost that ability to really get into a good book, to focus and concentrate and enjoy the character development and the plot and the suspense of disbelief. I lost the pleasure I got from reading biographies of great men and women in history. I lost my passion for the many big, colorful, detailed Civil War books that used to litter my desk.

I want that back.

In 2015, I will read. Real books. Audio books. Books.

2) Breaks

Give me a break!

I’ve got news for you, kiddies. Nobody, I mean nobody, is going to give you a break. Not a leg up. Not a moment in time. Not a promotion that you don’t earn by busting your butt.

Now, in 2015, the word break is going to mean two things for me.

One is that I am going to make my own breaks, things that help me get along, move on up, get ‘er done, and make my mark. I’m going to “carp the diem” (Yes, Rob, of course that is for you-Happy New Year!)

The other side of the breaks coin will be the actual breaks that I take to recharge and rejuvenate this coming year. I’ve already had a good running start at this year-long goal in 2014 with my three week, seven thousand mile cross country trip and the several little mini-vacations I took to the coast to relax, Christmas shop and have coffee by the river, just because I needed to and I could.

This year, I intend to travel, see some new places, eat some different food, and enjoy the company of friends new and old alike. Break time is necessary to stay sharp, stay focused and stay happy.

3) Brinks

Now, what is this brinks thing, you’re asking?

One can be on the brink of a new discovery, at the brink as in getting ready to fall off a cliff, or on the brink of a major life-changing event.

I will be at the brink in the coming year, and I know it. Work, career path, relationships, all may see me walking right up to the edge and deciding whether it is a good idea (or not) to step back and think a while longer, to put one toe in and test the waters, or to simply decide that it is time to jump off and see if I can fly.

The rush of adrenaline that comes from pushing yourself to the brink, and then deciding how to negotiate that predicament and come out feeling happier, stronger and more alive, can be powerful indeed.

So, there you have it. My three words for 2015.

Books.

Breaks.

Brinks.

Three little words that over the next 365 days will guide me, remind me, and help me to be the best I can be in the new year.

What are yours?

IMG_7617

High in the mountains above Golden, Colorado, October 2014. Photo by Chelsea Smith.