83 and sunny in October…in Minnesota!

Much like the weather today, so many things have been unexpected and little has gone according to “plan” in 2011. Thoughts of having more time for writing and musing certainly fell by the wayside early as troubles with our house continued to mount in number and expense. (Yes, who knew the 1949 house that seemed so solid when we moved in would turn in to our little money pit.)

Tales of family and friends struggling in this “economic reovery” grew as fast as the list of contractors we spoke with. No one seemed immune to the new reality, while all the while Nero fiddled…or at least our elected elite dug in their heels to produce a stunning new form of gridlock. It certainly gives the 24 hour media cycle plenty of tragic drama while the rest of the world twists and turns in the wind, waiting, dealing with the amazing fury that Mother Nature doled out across the globe.

All portents of things and further posts to come, I think… Amidst a very strange four days, storms hit hard and events progressively worsened on the homefront. It began with the eagerly anticipated new outdoor amphitheatre / Daughtry concert being washed out (the stage literally blown away), our newly painted and professionally cleaned basement taking in water, my car window smashed, my wife’s purse stolen, and credit cards run up in a quick twenty minutes as we enjoyed (briefly) our son’s friend’s five-year-old birthday party in a quiet city park and culminated with a surprise change of direction on the professional front. Suddenly, much like counting on a week of 80 degree temps in October, plans for the immediate future needed to be rethought.

Family, friends, and prayers helped, but once again it was music that allowed me to keep my sanity and perspective. U2 played with unmatched energy as the skies once again opened up and 50,000 soaked souls soared…and a week later Paul McCartney had the crowd thinking peace is still a goal worthy of pursuit. How could I not agree that all you need is love…

Then back to reality. But first the cliches come pouring out…seemingly all the more real, all the more critical to keep top of mind: Do take the time to enjoy the moment, each and every one you find yourself in. Don’t let stress consume you to the point of forgetting the big picture AND the little things. Don’t forget to dance. Give someone you love a hug. Every day. At least once. Give others a hand or a smile. And…get back to work.

Storms and the winds of change are inevitable…and plans can never be set in stone. The willingness and drive to get the ship back on course, perhaps a slightly altered course is the key to success, to sanity, and hopefully to happiness. Don’t necessarily stay the course, keep charting the course! For if you do, as a wise man I know always says, the best is yet to come.

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