In the early 90s when I was running hospitals in South Dakota, I got interviewed by the New York Times and was referred to as the "caustic mutterer" when describing what I thought of the state of rural healthcare. (My friend Tami, who lived in New York at the time, said she spit out her coffee when she saw her friend Steve on the front page of the Times muttering cynically about medicine in rural South Dakota.) I personally wore this as a badge of honor until the whole "entitled person who is negative and demanding and constantly wants to talk to the manager"* came to light.
This morning I did this podcast with Gina. (The ISH Dish Podcast) Today's episode was on bike riding and RAGBRAI. I'm a big rider, and I like to talk about all things bikes all the time (much to the chagrin of everyone around me). This weekend, I rode both Saturday and Sunday. I told Gina about this and how I mutter under my breath about people on the trail not adhering to proper riding etiquette. (I'm the old guy who yells at kids making noise and takes away their balls when landing in my yard.) If someone let's their dog off of its leash - I'll mutter "LEASH LAW". If someone is not wearing their helmet, I'll mutter or think loudly "HELMET."
I exhaust me.
As my ride yesterday was ending, I thought to myself - "Get a grip, old man. You missed out - the weather was perfect and the ride was awesome, but you had moments of angry emotions. Your loss." There are times in my life that are close to excellence but because I looked through my caustic lens, the quality was spoiled.
How often do we focus on the flaws and miss the beauty? I know I need to change. Next time I'm quoted in the New York Times, I want to be known as "they guy who saw the good in everything."