A couple of months ago I was mentally envisioning this week as my “breathing” week. Over the past six weeks, I traveled a ton, spoke in North Carolina, and generally did things outside of my comfort zone. “How’d that work out for you, Steve – the envisioning yourself in the future and not fully appreciating the present?” my coach said to me last night. I actually had a wonderful time traveling and the speaking thing was pretty amazing. I told her I wasn’t planning on “just getting by” or not living every moment to its ultimate best … it was my coping mechanism. It was like when I did my one and only marathon – I didn’t ever look forward to the actual running; it was the post gloat “I did a marathon” that I looked forward to. I have great memories of the past six weeks.*
So I’ve been looking forward to this week, and then Monday morning I heard the sad news that a friend from back in Sioux City died. He was one of the guys I hung out with, and he also played guitar. In fact, he played in my rock band all throughout high school. That was a punch to the gut. I told my coach yesterday that I knew this guy practically my whole life and until he died I didn’t realize the impact he had on my life. I probably wouldn’t be friends with a lot of the people I hang out with if it wasn’t for him.
When we step back and look at our lives, and we really look at who, how and what has impacted the direction we took in life … have we extended our appreciations? I sure haven’t. I know that when people have reached out to me and told me how my actions have affected their lives (hopefully in a good way) it makes me feel good. I remember sitting with my friend Jane at the bar Kingston Mines in Chicago off of Rush Street maybe 15 years ago. In college I was really overweight and Jane could also spare a couple of pounds. She badgered me into playing racquetball with her daily and joining this gym – I think because she wanted me to drive. Anyway, I ended up losing 60 pounds and getting on an exercise journey for the rest of my life. I told Jane 15 years ago that she literally saved my life. She was the reason I turned around my bad behaviors and got on the right path … she had no idea and was blown away by my story.
How have others impacted your life and why haven’t you told them? It’ll probably make their day.**
*One of my lessons that I learned was that I will never fly through Charlotte, N.C. again. It was a horrible experience. Big meandering airport and everyone is running like crazy there.
** Assuming it’s good.
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO