Friday, December 30, 2011

25 Lessons Learned In 2011

1. Never judge a book by it's cover - the old adage rings true.  Be it a company, a job, a person, or an actual book - what you see on the outside isn't always what you get on the inside, and sometimes what you find inside is a MAJOR disappointment.

2. Never compromise who you are - for anyone or anything.

3. "You never really change like they say, you only become more like yourself".  Thanks, Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction for that nugget.

4. Trust your instinct.  Gut.  Feeling.  Feelings.  They are more often right than wrong.

5. Don't dwell in gossip; jumping in that pot perpetuates it.  Stay above it and it will simply go away.

6. When you put something out there on social media and it's read - even by one person - it's engraved in stone.  While it can be deleted from the surface, it's always there.

7. Work for success rather than money.

8. Being happy where you work is way more important than the paycheck you bring home.

9. As Stephen Covey said, "The best way to predict your future is to create it".

10. As Jodi Picoult said in Keeping Faith, "The worst thing about endings is knowing that just ahead is the daunting task of starting over".

11. The Kardashian's, Teen Mom, Jersey Shore, House Wives of (Fill In The Blank), and other garbage reality television programs similar that have become focal points of daily conversation are seriously on the list of causes for our once great country falling apart at the seams...using the word "reality" for any of them is a joke in and of itself.

12. Forgiving is easy.  Forgetting isn't.

13. As Maya Angelou once said, "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel".

14. Another Maya Angelou nugget, "you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back".

15. To paraphrase a Robert Frost quote, one thing is for sure about life - it goes on.

16. Most people never truly listen.

17. Don't rain on anyone's parade - we all have cruddy stuff we deal with daily.   No need to send out invites to your own little pity party. Revel in other's success, because success - as well as negativity - is contagious.

18. Be mindful of sharing your opinion just for the sake of being a dissenting voice.

19. Stop always looking for the answers...Stop always asking the heavy questions...Just be...Enjoy the here and now.

20. Say "Thank You" - daily.  It's a powerful and lasting phrase.

21. Don't straddle yourself with regret.

22. Give unconditionally - thoughts, encouragement, prayers, time, patience, friendship, love, service.  Everyone can use one or all, and any one of these simple things could be the lighthouse in someone's storm.

23. Take the time to learn the lessons from the challenges we face.

24. All any of us can do is put forth the right effort for the right intentions - we can pursue what is right for us...the results of the effort and intentions will fall as they will. Period.

25. When in doubt, always follow one simple rule - WWHBD - What Would Honey Badger Do?  It'll never steer you wrong!

2011 - quite a year personally.  Looking forward to its quick exit and on to bigger and better things in 2012.

I'm not going to make resolutions.  I'm going to start revolutions.

Get on or get out of the way.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


The worst thing about endings is knowing that just ahead is the daunting task of starting over.” - Jodi Picoult, Keeping Faith

Fitting theme for dreaming it all up again...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dreaming It All Up Again

5 days 'til the jolly old elf comes to visit, Beatdowners!  Are you doing your part to stay on the "Nice" list???

As I stated in my final blog, I need to step away and dream it all up again. 

It's a process.

And I think part of the process can be incorporated into 2012's New Year's Resolutions.

Here's a few things...

Don't rain on anyone's parade - we all have cruddy stuff we deal with daily.  Some of us tend to wear the negativity like a tacky Christmas sweater - loud and proud.  It's okay to seek advice and solace with friends, but don't make it a daily routine to pee in someone's Cheerios when the cards aren't falling the way you hope.  No need to send out invites to your own little pity party.  Revel in other's success.  I'm a firm believer that success - as well as negativity - is contagious.

Let's face it - opinions are like buttholes - we all got 'em, and they all stink.  Sure, if someone asks your opinion, give it.  But be mindful of sharing your opinion just for the sake of being a dissenting voice. 

As I mentioned before - stop always looking for the answersStop always asking the heavy questionsJust beEnjoy the here and now.  Live each day as if it's the best day ever.  Live each day as if it is your last, because one day it will be; afterall, we are never promised tomorrow.  Stop solely enjoying the "remember that time" stories.  Stop solely enjoying the anticipation of the trip, the party, the whatever.  Just take it all in as it's happening and live in that minute!

Say "Thank You" - to co-workers, to friends, to family.  Daily.  Let go of bitterness.  It ages you, way more than you realize.  Being thankful and grateful to those around you doesn't cost anything, and could start a trend of paying it forward - wouldn't it be awesome to brighten someone's day with 2 simple little words?

Don't straddle yourself with regret.

Forgive.  Let go of grudges.  And most importantly, forgive yourself.  Pause, acknowledge, turn the page and move forward.

Give unconditionally - thoughts, encouragement, prayers, time, patience, friendship, love, service.  Everyone can use one (or all) of the above, and again, none cost anything.  And any one of these simply things could be THE very spark that someone needs to prevent them from throwing in the proverbial towel.  Any one of these simple things could serve as the lighthouse in someone's storm.  Any one of these could be the crutch we all need to lean on from time to time.

And a common thread throughout all of this message is take the time to learn the lessons from the challenges we face.  Once the lesson is learned, we adapt...dare I say we evolve.  Once the lesson is learned, the challenge can't burden us again.  We simply move around it, plow through it, or act as if it simply doesn't exist.

And by all means - share those lessons.

5 days until Christmas.  11 days until we ring in 2012.  Take an inventory of everything you have to be thankful for, for every gift you receive daily.  Granted, some may be harder to find and recognize - but if you look hard enough, they are there, standing in front of us in broad daylight.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Christmas Blog

Okay, so here's another blog entry, Beatdowners - composed completely from my iPhone (later edited from my 'puter)...I did say I may have a few quick one's about Christmas, so I'm entitled.

I'm not feeling the Christmas Spirit this year. Plain and simple.


The weather being more like Spring than late-Fall/early-Winter?

The horrible commercials showing parents one-up'ing Santa, destroying Littleheads dreams, wonderment, and believing?

The continuation and further commercialization of Christmas?

Not having a job?

Visiting with friends and family being far too infrequent?

The dread of having to drag the Littleheads out and about on Christmas day, rather than having it at my house, where I want it to be?

The lack of any Christmas tradition in my life (with the exception if hanging with my brother for a few pints on Christmas Eve, which looks as if it'll be derailed this year)?

One certainty - not attending Mass has 110% contributed.

Actually, it's safe to say that it's in part due to all of the above.

But there is one week left.  One week before Christmas.

I'm going to make the most of it to salvage some part of the Holiday Season - for me, for my family, and for any one else who wants to come along for the ride.

While Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus, it's also about joy, cheer, friends and family gathering, miracles, and Festivus!

Now to just find it...or better yet, now to just let it happen...

And if all else fails, I can fall back on the advice given by Buddy the Elf in the now-Christmas classic film Elf:

"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear".

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Final Thought

Happy Monday, Beatdowners.

This is going to be my last blog of the year - well, my last blog besides maybe a few quick quips about CHRISTmas...this one is it...a final thought.

As some of you know, I've been out of a job since October 25th.  I've ran the gamut of emotions - anger, fear, worry, relief.  I've been actively looking - a few leads.  Some disappointments.  Reaching out to my network.  The usual cycle.

I have a decent support system, if you will, around me - could always use extra words of encouragement, extra assurance that everything will be okay...but I'm getting through.

During my time off, I've looked inwards and learned a few things...a few that I want to share...

1. I won't compromise my values or beliefs for anyone, for anything.  Matt Stone will always be Matt Stone.  And I'm perfectly fine with that.

2. All any of us can do is put forth the right effort for the right intentions - we can pursue what is right for us...the results of the effort and intentions will fall as they will.  Period.

3. All of us want answers - not the "Where are my dang keys" or "What are we getting up to tonight" kind of answers - I'm talking about answer about life, our ultimate purpose, our place in the grand scheme of things. 

Anyhow, I'm pretty sure that we have to first take a look at our questions before looking for the tangible answers; I say that because I'm pretty sure that the source of both the question and the answer is the same. 

The source is US, as individuals.

However, I've also come to find out - especially over the last two-plus years - that sometimes the most prudent move is to stop looking for the answers....stop asking the questions...just enjoy the moment, the now...just "be".

4. Life is all about growth - experiencing life fuels that growth.  Growth (in terms of life) is sort of like climbing a staircase; at some point, we all reach a landing - a comfortable spot.  And we stop climbing when we should be moving to the next step and the one after that - you know, to continue growing (sorry for all the philosophical stuff!).

I think I've gotten a little too comfortable.

I've had a lot of fun, a lot of anguish, a lot of love, a lot of loss, a lot of mistakes, and a lot of triumphs over the past few years.  To all my friends and family, near and far, here and departed, THANKS for coming along for the ride with me. 

I don't really know what all of this rambling is or what it all means, but as 2011 comes to a close, as the Christmas Season kicks into high gear, I feel like it's the end of something for yours truly. 

I fully intend to get my Christmas celebrations and New Year celebrations on to the fullest; sort of make each moment a party for myself, if you will. 

Now don't fret, it's no big deal - this isn't a cry for help or anything remotely bad...

I think I just need to step away for a moment, and dream it all up again...

Until then - thanks for reading and stay tuned.