The kid at the gym tells me he can’t understand why I am so excited.
“Dude, you just flew off of the bench and started bouncing. What’s up?”
“Put up 215 and did 5 reps. Could have done more weight. That is 40 pounds of progress.”
He shakes his head and tells me I shouldn’t get excited because I am not close to my potential and I shake my head in return.
“You don’t get it ‘cuz you’re a baby. Time feels endless to you but not to me, I know it is like an accordion and sometimes that accordion gets squeezed and it all goes rushing by. I live for moments. I collect them.”
We bounce a few thoughts back and forth but I don’t spend any more time trying to screw an old head on his young shoulders.
I am too busy thinking about progress and some of my favorite quotes.
Ten Minutes Alone…In The Closet
“You know what I could do to you, with you if I had you alone in the closet for 10 minutes.”
She laughs and tells me I don’t need to find a closet.
“I am happy to be with you anywhere and do whatever you want.”
We smile at each other, fingers intertwined and keep watching the movie while sitting on the couch.
“That is true, but if you ever forgot. If we somehow got separated I might need those 1o minutes to remind you.”
She laughs and tells me our life isn’t like the movie we’re watching. I just smile and make a note in my mental notebook.
Experience has taught me life is lived in a combination of moments and minutes, some ordinary and some extraordinary.
We don”t always recognize the extraordinary when they happen and sometimes we don’t realize what we have got until we have lost it.
And even then we sometimes make a list of reasons why that extraordinary moment…wasn’t. It is part of how we protect ourselves.
Stands right next to starting a fight with someone because it is always easier say goodbye or keep someone at arm’s length when we are angry.
Fathers and Cars
The younger Mr. Wilner offers me five minutes on what kind of car he thinks I should look at and what I definitely should not.
I listen to what he says and explain where I think the holes are in his assessment. It is a teaching moment and a good opportunity to help him understand how this all works.
A short time later I answer the phone and move from father to son.
Dad asks me a few questions and then gives me his advice.
Two things stick out:
- If I didn’t know he was sick I wouldn’t have a clue. He sounds normal, like cancer is something others deal with.
- If my son was listening he would ask/tell me I sound just like my father. Maybe one day my kid will be a dad and have a similar revelation.
- I pay close attention to this moment with my father and appreciate it because things can turn on a dime.
Yeah, I know the numbers don’t match and yes I did it intentionally.
One of the car salesmen asks me what he can do to earn my business and I tell him he needs to match or beat the price I got.
He says he thinks he can do it and I give him a number.
“Sales dude, I am going to be tied up for a while but you can text me if you come up with something.
He says ok and within 10 minutes fires off five or six texts.
Initially they are probing questions and I see he is clarifying the terms of the deal I tell him I have been offered.
They’re followed by texts that irritate me because he suggests I am lying. That is poor salesmanship, especially because I have a written quote.
I am not making shit up.
This dealer isn’t one I pulled out of the Yellow Pages either, I was referred to them. Thus far they have been superior to the others but since I have time to make up my mind I figured it wouldn’t hurt to bounce the quote around.
It is virtually effortless to reach out to a few other dealers and see if anyone can do better.
Now I am waiting to hear back from the dealer with the better pricing about a different car because I might go a different direction.
This guy hasn’t tried to push or grind me into anything. If I have to criticize him he is almost too laid back, but that comes as a someone who has spent years in sales and marketing.
As the consumer it is almost refreshing.
I want more certainty with the car than I am going to get.
Intellectually I recognize I can’t guarantee that it will be perfect. There will be things I like better and or less than my current car.
Chances are low that I am g0ing to get a lemon but that is not really much of a concern or the root of this issue.
This is me reacting to exhaustion. Two years of very hard moments and struggle have left me feeling little tolerance for certain things.
On the other hand there have been some major successes as of late so it is not like things have been nothing but awful.
The kids watched part of the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame induction with me.
“Abba, you and your old timey music.”
“What does that mean?”
“I know what you are thinking.”
“I doubt that.”
She shakes her head at me but I don’t ask her to explain. I am certain she really doesn’t have a clue what is crossing my mind and I don’t intend to share it to prove it is different than what she thinks.
It doesn’t stop me from smirking and telling her I had a very full life before she was born.
“You know I am 35 years older than you are.”
“Yeah, you’re old. Lots of gray in your hair, even though you pretend otherwise.”
“I earned it.”
She shakes her head at me but this time I say and do nothing. Let her have the last word.
I have a spreadsheet to look at and cars to think about.