NO ENTRY FEE

“We are here and it is now.

Further than that all humane knowledge is moonshine.”

H. L. Mencken, journalist

 

When the topic of moonshine comes up, the first thing I think of is a still hidden in the backwoods where some good ole boys are cranking out liquor for fun and profit. But there is a second part to the definition. Moonshine not only means, “illicitly distilled or smuggled liquor but it also means foolish talk or ideas.”  So let’s work with the second part of the equation, “foolish talk or ideas.”

I am a runner in my late sixties. And not long ago a friend, also a runner in her late sixties, shared the plans for her 100th birthday party.

“I’m going to host a 5k race,” she said.

“I think that’s a great idea,” was my response.

Then, after we shared some laughter, she had more exciting news for me.

“And for you,” she said, “no entry fee.”

I’m always excited with the prospect of a bargain so I accepted her offer right then and there.

Now that I’ve committed myself to this grand adventure, it’s time to start training.

 

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Successful people set goals. And that is fine but it is “foolish talk or a bad idea” to wait until you reach that goal to be happy. The super successful folks among us understand the real joy is found in the journey toward reaching that goal. I have a few decades to get ready for that birthday party 5K. So here is what I plan to do. Taking advice from the author Earl Nightingale, I’m going to “live with gratitude and positive expectation.”  And I’m not only going to pay my bills: electric, phone, insurance… I’m also going to pay attention.

Not long ago my wife and I were sitting near a fountain in the town square where we live. It was a beautiful day. Clouds were rolling by in a fantastic blue sky and a gentle breeze made the temperature ideal. I looked around at the folks sitting nearby to see who we were sharing this experience with. I counted twelve people and sadly they were all looking at their phones. I’m in favor of communication. In fact, I have a degree in the subject. But come on folks, real life is out here and not in that tiny piece of technology you hold in your hands. God and nature put on some fantastic shows and like my entry into that race, it’s all free. Pay attention.

Here is another bonus. The is no fee for courtesy and kindness. And the two never go out of fashion. I’m no fortune teller but I’m going predict that by the time that 5K race gets here on my friend’s birthday, courtesy and kindness will still be in fashion. So if you and I cross paths on the running trail, grocery store and all stops in between expect a smile and a kind hello.