Pep Talk: “The Key Is Curiosity”

December 24, 2017

With the holiday and flu season in full swing your knucklehead scribe was shuffling through the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. It was an attempt at exercise while battling a nasty bug drastically reducing my energy level.
While making two laps the ol’ cranium wandered to a holiday moment long ago. Beautiful daughter, 21 years old next month, had gathered many gift cards and was eager to cash in. However, there was a problem. This was during sportscasting days at CBS4 and it was a Denver Broncos’ Sunday afternoon. Duty called. I had to keep track of the Broncos. Hah, how silly of me.
“Daddy, let’s go to the mall today!” squealed the young lass about five or six at the time. “Sweetie, the Broncos play today. Dad has to watch the game.” It was a rather forceful denial. The blue-eyed princess won that battle. Off we went to shop. I’ve run three marathons, played multiple sports through the years but nothing is more painful than shopping. About two hours into the ordeal, with many gifts being acquired, I thought the journey was complete. Once again, shame on me.

“One more stop and we’re done,” commanded this precious and athletic soul. I staggered into the store, collapsed into a chair and complained to another father seemingly stuck in the same predicament. A short while later, Rachel returned and pronounced it was time to depart. With a mixture of elation and frustration we waited in line to finish the transaction. My mood shifted dramatically when I noticed the employee folding a shirt for my daughter. Across the front, in big and bold letters, it declared, “Daddy’s Little Girl.”
I share that story often when speaking to groups about the importance of keeping a curious and not callous attitude about life. Had this ol’ jock gotten his way, I would have missed a wonderful expression of love. Fast forward about 15 years later, that memory warmed my heart while making laps and trying to rid the body of aches and pains associated with the crud.

Keeping a curious and not callous attitude about life? Easier said than done. Often it requires just showing up and ya know, “Seeing what happens.” That was certainly the case recently when sitting in a  Jefferson (CO.) County courtroom for “Vet Court.” I have written before about this wonderful problem-solving program. A Stronger Cord is proud to serve veterans trying to comeback from brushes with addiction and incarceration while adjusting to life after active duty.
A man making progress in the program was speaking to the judge about goals for the coming week. What he said applies to all of us. “I am going to take the bull by the horns and, instead of counting the days, I’m going to make the days count!”

When least expected, life offers reminders to great lessons. From checkout lines to seats in a courtroom. The key is curiosity. This week, take the bull by the horns and make the days count. The results might be the greatest gift received this holiday season!

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