Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

If you stay stuck in the past season or fixated on the future season, you will miss the one you’re in.

~Maree Dee

I think long and hard before I offer posts around here that aren’t food. Because that’s kind of what we do here on the Home Front. We talk about food, and cooking food, and sitting down and enjoying food with family and friends.

But there’s also a lot to be said for food for thought.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about GEN Colin Powell and his recent passing, and his 13. If you’re wondering what the 13 are, they’re as follows:

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done.
  5. Be careful what you choose.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

I’ve had a lot of these scribbled in notebooks and on sticky-notes over the years. I think I could just repeat #10 over and over again during breathing exercises as a mantra and be a better person. But there’s a lot of good here, and a lot of things I want to incorporate into my life and my leadership.

Starting with #10. Remain calm. Be kind. Sometimes you just have to take a breath and remember everyone is fighting that proverbial hard battle. Will you gain anything in a discussion by being angry or confrontational? Will you lose anything by giving someone the benefit of the doubt? People in the wrong incriminate themselves pretty quickly when given the space, but the space also allows you to help people who might not otherwise be heard.

Then there’s #7. You can argue. You can convince. You can lay out all the facts. But people are still going to choose what they choose, and be who they will be. Such is the beauty and the pain of free will. But I think sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this and give ourselves some grace, because we can only do so much to convince another person of what is right. In the end, they choose, and it isn’t selfish to remind ourselves that we are not responsible.

And finally, #13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. I am a terminal optimist, and I take a lot of pride in that. I’ve had a lot of experiences that could have soured me toward humanity, but I still believe in the goodness of the human heart, that most people basically want to do right by their fellow humans, and that sometimes just a little faith that things will work their way out can go a long way in helping people come up with solutions to problems. If you believe the good guys can win, you look for the ways to make it happen instead of figuring out everything that could go wrong. If you believe the sun will come out, you look for the light.

These are just a few positive thoughts I’ve had while sitting out on the dock of Lake Hart, looking out over this beautiful ocean-like lake just a quarter mile from the house, as I cool down after a morning run.

We have golden hawks, sand cranes, bald eagles, herons, and ibis here, and all of them go swooping past the dock in the morning. We also have an alligator who comes up to the dock looking for food, since the neighborhood teenagers have been known to throw him wings on occasion. We call him Steve, for lack of a better name. And he’s pretty complacent. He comes up and hovers if you hang out on the dock, but if you don’t have wings for him, he swims off after a while.

I’m just inspired by all the nature and the natural beauty I find around here, and want to share it with you all.

And here’s Steve again if you need more Steve.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great week and has some great Halloween plans in store!

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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