Every week I drive to Pittsburgh on a Sunday night, a freak weather event takes place and makes the 5 hour drive treacherous. 2 out of the past 3 times, roads were closed forcing me to take a harrowing detour through the Appalachians. Last night was no different, weather forecasts predicted a simple dusting, but as I pressed down the Turnpike, I encountered a full fledged storm and the roads weren’t plowed, a pickup spun around and landed harmlessly in an emergency pull off area. The 18 degree temperature continuously froze the snow that melted from my windshield and formed blocks of ice around the wipers, rendering them ineffective. Every rest stop required a pull off to shake the ice free to restore visibility.
As I pulled into my apartment’s parking lot at 11:30PM last night, I thought that maybe the Gods were sending a signal, maybe this is their warning “DO NOT GO TO PITTSBURGH!”, we will make your commute challenging, we will create ice storms that litter your home with broken branches to slow your home sale, we will take away your power so you cannot have the necessary work on your home completed in time for a quick sale.
But the more I thought about it, I realized all my favorite achievements have been accomplished in the face of great challenge. Looking back, I do not get mad at the Gods for getting laid off from the ad agency, in fact, it really helped me get to where I am.
I apologize if I wrote about this event before, but it always stuck with me, I was at Buckingham Elementary School and we were preparing for a big Christmas Choir performance for our parents. For those of you that don’t know, I am a horrible singer and I cannot remember song lyrics if my life depended on it. So you can imagine, I was having a horrible time standing on the stage amongst my peers in the cafeteria, I just stared at my feet and looked miserable. A teacher pulled me aside and said, “Why aren’t you singing? You need to sing.” I said that I didn’t feel like singing and continued to stare at my shoes. At that point I was sent to an administrator and the person (I think her name was Mrs. Matt) asked why I wasn’t singing and I said, “I’m having a bad day.” And here’s what she said and it has always stuck with me: “Everyone has bad days, it is how you handle them that determines your character.”
So, I am pleased to report that we’re handling this adversity with determination. We’re taking these “bad” days in stride and are working towards something we’re going to love and something we’ll be proud of. I want everyone to mark their calendars, July 4th is on a Friday, so you’ll have a long weekend. July 5th, the Phillies play the Pirates in Pittsburgh, why don’t you come out and join us that weekend and we’ll watch the game, have a big party, and celebrate the fact that February is long gone!