Friday, January 10, 2014


Surf Lesson Rincon, Puerto Rico
Still stranded in Puerto Rico due to the Arctic Vortex for a few more days, I tagged along for my nieces and nephews' second surf lesson. Here my nephew is doing an awesome job riding a wave.

The man on the right applauding? Not his instructor. The instructor is wearing the hat on the other side of the wave looking on at the scene. On the beach, we didn't know what was going on out there. The man rode the wave from across the horizon toward my nephew, and he looked like he was going to run right into him.  He turned his board just as he approached, and we saw a hand movement. What? Is he flipping off the novice? It was hard to tell; even though, my brother-in-law was photographing the scene, he couldn't tell either.

When my nephew got out of the water later, we asked him what had transpired. He said: oh that surfer dude was clapping and told me, 'Way to go, kid.' Why wouldn't he? He was doing what he loved, and he was glad to see a little dude getting up on a board to ride a wave.

Later, my brother-in-law was talking and he said, 'you know, it must be that I have so much anger inside of me that I would first go to the notion that this guy was flipping off my kid.' And there is truth to what he said. So often, at work or socially or in families, I imagine, we go to the worse case scenario, instead of considering that maybe, just maybe, someone is applauding our efforts, our ideas, our feelings, our human condition.

I did not surf. But I learned a lot going to those two surf lessons. The guys who instructed the kids were from the States (two from Michigan, one from Boston), and they had such a joie de vivre about them. They were, as my niece would say, 'chill.' They loved what they did for a living as surfer dudes in Puerto Rico during the winter months. They were professional. They took care of even the littlest surfer, my 9-year old niece. And they appreciated the business. Their approach was open, stripped down, and easy. I need to be that 'chill' in how I live, particularly when it comes to work. I can't sweat it. I can't be bothered by what always seems to nag at me and take up too much hard drive.

I need to just ride the wave. And know that most are happy for me doing so.

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