every decade or so i like to remove the punctuation from my life so i can center on who i really am and eliminate those things that are not contributing to my happiness
i think this is especially important in this time of coronaconfusion
but one of the things i never want to rid myself of is the influence of lily tomlin on my outlook on life
this started in the early 1960s when i regularly watched her on a ridiculously small black and white television on the comedy show called rowan and martins laughin which is where I was initially exposed to her remarkable comedic genius
i should probably first tell you that she was born in 1939 and has been together with jane wagner since 1971 and continues to have a successful career doing many interesting things including a current hit cable tv show
okay enough of that wikistuff
i have vivid memories of several of her hysterical characters such as the brash never compromising telephone operator ernestine and the precocious five and a half year old philosopher edith ann who sat in a very large chair which made lily seem like a small child
over my many years as a technology executive and then independent consultant I used to incorporate numerous lily quotes into my presentations
i could always count on her words to loosen up the attendees while also being relevant to the problems they were facing
i have literally used this following quote hundreds of times to explain to people why it is important to know who they are and what they like to do and to set measurable work and life goals
it goes like this
i always wanted to be somebody but now i realize I should have been more specific
lily had a way of simplifying aspects of life that I intuitively felt but could not easily verbalize
for instance she said the trouble with the rat race is that if you win you are still a rat
this one piece of seemingly silly but also profound advice made a real difference in my career
it reminded me to never sacrifice my relationship with my wife or my daughters by succumbing to the pressure to work extensive overtime so i didn’t thus avoiding becoming a corporate divorce statistic and my kids still love me for which i sincerely thank lily
this is also relevant today as people are forced to work at home and deal with other domestic activities
in other words they cannot run away from their kids and the laundry
well i guess they could as long as they wear a mask and stay six feet apart but that is cheating
lily had a sarcastic saying that things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse
this sounds like what i am sensing today depending on who and what i believe about this covid 19 virus
her observation about beauty does not really fit me since i am bald but i will share it anyway she commented if truth is beauty how come no one has their hair done in the library
i know a lot of people who would gladly go to a library if it meant they could get their hair styled but libraries are not open anyway so no luck there
if you are isolated by yourself right now and feeling sad just search for lily tomlin on youtube and remember you have a telephone that can connect you to a family member or a friend who you may have not talked to in many years or you can go outside to experience nature like the excitement I felt yesterday when I dug several potatoes out of our garden
lily also wondered why somebody does not do something about the problems in the world then she realized she was somebody
this sounds to me like gandhi who entreated us to become the change we would like to see in the world which is very relevant today when it is so easy to fall into the blame game
speaking of blame according to lily humans invented language to satisfy their deep need to complain so i guess we have that to fall back on although as a writer i promise to try to avoid being negative and instead use words that nurture the hope in my mind and spread that hope to the world

thanks for reading and be safe out there

next week: most lucky one and the coronavirus (with punctuation!)

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