Do What’s Good For You

And as corny as it sounds, the first time I started to really get it, to really sort it out, was when I began dating my wife. We hadn’t been together long, and she was being very accommodating keeping up with my zillion obligations, but it must have been starting to wear on her.

We had packed a picnic dinner and were sitting at a table at the marina just as the sun began to set. Ten feet away was a phone booth, and I called a friend to see what time his party started that evening and if he needed me to bring anything.

I came back to the table and started to pack things up. “We gotta go,” I said. “We need to pick up some ice for the party.”

She looked at me quietly (everything she did was quiet and soft) and she said, “Are we really going to leave this place and this sunset to go get ice for people I don’t even know?”

I stood there looking at her, exhaled (quietly not angrily), and sat back down. I knew I was looking at the rest of my life right there. To this day, I can remember every detail; her fragrance, her manner, the tone of her voice.

I realized I was staring at the life I was about to choose, not the one I felt obligated to fulfill.

“Do what’s good for you or you’re not good for anybody…”

We missed the party. In fact, we began to miss a lot of things. We replaced them with things that became the building blocks and cornerstones of our life together.

That was 25 years ago, and we’re still missing things–but none of the things that matter. My obligations are now to myself as well as to the rest of my circle.

And for me, the measure of daily success is whether or not you greet each day with a smile. It’s that simple.

Serving your family and God gives you an awful lot of inner peace, you see, and I can look back now and see how challenges were put in my path and answers were provided to questions I didn’t even ask. The success is all over my face. I’m a happy man.

Last week, without warning, my car wouldn’t start. It was raining. I had the hood up, but didn’t even know what I was looking for at 5 a.m. Suddenly the door opened, and Nicco was there (he’s working and finishing college and was about to go work out before work).

“Problem?” he asked.

“Won’t start and I have a lot to do at the office today,” I said.

“I’ll take you,” he said.

I hopped in his car and we talked for the 20 minutes it took to get to my office. We hadn’t talked that long in a long time. Life does that when people work and grow into their own priorities.

When I got out of the car, I was smiling. My car would need a tow and a fuel pump, I later learned, but I believe divine intervention put Nicco in the driveway at 5 a.m. that morning.

He needed to remember that I was proud of him, and he needed to hear he was on track. I remember wanting to know that, too, at 23. I was amazed how much he needed to say, and it came pouring out.

People who are driven often wonder if they are going too fast or fast enough. So I really felt good when I told him to relax and be patient, that life comes together for a success-driven young man around the age of 30, not 20. This I had learned.

He looked almost relieved. I realized the message in it for me: being able to tell him what to think by remembering what I needed to hear at that time.

The real power and passion in life comes from embracing that which you decide is important. Once you decide, you must tend to it, maintain it, embrace it, to make it truly yours.

Do what’s good for you or you’re not good for anybody.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at rdc@clevelandmetroparks.com.

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Related posts:

  1. How About Some Good News?!
  2. Being A Good Man
  3. Smiles Are Good Medicine
  4. The News Blues
  5. Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

7 comments on “Do What’s Good For You

  1. Dan Acker on said:

    Hi Ron,
    I usually like your stories and this one was one of those. I trust it is ok to use “Do what’s good for you or you’re not good for anybody.” under my email signature. Have a great day!
    Thanks,
    Dan

  2. Bernie Rangel on said:

    This one hit home with me. You did very well saw a reflection of my life in your writing.

  3. Dan Downey on said:

    Another great story from your heart and soul – Thanks Ron.
    You sure have a way to help us all to stop once and awhile and reflect on what is really important, rather than always trying to play beat the clock in order to get it all done, in effort to try and please everyone else.

  4. This was one of my absolute favorite articles! Hits the nail on the head and literally brought tears to my eyes. I have printed it so that I can go back to it when I need that reminder. Thank you!

  5. Billy Moore on said:

    That was cool Ron. A good thing to take with me for the weekend. I’m always self analyzing. Your thoughts will help me.

  6. I always loved that song! I’ve since concluded that we need a little James in us. Not too much, just enough to keep the world from chaos!

  7. Barb Burkholder on said:

    Loved the article. Too much Billy Joel is a good thing. I wonder if that guy ever became a helicopter pilot?

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