Lighten Up A Bit

One of the people who was visiting the zoo that day was an old buddy who had seen me at the bridal show earlier that year.

“Hey, Ciancutti, you don’t know what the heck you’re doing these days, do you?”

I was simply ashamed. Truth was I really didn’t know, but I thought it was best to follow the rules and respect those who had authority over me.

I returned to my desk about three hours later, sweat making my white shirt cling to me tightly, my tie rolled and balled in my hip pocket.

I came home from work and my parents saw the look on my face. I explained my dilemma.

My mom then said these very simple words: “Son, there is never any shame in a full day’s work, no matter what it is.”

I felt a little better about things when I heard that, and it made me willing to try a few more things and be a little more tolerant of people who didn’t immediately recognize my obvious CEO talents that were merely hiding in my 19-year-old body.

I stopped taking myself so seriously and began to look at life like one giant overall experience.

That was 29 years ago, and I sure am grateful to this day that I lightened up a bit and didn’t hammer on myself everytime I was a little less than sure footed and properly pointed. I mean, God bless those who know what they want their whole life, but the fact is that most of us don’t.

Most of us need to try lots of different things and stop being so worried about what others think.

When I finally let my defenses down and just filled what was empty and emptied what was full, life lost a lot of its anxiety.

Microsoft pioneer Bill Gates once said that our grandparents had a different name for flipping burgers: “They called it opportunity.”

So well said. Maybe Gates should have been a writer…or something else.

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

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  3. Find The “Lovely Intangibles”
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  5. Another Day Older…And Wiser

5 comments on “Lighten Up A Bit

  1. Billy Moore on said:

    Good article. I remember a couple of my early jobs. I was a flunky go-fer for a TV appliance repair guy, worked stacking lumber in a lumber yard. I remember my dad telling me “Son, try and get the best job and the most money you can get. Then when it is said and done take pride in a good days work. I don’t care if your digging ditches, do it with pride and the best you can.” My first job when I got married was digging holes and knocking down walls with a sledgehammer. My dads advice carried me through. Eventually I stumbled into athletic recreation and have been at it for 36 years. My dads advice has stayed with me. Those early jobs were not my thing, but they taught me a lot and in a couple of cases developed contacts that would help me later on.

  2. Gary S on said:

    I am reminded by your article of the line from City Slickers where Jack Palance held up one finger and said that it was the secret to life…. to find out what the one thing is that you are good at. It would seem that you have found your “one thing” The ability to cause people to reflect on their lives in a postitive way. And for that I thank you.

  3. Angela Kamm on said:

    First your article made me laugh when you wrote, “If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans.” Then it made me cry because I REALLY need to “Lighten Up A Bit.” Thank you, I needed a good laugh and a good cry. Cheers, and Happy New Year.

  4. Ted LaFleur on said:

    Good read. I needed this today.

    “Who Moved My Cheese?” is another similar good read. Change is opportunity.

    Have a Great Day!

  5. Gloria De La Cruz-Sandoval on said:

    Good thoughts on life. Haven’t we all had jobs that take us places we never thought we’d go or much less do? I remember one of my first “professional” jobs as a banker and was so proud of myself to be wearing that so called three piece suit. Proud until one of my tellers asked me if I was sure my skirt was on correctly? It wasn’t, I had it on backwards and I also had two different color pumps on that day as well…lol… Needless to say I learned to lighten up, laugh a little more, and loosen my tie so to speak. You see I worked for a small independent local bank before deregulation and we stuffed statements manually and mopped floors equally as needed and into the night sometimes. I guess you could say I was the one who was “deregulated” from my highly regulated mind. Yes, life is almost never as it seems and seemingly ever as eventful as you’ll let it be. Gotta love it – so why not live it!

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