Early Sunday morning I was eagerly digging through the gift-wrapping bins in our laundry room. My heart was light and I was happy – enjoying the adventure of searching for just the right ribbon. Perhaps this was the start to perfect day?
Nobody likes her own birthday more than Melinda Moen Batz. And nobody likes wrapping gifts for her more than me.
Thirty-two years ago this week, she and I met at a Halloween party. She was exquisitely dressed as Raggedy Andy and I was hastily-assembled as the world’s smallest tree. From that day forward, my life has been grounded in something supernatural and solid. We celebrated her birthday together for the 31st time and there’s no end in sight.
Good time to celebrate
This birthday was a biggie, because over the past five years she’s been worthy of the finest gifts on earth. She never planned on owning a business with me. But when the time came she didn’t say ‘no.’
As if starting a business isn’t hard enough, the gusty winds of life kept howling. Since 2010, together we graduated two kids from college, buried her mother and our dog Max, moved and resettled her father and my parents and sent Anna off to college. Along the way, we wrote and published a book, hired staff, bought our fifth car and a new dog, endured our own medical histrionics and shaped a lifestyle that didn’t fit into our college dating vision.
I make a lot of mistakes. I also make a lot of bad decisions. But the decision to devote my life to the joy and happiness of Raggedy Andy wasn’t one of those mistakes. It grounded me like the string to the kite.
When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, she replied: “I’d like to play golf, and have pizza and beer with friends on the deck.” Did I marry the perfect woman?
Good leaders stay grounded by devoting their lives to good people who make them whole. And they find joy and happiness in celebrating the moments of calm within the storm.
Please share with me: what keeps you grounded?