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© August 26, 2008
Hi, all!

What a beautiful weekend we just had. Yes, even here in unsunny Syracuse, we just had four perfect grilling days, and I took advantage of two of them (in a row) with some friends.  And if you remember the kind of schedule I keep, you appreciate what an accomplishment that is.  Hopefully, there'll be significantly more friend / play time in my very near future.

And who can speak of the future without talking about goals? Certainly not me!  In January I published my 2008 goals.  I'm happy to report that I've made progress, the most significant of which was #10:Make good on a promise I made to a dear friend... a couple of years ago.  I finally kept that promise, and my friend Sherry Gomez has a beautiful new web site (thanks to a little help from my friend ) from which to market her book, "Missing Genetic Pieces."  Sherry is an awesome lady.  Just to give you the SHORT story on her, her son was born with a genetic condition known as Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome, and after years of not being able to find the answers she was looking for, she took two years doing all kinds of research, mortgaged her house, wrote and self-published this book, which is now being used as resource by parents and supporters of kids with VCFS, and other special needs.  That road wasn't nearly as simple to navigate as I've stated it here, but you get the picture -- it was a promise I needed to keep.

Most of you also know that I assumed the president's duties for the Professional Photographers' Society of NY State last May.  The word is I seem to be doing a good job!  But I gotta tell ya, it's definitely work.  But we're all set for a killer conference and trade show, March 28-31, 2009 in Albany, NY, with some of the top movers and shakers in the industry, and our early bird pricing is a grrrreat $$ deal for PPA members.  So, if you know any photographers in the New York area, please pass it on.

That's my wrap up.  How about you?  Has 2008 been your year?  Are you making your goals? Have you overcome any obstacles? conquered any demons? come to any life-changing realizations? walked through the fire and made it to the other side?  I'd love to hear about your successes, along with any tips or tidbits you'd like to pass along to other Ramblings readers.  If you're shy, we can even make them anonymous comments, if you'd like; but I'd love to read -- and share -- your positive and motivating thoughts.  I look forward to getting them.

A STORY :-D -- A few weeks back, my son Michael invited me and as many of our family as could make it, to come to Baltimore, MD to attend the commissioning of the ship he's assigned to, the USS Sterett.  This ceremony -- the tradition -- places a new ship on "active duty" as it were, in the Navy.  Quite an interesting ceremony.  It was good to experience some other military tradition, and be there to support my baby boy.  Plus, it was another chance to hang out with the family for a couple of days, catch up, watch the opening of the Olympics on my baby sister's HUGE TV screen -- I swear it takes up a wall!

On Sunday I was headed back to Syracuse and decided to let my GPS guide me, since I wasn't traveling my usual route.  I programmed it for  "HOME" and headed north.  Shortly after getting on I-83, I decided to grab a tank of cheap gas (about 30 cents cheaper than by my house) and hit a McDonalds for their signature (cough) Sausage McMuffin with Egg -- that's my "on the road" breakfast sandwich of choice.  I saw the McSign and took the exit, and the GPS chimed the customary "recalculating" message.  Then after a few more seconds I noticed that it hadn't come back with a corrected course, so I looked down at it and and saw this message: "Error.  No roads lead to your destination."  How's that for a kick in the dash board?

Admittedly, a little unnerving, initially.  After all, I hadn't turned off onto uncharted highways; it was populated city, and the ramp going back up on the highway was visible a block away, so, what was up with the "you can't get there from here" message?" Hmmmm.  So I turned it off and then back on... typed in "McDonalds" and it took me that block and a half.  Then I plugged in "home" again, and it took me directly to the exit and home with no further glitch.

But haven't you had that happen in real life?  You're doing something, working on some project or goal, and in the heat of pursuit you get a message or result that you're not expecting, that seems to say "ERROR: No roads lead to your destination!" Even when you've researched it, logically... conceptually completed the task in your mind, you know the exact steps you need to take and the probable results.  But, then something unexpected happens, and instead of resetting your internal GPS (stopping to breathe and reflect), looking around to see where you *really* are (reviewing our plans and progress, re-assuring yourself that your plan is indeed sound and that you're on-track), then turning it back on and proceeding (resuming your newly-verified path), start to doubt "what you know" and give in to the doubt.

Of course, sometimes stuff *does* happen.  Last week, my friend Mitch of TT Mitchell Consulting was headed from Syracuse to Hazelton, PA when traffic went from 65 toZERO in about 10 car lengths.  When he finally got a clear view of the road ahead, he saw miles and miles of stopped cars, and little hope a quick remedy.  So, he consulted Ms. Garmin (GPS) via the magic "detour" button, and she plotted a new course.  At first he was a little concerned because it made him back track, but that was the first and clearest opportunity for him to proceed.  After considering it, he took her "advice" back tracked a couple of miles, then drove happily ever after to his destination. 

The "no roads lead to your destination" message didn't come up for him, but even if it did, that statement (or feeling) is rarely true.  There is almost always another way, another route to get to where we need to go.  It's not always as straight forward and simple as we'd like, but it'll get us there, if we're willing to take the detour from our GPS.  Mitch made it to his destination with no further delay, and pretty much on schedule -- a much different result than if he'd stayed where he was, stuck... looking and concentrating on the obstacles ahead instead of the possible solutions or new routes.

So, how's your progress this year? Are you sailing along according to plan or did your GPS give you that error message?  If it did, did you turn it off and reset it, or get flustered and quit?  Were you focused on where you needed to go and  kept moving, or did you become paralyzed looking at a road block in front of you and forget to hit the "detour" button?

You CAN get there from where you are, wherever that is.  There ARE roads leading to your destination.  They may not be the roads you originally intended to take, but you can get there.  It's only August.  If you're not winning yet... there are still 4 months left in 2008 to turn the tide.  And if you already turned the tide for  yourself, and you are winning, do consider sharing with us how you made that happen, even if we do it anonymously.

Thanks for reading!  And remember to check Ramblings Lite for occasional bite-sized nuggets.

Have an awesome day!  See you next time.
P.S.  If you enjoyed this Ramblings, consider forwarding it to a friend or associate who might enjoy it.  If you received this newsletter as a forward and you enjoyed it, you may subscribe via web form at http://www.ringold.net/mbr_refer.htm or send a blank email to ramblings@aweber.com. Thank you for reading.

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