Playing Pool, Vacuuming and Building Character

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One night my friends and I were coming back from playing pool at a local establishment. It was late and we were hungry so we had stopped at McDonald’s for a bite.

I was riding in the passenger seat of my friend’s van finishing my drink when we spotted the car of another friend, so of course we followed him. When he pulled into his parking lot we pulled in behind him to catch up on his evening events. I found myself leaning towards the driver’s side of the van to be able to hear more clearly, but it wasn’t making much of a difference.

So naturally I got out of the van and walked around the front to stand between my friends and be more involved in the conversation. What I didn’t realize was how stealth I was about getting over there. No one noticed that I had gotten out until the driver heard me say something, looked up, saw me drinking from my McDonald’s cup and said “Tim, what are you doing? Get back in the van!” I didn’t say another word, took a sip of my drink and got back in the van. Night over.

My mom loves to vacuum and when she is she doesn’t pay attention to anything other than the finished look of the carpet. She’s so into to her vacuuming that even the slightest motion or sound can startle her. You could walk up near her and say “hi” and she would jump and scream like a cat that got it’s tail under a rocking chair.

Sometimes I feel like life sneaks up on me. Just like I calmly surprised my friend, making life changing decisions happen before you even realize what you’re deciding. By the time you understand what’s going on you could be on a path to destruction or the path that you’ve always dreamed of. The exciting thing is that we’re making these decisions everyday and if you know where you want to end up and you have control over most aspects of your life, you’re going to make the right decisions.

The other side of it, is that life might just sneak up and startle you. Things might be going along just fine and then all of a sudden you too are like the cat who got his tail under the rocking chair. It could be something simple or it could be something devastating, but whatever it was, you weren’t ready for it and you certainly didn’t ask for it.

These are the moments that test and build your character and having character is a good thing.

When has life startled you?


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