Friday, September 28, 2007

Put a coffee filter on your head and party

Last Saturday was my dad's birthday. I won't tell you how old he is because he's in denial about it and I will spare him the torture of a public declaration. If there is anything you should know about my dad it's that he is a very quiet man who hates the spotlight. On his birthday weekend, when we were all out to dinner, the waiter started singing a rousing round of "Happy Birthday" at a nearby table and my dad joyfully started clapping along to the beat...until we reminded him it was his birthday and we could have the waiter come sing to him too. A look that was a cross between petrified and mortified crossed his face and all clapping ceased. Watching the color drain from his face so quickly was almost funny--aside from the fact that his pain and discomfort over being sung to in public was apparent. Needless to say, we didn't call the waiter over.

So, imagine my surprise when my mom called this morning to tell me that my dad's co-workers threw a party for everyone with September birthdays today at the office and all of the birthday people had to wear coffee filters on their heads. I laughed out loud. Then I called my husband and he laughed out loud. The image still makes me laugh out loud. I emailed my dad asking for a picture. So far, I haven't heard back from him.

What's my point? I have one, I promise. Sometimes we all have to do things that make us feel uncomfortable. And our discomfort can either mortify us and push us further into the isolation that being fearful provides or it can define us and raise us to new heights.

Scott Peck once said, "The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."

It might take a coffee filter to coax my dad--who is one of the funniest men I know--out of his shell and into the party of life. And it might take something a little uncomfortable to get you from where you are to where you never knew you could be too.

So, today, put a coffee filter on your head and party like it's your birthday!

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