How Do You Spend Your Calories?

I met a wonderful gentleman on the shuttle to the Dallas Airport one day. We quickly discovered that we both have boys - he has three sons and I have two. Because his children were older than mine, I asked for words of wisdom. His first piece of advice made me laugh. “Don’t buy them expensive cars. They are only going to wreck them,” he said. His second piece of advice intrigued me.

He said he realized early in life that he had a room full of calories and those were all the calories he was going to be allotted in this lifetime. All that mattered was how he was going to spend them. He said this realization helped him understand the importance of responding rather than reacting. Responding allowed him to save calories for more important things, whereas reacting wasted precious energy and resources.

I had the chance to watch him live this philosophy. While we were sitting in the shuttle van, he received an e-mail saying that his flight had been delayed for a second time. This second delay meant he would miss his connecting flight. As he read the airline’s e-mail, he looked at me and said, “Please excuse me for a few minutes while I take care of this.”

He proceeded to call the airline and had himself re-rerouted. There was no drama. There was no anger. There were no complaints about how terrible the airline was. He simply responded, saving his calories for more important things, like loving his boys and making unique and deep connections with strangers on shuttle vans.

My shuttle van friend gets it. Life is going to come at us with challenges and curveballs. We can react and waste calories, or we can respond and have more resources for the things that really matter. Life is about loving people and managing what is before us with grace and compassion. Life is about spending our calories wisely.

Until next week, may you be surrounded by all the llama llove you can handle.

Tomi Llama