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The Good Stuff
by Kevin Eikenberry
Last night at the Indiana State Fair Lori and I saw Kenny Chesney in concert. If you don't know, he is a country singer who has had enough hits for a Greatest Hits Album (am I showing my age by calling it an album?), and many of them are quite good. While, because of my farm background and antique tractor hobby, I am partial to his hit "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy", last night the lyrics to his latest single really struck me.

The song talks about a young man having his first fight with his wife, and after driving around for a while ending up in a bar. After ordering "the good stuff," the bartender tells him that he can't find that in the bar.

The refrains of the song describe "the good stuff" from the perspective of that bartender. Here is one portion:

Cause it's the first long kiss on a second date.
Momma's all worried when you get home late.
And droppin' the ring in the spaghetti plate,
Cause your hands are shakin' so much.

And it's the way that she looks with the rice in her hair.
Eatin' burnt suppers the whole first year
And asking for seconds to keep her from tearin' up.
Yeah, man, that's the good stuff.
The Song and Me

Perhaps these particular examples don't speak to you (I mean, I didn't drop Lori's ring on any plate, and she has very rarely ever burnt a meal!). But the phrase, though I had heard the song before, really hit me. "The Good Stuff."

So often in our busy lives we forget what really matters, the things that make us smile and cry. The things we'll remember forever, or miss when they are gone. So with apologies to the songwriters and to Mr. Chesney, I thought I would share with you some of my "good stuff."

Here's a short list just from yesterday. . .

  • State Fair food.
  • Driving one of my tractors in a tractor parade.
  • A hard rain after a long dry spell.
  • Sitting next to my wife at a concert we could enjoy together.
  • Saluting the flag during the Star Spangled Banner.

    And then a more general list . . .

  • Watching a sunset on Lake Michigan.
  • My son's laugh.
  • Eating homemade ice cream.
  • Listening to my Grandpa tell me stories about when he farmed.
  • Singing Hail Purdue at a sporting event.
  • Walking hand in hand with Lori.
  • Spending time with old friends.
  • Playing a game of Scrabble with my Mom.
  • Sledding down a snow-covered hill.
  • A hug from my daughter.
  • Riding on a dirt road with my Dad, looking at fields of crops.
  • Smelling lilacs in the spring.
  • Sitting in front of a roaring fire in my fireplace.
  • Watching the Sound of Music again.

    I could have written a really long list, but you get the idea. Just like with the song, my stuff may not be your stuff!

    What's Your Good Stuff?

    I received a blessing by thinking about those important touchstones experiences. As you can see both from the song and my list, they aren't necessarily big things. And while some of us may have some common things on our lists, in general, everyone's "good stuff" will be distinctive and unique.

    It is my hope that this essay has touched you, and encouraged you to think about those important, significant things in your life. Take the time to think about your own good stuff.

    Your list won't become a hit song, but it will be a blessing.

    Kevin Eikenberry
    The Discian Group
    kevin@vantagepoints.net

    Kevin Eikenberry is a speaker, trainer, author, and President of the Discian Group - a learning consulting company committed to helping Organizations, Teams, and Individuals reach their performance goals through learning. For information about the Discian Group or its products and services, visit our website at Discian.com

    � Copyright 2002, Discian.com. All rights reserved.

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