My Birthday Present… Bounce-Back Ability

It’s that day when 51 years ago my Mom and Dad said, “Welcome to the world, Mitch!”

It’s also that day when, 17 years ago Adam’s Mom and I said, “Welcome to the world, Adam!”

I am extremely blessed to share my birthday with my son. It always will be the best birthday PRESENT I ever got.

If you are closer in age to Adam, you’ve seen amazing change over your lifetime.

If you are closer in age to me, the change has been seismic, almost indescribable.

As the calendar turns another year, one Success-Ability is in the front of my mind:


How well do you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in the game?

The wheel of life turns up and it turns down. A big key to happiness and healthy living is how we handle the turning down.

Bounce-Back-Ability is how we handle setback, disappointment, loss and heartbreak.

Adam and I both got a lesson in Bounce-Back-Ability today when I took him for his driver’s license. He decided to test in his girlfriend’s car. We waited 45 minutes on line, then discovered she had a copy, not the original registration to her car. Bummer. He was SO ready. But all was not lost.

We drove home, and Adam’s mom picked him up and took him back in her car. They waited on line, only to find out the Motor Vehicle Agency won’t test in an SUV. The center console blocks the agent from reaching the brake in case of an emergency.

Four hours, two tries, no driver’s test. Game over. Double bummer.

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon

Despite this bitter pill of disappointment, Adam was amazingly philosophical about it. “It just wasn’t meant to be today.”

He went off with his friends. We’ll have dinner later. We’ll try again on Monday.


It’s such a simple skill.
Yet, it can be so hard to do.

The ego gremlin gets in the way.
This varmint wants his way, every day, all the time.
He’s a devil of a bugger.
He’s most destructive when you think you have him under control.

When you’re down, he’s kicking you.
He says, “Stay down. Don’t get up. You’re worthless anyway.”

How do you defeat this power crazed, ego-maniac and send him packing his bags?


No matter what happened to you, no matter what he says or does or tries to make you think, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in the game.

Bounce back.

My 51st year was an emotional, physical and financial challenge.

Today, as I begin my 52nd year, I celebrate:


What happened in the past is history.
What will happen in the future is mystery.
Neither is real, now.

What is real now is the present.

Presence is the present of the present!
Being presence is one of the best gifts of all.

When life kicks you down and knocks the wind out of you, you can stay down or you can get up. The choice is always yours.

My 51st year was about practicing Bounce-Back-Ability!
Every day, in some way, we get to practice Bounce-Back-Ability!

People who master life bounce back quickly.
They don’t let the memories of the past drag them back.
They don’t let the fantasies of the future pull them forward.
They live in the present, where real life is.

Start every day with a “Tabula Rasa” – a clean slate – and create anew.

In the Kabbalah, December is the month of miracles, the month we draw miracles into our lives. Sagittarians are here to help us awaken to our appreciation of miracles. Michael Berg writes in the Kabbalah Center newsletter:

“The essential teaching: Everything is a miracle. The lesson is that every moment we pause to appreciate our children, our jobs, our friends (and all the things we have to be thankful for), we widen the opening for more miracles to enter. And as our appreciation grows, so, too, will the occurrences that others call ‘miracles.’ This month, the universe is pushing us to forget our worries for tomorrow and to savor our blessings for today.”

When we treat everything as a miracle, and most important, when we treat everyone as a miracle, we will have awakened to the truth that life is one big miracle.

How do we do that?


The turning wheel of life is a miracle. It gives us the emotional strength to handle the down, and the emotional maturity to appreciate the up.

Bouncing back is a transforming experience.
It always happens in the present.

Bounce-Back-Ability is a present of the present.

Bounce back today.

Happy Birthday Adam.


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