About a dozen years ago, I was watching my gymnast nieces jumping on a very large trampoline at a family party. It looked easy and fun. So I crawled in and lost all control. I was floundering and flopping around trying to get my footing, finding it difficult to even crawl to the exit as the other jumpers were knocking me off balance. Everyone up on the deck was laughing hysterically and I heard my wife say, “One thing I’ve always loved about Geoff is that he has never been afraid to make a fool of himself.” Much as I love any sentence that begins with a premise of what someone loves about Geoff, this came as a shock. I never felt I was unafraid of making a fool of myself. I assumed everyone was afraid of that. I was always going for looking cool. Maybe a wacky funny cool, but cool. I did not climb on that trampoline thinking I might make a fool of myself. I envisioned doing somersaults and my nieces squealing, “Uncle Geoff is amazing!” Reflecting on my wife’s words, I realized I may have occasionally missed the subtle difference between “laughing with me” and “laughing at me.” Since “things anyone loves about Geoff” are extremely rare, I decided to embrace and own the quality of not being afraid to make a fool of myself. I have worked very hard at it over the last decade. My blogging obsession is a good example of this philosophy.

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