By Michael Stodola Special to Published Oct 20, 2009 at 1:04 PM
I'm at a company party eating little food when I run into a co-worker's husband. And immediately, the Rolodex of subjects to chitchat about starts flipping in my brain. I had recently read a blog post about his convertible MG. I, myself, was fantasizing about an MG via eBay, so I brought it up.

"Loved the MG blog," I opened. "I was just looking at them on eBay. You know, I always wanted an old knock-around convertible myself." He almost immediately shut me down.

"Just do it then," he quipped in return. "I mean you can talk all you want about it, but nothing's going to happen until you go pick one up."

As tumbleweed rolled by, I attempted to look over my Rolodex again.

But, damn, if he wasn't right. I do talk a lot about things in my verbal daydream of plans, schemes and fantasy. Was I REALLY going to buy an MG? Nope, but I loved the idea. I love lots of ideas: Scuba diving in Indonesia, restoring a '32 Ford Coupe or building a 100 percent sustainable home all come to mind.

Sure, I scuba dive, and I owned a '54 Chevy pick-up for a spell. However, many things are simply talk-talk-talk.

So, once I gave my self-esteem a little CPR, I vowed to cut down the chatter and take action. When Dan Wieden (famous ad guy) coined the phrase, "Just Do It," for Nike back in '88, he pretty much said it all. The power rests within the action. In the deed, the glory. I'm not sure, but this frenetic, little encounter could have ignited my midlife crisis. I turned 44 this year, and my bucket list has suddenly become of major importance.

Taking his advice, I took action.

I realized that I'm a biker without a bike, so I took the motorcycle safety course offered by Hal's Harley-Davidson. I got my cycle license and I'm purchasing a Road King. I also wanted a tattoo -- yes, I'm 44. So, I designed it and drove to AdamBomb on the MLK and did it -- a big-ass snake on my forearm. And the hits keep rolling ...

The more I act, the more my life becomes worth living.

Specifically, the more I EXPRESS myself, the better life gets. Maybe it's living in the corporate world for so long, or being generally wimpy, that has made this new, active lifestyle so fulfilling. To hell with the future -- let's do this thing now! Or in the silky words of Marlon Brando in "The Wild One," "Now, listen, you don't go any one special place. That's cornball style. You just go." (He snaps his fingers.)

So, what's next? I hesitate to say. But within the year, a scuba trip to Central America, a multi-state motorcycle trip and an Olympic-length triathlon. Enough said.

Michael Stodola Special to
Michael Stodola is the Creative Director at Boelter + Lincoln – a Milwaukee advertising agency. He loves his job, but not as much as he loves scuba diving, crab cakes or playing with his kids. His favorite thing is sneaking off for dates with his hottie wife. Born and raised in Nebraska, he’s been calling Milwaukee home for well over 10 years. After Michael’s impending death, he’d like to return to this world as your next American Idol®.