Be On The Look Out…

I really like the TV show NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service). Maybe it’s my unexplained love for crime dramas, my military brat background, or the quirky, goth forensic scientist character, Abby Sciuto, with her jet black pigtails, spiked choker and army boots (to whom I secretly relate). At least once in every episode, the NCIS agents issue a “BOLO” (Be On the Look Out) for a suspect, stolen object or a getaway vehicle. They offer a detailed description of the person, item or car, and other law enforcement officers know exactly what to look for. 

Wouldn’t it be helpful if we got BOLO messages sent to us directly in life?

  • In elementary school:  BOLO for the school bully. He stands a head taller than the other kids, wears a constant sneer and keeps hands permanently clenched in menacing fists. 
  • In high school: BOLO for the boy who is going to break your heart. He has wavy brown hair, a winning smile, funny, smart, really seems into you… until he becomes more interested in your best friend. 
  • In the community:  BOLO for the problem neighbor.  He frequently screams at your kids to stay off his lawn, trims his shrubberies with laser precision and complains that your mailbox isn’t up to the neighborhood association’s standards.
  • At work: BOLO for the co-worker who is going to take credit for your work and steal your promotion. She seems genuinely interested in hearing about your creative ideas, she brings you coffee unsolicited, offers to help out when you’re on an impossible deadline, and has two faces.

But  better than serving as a warning, a BOLO can be useful to help identify some of the wonderful things in life. For example:

  • Life changing events: BOLO for your soul mate.  It could be the person next to you on the bus, or the one for whom you hold a door open. Or the friend you’ve known for years. BOLO for the one who is going to help  you launch your business idea. Maybe it’s the jogger you see in the park every day, or the guy you accidentally spilled coffee on at Starbucks.
  • Every day happiness: BOLO for simple pleasures. The shoes you’ve had your eye on go on sale for 75% off!  Your child gives you an extra big hug for no reason at all. An email really makes you LOL.
  • Magic: BOLO for special fleeting moments that fortify your soul. The single flower that pokes up through the snow. The silent sunrise before anyone else wakes up. Your favorite oldie on the radio. Watching your cat happily dream about chasing mousies.

We all could use a BOLO to remind of us of the amazing gifts that are presented to us every day. If we’re not looking for them, they could sadly pass by unnoticed.  As Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So today, I’m sending you a BOLO.  Be on the look out for the wonderfully unexpected.


  1. Gina Hayes says:

    Thank you for this! Your blog post today is just what the doctor ordered. It is so clever, insightful and thoughtful. Great advice and the acronym, BOLO, will stay with me forever.

  2. Tricia says:

    Loved it! You are so right! BOLO! Take time to smell the flowers…my calla lillies are blooming and my alstromeria are waking up. Soon the freesia will be popping up! Sometimes, if I’m really looking out at the water, especially while doing the dishes, I can see the dolphins playing or catch a few whales going by. A whale-watching friend pointed them out when she was here for Thanksgiving. Imagine, not bolo, and missing these great sightings over the last 15 years! BOLO, thanks, ms. d.

  3. dkillo says:

    Thanks, Gina and Tricia. Tricia, you can see dolphins and whales from your window! How wonderful!

  4. Barbara says:

    Great post, Donna <>. I think of BOLO as Focus in many ways – a way of increasing peripheral vision so that things that might be wonderful, useful, inspiring what-have-you which normally pass you by come into focus and you can see them, hear them, grab them, enjoy them. Good to keep reminding us to BOLO <>

Leave a Reply