It’s been three months since I last wrote and three months since I become extremely ill. I am not all the way recovered yet, but am doing a lot better. Previous to this, the longest I have been sick was a month, and the majority of the symptoms were gone in a week or so. This time, the majority of the symptoms were with me for over two months. At this time, I won’t go into the details of all of my problems, but I do want to write about how this chronic illness has changed or reset my life.
Today I have the opportunity to write a bit about the special women in my life. As with most of you, women have had a huge part in my life. As probably not with most of you, this does not include my maternal mother. This is not because I was adopted or in foster care. No, she was just not a big part of my life and the part she was in was usually not positive. In any case, my object is not to write about my mother, but to celebrate the special women in my life.
This weekend, I was reminded that I do not take the time to plan and do memorable things frequently enough. There are plenty of meaningful things that we do, like work or school, taking care of responsibilities, and so on. These are important, but they are not memorable. Ten or twenty years from now, my family or I will remember that I had a job, and maybe I will even be able to recall a few projects I worked on, but that is all. The memorable things are the ones that might take only a few seconds or a few days, but they are forever a part of the interesting story of our lives. The parts that we talk about, draw from, and shape ourselves through. Hopefully, most of the memorable things are good, but we will all have bad ones too. I recall an event with my father and mother that consisted only of a few seconds of them taking turns yelling at me and then a slap, but that is all it took to be memorable. So, my goal is to make more good memorable moments in my families’ and my life.
For the past three weeks, I have been playing this game on my iPad called Trade Nations. In the game, you build a village. You start by building houses, and then people move into the houses. You can put the people to work in one of several jobs, such as farming or mining. As these people work, they produce resources. You can sell these resources or use them to build other things, such as shops. As the game continues, you build more houses, get more people, have more workers, produce more resources, and build more things. The fun thing for me is to plan out my village so I get people doing the right balance of things so I earn the most money or get the most things and continue to advance my village. The game reminds me of life itself and how we must balance time and resources.
Well, I am writing about this today to illustrate another example of something I enjoy doing for fun. The challenge of balancing all of the aspects of the game to produce a desired result is a lot of fun for me, like chess. In real life, the game would be a business, where you take the skills and resources you have to try to create a successful business. Unfortunately for me, I think of a lot of possible businesses but most of them either end up marginally successful or never started.
Today, Father called home my friend
One I grew up with
One I have known the longest
One that called me brother
Doesn’t He how it hurts?
Doesn’t He know we had things still to do?
Doesn’t He know the longing to hear your laugh again?
And He has called you to take the next step with your sister and father
And He has asked me to take courage and soon we will embrace again
This week I said goodbye to my friend Marie that I have known longer than any other outside of my family. She lost her battle with cancer and passed on the anniversary of her father’s death 42 years earlier. She was 52 years young. She left behind a husband, six children, two grandchildren, and a mother.
In May 2004, the LiveStrong bracelet campaign was started to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is involved with cancer research. At the time, I was certainly supportive of cancer research, in fact very supportive, but did not want to be one of the masses that just jumped on the bandwagon. It was not until 2006 that the hype seemed to subside a little and I purchased my first set of bracelets for the entire family. I wore the bracelet frequently because it reminded me of how much I hate cancer and the lives it has taken and want to help support cancer research.
Why do I have such a hatred for cancer? I mean, there are so many diseases and conditions that take people’s lives, why choose cancer? It’s not like I know someone very close to me that has died of cancer. But, somehow I have always felt that of all the things that might take me or a close family member, cancer is one of the most likely culprits.
It’s been almost eleven years since we started the new millennium. What a monumental event that so few in the history of man get to celebrate. Think about how many, or really how few, people really would have actually celebrated this event. Anyway, what did I do on this eventful day –NOTHING! It wasn’t’ that I was worried about the Y2K issues like planes dropping out of the sky or all computer systems crashing. I just didn’t bother to make plans to do anything. Oh, I thought about doing something but never came up with anything, so I watched the New Year’s countdown on TV – WOW (said with great sarcasm). As I have looked back over the years, I have regretted not doing more. And yet, at the same time, when new occasions come with the opportunity to do something, I still find myself doing nothing special. I guess I shouldn’t really say nothing, because there are always things on the to do list, but nothing special. I guess it comes down to comfort zones. It is too easy to do the standard thing. It is hard to get out of our ruts.
I was watching an inspirational broadcast on TV today and the speaker was talking about air turbulence. He said when flying through air turbulence that the there is a speed, the turbulence speed, that is optimal for flying through the turbulence. He also mentioned that in most cases a plane needs to slow down to be at turbulence speed. He then likened flying through turbulence with each of our lives. We are all extremely busy, with far more to do than we have time to do it. When challenges hit, difficulties arise, or life overwhelms, we need to slow down and get back to doing the basics in life. We need to get back to doing the things that are most important; this is living life at turbulence speed.
I was on the phone the other day with my friend and somehow we got talking about business. He has started several businesses and is currently running a successful consulting business and doing quite well. He told me he has observed a principle that seems to always hold true: risk and reward – the more risk, the more potential reward. He told me a story of two painters, Ted and Bill, going to the same university at the same time. They were both very talented and graduated with degrees. Ted took a secure and good job at a computer company as a graphic artist. This was not Ted’s ideal job but the safe bet. He has done well for himself and has provided a nice income and stability for his family. As Ted finds time, he still paints but more for himself than anyone else. Ted would still like to be able to make a living as a painter but probably doesn’t see how.
Bill, took a big risk. He moved his family to a small town where he could rent a studio for very little money. Bill’s family was very poor for many years and went without many comforts as Bill developed his style and skills. Now, Bill is a very successful and famous painter making a great living and doing what he loves to do.
For one of my future blog posts, I was looking for a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt about the importance of doing things you don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing to help you grow. I have come to rely on Google and quote Web site to help me out. Well, I found a large list of quotes from this woman I know nearly nothing about, and I loved them. So, this is a place in my quest that I came to not on vacation or talking to a friend or out and about, but as I was trying to document my quest. Anyway, I feel like I have stumbled onto a gem of life named Eleanor Roosevelt and want to know more about her.