Monday, September 12, 2016

It has been 10 years...

This is one of my favorite pictures of my son Kevin. I don’t know what the activity was but he seemed to engage with everyone around him. Comparing things, poking fun at things, or giving someone a hard time, it didn’t matter, he just had to be doing something with someone. I am so grateful he poked his head in the bedroom to tell us good-bye and that he loved us before he headed out to work that morning ten years ago. I like to remember him as someone who marched to the beat of his own drum. He was everyone’s friend. He loved people, and he connected with everyone, no matter how old or young they were. He had a way of putting you at ease. And he seemed to always be plotting something with someone. He is missed, he is loved, he left a hole in our family, but we will be together again.

When we first moved to Manhattan, Kansas we had to rent some places. Sunday afternoon at the dinner table Kevin would put on a magic show. He would learn a few tricks during the week, and then entertain us all with the new tricks. Disappearing utensils and coins going through the tabletop were some of the more memorable moments – especially the look of horror on Lynda’s face when her butter knife disappeared.

He had a ready smile, but always had some mischievous prank about to be sprung on someone. Which brings me back to this picture. It looks like the fellow Kevin is handing something to is a bit wary, don’t you think? Not sure if he should take it or not, and the look on Kevin’s face, ‘why don’t you trust me? Nothing is going to happen’… The moment was captured and it illustrates that side of Kevin so well.

Ten years may have gone by, but your memory is still alive and well. Miss you son.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fight On

One key to success is to keep on keeping on. Once you've set your goals an your sights on where you want to go or do. Keep at it.

Rachel Platten's Fight Song might just become your own theme song.

I like it because it resonates deep inside of me.

This is my fight song,
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song

...cuz I've still got a lot of fight left in me.

Great lyrics, great song.

Listen and get your commitment to go after what you want to do.

It works for me anyway.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Be Confident or Fake It Till You Make It

I ran across this comedy sketch a while back and I keep going back and watching it again.  I love this. It is from Studio C and they do all sorts of short comedy spoofs on all kinds of things.

Not sure if the embedded link will work or not. So here is the link:

Who wants to be a Millionaire:

I share this video because my favorite part is towards the end when "Regis" asks our contestant "Are you sure?"

His answer speaks volumes.

"I was, until you kept asking if I was sure, and the lights and everyone else saying other things."

Watching this we know the correct answer. We know he has the correct answer, but everyone else is so sure the incorrect answer is in fact, the answer.

It is easy for us to sit on the sidelines and say George Washington. it is so obvious. And yet he capitulates and goes with D. George Washington, against his better judgment.

There is a new reality TV show called Strong. My wife was watching it so by default I watched some of it as well. However there was something said that gave me one of those moments when I thought, "Yeah, that is right."

What I gather from what I saw of Strong is a variation of The Biggest Loser or The Biggest Loser meets Survivor.  10 contestants each have an individual trainer. The pair make a team. They have work out schedules and the trainer is just that helping them to get fit.

As one of the contestants struggled while training the trainer commented that she had the physical strength to run, or jump, or whatever she was required to do, the problem was mental. She had to develop that mental toughness to push past her preconceived limits.

That was my "ah, yes" moment.

The cliché is If you think you can, then you can. It comes back to our own confidence and mental toughness. I like to say, "Life is what happens when you make other plans."

Be confident. Believe in yourself. Life is full of set backs. There are those who say, no it can't be done. So, take what you want to do, write, athletics, business, whatever, believe in yourself. Give yourself the tools needed to do the task or complete the goal you have in mind. But go forward believing in yourself.

Have the coverage to say, "B: Theodore Roosevelt. Final Answer!"

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Some Nice Perspectives on Life

I opened this in an e-mail.

Spring has sprung! Flowers are blooming. Birds are singing. I thought the flowers and birds combined with a message was a nice touch for the time of year. The short thoughts are defiantly worth sharing. There are some nice perspectives.

So follow the images and understand the meaning behind each. Each could be its very own post.  Humm, I may just do that...

Send a link to those whom you care about. One never knows what tomorrow will bring us.
  The nicest place to be  is in someone's thoughts

Change is Possible

I ran across this meme on Facebook a year or two ago. I saved it thinking it would make a great post. Then I went back to my grind.

When I had left the food industry a few years ago I vowed I would not return. Yet the non-food service job I had did not have a bright future. So when another food service General Manager job opened up and they asked me to run a store for them I took it. The store swallowed me. I was back to working 12 to 16 hour days. Some days arriving home so tired I’d crawl into bed just to get up in a few hours and drag myself back to work. That is where I’ve been for the last year. At work or in bed. 

It makes it real tough to do much else. I have other priorities, but putting food on the table seems to take precedence over other things. So other things have slid, and unfortunately writing was one of those activities that seems to take a hit when things get stressful and hectic.

Yet I wanted to make a change. Thus the meme with the three C’s. I had to make a choice. I needed out of the food industry. I had the job because I needed to do something to provide for my family. That is like, number one priority, make sure my family is taken care of. Albeit the job just barely fulfilled that requirement. Not complaining, just stating where I was at. Yet I had no job satisfaction. Oh, there were moments when things were great, but for the most part I was behind and always stressed. I was not in my happy place.

So I chose to find something different, something better. I like having my weekends free to do things with my wife and kids. I like being home in the evenings so I can attend things at the High School, or go out, or stay in. The point is I’m going out or staying in with my wife and kids. Doing things with the people who matter most. And running a restaurant does not allow that type of lifestyle. So I am fundamentally unhappy with the situation, I must make a change.

I like computers, databases, programming. I am good at the database thing and computers. So I opted to work on certifications with computer things. That was my choice.

Then the miracle happened - a job that fit what I wanted became available. Now I had to move to the second of the three C’s - Chance

I had to take the chance. Take the job, give the two week notice and venture across the country to begin a new job and changing my life.

Because once I made the Choice to look, and take the chance on leaving the old and venturing into the new the Change happened.

This change is for the better. My stress levels are way lower than they have been in a decade. I find fulfillment in the chosen work I am now doing. I have energy to pursue other things. I have a long list of things that need my attention. 

I am committed to this blog. As I evaluate time constraints and my priorities I’ll make decisions on where my focus and attention needs to be. So keep an eye out, as I do plan on blogging here once again. Hopefully I’ll have insights that others will find interesting and inspiring.  

So if you are not happy with where you are, or a project you are working on take a look at these three C’s
Make a choice. Keep going, give up, or find/do something different

Once the choice is make take the chance. Take the plunge - Do it

Then the changes start to happen. If you have a good plan and are working things the right way you may find the positive changes you are seeking.

I am on a new journey now, and so far it isn’t disappointing.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Links to the Past

Mom and Grandma
I love to read. My mother taught me a love for books. She too loved to read, and her example brought into my life the joys of reading. My grandmother taught her daughter, my mother, to have a love for books. I spent some time at my grandparent’s home, and my grandmother had a favorite chair, across from my grandfather’s favorite chair. Next to her preferred seat was a table, filled with books – mainly westerns. Yes, my grandmother loved to watch Gunsmoke, and read Louis L’Amour westerns.  I also learned that her favorite character from those books was William Tell Sackett. (Grandma also loved to play ball, when the family played baseball and she was up to bat, the outfielders moved further back, she could hit far. I had a real cool grandmother.)

I worked late the other night. When I got home everyone was in bed. I wasn’t sleepy, and I knew if I crawled into bed I’d toss and turn until I got comfortable, but in so doing would disturb my wife’s rest. So I opted to take some time to read. Since things have been hectic lately I haven’t gotten involved with a novel, or a trilogy, I’ve been reading short stories. The collected short stories of Louis L’Amour. As I was reading the next story in the collection I realized that the character was Tell. When I finished the story, I remembered my grandmother and her collection of L’Amour westerns.

My grandmother had written a short autobiography, about 30 pages is all. I remember she had written that one of her most favorite parts of the day was when everyone had gone to bed and she was the only one awake in the house. I smiled to myself as I recalled her words. I was the only one awake in the house, and I had just finished reading a short story western about William Tell Sackett, one of my grandmother’s favorite characters. I felt close to her at that moment. A solitary moment late at night while my family slumbered peacefully I understood the words my grandmother had shared, and why she liked those silent moments of solitude in a house full of sleeping loved ones. Suddenly I felt a kinship with her.

If she hadn’t of written it down I would have missed it. She never told me those thoughts, but she had expressed them in her short paper on her life. It is full of tidbits and memories about her.

Then I got to thinking about other things I have in common with my grandmother. My own mother and one of my sons. I fit between them. True I am her son and a father to my son, but my son and mother have something in common: they both survived a car accident, my mother lost a leg, and my son lost part of his foot.

Grandma had to deal with helping my mother recover from her auto accident. My mother lost her leg at 17, a life changing event to say the least. I grew up with that as normal. I didn’t realize that other people’s mothers didn’t have to put their leg on in the morning as part of getting ready for the day.

So when my four-year-old son lost part of his foot, I understood what I needed to do to help him, because I had watched and learned from my own mother. However, that night sitting in my chair thinking about my grandmother I discovered that we shared a similar experience. Dealing with a child who had been critically injured in an accident and their life would be forever changed because of it.

In my grandmother’s writing she also mentioned that she missed Tommy. She lost her son when he was eight years old. He had drowned. Growing up I was fascinated with Tommy. My aunts would tell stories about him, and they would laugh at the happy memories. I too lost a son. He was eighteen when he died. So when I read the words my grandmother wrote about losing her son, and the feelings she had, and missing him, and thinking about him – I understood. However, I didn’t lose my son until after grandma passed away. So I didn’t get to compare notes with her. I just have her writing about her own reflections on her own pain of losing a son.

I closed the book, thought about grandma, realized how much we now have in common and gratefully retired to my bed feeling closer to both my grandmother and mother.

Mom taught me a lot. She shared much of what she learned from her mother with me. I felt the kinship during those waking hours late that night. So though both mom and grandma have passed on, I wish them both a Happy Mother’s Day 2015.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Keep on Keeping On

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks to what happens."
-- Khalil Gibran

I agree, the quote is spot on. I had an epiphany this last week. I've been picking up the pieces and next week I start a new job. While my current job has been great, it is a bridge between places as the income is not where I needed it, and the hours are not good at all (try 6 PM to 6AM four days a week).

The new job is simalar to a job I had a year and a half ago. In fact when I left the industry I told my self not to ever go back.

What is that saying? "Never say never." Yea, that is the one. I'm going back.

But before I decided to go back I took a long careful look at why I was so unhappy, and why I wanted out so badly. It was a no win situation, and I was surrounded by a whole lot of negativity.

So I'm looking at where I'm going, and while it isn't exactly the same thing I was doing, it is close to it. Then I got to thinking about if I like it, what does it matter what else is going on. It is my attitude. I"ve also heard the saying "Attitulde determines altitude."

On the one hand I am really looking forward to the new opportunity. I've years of experiance that I am bringing to the table. I plan on being very successful with the new endevor. My epiphany was this, if I'm happy, don't let anyone tell me I should be unhappy. Don't let anyone rain on my parade, and don't worry what other people think. If I'm enjoying the work, and the people, don't let anyone else pull me down. Period.

I used to be like that. I intend to become like that again.

So I'll just add "Keep on keeping on." because that is all we can do. But do it with a smile. Find that happy place. Your own attittude will determine a whole lot of how things will be, or your attitude determines how things are.

How do you keep your attitudes positive?