No Storm Last Forever

River 8 BG

As I look back over my life I see many turbulent times. Between the mighty crests of the waves there were the calms of the troughs. The winds that wreak havoc on our spirits eventually die down. All clouds run out of rain.

During the storms we have to find the strength to continue. After the storms we work to repair the damage. Of course there will be scars. How we deal with the storms and the aftermaths are as independent as our fingerprints. Yes, some of us act in similar ways, but how we feel inside is known only to us. During most storms I tend to pull my emotions inside like a turtle when threatened. Some storms I tend to lash out like a rattlesnake when disturbed. Some storms I remain calm and just ride it out. Once the storm passes we must rationally assess the damage. If we don’t properly diagnose we spend too much time trying to correct the symptoms. We add X to our lives as a patch. Or remove Y from our lives because it hurts. Doing this only prolongs our pain. Acting rationally while we are hurt is not easy. In fact, it is almost impossible.Only after a cooling down period of introspection can we truly figure out where the roots of our pain exists. Looking at our own faults is scary. Blaming others comes easy.

Because I chose the turtle stance most of the time, I allowed others to take advantage of me. When I acted like a rattlesnake, I never gave an opportunity to the other people. When I approach problems rationally first, which is rare, I remain calm and a mutual agreement is usually found. People have used me, but I let them. People tried to help me, but I prevented them. When I realize the big picture I put myself back in control of me. I can’t control others, but I can choose not to let others control me. My happiness comes from how I interpret life, not how others act towards me.

There will always be storms. Its nice to know they will always end. They might be followed by another storm, but that also will eventually end.

A Glance Back

My Family Years Ago

This morning I read a post by Bare Naked in Public. I hope she doesn’t mind my reference to her blog. She always seems to be speaking directly to me, although I know that is not her intention. I would like to suggest you check out her blog and judge for yourself. After reading her post I felt inclined to reflect on my past.

The picture above was taken back in the early 80’s. My mother, on the left, was a single woman raising 3 children with no help from their father. My beautiful sister, on the right, now has 2 gorgeous daughters of her own and recently she was blessed with twin granddaughters. My brother, on the right, has a daughter entering college and a son in high-school that loves sports. I, on the left, have a son that is currently working as a chef at a local restaurant.

Back when this picture was taken I was in high-school. I didn’t think I was poor. I didn’t think working was a burden. I attended school and then went to work at my uncle’s crab shop in the afternoon. It all just seemed normal to me.Many of my friends didn’t have jobs and therefore had more time for other activities. At the time I was slightly jealous, now, I’m glad that I had the life I had. I don’t take things for granted. I have what I have because of the effort I extend and because others that truly love me have been there to support me along the way.

I have made many mistakes on life’s highway. As a husband I failed twice. As a father I made many wrong choices. I can’t change the past. I can only try to make each day worth remembering for the right reasons. My family loves me even knowing my faults. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all accepted each other as is.

Once upon a time, my mother, brother, sister and I all shared one bed at my grandparent’s home. Now, we are all separated by time and space. I wouldn’t trade a single day of my past for a day enjoyed by royalty. I don’t live a life of luxury, but I have what money can’t buy, LOVE!

A Gentle Reminder

KIMG0044Recently, during a very stressful day at work, I went outside to clear my head. Amid the acres of asphalt, parked cars and people shuffling around, I saw a small rabbit. It was nibbling on grass in one of the islands. Watching the rabbit moving from island to island as if it didn’t have a care in the world, made me think about all the beauty nature shows us every day. Even here in a parking lot GOD again gave me a reminder that there is much more to life than most of us participate in.

I used to find time for canoeing, hiking, visiting parks and science centers. Lately I have let my job consume so much of my time I forget to find time for me. Even this brief instance with the rabbit left me yearning to reconnect with nature. This Labor day weekend I’m committing to find time to enjoy the great outdoors.

I want so badly to resume my sustainable lifestyle. All of my batteries need to be replaced. That is an expense I currently can’t afford. Slowly I plan to replace them one at a time. My solar panels are doing their job, but without good batteries their generated energy is useless.

My garden has more weeds than edible plants. Fixing that issue is a great place to start. It isn’t expensive. I’ll get my hands dirty. I’ll get some much needed exercise. I’ll return my yard to a condition my neighbors can enjoy looking at.

Inspired by a brief encounter with a rabbit, I realized how many things I love that I’m not doing. I need to get back to who I was and not let my job get in my way. I will stop bringing my work home with me. GOD gave me talents and a love for nature. I will combine my gifts and moving forward live for me. Trying to be all things for others might make them happy, but I find little satisfaction in doing menial tasks just because I’m good at it. I like serving others, but all choices we make include an opportunity cost. Doing “A” means not doing “B”. I am learning to say no. Not because I don’t want to help others, rather that I deserve time for myself.

I am blessed. May GOD smile upon you and your life be filled with love. My gentle reminder from GOD got me to reexamine what I was doing, and more importantly why I was doing it. Putting yourself last is realistically unhealthy, both physically and emotionally. Take time for you, or you will never find true happiness. It took me 49 years to figure this out. It’s the little things in life that matter. Make the most of what you have. Hug your children, Chase your dreams. There is only one YOU. And only YOU can control your choices. I choose to live for me, mistakes and bad judgements are bound to occur. So be it. I refuse to be a pawn in others game of life.

This is my outlet to vent. If I’m the only one who ever reads it, I’m happy with that. If others read it and find even one thing they likeĀ  I will feel good knowing that even though I created this just for me, perhaps like minded people can work together to create a sustainable lifestyle that doesn’t destroy the beauty nature gives us everyday.

Good night and GOD BLESS.