Archive for January, 2010

Different Ways of Dealing

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

It’s late Wednesday night. I can’t sleep so I decided to write with hopes that it will make me tired. For some reason there are a ton of things on my mind. There’s not one thought that stays long, but there are many that frantically jump from side to side inside my head.

I’m not sure where to begin with so many things going on. It seems that a few of my family members are facing uphill battles, while some of my friends have encountered obstacles that will need a lot of guidance and care to help them through.

I’ve always worn my emotions on my sleeve in my writing, but I’m a totally different person in the outside world, where interaction with others is sometimes very difficult for me. For many years I lived in fear of saying anything because I knew that no matter what I said it would be turned around and given its own meaning.  Eventually I became somewhat hopeless and was lost, without a clue where to turn.  When I started thinking about everything I said, it became robotic. As more time passed I got to the point where I didn’t say much at all. I tried to show my support in short, simple ways without bringing anything else to the table.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized how so many different people react when  you don’t do what they think you should do in certain situations. I always think back to the times I was always asked where I wanted to go on vacation. I didn’t really care as long as I went someplace with the person I loved. When I did recommend a place it seemed as if it was never the right place. Although my opnion was asked my response wasn’t necessary. Every time  I said I didn’t care where we went I always got spoken to about making a decision for once. It was extremely difficult to tell the person that I tried, but I was always shut off. Eventually I quit responding. After all, I would have loved to travel across the Rockies in Yellowstone Park or observe the glacial fields in Glacier National Park, but I knew that those ideas would never fly.

I know that many people don’t know how to take me. When others are facing battles it’s so hard to talk because I always go back to the days when I never said the right thing. Therefore, I try to keep it simple and show my concern for them through simple conversation about the battles. I know that when I need someone I just want them to listen to me while I talk. I kind of live the same way. I figure if someone needs me they will just want to talk. I consider myself a fairly good listener.

I have a family member going through hell right now. She thinks she has lost her mind with nowhere to turn. Sometimes it’s a matter of having a little patience. We all want problems fixed as soon as possible, but problems usually take a while to sort out. I think you can relate it to growing pains. This is a situation where I don’t even know what to say. I don’t have a clue about any of the topics she’s facing and quietly I just want her to know that I do care even though I don’t say much.

Unfortunately when we don’t say much people take that as being uncaring, rather than simply not knowing how to deal with the situation. We hold them accountable for making us feel like they don’t care. We must all learn to love our friends, family and lovers uncontditionally.

If any of you read my entry last March on “My Little Tree” you would see that I found a tree, brought it home, planted it and loved it unconditionally. The tree never disappointed me and I never disappointed it. This is very much the same with pets. My dog bites me occasionally because he’s a little cranky, but I still love him. I know that he doesn’t know any better and it’s all a part of who he is as a dog. Sometimes he wants to lounge around and sleep and other times he wants to run around like a madman. No matter what he chooses to do I’m ok with it. This is so simple to do because he can’t talk. When things can’t talk it’s much easier for us to remain on the same path. We don’t jump to conclusions about the actions of others and we don’t try to figure out what someone meant by something they said or did. I have never had any expectations with my dog or my tree which makes it so easy to love them unconditionally. The last time my dog bit me I was a little perturbed for a few minutes. But at the same time I looked at him and smiled because of all the times he simply made me smile. I could never ask from him more than he can give. He can’t talk, so he barks when he must tell me something. I have to acknowledge that and help him.

People are very much the same. Although people don’t always do what we expect or want, we must also be thankful for what they can give. There are many different people in all of our lives and each and every one of them reacts differently to certain situations.  We have to learn to take the positive parts and let those things be the reward for us. What might seem little at the time, could probably bring a whole new light if we took a step back, realized how thankful we were, even for the little gesture and learned that usually people do what they’re the most comfortable with. Some people are more comfortable with others in certain situations. Some people have a very hard time dealing with any serious issues in life and clam up, while others let it all out.

That’s the amazing thing about friends and families. With all of these people helping us in their own way we can gain a wealth of knowledge about them. If a person is quiet about certain things it probably means that they like it quiet when they are dealing with similar siutations. Although it’s unfortunate many people just don’t know what to do. We can try to guide them or tell them, but due to prior experiences there’s something that makes them much more reserved than the normal person.

As we all go forward let’s realize that the simplest gesture from a quiet person might just be what they consider a treasured jewel. We have to have the ability to understand the actions of people even if we don’t fully understand their intentions. It will make all of us better in the end.

To my relative who is pulling her hair out right now……….it will be ok. You have all of the tools that are necessary to harness what’s in front of you. Don’t add to your stress by imagining all sorts of bad things. Positive thoughts bring positive things. Time will take care of this.

And for my friend who is going through something right now that is as overhwelming as any battle that can ever be fought…………..dig deep and find the strength that you have inside. You have to remain positive and cherish every minute of every day. You have the ability to surpass all expectations and find a way to come out on top. The road will be bumpy, but it will guide you as long as you don’t stop. Continue putting one foot in front of the other and praying every night as you rest your head on your pillow. Remember that it’s ok to show your weakness at times, just don’t let it consume you.


Monday, January 25th, 2010

The last few weeks have been a blur. When I backed up to the loading dock to pick up my books it was rather overwhelming to say the least. As one case after another was loaded into my truck I realized that although the huge accomplishment of writing the book was over, the daunting task of selling it was just beginning.

Life is a series of changes. We start off as children. We’re not fully developed enough to make rational decisions on our own, so we have to rely on the people that raise us. I was very fortunate in that area. From a young age I was shown the difference between right and wrong as well as showing proper respect to people.

Before long the changes take place faster than we can comprehend. Heck, it seems like a few years ago I was in high school and the four years I spent getting my undergraduate degree in Oneonta are all but forgotten. Although I spent four years in college it seems like it was only a year when I look back at that period of my life.

However, as with anything our feet guide us and mine have kept marching forward. I’ve seen so many people get stuck in quicksand on their journeys. They let situations control them rather than stand up and find a way to pave a new path. I’ve encountered a few unfortunate incidents along the way such as being diagnosed with diabetes to starting all over again in my mid to late 30s. Sometimes we don’t have any control over what is thrown in our lap. If we don’t address these things and find peace with them they can haunt us for all of our living days on earth. I’ve noticed that some people seem to enjoy the misery. They don’t want to move forward. They want an excuse to stay in the spot they’re in. It’s a safety blanket that they can pull over their heads and hide from the world underneath it.

Many people are afraid of making mistakes. We all make mistakes, but I think the biggest mistake is crying a river over something that happened in the past. The people that let their past control their present are never truly at peace with the things that have happened in their lives. Opportunities come and go and the people look at it like nothing was lost. However, in all reality, everything could have been lost and absolutely nothing was gained. When a person is stationary there’s no movement in either direction. Sometimes you have to go to the depths of despair to find your way back to the top of the mountain. The higher you go, the closer you are to the sun, which has the ability to brighten even the darkest of days.

It seems as if fear paralyzes most people who refuse to move forward. They might be afraid of something that happened in the past or they might be afraid of failing in the future. No matter how you look at it, it’s not a very cheerful or optimistic way to open your eyes every morning.

When I started the project of writing my book I had no idea if I would ever finish. Since I was entering one of those changes that people encounter throughout their lives I decided I didn’t have anything to lose. If I succeeded I would have something to hand down to my family and the generations that follow. If I failed I wouldn’t be a different person or anything of the sort.

Shortly after my life was upturned I set new goals. I’m a firm believer that people who don’t have goals have a much harder time staying positive from day to day. I might show some negativity from time to time, but I will never express it when I’m working toward personal goals that I have set for myself. I don’t share my goals with many people so it’s easy for me to remain focused. I’ve seen more than a fair share of people get sucked in by the negativity that bounces from wall to wall every day. Many people make bad decisions because they can’t reach deep enough inside themselves during weak moments. At that time misery loves company. People who are destroying their own lives prey on others by telling them their lives could be better or they could do other things that would make them happier, and more times than not, the weak person will follow. This happens over and over and it’s a vicious cycle. That’s why relationships are so disposable now. People think the grass is always greener. I’ve been there too. I stood on the fence and took a look at the neighbor’s lawn. The harder I gazed at the turf the more clear it became, that my yard was just fine as it was.  I was satisfied. The lawn required care, but in the end it was just as good as the lawn across the fence. Many of the people standing on the fence don’t stand long enough to take in all of their surroundings. It almost reminds me of suicide. Most of the time suicides could be prevented with a single thought that lasted a few more seconds. It’s so incredibly sad that it’s hard to think about.

As I enter yet another change in my life I have new insight. I now have to learn how to be a salesman for my own product. This should be an easy task and the weeks ahead should give me a better answer as to whether or not I will be successful.

I read a quote a few years ago when I was in the bottom of the barrel as helpless as a fish out of water and it has stuck with me ever since that day. It reads, “When one door closes another one opens. However, don’t stare so long at the closed door that you fail to realize that another one has been opened for you.”

I’m not sure who wrote it and it’s not important. It’s very easy to understand and I hope that a few of my friends who have struggled mightily with a few changes in their lives are able to shed the monkey off their backs and walk freely as they once did. We mustn’t ever forget that we are the only ones responsible for where we are in our lives. If we choose to hide in the sand because of  fear it is our own fault. If we choose to rush into things and make hasty decisions that too is our own fault. If we take a step back, address situations with deep thought and gently nibble from the oustide in we’ll find our way. It’s all about trusting ourselves and the ones around us.

As a surfer rides a wave, we must do the same. Don’t fight the power of the ocean. Instead, let the wave carry us to the safety of the shore. Once there we can pick up our boards and feel the sand beneath our feet as we walk off into the sunset……………………………with the fear behind us and a new change beckoning us to acknowledge it.

End of a Decade

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Well, last week was the end of the decade. As I rushed around after work running errands I didn’t have anything on my mind other than getting to the AHL hockey game on time.

I sat through the game with my father and found different thoughts racing through my head in the down time. I thought back to the beginning of the same decade that would end later that night.

It was the year 2000 and I had purchased my first home the year before. I was settling into life and I felt as if I had the world by the tail. Heck, my house was only a block away from where I grew up and I had great neighbors on all sides as well. Life was good. My little pup was 5 years old and he finally had a run that allowed him to roam freely through the yard. He too was loving life.

As the years passed things became more of a routine and I might have let a few things go too far before properly addressing them. I’ll never know for sure and I don’t waste a whole lot of time thinking about it because we can’t ever go back in time.

I can recall getting a computer after moving into the new house. Shortly after becoming familiar with it I thought that it would be pretty neat if I could write a book.  One day I got out of work, clicked the computer on and started punching keys. I drew up an outline on what I would like to do and saved it in My Documents. Every once in a while I would open up the folder and glance at my outline. On a few occasions I even began writing the chapters that I had outlined. However, I never felt like I had very much support and I felt somewhat empty.  That’s when I put my idea on the back-burner and decided it was probably a lost cause.

In 2006 I was cruising down the freeway when all the wheels suddenly fell off the bus. In retrospect it was probably the best thing that ever could have happened to me. It brought me back to how unfair life can sometimes be. Far too many people give in at that point instead of finding another way. However, I stared into the lion’s mouth and decided I would set new goals and try my hardest to achieve them, no matter how long it might take.

The following year I accepted everything that had happened and that old idea that I had in My Documents at the beginning of the decade resurfaced. I had enough time and I needed to do something to keep my mind off from the negative things that had transpired the previous year and continued on a daily basis.

I chose to dig in and write the book. I started writing and before I knew it I was done. It only took three weeks to write the book, but it has taken me almost three more years to lay it out and get it in book format. I learned many things about book publishing, paginating and the other intracacies that go along with it. I never imagined that it would take me this long to complete the goal, especially when the actual writing was done almost three years ago.

Now, I’m only a few days away from picking the book up from the printer. Many people have asked me if I’m proud or have a sense of accomplishment. As odd as it sounds I really don’t have any of those feelings. The only thing I feel is that I should have been done much sooner. If I have any type of success I think I will try to write another one. Since I know how things work a little better now, it will make the next one easier.

So that night when I closed the shade on another decade I understood that life may not have taken me where I wanted to go when it started, but it surely brought me to where I was meant to be.

I’ve become close with people who have helped me in more ways than they can imagine. I thank each and every one of you. With the first goal behind me I’m going to try my hardest to achieve the next one within two years. I’ve recently set another goal behind that which will keep me pressing forward. I’m going to try to write another book. I would like it to be a book with funny hunting stories. I still haven’t ditched the idea of a novel, but I need my own office in a perfect place to accomplish that. I will give it my best effort when it’s time.

Although New Year’s Eve could have been a sad night for me due to many distant memories, I made the most of it and thanked my lucky stars. I only hope that the road I’m on will lead me to a valley filled with the things I love without any outside interference. We all choose the paths that we follow and although my choices are not easy, I have a better idea of where I need to end up to attain my lifelong goals.