Archive for April, 2014

Accepting Life

Monday, April 14th, 2014

It seems like summer dropped from the sky the last two days without allowing spring to gently slide into place. It appears it won’t last long as a small dose of winter has been forecasted for the next two days. That’s the beauty of living in a place where you’re able to experience the four seasons. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how many people in the world never experience the seasonal changes we encounter every year.  I listen to many people bitch and moan about the weather and I must admit, even I do it on occasion.

In the grand scheme of life I thoroughly enjoy everything each season brings with it. Now that spring has arrived I’ll enjoy the unpredictability of the day to day temperatures and weather. One day it could be 80 degrees and the next day might be in the high 20s. Spring reminds me a lot of the things we encounter on our journey through life. Our lives could be cruising along on a freeway without a care in the world. Our car windows are down and it seems like we have the pedal on the floor as we put miles and miles behind us.

Suddenly a deer can dash across the road in front of us and everything in our life can be shattered. If we collide with the deer we might end up in the ICU unit in the hospital. We might wreck our car. We might crash into another car and hurt someone else or we might even drift into the sky in search of a new nesting ground. No matter what happens it’s painfully obvious that there are no guarantees in life. Life has no favorites and father time is undefeated.

When I was a child I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I was five years old, but I remember very clearly what the doctor said to me at the time. He told if I stayed away from smoking and drinking it would increase my odds of living longer than expected. In the early 70s there wasn’t much known about diabetes. Heck, they hadn’t even developed blood glucose monitors at the time, so it was virtually impossible to see any patterns. I did my four urine tests a day, but urine could sit in the bladder for hours on end and present false readings. The readings might show negative for any glucose in the urine and that was because four hours earlier there was none present. When I was given my set of directions with all the do this and don’t do that items highlighted I made special note of it.

That is the reason why I get so frustrated with some people when they will not change for the betterment of their own health. We only get one life and it is up to us to increase our odds by listening to what the professionals tell us. Last winter when my dad had a heart attack I knew it would be a life-changing experience for him. I know it scared the heck out of him as it did all of us family members. We listened to the doctors when they told us he would have to make a lot of changes and we were ready to help him.

For the first few months everything went well. He stayed away from the stuff on the menu that he wasn’t supposed to indulge in and I felt good about it because I know there are many things I would like to experience, but have always avoided for the benefit of my health. Lately I’d like to pull my hair out when I sit back and watch him from a distance. How can you tell someone you care so much about to stop doing what they’re doing? He passed his stress test in flying colors so he thinks he’s all okay. I just can’t imagine being that ignorant to the real problem, the problem that can’t be seen or felt from the outside until it’s too late. It was minutes from being too late last time, yet that seems to be long forgotten. It’s not forgotten in my mind. I live it every day and the lack of concern and disregard for following a more strict diet that avoids foods that are not good for people who have had heart attacks is alarming. How can someone so smart be so ignorant to the fact that he was given a second chance?

I’m sure this happens to people all over the world, but for me I just wish my own blood could see the things I compromised while growing up and even into today to ensure I could live the longest life possible. I know old habits break hard, but they never break at all if you don’t give them an honest effort. Food tastes good. I get that, but continuing to fill your body with the things that led to first episode isn’t good.

I also know that one person can never help another person unless the other person wants the help. I’ll sit back and keep doing what I do while cruising down this highway. You never know when a deer will bolt out in front of you and at that point I guess it doesn’t matter what precautions you have taken along the way. As hard as it is to watch I believe I have to sit back and let the events unfold in front of me because whether I like it or not I’m pretty sure none of us have a lot of control over how it all ends because our path has been predetermined.

I’ve rambled a little bit tonight. This didn’t go in the direction I had intended. That’s the beauty of writing. Once you start writing you never know where you’re going until you dot the last sentence with a period.

Following My Feet

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

I slept in on Saturday morning. I didn’t have enough energy to roll out of bed at the crack of dawn. It seems as if the energy has been drained out of me over the last few weeks.  Earlier in the week I had committed to attending an archery tournament to benefit the Hunt of  Lifetime Organization, so I planned on getting a little extra rest before heading to Plattsburgh in the afternoon.

The ride through the Adirondack Mountains was phenomenal. It’s the time of year when you can see large blocks of ice falling from cliffs as the sun warms them enough to set them free before they crash to the ground. It’s a phenomenon that has a different meaning for each and every person that is able to witness it. It reminds me of life.  No matter where we go or how high we climb we must always return to a base. The base may be our home if we have been on the road for a while or it could even be a trailhead if we have gone for a hike. No matter what or where the base might be it gives us a sense of security and with security comes warmth, not necessarily happiness.

Actually security too often feeds upon happiness and without stepping outside of ourselves we sometimes never have the ability to see the full effect that security has on us. We might find security with our jobs, hobbies, or partners. No matter where we find it we learn to accept things because we’re afraid to welcome change into our lives. Without knowing it we become stagnant and let life dictate to us what we will become and where we will go. If we have outside activities to draw us away from the security of everyday life it usually brings a lot of happiness to our lives, but if we don’t we can be doomed without any possibility of escaping from it.

While I have been a victim of security over the years I’ve also made sure to find things away from my security blanket to help me grow and become the person I want to become. I’ve set goals and made a plan to achieve them. In doing so I ventured into unknown areas and welcomed the obstacles I encountered along the way. When I stumbled upon blocked roads I simply put the blinker on and took a detour. Although there was no mapped out route I did my best to find a way through the places I had never seen.

When I returned to familiar roads I was secure once again. Security in a few areas of my life have been challenged recently and I find myself scrambling for other options. Scrambling can cause chaos and chaos can lead to panic. I’m thankful for being a laid back person. I tend to sit back and tackle things when I’m confronted with them rather than worry about things that haven’t happened yet.

Since security seems to be slowly disappearing in one area of my life I’m going to have to run my hands along the forest floor and grab a handful of leaves. I’ll toss a few into the wind and watch them disappear into thin air as the air currents carry them off the mountain. Just as a leaf doesn’t have the ability to predict its travel route neither do I, but I do have ideas and dreams to chase. Although my feet are gently carrying me across the dirt I’m sure they’ll lead me to the place I belong as long as I start walking in the right direction and don’t turn around until I arrive.

Spring: Chasing New Life

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

It appears that Spring has finally sprung. I’m sure we’ll still get some chilly weather, but I’m pretty sure the brutal cold has passed. In the last few days the snow has begun to melt at a rapid pace and I couldn’t be happier about it. With everything we do there always comes a point where we need a change of pace. It might be from a job, a hobby, or even a routine. Too much of the same thing can become stale and focus is lost.

That is the reason why competitors need to take a break from competing whether it’s in individual or team sports. Too much of the same thing leads to mental exhaustion. Once the mental fatigue sets in the desire to compete can quickly be lost. Every year when I used to compete in archery I was always happy to see September. I knew I had a solid three months of limited shooting. I could unwind at that time and approach it with a new and fresh outlook in January.

It has taken me all winter to find my shot in archery. I think I’ve finally found it now that the indoor shooting is coming to an end. Although I would have liked it to happen sooner I can’t complain because some people never truly find their shot just as many people never find their true purpose in life. For the vast majority of people their purpose escapes them. There have been times when I’ve looked in the mirror and thought I had it all figured out. I’ve never really felt lost on my journey with the exception of the agony I experienced during a painful divorce. Looking back at it I can easily say that the divorce led me to things I never thought much about other than in passing. When I sunk to the bottom of the barrel I dug and clawed my way out of the darkness to find a new light. The new light was lit when I began writing my first book and the candle burnt brightly for the next few years as I knocked that one off and wrote another one.

Now that I have two books behind me I seem to have fallen into another dark and gloomy barrel. I’m stuck in the monotony of a daily grind where I encounter the same thing over and over. My mind has raced from one thought to the next, but it always brings me back to archery and writing. It doesn’t take much common sense to figure out that I’m passionate about these things. I’ve been trying to see a future in them, but the road is not clear quite yet. I’ve had a number of brilliant ideas pop into my melon, but I always find myself questioning if these wonderful ideas can get me to the end of the rainbow.

That’s a question that nobody can answer. It’s a question that many people have faced while pursuing their own goals in life. It’s the reason why risk takers have no fear. They go all in with hopes of making it big. I’m sure failure crosses their mind, but it doesn’t stay there and prod them. Thoughts of success must outweigh the thoughts about failure. If I look at the target and fear missing I’m programming my mind to miss and the misses will come more readily than if I look at the target and expect to shoot the center out of it.

I’m at the point where the daily routine needs to be changed. One of my readers recently sent me a note saying he had reached this point, too, so he quit his job. I applaud him for doing something he believes will bring him a quieter mind and more internal peace. We all need to remember that although money makes things easier for most of us, it doesn’t bring us genuine happiness. We have to pursue the things we are passionate about and give it everything we have to ensure we can stay on that path…………………….spring is here and it’s time to experience new life.