What Have I Learned During the Last Month?

                            

Instead of rambling like I tend to do, I’m going to approach this differently. I’m going to bullet point the things I’ve learned over the last month, from the time I left for New Smyrna Beach, Fla., to care for my mom and dad to today as I sit in the parking lot of the renal center in Saratoga, N.Y., waiting for my father while he is having dialysis. Feel free to share your thoughts. I’m sure there aren’t many people who haven’t learned a few things about themselves since this virus has taken over the world.

  • Life can change rapidly. You are not immune
  • Life has no favorites
  • Good health is not guaranteed from one day to the next. Do what you want to do instead of putting things off and waiting til next year — there may not be a tomorrow
  • I wish I had children of my own. Some people might ask why I never had any children. The only response I can give is that the timing was never right, but is the timing ever right for anyone? I’ve always thought, this is my life, and I’m going to spend it doing things I want to do. I never knew if I could give all of my life to a child as my parents have done for me.
  • Finally, all these years later, this last month gave me the ability to answer the question above. I dropped everything in my life in a matter of minutes to get to Florida to be with my mother and father as Dad fought for his life for a week or two. Now, I have a new life, a life in which everything else comes before my own interests. Caring for someone you love and giving everything of yourself is incredibly easy in the sense of giving and taking. I’d much rather give than take, and I never truly knew if that would be the case. Now, I can see why my parents have done everything they’ve done for me over the years. I understand how people give up their own lives for others. Although there are no answers for the reasons why this happened to my father, I’ve found that it has taught me to accept responsibility for loved ones and to give them everything I can possibly give them. I’ll be forever thankful for the opportunity, even though I wish it hadn’t happened. I wish upon every star in the sky that this does not become the new normal over time. We have far too many adventures to finish. If things don’t change, we will find a slightly different approach to accomplish the things we want to do. Archery may take a backseat, and fishing might return. I might go back to my childhood and the many hours casting lines into streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. We will do what we have to do to make the most out of what we have.
  • Nothing is impossible unless you simply don’t try.
  • I don’t miss archery when I don’t participate in it. But if I see a bow and am able to shoot it, I can’t keep my hands off it.
  • A good diet is crucial to keeping your body healthy, but a good diet will not give you a free pass to death’s unpredictability in choosing its victims.
  • The healthcare system is a mess. Don’t take this the wrong way. I am not against insurance companies waiving fees for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, but when I glance at the $3,400 bill I just racked up for Medtronic insulin pump supplies for a 3-month order, I find it appalling. I was born with the disease and diagnosed at 5 years old.  The supplies are my life-support. Without them, I will die. Who can realistically afford that?
  • I work to buy my medical supplies
  • Journalism is atrocious these days. I went to school for Journalism/Communications, and I learned to report without showing any bias toward one side. While looking after my parents, I have watched every news channel out there, including CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, among a host of others. EVERY one of these providers has a vested interest in how the news shows up in the final report. I can’t tell you how let down I am with the current state of journalism. I watched press conferences from all sorts of people, including the governors of Florida, New York, and Louisiana, the president, the vice-president, and the Speaker of the House. It’s amazing how a two-minute clip is mixed into a 20-second clip just to make the incident being reported on sound totally different than anything that actually took place. They all do it, people. I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re standing on. Give an honest take – not your take.
  • There should be term limits
  • Politicians do not work for the people; they work for themselves. If companies back them, they make big money. Your concerns are the least of their interests. They fight for their own interests — not yours. Wake up and pull the wool out of your eyes — These are the people on both sides.
  • When you’re serving the people, you should work for the people and let your own interests fall to the wayside…..just like caring for loved ones.
  • Elected officials should have the lowest tier of health insurance, so they actually know what the majority of the working class faces.
  • Many people do what they want to do and go about their business with the “that shit won’t happen to me” attitude, then it punches them in the face.
  • The media can control the vast majority of the population
  • Many changes will come in the future in workplaces now that they’ve realized that their employees can work from home and the business doesn’t miss a beat
  • Many middle management jobs will be cut due to companies realizing a lot of those jobs don’t serve a true purpose
  • I’m more productive at home than in the office — fewer disturbances
  • There’s no reason for me to work in an office for the current job I do. I approach it the same way every day, emailing, calling or messaging anyone whom I need to get answers from about different things.
  • Many companies have probably saved a lot of money on their electric bills.
  • Don’t expect anything different from employees while working from home: the slackers will probably slack even more, and the good workers will probably be more productive due to fewer interruptions.
  • If someone is working in their pajamas, you can expect pajama-quality work……………need I say more?
  • Many businesses have suddenly found out that their employees are just like the fast-food employees whom so many people criticize. These businesses could run on their own…….the employees all know how to cook burgers and fries and pour drinks. Once people are taught how to do any job, most businesses can run on their own with minimal leadership. 
  • Fast-food employees and grocery store clerks are heroes right now. Do you still believe they don’t deserve $15 an hour? Would you do what they are doing right now —- for $15 an hour? Well, they’re probably doing it for $10 or less……..think about that next time you roll through the drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts to get your iced coffee and bagel.
  • Nurses don’t get noticed enough and their services are taken for granted. They grind every day to help people survive. It’s too bad they aren’t recognized ALL the time instead of just now. THANK YOU to every nurse who has ever helped me or just looked after me. Well, except for Paula Needham, who woke me up in the middle of the night to stab me in the ass with a huge needle.  I’ll thank her, too, but she did stab me when I was a younger lad. Fortunately, she was an expert and I never felt a pinch of pain. That’s a great nurse. I appreciate all nurses and doctors every day, not just now.
  • I’m lucky that I don’t suffer from any type of anxiety. This is a horrible time for anxiety-ridden people. Unless you suffer from it, you don’t have a clue what these people go through. Be kind to everyone. You might just save a life by being kind.
  • I’ve never been luckier to have been brought up in the outdoors, where being alone is essential to my well-being.
  • I’m lucky that I truly enjoy my own company. This time period hasn’t been much different than normal for me.
  • When it’s your time, it’s your time, but don’t lend a hand to the reaper.
  • I’ve been all over the country, but I love where I live.
  • Driving is much nicer without a lot of traffic on the roads.
  • Being stuck in a house with people can make relationships stronger — or break them
  • Everyone has a special talent or gift inside. Some people discover it early on, and others never discover it at all. Search and discover your hidden talent.
  • When you have an office at home, it’s easier to work from home.
  • Working from home has cut back on my time in my office to work on other projects. After spending 8 to 9 hours there, it holds me back from returning every night to work on personal things and goals I have set.
  • Working while sitting on the couch or in a recliner will probably lead to poor quality work or make you fall asleep
  • Children and pets don’t understand what “adulting” means.
  • Pets give unconditional love to their people. People should do the same for the ones they love. Don’t hold grudges. People make mistakes and can be forgiven.
  • It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep on uncomfortable couches and beds
  • People are greedy
  • People with nothing usually give more of themselves than people with everything
  • Money doesn’t measure the wealth of a man or a woman.
  • If you were a leader and you made $72,000 a day and you had some employees who made half of that in an entire year, would you be willing to give up a few thousand dollars a day so one or two of your employees could avoid being laid off during this crisis? If you answered yes, you are probably in the minority of actual people who find themselves in this reality………..Let that sink in. 
  • People from the higher social ranks cannot say they can relate to what others from the lower or middle ranks are going through. They don’t have a clue.
  • This is a good time to set goals. Unfortunately, many people just set goals to set goals and have no intention of working toward accomplishing them. If you’re going to talk the talk make sure you walk the walk. Set goals and achieve them.
  • It was time to finally start my novel. The goal I set is to finish the novel I recently started………in case anyone is interested, it’s a murder mystery and is set in the Adirondacks around North Creek.
  • I have an incredible family full of wonderful relatives
  • I wish I could be a kid again
  • If I could, I would go back to 35-40 years old and park myself at that age forever
  • If I could go back in time and start over, I would work in a union or search for a state job.
  • Unions have their place in our country. I understand the reasons why they formed and why many have disappeared. Unions would be beneficial to the American workers in corporate America who are taken advantage of due to severely greedy people. 
  • Our lives are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Make your presence significant in other people’s lives. That will never be forgotten.
  • Leaders should promote the most qualified people. It will only make them look better. It’s too bad so many leaders in corporate America are so insecure.
  • Working from home lets me avoid the stress of going to the bathroom at work to witness things that just make me step back and wonder if I really just saw what I think I did.
  • I fear death because I enjoy life so much.
  • And finally……….the world will be a different place as we pull away from this and put it in the rearview mirror. 

I wanted to use this format for this because all of these things have crossed my mind over the last month. As you can see, it’s confusing to follow at times, but I ‘m guessing many of you have had some of the same thoughts. I’m also certain that many of you will read this and laugh because you know exactly what I’m talking about and it might apply to you. We all know Cheryl Romano will probably avoid wearing her pajamas while working from home from now on. I hope some of you enjoyed this and have a better idea of where someone else’s mind is right now. Life is fleeting……….take full advantage of every second in your life.

23 Responses to “What Have I Learned During the Last Month?”

  1. Kate Ludwig says:

    If you go back in time to be a boy again, may I join you? I always had the best time with you and your sibs. Bringing my kids up while having fun with their cousins was a wonderful time in my life.

  2. Tamara says:

    I loved every word of this. I laughed and I cried.
    Thank you for this.
    Sending prayers of healing to your family.

  3. admin says:

    Tammy, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment.

  4. admin says:

    Aunt Kate, I’d gladly let you join me. They were unforgettable days of my life. I wouldn’t trade my time spent with you for anything in the world.

  5. Brian says:

    Thank You Todd and Happy Easter to you and your family.
    Very true words, I like reading all of your work but this one was
    Especially enjoyed.

  6. Sarah says:

    Excellent. A really great blog that sums up what so many of us are feeling. I look forward to reading your novel when it’s done!

  7. Stacey says:

    Truly enjoyed this.

  8. Your former Work Buddy says:

    Church – I love every word of this!! After all these years you still continue to amaze me!! Love and miss you my friend and I’m sending all positive thoughts for a good outcome for your dad!! ❤️
    Message me soon!!

  9. Greg Taylor says:

    Giving all of yourself to others is very admirable thing. I am inspired by your deep love and commitment to your parents. God bless you and your Mom and Dad.Prayerd coming your way. P.s. isn’t it so rewarding to take care of them. Peace to you Todd

  10. Linda Kinyon says:

    Oh, Todd. I couldn’t have said it any better. You made me cry but they were tears of joy, that when I think back of working with you, I didn’t know how talented you were. Thank you for this, it’s all true. I know how quickly life makes changes that leave you wondering about your place in it. Thank you, thank you. . . . .can’t say it any better. God Bless you and your family that they find healing inner peace.

  11. admin says:

    Thank you, Brian. I hope you and your family have a Happy Easter too.

  12. admin says:

    Thank you, Sarah. Keep doing what you do and living the life that others dream about. You have a great support system in your family and husband. Many people would die for that.

  13. admin says:

    Stacey, I’m glad you liked this. Keep helping people with their lives. People don’t forget that.

  14. admin says:

    Greg,
    On our way home from dialysis the other day, Dad and I saw you and your dad walking on Chestnut Ridge Road. There’s nothing like the time you can spend with your parents. It was comforting to see.

  15. admin says:

    Thank you, Linda. I appreciate your insight. I’ve always been amazed at the talents people have, yet nobody knows anything about them. There are a lot of people who have incredibly special talents, but they are overlooked. It’s sad in many cases, but these people usually don’t care. They get enough out of their own life and actions that they don’t feel it necessary to show their hidden skills. I’ve always respected humble people.

  16. John Homer says:

    Thanks for taking a knee and writing this. Definitely a time to relook and appreciate everything and everyone in our lives. I am thankful every day for that. There is a handful of things I do differently if I could but when I think about and peel the onion back it may have never got me to the place in life I am now. So that said move forward with no regrets and live for today….as you mentioned who knows what tomorrow has planned for us. I have seen it with my own eyes.
    Again thanks putting this out here.

  17. Gary Alford says:

    Todd, This blog is the first insert that I’ve ever read of your’s
    that isn’t totally hunting related. It’s good to see a different side of people that can open up to their real thoughts. This really evokes thoughts I’ve had through out the years. They really mirror mine well I feel as though I’m not taking crazy pills. Great homespun common sense is all nice to come into contact with. Thanx, Gary

  18. Jen says:

    So proud to call you my brother and so glad we all have been able to have the life we have and have such great role models. It is unfortunate that time does not stand still. I’m so sorry you missed the opportunity to have children but you have been a great inspiration to mine and I love you with all my heart ❤️

  19. Kurt wilhelm says:

    Thays was very interesting. That says a lot for someone who is just a “headline” reader. Kept my attention the whole way! Cant wait for your novel!

  20. BETTE-JEAN COFRANCISCO says:

    EXCELLENT BLOG TODD-HOPE YOUR DAD IS DOING WELL.

  21. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us. I love you my friend. Also, no pajamas however, bras are optional.

  22. admin says:

    Kurt, thanks a lot. Don’t be a headline reader. That’s like being a first-look car shopper. Remember that.

  23. admin says:

    John,
    I guess I shouldn’t have called it a regret. I actually don’t have any regrets at all in life. I realize that many incredible things have happened in my life, and I’m glad I took the path I took. I hope all is well in the north country.

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