This first clip is just three minutes long. It will make your day.
This next one is on
the topic of vulnerability. Let me know what you think. DM
This first clip is just three minutes long. It will make your day.
This next one is on
the topic of vulnerability. Let me know what you think. DM
Tags:addictions, attitude, depression, enjoying life, Life, mental-health, personal, relationships, self esteem, sex, spirituality, thoughts, Uncategorized, vulnerability
Posted in enjoying life, longings, personal, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
A pit you don’t want to fall into
Jim told with me yesterday he had been thinking about the things I’d shared with him the week before.
“What things?” I asked with a smirk, “What did I tell you? “
(That’s one of the beautiful things about short term memory loss….every day is a new day)
He reminded me I had vented some
anger frustration in the realm of relationships. I had been feeling devalued.
Well, He said, “I thought more about it and by the middle of the week I was also battling self pity.”
“also”…did he just say “also”?
Self pity is what Junior High girls do, right????
After my conversation with Jim I decided to look up the definition for self-pity:
Psychiatrists have an interesting name for people who habitually indulge in self-pity–it’s “injustice collector.” These are the folks who are constantly dwelling on their hurts and hardships – whether real or imagined – and they enjoy thinking about them and talking about them. They lovingly collect and number each and every offense that others commit against them, and they search out people who will sympathize with them and commiserate with them. All this keeps the focus on themselves, which is what they want most.”
Dang, some of that felt a little too close to home.
That is the last thing I want rolling around in my brain!
I”m beginning to think self pity is a lot more common than I realized.
I’ve been calling it other things like ” being in a funk”, “being down” “discouraged” “feeling rejected” feeling down”
My wife’s daily devotional had a warning about self pity this past Saturday:
“Be on guard against the pit of self pity.
When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face.
Don’t even go near the edge of the pit.
Its edges crumble easily, and before you know it, you are on the way down.
It is ever so much harder to get out of the pit than to keep a safe distance from it,
That is why I tell you to be on guard.
from “Jesus Calling”
Tags:attitude, Christianity, depression, faith, friends, grief, Life, loneliness, marriage, mental-health, people, personal, self pity, sex, spirituality, thoughts
Posted in attitude, endurance, faith, Life, longings, spirituality | 4 Comments »
Picture of me at work yesterday….20 feet in the air/ living the dream ….my dream that is;-)
“Oh Doug.. You were such a good student…I really hoped you would go to college.” grandma said when she found out her eldest grandson was NOT planning to go to college..instead, I had decided to follow in my dad’s foot steps and work in construction.
There was disappointment written all over her face..
I felt bad. Not until she was dead and gone did I appreciate where she was coming from. Not until I had children of my own, watched them make life choices that would affect them long term… in ways they didn’t understand…then I was finally able to understand my grandma’s concerns…
But Grandma was wrong.
There is more to life than money. A meaningful life has nothing to do with material things…
I have a couple of friends who are making 2 and 3 times the amount of money I do but hate their jobs….
They have full benefits, a 401 K… and they are quick to talk about what they want to do when they retire.
No thank you.
Quoting my dad now...”The word retirement is not in my vocabulary”
(Dad just turned 80 this past year and is still active in construction)
Last week I stopped @ Loes to buy a new skill saw.
Good morning” I said to a woman about my age. She looked tired.
“How are you?” I asked…”(It was about 7 AM..she was checking inventory)
“I wish I were home” she replied.
I felt for her.. Her life was not her own. There were bills to pay…only God knows the series of life decisions and circumstances that have brought her to this place in life….
Last April I was invited to speak at a jobs fair for high school students.
Started by sharing a quote that has cast a long shadow over my life :
“Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Don’t just settle for a job where you punch the time clock.
You may have to work @ a job (or three) where you “punch the time clock” in order to get where you really want to be….
but don’t stop there.. God didn’t create you to be a mindless worker ant ..unless that is what you really love to do.
I remember the pressure I felt in school trying to figure out what I wanted to do once I graduated. A real part of me thought I should be a vet…that was until Mr Guard pulled me to the side one day in the guidance office and “suggested ” my grades indicated I probably couldn’t handle vet school. I know he was only doing his job..but “dream killer” comes to mind when I think of that conversation.
(years later I built a house for a vet/ told her my story, to which she replied, “Doug, if you really wanted to be a vet,one way or the other, you could have done it. I didn’t make it the first time or two when I applied to vet school either..if you want it bad enough, you could have done it”)
Two of my daughters , have the desire to be a wives and mothers.
I remember being @ the ripe old age of 20, having the strongest desire (nesting urge?) to settle down and start a family.
So I did.
Best decision I ever made.
Pop culture today mock those kind of dreams…and I’m here to tell you, pop culture is full of #@$%%.
(that’s German for incorrect…I’ve been using more German in my blog posts lately you may have noticed )
If truth be told, pop culture is wrong on just about everything it promotes.
“We’ve got a form of brainwashing going on in our country.” Morrie sighed. “Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over.And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it – and have it repeated to us – over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore….
from the book Tuesday’s with Morrie.
If there is more to life than money…what do you think that “more” is?
What in your life brings you satisfaction?
What would you tell the person who is up to their eyeballs in bills, who feels stuck in a dead in job they hate?
Tags:attitude, career, cars, Christianity, enjoying life, faith, gaming, Life, mental-health, personal, spirituality, transportation, videogames, vision, work
Posted in attitude, Christianity, endurance, enjoying life, faith, longings, personal, thoughts, Uncategorized, work | 5 Comments »
I can still remember a Christmas eve , doesn’t seem that long ago…I was @ my grandparents, talking with my Uncle Bill. I remember telling him I wished I had a girl friend…
There were absolutely no prospects on the horizon…none...nada…
He told me, you never know…that special someone might be just around the corner…
Would you believe I bumped into her less that two months later..
So my encouragement to you my fellow blog reader if that is your situation…
Don’t give up!~
The following story is for you
Sending you a Christmas Blessing. DM
Six minutes to six, said the great round clock over the information booth in Grand Central Station. The tall young Army lieutenant who had just come from the direction of the tracks lifted his sunburned face, and his eyes narrowed to note the exact time. His heart was pounding with a beat that shocked him because he could not control it. In six minutes, he would see the woman who had filled such a special place in his life for the past 13 months, the woman he had never seen, yet whose written words had been with him and sustained him unfailingly.
He placed himself as close as he could to the information booth, just beyond the ring of people besieging the clerks…
Lieutenant Blanford remembered one night in particular, the worst of the fighting, when his plane had been caught in the midst of a pack of Zeros. He had seen the grinning face of one of the enemy pilots.
In one of his letters, he had confessed to her that he often felt fear, and only a few days before this battle, he had received her answer: “Of course you fear…all brave men do. Didn’t King David know fear? That’s why he wrote the 23rd Psalm. Next time you doubt yourself, I want you to hear my voice reciting to you, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” And he had remembered; he had heard her imagined voice, and it had renewed his strength and skill.
Now he was going to hear her real voice. Four minutes to six. His face grew sharp.
Under the immense, starred roof, people were walking fast, like threads of color being woven into a grey web. A girl passed close to him, and Lieutenant Blanford started. She was wearing a red flower in her suit lapel, but it was a crimson sweet pea, not the little red rose they had agreed upon. Besides this girl was too young, about 18, whereas Hollis Meynell had frankly told him she was 30. “Well, what of it?” he had answered. “I’m 32. He was 29.
His mind went back to that book- the book the Lord Himself must have put into his hands out of the hundreds of Army library books sent to the Florida training camp. Of Human Bondage, it was; and throughout the book were notes in a woman’s writing. He had always hated that writing-in habit, but these remarks were different. He had never believed that a woman could see into a man’s heart so tenderly, so understandingly. Her name was on the book-plate Hollis Meynell. He had got hold of a New York City telephone book and found her address. He had written, she had answered. Next day he had been shipped out, but they had gone on writing.
For 13 months, she had faithfully replied, and more than replied. When his letters did not arrive, she wrote anyway, and now he believed he loved her, and she loved him.
But she had refused all his pleas to sent him a photograph. That seemed rather bad, of course. But she had explained: “If your feeling for me has any reality, any honest basis, what I look like won’t matter. Suppose I’m beautiful. I’d always be haunted by the feeling that you had been taking a chance on just that, and that kind of love would disgust me. Suppose I’m plain (and you must admit that this is more likely) Then I’d always fear that you were going on writing me only because you were lonely and had no one else. No, don’t ask for my picture. When you come to New York, you shall see me and they you shall make your decision. Remember, both of us are free to stop or go on after that- whichever we choose…”
One minute to six- he pulled hard on the cigarette.
Then Lieutenant Blanford’s heard leaped higher than his plane had ever done.
A young woman was coming toward him. Her figure was long and slim; her blond hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears. Her eyes were blue and flowers, her lips and chin had a gentle firmness. In her pale green suit, she was like springtime come alive.
He started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was wearing no rose, and as he moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips.
Going my way soldier?” she murmured.
Uncontrollably, he made one step closer to her. Then he saw Hollis Meynell.
She was standing almost directly behind the girl, a woman well past 40, her greying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump; her thick-ankled feet were thrust into low-heeled shoes. But she wore a red rose in a rumpled lapel of her brown coat.
The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away.
Blanford felt that though he were being split in two, so keen was his desire to follow the girl, yet so deep was his longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companion-ed and upheld his own; and there she stood. Her pale plump face was gentle and sensible; he could see that now. Her gray eyes had a warm, kindly twinkle.
Lieutenant Blanford did not hesitate. His fingers gripped the small, worn, blue leather copy of Of Human Bondage, which was to identify him to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even rarer than love- a friendship for which he had been and must ever be grateful.
He squared his broad shoulders, saluted and held the book out toward the woman, although even while he spoke, he felt shocked by the bitterness of his disappointment.
“I”m lieutenant John Blanford, and you- you are Miss Meynell. I’m so glad you could meet me. May…..may I take you to dinner?”
The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. “I don’t know what this is all about, son,” she answered. “That young lady in the green suit- the one who just went by- begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said that if you asked me to go out with you, I should tell you that she’s waiting for you in that big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of a test. I’ve got two boys with Uncle Sam myself, so I didn’t mind to oblige you.” Sulamith Ish-Kishor
from A 3rd serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
“I’ve thought about every word you said,” Dan told me on Friday….and the shame is gone…completely gone. I haven’t felt this light and free in years.“
End of November I (Douglas) spent an extended weekend high in the mountains of Colorado at a men’s retreat working through some issues. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect as I got there, I told someone later, I felt like I was going to have a “spiritual colonoscopy”
Colon cancer runs in our family, so I’ve had the “opportunity” to be scoped on more than one occasion. Once you hit 50, it’s recommended everyone get’s one of these, but if you’re like most chickens (I mean people) we put it off and put it off…the thing is, if you catch the polyps early it is a very treatable cancer..the problem comes when you wait….
So too, in life, personal issues that are ignored usually don’t just magically go away…they tend to grow and fester…so early on in our marriage, when I found myself completely stuck and confused, at a point of desperation, I reached out for help. It taught me a valuable lesson. Why should I spend months (or years) struggling with the same old crap when an answer may be forthcoming in a 60 minute conversation if I have the gut’s and I’m humble enough to say “I’m stuck, I have a problem…can you help?”
This stuff was never modeled for me growing up. I’ve had to learn it the hard way.
So, over the years in our marriage, and through the turbulent teenage years, we’ve proactively sought out help, whenever it became obvious, we were over my heads…after the 2nd or 3rd issue, it isn’t really that much different from making an appointment to see the dentist if you have a toothache….
I am not at liberty at the present to talk about specifics..there may come a day in the not too distant future where I will write about it but not yet… Some long standing, buried, pain has been coming to light this Summer and Fall, and I decided to step up to the plate and deal with it head on…hence my trip to Colorado.
Most of us have painful “stuff” in our lives no one else knows about…I don’t have to list it here…if you have it, then you know what I’m talking about. Well, stop for just a second and try to imagine the sting of that pain being gone…not just suppressed but gone…..
After my trip to Colorado, I happened to tell Dan about some of the radical emotional freedom I was experiencing…I wasn’t even aware of the hurts in his life…he trusted me enough to tell me his story He told me he had been having flash backs and night mares…dark shameful memories had dogged him for years…. I listened, and encouraged him…and hadn’t thought any more about our conversation..then he told me on Friday, “I’ve thought about every word you said,”….and the shame is gone…completely gone. I haven’t felt this light and free in years.“
I have no idea who may stumble across this particular blog post at some point. God has an amazing way of allowing people’s paths to cross in the most serendipitous fashions….anyway, if you’re reading this and are at a broken stuck place in your life and need someone to talk to…(or are not there currently but have something to add to this conversation, let me know)
Time to get moving. Sincerely, DM
Tags:attitude, Christianity, depression, faith, health, house church, Life, marriage, mental-health, personal, relationships, spirituality, thoughts
Posted in abuse, addiction, anger, Christianity, depression, enjoying life, grief, longings, low self esteem, marriage, personal, pornography, searching, sex, spirituality, suffering | 3 Comments »
If you would have looked into my eyes two weeks ago, and had the fortitude to lock eyes with me for more than a few seconds, you would have seen brokenness and pain.
Our eyes really are windows to our soul.
I discovered that truth on a whole new level last weekend.
I need to back up just a little…..
A few of you who know me personally, know that I have not been able to cry since I was 16 . (I’m currently 54)
I can pinpoint the day it happened.
My brother and I were wrestling and it went from a good natured match to an all out fight. He kicked my butt. To make matters worse, he was a year younger and it happened in the presence of my mom and dad.
I can still remember the shame and humiliation. I swore in my heart I would NEVER Ever, experience that sort of thing again.
Well, unbeknownst to me, somehow, deep within the recesses of my soul, I flipped a switch and could no longer cry. Only once in the 38 years since do I remember weeping…I won’t go into that now, just to say, it was in the midst of some intense emotional pain.
So last weekend during the course of a men’s conference, one of the things we covered was the fact that all of us have areas in our hearts of brokenness and shame. …
Things people have said to us. (or not)
Things we’ve intentionally done that nobody knows except us.
Physical things about ourselves we are ashamed of.
it might even be your name…. the list is endless, but the results are still the same. We begin to carry around this ever increasing load of hurt and shame.
I was able to identify 4 very specific hurts last weekend.
That situation with my brother.
Secondly, a vague but very real, dislike for how I looked as a youngster growing up:
My name if you can believe that..
and finally, on a very personal note, the fact that I was a very late bloomer…didn’t physically mature into late into my senior year of high school. The shame and embarrassment of those years in high school really did a number on my self esteem. Gym class was Hell. Yep, I was a runt all through high school. Not the last one picked when we chose teams.but one of the last.
All of it is bull shit (that’s german for garbage) .
Another word picture…
Our hearts are full of cracks. They leak like a sieve….and until those hurts are brought into the open and addressed, we will attempt to fill those cracks with anything that gives temporary relief. Food, shopping, sex, alcohol, people, $, our jobs, blogging, e-mail, face book, video games, hobbies taken to excess, etc.
None of it lasts. Before long, I’m looking for another fix.
The food addict, is no different than the shop-a-haulic or the sex addict. All three of them are dealing with the same crap, just going about it in different ways.
If someone cared enough to look to look deeply into our eyes…no sunglasses on …. they would see the pain.
To make a long story short, God touched all 4 of those hurts in a very specific way.
I no longer feel their weight.
I look @ that picture of my younger self and like what I see. I LOVE my given name, (my real name isn’t Doug btw/ it’s Douglas) I am in touch with my emotions…(I wept at least 4 or 5 times last weekend) and finally, I’m OK with being a late bloomer. I suspect it saved me from a lot of heartache.
I’m sure there are probably still pockets of brokenness to discover, but for now, I don’t have the same compulsions to check e-mail, face book , or even blog…all ways I think I was trying to connect with people in a way to satisfy the longings in my heart.
Thanks for checking in. DM
Tags:abuse, addictions, aviation, Christianity, dating, emotional abuse, gaming, health, house church, mental-health, personal, relationships, sex, spirituality, thoughts, verbal abuse, videogames
Posted in addiction, depression, emotional abuse, emotional numbness, encouragement, faith, longings, sex, spirituality | 9 Comments »
“If you want to know what’s really important to you, make a list.”
The following is an article by Wendy Swallow Williams I clipped out of a Readers Digest in the late 1990′s.
This article changed the quality of my life.
This morning as I was catching up on what my fellow bloggers were posting, this long term life goal jumped off the screen:
“lots and lots of land for gardens, orchards, chickens and room to breathe…”
I told this young blogger , she had just described my life to a T.
I can trace the course of my life the past 15 years directly back to this short article. Since starting the habit of having a “list” there are literally dozens of things I’ve checked off.
To say it has enriched my life immeasurably is an understatement. DM
A few weeks ago, I followed a friend into an art-supply store. I found him picking out tubes of watercolor paint, which surprised me because he’s not an artist.
“I signed up for a watercolor class, and it starts next week, He said sheepishly. “I don’t really have time for it, but it was on my list of 50 things to do before I die, so I went for it.”
This sounded interesting,”What else is on the list?” I asked.
“All kinds of things, ” he said. “Every few months I look at the list and decide what to focus on next. Before I had a list, I moaned a lot about what I was missing in my life. Now I just do stuff.”
“Can I see your list sometime?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It reveals a lot about me. Write your own list, and you’ll see what I mean.”
So that night I did just that, and he was right. The list revealed a whole lot about what was important to me. It also revealed how hopelessly behind I am at getting to the things I really want.
Just writing the list helped me sort through priorities. I filled up the first 20 blanks quickly, but then began to think carefully. Eventually I added items I’ve thought about for years, dreams I’ve carried with me since I was young, and things that resonated when I first heard about them. When I reviewed the list later, some entries surprised me.
First, I want to travel much more particularly now that my children are older and can go with me to see the world. There are ten trips I would like to make with the boys- from biking through Denmark to camping in the Canadian Rockies.
I was also surprised to find some things on the list that need to be done soon. If I’m going to learn to Rollerblade, for instance, I’d better start before turning 50.
Some items, though I can put off until I’m older. I would love to grow flowers, to really garden, but while I”m raising kids and working I don’t have time for roses.
I would love to do volunteer work in a hospital nursery someday, rocking crying infants and giving them their first baths. I would like to work with teen-agers, leading youth groups or helping at the local high school. If I’m going to do these though, I may need to reconsider running the bake sale for the school fair each year.
A few of the items are intimidating because they mean a serious commitment of some sort. I would like to publish a novel before I die, and I would like to get a Ph.D, in English literature. I also would like to learn to draw and play the piano with a string quartet. If I’m going to accomplish these things, I need to start writing every day and polish my piano skills.
I may not make it through the list. Some things may just be out of reach, such as New Zealand, and other ultimately may not work with the rest of my life, such as owning a horse. Yet I see that I already have built the framework for many of these pipe dreams, and that if I make them goals, there is no reason I can’t find a way to taste at least part of that reality.
Like my friend, I now have an alternative do complaining. When I’m bored with my life, I take out my list. Maybe I’ll send off for travel brochures or take my pencils out in the back yard and doodle around for an hour, trying to sketch trees that look like trees.
I have no idea how the boys and I will get to Africa, but if it’s important enough, I’m sure we’ll find a way. One of them might grow up to be a zoologist, or I might become a nature writer and get sent on assignment or maybe we’ll just save a few dollars every week till we have enough.
I had a cousin who accomplished an amazing string of interesting things. She once told me the key was preparing so that life could work in mysterious ways. “If you want your ship to come in, you must build a dock,” she said.
Thanks to my list, I’m working on some big docks.
Wendy Swallow Williams
I (DM) will close with a few pictorial highlights off my list….
hosting concerts in our home and barn. When Katie Sawicki came to visit we also sponsored a songwriting workshop.
Yep, we went white water rafting in 2010 (that’s my wife in the boat on the right clocking the guy in the other boat with her oar. ) She said it was an accident.
Had a pet pig I named Winston. To tell you about that pig would take a whole blog post in itself.
Our orchard started out as a wish/ and idea on my “list”
So tell me, do you have a working list of sorts?
Care to share any items you have yet to check off but plan to sometime soon?
Someone has said the older we get, the less action oriented our goals become…. What do you think?
What type of relationship goals could be on a list?
Tags:attitude, Christianity, depression, enjoying life, faith, house church, Life, passion, personal, relationships, spirituality, thoughts, vision
Posted in attitude, enjoying life, faith, longings, personal | 1 Comment »
“Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other. We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that old musty cheese that we are……certainly less frequency would suffice for all important and hearty communications…”
from his essay on solitude Thoreau
“I missed you” my wife told me this morning.
Music to my ears.
She just got back from spending 3 days with a good friend who is grieving the loss of her son.
Things have been a little tense (stale?) around here, lately so I chuckled and and mumbled something about being “good fresh cheese/ and not stale musty cheese”
There is a rhythm to relationships…
friendships, family relationships, even Internet blogging relationships…
reminds me of this verse from Ecclesiastes: “There is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…”
I (had) a friend who used to stop by to chat.
He would stop by on Sunday afternoons.
I noticed I started to get this knot/ uptight feeling in my gut Sunday afternoons.
I would feel a nap coming on, and think….hummm, it’s been 3 or 4 weeks since my friend had last stopped…I wonder if today he’ll pop in….
These would not be 30 minute visits, they would last for a couple of hours.
Things finally came to a head.
One Sunday, we were getting ready to leave for a birthday party…Wife and I were scurrying around, I still needed to shave…
This friend pulls into the driveway, I meet him at the door, he steps into the kitchen, I say to him...’Today’s probably not a good day for a visit…I need to get ready for a party,”
he replies…“Go ahead and get ready…”
he continues to stand there, looking like he has no intention of leaving….
It ticked me off. Can’t remember what I said after that, but it took some additional coaxing for me to help him connect the dots, that now was not going to work, and he would have to leave…
We have another friend, whom we see 3 or 4 times a year….tops
We’ve been known to close down a Starbucks on more than one occasion…reminds me of those days when I would sit for hours engrossed in a deep conversation with someone on a Saturday night in a bar….it would feel like we were in a bubble, and the people and noise all around us were not really there.
As I thought about this second friendship and the frequency of our getting together’s , I said to the friend who had a hard time connecting the dots when it came time to leave
.“I would prefer we just together every 6 to 8 weeks..”
(My thought was, in this other friendship, which I dearly enjoy, we can go 8 to 12 weeks between visits, then getting together only every 6 to 8 seems more balanced with the rest of my life)
He took it well enough I thought at the time…. I said maybe we could do a little more communicating via e-mail…
(side note : I have not seen or heard from him again, as of this writing it’s been about 30 weeks.. ..I’ve called, e-mailed and sent him a note, oh well, )
What I was experiencing in this relationship is not uncommon…. it is part of being human.
When the knot in my stomach would start and I would have these thoughts about not being a “good friend”. this verse would pop into my head:
“Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.” from the book of Proverbs 25:17
yep, that pretty much summed up what I was feeling…
(boy am I on a roll this week..two verses in one blog post )
So here’s to all of us who enjoy interacting with people…
Sometimes less is better.
Even in the world of cheese…it’s all about timing.
ps if you’re ever looking for a gift ideas for me… I love swiss cheese DM
Tags:attitude, Christianity, family, friendship, house church, Life, love, marriage, personal, relationships, spirituality, thoughts
Posted in attitude, enjoying life, friendship, Life, loneliness, longings, personal, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »
Maybe you are
We just got home from a family reunion..
Seeing most of these people only every 2 or 3 years gives me the a sense I’m watching time-lapsed photography…
I used to internally cringe at these get togethers.
I would compare our families life choices with the other young families in the mix.
5 of the cousins are either Dr’s or have married Doctors. I suspect several of the Aunts and Uncles are millionaires…
And then there was our family
My wife chose to stay at home as our kids came along…
which meant shopping @ Goodwill and garage sales for the kid’s clothes
Renting instead of owning
Driving an older car
bread from the day old store….
you get the picture.
There are lots of people in the world who have it a 100 times tougher..that I know..
but still, it’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap.
Now, 30 years later, our kids are grown,
wife and I are still in love
I’m still working at a job that energizes and stimulates me most days.
money is still tight, but for the most part we are out of debt….
And those earlier choices don’t seem so stupid any more…
I came across the following description in a book a few weeks ago, that described our life to a T:
“My grandparents lived a simple country life. They were totally self-sufficient, tilling a small piece of land and raising their own food….there was a sense of unhurriedness and simple pleasures. All the money in the world couldn’t buy such luxury in today’s world. It is not for sale. You have to create it….
It is unlikely you can ever totally escape from this high-stress world. We are all on the same train….but to preserve your sanity and achieve a healthy life, you have to make some choices and resolve to live a balanced life. By a “balanced” life, I mean, that like a marathon runner, you must learn how to pace yourself. You give it all you’ve got going uphill and rest as much as you can going downhill. You try to balance the drain on your energy so you can “go the distance”
From the book The Anxiety Cure by Archibald Hart
As I listened to some of the stories this past weekend, I couldn’t help but think about an article I recently read about rats, overcrowding and stress.
Because some (not all) of my successful relatives are living under a lot of self-imposed stress, .and I thought to myself but are they happy?
They may be making big bucks, but at what cost?
Here’s a link to that article if you’d like to read it. Rat Study
If you hear a still small voice calling you to get out of the rat race don’t just ignore it.
It may be the voice of God.
And He can make a way.
I know what you’re thinking…
There is nobody in your life who would understand…
But here’s the deal…30 years from now, you will not regret it….
“If you make it to the top of the company ladder, but loose your family in the process, you are a fool.”
Sorry if this comes across as a little intense. I don’t mean to be. DM
Tags:attitude, Christianity, depression, enjoying life, faith, family, Iowa, marriage, mental-health, parenting, personal, relationships, spirituality, Uncategorized, work
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“The Greeks didn’t write obituaries when someone died…they just asked one question….”Did he have passion?” From the Movie Serendipity
In 1999 I read an article in Reader’s Digest that changed my life. It was called “50 Things to do before you die”
Wendy Swallow Williams, the author suggested writing a list of things you’d like to see happen.
This was 10 years before The Bucket List craze.
Anything could be on the list.
It revealed much about the person.
As you would write the list, don’t let money be a factor; just take some time to dream. Before you die, If God would make a way, what are fifty things you’d like to do?
Maybe you’d like to take a trip…or several trips.
Maybe you’d like to learn how to play the piano or ride in a helicopter.
Maybe you’d take a 6 month extended trip across the United States and see people and places.
The key was to take some quiet time and let your mind dream. Wendy had listed several places she wanted to visit, skills she wanted to acquire, etc.
I spent some time and identified 25 things I wanted to do…if you’ve never done this sort of thing before, it is not as easy as it sounds.
It’s been 13 years since that first list…here is a portion of my current list:
1. Take a cross country motorcycle trip
(I did end up getting an 800 CC Suzuki Intruder/ got my license…rode it for a couple of years then changed my mind…too many people locally were getting killed on bikes. I’m not so concerned about dying. It’s getting into a motorcycle accident and living the rest of my life in a wheel chair...that concerned me.
2. Work on a potter’s wheel (done)
3. Take a trip to Ireland
4, Write a book (done)
5. Run the mile without stopping
6. Learn how to swim
7. Take an extended trip (several months if possible) across the US and see people and places
8. Record a song (done)
9. Take a painting class (done)
10. Have a Bed and breakfast (done)
11. Speak in front of a large crowd (I’m thinking @ least 5000 ) (I love to push that fear envelope)
12. Take a class in self -defense (done)
13. Learn how to make wine
14. Visit Germany, the areas of our family’s heritage
15. Visit New Zealand
16. Host an outdoor concert among our apple trees (done)…( and we’ve had 7 of them since I first wrote this list)
17. Be totally out of debt including our mortgage ( 99% done on this one)
18. Go whitewater rafting, (done)
19. Float down our local river until it connects to the Mississippi River.
20 . Take up kayaking w/ my wife
21. learn to fence (as in swords)
22. sing or perform in a band or music group that sounds excellent
23. plant apple trees and beautify our grounds (done)
24. get up close to a gorilla/ look into his eyes.
25. ride 1 day @ least in RAGBRAI (it is a week long bike ride across Iowa)
26. not be overweight and keep it off (I dropped 35 pounds 2 years ago/ got too thin/ I’m just 5 pounds above where I’d like to be currently)
27. complete a Narnia display on our property complete with a wardrobe and false back door leading into the woods
28. learn how to play fiddle
29. scuba dive with tanks
30. get a really good camera w/ a zoom and close up lens so I can perfect my picture taking abilities
31. grow 75% of our own food
32. learn how to butcher a large animal
33. visit Muir Woods
34. Ride the train from Saint Paul to Seattle too see friends
35. Take a road trip down the coast of Oregon from Seattle into California
Hopefully you’ll not come away with the thought I’m advocating a ‘health, wealth, and prosperity gospel” because I’m not. On the other hand, some of us have gone to the other extreme, thinking it would be nonspiritual to have such a list.
As much as anything, my bucket list has enriched my life 10 fold. It has allowed me to channel my energy (passion) for life and see tangible fruit.
My mother-in-law was in her mid 60′s when she passed away. She told me just a few years before she died of brain cancer not to wait until I was her age to travel and do those things she’d always wanted to do but never seemed to find the time or money to pull off. Her husband (my father-in law) and already died @ this point..he was in his early 60′s when he’d died….so at the time of my conversation with her, she was planning a trip to Ireland with a girl friend…
“Doug, she said, do those things you want to do while you can…there is no guarantee you’ll be able to later….look at me..Jack and I planned to travel and do these things when he retired…we never made it….”
That conversation gave me permission to pursue my life with even more passion, if that is possible…
Someone with passion
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