Category Archives: Life

The Comfort of Silence

The Comfort of Silence.

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Can’t Isn’t an Option

Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned in my life are these quotes;

“Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!”

I learned this during intense training, it was drilled in over and over again at moments I was already well past my limits physically and mentally.

Another pearl of wisdom was this quote which goes hand in hand with the other one:

“Keep moving!!! You slow down, you stop, and you die!”

The quote that probably drives me to blog and reach out to others in my day to day life is this:

“No one gets left behind!”

These fundamentals can bring you beyond your limitations; they’ve brought me through more situations in my life than I have time to talk about. I will say; What wouldn’t you be willing to do to survive, not live well or happy, just survive? When your situation means do or die, I suggest do.

Survival points;

I grew up around the tip of Lake Michigan. This is one of the things that made it easy for me to embrace these concepts because they were already part of my life. It gets cold; I’m talking 20 degrees below zero cold with a wind-chill factor of 60 below. If you go outside after a shower you can hear your hair freeze in seconds. This is a great reference because you absolutely have to keep moving “If you slow down, you stop, you freeze to death” “You never leave anyone behind” I was walking home once and it was a little over a mile, but in this kind of cold and wind 100 feet seem like a mile. It had been snowing for days, all of the roads were closed, and snow drifts were 13 feet high. I had walked about 3/4 of the way, and decided i was going to take a short cut across the golf course. I started up the embankment at the side of the road; my feet were plunging into the snow to my upper thigh with every step (about 3 feet). I got a little better than half way up and WOOOOOFFF! I dropped into the drifted snow up to my armpits. The snow was packed in enough that I could barely move. I was in trouble, already near frozen because I thought I was a bad ass and wasn’t dressed properly. I was wearing jeans with sweat pants under them, 2 t-shirts, a flannel, and a thin Harley Davidson, straight collar, Leather jacket without a liner, two pairs of socks and my hiking boots. With no gloves, no hat, and no scarf. I had been warming my hands under my arms, then warming my ears with my hands, and cupping my hands over my nose trying not to get frostbite. I would run this cycle over and over as my freezing hands were also my warming tools that I would constantly have to reheat.

So, here I am, stuck in a snow drift half frozen and I’m gassed. A real “Uh Oh!” moment. All I could move was my arms and I couldn’t reach anything. I had to do something, but couldn’t do anything. “Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!” There was a tree branch about a few feet away, so I began nudging the snow. Little by little I bumped forward, then back, then forward then back. The snow didn’t move much because I fell in the plow line and the top was packed. I rocked to and fro for what seemed like an eternity and finally I got a hold of the branch and dragged myself out. Freezing cold now, the wetness from being stuck in the snow froze my clothes. I continued on walking in 3 feet of snow feeling like I couldn’t take another step, but knowing to stop is to die. If you’ve ever been out in that environment for a while you know that everything aches, your feet hurt, your ears feel like they’re being cut off by the wind. Your hands and nose feel like ice icicles also being cut and burned, it can be brutal! Obviously, I survived, cold weather situations like that would happen. We broke down in a car with my Mom and she had blankets in the back. She hitched a ride with a trucker, because if we would have stayed there we would have froze to death. I think it was my Mom, oldest brother and I. (extreme examples or rant if you will)

The point is, no matter what obstacles or challenges we face in life we must push on. What matters is our survival. We then have an opportunity to make better choices, be more prepared (keep blankets in the trunk, dress warmer, steak a sign in the ground that says thin ice or crevasse). Over time and through life experience we learn not only to survive but to thrive. We can warn or help others be aware or overcome obstacles or dangers. Look at the Eskimos, look at people who have lost love and learned to love again, or people who were once in a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, that hated life itself, now love it and are filled with joy. I’m one of these people and you CAN be too.

Take these quotes and add them to your arsenal and when all else fails just keep going!

“Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!”

“Keep moving!!! You slow down, you stop, and you die!”

“No one gets left behind!”

“I can”

“i’m willing”

Love everyone, including yourself, you’re incredible, ~ J ~

The Challenge

This title popped into my head this morning after thinking about the first two days of my new year. Yesterday we had no hot water until I replaced the heating elements in the water heater. Today people are installing a new roof on my house. My first thought was “I hope this is not the theme for the new year, everyday something new!” I laughed it off while being slightly unsettled. As I continued, there it was “The Challenge!” Life is a challenge! Nearly everyday, I believe there’s at least one thing if not multiple things that challenge all of us. Many people live with challenges. A while back I was heading into Sunday Holy Mass. My family and I were walking passed a gentleman who was faced with an extreme every second challenge. He has been without the use of his legs for a long time and is confined to a wheelchair. Before I continue allow me to clarify my position, it is of appreciation, respect and admiration not pity. I witnessed him struggle as he went through “getting out of his car”. I write it like that because it was quite a process. I could see clearly he was involved in a struggle, so I asked him if he minded if I helped. He said, “thank you, I’d appreciate it”. I sent my family ahead and helped him make the transition from his car to the wheelchair. The seat was covered with duct tape (he said it made it easier to slide) He had wrestled his wheel chair out of the passenger side of the car as he sat twisted in the front seat. (This is what grabbed my attention in the first place). He instructed me on how to assemble the parts as he handed them out to me and told me to lock the wheels. He then took a board he used to make a bridge/slide enabling him to transition from the car to the chair. He slid across struggling to keep his pants on as he went, I stood in the opening bracing his chair as I shielded his dignity from any onlookers. Once aboard his chair he pulled his pants back up and tossed the board in the car. I said to him, I wasn’t sure if he wanted my help or not, because he always seemed so self-sufficient. He responded “it used to be easier but now I have arthritis and don’t have the strength I used to. “The Challenge” mine thus far has not been so difficult comparatively. This is a true story., I have great respect for this man he drove himself their using hand controls in his car. God only knows what he endured already that morning (things we take for granted) all to attend Mass. Today I meet it head on, I get to play auto mechanic today, changing an alternator. I thank God that I have all the necessary abilities for the challenges I face.
Enjoy the challenge, bring all you have and conquer your day, ~ J ~

Resolve

It’s brand new!
2015 it’s time to do your thing!
I don’t know about you, but I kind of felt like I was in a holding pattern all of 2014. I lived a pretty much reactive lifestyle. Of course, I was positive and tried my best to encourage others to live in that state of mind, but I was primarily reactive to all the situations of life in my daily existence. This year will be different instead of resolution I will be resolved. Everything that is part of my life, I will meet with passion and zeal, if not full on desperation. This is the year that “I’m all in”. I will keep my positive attitude and apply it with a hunger for life. The things I study, I will want to know through and through. I will shred the information and not only do the work! I will seek to find all that is hidden between the lines. Whatever I do, I will be passionate about. I will bring a level of passion and desperation as if I am saving someone’s life! I will be saving my own, turning again from “existing” to “LIVING”. I am going to press forward starting today and seek even more constant improvement and development (Mental, Spiritual, & Physical). In all this I will strive to have balance being very careful not to obsess while I seek perfect practice of living fully.
May 2015 bring you health, love, prosperity, zeal, and kindness, ~ J ~

Good Night

Writing in starlight as I shoot for the moon

Smell the lilac in bloom and feel the evening dew

I listen to the cricket song playing in the night

See the fruit bats taking flight

Headlights pass deceiving my eye changing shadow as they drive by

Quiet and stillness take hold, a bit muggy but not cold

looking at a bog shaped like a bowl, it’s filled with fog muck and mire

I’m so calm, I yawn with a stretch and then I retire

Goodnight

I’m Keeping The Strife out of My Life

That’s it! If I have a problem, I HAVE A PROBLEM! “Keeping it real” if my focus is contaminated or disruptive to my life as it happens, I know I need to address it, and then adjust my thinking. My serenity is directly proportionate to my spiritual, mental, and physical wellness. If I focus on the wondrous, life will be wonderful!
You are a incredible creation, what you have, I do not, there’s something very unique and special about you. If you have not discovered it, search yourself, you may not discover it, but it is there. Embrace and love everything that is you. Where we feel we are defective is often our best gift. It gives us the power of witness, our experience is similar to that of a great explorer. We can show others how we have made our way in this life. You were destined for greatness even though it may feel like mediocrity.
Be well, live, and love all, including yourself, ~ J ~

Magnification & Maintaining Focus

Tomorrow has arrived and has become today. What will I allow it to be?
I guess it all depends on what I magnify and how many times my magnification is. When it comes to problems of life, will I be like a child who looks at an ant and gets frightened by it’s monster like appearance. Will I be like the adult who knows it’s only an ant, knowing if I remove the magnifying glass it becomes tiny and relatively harmless. Similarly when we have an injury, if we focus on it, all the worse it feels. It may begin to throb and ache. Think about the hick-ups and they seem like they’ll never go away. Suddenly we realize they’ve gone without our knowing. Sometimes realizing they’ve gone “HICK-UP!” they come back. So too, can be whatever has our focus and attention. I suggest taking the magnifying glass off of whatever disturbs you and putting it over things which fill you with happiness and contentment. Our problems are seldom as big as they appear. Once they pass they’re often forgotten or even a laughably ridiculous waste of time.
“You’ve got to accentuate the positive! Deliberate the negative, and look out for Mr. in between”

Have a very Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and for everyone else I hope the day is merry for you too!
The gift is in the giving, so give your all everywhere!
~ J ~