Love is the Answer

Today adds another day to the well over eighteen thousand days that I have seen come and go. I continue to search for happiness and the reason I am here, all the while trying to make a difference and leave this earth a better place for me having been here.

As I have gotten older, my love for animals has grown ten fold from my younger days. My love for individuals has also grown, while my faith in society has waned. I struggle to love myself as I look in the mirror, disgusted with what my body has become. They say you have to love yourself first, which has been hard for me for so long. I’m not sure why I am so hard on myself. I wish I could find a way to be happy with the way I am and what I have and where I am in my life.

So much talk these days in the United States about race and racial inequality. It is not my place as a white man to tell any minority how to feel. How arrogant would that be of me to tell anyone how to feel and what’s right and what’s wrong in relation to prejudice. As a human being, I believe EVERYONE should be treated equally. I doubt that I will live to see the day that this will happen, but, hopefully, one day, probably generations from now, we can achieve human harmony.

As I’ve gotten older, I would like to think I have gotten wiser. I believe I have matured, at least judging by my gray hair and its scarcity on the back of my head. I try to have empathy for all living things. I think twice these days about killing anything, even bugs. I guess as my number of days on this planet are now more in the rearview than ahead, I have become more sympathetic to the preciousness of every breath. We all must remember that everyone on this planet is going through the same thing. We all have a story to tell. Well all have our own set of problems. We are all searching for the meaning of life.

I am very lucky. Both of my parents are still on this earth. I often shudder to think what it is going to be like when the two people who have shaped me into the man I am today will no longer be there for love and support. As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I know I will be ok due to their lifelong influence and the values they have instilled in me. I also have a daughter and a wife that love me very much, not to mention additional family and friends as well.

I need to get to bed. It is now 2:30 a.m. I love to write and think late at night. I believe God opens my mind and my heart to express emotions freely.

This topic makes me think of a song released back in 1995 by the Blessid Union of Souls called, “I Belive”. Take a listen.

… Love is the Answer.


What Would You Do?

I have a question for you. If you could know how and when you would die, would you take that opportunity to find out, or leave it unknown?

I must say with all the North Korea talk in the news lately, thoughts of death have crossed my mind more than a few times, which got me thinking about the above question. If I had the choice to know how and when I would die, I would take it in a heartbeat (no pun intended.

For me, if I knew, it would free me up to do so many more things. It would allow me not to fear flying or fear heights or any of my many other phobias. It brings Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” video to mind.

As odd as it sounds, I think it would open my life up. If you learned you had a month or a year left, wouldn’t you quit your job and travel or whatever else you wanted to do before your time on Earth were over? I guess if I lived every day as if it were my last, I wouldn’t have these issues, but that’s not realistic, for me anyway. If you don’t know how long you have, you’re not going to quit your job to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Knowing your expiration date would also help you in your retirement planning. If you find out you are going to live to be 100, chances are, you better start socking away a few more dollars into that 401K or investments, because you are going to need your retirement nest egg to last. But, on the other hand, if you only had five years left, who needs retirement? Go buy that Corvette or second home. Enjoy your time before it’s gone.

I know, listen to me, I am basically giving myself therapy … enjoy your time before it’s gone. unfortunately, that’s never been easy for me. I have always been a bit pessimistic, or as I like to say, realistic when it comes to life.

For me, death is fascinating and frightening at the same time. To my knowledge, no one has escaped death. It’s something we will all have to face at some point or another. I envy those that do live every day as if it could be their last. I wish I could be one of those people, but it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I often think there is an age or stage in life when people go from fearing death to accepting that their time is growing short, thus they throw caution to the wind. I think I am getting there, just not quite there yet.

Skydiving, bullriding, taking a cruise … who knows? The sands are running through the hour glass without fail. I don’t want to have the most boring stories in Heaven, or Hell for that matter, so I better get busy livin’!



School’s Out … Now What?

August 7th will mark the end of my college career, a journey that started nearly 30 years ago. I won’t bore you with the details, but as my time in college has come to an end, many emotions have come over me.

After earning enough credits to finally graduate, I must admit my first emotion was relief. Thank God it was finally over and I would not have to take any additional courses to capture that elusive cap and gown. I also felt a sense of accomplishment. I am not big on following through on a lot of projects that I start, thus this is a major milestone for me. I couldn’t have done it without so many great people in my life telling me that I could cross that finish line. I also felt a sense of pride. As many of you who have worked and gone to school at the same time know, it’s not easy. Schoolwork is the last thing you want to do after yet another bad day at work.

There was also one other feeling that I felt which actually surprised me a little bit … sadness.  I was not sad that the tests and schoolwork were over. No way. I was sad because another chapter in my life was over. I’m sure I would feel differently about this if I were in my early twenties, but now in my early fifties, those feelings have become a bit more complicated. I guess I am becoming more sentimental in my older years.

So, now what? Is this degree going to dramatically change or improve my life? I doubt it. So, what do I do now? I have a few ideas I am kicking around, but the hardest part is getting out there and doing them. I suffer from “analysis paralysis” as they like to say. I try to learn as much about my subject as I can before jumping in. Unfortunately, more often than not, that leads to not jumping in at all.

So, the next few months and few years will be interesting. Time is ticking on that old retirement clock. Yes, I still have some time, but that time to accumulate additional wealth is also ticking.

To steal a catch phrase from Nike, I guess it’s time to “JUST DO IT!”