I’m shifting my blog style a bit to see how everyone likes it. It will reflect changes in my own life, writing style and sense of self. I’m concentrating on larger stories, rather than a burst of musings here and there, written as I am smitten by a single or series of emotion, which triggers the desire to write. Instead, I’m picking a subject and writing in a more comprehensive, larger concept style. I’ll keep the small things going, of course, but at the first of every month you can expect a larger article. I hope it will be as fun for you to read as it is for me to write.
My first story loosely concentrates on an impromptu vacation to Sanibel, FL. I was sitting on our couch one morning, listening to our heating system throw money out in the yard and thinking of tomatoes. I looked at my wife, who was suffering from cabin fever even more than I. “I want a tomato.” She grinned ruefully, and shook her head. “Not until May.” I said those fateful words, “Let’s just go to Florida and get one.” I was joking. She was not. A week later we were loaded down with camping gear, food, cameras, and our son and headed South. It’s fun to be spontaneous.
That’s what this year is all about for me. to enjoy life in all it’s unexpected twists, instead of struggling for normalcy and repetition, I want to be ready, mentally and physically, to enjoy every little unexpected opportunity that comes my way. Doctors are and probably always will be a constant presence in my life, but I want to live as though they are not.
So that’s it for now! Enjoy your life and everything it has to offer.
Wow. 2014 was a crazy year, by even my unusually bizarre standards. I’ve never asked for much out of life, at least not in the conventional sense. I never cared if I owned a house, had 2.3 children, drove a minivan or worked a normal job. What I have always asked is that life hand me a curve that didn’t stop receding, one that I could pursue down the decreasing apex of my future, unknown and mysterious, but always inviting.
That’s exactly what my life has been like. I’ve been so many places, worked so many jobs and acquired a near plethora of skills and abilities that most men my age don’t possess. Nor do they want to. Who really wants to be able to boss a longwall crew in a coal mine 2700 feet down? Who honestly cares if they can lay stone walls? Does it matter that I can still navigate the wild rapids of ephemeral streams, feeling my way along, my heart beating in time with the descent?
For that matter, despite the jobs current popularity, who wants to be a professional cook, anyway? People stare at me in disbelief when they discover I have a PhD in geology and a plethora of degrees decorating my path through life. Those pieces of paper don’t define me, or dictate my course into the future. Instead, I rely on the vanishing path, trodden by so many before me.
I was asked yesterday if my disease, brought about by years of relentless drinking and genetics, had taught me some great lesson that I would not have otherwise learned. It has. A lesson that I once knew well, as a child in Appalachia. The lesson is to appreciate and enjoy every single day. Every moment is a gift, every second is to be appreciated. We may not pass this way again, so to enjoy life, you must take hold, set your heels, and chase the headlights down the wonders we can experience every day, if we but look.
Leave your phones at home today. Better yet, run over them with your car. Get a car you can work on, for a change. Take charge of your life. Whenever possible, don’t let bosses make life decisions for you. Make your own. Love your family. Take your time. Walk slowly, and above all, LOOK! Watch, see, taste, enjoy. Everything.
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