Mid-Life Reflections #8

With my son graduating 8th grade yesterday and my daughter set to graduate from high school this Saturday, I look back with fond memories of them when they were just mere babies to who they are now and what they are becoming.  I am literally amazed at what they can do and what they can accomplish.  Granted my wife and I gave them the tools to navigate their way through life but they managed perfectly using their own sense and sensibilities.  Everything that they’ve achieved so far was due to their unique personality and innate traits; their exterior demeanor belies their true potential.  It is because of this that I cherish being a parent.  My children’s vim and vigor, no holds barred quest to grab a hold of what the world has to offer and run with it, is truly inspiring.  It keeps me on my toes, anxiously waiting to see what unfolds for them and how they’ll astound us.  Reflecting on my children’s journey into adulthood overwhelms me with pride and joy and is one of life’s gifts that I am truly honored to accept.

Mid-Life Reflections #7

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We live in a hustle and bustle world where every minute of our lives is bombarded by things left and right.  There are times when chaos ensues and others that leave us completely dumbfounded.  Usually at the end of the day, we are completely exhausted both physically and mentally and end up sleeping it off only to continue with the hubbub the next day.

I’ve learned that too much exposure to all this commotion can sometimes cause us to  freak out and wonder “What the hell?!”

“Is this how it’ll be for the rest of my life?”

“Will it ever end?”

“What is my purpose in the scheme of it all?”

“Things have to get better right?”

All these questions must’ve popped into our minds at one point in time.  We’re either just starting to experience this, in the process of it or finally getting over it.  Whichever one we’re in, just know that in spite of everything, we need to stop and catch our breath.

Look around and take delight in your children, your pets, your siblings, your parents, your grandparents, your friends; just watch them and know that you are what you are because of them.

Watch the sunrise or the sunset; by doing this know that you are lucky enough to live another day.

If your life is not to your liking, change it.  It’s as simple as that.  Have a job that sucks, quit.  In a relationship that’s horrendous, end it.  Want to try something new, be fealess and go for it.  That cliche “Life is too short” is really true.

You got to where you are because you endured a lot and overcame obstacles that seemed insurmountable.  You can go much further and better yourself and situation if you just have faith in yourself.  Life is precious…so dare to be bold and custom life to your liking!

 

The ABC’s of Living Your Life

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When we start out in life, that sense of naivety is truly a blessing.  We are born into this world free of judgement.  We see others as our equals.  We have big dreams.  Our imaginations are at its peak.  We have no limitations.  We don’t know the meaning of quit.  We aren’t afraid to take chances and fail.  We are curious about the world and seek to learn everything and anything that’s new.  We show our appreciation and love openly and abundantly.  We say what we feel and then move on with no grudges or hardships toward others.  Our honesty leads the way and our good natured spirit keeps us ground.  We share our infectious bright beaming smile to everyone we see.  And best of all, every hour, every minute, every second is lived to its fullest; we live as if there’s no tomorrow. 

Somewhere along the way, as we grew up, we lost some of those shining traits.  If we can somehow remember what it felt like to be that child and apply it to our daily routine, then we can say that we are truly living.  It’s easy, it doesn’t take much to regain back those redeeming qualities, we just have to be willing to try.  So the best way to living our lives is to get back to the fundamentals.   

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Writing Haikus

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Writing is a gift

That’s given to few, so share

Let your voice be heard

 

Creating stories

Inspiring today’s children

To always dream big

 

Writing sets us free

Imagination unchained

Unknown worlds are born

 

Writing shows our heart

Passion reveals our true self

Our love knows no bounds

 

Words are our allies

Strings together emotions

Stirs up memories

Midlife Reflections

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Back when I was much younger and starting out in the workforce, I used to think that a good paying job was the endgame to being happy and successful in life.  All that consumed me was trying to work for a company where I could climb that corporate ladder to a six figure salary; I was young, naive and dreamed big.  Little did I know that “all that glitters is not gold”.

I’ve seen people in good paying jobs but miserable as heck.  And I’ve seen the opposite, some in okay paying jobs but loving every minute of it.

Regardless of pay, we need to be happy in our jobs.  Why you may ask?  Since we spend three-quarters of the day at our place of employment, it stands to show that it’s like our second home with our second family.

If we can’t be happy there, then those feelings sometimes get transposed into our home lives.  We may not do that intentionally but it happens.  Life is too short to be miserable and stressed out.

In my current stage in life, I’ve come to the realization that life is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest.  After enduring the trials and tribulations of working many jobs, I only now know that if you’re not happy or enjoying what you do, find something that will.  Better late than never, right?

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This newfound wisdom is something that I impart on my children constantly.  So the next time you’re out job hunting, rather than asking yourself “how much does it pay?”, ponder on whether it’s something that you would “love” or “enjoy” doing for the rest of your life.  If you choose to follow the latter path, the pay will come.  Work for love, not money.

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You’re Grounded! Write Me A Story!

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The other day as I was walking through the local mall, I saw a mother unabashedly scolding her son.  He looked like he was about 9 or 10 years of age and completely embarrassed by the staring eyes of the mall’s patrons.

When the mother’s tirade ended, she forcefully grabbed her son’s arm and stormed away.  This scene was reminiscent of my childhood and all I could think of was what was in store for the boy when he gets home.

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I remembered whenever I did something bad, my parents would give me a good scolding and ground me.  “YOU CAN’T GO OUT AND PLAY AND NO TV FOR A WEEK!” is what my mom usually bellowed.  Back in my time, this was painful; I didn’t have the luxuries that the kids have nowadays.

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Being “grounded” meant just staying in my room doing nothing.  At that time there were no such things as cable TV, cellphones or video games.  All that I could do to pass the time away was listen to AM radio stations (because there weren’t any FM at that time).

Now whenever I did something “REALLY” bad, like playing with matches and burning things, I got a healthy dose of spankings.  My mother would get “the belt” and teach me an unforgettable lesson.

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Please don’t think bad of my mom; she’s the most kindest and caring person in the world.  Some of the terrible things I did as a young boy were REALLY BAD…trust me.  Remember, I grew up in a time when this was perfectly acceptable or “PC.”  Your neighbors and even teachers were allowed to do the same if you got way out of line…boy how times have changed.

As I was growing up, I wondered how I would discipline my children if they ever did something bad.  Well, cut to present day…as a parent of two, I decided to go the unconventional route.

When my children were young and did something bad, I made them write me a story and then read it to me and my wife.

“Don’t worry about grammar or spelling, just write me a story” is what I would tell them.

“What do you want us to write about?” my children would reply.

My answer, “Anything!  Just write me a story!”

For some unknown reason, this punishment really stressed them out.  Secretly I think that they would have rather been scolded or grounded.

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For the longest time, they would stare at a blank page and wrack their brains to come up with anything.  Their stories were simple at first but in time, they got to be more and more creative.  Their speaking skills improved as well.

Don’t get me wrong, they still got a good scolding if they did something really bad but I felt that I wanted to try and bring out their creativity at an early age.

This punishment benefitted them during their early school years and were recognized by their teachers whenever we had our annual parent-teacher conference.

Now that my kids are teenagers, this punishment is way too easy for them.  I need to come up with a whole new game plan.  Maybe I’ll make them come up with a dance choreography…yeah, I’ll do that!

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