Liebster Award

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I am truly honored and appreciative of the fact that I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Haylee.   I had stumbled across her log one day and was pleasantly surprised by her posts…most especially her poems.  They are simple, profound and touch on life experiences that we all encountered at some point in our lives.  If you get the chance, check out her site: stumblingaboutourworld.wordpress.com

You’ll be pleasantly surprised as I was.

Questions from stumblingaboutourworld:

1.  What is the most extreme thing that I’ve done?

When I was in college, I hiked along the entire ridge of Diamond Head.  Which I’m glad I did because now they do not permit anyone to do so because of the dangerous conditions.

2. Out of all the places I visited, which did I like the most?

I really like Hawaii (also known as the “Big Island”) . I got the opportunity to see an active volcano, walk on solid lava, got to go to the top of Mauna Kea, experienced the black sand beach as well as the green sand beach and saw many historical Hawaiian sites.

3. What is on of my favorite memories?

The birth of my daughter Chloe and my son Conor.  It truly was an experience that surpasses anything and everything that I encountered or will encounter.

4. Why did I decide to start my blog?

It was on the advice of my literary manager but in the end it was my passion for writing and sharing my inner voice for the world to see.

5. What is my favorite book or book series?

“Writing Movies For Fun And Profit or How We Made A Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!”  by Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon

6.  Do I have a post (one of my own) that you favor over others?

The one that I liked best was a post called “Our Special Gift” :

midlifemaniacalme.me/?s=our+special+gift

7. If I could go anywhere in the world and take one person, who would it be and why?

I would go and see Japan with my wife because she is my everything – the love of my life, my best friend, the foundation of our family, strong, smart and a fighter.

8. If I were given $500 today, what would I do with it and why?

If given a $500 today, I would spend it on a dinner for my parents because of all they’ve done for me.  They’ve taught me the values of life, helped shaped the person into who I am today.

9. What inspires me to write?

It’s just a passion that I’ve had for the past 27 years.  The joy I get from writing anything totally frees me and lets my inner voice be heard and shared with both strangers and all of my blogging colleagues.

10. What is my opinion on the advancement of technology?

I think that it’s great.  A lot of what we do and see whether it be writing, seeing something is all instantaneous.  It’s truly convenient.

Nominees:

I had a hard time trying to determine what blogs I was going to nominate because I follow so many great ones.  The ones that particularly stuck out were the ones that touched me, inspired me, made me laugh and provoke thought.  These blogs are written by the people who provide encouraging words and have the gift of prose.  They really don’t need my help in sending people their way because so many people have found them already.  But on the off chance you haven’t stumbled across them, please check them out..you won’t be disappointed.

anotetohuguette.wordpress.com

comicallyquirky.com

peacefrompanic.wordpress.com

priyasingh91.wordpress.com

realtimelove.wordpress.com

Questions For The Blogs That I Nominate:

  1. What made you decide to start a blog?
  2. Which one of your own posts do you like the best and why?
  3. What inspires you to write?
  4. What have you learned from following other blogs?
  5. How has blogging affected your life?
  6. When do you like to do your writing – day or night?
  7. How do you decide on what blog you want to follow?
  8. Has your blogging experience been so far?
  9. Who is your biggest influence in your craft of writing?
  10. Would you recommend blogging to your family and friends?

Rules for Nominees:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  1. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a whole lot of images you can use for your 2017 Liebster Award.
  1. For the 2017 Liebster Award, I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  1. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
  1. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  1. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  1. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!) (info)

 

Midlife Reflections #4

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How do you deal with change?  Especially the life changing ones.  This has been weighing on my mind the past couple of days.  In the past, when I was much younger, this was never a concern; in fact I enjoyed experiencing change.

As I got older, I got married, had children, found a secure job. I found a daily routine that made my life simple.  I was content with the way things were in my life and for a person that likes control…I was in heaven.

Now all of a sudden, I’m changing jobs. Going from a good paying job to something that is much less but with great benefits.  On top of that, opportunities are presenting themselves to where my passion, my dream, can become a reality.

My younger self would’ve been thrilled with what’s going on.  Welcoming the change, the unpredictability.  But my present self and my current state of mind is a bit hesitant.  Don’t get me wrong, a part of me is really excited but three quarters of me is not.  Fearing the unknown is truly terrifying.

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You would’ve thought that through all my years, all of my accumulated experiences would prepare me for this.  But it never does.  The only thing that I’ve learned was that sometimes you got to take a leap of faith into the unknown.

It might work out, it might not.  It’s a chance that I have to take.  I’ve always learn to bet on myself to endure whatever life threw at me.  It’s so cliché to say this, but as long as my family and friends are there for support, advice and guidance, change can be bearable.

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It’s a given that change will always happen.  We will always be both excited and scared from it but we should have the confidence in ourselves to know that we’ll get through it.  Possibilities for great things are there if we just take a chance.

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Midlife Reflections #3

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The past couple of days, I’ve pondered on my life’s journey and what it took to get me here today.  It was a smooth ride that had numerous speed bumps and detours along the way.

I’ve had days when I hit the jackpot and everything went my way; even my mistakes and miscues resulted in a favorable outcome.

AND THEN there were those days where anything and everything went horribly wrong; where life put me in a loop and a series of jokes slapped me in the face one after another.

Regardless of what kind of day, week, month or year I had, I somehow survived; I lived to tell the tale and more often than not, I remembered in detail all of the good that I encountered.

Throughout all of my life’s experiences, I’ve come to the realization that sometimes my greatest memory can be my worst enemy.  Relishing and reminiscing about all those happy times brought about a false sense of thinking; that everything would result in something wonderful.

It was good to have a positive outlook but I needed to embrace all the bad that happened in my life wholeheartedly.  With every failed attempt I grew closer to success.

With much introspection, I’ve learned to value everything that crossed my path.  It helped me to be strong, wise, compassionate, focused, determined and grateful.  Life is way too short, so “Find the beauty in every moment” and bring out the best in yourself.

An Eternal Optimist

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In the face of

insurmountable odds

and naysayers doubting

your ability

You have to have

faith,

passion,

know yourself

inside and out

Develop a keen foresight

and inner confidence

Have the drive

to fight and persevere

Knowing it will be enough

to overcome everything

Once you can do that,

a spark of hope

springs from an endless well

that leaves you with a sense of

unbridled enthusiasm

A beacon at the end of the tunnel

that will never dissipate

When you can truly feel this way

accept it as canon,

that’s when you know you’re

an eternal optimist.

To Chase The Dream

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We all have various dreams,

some big and some small

Achieving them within our lifetime

is a most daunting task of all

 The failures, the pain,

the constant agony of defeat

Tests our will, our strength and resolve,

it knocks us off our feet

 Constantly trying and failing

is one of the best lesson we’ll get

It develops our drive, determination and passion

improves our successful living skill set

 Learning never stops

we have to grow everyday

Acquiring new and interesting knowledge

helps our dream get underway

 The grind towards the dream continues on,

it’s a path difficult and unclear

We must grit our teeth, head straight-forward

and show that we have no fear

 Our dream will never end

and in our hearts we must be true

To reach our goal, our life-long love

we must persevere and see it through

 So when you’re chasing your dream,

dig deep and give it your all

In the end you’ll fulfill your goal,

you can be proud and stand tall.

Forever Strong

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We wish good times would last,

that feeling of no tomorrow,

but we know that’s not the case

How does one stay strong

in the midst of the dark

When your life is riddled with

change,

crisis,

death,

tragedy,

pain,

heartache

We try to summon every ounce of

faith,

hope,

love,

courage,

support,

even false bravado

to overcome our trials and tribulations

We will never know how strong we are

until strong is the only choice we have

In the end if we do this, we’ll be

resilient in hard times,

fearless of the unknown,

eternally optimistic,

steadfast in our mind’s eye,

and

forever strong.

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.

A6

 

 

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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In The End, It’s All Good

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I’m always in awe every time I peruse the other blog sites; their writings are eloquent, articulate, beautiful, concise, humorous, lyrical and picturesque.  Even after all these years of writing, I sometimes feel like I’m not in their league.

Because of that, I tend to have a qualm with my writing style; doubts creep in.  Am I too wordy?  Is my writing clear enough to get the message across?  Am I too boring?  Not funny enough?  What are the other readers thinking?

Every time I sit at my computer to write, I always wonder if the words that I choose truly evoke what I’m feeling deep inside.  Because of that, my writing process is hampered.  A3

Often times I get stuck trying to figure out how to convey my thoughts into words.  Do I use simple words?  Are there more elegant ones that would make it sound more thought provoking?  If I use those words will I sound too flowery?  Or will it make me sound like an idiot for not using it the correct way?  A6

The plethora of words wage war and usually the victor emerges after a few minutes.  But even then, I still question as to how I’ll form sentences with it. A2

Writing shouldn’t be this difficult right?  It should be free flowing without any debilitating thoughts.  Or at least that’s how I envision it.  Why do I always go through this?!

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I do admit that I’m getting better at not having these hang-ups but the thoughts are there in my somnolent memory waiting to bust out unexpectedly.

But I’ve concluded that this is what I love to do.  So I just plow ahead, write it down and not fret!  The way I write is who I am and I should accept it.  Other writers don’t care.  We all do this because this is our passion.  We only care if we are inspired, entertained or informed about one another’s writings.

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So in the end, it’s all good.