Pursue Your Destiny

Walt Disney made many of my all-time favorite movies. He is quoted as saying

All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

If life, this is the especially true, within reason.  For example,  my dream job would be to work at Crayola as a color “namer”.  Yes, it is a legitimate job.  The problem: I am horrible at art. So bad that my art teacher gave me a D- so I would not have to repeat the course.  You need an art degree to perform job.  I can dream, but I know that in reality it will never come true.  That is the beauty of what makes a dream a dream.  We are free to be who we want to be, without having to worry about the affects.  You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.-Les Brown.png

I would rather pursue my passions in life, then be left to live in my dreams.  When I was able to help take care of my father, I found that my passion was in helping people who needed it the most.  It is not that they were not able to, but at that moment in their life, they needed additional help.  For many years, too many to count, I have worked in a Corporate type setting.  The highlight of my job was being able to tell a supervisor that they could go ahead and deliver a correction action.  It was not helping anyone, rather, people were ending up crushed and hurt.

Losing my job has been difficult, but it is allowing me to be able to pursue my first of many steps towards a dream that will allow me to do both. I can pursue a passion and a dream of helping people.

I will still hold on to the dream of being a color namer, but it will always be the dream job that captivates my attention. What about you? Do you still dream about something out of reach? Have you been able to pursue a passion or dream that holds your heart?

~J.J.~

March 28, 2015

At what point does childhood end? Is it when we turn 16 and can have a job? Does it happen when one becomes able to vote in an election? Does it happen when one is able to have a beer? Or does childhood end when becomes a parent?

It is a difficult question to answer, without going into a debate.  My intent here is not to create a political, societal, or life heated debated.

To me, the end of childhood was on March 28, 2015.  Granted, I had already been a parent for 10 years.  I was able to vote. I could drink (but never really liked the feeling of not being in control).  I live in my own house, on my own income.  Yet, I still had the fun dreams and visions of life.  Disney movies are still up there on my Top 50 list of favorites.  I knew that there was someone I could call, regardless of time, who would help me make decisions that mattered.  I enjoyed going over to a house and asking what was for supper.

But, on March 28, 2015 the of my childhood started.  My father was a courageous man.  He was diagnosed in 2013 with an aggressive form of lung cancer that had spread to his brain, liver, and spine.  He was originally given six months.  Those six months can and went.  He was given another six months. They also came and went.  In November of 2014 DSCN0606.JPGwe took a family vacation to Disney World.  It wasn’t just myself, my husband, child and parents.  It was extended family.  In total,  the 14 people who meant the world to my father went to the happiest place on Earth.  We made memories that have stood the test of time.  We saw the ocean, the Space Center, and had the time of our lives.  For a week, nothing existed.  Cancer did not have a hold on my family.  It was just us and the experience of a lifetime.

We returned to life as normal, but knew that this was our last Christmas, my last birthday, and my son’s last season with his papa and my father.

The day he passed, my childhood ended.  I knew what it felt like to experience a hurt so deep that you can’t express it.  To feel that you must now the one to make all the decisions.   It was then that life would never be the same.

In the two years since, I have found more of myself than I thought.  I still love Disney.  My Little Pony is nostalgia also.  A game of capture the flag? I’m there! But there is also a sadness around holidays for the table is missing a chair.

I have also realized that suffering is part of life.  In the Buddha’s teaching of the Four Noble Truths, I found the peace I was looking for.  While one can argue for a divine existence and  reasons for everything, I found myself more upset because it wasn’t fair.  Life, however, is never fair.  It is through the basis of understanding the Four Noble Truths that I have come to accept and see that childhood never really ends.  We always have a piece of our youth with each of us.  It is what makes us, well, us.  We find the memories and the feelings and pass them on to our children.  Tree forts, coloring books, hide and seek, nerf wars.. Yes, I still love them.  I have even taught my son how to pitch better than his father! Why? Because it was part of childhood.

What about you? Do you feel that childhood ends, or that we still have a piece of us with us at all times?  I know being an adult and acting like one are two different things.  But given a chance, I will take a day in a tree fort over a day in the office!

~J.J.~

 

 

Connected To All

In Avatar, there is a Tree of Souls that connects Eywa to all life on Pandora. It is a beautiful willow-tree style, that has the ability to see all, and hear all, according to the Na’vi. This tree also allows the Na’vi to have contact with Eywa. More or less in a nutshell. The movie is slightly confusing.

Image result for tree of souls avatar

Tree of Souls, Avatar 

In our lives, we are connected to the news as it happens via the Internet.  One no longer has to wait until the 6:00 PM news to find out what happened in the world.  Rather, we are able to see events as they unfold.  Often times, this can be uncensored, yet it is how the world has progressed.

We are all connected to so many things, but that is just it. They are things. We love our cellphones, gaming systems, iPods, ect. They provide us with a world outside of our world.  Panic sets in if one of the devices is missing. Did I lose it? Where did I put it? Oh my gosh! I ran over it in the snow… The list goes on.

While I do appreciate the things that technology has given us, sometimes I wonder why?  Sure, my family is spread out throughout the United States.  Facebook has given us a way to be connected in the moment, even though we cannot physically be there.  I have been able to watch my younger family members grow up, go to band concerts, dances, etc.  It is something that I would not trade for the world!

But social media, and technology, also has its disadvantages.  Cyber bullying is at an all time high.  Messages can be sent and then disappear thanks to SnapChat.  Through all of the interconnectedness (not sure if that is a word) it appears we are also growing farther apart.  I do miss the days of receiving a handwritten letter.  Instead, I will settle for a text message from a friend saying I miss you.  Why? Because even though it isn’t written by hand, it is written with the thought of letting me know that I matter to them.

How about you? Has the advancement in technology allowed you to become closer to those you love, or has it driven you farther apart?

~J.J.~

 

 

Do-Over or Do-Again?

Staples has the “easy button”, where you just push it and everything happens in an instant.  If there was a button in life that did that, I would use it as a Do-Over, maybe? When I sit down to think about it, not just in passing, but actually ponder, would I do events in my life over? I’m not sure.

A Chance to Do OverI have had my share of moments that I used to think I would love to forget.  However, as I have grown older, these are the moments that I now know helped build me into the person I am.  Sure there were the many nights of parties, breaking curfew (sorry mom and dad!), and shenanigans that followed.  Nothing was ever harmed, nor was property destroyed.  It ended up being a bunch of friends, beer, and a bonfire.  The memories made have lasted and brought friends closer.  Some decisions, well, let me just say that they did not turn out so well.

How about the time that I thought I was the “worst mom in the world”? Despite the fact that my son was 4, it is still something that has stuck with me.  I am pretty sure he was upset because I wouldn’t go to the pet the store and get a baby dinosaur.  I mean, I would if I could get them, but it just wasn’t in the budget to find a baby dinosaur.

Or the time that I thought it would be a wonderful idea to have two large dogs, and a medium one, for “house” dogs.  Yes, they are outside most of the day, but they live inside at night.  They bring in their share of muddy feet, yet they are loved regardless.

While these may seem like trivial events, they are part of my life.  Yes, I do have events that have happened that could have turned out differently.  I apologize for not sharing them, yet.  In my heart, I know that there is nothing in my life I would want to do over, except for one thing.

The only thing that I would change if I could would be to have one more moment with my father.  To record his voice telling my son how proud he is of him.  To hear him say “I Love You” one more time. To tell him, I love you, one more time. My Do-Over option would not be to erase anything, but to have one more moment of life’s blessing that one can never get back.  For all the other events, it is part of life.  We live. We make mistakes. We learn. We grow from our experiences. But most of all, we live.

If you could “Do-Over” any moment, would you change it, or just ask for one more moment?

~J.J.~

 

Nothin’ But A Good Time

Poisons’ lyrics go:

I’m always workin’ slavin’ every day
Gotta get a break from that same old same old
I need a chance just to get away
If you could hear me think this is what I’d say

Work is a part of life, it is something that as adults, it is part of life. Work can be fun, it can be challenging, it can be mundane.  I wonder if it is really Nothin’ But A Good Time?

DSCN0704Sure, it can be a good time, but for me, a good time can take many forms.

 A family trip to the ocean, can lead to many memories. Some I treasure forever, as it was our last family vacation with my father.  Other good times involve the many hours in a car during hockey season.  The days can be long, the roads treacherous at times, but as always, we make it a good time.  A dedicated playlist to hockey road trips can keep it fun.

Other times, it is watching the sunset after a day IMG_4116of working outside. Fishing with friends, off the boat landing.  Simply watching the bobber float in the current.  The water can be still or rolling waves.  Slowly a dragonfly lands on the line and life is peaceful.  Just a good time.  The only care is if the fish, or turtle, ate the bait.

A good time can be a party with lots of friends.  Loud music, lots of alcohol, well, you get the picture.  Or, it is a small gather around a bonfire.  The cool summer nights, light breeze, and hopefully no mosquitoes.  It provides the perfect chance to unwind and get lost in the flame.  The quiet, yet loud, crackle of the logs slowly burning. Many stories have been shared with others over the traditional summer bonfire.  One can also gain valuable revelations about themselves by simply sitting and being.

Depending on what stage of live someone is in, a good time can take many forms.  For me, I would rather relax with a fishing line in a stream or watching a fire burn with close friends.  Life is what you make it.  A good time can be found anywhere, as long as your heart is happy.

How about you? What do you feel is Nothin’ but a Good Time?

~J.J.~