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Monday, November 15, 2021

Progress vs Change

 



Progress vs Change

I've often said that I don't embrace change for change's sake. On the other hand, I think of myself as a very progressive person.  The biggest difference between progress and change is that change doesn't always turn out positive, whereas progress by definition alone indicates forward movement or advancement.


Because I am often quoted saying that I am happy, healthy and blessed, anyone can understand why I don't want change for change's sake.  My status as quoted is a happy place to be, and if nothing ever changes, it would be just fine with me.

On the other hand, progress is always welcomed.  Any positive changes to my quoted status, would only mean that my life is improving.  In the previous two years I have had a couple of great examples, one is progress, and one is of change.

Progress:  In Summer of 2019, I found out quite by accident that I had a serious problem with a heart valve, and it require attention.  see the following post:  http://www.being50.com/2019/07/the-silver-lining.html

The first Cardiologist recommended monitoring every 6 months and at worst I had 5 years left.                Fortunately, I had the best advocate representing me (my beautiful wife).  She decided without                consulting with me (that's what I would expect from the best advocate ever) that if a medical                  prognosis ever demanded a second opinion, this was it. We were referred to the best Cardiology              Team in this region of the United States. Within a little less than two months, I went into surgery            and emerged with a new lease on life (from a danger that I wasn't even aware of).  On the plus side        and with the blessing of the almighty, the successful surgery comes with a 25-year durability                approval (kind of like a warranty).  Once again, I can claim that I am happy, healthy and blessed.

Change:  Through most of my young adult life I embraced muscle car ownership even drag racing.  I've admitted that it was a costly experience, but very enjoyable and wouldn't change it if I could go back to the future. See the following post:  http://www.being50.com/2013/08/my-muscle-car-life.html

"A long time ago, in a kingdom, far far away."  This is my way of sharing with you that many years ago when I first met my beautiful wife, I had finally arrived at place in my life when I was ready to make the big jump to my ideal sports car (Chevrolet Corvette).  As life often does to all of us, it threw me a major curve (no regrets), my destiny crossed paths with my desire for my ultimate sports car, and love won. I chose to embark with this beautiful young lady into our future together. I never told her that I wanted a sports car and instead purchased a 4-door sedan more appropriate for raising a young family.

Over many years of happy marriage, she could see the look in my face every time I saw a Corvette in close proximity.  Once again, acting as my best possible advocate and knowing that we have raised our children and are experiencing (enjoying) the empty nest syndrome. she chose Father's Day 2021 to gift me my desired sports car (with all our children's approval).  I am grateful to my family for their love and support.

I would have to grade this change as a positive one and definitely one that should have been on my Bucket List.  Don't give up hope the best is yet to come.....




Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Secret Sauce

 


Man's Life Stages

Making the most of life is always important but never as important as when you near your Golden Years.  I refer to this post as Man's Life Stages only because it's being shared by me and obviously a man's perspective.  Having said that, all I share will also apply to a person of the opposite gender.  


Three Measures

For the purpose of this post, I will use three measures on every Stage of Life, and they are: Time, Money, and Energy.

  • First Stage - Youth: Many young men during their high school years and some even into college have plenty of time and energy but minimal money.  
  1. Without a doubt, most often by choice or circumstance.  Their values and priorities have yet to be developed.  I on the other hand had my very first successful business at the age of 10.  Some might say I was lucky, however, Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.  
  2. I'm sure that multitasking has been around for a long time, I can't remember a time when I didn't have at least 3 or 4 things going on at the same time.  I would even go as far as to say that the common problem is lacking motivation, and thus lacking money.
  • Second Stage - Adult: Young adults by now for the most part have completed college or entered the work force, started a business and/or are working their way up the corporate ladder. Some maybe even have gotten married and are raising a family.  All of a sudden they find themselves (hopefully) with plenty of money, and energy (still young) but no time. 
  1. It doesn't have to be as describes but I'll guess that a sampling would show approximately 90% as described.
  2. This stage of life is a time when many relationships get stressed to the breaking point.  If you don't have a strategy and great partner to help you through it, you may run into some tough challenges.  Managing your limited time is crucial.  My wife and I had 4 children, and I was fortunate that she wanted to be a stay at home mom until all the children were attending school full time. In the meantime she was involved in our family business which didn't impose a stringent work schedule on her. 
  • Third Stage - Old: If you worked smart and diligently had some good luck, and kept all the chainsaws you were juggling up in the air, you should find yourself with lots of time, ample money, but low on energy.
  1. Hopefully you made your money for retirement and made some wise investment choices before you ran low on energy.  I've always said that in life I took some risks based on knowing that if I failed I had enough time to recover the losses.
  2. However, at some point in my age progressions I started playing it safe.


And now for the Secret Sauce:  There is one element that can make all the difference in the world at every one of the 3 stages especially the third one.  I'm sure we have all heard someone say, "if only I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."  We don't all have the blessings of good genes, or healthy habits plus a great life partner who keeps us on the straight and narrow to better life choices.

If you already missed the train to good health in your golden years, then you must share this and other similar articles with your children so they don't end up finding out at a later time in life.  As always, I make the claim that I am healthy, happy and blessed.  I still have enough energy to be working, even if I really don't have to (because I am retired).  I still enjoy long road trips in which I do all the driving by choice.  I have many interests and I stay mobile and involved.  Remember: If you don't get of the couch while you can, you won't be able to get off when you have to.  The best is yet to come.....

Never Again

Never Again

God knows I've lived long enough to earn the right to say, "Now I've seen everything!"  Somewhere along the way, and until recently, I'm very sure there was nothing left out there to surprise me or better yet shock me.

Enter the pandemic.  I had experience in my life time (not affected or infected): Tuberculosis, Polio, Whooping Cough, Cholera, HIV, Cancer, etc., etc., etc. I never thought that I would see a time where the whole world human race would be affected at the same time.  I had never seen or expected to see a situation where all the schools in the country would be closed down.  Businesses would be shut down, the population would be asked to stay home, and/or wear masks.

Twin Towers Memorial

I remember right after 911 and the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers (New York), the whole country's air travel was shut down.  It was eerie to to look up at the night sky and not see any air traffic (navigational lights blinking).  One of my sons got caught up in the travel industry shut down. I was going to say that he got stuck, thought better of it because he got stranded (not) in Hawaii. Lucky dog, although I must admit at the time, it must having been scary not knowing when you could get back home, or if the homeland was at war and continued attack. The whole situation with 911 terrorist attack was one of those instances where even with all my life experience, I didn't see it coming.

One of those nights, right after the Twin Tower attack, I was in my home office getting some work done and to my shock, I heard a single engine plane approaching the vicinity of my residence and quickly fly very low overhead.  My first thought was the pilot was flying under the radar, my second thought was, if our Air Force is as good as I think it is, there should be some military jets close behind in hot pursuit. I don't think the thought cleared my mind, when I heard the high pitch whine of a couple of jet fighters in pursuit.

Homeland Protector

The pandemic has introduced me to many first time experiences.  I could never imagine over 900,000 Covid 19 Deaths in the United States to date (as of this writing).  After all this time in my wonderful life I hadn't lost very many of my friends and relatives.  Now, in the first 6 months of 2021, I have lost more friends and relatives than I have in my whole life. Education has been shut down to in person participation for about a year and a half.  I never thought that would ever happen.  Many friends and relatives have lost the ability to support their families because of the Vaccine Mandate. I won't make my choice known because I believe that individuals have the right to make up their own decisions and I wouldn't want to begin to influence anyone. I've always expressed that my opinions are exactly that, and no influence is intended.

I sincerely hope that all my readers are surviving the pandemic, and even thriving if possible.  As usual I make the claim that I and my immediate family are happy, healthy and blessed.  I wish I could tell you that normal is just around the corner, but to be very honest with you, I'm not even sure that we will recognize normal when it arrives.

I'll gladly add a positive note to this post.  In my entire life (and I am presently retired) I have never made a job move that wasn't for the better.  So for any of you that are being manipulated out of your career, just know that better days are ahead of you. Take every precaution that you deem necessary to keep you and yours safe, don't pay any attention to the haters, you do you.  The best is yet to come....

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Silver Lining



The Silver Lining

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always found the Silver Lining on all situations no matter how dire they may be.  If we believe in the All mighty, then we must believe that he wouldn’t paint us into a corner.  No matter what he throws at us, we always have free agency (the ability to make choices).  We can choose between, good and bad or bad and worse, and even good and better.

Whenever I find myself in a less than positive situation (not often) I try to figure out what it is that I can do to improve it or even turn it into a total positive.
I won’t bother you with all the details because right now, even I don’t have all the information that is being generated on my behalf.

I won’t tell you my exact age, because if I did, I may have to do away with you (LOL) but suffice to know that even I am amazed at how great of a life I’ve had and how healthy I’ve been.  I was beginning to think that some day I could just drop dead and people would say but he was so healthy.

Four months ago, I went to the doctor’s office for something totally unrelated to what I’m presently dealing with right now.  My regular physician was not available because I came in with a last-minute appointment, so another physician saw me and during the course of regular examination discovered that I had a heart murmur.  She asked me how long I had the murmur.  I explained that I wasn’t aware of any murmurs.

Since then and in short order, I’ve talked to a cardiologist twice, and a couple of heart surgeons.  I’ve had 3 different tests that help determine that I am strong and healthy not yet showing symptoms but definitely need to take action, if I want to take control of my life, literally.

I’ve said it before and will repeat it again and again.  In life there are two people that you need to stay in contact with (communicate), your doctor, and the Internal revenue agent.  No particular order.

Before I cause any damage to my heart, I need to act, the sooner the better.  As I’ve mentioned before, we have free agency (we can make choices).  I can elect to ignore the problem and ruin my quality of life (maybe even be gone within 4 to five years); I can elect the least intrusive and painful way (shorter history to go by).  I have consulted with my wife and selected the more intrusive way, more painful and longest recovery period.  My selection also has a history dating back to the 1950’s with much better odds of success and longevity.

I’m sharing my situation on this blog for two main reasons: 1- I asked family and friends for prayers without an explanation.  I feel that those that offered prayers deserve a thank you and an explanation. 2- I want every person that follows my blog and FB Page to take care of themselves and listen to their body and medical professionals.  For those of you that are in my age range (whatever that might be), life is even more precious than ever.  I will keep you posted on my progress.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  Stay positive always. I know that the best is yet to come….

Monday, February 18, 2019

Magic of Music







Magic of Music

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people of my generation compare modern music to the music treasures of our times. That the comparison is not favorable to present time music.

I’ve always believed that the arts and especially music, is in the eye of the beholder (in this instance ears of the beholder).  I further believe that there is a difference between love of music and appreciation.  I have the music I love but because of my exposure to the music industry, I have an appreciation for all music up to and including the Australian Didgeridoo, and the Sitar.

Many of us appreciate the Oldies of our time for the musical style, others for the lyrics.  I on the other hand, enjoy the lyrics and style, but because I lived the time when the music was being released , more than anything else I remember what I was doing or in whose company I was when I listened to a particular song, for instance I refer you to the time I first heard the Beatles: http://www.being50.com/2013/02/first-time-i-heard-beatles.html



I also enjoyed many of the original performers at concerts when the new music was being promoted:  The last of the Oldies group that I took my children to see at a concert was the Monkees (80 something).  One of my sons looked over my shoulder as I am writing this post and we started a conversation about how he remembers a helicopter landing some 20 yards away from an open field stage and how the crowd went wild. 

I’m grateful to see that my recollections are supported by other family members.  Another instance of music triggering fond memories. My wife and I went on a double date with my sister and her husband to see the Ventures perform at the Capitol Theater in Yakima WA. Also, in the early 80’s.  After the concert we went to dinner and ran into the band members eating dinner at the same restaurant.  Of course, we took the opportunity to greet them and take pictures with them.

I remember the time I purchased a brand-new Plymouth Fury Sport from the showroom floor, and the first song I heard on the beautiful stereo system was The Beat Goes On, by Sonny and Cher.  I’m telling you, every song comes wrapped in wonderful memories!!  Spend some time thinking about the memories that the oldies bring to your heart and mind.  The best is yet to come…….

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Old Dog vs New Tricks


Old Dog vs New Tricks

“you can't teach an old dog new trick.”
Saying said to mean that it is very difficult to teach someone new skills or to change someone's habits or character. ~Cambridge Dictionary


I’ve often said that I tolerate change when necessary for improvement, but never for change sake.  I also embrace the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage.
Having explained my philosophy of life in a nutshell, I’m about to turn my firm habits upside down.  Please bear with me and understand that I am not trying to convince you of anything.  Two weeks into this new direction and already I can’t imagine not having tried this much earlier.

I’ve been retired from my career for a while now and my one on one interaction with people is limited to a handful of friends that have stuck together for around 30 years. As you might imagine we have more than a few similarities in our lives.  We are said to be set in our ways. We mostly don’t disagree because many of our differences have been settled early on.

My one lasting influence is and has (seems forever) been my wife.  She isn’t just my wife and friend, but more importantly my oldest most reliable and only partner in business and life.  I had the opportunity and made the decision to retire early, she on the other hand was a bit younger and decided to keep working at her career.
Best to start them young

Here is the rest of the story.  She is still getting out in the work world and learning and sharing information.  She recently came home with information that some people she knows had purchased medical marijuana medication for mundane ailments and were pleasantly surprised that it worked better than some expensive pain medication they had been using.

In an effort at full disclosure:  1) I’ve never used any kind of illegal or recreational drugs, I even avoid prescription and over the counter pain killers at any cost.  I never picked up the habit of smoking cigarettes; first because I felt the 25 cents a pack was ridiculous when as a teenager I was making 80 cents per hour, secondly because I loved participating in school sports, you could be dropped from the team if caught smoking or drinking. 2) we are fortunate that Washington State is a legal marijuana State.

My wife insisted that I try the medication for back pain (the price I pay for a lifetime of daredevil auto and motorcycle sports racing).  I promise you that I was not an easy sell.  I grew up with an image of shady dark alley transactions that people relied on to acquire their illicit supplies.  To be continued.  Look for part 2 to be titled: “Medical Alternatives.”  The best is yet to come……..

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Go to Guy


Go to Guy

The one you go to for advice. Who can turn your sad days into happy days. The one guy that knows all your secrets, that you tell anything and everything to, who protects you and only wants the best for you. The first person you tell your happy and sad news who always is the first one that comes to mind. The friend that you can't wait to talk to because no matter how boring of a day you've had, there's always tons of things to share. This is the friend who takes up the majority of your minutes/texts. Who you cannot see your life without.
You are my rock, my go to guythe one friend that completes me.
#friendship#bff#gtg#love#admiration


I don’t know about the #admiration but a friend or person that you can depend on is what best describes me. This is especially true if you have membership by way of birthright.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I was not the dependable one.  Whether it was the easy request like pick up some milk on the way home or a request to do the impossible.
For those that don’t know me, I was raised by a single parent, and she was an amazing influence throughout my life and to this very day.  My mother was also a Go to Person.  If she didn’t have the answer to your problem, she always knew someone that could help.
When I was 17 years old and still in high school, a friend of the family confided to my mother that a she had family emergency back home (Mexico).  She attempted various ways to assist them, but the final solution was for me to drive the family of four all the way from the Pacific Northwest to Monterrey Nuevo Leon Mexico. Not many teenagers would go along willingly.  I did for various reasons most predominant is that I’ve always been an obedient son.


Trust me when I say that I felt like Christopher Columbus.  Heading for the first time into the unknown and learning as I went along the way.  The drive south was non-stop in the sense that I only took power naps over a three-day travel schedule.


The real challenge was making the return trip by myself.  At my mother’s insistence I treated myself to one night in a hotel along the way.  I’ve made additonal sacrifices to assist others since that time but none requiring so much personal (physical) sacrifice.
I do have a strong belief that we are here to be of service to others.  There are those that will try to take advantage of a nice person so be aware and discerning.  The best is yet to come…..

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Reminiscing vs Reality



Reminiscing vs Reality

I could be way off base and be the only person that is afflicted with this concern for revisiting past acquaintances and random people encountered along the path of life.

I had a medical professional friend that not only was a service provider but also a golf partner.  I enjoyed knowing him for approximately 6 years and I felt that we had an average friendship (above acquaintance level).  I need to quantify what a golf partner is to me.  First off, in life I have had many acquaintances and much more than a couple of handful of friends.  I like to spread the fun and competition of a good round of golf.  So, while my golf tee times are very regular the partners vary from week to week.  A favorite golf partner might join me for a round of 18 holes eight times a year (consider that I might play 20 rounds or more on an average year).


With that disclaimer out of the way, the rest of the story is that my family and I moved across the State in pursuit of a career promotion for myself.  Some twenty years went by before I once again encountered my “friend” when I visited his office for a medical visit.  In my mind I was looking forward to seeing him again and I even imagined a hearty handshake and maybe even an embrace. Didn’t happen.

He entered the examination room, and introduced himself, and proceeded to treat me.  He never recognized my name or even remembered that we had spent time playing golf.  I know that common sense dictates that I should have reminded him.  However, I was so disappointed that, I chose to just forget the history that we shared.

I recon that my reason for writing this post is to try to once and for all put this “friendship” to rest.  I have thought of possible reasons for the lapse in memory but with out more information, I can’t make heads or tails out of my conclusions.

He could literally be having the onset of dementia, he may have had an accident that created a gap in his memory bank, many other possibilities, but while I am loyal to friends and acquaintances, I am not lacking for friendships in my life.  I have my hands full maintaining the circle of friends going.  I can’t help but internally mourn the loss of someone in my life that I thought was a friend.  The best is yet to come….

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Time for Reflection


Time for Reflection

What does it mean to take time to reflect?

Taking time to reflect means slowing down enough to stop, enjoy the adventure and figure out what is really important to YOU. Learn what you like and dislike. Do something for fun… for you.

Is it possible to be too smart for your own good?  My answer at this point in my life is, without a doubt.  For some of us, questioning ourselves is unthinkable because it may show a kink in the armor.  All my life I have been so sure of myself that to begin to question my life’s decisions, might show some level of weakness or failure.

However, life has taught me so much, that to reflect on my life periodically is actually a sign of maturity and strength.  In life’s journey we are like a ship at sea.  Just like a ship is affected by the elements, and ocean’s currents, so our lives are affected by things that we are aware of and many that blindside us.  Navigational adjustment is a requirement to arrive at our planned destinations.

Most recently, I have stayed away from posting on this blog because I was in search of me.  Fortunately, one of my discoveries is that I do enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts with you (my readers).  I’ve been contacted by some readers, asking me if everything is alright.  Thank you for asking, I can answer that I’ve never been better.  I am reminded of a dear friend (no longer with us) that used to say, “I’m in great shape, for the shape I’m in!”

Imagine for a moment that I climbed a mountain for the mere purpose of meditating and seeing the world from a different perspective.

In the process, I’ve completed some items from my bucket list. What?  You don’t have one?  Everyone needs a Bucket List!  It doesn’t have to be “the end of Life Bucket List.”
My definition of a bucket list is, a list of items that need to be given priority to track and complete timely (you set the timeline).   See my post on Bucket List:  http://www.being50.com/2013/02/making-bucket-list.html


 My most recent Reflection time has created some unexpected actions in my life going forward.  I have arrived at conclusions and new directions that surprised me (the very person in charge of my journey with God’s Blessings).  Never forget that Choices and Consequences are a package deal.  When making choices keep in mind the possible consequences (otherwise known as paying the Piper).  The best is yet to come……..




Friday, September 22, 2017

Getting off the Merry Go Round

Getting off the Merry Go Round

Definition of merry-go-round for English Language Learners
  • : a large round platform that turns around in a circle and has seats and figures of animals (such as horses) on which children sit for a ride
  • : a set or series of repeated activities that are quick, confusing, or difficult to leave ~Merriam-Webster
One of the best aspects of my life and possibly the best part, is that while I am organized I still like the element of surprise (wonderment) almost every day.  I don’t embrace change for change sake but I enjoy controlled (planned) change.
Imagine that you love a food so much that you have been known to say that you could eat it every day for the rest of your life.  You most likely don’t mean that but in a moment of excitement it was the thing to say to express your appreciation for the food item.  A similar amount of restraint need to be used in everything that comes as part of your life.

Almost always, there are circumstances where getting on the proverbial merry go round is required.  Examples: to succeed in business or a career, hopping on the corporate merry go round is required.  You can succeed without full and total commitment to the corporate game plan, but the odds are against you.  Getting off the merry go round in any circumstance requires knowing in advance what your destination should be.

The merry go round of life is all inclusive. Other examples are: the commitment to marriage and raising a family.  However, getting off that merry go round can be painful and costly.  You can successfully get off that merry go round by completing your commitment to raising the kids and supporting your spouse, along the way as the family evolves.  Most importantly, let’s not forget that the arrival of the children should only be a temporary interruption to what started as a romance between two people.  After the children leave the nest, the original relationship should be strong and able to pick up where the romance was, when lovingly interrupted. 


Caution:  If you try to get off the merry go round while it’s moving fast, you most likely will end up on your face.  The best is yet to come…..