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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rapid Rewind

Rapid Rewind
I have often said that I have a blessed life.  I know that anyone could argue that a blessed life is in the eye of the beholder and they would be right.  After all, I also believe that unless you appreciate all your blessings you will end up a very dissatisfied and unhappy individual.  Have you ever wondered what you might have done to deserve where you ended up in life?  To be sure you can read that in one of two ways.
Where I ended up in life as in: the wonderful life that I am enjoying or the hell of life that I ended up with.  For one thing, making good decisions along the way sets you up for a better life over all.  Great things are not the outcome of great decisions (big ones) made every day.  Great things are the outcome of hundreds, and thousands of small decisions you make every day in life.  Many of these things you do every day may seem insignificant by itself, but over a period of time they make all the difference in the world.
As a small example, the attitude with which you face every day, will affect how others react to you every day.  I’ve always known that if a task must be performed, you may as well smile while performing it (like it or not), because others are observing the attitude and disposition with which you go about getting the job done.
I can attribute my wonderful place in life to a handful of major factors in my life and a million small ones.  One of the handful of major factors is that my mother raised me as a single parent, she literally gave up her personal life (social and otherwise) to work two and three jobs, for the sake of providing me with my needs and the luxury of some wants.  I was and am so grateful that I made it my mission in life to be a good son that she could be proud of.  I made sure that I didn’t add unnecessarily to her every day burden. I also made many decisions with her approval in mind, after all she had dedicated her life to my upbringing.
Another of my few major decisions that shaped my life was being careful about selecting my lasting friendships.  There is a saying in my culture that my mother often quoted to me: “Tell me who you hang out with, and I will tell you who you are.” (Translation: “Dime con quien te juntas, y te dire quien eres.”) For a woman with a limited formal education she had more wisdom than any amount of University Degrees can ever give you.  Because of that quote I was always able to make good choices in regard to the people that I surrounded myself with.
While in my younger years, like many young people, I often thought I knew better, despite that feeling, I listened to all the well intentioned advice, and I analyzed it and prayed when making the life changing decisions.  I don’t want you to think for a second that I knew all along that my life was going to turn out as well as it did.  At some point, about three quarters of the way to where I am today, I started to realize, that as I neared the finish line of this race called life, I could end up a winner.
Another fallacy that you could walk away with from reading this post is that my life was smooth.  My life has been anything but smooth.  In fact, my life is very typical of a normal life.  Some examples of bumps along the way: I divorced once and happily remarried, I suffered a broken back four years ago (and besides the couple of weeks when I couldn’t move due to excruciating pain) I maintained a work schedule of 10 to 12 hour days.  Without the valleys in life you can’t measure the quality of the peaks.  Another tired cliché is: it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, just make sure that you get up to continue trying.  Never give up, sometimes hope is all you have so always hang on to it.
With regard to the broken back, within two years I returned to my game of golf, and better than ever.  I play in the 70’s (any hotter and I don’t go out).  Because all I ever did was to try my best without any special measure (other than my own and my family’s happiness and satisfaction) that I was as surprised as anyone at how well my life turned out.  I had no inside information that I was doing all the right things, what I did have, was great guidance, and faith.  For all I have (especially family) I am very grateful.  The best is yet to come….

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