Week 13

Easter weekend was a nice 4 day break. A mini holiday. We had time with family and we had time to relax at home and time to catch up on a few chores. Good Friday was a very quiet day for me but the following day, Saturday, was very busy but add a great Easter supper over at Debbie’s with family and friends and we ended up with a very nice day.

I have a few links I want to share with you this week. The first one is titled “10 Books to Read If You Are Looking For Your Purpose”. I have read 2 of these books. Now just because I am saying I have read 2 of the 10 suggested books doesn’t mean I found anything and I am sure to pick up another of these books soon.

10 BOOKS TO READ

 

This next link is a story of Courage and Faith and is taken from The Players Tribune

Players Tribune- Visiting Hours

Lastly is Naval Admiral William H McRaven addressing the University of Texas at Austin Class of 2014. It’s long at 19:26 but if you can beat back your ADHD it’s really worth the watch and listen. I myself just listened to it for my first time early this morning

Graduation Speech

 

The song this week is from David Gilmour of Pink Floyd playing “Wish You Were Here” on the Jimmy Kimmel Show this past Monday, the 28th. Gilmour is presently on a 4 city tour with the first two dates set for this weekend in Toronto. This song is from the album of the same name as the song ,released in 1975

Pink_Floyd,_Wish_You_Were_Here_(1975)

The quote this week is from Thomas Merton. Merton was a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky.

“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have – for their usefulness.”

Thanks for dropping by and I hope to see you next week…….

 

 

Week 12

Happy Easter Weekend!

This is a significant holiday for Christians worldwide. Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified and died and Easter Sunday is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who rose from the dead three days after his burial as it is described in the New Testament. Unlike the birth of Christ this holiday is not a fixed date. This whole past week, the week preceding Easter Sunday is Holy Week. I realize Christmas is a bigger celebration. We buy gifts and we have Santa Claus. The children are fully engrossed in Christmas because of the gifts, the lights, the ornaments, and the longer celebration. Easter is far more somber. But Easter is basically the foundation of Christianity. Jesus’ resurrection is proof that He is the son of God. Christians were promised a new way of life and “eternal salvation” if we followed Jesus.

As a young boy growing up Catholic I found most of this to be either daunting or unbelievable and I tried to stay with the daunting because the “unbelievable “would surely end up in a visit to the Principals office.It wasn’t uncommon in the 60’s to get a strap for uttering the phrase “huh?” when the nuns or priest would attempt to explain the unbelievable to a grade school boy. I found it difficult growing up Catholic back then and I was afraid of God or even more so, his representatives. When I was in grade 2 the Bishop was going to come up to Fort Saint John and he was coming to our school. The nuns had us practicing for a week before hand so we knew how to genuflect to the Bishop, how to kiss his ring properly, how to address him and how NOT to talk to him. Jeezuz H I was happy to see him leave and go back home to Prince George! We were almost too terrified to go raid the coin boxes by the prayer candles in the Church. One upside to growing up Catholic is I’m positive that we got more vacation days than the Protestant kids did because of our “holy” days. In 1972 when I started in a Catholic junior high, I would meet Father Bud and Sister Nancy and I immediately recognized two Church representatives who showed love and care and compassion.

 

I left the Catholic Church as soon as I was old enough to make that decision without fear of being disciplined for my thoughts or actions. I had resentments against the Catholic Church for many years and it was not until later when I was in recovery and I did my first Step 5 that I was able to find the forgiveness required to let it go. I don’t speak badly of the Church either although I used to. I see how many of my Catholic friends and relatives have been able to build great Faith and Hope from being a member of this Church. It does me no good to speak negatively of Catholicism. It’s a great institution.

 

So as I was saying about Easter, this is an important holiday for me. I may not be a Catholic but my Christian Faith is strong and unwavering. Jesus died for me (Good Friday) and gave me eternal life after death (Easter Sunday). I hope all of you have a great weekend, in your own way, regardless of your Faith.

 

We’re going over to Debbie’s house for supper on Saturday. It’s always nice to have the whole family together for a few hours. I heard we’re having The Easter BBQ. I think this is my first Easter BBQ but I’ll roll with it.

There’s another holiday going on right now .I know this because I am fortunate to live in a multi-cultural country where people are encouraged to celebrate their Religious holidays. Today is Holi. So was yesterday. It’s a Hindu holiday that celebrates the arrival of spring. It’s also known as the celebration of colour. There’s a lot more to this holiday than the arrival of spring .Click on Holi to read more about the celebration.

This weekend will also mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising that forever changed Ireland. This was an armed insurrection which took place on Easter Monday. There is considerably more to this story than a one day uprising of 15 disgruntled men and I could never tell the story in a blog post. I encourage you to click on the link and read about it.

It’s my little sisters birthday today so Happy Birthday Nancy Jo!

The song this week is from Eels   and its titled Mistakes of My Youth 

The quote this week, in celebration of Easter, is:

A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

Happy Easter! I hope to see you next week……..

Week 11

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Hopefully you’ve notice that I have changed the title of my blog. It is now called “Disappearing from View “and no longer “Mike’s Mailbag”. When I wrote my fourth blog post, last October, I talked about why I picked the title and the subtitle. I was playing mind games with myself trying to come up with a name for a blog and rather than writing I was spending time waiting for the right name to come along. I didn’t’ want to get penned in by a blog title that would cause me to write only on one theme. I wanted more freedom than that. At the same time one of my co-workers, Mike Wilkes, was writing a weekly email and sending it out under the name “Mike’s Mailbag”. But he hadn’t used it as a blog. So as I mentioned, I took this name and created my blog and this title was the catalyst I needed to get writing. In no way did the title infer I would be writing about recovery, dogs, birds, hiking or anything in particular. I wanted to be free to write about whatever crossed my radar that week. So thanks to Mike Wilkes because not only did I get writing because of the title I borrowed from him but also because his weekly email encouraged me to write. The new name of my blog is actually an old blog I wrote before over at Blogger.com. The title means something to me and it can mean anything to you or nothing at all. But I do plan on continuing to write about “things that have provoked and inspired me this week” as my sub-title suggests.

I read an article this week titled “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” and it didn’t really surprise me but it did cause me to pause and reflect. The top five regrets of the dying, according to this article, are:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier

I believe #2 could be worded differently. The article talks about working and missing important occasions with your family, your spouse and your children. That’s over working, not working hard. I owe it to my employer to work hard as I believe everyone does. I should give my employer the work day they deserve. So it could/should have been worded differently. It’s a short read so give it a go if for nothing else but to remind yourself to slow down and take time to enjoy all that life has to offer you. I think I’m pretty good at all five reasons. I could improve in every area but all in all I’m doing pretty well with these.You can find the article here

 

In the 12 step program I am a member of we have the obvious 12 steps we work in our recovery program but this recovery program also has what is called the 12 traditions. I was told a long time ago, by an old-timer, that the reason we have 12 traditions is to prevent guys like me from screwing up a good thing. These traditions tell us basically the “rules” of engagement (ps. We don’t have any rules) like who can be a member. This stops any one from saying you’re from the wrong socio-economic background, your race doesn’t match ours, your religion is foreign to me etc. That’s tradition three. We have 12 of these traditions to keep us from screwing it up. My favorite one is tradition twelve which states “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities”. Principles before personalities has served me well at work, on sports teams and any place there will be differing opinions but a common goal. It gives me the guidance to listen to others and respect their opinions especially at work or in my 12 step program. Most people outside of the 12 step recovery programs are very aware of the 12 steps but very few of these people know we have these twelve traditions and so I wanted to share this with you.

07_carnegie

In honour of Saint Patrick’s Day the song this week is from the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. 

The Wild Rover

 

 

The quote this week is :

“ If you don’t come walking back to the pits every once in a while holding a steering wheel in your hands, you’re not trying hard enough”

 

Mario Andretti

Well thanks for dropping by and I hope to see you next week……………

 

 

 

Week 10

We had an excellent time last weekend in Seattle. It was a very quick trip as we were only there Friday and Saturday and it was quick because we both had obligations to our work that we had to keep at that time. We need more time to chill and we have friends to visit. John Prine was playing in Seattle though and I was adamant that we see him while we can. My friends I assure you going to Seattle to see John Prine in concert was time well spent. His voice isn’t what it used to be due to age and a successful battle against cancer but I believe John Prine is more famous for his lyrics than he is for his music. His lyrics range from very humorous to quite serious and encompass all areas of a daily life. He’s a poet and a wordsmith, with a guitar, which he does play quite well. He was also very good-natured on the stage and very engaging with the crowd. He was quite funny. If you’re a John Prine fan, yes, he played all those songs you know. It was a quick trip but seeing John Prine was everything I had hoped for.

We also went to see the Nirvana display and the Jimi Hendrix display at the EMP Museum. 

Throw in a science fiction display and a horror film display at the EMP Museum and that was money well spent. If you’re in Seattle I highly recommend the EMP Museum. On Saturday we took a 30 minute ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island and spent a couple of hours there. Throw in two really excellent suppers and a trip to the Nike Store and call it a busy weekend! It was a quick trip but well worth it. I think it was really good for Lori who had only been back 18 hours from her humanitarian trip to Haiti where she spent 10 days.

Here is a very cool article about alcoholism and recovery, written by CC Sabathia,MLB pitcher. I remember also feeling alone, like CC writes, thinking no one else felt like I did and it kept me from getting the medicine I needed, but not forever.

download

This story resonated with me because he talks about so many of the exact same feelings and thoughts I had and I can identify very well with this man. Except for the pro baseball career and the millions of dollars.CC Sabathia’s StoryI can assure you that anyone can recover from addictions.It’s not easy but it’s available to everyone

 

Tomorrow, March 10th, is the birthday of a real great guy, Chuck Norris!

Ha, it’s also my son’s birthday. I think he’s a real great guy too! Happy 24th Birthday Liam ! Congrats on all that you’ve become; I’m very proud of you. Birthday supper Monday at Casbah!

 

I have to go with a John Prine song this week. John Prine says of all the songs he has written, this is his favorite. It’s called Hello In There

I provided a clip that is very recent, so you can see how and hear how John is today.

 

The quote this week is from Friedrich Nietzsche.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” 

 

I hope to see you next week….

Week 9

 

 

You are the average of the top 5 people you hang out with. This is from Jim Rohn who was an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. This isn’t the actual quote but Jim Rohn believed we were the result of the average of the top 5 people we spend time with.

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Jim Rohn

I don’t disagree. Many of us have witnessed “pack mentality” before and sometimes it’s positive and sometimes it’s negative. I don’t want to be negative and I don’t want to be around negative people. A day or a moment in a day can be difficult enough even when I am maintaining or trying my damndest to maintain a positive attitude.  I’m very careful about who I spend my time with. I have a large circle of friends who I hang out with and I’m very fortunate to have so many positive attitudes in my life and influencing my thoughts, feelings and choices. If I am the average of the top 5 people in my life then I am sitting really well. I spend time with some great people, my wife, my kids and my friends. This adventure of life is too short, as I have realized, so I want to make the best of it and that means being positive. Trust me, I need a kick in the ass some days but for the most part I am positive. I stay away from negative discussions or if I do get caught in one I will try to move away from it as quickly as I can,  once spotted. I must choose my mood. I must create the environment I want to live in and not be created by the environment I am living in.

I want to share this blog post below from Kaitlin Kinzinger with you.

 

Time is a monster that cannot be reasoned with. It responds like a snail to our impatience, then it races like a gazelle when you can’t catch a breath.

Do you ever feel like time is passing by so quickly that you feel like you’ve missed out on the little things in life?

Like, what if we wake up one day, 10 years from now, and everything has blown right by us as if it were 3 minutes… gone… just like that.

I’m not talking about living for the moments to come, but for the moments that are in front of us now.

I look back on old family photos and videos and think, life used to be so simple, delicate, every moment more electric and inspiring than the last, and now more complicated than ever. But, why does it have to be?

Remember the feeling when you were about 4, and you blew a dandelion in the wind and saw the little fluff being carried away? Remember how you used to catch those little fluffs from the dandelions and make a wish? That’s the feeling I’m talking about that’s been lost. The delicate and magical moments of our childhood that seemed to fly by too quickly.

Lately I’ve been realizing that time has passed me by without even noticing. Feeling as though special moments have seemed to escape me. There are so many lovely moments where I wish I could have just stopped time to breathe in the world around me without skipping ahead, and looking for the next best thing.

With this day and age, modern society says everyone must have an iPhone, emails turned on at all times, and if you miss a beat, you will get left behind. I’m probably not the best example when it comes to turning off technology, I mean my iPhone is practically glued to my hand 24/7. But there are times where I wish I could set my phone down, go outside, and breathe in the world around me. Capture the moment, and hold onto it, because I know 65 years from now, I won’t have the strength to do some of the things I am able to do now.

Learning to laugh at the little things, not taking life so seriously, and not taking life for granted is something I aspire to achieve. I think we all should, right?

If we’re not careful with our choices, and if we choose to look too far ahead rather than right here, right now, we are at risk of being swept away in a wave of memories that will soon vanish if we don’t learn to stop to be in the present moment..remembering the little things, and enjoying our life we are living right now.

We only get one shot at this life, so make it a good one. Do this for yourself, and no one else. Compliment someone, make their day, and pay it forward. These are all small things you can do in a day to help someone through a tough day, because we don’t know what they could be going through.

I hope you all take the time to enjoy the moments, and really live them, not just pass through them to get to the next event in life. There was a quote I heard recently that really struck a chord, and it goes,

First I was dying to finish high school and finish college.

And then I was dying to finish college and start working.

And then I was dying to marry and have children.

And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work.

 

And now, I am dying… and suddenly I realize I forgot to live.

 

I read this blog post twice this week before I chose to insert it into mine. We all know we only get one shot at life. Kaitlin says it very well. Do not forget to live.

 

The song this week is one I was reminded of while watching The Voice last night. The song is Beautiful by Carole King. It’s also the title of the Broadway play about Carole King which Lori and were fortunate enough to see last time we were in NYC. This song works right into this week’s thoughts of mine about choosing what kind of person you want to be and what kind of day you want to have.The song is from her album,Tapestry.

MI0000677644

The quote this week is from Alfred Lord Tennyson.

“I am part of all that I have met”

I hope to see you next week…………………