week 17

22 years ago I came to believe. I came to believe in a power greater than myself, in the Creator, in God. Prior to that I was neither atheist nor agnostic. I neither believed nor disbelieved. The truth of this matter is that I just didn’t care one way or another and didn’t spend any time thinking about it. But 22 years ago, as my life was changing significantly, I came to believe. Why I came to believe and what I believe are probably both a lengthy post themselves. Today though this is just about me believing in a Higher Power.

I work hard at acceptance and understanding God’s will for me as much as humanly possible. I firmly know the more I can accept certain things as they are the more relaxed and peaceful my life is. I know this because I have practised this and I have enjoyed the results. I hope you don’t misunderstand this and think I might just sit still and let things unfold with no input. No, I do my best every moment to be fully active and completely participate in my life. But after I have done all I can realistically do for any situation in my life I know I have to let the results come, in their own time and be willing to accept these results as they are. One great example is when, a few years back, I was at the Denver airport in a severe snowstorm. All flights in and out had been stopped and by a certain time I had also missed my window of opportunity to use the road to get to a hotel. Many people were angry and frustrated at missing flights and connections. But I was as relaxed as you’ll ever find me because now all that was going on was 100% out of my hands and no matter what I wanted there was nothing I could do to change the situation. It was completely out of my hands and I would leave the airport when authorities said I could. I was in full acceptance of this situation

Now acceptance is great, when I exercise it. I have been going to the gym 6 days a week for the past 6 weeks as I get ready to climb Mount Whitney in early June. Last week I was laid up with diverticulitis. I get an “attack” about once every 18 months. I was quite sick and couldn’t go to the gym for 10 days. I was angry that my problems would derail my training and, poor me, that I have this intestinal illness. I was stuck in self-pity and I wasn’t at all accepting of my situation. If I had accepted everything as it was I would have been much happier and maybe even have gotten better sooner. Now the flip side of this is what cracks me up. You see I had a slight groin pull from running one day and it was not healing because I wouldn’t take a day off from the gym. I probably would still have a sore groin today because I would never have slowed down and given it time to heal. You know where this is going now, don’t you? While my diverticulitis stopped me from working out my groin healed and when I went back to the gym I was physically back to 100%. God’s will for me is always better than my desires. I needn’t question His will but I do. I’m human. Now that I look back I can smile at myself and my pettiness. It’s a pretty funny moment since I’m a guy who preaches acceptance. It was a lesson that I will take away and I will practise harder next time to accept my situation as how it should be in that moment ,in that time, in my life. I don’t always know God’s will for me but I know it’s not to be indulging myself in self-pity.

 

I want to share this paragraph with you from page 417 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous:

Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. [  …… }Unless I accept my life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

 

 

The first round of the NHL playoffs are done and we have moved on to round #2. This round sees:

ST Louis vs. Dallas

Nashville vs. San Jose

NY Islanders vs. Tampa Bay

Pittsburgh vs. Washington

There are 4 awesome matchups for round 2 and it should be as good as round 2 was.

 

The quote this week is from John Muir.

“The sun shines not on us but in us.”
John Muir

 

 

The song this week is from Leon Bridges. http://leonbridges.com/

 

Leon Bridges

 

Leon Bridges-Coming Home 

 

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I hope to see you next week………….

Week 16

On the first nice warm day of “spring” every year I get my pressure washer out from the garage, set it up and proceed to wash the house, the deck, the patio, the garage and the parking pad. This past Sunday turned out to be the day. It was going to be 28 Celsius and a great day to get this task done and out of the way. Four hours later I am finishing up and all I have left is the concrete “apron” from the alley way into the garage. As I’m spraying it off the names start to pop from the concrete. My name and Lori’s name in a heart, etched into the concrete from the day it was poured 15 years ago, when the house was brand new and we were just getting settled. As I spray off the remainder of the dirt and dust from the concrete all five kid’s names become visible and easily readable. I stopped washing, stood still and took in all the names. I thought about all the times we’ve had in this house. The laughter and fun. The tears and the anxieties. So much living has happened in these 15 years. So much change in everyone’s life. The kids who are all adults now are all working and living their lives; good lives. I think back on our summer vacations in Kelowna and the time we spent on the boat tubing and water skiing. At times just floating on the lake, basking in the sun. Eating chips and drinking pop and laughing and playing and teasing. Listening to music on the boat stereo. The kids, seeing how many can get on a tube at one time and I assure you the number 5 is too many as I would watch them sink the tube and everyone in hysterics. Cruising to Peachland for ice cream or going to the Eldorado Hotel on the wharf for lunch. We had so much fun and so many good times in Kelowna. I think back to all the hockey games, baseball games, football games, rugby games, dance lessons, art lessons and the list goes on. So much driving kids to everywhere for everything. I could hardly wait for them to grow up so I wouldn’t have to do all that driving and now I miss not having to drive a kid somewhere. I think of all the Christmas’ we had in the house. The excitement around the season and gifting and enjoying the company. We celebrated so many birthdays .We’ve played so many board games. I recall the noises from all the voices that would ooze upstairs from the downstairs family room when there was a TV movie or some gaming going on. There were all the driving lessons that would age anyone! I watched and savored every small accomplishment. Whether it was a school achievement, a sports win or a personal goal of theirs. I enjoyed all of their successes and I promise you I have felt every one of their hurts, their pains, their raw emotions. This whole time from when I stopped spraying the pad off, to the time I started again, was less than 5 minutes. All these thoughts in 5 minutes!  We’ll sell this house in a year or two because it’s just Lori and I and the dog in a large, too large for us, home. I am sure that nothing I will do in life will ever be as great as being a father nor will anything else be so rewarding. I haven’t stopped being a dad it’s just different now. It’s good because this is life’s natural course. I am very proud to be the father to all 5 of these young adults. I’m very proud of what they are doing and where they are going. I hope every one of you takes a moment to dust off some old memories and enjoy a moment from your past.

 

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are well under way with round #1.Here’s a link to the bracket of 16 if you’re interested. Road to the Stanley Cup

There’s been no huge incidents yet. Andrew Shaw’s (Chicago) anti-gay slur has been the biggest incident so far. He’s been handed a one game suspension and a fine and I truly believe his apology, in the media, was genuine. This is a lesson for everyone involved in hockey and for all of us. Certain words are not tolerable in 2016.I don’t want to detract from a great round #1 though and the hockey has been great.

 

My big sister has her birthday today. Happy Birthday MJ!!!! I hope it’s a wonderful day for you.

Okay I must share this video with you that I got from my friend Linda’s FB page. This is a couple of people on The Lawrence Welk show who think they are singing a Gospel song and are totally clueless as they sing “One Toke Over The Line”. I first saw it at 6 am this morning and I’m still cracking up.

 

Prince died today and when I heard that I was a little shocked. He was the same age as I am. I’m interested to know the cause of death because I never thought of him as a person with a substance problem and I hadn’t heard of him being ill. I think Prince was a great musician and artist! There’s a new kid kicking around going only by the name “Miguel”. He reminds me of a 2016 version of Prince.

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The song of the week will go to Prince and friends. Here is a great video of Prince with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and others playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps as a tribute to George Harrison. This is a great Prince guitar solo and thanks to my pal Mike R for directing me to this.

 

The quote this week is anonymous but it’s one of my favorite sayings that I first heard in a 12 step meeting.

“You never realize how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have”

 

Well thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll drop by again next week…….

 

 

Week 15

This was sent to me this morning and I want to share it with as many people as I can today.

Stop putting yourself down. Every time the little voice inside you says something negative about your ability, your appearance, or any other aspect of your life, it reinforces feelings of low self-worth. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t do or what you don’t have, make the most of your assets. When you stop kicking yourself long enough to focus on the positive, you might find that you have a lot more going for you than you thought. Accept all compliments with “thank you.” If you often respond to compliments with, “Oh, it was nothing,” or “I just got lucky,” you send yourself a message that says you aren’t worthy of praise. Recognize that your effort and abilities play a part in the good things that happen to you, and tell yourself that you deserve your success.

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I know I need the reminder because every so often my insecurities will skulk into my brain and try to convince me that I’m not capable of doing whatever it is I am doing at the time.

It looks like I am going to be a blogger of borrowed materials this week! Next up is a 2:53 video by Brene Brown called “The Power of Vulnerability”. It’s brief and powerful. Give it a listen and enjoy the 3 minutes.

“Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable choice. Because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling”

The song this week is Joy , from Iron and Wine .

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Iron and Wine is actually just one man. Samuel Beam is an American Folk/Folk Rock artists. I’ve been a big fan of his for a few years now and if you like this song you will not be disappointed in a full album.

 

The quote this week is:

“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

Author James M. Barrie, of Peter Pan fame, said “Be kinder than necessary.” But his advice stops there. Plato is quoted as saying “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

So someone pushed these two quotes together and came up with a far more thoughtful quote.

 

I hope to see you next week…..

Week 14

I was telling my wife recently how much I would like to go see Willie and Merle on their “Django and Jimmie” promotional tour. I wanted to see them before it was too late. I mean Willie Nelson is 82 and at the time, Merle Haggard was 78.I won’t get the opportunity to see them together now. Merle made it to 79 years today, his birthday, and died from complications from pneumonia. I’m not a big country music fan but I am a huge music fan! I always loved the “outlaws” of country music of which both these men are a part of. Merle Haggard had more than 3 dozen No.1 country hits and he was active from about 1962 up until his death. Merle Haggard did serve time at San Quentin and attributes a performance at the prison, by Johnny Cash, as being instrumental in him turning his life around. So not only was Haggard an inmate at San Quentin he was also a Kennedy Center Honoree, was pardoned in the 70’s by California Governor Ronald Reagan and visited the White House more than once. He was the winner of numerous awards for his music from many different associations and in 2013 was awarded a Doctorate of Fine Arts from the California State University at Bakersfield. As a music lover I have not only appreciated Merle Haggard’s music but I’ve also got big respect to anyone who is still going strong right to his end. In a blog post earlier this year I had mentioned that one of my favorite albums of 2015 was “ Django and Jimmie “ that was recorded by Willie and Merle. I bought the CD immediately, before reading any reviews, because I never need to get jaded by anyone’s opinion of two of country music’s icons.

“It’s not what you take but what you leave behind that defines greatness”
Edward Gardner

Well I believe Merle Haggard defined some greatness and he left this world with a great deal without taking away too much. His humility showed when he accepted his Doctorate and said, and I paraphrase, “Thanks, it’s nice to be noticed”.

Here’s my favorite song off the Django and Jimmie album. It’s called “It’s all going to pot”

 

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Let’s keep rolling with music! Lori and I and another couple went to see ZZ Top on Saturday and they were every bit as good as I had hoped for. I have been listening to ZZ Top since I was 15 years old and I continue to rank them as one of my all-time favorite bands. Some Texas Rock and some Texas Blues and a bad ass image and they provided a super night of music. These same 3 guys have been together since 1969! And you could notice that they had been together a long time by the comfort they had with each other on the stage.There’s a little bit of magic going on when a band has been together for 47 years. I would go again tonight if I could.

 

Congrats to Villanova for winning the NCAA National Championship. Their buzzer beating three pointer brought to close another year of March Madness and closed out the tournament with a great game between themselves and UNC. You can watch the shot right Here and read the short story

 

MLB is back and my two favorite teams are off to an okay start with Toronto at 2-4 and Seattle at 3-1-1. I won’t even start to discuss the new baseball slide rule. It’ll get talked about from plenty of corners long before this season is over. Okay I can’t resist the urge to let you know that I think it makes baseball weaker, not better!

And finally the NHL playoffs begin April 13th and luckily I won’t feel any fan stress as the Calgary Flames are not in the playoffs. I do see myself pulling for the Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals from the Eastern Conference and the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks from the Western Conference.

 

The song this week is what I imagine would be Merle Haggard’s best known song. Here he is singing “Okie from Muskogee” 

 

The quote this week is :

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

Harry Truman

 

 

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you’ll drop by again next week