Memorial Day Is Absolutely More Than a 3-Day Weekend

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Today is Memorial Day in the United States and it is hitting me this year that this day is more than a 3-day weekend.  Today is a day to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.  I have no words to express my gratitude, after all, how can you ever repay someone for giving their life?

To those who have died serving our great country I say “Thank you.”

Tribute – #HumboltStrong

Being Lydia!

On Friday, April 6th, the Humboldt Broncos hockey team set out in a bus bound for a playoff game in another small Saskatchewan (Canada) community. It was a routine trip for them and their driver, who had been bussing junior hockey league teams around for many years.

However, this trip would be like no other. It would end in tragedy of a magnitude so high the whole country is still reeling over a week later. The bus collided with a fully loaded semi truck killing 16 of the 30 people on the bus and injuring everyone else. The exact cause of the accident has not been determined as yet, though they are looking at the fact the truck driver had only been on the job a few weeks.

To make matters worse, because most of the players were between the ages of 16 and twenty and had dyed their hair blonde…

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When Did I Become the Old Guy?

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Danny

When Did I Become the Old Guy?

There is the funny thing that I have noticed in my life lately: youngsters are calling me “sir”.  Now some might be shocked that I have been around young people who have manners, but that isn’t my point.  I can’t believe I’ve gotten to a place where I’m not viewed as being young by someone who is young.

You see, in my mind I still view myself as an energetic 28-year-old.  Barring a few aches and pains I see myself as being instantly ready for full-court basketball.  Or possibly a wrestling match.  Or even 54 holes of golf.  I’m ready to conquer the world.  Jump in a car at any moment for a last-minute road trip.

And then my mental self-image is crushed with a “Thank you sir.”  or “Sir, would you like XXX.”

And it is at that moment that my mind begins to compare and it is in that moment that the comparison falls woefully short.  I am no longer 28 years old.  I can no longer play 54 holes of golf in one day.  I cannot play full-court basketball.  And I’m okay with that.  I’ve adjusted over the years to my life and I have peace with my life and where it is headed.

I guess it is a little difficult to admit that I am no longer young and cannot do the things I did in my youth.  I don’t have a problem with not being young so why does it sting a little to be called “sir”?

“It takes a long time to become young.”  Pablo Picasso

Grief… the guilt

Aria-Bella Rises

tesx and ruby

It has been 8 full moons since my little right hand pooch left his body. 8 months of me processing, feeling, hiding and dealing with grief in all of its forms.

Here is some learning that I have taken from it… this applies to anyone whether they have lost a pet, a friend, a family member and not even necessarily in death, as lets face it, grief can come even with it is only the ‘death’ of something – that still means that person or situation is still alive.

GUILT

Some days you can go through the day without even thinking about the situation or person/pet that is no longer physically with you. You can smile and feel like your heart is semi, fully intact. And then a huge hammer comes down and blows it all to smithereens, and you feel guilt – guilt at being happy and okay because…

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I No Longer Have the Mind From My Youth

Danny

I No Longer Have the Mind From My Youth.

Opening day of the Major League Baseball season was yesterday and my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, played at 4 pm.   I did not watch the game, but caught up on the highlights on ESPN this morning; they lost 6-4.  Learning that I didn’t watch the game may not have meaning to you, but there is significance in this fact to me.

When I was younger sports was a huge part of my life.  I followed my teams with a tremendous amount of passion, living and dying with every game.  There was a MLB season in the mid-2000s in which I watched 150 of the 162 games.  I was die-hard.

So not watching the game was significant because it highlights how my life has changed over the last 6 years or so.  I don’t watch sports that much anymore as I did when I was younger and I’m okay with it.  I am a casual fan now, watching highlights on Sports Center or fast forwarding through a recorded game on rare occasions.

This morning when I saw the Sox lost it had little, if any, impact on me.  It simply doesn’t matter any more.  I have realized my energy must be focused on other things; more important things.  It is funny how we change in this manner.  Things that were important when I was 20 were not important when I was 33, and things that were “critical” at 33 are not important as I stare 50 in the eyes.

Someone once told me, “When you are young you want a Porsche, but by the time you can afford the Porsche you want to drive a Cadillac.”  This is definitely true for me.

Danny

Is the Way You Manage Stress Holding You Back?

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Danny

Is the Way You Manage Stress Holding You Back?

I am going to be completely transparent here and say that I don’t deal with stress well.  I tend to over-analyze and dwell or things that are directly in front of me.  I work through the question tree, anticipating any and all outcomes and what my response will be.  I worry.   And it is not a healthy way of dealing with stressful situations in my life.

How do you manage your stress?

Do you dwell?  Or do you let stress run off you like water off a duck’s back?

If you are the latter then congratulations.  Unfortunately for me my mind does not operate like that.  So because I realize I have “down the rabbit hole” thinking, I must find cues to remind me to control my thinking.  I cannot allow stressful situations to send me into a death spiral of over-analyzing.

Here’s what I do.  When my mind begins dwelling and hyper-focusing on one thing I tell myself the following: “There is nothing you can do right now except what you can do.  Control what you can control and let the rest be what it is.”  This is a reminder to me to let the future go and stop worrying.

For a long time I allowed myself to make excuses to justify worrying and having an out-of-control mind.  “It’s how I’m geared.”  “It’s just how my personality works.”  “I don’t worry, I get my mind prepared.”

All off the following are just a few of the excuses I used to justify my mind.  I am finding that I can change how my mind works, but it takes discipline and a desire to change.  Every day I go through a process check to make sure I am not allowing my mind to control me.

It isn’t easy and I’m not always successful, but I will eventually get this under control.  The key is I acknowledge that I have a problem with handling stress, I have a process to change my behavior and I am committed to changing.

“I cannot control the future, I can only control right here, right now.   The future will be what it will be so let it go.”

Danny

My Friends Are Beginning To Die

DannyMy friends are beginning to die…

There’s this thing that begins to happen as you get older…people around you begin dying.  Each week it seems that I see someone I knew in the obit section of the local paper.  I’ve heard people talk about this phenomenon in the past, but then I was younger I didn’t put much thought into it.  But, now I am in that place in life and it is a bit unsettling.

Last week I saw two updates on Facebook that 2 people I have known for nearly 20 years had both passed away.  One guy was in his seventies and the other in his sixties.  I will admit that it puts life in perspective quickly and has reminded me that I’ll be 60 before I realize.

For those of you who follow my page who are in the early years of life (twenties), don’t take your youth for granted.  Now I understand that youth will always be taken for granted as you cannot appreciate being young until you are older; life has a funny way of being ironic.

Nonetheless I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my mortality lately and I’m not sure how I feel about getting older.  It is a weird sensation reading about friend after friend dying.

Danny

Stephen Hawking Was a Man Way Ahead of His Time

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Some of you may not know this, but my early life intentions were to be a mathematician.  In college I worked my way through the ranks and was actually pretty good.  I was accepted to one of the top mathematics programs in the country (at that time) and did so with honors.  During my time studying higher mathematics I became hypnotized by space and time and anything to do with the origins of life and life in the universe.

I read 2 books which would shape and change my life forever: On the Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

Stephen Hawking died today at the age of 76.  I find incredible inspiration in the fact that he never allowed himself to makes excuses even though he was confined to a chair due to the effects of ALS.  The man continued to push the boundaries and push to understand more about our world.

When I look at the pictures of Hawking confined to that chair it makes me realize that I allow myself to make tons of excuses.

As I transitioned my studies from math and science and added philosophy and religious history I met a professor, Dr. James Tabor, who expressed to me he had one goal: “to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar.”

Stephen Hawking did that for me with his writings.

RIP Stephen Hawking

Danny