After a Mixed up 2016-Hopeful

via Daily Prompt: Hopeful

Wow- What a ride!

As I sit here thinking back over this past trip around the sun, one word sums it up- Wow!  This was certainly an interesting year.

It started off with the finalization of my divorce in January, which anyone who has been there can understand was a very bittersweet milestone.  If you haven’t been there- Thank God!  I won’t delve into all that. One great side benefit of the divorce was being able to spend time hanging out with my kids and my family, knowing that my time with them is now a legal right.  One negative of the divorce was a very tight year financially.  I guess I better get used to that.  In the words of an old country song- “She got the gold mine, I got the shaft”.  Well, not that bad, but definitely a new financial reality.

As the world mourned the passing of one famous person after another this year, I have to ask myself if anyone of their lives mean any more than any other human life.  I know they all had an influence on our world, not always for the good in my opinion.  But to be utterly pragmatic about it, does the death of a musical legend (for example) whom we really haven’t heard anything new from in a long time, really affect us?

Having said that, Man I love old music!  Largely from people who are no longer with us.  This year I really reconnected with my love for old country music.  Watched “The Highwaymen” live from Nassau Colliseum a couple times on PBS.  Sat on my couch and listened to the classic country channel on my cable and memories flooded back of old stuff I used to hear as a kid.  Ok, Ok, that cost me a lot of money on iTunes, but man, I love this old music.

Also had a chance to listen to some fantastic, young, country acts as well.  The passing of the old guard doesn’t mean the end of music.  Saw a guy named Shane Chisholm play a 15 minute tribute to the Man in Black- on a stand up Bass he had built himself.  Out of gas tank from a minivan!!

Moving on from music, I watched my eldest daughter move more firmly into the teen years.  Fourteen already!  Man, I must be getting old.  And the youngest turned eight.  What an awesome blessing it is to have three beautiful daughters who are so sweet, and to get to enjoy time with them.  I am blessed!

I am truly grateful to live in a country with such good health care.  I watched my dad go through a health scare when we all thought he’d had a heart attack.  Doesn’t appear that that’s what it was, we are still waiting for answers, but I’m hopeful it’s all OK.  I watched a good friend, a shining light to all around her, go through surgeries, chemo, and more surgery.  To watch her attitude through it all was awesome.  Thank you Glenna!

On a less important note, it was another good year at work, though it ends with me pondering a potential career change at some point in the future and having been approached about a couple different opportunities.  And I know I need a job, and enjoy mine, but this is really not the most important part of my life.

And now, as we all prepare to enter a new year- 2017!  Already?!?!  I’m Hopeful…  I’m hopeful that all goes as well this year as it did last year- maybe even better!

I pray for each of you that you will be richly blessed with Health, Happiness, and all you need to live a life that blesses others.

God Bless!

Duey

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More Than Being Alive

I used to think it was all in being alive.  Now I know it’s about living.

“what???” You might ask.  Let me explain.

In July of 2013, I spent eight days in a beautiful retreat center called “Sanctum” near Caroline, Alberta.  I was there with 26 other people who were all on a journey with me called the”Hoffman Process”.  To sum that up in a few words, we learned to put all of our life in perspective, and to understand the forces that made us who we are.  I won’t go into detail about the process right now, that’s not what this is about.

To get to the point, I was asked one time for a couple words about what the Hoffman Process meant to me after the fact.  I said “it saved my life- I haven’t contemplated suicide since my graduation!”  The day that dawned on me, it blew my mind to remember the thoughts that used to run through my mind, and how I hadn’t thought those thoughts in years.

But then, a month ago, I had a chance to speak a couple words about being a Hoffman grad, and I knew at that point that it was much more than just being on the green side of the grass.  The longer I live in this post-Hoffman life, the more ALIVE I am.  And FREE.  Free of a lot of the bitterness towards others that used to occupy my mind continually.  You see, I came to understand that just as life forces shaped me, and gave me some rather negative patterns- so also, the people that hurt me are acting out of patterns given to them by their past.  Not only by my past, or anybody else’s personal past, but by the pasts of our ancestors as well.

It’s so incredibly freeing to look at somebody’s negative actions as bad actions, not necessarily proof that the person is bad.  I have really gained an appreciation for the pain in others’ pasts, and understanding for the actions (done by others) that can really hurt me.

I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life, which reminds of this fantastic quote I’d like to close this article with:

 “He said “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

from “The Velveteen Rabbit”, by Margery Williams

Understandingly ALIVE,
Duey