Friday, August 31, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 31, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE INSIGHT OF FRIENDS.

It is healthy for your mind to rise above the forest floor to see where we really are in the forest...in this case to see how we really fit in the world.

DOWNLOAD - OPEN AND CLICK SCREEN AS YOU FINISH READING EACH SLIDE TO MOVE TO THE NEXT SLIDE WITH SOUNDTRACK OR VIEW SLIDES WITHOUT MUSIC.



Lighteninginajar1.ppsLighteninginajar1.pps
1994K   View   Download  

If you are reading this you are among the 1 in a hundred in the world  that owns a computer and has access to the internet.

Thanks to my cousin PILA for this beautiful recommendation for each of us to realize how grateful we should be.

rlw.

Got to see 65.  How lucky is that!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 30, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE GIFT OF MUSIC IN MY LIFE.

I am glad I got myself connected to the bass guitar before I slipped through the shadowy bonds of earth...lots of pleasure there.  I am getting my part down for a performance at the end of Sept.  Playing What a Wonderful World/Sam Cooke, I'm Yours/Jason Mraz and Every Breath You Take/Police, as well as playing with Lise (Violin) on Unchained Melody and House of the Rising Sun...very cool.  Sounds great.



Started a new duo with the dad of one of Sarah's friends and we are rehearsing TNT/AC-DC and Don't Tell Me You Love Me/Billy Squire for an open mic night next month.

Lise also is rehearsing many nights a week with her trio and for an upcoming concert with the Camellia Symphony.

Sarah is now started in high school and is the new principal chair of the cello section for the high school orchestra - as a freshman!

Lots of music in the house.

Last hour as a young man...officially old in 1 hour and 39 minutes...ha...but not too old to rock.

rlw



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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 29, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR A GREAT RIDE.

Ever the Johnny-On-The-Spot with timely cards for every occasion, I received my sister's B-Day card for my upcoming 65th.  WOW!  There have been many a-time in my life when I had doubts that I would make it this far, but in 24 hours and 18 minutes (God willing) - I will have arrived at the magic number.

My sister's card was spot on with the "10 good things about getting older" (some of which are definitely me).

10:  It gives you the perfect excuse to forget things.

9:    You know lots of good stories to tell (!!!)

8:     Each story can be told many times (even changing the details) whether anyone wants to hear it or not (!!).

7:     The view is better once you are over the hill (don't you know this is absolutely true!).

6:     You can amaze your friends with obscure facts preceded by "I remember when"...

5:     You can take bets on which part of your body will conk out next (at day three tomorrow with my personal trainer, I can barely walk, let alone get up and down the StairMaster at the pace he is asking - he said 45 minutes...I put back the missing decimal between the 4 and the 5...my favorite exercise machine now, is the hot tub).

4:     Your kids finally grow up and move out (unless you are still adding progeny at age 50).

3:     Nodding off at inappropriate times is considered quaint rather than rude.

2:     Creative use of a hearing aid allows you to hear only what you really want to (!!!!!).

and number 1:  You give people a chance to tell you how great you look - for an old person.  Ha.

Glad to be here.

rlw



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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 28, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS.


As one gets a bit grayer and not so quick on their feet and perhaps a few friends have passed to the greater beyond, there is great comfort in being in a long term relationship.

rlw



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Monday, August 27, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 27, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR AN AWESOME DAY.

Now that I am retired, the possibilities for a great day, every day, not filled with someone else's drama, is definitely doable.

The obligations of my day is being the first one up, make breakfast for Lise and Sarah, make morning coffee and lunch for Lise and carpool Sarah and her friend to high school.  Love it, I am up and awake ... it is only  7:55 a.m. and I have the whole day as I wish - every day.

Today, I came home had a second cup of coffee and sat out on my rear deck, reorganized my tool shed and worked on my Sunset Gardens quality backyard.  The last days of my job, filled my life so completely, Jumanji had taken over and it was a bit of a jungle....both fountains are working, flowers and crepe myrtles blooming...really nice  - my resort.

Then I headed to the movie theater for my early-showing, senior-discount deal.  Watched a bang-em-up/shoot-em-up movie (The Expendables2) in high def, big screen and VERY LOUD - just the way that is frowned upon at home with the girls pleading with me to put in my hearing aids and close the doors, turn the volume down and pull my chair up close, so it doesn't vibrate the house... I loved it and the other seven old guys in the theater didn't complain one bit.

Out to lunch and then to the gym.  Worked out a bit on weights, bike and treadmill, swam in both indoor and outdoor lap pools, used the sauna and the steam room, finished off with the massage jets in the hot tub.

Headed home again, made giant fruit smoothie and broke out the git and practiced for an hour or so for my upcoming live recital in September.  Made early dinner for Sarah and Lise (Sarah off to ballet and Lise off to orchestra rehearsal) and back to the house for more practice (six songs committed to memory this time)...check emails etc. and pretty much wraped up a grand day.

Think I will try it again tomorrow (have my first meet with my new personal trainer at the gym)...I suppose it could get better, but I am not quite sure how...


rlw



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Sunday, August 26, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 26, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING IN THE 8%.

I am not rich by any means, but I have a few dollars in my pocket, some money in the bank and can go to the movies pretty much anytime I like.  All my family, friends and acquaintances are the same.

There was an interesting study done that I have shared parts of recently.  If the world's population was condensed down to a village with just one hundred people, what would that village look like?

Financially, only 8 would have money in their pocket and in the bank.  Something as simple as money left over on the 30th of the month doesn't;t exist for the other 92.  I am indeed fortunate.  Do you take that for granted or are you grateful?

rlw



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Saturday, August 25, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 25, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR GENTLE REMINDERS WE AREN'T ALWAYS THE ONLY INTELLIGENT SPECIES.

A friend sent this to me to remind me of times we went fishing together and came away with nothing but left-over worms.  Should have had this guy with us.  Just when I thought I was smarter than a sparrow...perhaps I should learn a bit more patience...


rlw


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Friday, August 24, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 24, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY VERSION OF HEALTH AND PEACE OF MIND.


We don't think about it much, but extremely poor health, that is often not survivable, is rampant in many parts of the world.  Not in my neighborhood, but there all the same.  I am thankful to be born in the United States, with college opportunities with good and bad role models to guide me.  I haven't been to war, nor have I spent any time in prison.  Both of these are commonplace for families that just happen to live in the wrong place and the wrong time.  Much to be thankful for, when we open your eyes just a bit wider.

rlw


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 23, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING THERE TO HELP MY YOUNG CHILDREN WHEN THEY NEEDED IT.

Most parents are willing to help their young children as they go through the learning exercises necessary to make it in the real world.  Here is a touching example of that inherent love.

HELPING YOUR CHILDREN OUT OF THE MUD

rlw


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 22, 2012


AM GRATEFUL FOR THE POWER OF ACKNOWLEDGING WHAT I HAVE TO BE THANKFUL FOR - EVERYDAY.


Let every day be yet another small marker on the joy of being on earth.   Last year I blogged every day (365) about the importance of TIME.  Lots of views, but really it was for me; to remind myself and reflect on my good fortune, EVERY day.             SUNRISE & TIME.

This year I am blogging every day about GRATITUDE and thankfulness. GRATITUDE- a little goes a long way   Although my life is back to "normal", we all know it will never be the same again - we CAN choose to make it even better. The most disrespectful thing I can do with life is to take my recovery for granted. Some don't get the chance.

As with any relationship, (God, spouse, friend, or more importantly - ourselves) to be truly successful, we need to work on it everyday.  I end everyday (before I fall asleep - dark - everyone sleeping - just alone with myself) reviewing all the great experiences I  had that day and what I am thankful for and conversely, start everyday, upon awakening (dark - no eyes open yet) reinforcing my continuing victory over Cancer and how lucky and thankful I am to have one more day and what one special thing I am going to do with that time today.

Sounds odd, but I truly believe my experience with Tonsil Cancer, is the most positive, life changing experience I have ever had.  Often, God's most important lessons come with a baseball bat, for those of us that that just don't get it any other easier way.  It seems that Tonsil Cancer is the worst thing that has ever happened to me and is is also the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I choose not to be the victim.  I choose to be the winner.  It is the Yin Yang of life.  If Cancer is the Dragon - I choose to be the Tiger.

RLW



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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 21, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE LAST 4 YEARS.

Just completed my 4 year post-cancer treatment check-up and got the all-clear from my oncologist.

So much has happened in the past four years, I can't begin to list them all.   But all of them are free gifts from the overtime I have been granted.  Without the technology available to me, I wouldn't be tapping on these keys now.  Other than pending 65 and the fact that my body is no longer 18, life is good, I feel great, I am satisfied and happy.

What else is there?

rlw


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Monday, August 20, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 20, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR KNOWING SOME EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE.

Today is the first day of High School for my daughter.  She is an extraordinary person.  Smart, talented, kind, friendly....I have expectations of an extraordinary life for her.

My sons are smart, talented, kind and best of all, good people you would want to call a friend.

Some say that monetary wealth is the measure of success in today's society.  I contend that it isn't even close to the best standards of success.  How you live your life, how you treat your family, how you interact with your friends, how you treat small animals, and those less fortunate than you, how you contribute to  society, how you value yourself and how much happiness you feel and share...all are worth more than gold.

Having money does not make you wealthy.  Overcoming disadvantages and hardships are within everyone's grasp.  What is our excuse if we don't have any?

"It is never too late to be the person you were meant to be."

Ordinary People doing Extraordinary things

rlw


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Sunday, August 19, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 19, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR KNOWING THE INTERESTING REALITY OF WHERE I FIT IN  - IN THE WORLD.







Like a fascinating recipe made up of a variety of human spices...the world's population isn't as complex as one might think.


rlw








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Saturday, August 18, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 18, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR ARMS.

Sounds odd.  I can hug my wife.  I can put my arms around my children.  I was the pitcher in Little League Baseball. I can do the wave at a football game.  I can wave hello and goodbye.

I would say I can play piano, guitar and swim...but arms aren't required for success in these endeavors.  How many times do we think about how lucky we are with the basics of being alive with all the requisite body parts? 

Fortune nor fame determines who we really are.  It is determination and the will to never give up that defines our character.

It is good to be reminded that success in life is relative through perseverance and the full use of your mind and attitude.The next time you think you can't get something done, something seems impossible, think about accomplishing the task with no arms.  Think about these people:

12 AMAZING PEOPLE


When you make a sandwich this week give this a try.


rlw


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Friday, August 17, 2012

GRATITUDE -August 17, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR SOUND FINANCIAL ADVICE.

...from my wife and my financial adviser.

On the first glance it seemed like a great deal...take some money out of my IRA and buy a rental property that would provide good cash flow...until I was advised that there would be several thousands of dollars penalty and then it wasn't such a good deal anymore.

Thankful I have people that know more about this stuff than I do.

rlw


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Thursday, August 16, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 16, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE LUCK OF A GOOD GARDEN THIS YEAR.

Got started late, but finally am reaping the bounty of our garden.   For some reason I have 3 tomato plants and 476 squash plants...all-inter-marrying between acorn squash, yellow squash and acorn squash...makes for some interesting progeny.

rlw



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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 15, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR PERSEVERANCE.

We all must have characteristics that we like and some we con't care for so much.  I would have to say that a strong point in my favor is perseverance.  Have had my fair share of tribulations and going through Cancer treatment - chemo and radiation - is the experience I disliked the most.  There were moments when I didn't think I could continue on one more day.  

But I did, to my benefit.  

There is so much more to my life now, having not only survived the experience, but hopefully learned a bit more about my character in the process

"Never, Ever, Ever Give Up". - Winston Churchill

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”   -  Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture


Sometimes lessons in bravery and perseverance arrive on four legs -- sometimes on two. A pit bull puppy named London taught himself to walk on only his hind legs after an accident deprived him of his front two. His caretaker in Vancouver, Wash. said she could tell the pooch knew a “different journey” awaited him, adapted to his loss and took renewed joy in everyday pleasures. “He gets around by scooting his body using his hind legs, and if he needs to steady himself he uses his face as a frontal tripod support,” she said. “He plays, he’s happy, he enjoys rolling in the grass just as any able-body canine would."


rlw


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 14, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR RECOGNIZING THAT, ALTHOUGH DIFFICULT, CHANGE IS NECESSARY.


As we traverse the rocky path of life looking for the smooth parts, we often encounter people and situations that seemingly make our life more difficult than we would like.

 The common reaction for most is to ask, think, require, demand that the others in this situation change.  Sometimes we are in a position of control and can exact that desired change, but mostly not.  A significant portion of our personal angst is self-created and within our control to change ourselves, if we so desire.


"The only person that has to change is YOU."
 - Marvin John Towler

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
…Serenity Prayer

rlw



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Monday, August 13, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 13, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL THOSE PEOPLE IN MY PAST THAT HELPED ME WITH THE POSITIVE PARTS OF WHO I AM TODAY.

"Expressing gratitude is highly rated by those to whom we share it
with. Maybe instead of paying it forward, we could return it
backward - thanking all those in our lives who have helped us
become who we are today."


      - Janae Bower


RLW


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Sunday, August 12, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 12, 2012

I'M GRATEFUL FOR HAVING  A LOT OF THINGS ON MY "TO DO" LIST.

Upon retirement, many friends asked, "What will you do with your time?  Don't you think you will get bored?"

I suppose there are those that their job entirely defines them.  All cover-to-the-package and nothing inside.  There is nothing wrong with having a great job you look forward to and that you enjoy so much you just can't wait for Monday morning to arrive, so you can get back in the saddle.  The challenge is that eventually, age, forced retirement, layoff, illness, injury with stop that daily commute.

So what else is there?

Family, spouse, children, grand-children, travel, hobbies, cooking, reading, volunteering, hiking, camping, boating, writing, music, other passions?  

I recently ran into a man I served on a non-profit board with.  He had been the CEO of his company and experienced mandatory retirement.  He hated retirement.  He had spent so much time at his profession, that he had neglected to develop any other interests in his life.  I guess he worked late, came home, ate, watched TV and went to bed.  

Every day,  Who knows what he did on the weekend (maybe went into the office).  

Where is the long-term personal satisfaction? The activities that define our character on the weekend, the ones we wish we had more time to pursue, if it weren't for Monday, back at work (regardless of how happy you are at work)..complete us as a person (probably makes us more interesting too).  

Retirement is not to be feared or regretted, but embraced as the next chapter filled with time to fully pursue all the activities we have already developed...just didn't have enough time, because of that pesky daily task that consumed the lion's share of our life for 40+ years.

I am grateful for the multiple list of things I wish to do, that to accomplish, far exceed the hours remaining.  Miles to go before I sleep.

This is one.

Gotta go, more cool stuff on my other lists to do.

rlw



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Saturday, August 11, 2012

GRATITUDE - August 11, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR A BIT OF TIME ENJOYING WASTING TIME.

I probably have a more focused opinion of time and its importance to me under my medical circumstances.  I have pushed myself to accomplish more in less time for as long as I can remember.  I can't tell you how many times I have been advised to 'just relax'.

So, for the past month (post retirement), I have done mostly just that.  No real agenda, no schedule, no pressure.  I even learned how to let go of the guilt that came along with that.

That said, I will probably ease into a middle ground of daily rule and frequent daily exceptions.  I have many projects to accomplish and "miles to go before I sleep" (thank you Robert Frost).  I am more comfortable with a plan of action, but have embraced the exception of 'unless I don't want to' as an equally valid motivator.


"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." 

rlw

 
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