After a 26 hour shift I was exhausted even after I woke up. The temperature was over 100 degrees and it was a run day; day 2 of week 2 of my new running program. 

I milled around and debated if I had enough justification to skip my workout for the day. I was tired, it was hot, and it felt great to just sit down and relax. I decided I’d go check the mail, evaluate how I felt and exactly how hot it was outside. No surprise, HOT! But I felt pretty good on my short walk. So I made myself a deal – walk to the gym and do my run on the treadmill rather than outside in the heat. Done! 

As I arrived at the gym, I jogged across 6 lanes of traffic at the last intersection (my community hasn’t grasped the concept of pedestrian friendly yet) and then I saw something that kicked me in my ass. 

Standing at the bus stop I saw an older disabled gentleman casually waiting for the bus to arrive. For whatever reason in nature, he stood there with his body contorted in its natural state. His legs and ankles jutting off at akward angles. His arm and hand unable to be straightened. And he didn’t look a bit unhappy. He was minding his own business waiting for the bus. 

Seeing him made me think of other people who didn’t have the option to be active. My father came to mind. He’s a pretty active and well-aged individual. In his 60’s he recently relocated to the southwest United States. He is an avid golfer, and motorcycle rider. He  recently took up kayaking, and is ecstatic to get back on his road bike. Unfortunately. He is recovering from a knee replacement and has been home bound with a walker for the past 2 weeks. He is undoubtedly going crazy. 

Here I was bitching to my able-bodied self that I didn’t want to get off the couch and go to the gym. I told myself my legs were sore, and there was always tomorrow. I discounted the good fortune of having a healthy body, good joints, and the ability to walk and run with decent grace. 

I stood taller as I walked into the gym. I competed my 4 mile run, with the occasional ache and desire to slow down. I kept thinking that so many people would love to have the ability or even the time to get out and get active. I felt great when I was done. I’m not sure if I would have won any medals or trophies for my speed, but I got it done.

Don’t take what you have for granted. It’s easy to discount your ability and opportunity and overshadow it with a bum mood or excuse. Always think of those people that would gladly take on your minor inconveniences and give you theirs. Use what you got while you got it. 

If you are lucky enough to dodge every other obstacle, there is a pretty good chance you won’t be able to dodge time and the journey of aging. 

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social media

The social media acknowledgment, specifically the birthday reminders; some say this digital act is informal, heartless, and insincere. Clearly this is not the best method to use for your loved ones and those closest to you. Reach out to them, talk to them, maybe even spend the day with them when the occasion comes up. But don’t completely disregard the small act of using social media for wishing someone a happy birthday or “thinking of you.”

You never know what’s going on in someone’s life. Social media has given us the tools to keep in touch, or at least up to date, with people that we would probably otherwise lose touch with altogether.

Around the time of my birthday I had all kinds of things on my mind that had me stressed out. Some people knew about these things but most didn’t. So needless to say, I felt kind of alone at times. But I remember seeing the birthday wishes from people from all stages of my life, who are also geographically all over the world now. It didn’t take those people more than 10 seconds and zero money to write a three word post and send it off. But it meant the world to me.

Some of those people I still see and talk to on a somewhat regular basis. But for many of them, we only stay connected through social media. When I saw their posts and birthday wishes, it was so uplifting. It was more than just seeing that they were wishing me a happy birthday. It was a moment where I reminisced in my mind about how or when those people paths crossed mine. And I am a huge believer that everything happens for a reason!

Now knowing what it meant to me, I make it a point everyday to acknowledge those reminders and reach out to say a quick hello.

Don’t discount those small random acts that you may think are informal, insincere, and meaningless. You have no idea what that other person may be going through at that time and it just might mean the world to them.

  
Ok so if we tally up your resolutions from last year you should:

  • Have the body of your dreams
  • Be financially independent
  • Do charity work 3 times a week
  • Have written that novel

No? Me either. But that’s ok. I’ll be honest, I’m going to add those resolutions right back on my list again this year. I’m not upset that things didn’t turn out perfectly last year. My ideal plan didn’t work out the way I thought it would. But why would I let an imperfect conclusion make me feel like a failure?

I worked at each of my resolutions. And any action is better than no action at all. I may have not come as far as other people, but I also know I have done more than others. But regardless of how other compare, I was writing my own story.  

Life is always a work in progress. Even if you do achieve your ideal body, will you maintain it? I fluctuate, because I like beer and wings, and football Sundays. I don’t beat myself up about it. I enjoy it, then I use my other time to lace up my running shoes and hit the streets. I am not a financial savant. I enjoy traveling, going to restaurants, and building on my hobbies. It’s ok!

Life happens. You are never “there.” You don’t reach any certain point and just stop. You should be always working at something, trying to improve, and be setting new goals. But it’s ok to pause momentarily (a day, a weekend, sometimes even a couple months), assess and regroup, then react. That’s not a major setback. Football teams huddle and regroup, race cars have to enter the pits and refuel, people need a day of rest.

So don’t kick yourself and tell yourself that last year was horrible. And don’t think that it was all be fixed in 2016. 2015 may have had its imperfect conclusions, but so will next year, and the year after that. Keep fighting, keep regrouping, keep using each year as one step to the next. 5, 10, maybe 20 years from now you will look back and see how far you have come.

Cheers to the next step!  

Happy New Years to all!

  

The holiday season comes upon us quicker than we always expect. One minute we are trying to figure out what character we want to be for Halloween and before we know it we are scurrying to make Thanksgiving plans and we have become the last minute shoppers trying to cross everything off our lists. It comes up fast and we see story after story of charitable giving and people without homes attending civic services to make sure everyone is included in the festivities. But we often forget about the people that get lost in between the down and out and the well to do.

There are still people out there dealing with loss and pain for a whole number of reasons. Some have lost loved one, some are losing loved ones, and some are just not able to be with the ones they love over the holidays. They appear normal, they smile, and they may not show their pain.

As you’re rushing around and wrapping your presents, don’t forget to reach out to those in the middle. A phone call, a text, an invite to dinner can make a world of difference to someone.

Also don’t forget to be grateful for what you have, however little, because there is undoubtedly someone out there with less…less to eat, less to unwrap, and less to make them smile. Be thankful when you wake up and have your family around you, that they are not hundreds of miles away, that you don’t have to be away from them for the day.

I had the opportunity to move on to new adventures years ago, but the downside is that it took me a good distance away from friends and family. It was a good choice to go, but it also means that we have to pick and choose the days we get to spend together.

The friends I have made over the years have become life family to me and I’m grateful to have each and every one of them. But even with them, my line of work has often taking me away in the middle of the night, on the weekends, and over the holidays. Fortunately I finally have enough time in where that doesn’t happen too often anymore, but when it does it makes me realized what I have.

So just a quick reminded that when uncle **** and cousin who know who start to drive you crazy, it’s still nice to have family near- by, at least for the day 😉

  
You’ll read a ton of tips this season teaching you how to be a good host. But people never talk about being a good guest. You probably won’t even appreciate that thought until you begin to host people at your house for a meal, or a weekend, or longer … 

It’s great to have company and to catch up with old friends and family. But hosting takes work, and can take a toll on someone’s sanity with the wrong types of guests. 

  1. Be on time. You can’t control your flights and traffic problems. And no one will mind a few minutes here and there. But if dinner is at 3:00, arriving at 5:30 is unacceptable. 
  2. If you are picky or need certain criteria met. Say so ahead of time or suck it up. Your host wants to cater to you and share what they have. No one likes hearing you ate before coming to dinne or refuse to eat what is being served.
  3. If you’re staying for a couple days, prepare to and offer to entertain yourself for a couple hours or even a day. Go sight seeing, go for a walk, explore the neighborhood. You host may appreciate the moment of downtime to throw in the laundry, clean up the house a bit, or just take a breath. 
  4. Do some research ahead of time and have a few ideas of things you like to do or see. There is nothing harder than trying to guess what will make people happy or keep their interest. Different people have different ideas of fun.
  5. Offer to help the host but also accept being the guest. Don’t take over their house – allow the host to host you. 
  6. Don’t treat the house like your home, but treat it like their home. No need for you to be rearranging how they keep things or to allow kids to “explore” every room. 
  7. Don’t come empty handed. If you can’t cook, bring a bottle of wine or buy an appetizer. (I personally always bring one bottle of red and one bottle of white – can’t go wrong). 
  8. Take note at how they keep their house. Leave the bathroom relatively like you found it. If you found wet towels laying on the floor, then it’s probably cool with them if you do it 😉 
  9. Read the crowd. If everyone else has left or gone to bed, check with the host and see if it’s time to go.
  10. Don’t forget to return the favor. Don’t always be the guest. Offer to to be the host once in a while – and hope your guest have read this article too! 

The other day I woke up and realized I’m on the upside of another decade of life. Happy birthday to me.

I woke up feeling good, thinking of everything in the past; the opportunities I’ve had, and the connections I’ve made – and simply felt amazing.

I’m not normally a Monday person but this Monday was different. My bed felt good, my body felt good. Normally I hate waking up on Mondays but today I was grateful to wake up in the bed that I have, in the house that I have, to be able to go to the job that I have and enjoy.

I normally listen to talk radio and all the current news on the way to work but today it was music to celebrate to be happy, to take it all in.

People often use birthdays and New Year’s Eve as a time for reflection, renewal, and growth. But why wait for those marks on the calendar?

  • Take in every day, analyze what you have, where you come from and what you’ve become.
  • Be grateful for the opportunities that you have and how many people have it worse than you.
  • Keep those thoughts in mind when you are having a bad day and you think the world is against you.

  
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

We are each dealt a different set of cards for our lives. And as children we are often left without choice because we are under the thumb of our parents. But as we get older and become adults, as we become men, we do have choices. At some point we have to take responsibility for our next step. We have to drop the victim mentally and become leaders of our own lives..

If you aren’t happy with your results decide what the hell you’re going to do about it instead of who you can blame. 

  
It would be nice to know which decision you were supposed to make each step of the way as you move through life. But life is not that simple. We all get to have different experiences, different emotions, different goals, and different preferences, You always have to be true to your own heart and follow your own path.

Even those closest to you may question your decisions and not see what you see, but that’s ok, because it’s not their path. People get caught up trying to model the path they have seen others take, regardless if it seems like the best option. But people see a path that has already been forged easier than blazing their own.

Have you ever taken a vacation? Which is more fun, experiencing things on your own and finding hidden gems or following the path and suggestions that someone else has provided for you? Both may be fun, but in the latter you are riding on the heels of those before you. Don’t be afraid to to be your own explorer.

Life is your book to write. And it has to be written to your standards. Anything less will leave you displeased. This means you may have to make the unpopular decision at times, take the path least recommended, and go against peoples advice.

But remember, this is your story to tell. Be true to yourself.

“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

– Vivian Greene

  
Work with what you have at the time. Adapt as you go. Even if your current action is preparing, any action is better than inaction. Conditions may improve as you or they may pose more obstacles for you to work through, but you will be ahead of the person who has yet to take any actions at all. If nothing else, you will already have gained experience. Get out there! 

“Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways. Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses.”

~Arlen Price

 Liberiansoccer.com