Mind Over Matter

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So 2015, it’s been nice knowing you. I’m not sure about the “older you get the faster time flies” thing because it seems this year has lasted longer than 365 days. And besides, when did I get old? Who am I kidding…

I know one thing for sure, if how I felt was a true measure to how old I am, I would not be able to buy beer. Of course, I  don’t feel that old. My mind is still telling my body that anything is possible, and it is more mind over matter anyway. Just tell that to the guy behind the counter at the liquor store.

So for 2016 I will make some promises to myself. Not the usual lies I tell myself every new year, but the ones that really, truly matter. Why we always pick the beginning of the year to make these random claims of personal improvements is beyond me, but here I go;

Laughing More – I need a huge belly laugh where the snorts and snot come from my nose. The kind where Diet Coke comes spraying from my mouth like a split radiator hose. Admit it, you want to laugh like that too.

Working on My Health – I know, right? My mind is telling the matter down below everything is fine, but at my age I know better. I need to stretch, walk and eat better for the health of it. Why? It’s the right thing to do and I can only imagine I would feel better. And besides, a nice evening walk gives me plenty of time to think. My motorcycle does the same thing but without all the cardio.

Take Some Time Off – I need this for my mental state. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but I’m sure it will depend on how I use this time off. Beer and Nacho Doritos or stretch, walk and be active? Mind over matter, right? I also want to take a ride someplace I haven’t been on my motorcycle. Maybe to the southwest. That’s where Nacho Doritos are made right?

Be a Better Listener – Pay attention and be present daily. Or better yet, shut up and let people talk. I have been told I’m a good listener and I have the stories to back this up. I have perfect strangers tell me things they may not tell anyone else. It must be the perfectly timed concerned nod I give.

Sunrise and Sunsets – I talk a lot about my morning and evening rides on my motorcycle reflecting on how beautiful these are and how each one is unique and beautiful in its own way. I also know others are looking at them too from their own perspective and vantage point, but from now on I’m going to appreciate the beauty of both the visual and spiritual sides of these daily wonders. The beauty as it happens and how and why it happens, and in turn, give thanks each day for this amazing gift.

Appreciate – So much wasted energy is given to those things we cannot change and I will dedicate this energy to appreciating all that is around me. I will also communicate my appreciation to those who are important to me. I hope you don’t mind, because this matters to me. Get it?

One thing is for sure, every day is a gift and there isn’t any point in wasting it. Make the most of your time spent on this earth and give it all you have while making a positive difference in someone else’s life.

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Rolling Over

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New Year’s Eve to me is like sitting in the back seat of the Plymouth Fury as a young boy, hardly big enough to see over the bench seat in front of me. You remember – vinyl seats, crank windows and the am radio playing KFDI 1070 Country with Don Williams singing in the background. Looking back on those days, it was actually kind of nice to have someone driving me around while I observed the world passing by from the back seat. I surely wasn’t buckled in, so the back seat was this giant playground, at least until things got out-of-hand. That’s when dad would shut down the shenanigans, at least for a while.

But just like New Year’s Eve and the count-down to the ball dropping, when the odometer would be close to a milestone of flipping over to say 70,000 miles, we would all hop up to put our chins on the back of the front seat and count down the miles. 69,995! 69,996! Unlike the count-down to the ball dropping, as you can imagine this took several minutes. And if you were actually driving through town, you could expect it to take longer. But wait for it…69,999 and….70,000!! A loud cheer and it was over for another year or so, and we went about our daily business. Always kind of a big deal back then, I still find myself watching the odometer click over. We didn’t make any odometer resolutions, but in some small way it did put a mark on the year. An ending and a new beginning all at the same time! It was exciting, we had a small celebration and it made us happy. What more could you ask for? Maybe an oil change.

For most of us, the new year indicates the beginning of what we hope will be a good one. We put the bad behind us and as we look ahead, we hope to be better people and make a difference in those around us. While you celebrate your odometer rolling over, remember those who are no longer with us and those who have just joined the party. Carry the feeling of a new beginning with you throughout the year and make a difference in someone’s life. Smile more and laugh a lot. Or at least until Ralph puts and end to the shenanigans!

Happy New Year!

Faith Hope Live Laugh

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Words to live by. I have always felt strongly about this phrase and many times I have needed to say these words out loud to myself. You see, there have been times over the years that one of the four has been missing in my life. Maybe not missing entirely, but lacking might be a better way of putting it. I’ve always tried to maintain a positive outlook on life and I have found rolling along with the punches does make life a little easier. But as humans do, we usually search for those inspirational sayings to help us through. One thing I have always said to myself when the day is going less than good is “this day too will end”. It tells me that no matter how hard it is or how hard it can be, this day is just that. A day. It will end just like yesterday did and how tomorrow will. It will be ok.

Faith for me has been something I’ve needed to work at. I haven’t struggled with it, but I have not been the person I have wanted to be when it comes to my spiritual side. My relationship with God is strong but as a man I can be better. God knows me better than I know myself, and He’s working on it. And so am I. Our Faith gives us strength and in my life when my Faith was on the back burner is when I felt the weakest. Thank you God for being patient with me, I will try harder.

Hope is really easy for me as I am an eternal optimist. Faith and Hope go together, and if you ever hear me say ” I Hope you have a good day” understand that this is my way of saying I care about you and I think about you and I want your day to be amazing. It just always comes out, “have a good day.” Simple words I know, but it’s all about sincerity. And of course being polite!

Live your life as if it is your last day on earth. I know it’s easier said than done, and I really don’t want to leave this world washing the dishes, but you know what? What’s wrong with that? If I die tomorrow doing the dishes I am doing what needs to be done. That’s who I am. I am not above it and I’m good with that. As long as I can leave with those close to me knowing how I feel about them then what I’m doing at the time isn’t important. To die saving a puppy from a well and making the local newspaper isn’t my style anyway. Although “Man dies washing a puppy” might have a nice ring to it.

Laugh and the world will laugh with you. If anyone knows me they will tell you that I think I’m pretty funny. I am usually laughing or trying to make someone else laugh all the while not taking myself seriously. Even on those days when most things don’t seem funny, I try to spin a little humor to lighten the load. We need to laugh. We want to laugh. And we will. Some days it might be harder than others and sometimes it comes from nowhere. But don’t hold it back. Laugh.

The one thing I’ve left out is this; As I go through my daily life and deal with everything that comes my way, good or bad, I rely on all of this to not only help me through but to make it more enjoyable. Surround yourself with family and friends and enjoy every minute.

Faith gives us Hope to Live our life with the ability Laugh about it.