Writing the End of My Book

This past weekend I went to the ROCK Conference in Ocean City with the youth group from my church. One of the bands that played the conference was Sidewalk Prophets. One of their songs, Prodigal, had some lyrics that really struck me.

Wherever you are, whatever you did
It’s a page in your book, but it isn’t the end

I have always had a problem with dwelling on my past mistakes too much. Sometimes this can lead to a fear of moving forward because you are afraid of making the same mistake again. It can also lead to self esteem issues and a belief that you aren’t good enough because you have made mistakes in the past.  I’ve gotten better about this recently, but I still occasionally let past mistakes creep back into my mind. I joke a lot about how great I am, and sometimes I actually believe it, but deep down I’m always afraid I’m not quite good enough. I need to forget the old stuff and focus on making sure the end of my book(I hope there are many more pages) is a good one.

I’ve been thinking a lot already this year about living life with no regrets. ragrets

I think these lyrics fit right in with that philosophy. Where I am now does not have to be the end of my book. I need to keep myself open to new experiences and new opportunities. This might mean a change soon. It might mean a new direction when I retire(less than 9 years away). So, I’m going to keep writing my book hoping it will be a book that is an inspiration to others or, perhaps, a comedic cautionary tale.

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Solitude

So, I stumbled upon a weekly photo challenge which is perfect because I have been struggling with the writing process recently(some readers would say this I always struggle). This week’s prompt was solitude and the photo they used reminded me of some shots I’ve taken of my kids while we are on vacation. It’s weird that I am not a big fan of the beach and water, but I always feel at peace when I have a nice empty view of the water. This photo of my son captures the beauty of the solitude of an empty beach.

 

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On Marches and Life

Last weekend was the women’s march in Washington. I had a lot of friends go down to march and I support them and their right to march.. I had other friends who did not support the march because pro-choice organizations and people were involved. Today is the march for life. I’m sure I have friends who are in Washington for that as well.I also support them and their right to march. I hope that regardless of how you feel about either march you understand that the right to march is a fundamental part of America. You can disagree, but you have to support the right to free speech.

Now, the next part has been in my head for a day and I have hesitated  writing and posting it because I think people will be angry with me. I am operating on 5 hours(split into two 2.5 segments with 9 hours awake in between) of sleep and my judgment is impaired so here goes:

I respect the idea of the pro-life movement and agree that in a perfect world there would be no unwanted pregnancies, no dangerous pregnancies and no reason for anyone to consider an abortion. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and even if abortion were illegal they would still happen, just in a more dangerous and life threatening manner. I also believe that there is a fundamental flaw in the thinking of a lot of the pro-life movement. I don’t think everyone who is pro-life fit the following, but enough do o make it troubling.

I am pro-life – unless you are a refugee trying to flee a war zone and then I will refuse to help because your religion is scary to me. I am not pro your life.

I am pro-life – unless you are an African American man who may or may not have committed a crime and may or may not have a weapon. If the police shot you, you probably deserved it. I am not pro your life

I am pro-life – unless you have a pre-existing condition and can’t get insurance once the ACA is abolished. I am not pro your life.

I am pro-life – unless you committed certain crimes. I don’t care that the system is flawed and innocent people have been sentenced to death. I am not pro your life.

I am pro-life – but don’t ask me to support my tax money going to welfare programs for poor single moms to be able to support the child once they are born.

I am pro-life and family – but I support tearing families apart to get rid of all of those brown people who have invaded my country. I’m not pro your family.

I am pro-life as long as we are talking only about an unborn baby and then ho cares after that. I believe it was Trevor Noah who compared it to collectors. It is priceless until it is removed from it’s wrapper and then we don’t care any more.

Be pro-life. Just be pro everyone’s life at all times of life for every life regardless of who they are, who they worship. who they love.

On Challenge Day 10 Let Freedom Ring

I wrote this a year ago. I feel even more strongly about this now.

The World's Common Tater

Today’s challenge is to write about something I feel strongly about. I could probably pick several things here, but considering there was another GOP debate last night, I felt freedom was the right choice. There has been a lot of talk this election about “making America great again.” I don’t think I have the same opinion on what makes America great. I think freedom is what really makes America great. America is the land of opportunity. America is the place where you can aspire to be all you can be no matter who you are. America is about the freedom to be you no matter who you are. If we take freedom away, we make America less great.

Donald Trump wants to keep Muslims out of America. America is not a land where we should be requiring a religion test to enter the country. Freedom of religion is in the…

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Am I Getting Too Old For This?

I was thinking about my upcoming personal schedule and I’m tired just thinking about it. I work today 11-9, tomorrow 9-5, Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 1-5. Thursday night/Friday morning from midnight to 7am I will be at church acting as a monitor for the winter relief homeless shelter. I will come home, try to sleep while my family is home and then, Friday night, go to a friends house and probably stay out too late. I then work 7 days in a row Saturday to Friday, leave work at 3 on Friday to drive home, pick up my daughter and head to church to leave for a youth weekend retreat in Ocean City. We get back in time to stay up late again to watch the Super Bowl and then get up Monday morning to start the work thing all over again, including my speed friending event at my old branch that may or may not get any attendees. I guess maybe mid to late month I might get a chance to just relax. I think I’m getting too old for all of this. I should retire.

The upcoming youth group trip started me thinking about the difference between when I first started working with a youth group and now. My daughter doesn’t believe me when I say the kids in the youth group I worked with at our old church actually liked me. She’s just kidding, but there is a big difference in then and now. When I was first asked to help with the youth group at my old church I was a 26 year old with no kids of my own. I was closer in age to the teenagers than I was to their parents. I was willing to stay up all night at lock-ins, play football, capture the flag, etc. I’m still willing to do all of that. I’m just old, tired and fat now. I also spent more time with the kids back then. I wasn’t just occasionally going on a trip with them. I was teaching Wednesday night Bible study and/or middle school Sunday school, so I saw the kids on a regular basis. It also helped that I was not related to anyone on the group. The dynamic is different when you are a younger adult volunteering than when you are someone’s dad. I still have difficulty adjusting to this new reality of being a random chaperone and not something more.

So, the moral of this post is that I am old and tired and need to stop thinking so much.

Inaugural Thoughts

As we enter this inauguration day it is hard for many of us to find hope. I know that some of my friends and family are supporters of the new president, but I have seen nothing from him or any of his appointees that gives me hope that anyone in Washington cares about the average American. So, what do we do? If you can’t find hope in the new administration, find hope elsewhere.

Find hope in the fact that people, in general, are good and will step up if there is a need. Find hope in the fact that there are some good people in Washington, on both sides of the aisle, who will not sit quietly while disastrous legislation is passed. Find hope in each other. Find hope in your children and in how you are teaching them to grow as people. Find hope in the churches that are welcoming to everyone. We have been through bad times as a country and we have survived, not because of the people in power, but because of the people as a whole.

Also, be the reason people have hope in the future. Stand up for those who are marginalized and bullied. Speak out against hate. Volunteer, march, call your congress person, write letters, run for office. Be kind, even to those who have different views. Love one another.

 

A brief synopsis of my boring life

I am at work way early because I had to take my car in for repairs and took their shuttle to work. I gave myself plenty of extra time and ended up at work 30 minutes early. So, I decided since I never seem to have time to write, I should take this time to write. The problem is -do I have anything to write about?

2017 has been pretty uneventful for me, which is a good thing after what 2016 had for me. New Year’s Eve was at home watching the Mariah Carey disaster on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. That pretty much set the pace for the year.  It has been a regular routine of work, home, church, TV, read, etc. The only aberration was today when my car had warning lights coming on and I just got the call that it is a minor fix. Sounds boring, but I will take boring right now.

I’m still reading the same book I started on January 1. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I am about 800 pages in and have not been bored yet. Only 16o pages to go and I can start on my 2nd book of the year. We have been on a movie watching kick lately. I will list the movies we have watched below ranked from best to least favorite:

  1. Sully
  2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  3. Magnificent Seven
  4. Secret Life of Pets
  5. Pete’s Dragon

We also watched Blade Runner, but I had seen it before so I didn’t rank it. It was a lot slower pace than what people are used to these days. I will be interested to see how the new one compares.

Football season has ended for me. I will still watch the playoffs, but I have no rooting interest besides not wanting the Patriots or the Steelers to win the Super Bowl. I have moved on to college basketball where Kentucky always guarantees I will have a winning team to watch.

So, there you have it.  A brief synopsis of my boring life.