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Posts Tagged ‘Thanks’

Have you ever done something and then looked backwards and thought… what the what?  I never thought I would do something like that.  For the last 25 years I’ve made  a conscious effort to keep an open mind to all possibilities. That one effort has taken me to places I never could have dreamed of, meet extraordinary people, and has also put me in places I never wanted to be.  Yet there is grace and beauty in understanding the details of a situation that you think you understood from the outside. It’s that one effort that continually puts me on the road less traveled.

I hope that I am not crazy, but I have gone a sold the farm, changed my life completely and committed to doing to two things I never thought I’d ever do in my life.

1. Live in Utah. I could tell a long drawn out story about it, but I think the statement “Live in Utah” is sufficient.

2. Work for a real monster company again. Knowing my personality and my experience I really feel the best place for me to succeed is a company that is mid-major sized. Big enough to matter, small enough to make progress. After a couple of experiences with Monster enterprise level companies, I was sure that road wasn’t for me.  In a sincere effort to discover what I truly wanted I felt I really wanted to help people better their lives in real ways. So I’ve joined the technological effort to save lives by Joining GE Healthcare.

The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost (1874–1963).  Mountain Interval.  1920.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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A couple of years ago, when my little sister, her husband and new baby, were planning to visit for Christmas, she made the requirement that there must be a tree if they were going to be there.  I thought this was a good idea, but the holiday snuck up on me quicker than I expected and I was stuck two days before Christmas without a tree or decorations. Looking around for a Christmas tree was really tough, since most everyone had sold out of the any reasonably priced real trees,not to mention any decent ornaments. But, thanks to the expert creativity and consultation from my good friend Davy B. who is a Christmas atmosphere aficiando extraordinaire, we ended up traipsing through the left over pickings at Wal-mart, and “made do” with what we could. I ended up with probably the most decadent tree I’d ever dream of having. In my opinion it ought to be in the window at Macy’s. I’m always amazed at how making do, usually ends up better than what you expected in the first place.

This year, I was waiting for my new floors to get installed before putting up the tree and it seemed a little difficult to keep the Christmas feeling going. But once I had a bit of help the tree seemed to trim itself. And I’m no longer void of any Christmas spirit in my home.

Thanks to Amy & Family for the the impetus. Thanks to Dave for his superior tree trimming skillz, and to Shelly, Clay and Sharon who were a part of the tree set up this year. Last but not least thanks to the following artists who’ve all cashed in on the Christmas Collection Albums to provide us with a superior soundtrack for getting us with the spirit of it all. AOL FULL CD LISTENING PARTYTony Bennett, Amy Grant, Manheim Steamroller, Harry Connick Jr., Mariah Carrey, Kristin Chenowith, Loreena McKennit, Sarah Brightman, Straight No Chaser, Barenaked Ladies, Chipmunks Christmas, Christina Aguilera, the Holidays are coming Coca-Cola Christmas Commercial Music.

Voila! This years tree! Note: there are still 1/3 of the ornaments still left to hang.

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Ok folks, as the fireworks of a Virginia fall season is in full bloom and the temperatures gradually become chillier, I can’t help but get excited for the Holiday season.

Shenandoah Autumn Leaves

Shenandoah Autumn Leaves

I don’t have to explain to you all of the good, fun and heart warming feelings that come from the Holiday season. I do however, have one thing

Our world as of late is obsessed with being so politically correct (or politically influenced I should say) that what used to be Christmas, Hanukkah and/or Kwanzaa parties are now Holiday parties. We can’t actually reference the real reason for the season without somehow being beat up for not being “sensitive” to the ideas of diversity. I always find this odd because unless you actually can understand something how can you be enlightened and tolerant about it? So if we can’t use vernacular that accurately describes these holidays for what they are, how are we going to understand anything about them? Nonetheless, so as to “not offend ” we’re all supposed to play the game of homogenizing our culture instead of truly celebrating it.

The real point of this post is a wonderment. How is it that we are so obsessed with inclusion and diversity as a culture but seem to skip right over Thanksgiving and head straight to the “Shopping” season?

thanksgivingfeast

thanksgivingfeast

OK I know the answer to that. ($$$) But seriously folks Thanksgiving is the one Holiday which ANYONE, regardless of creed, color, size, shape, belief system, gender, etc. can celebrate. In fact there are no rules! You can eat whatever you want. Or don’t eat for that matter. The traditions are only based on what the pilgrims had at their convenience at the time. The one requirement that is that we as a country come together and recognize that we are THANKFUL for what we have. That’s it. EVERYONE is included.

My wishes to you are that you find a time everyday to be thankful for the gifts you’ve received and that this week you share that with everyone. This is the time that we have set aside as a country to love and be loved for all that we are and that we have today.

Thanks everyone for making us who we are today!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Race Finish

Last Spring a co-worker of mine asked me if I wanted to train for a 10 mile running race together. A 10 miler led to a Half-Marathon with some other friends and just recently I finished the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. Prior to that I had participated in various small triathlons and small running races.

Marine Corps Marathon Start 2008

It’s only a been a few weeks and yet, I look back and I can’t believe that I actually did it. I’ve fantasized about it time and again, but having done it, I can replace those hopes or figments of my imagination with a real memory. I know the strength of community everyone feels at the start, the friendship along the way of miles 4,5,6; the joy of catching a glimpse of family and friends on the side, enjoying the friendly support of perfect strangers at mile 16, the loneliness and pain of miles 20-21, the shear will power over pain of miles 22-26 and the satisfaction of completion, when you don’t even really care to celebrate because you’ve got absolutely nothing left to actually use on emotions. Dreams can fuel you do to great things, but be sure you’re doing something everyday to make them happen or you will always be stuck in the vault of your own mind.

Mile 10 - Near the Lincoln

Truly the unsung heroes on race day are the countless numbers of supporters and race volunteers who give their own time just to support others accomplish their goals. It can’t be all that fun, to stand around for more than 4 hours and cheer on perfect strangers you’ve never met.  I wish there was a way to adequately let each race supporter know how much their cheers, chants signs, and presence helps. Every high school band that played kept me in a cheery mood.  People’s signs of encouragement kept me thinking of things other than my gradually slowing body. My favorite sign was posted on a 20′ stick, it read, ” The Kenyans are Just Ahead!”, Occasionally I caught someone’s eyes and instead of being odd it was almost as if I had known them.

After a particularly long stretch over  the 14th street bridge on mile 21 where there were no spectators, and the wind started to whip over the Potomac, it felt as if you were crossing the Sahara Desert. Seriously. The muscles start to contract and you feel like a lost member of the French Foreign Legion. Coming back into Arlington to a crowd of spectators was the just the catapult that was need for those final but lonely 2 miles around the Pentagon to the finish.
Thanks to Friends and Family, who made the trek to support me. I really wanted to stop the last 4 miles but just kept thinking that if I could just keep going they were there to see me finish well. Running maybe a singular activity but truly no one, can stand alone. We are as strong as the community we are a part of.

The Fam

The runner’s rewards are endless; views of  the early morning sunrises and golden sunsets, glimpses of cardinals and blue jays, an occasional run in with a deer,  a brief “hello” shared when passing by a fellow trekker on your daily route, hidden wildlife that only come out for those dedicated enough to run in the rain to see, views of twilight stars, the feeling of accomplishment and physical work, the runner’s high. But none are as great as the unexpected feeling of being a part of a larger community. Thanks to everyone who’s volunteered their time to support their communities.

Marine Corps Runners

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