Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (… or thank you Dr. Seuss)

I can’t believe how quickly time passes these days, but won’t complain about a thing because life’s busy and filled with lots of stimulating activities and marvelous moments. Most recently I’ve:

~listened to inspiring, informative ‘free calls’ & ‘paid for webinars’ online
~taken copious notes to help me remember powerful ideas shared
~made time to write for my own reasons each day
~dined out with friends & taken myself out for meals alone with my journal
~bounced ideas off of fellow writers on the phone
~walked & played with Molly
~shopped for groceries & cooked delicious meals at home
~enjoyed gardening and sitting on my front patio reflectively
~devoted time to ‘decluttering’
~responded to comments left by visitors & sent emails too
~published at each of my old blogs
… and kept up with my sidebar gratitude list at Small Reflections

Of course I’ve done other productive things as well in a light-hearted spirit of creative play. Most importantly, I’ve begun to …

~figure out who might be my ‘ideal client’
~clarify just what my ‘niche’ is
~identify my own gifts and talents specifically
… and create a ‘vision’ of possible futures for myself.

I’d like to be able to create and share MP3 files of me reading ‘flo po’ pieces regularly here and in email. I’ve used Google to do some preliminary research into how to begin but found choosing among the multiple possibilities a bit confusing. After devoting time to considering whether learning to do this myself is a ‘distraction’ …(as in a minimum wage job I could delegate to free up my time for more important tasks) or not … I believe this could be a necessary basic skill worth cultivating since I’d like to create regular ‘flo po’ posts with audio accompaniment. So, tomorrow I plan to call the folks at the Adult School to see whether anyone might be able to point me in the right direction and/or ‘mentor’ me.

What follows here today is a piece I wrote about my brother on May 8th of 2008 and shared at Small Reflections in response to a ‘prompt’ to write about a ‘hero’ in my life.
I offer it here to continue setting forth ‘ground work’ revealing a context for the ‘places I’ve been’ thus far in life while exploring the ‘places I’ll go’ next.’

My brother was 9 when I arrived on the scene in 1945 … so he would have been in 4th grade. Having taught kids of that age who experienced ‘a baby entering the family’ gives me a ‘frame of reference’ to understand what that must have been like for him from his perspective. I suspect he took it ‘in stride’ without being ‘interested or involved’ any more than necessary.

I recall watching (and eventually helping) him fold newspapers to deliver each morning before school. He was an ‘asthmatic’ kid who tried not to let ‘breathing problems’ slow him down … and in those days we had no ‘medicine’ to assist … so he learned ‘mental methods’ on his own and kept going no matter what. It was ‘the family way’ of dealing with life … do what you can with what you have where you are and never give up.

Dave was smart … but ‘bored’ with school most of the time. He did ‘enough to get by’ … earning Cs unless he was intrigued by the subject matter (or teacher). Then he ‘excelled’ earning As. As things had been for my dad, there wasn’t much ‘middle ground’ in his view. Issues were ‘black & white’ and his ‘positions’ on them ‘clear-cut’ with no room for ‘shades of gray’ … leading to many a ‘heated’ discussion with others (including myself until I developed some perspective of the ‘process’ and ‘disengaged’ emotionally during such ‘academic’ discussions).

When I was 12, he taught me to play tennis and to water-ski … mainly so he’d have someone to retrieve the balls on the court and to ride ‘observer’ in the boat with his friends; however that’s how we became ‘friends’ for life. I’ve written before of his experiences in the Air Force at the age of 17 which compounded his ‘health’ problems and his adult life … (#61-64 in 101Things About Me). He married in his 30s … had two boys … moved to Arizona for his health … worked as a Civil Engineer even though his education focused on Electrical Engineering … and eventually returned to Southern California in the mid 1980s.

Throughout our lives we spent ‘quality time’ together on a regular basis … because ‘family’ was important to us all. His presence in my life helped me become who I am today … doggedly determined in the face of adversity … undeterred by ‘distractions’ when I maintain my ‘focus’ … doing my best consistently and always trying to improve. Of course, I’m still ‘who I am’ … the eternal optimist looking for the good in all things … but in a bit more ‘grounded way’ because of his ‘reality based’ approach to life and living. I miss him every day … even as I’m grateful he isn’t ‘suffering’ any longer.

As a post-script, I’ll add that Dave died 15 days before his 65th birthday. My brother outlived everyone’s expectations (except perhaps his own) through sheer determination
& strength of will and is survived by his widow, two sons (both married with families),
5 grandchildren (all born after his death), my sister and myself.

Thought for Today
“Remember pain. You pain is your key to freedom…and when we speak, the pain dissolves into a river of tears where it belongs.” SARK

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