Thinking About The Holidays

 It is very easy to use the holidays as a bookmark in your personal history. Getting together with family and friends at the end of the year usually means there are times to reflect. Reflection time can turn negative quickly with thoughts like, “I still don’t have money,” or “I thought I’d own a house by now,” or “I’m still single,” and “I should be further along in life.” The list of disappointments can go on and on. I am not against setting and measuring personal goals, but in many cases, if not most, deadlining those goals at the end of the calendar year can be a set up for failure. This is the part where I put the bullet-pointed list of a few reminders for healthy approaches to life.

  • First, some things are beyond your control. It is how your respond to life’s moments that set you on the right course.
  • Also, make sure how you define success and “getting further along in life” is connected to other people’s lives. Your personal victories should be victories for others too.
  • Lastly, think as big picture as you can. Knowing your place and some eternal truths in this infinite universe helps shape healthy perspective.

Don’t allow the holidays to keep you in the pit of any disappointments or not fully-fulfilled dreams. If you don’t believe in calling, destiny, and that life is full of second chances then this is the time you adjust your approach. 2,000 years ago, there was a prophet in Israel who prophesied that their King would come and rescue them. Yeah, it took 700 years for that to happen, but it happened. When it happened a whole bunch of people missed it because their idea of how their “turnaround” was supposed to happen was off. Your “turnaround” is here. Don’t miss it.

Flowers for Wedding Day

My wife, Shelley from needed a team for this wedding, so she recruited me to help her and her sister set up for the big day. As busy as it was, I couldn’t resist taking pics as we installed the florals in the church and reception area. You can see the visual essay on Steller.

The dangers of surfing (not really)

  I try to snap a few pics of people on the beach after I surf. The scale down the 30-foot cliff down to Dog Beach is not too difficult even with a board in hand although going barefoot can be a painful walk. I went last week when it was 48° in the morning and the sand and small rocks felt like stepping on ice cubes. I thought I wised up this time and wore my flip-flops on the narrow path down to the beach, but my slippers had no grip on the way down the face of the mesa.  I slipped and almost dropped my board. Doh! I shot this with my iPhone 6+ and edited with VSCO C4. 

Coffee Anyone?

 Coffee anyone?
I just need one and I’m done
Started drinking black
But then I got hacked
By sweetener and cream
A sugar-tooth’s dream
I’ll do overpriced and try to look hip
But I’m really just fine with regular drip
Ok. Ok. This poem is done.
Coffee anyone?

Read the Steller version below.

Aging Well

imageI got to meet John a few years ago and was immediately inspired. John was born on 2-2-30 as his wetsuit proudly states. Most folks born around 1930 walk around this break watching the surfers. John is one of the surfers.

What makes this more amazing to me is that he didn’t pick up a surfboard until he was well beyond 70. I was inspired as much today as I was back then to not only hope I age well, but working on aging well. What is your approach to aging well? Have you even thought about it?

Check out my visual essay on Steller.

Water Therapy 

This is how I get my water therapy. I hate running unless I am chasing a ball or getting chased by my kids. There is something about getting up early in the morning and quietly putting my board on the car and the routine of getting everything together.
I always anticipate that first wave splashing me in the face as I paddle out for the first time. The cold water washes away the crap cluttered up in my mind. Trimming down the face of a wave is a whole experience that needs its own space for words. It’s beautiful. 

The ocean becomes my playground, prayer closet, and meditation mat all at the same time. It sure is a whole lot cheaper than laying on the couch and talking to a counselor for $100 an hour. What is it for you? Running? Music?

Looking Up For Encouragement

 After a day of receiving horrible news, I just had a moment and looked up. I took this video of my view and reminded myself a few things.

  • Trials are temporary. A friend just reminded me that storms actually end at some point.
  • Always look at the big picture. It is way too easy to have my head caught up in the crisis or trouble and have a foggy perspective.
  • It’s not about me. It just isn’t.
  • I am not alone. We were never meant to do life alone. I am thankful for my wife, family, and friends who care about me.

When I look up and view the expanse of the sky and feel the wind on my face, my sigh is one of relief instead of despair. I remember that there is God who sees me and knows me by name.