sometimes you take a pause in life. sometimes someone tells you to take a pause. a wise person told me once – “even a boxer needs to rest while in the ring”. this reminds me of something kahlil gibran might say – there is a balance across all things in life. even though we are in the middle of the action, we still need to balance that action with inaction. it is ok to pause in the middle of the action as it is part of the action itself. even though you are in a time of pause, you can still keep busy doing other things. you can still be productive. don’t let the pause affect your mindset. this type of pause is ok. everything is still moving. there is no need to panic. you must still prep for a possible imbalance after the pause. but be positive in the pause. get things done that have been on your list. use the pause to get ahead. use the pause to organize. use the pause to plan for the future. use the pause to think. use the pause to your advantage. a pause during action is rare, so take advantage of it. this is not the same as a permanent pause – which is retirement. this is a pause in the middle of the action phase (between college and retirement). this pause usually represents a time of transition from one job to the next or moving from one relationship to the next. but it can also be any type of pause. the key message – it is ok to pause, but prep for after the pause and be active during the pause – always be working on things. don’t pause in the pause.
and it ain’t what it ain’t. this is an old expression that states the obvious, but it also makes everything so clear and so simple. it tells you what you already know – don’t fight reality, don’t fight your instinct, don’t fight your gut. you know deep down that whatever is happening is supposed to happen and there is nothing you can do about it. you must accept what is happening as reality and you must act based upon that acceptance. yes, you can still go on for awhile without facing the facts, perhaps waiting for people or things to change, but the odds are against changing reality. it is possible only if other elements of the equation change to create a new reality. other than that – it is what it is and you need to start accepting that fact – and you need to act on that fact instead of wasting time
limbo is ok. it is ok to be in limbo sometimes in life – in your job, with friends or family. it gives you time to reflect, to think, to plan for the next step. limbo is something that always happens in life to everyone at some stage. we keep going on a constant path, juggling all the things in life – our goal is to keep busy, to be productive, to strive for more, to gain more order in life, to understand more, to learn more, to experience more, to make mistakes, to learn from our mistakes, to be positive, to push harder, to have bad days, to have good days – and to be in limbo – long or short – we go into limbo in areas of our life. we get confused, we get out of sync, we get worried, we want to have routine back, we want to know what is next, we want to know what to expect each day, we don’t like limbo. but if you look at limbo as a good thing – as a thing to help us get through change, as a thing to help us understand who we are, as a thing to appreciate, as a time of reflection – then we can accept a state of limbo. but you must use limbo to prepare for the next organized phase. do not waste limbo. use limbo to your advantage to make the next stage better. limbo is good. embrace limbo like you should with all change. change will always come. limbo will sometimes come. embrace both and use them both to your advantage.
it does breed contempt – no doubt about it. this is another part of human nature that you cannot control. it is in all of us. even the people closest to us like family – we do not like everything about them – we can’t because no one is perfect and no one can meet every expectation you have. you like every part about them, but there is always one habit or behavior you dislike. the longer you know someone – the longer you are around someone – you will eventually find something that you do not like about them. this is not a bad thing – this is human nature and the “endless” march of time coming together. it is inevitable that this will occur. your best friend for 50 years – there is something you do not like about them. your spouse of 50 years – something that gets to you. your parents – eventually they get on your nerves – and you breed some contempt. as long as we know this is part of human nature – just like hate, love, war, jealousy, greed, kindness, etc – then we know it is a natural thing that is a part of who we are. it is ok if this happens but try to keep it in check or you might find yourself alone one day. just another thing we have to manage as we try to keep our grip and keep our place in society.
what can you say about your 40s – except wow and shit. so much happens during the 40s decade. if you have a family – you are in the thick of it – kids grow up, expenses go higher, tensions develop, fighting, yelling, laughs and tears – all bundled into 10 key years of life – right in the middle of your journey. you are forced to finally grow up – you’re not the kid anymore – not the young one. you have more responsibility, more pressure, more decisions, more people dying, more health issues, parents on the way out. you have good times too – exploring more places with friends and family – you re-connect with old friends and lose some as well. you stop saying “yes” all the time and you stop trying to be the life of the party or trying to go to every party – it doesn’t matter as much as before – it never really did, but it takes awhile to figure that out (sometime in the 40s) – on the career side – your try to make more money because you have to (saving for college, cars and braces ain’t cheap) – you try to make good moves from job to job – this is supposed to be your prime – so pressure is on to get all you can out of your job/career – more ups and downs. on the health side – you need to work harder at staying fit – you take up more activities – running, tennis, golf, etc – and you actually find that you feel better than the 30s and 20s – less booze, better eating and more exercise – this trend of the 40s does help you feel better than before. then the inevitable getting closer to death thing seems much more present – you look back and say “50 years, really?” – it must be true since we lived in the last century – back before cell phones, internet, cable and seat belts?!?! – and when you look ahead, you say – “oh shit” – time is running out – only 10-20 years of work left (if you are lucky) – and then a brief retirement, then break-down of body/mind – burden to kids, then death – sounds fun! – but no need to be too negative at 49.99999 – half will say your still young and half won’t even pay attention to you (except your own kids/family because they have to) – anyway – it was the hardest decade yet – hope it gets easier (not)
victory is an amazing feeling – especially in sports. you play a sport to have fun but sometimes you join a team to compete for a title. you develop good connections with your teammates and you work together to win – to beat the other teams. nothing beats the moment your team clinches a title – with everything on the line – coming down to the last point, the last game, the last match. you are alive and in the moment – more alive and in the moment than most times in life – you feel the pressure of the moment – you feel the tension of the next move – will you respond the right way – will you stay focused in the moment and push through to win. it is truly a microcosm of life – the pressure is on – will you handle the pressure and prevail or will you buckle under the pressure of the moment. this is the true test of life and the true test of sport. your team is relying on you – they are watching you, they are praying for you to win – to help clinch the title for your team. and when you do push back against the pressure – when you do focus on the moment – when you do make that last winning shot to help take your team to the next level – to claim victory – to shout out loud your victory – only then will you truly feel alive – when you feel victory, you really feel alive on this earth at this moment – it is so exhilarating. go play a sport, join a team, feel the pressure and clinch victory – there ain’t nothing like it.
when you are young, you don’t notice much because you are too busy focusing on the moment. you don’t notice any problems going on in your family or if family members need your help. you are young so you figure the adults will take care of things. this goes on into your 20s – it’s all about you. but then you get older and you start to see the cracks of imperfection in your family tree – and this is normal – to see reality and for reality to be imperfect. once you get past the fact that nothing is perfect, including your family, you then start to realize that people need help. people are not perfect and people fall down all the time. naturally, you first look to take care of your own problems and your own immediate family – and this is your first priority. but then you realize that people in your extended family need your help. so you must help them as well. you must talk to them, you must console them, you must try to comfort them – and talk them through their problems. you must not give up helping others – you must continue to help your family and friends as long as you can. all people need help sometime – so help them if you can. one day you will need help too.
this whole life thing can be confusing and can leave us just sitting there not knowing what to do or what to think about it all. but i think the one rule of thumb for getting through the idea of thinking about life is to not ponder on it too long. if we do ponder on why things happen and what is happening – it will leave us frustrated. this includes all the stages we go through and our kids go through – from youth to adulthood to old age. it is easier to ponder your own trip through these stages because you are personally living in these stages and you won’t feel sad about going from stage to stage – you will accept it rather quickly. you will say “wow, it is going fast and i am getting old” – but you will accept it – you have to. on the other hand – when it comes to accepting your kids going through these same stages – and you are there guiding them through the youth to adulthood stage – it can be more difficult to accept. you don’t want to see them grow up but you do want them to grow up. it not only accentuates your own march to the end but it just hits your heart to let go more and more. that is why we must not ponder on this too much – it will only hurt and confuse us more. you will ponder a bit – but then quickly move on with life. this is out of our control so no need to waste too many feelings in this area. each stage is exciting – so enjoy it, accept it – and don’t ponder for long – not healthy.
we need to avoid the armadillo effect. this is an effect that can come across all of us. we go out into this world – we are brave, we are fearless. that is all good. we need to be brave, we need to be fearless – in order to see the world, to explore the world – to learn from our experiences. this is a must to progress, to eventually succeed. but what we must not do is fall under the armadillo effect. this is when you are so confident that you let your guard down. you think nothing will happen to you, you think nothing will harm you. you think you are invincible. this can lead to great harm coming your way. this can lead to an early grave. you can be brave, you must be fearless – but don’t be naive to think that you don’t need to be alert – that you don’t need to keep an eye out – that you don’t need to watch out for trouble. this is the armadillo effect and it can kill you. the armadillo walks casually across a busy road. the armadillo does not try to avoid traffic. the armadillo does not care about being in harm’s way. the armadillo does not rely on judgement. the armadillo is not alert and ready for trouble. the armadillo only relies on fate. the armadillo is often run over. don’t be run over. don’t fall under the spell of the armadillo effect. stay alert until the end. the difference is literally a matter of life or death.
reunions are a strange business. i think they are good but they are definitely a unique animal. you initially go because you know a few other folks going and you want to see them – so that is all good and that is a good reason to go. even to see 1 person that you are tight with or used to be tight with – is reason enough to go. you feel nervous going to the event – you really don’t know who you are going to see – you don’t know what you are going to say. you do know you might see people that you really didn’t like in high school and they really didn’t like you. you get there and you say hi to everyone you come in contact with – you are excited to see some folks and others you fall back into the way it was in HS – quick hi and move on. it is funny how the differences then are still there now. throughout the event, you are in a frenzied state – you don’t want to miss anyone – you want to make sure you talk to all those you know – you want to reach out to some you might not remember – you want to get the aha moment – yes, i remember you – so you are cruising around – talking, laughing reminiscing – you talk so much and so fast that you forget to eat – and the night goes quick – and then at the end of the night or the next day you feel good but you still feel like you didn’t talk to everyone – you didn’t get to say everything that you wanted to say. you want to hold on a little longer to those bygone days – you want to feel back in the moment – it is a strange feeling that lingers for days after the event. you stirred up those old thoughts from 20-30-40 years ago. you went back in time. almost a double edge sword – open up the past- relive and reconnect – but deep inside knowing that your time is fading fast. the good is you can reconnect with a few – you can include them in your life again. you can look at others in a new light – you can make new connections from the ones that you might not have known so well in the past. this whole thing stirs up unusual emotions but it is worth the effort. these things only come by a few times in life so don’t miss them all.