A Polaroid Picture Worthy Day

Celebrations are good and good for us! My family practices the habit of keeping the party going for holidays and birthdays. I believe in celebrating all new days gifted. Each new day I aim to be better than the day before and have the new greatest day of my life. For me this is the best way to plot my days.

What was one of the happiest days in your life’s story? Has there been a wonderful moment that you recall often with fondness and joy? Or is there one Christmas that topped all of the others? One of my favorite birthdays was when I turned 23 because a friend had my stories published as a surprise present and also because I realized how truly young I was.

Let us celebrate for the applause of angels or the best of friends! The sorrow in our lives will have its say, but I am convinced it won’t get the last laugh or torment. Let’s do the stuff that we love and say pessimism and despair be damned! Dance to the beat of the drummer you find most preferable.

Today was a fun day for my family and I. My mother had a birthday today. There was cake and games and a wonderful dinner and drinks. Mom was happy and so were the rest of us. Today was Polaroid picture worthy.

Happy birthday, Mom!

Love and Old Shirts

To Write Love On Her Arms is a charity I’ve long admired. This charity helps raise awareness for those dealing with depression, addiction, self injury and suicide. I bought one of their shirts at the Vans Warped Tour concert back in 2010 outside of St. Louis. An interesting story is that I still own the shirt and I’m actually wearing it as I type this blog post.

I’m thinking of getting another one of their shirts soon. What a great idea it is to shower people with love who feel hopeless and helpless! To write love instead of despair and destruction is quite wonderful. I’d go so far as to call it beautiful.

We can all write love in each other’s stories by being kind and considerate. We can choose our words wisely and our actions with wisdom as well. I believe lives are sometimes saved and the one who helped never knows or realizes that they had any impact at all in the situation. When we choose to write love there’s no room for hate.

One time when I was wearing my shirt a stranger commented on how cool it is that I was wearing it and supporting the charity. This man told me that I was only the second man he’d ever seen wearing a TWLOHA shirt. He remarked it was often young women and girls who he’d seen wearing the shirts and supporting the movement of love.

As a man with manic depression I know wholeheartedly that depression is real. And I know the tremendously positive impact that love has played in my life’s story. Let’s love one another the best we can.

A Hard Road to Travel

For many years I have sought after light. I need light to guide and to save me. I need it to chase away the darkness. Light is necessary for love to enter my soul. I’ve read both of the testaments the Holy Bible has to offer. There’s much talk of darkness and light contained in its pages. The struggle for me to behave and become a child of the light has been an epic battle.

When I think of heaven I imagine a country of light where all my sins and all of my sorrows are no more. I imagine no more bipolar disorder and no more mistakes that are deadly to my heart and soul. It can be difficult to travel the Christian’s path. A great hope of mine is that I am heading in the right direction.

What are some aspects of life that defy the darkness? When you are kind to another human being without any selfish agenda then you’re defying darkness. Living with humility is doing the same. When we love we are on the side of light instead of the dark. And when I sin and seek forgiveness perhaps more light may enter in. 

Let’s not be victims of our own selfishness. Humanity knows right from wrong instinctively. Eyes for eyes and wrongs for wrongs lead us down dead end roads. Christ taught about a narrow road and gate that I seek to walk and enter in at daily. It isn’t always easy to be a child of the light and follow Jesus. 

I’ll always have the heart of a seeker.

Sentimental Souls

I enjoy collecting items of value as I travel through life. Stuff that is significant becomes my treasured possessions. Other stuff, that many would view as insignificant, is also treasured. I know that I’m a sentimental soul because I’ve always been a saver and an individual that wants the good stuff life has to offer to last as long as possible. Sometimes it’s easy to be sentimental and other times it’s tough.

I treasure memories and Polaroids and friendships and CD’s and vinyl records and laughter and smiles and great times and good times and the people in my life that keep on showing up for me. When I lose a friendship it hurts my sentimental soul hard. When I gain a friendship I rejoice wholeheartedly. As a man with bipolar I believe I feel things differently sometimes than those without manic depression. Bipolar can make my emotions a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I always want the good stuff to last forever, but life doesn’t work that way.

Loss is a part of life. This part of life is extra hard on sentimental souls. I care deeply about those I love and those who in return love me. Something I have to do is focus on the good and great times while knowing deep down that these times are the theme songs to the soundtrack of the movie that is my life. The sad songs are also part of my story, but these sorrowful tunes are not the greatest hits collection. The happy and joyful stuff equals the amazing and great songs.

Even though it can be difficult to be a sentimental soul I wouldn’t trade my personality or worldview for anything. I like who I am and who I’ve become and who I am continuing to become. I might feel sorrow and pain deeply but I also laugh louder than anyone else in the room. I hope to keep laughing frequently for all time.

I hope you choose to laugh with me.

Read and Write On

Each new January I set a reading goal on my goodreads page. Goodreads is similar to Facebook except it’s for book lovers. Every new book I finish reading I’ll then add to my page. According to goodreads by the close of this year I should reach over 700 books read throughout my lifetime. All of them have enriched my life or taught me something valuable.

Setting goals is good for us. Goals give us a feeling of purpose. We know that we’ve got stuff to get done today! And no one shall stop us! Even though I don’t always successfully attain my goals for the day or the year I’m happy that I made the pursuit of the goal.

I hope you have fun and challenging goals in your life’s story. Let’s not be hard on ourselves if we miss our marks. No, rather let’s keep smiling and trying to accomplish what we set out to accomplish. If I refuse to try then I cannot succeed or fail, but if I try then that in itself is more of a success story already.

I am a more frequent reader than I am a writer. I’m trying to get in the habit of a little or a lot of daily writing. My one new goal is to write a little each new day. It might be a paragraph or it could be as much as four pages. My goal is negotiable as long as I’m accomplishing some new writing all seven days of the week. Some days it might only be one or two sentences that I create. One or two sentences is progress!

Let’s cheer one another on as we pursue our life goals!

Happy Sunday Vibes

Different days of the week have different feelings, or vibes, to them. Monday has a certain feel to it because many of us are beginning our work weeks on Mondays. Wednesday marks the halfway point of the work week and I’d say a lot of people feel Wednesday vibes. Friday has such a vibe to it that I’m ending this sentence with an exclamation point! Of course, Friday night has celebration, or party, vibes. Yet here I am on a Sunday evening and I’m feeling fine.

I enjoy the Sunday vibes! Today I attended church via zoom and my home basement computer. Then I acquired some new music from Plaza Records in Carbondale. After purchasing new music I went to a local winery to enjoy the live music of a friend of mine. Now I am at home again telling this story about Sundays on a Sunday.

None of the other days of the week feel like Sunday to me. Sunday is the one day it seems that I can read a novel for hours without any interruptions. My mind is often a loud place and I enjoy activities that are quiet in nature. Quiet Sunday is my kind of day.

I hope you enjoy all seven days of all weeks. All new days are gifts if we open them correctly. Hooray for Sundays and Sunday vibes!

Happy Sunday!

Two Inevitable Foes

Loss and grief are two unfortunate aspects of the human experience. These two foes are inevitable. If an individual lives long enough they’ll lose someone or something dear to them. Whenever that loss or death occurs a part of ourself dies at the same time.

Joy will return, however, and life will stampede on. We mourn our losses and then we carry on with our lives. One day when I leave this place behind, I hope my loved ones mourn for a day and then keep the party going! Life is intended to be a celebration!

Let’s not endure life by feeling sorry for ourselves. Rather let’s enjoy life by always seeking and discovering the good in it. Those who seek good find it. Let’s not give up the fight or struggle.

My family and I lost two special pets recently. I wrote about them in a previous blog post. I have the incredible memories of them and I’ll carry these like pictures in my wallet until I grow old. Now it is time to carry on with the celebration of my life’s story.

Keep Laughing and Smiling

2020 was my first introduction to Zoom video meetings. Now in 2021 I am keeping the Zoom party going! It is great fun to catch up with old and new friends via video chat. I attended a Zoom party on new year’s eve a week and a half back. Just this evening I watched a movie over Zoom with a friend. I’ve been attending church meetings on Zoom since last March. Zoom has become a bit of a hobby of mine.

Human beings crave connection with our fellow life travelers. This pandemic has messed with the ease of gathering together in a major way. Yet video meetings bring me great comfort and joy. I cannot physically be with these friends, but I can see them smiling and hear their wonderful laughs.

During the party on the eve of this new year recently, my friends and I even played games over the computer with the help of our smart phones. What a great time! A movie over Zoom I got to enjoy a little while back was Hugo. Hugo is based off of the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. My friend, Lindsey and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I always take away a positive message and wisdom from church via Zoom on Sunday mornings.

Video chats with friends and family members are a good idea. It is a marvelous thing to stay in touch with those we love and cherish. Best friends stay best friends because each member of the friendship keeps on showing up.

Let’s keep showing up for one another in real life meetings and video meetings. We are worth one another’s time and effort. Keep laughing and smiling.

Farewell to Brody and Jamie

It has been a week of loss for my family’s household. We lost two beloved pets this week. On Monday our Boston Terrier, Brody, passed away. Less than 36 hours later my leopard gecko gave up her spirit. Brody was 16 years of age and Jamie, my leopard gecko, was 24.

However, I do not desire that this be a sad blog post. Rather I’d like to celebrate the lives of these two family members. Pets are family from the day we bring them into our homes. And on the days they leave us then tears are shed. Afterwards we are left with our Polaroids and memories.

Jamie was a Christmas present in November of 1996 and I was 12 years old. My parents told me that I would be the one to take sole responsibility for and care of her. I joyfully agreed! I knew from a leopard gecko owner manual that the little things lived from 21 to 25 years. I told Mom and Dad that I might have her into my late thirties. And here I am at 36! Jamie’s favorite pastimes included chasing crickets and catching them for dinner and hiding in one of her rock dens. Sometimes I would pick her up from her vivarium and hold her for a while and pet her. If I held my finger to her mouth she would stick out her tongue and give a small gecko kiss. Leopard geckos are beautiful creatures! Mine was incredible and she will be missed. The other day, my brother dug a hole near a tree in the back yard and we buried her together in a fine small box. A few lovely rocks were placed as a headstone. Rest in peace, my little friend.

Brody came into my life when I was 20 years of age. He was full of mischief and fun from day one! He loved to play and tear up paper if given the opportunity. He loved his treats and he loved his family. My brother used to give him piggyback rides which he thoroughly enjoyed. When my family brought home Wallace, another Boston Terrier, Brody and Wallace were instant friends! Wallace passed away a year and a half ago. Perhaps the two of them are reunited in another world and playing fetch and dining on milk bones. Dogs are man’s best friend. They are loyal and always happy to see us. What is that old prayer? “Lord, let me be the type of person my dog thinks I am.” It’s a high aspiration. Cheers to Brody!

I cherish the years I had with my two friends. There’ll never be another leopard gecko like Jamie and there will never be another dog like Brody. Farewell to Brody and Jamie.

How To Live A Wonderful Life

An old saying states, “You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” The statement seems to insist that human beings take the goodness life has to offer for granted. I’ve never much liked this old saying because I do indeed know what I’ve got while it’s still here with me. The goodness in life is not taken for granted or under appreciated by this soul.

I don’t take my loved ones and dear friends for granted; I thoroughly appreciate them and the joy they bring to my life. I’m a thankful dude. As I journey through the story of my life I always look for more and more to be grateful for. And I am always finding what I seek.

Christmas was great fun this year! My family gave me some incredible surprise presents and friends sent some amazing cards my way. In addition to that I’ve also had some quality phone call conversations with dear friends I don’t often get to speak with. Currently I also have some vacation time from my work. And I even, with help and instruction, recently painted an old photograph of my father and a beloved family pet. Yes, it’s been a wonderful holiday season.

So I do know I have a wonderful life even with each new day arriving! I’ve realized I am having a wonderful life since I was age 18. As soon as I became a man I stopped behaving like a foolish boy and since that moment and commitment to a life of following Christ my joy has been full.

Let’s not wait until the good in life is gone or dead or dying to fully realize how remarkably great the goodness is. Rejoice every new day! Practice gratitude. Don’t give up. Persevere. Do the stuff that you love to do. Appreciate those who love and appreciate you. Keep the Christmas party going all year!