I have been fortunate in my lifetime, so far, to have done a lot of the things I wanted to do. There are still so many other things I hope, and plan, to do while still in this earthly existence. I have always practiced my profession – hey, still have bills to pay – but I have also had the pleasure of working simultaneously at a second career (from which I retired in 2002 after almost 20 years), and many other endeavors. If I found something that interested me, I simply applied myself to learning about that new interest. Over the course of the years I have learned to weave, make chain maille, carve wood, bead and bead weave, make hardened leather objects such as armor pieces and shamanic rattles.
In this process I have constantly continued to educate myself, both personally and formally – I am the eternal student. However, there is one major downside to being so insatiably curious…due to the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, and so much to do…I sacrificed the only time I had control over and that was sleep. In college I carried a full academic load plus worked a full time 3rd shift job, after college I worked days at my trained profession and nights in my second career…and on and on until 2002 when a cardiac scare made me realize that living life was actually shortening my life. Something had to change so I retired from my second career. A lifetime of non-stop activity had definitely taken its toll on me. So, my heart got better, my psyche improved and the only things I retained from such a lifetime was a vast catalog of knowledge and experience, and…a miserable sleep disorder. But you know, I would do it all again without thought or regret.
So, what am I trying to say with this narrative? Simply this, take and make time to be everything you ever hoped to be. Study and learn with enthusiasm all the things that interest you. Yet, never forget to stop and see the world around you – for what good is knowledge and experience if you do not take the time to see them reveal in your life.
My personal life philosophy, for as long as I can remember, is based on the writings of Napoleon Hill, whose most dramatic statement was, “What the mind of a man can conceive and believe it can achieve.” Yet this must be balanced with the rest of your life. Noted golfer Walter Hagen’s statement brings this around perfectly. He said, “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”