Thursday, June 28, 2007


It wasn't until this very moment that I fully understood the saying, "Today is the first day of the rest of my life."

Only, at this present moment I need to edit it a bit to say, "Tomorrow may very well be the first day of the rest of my life."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Love your life . . ."

A little more than a year ago the world lost an amazingly kind-hearted man, and I lost one of my dearest friends. Pete Flitton, the goofy red-head who grew up next door to me, was the kind of man who on his death bed kept a journal of all the troubles of his family and friends. He would take this journal, and in the late hours when he couldn't sleep he would pray. He would pray for their happiness, their sanity, their hearts, and anything else he noticed they needed.

He was a man of patience, a man of selflessness, a man of understanding, a man of love, and a man of laughter. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him. Even as he was dying of cancer at the age of 27, he would do his best to make everyone around him smile and forget for just a moment the reality of the situation. Even at his funeral, Pete the ultimate Star Wars junkie, made sure everyone got a chuckle by wearing his Star Wars tie.

At the time of Pete's death I was at a very bad place in my life, and spent my days either working my fingers to the bone or sleeping way too much. I had simply stopped living, and was merely existing.

Then one day, as I was frantically getting into my car to rush back to the newsroom to file a story, I noticed a torn slip of paper tucked behind the gas pedal. I thought maybe it was a receipt or a piece of scrap paper I had used to scribble down some directions. Instead, it was a white piece of paper that simply read, "Love your life. -Henry David Thoreau." I sat in my car staring at the piece of paper for the longest time. I couldn't make heads or tails of how it got there, but as I was holding it I got the strangest and most comforting feeling that it was a message from Pete.

The full quote from Chapter 18 of Thoreau's Walden reads:
“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse."
Here I was, a completely healthy person sitting in a pile of self-pity and hating nearly everything about my life. For a moment I felt guilty and fool-hearted, but then thought of how Pete would tell me to let go of the guilt and start living. So I did, and wonderful things happened. I even started a gratitude journal, and would write down five things I was thankful for each day. My entries ranged from stuff as simple as a good cup of coffee, to more meaningful things like having a tight-knit family who would do anything for each other.

The point of the journal was for me to not take life for granted, because it's such an easy thing to do when you're caught up in your own head (which is a place where I frequently get lost). Then as the months went on and things in my life seemed to really pick up - a new job, a new car, a new home, a new group of friends, a new love - I forgot about the journal and taking time to be grateful for all the blessings in my life.

Well, as the roller coaster of life kept moving along, some of those great things got tossed around and lost. I again started sinking into a realm of anxiety and depression, and there were days that it took every ounce of my being to get out of bed.

Then about a week ago I got my gratitude wake-up. One of my best friends from high school called me out of the blue and came to visit for a few days with her boyfriend. I noticed they each had a stone in the pockets of their jeans, and I would catch them every now and then holding them and closing their eyes. I asked what the stones were for, and they explained they were gratitude stones. Anytime they felt the stone or were reminded of its presence, they would take a moment out of their day to thank the universe for something in their lives.

Later during their visit we were all on the beach wading our feet in the cold salt water when her boyfriend came running up to me and said he thought I should have my very own gratitude stone. He opened his hands, and there were several rocks he had collected. He told me to choose one. So I did. It was small and gray with white striations all over it. I put the stone in my pocket, and then we all played around in the water and sand feeling carefree and laughing like children.

After my friend and her boyfriend left, I forgot about the stone. Then today as I was fumbling around at work and feeling the drone of the clock ticking minutes from my life, I felt a tiny bump in the pocket of my pants. It was my gratitude stone, and I thought about my friends, my family, my dog, my health, and everything else in this life that I could say thank you for to the universe. Then, when I was driving home, I went to grab my sunglasses from the dashboard of my car, and there was the slip of paper with the message Pete had sent me nearly a year ago, "Love your life."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Be still"

"When you are in doubt, be still, and wait. When doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage. So long as mists envelop you, be still. Be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists, as it surely will. Then act with courage."
-Chief White Eagle of the Ponca (1800s - 1914)

Monday, June 25, 2007

What do I say

I nibbled on the memory of you,
but the morsel grew stale.

Passion is the casualty of patience I suppose.

I proceeded with caution, but here I am again.

You, like the others,
put words into my head,
and thoughts into my voice.

Scaring yourself, perhaps out of fear.

I tried to un-squeak the rustiness of your heart,
but it only tightened the hinges on mine.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Top 10 reasons why I left MySpace

10. Phishers and spammers.
9. Pictures don't always speak a thousand words.
8. People substituting e-mails and phone calls with comments.
7. I like face-to-face socializing more than chatting in a world of virtual reality.
6. The people I truly want in my life already know where to find me.
5. Not everything is meant to be out in the open. That's why personal lives are personal.
4. I'd rather have people checking my page for what I have to say than what I look like.
3. Saying goodbye is hard enough without having to physically delete someone.
2. I don't like ranking the importance of anyone.
1. Rupert Murdoch is evil.