Tag Archives: decisions

Lessons Learned, the Hard Way!

That big letter “S” on my chest doesn’t shine as brightly as it used to.  It once meant Superman, the man of steel.  You know, the guy in the funny blue and red suit with the cape and with Clark Kent as an alter ego.  As I get older, I’m more and more like Clark than Superman.  Funny dresser, glasses, kinda dorky.  Super big heart though.  And smarter than the average bear.  Even if my common sense is limited.

I recently had an accident.  Accidents by definition are unplanned.  Such was this.  And I have to admit that it was caused by a misguided notion that the S still shone as brightly as the Sun.  And a small lapse in common sense.  In my defense though, I have performed the associated superhuman feat numerous times I the past, without incident.

My body is pretty busted up, but it could have been a lot worse.  And I assure you, I am extremely thankful that I came away with a less disastrous outcome than was possible.  I coulda been killed.  Or worse, paralyzed for life.

I learned a couple of lessons from all of this.  I hope they don’t fade away with time.

Number one – recognize your weaknesses and put your strengths to work for you in accomplishing the job.  That S can just as easily stand for smarts as brute strength.  I’m no longer twenty years old.  The old grey horse ain’t what he used to be.  But the brainpower is there.  Use it!

Number two – Don’t complain about what you’ve got.  You either have to do something to make a change, or accept it and quit griping.  Realize that things could be much worse.  I have a bad back that, in spite of two surgeries, has never gotten better, and actually continues to deteriorate.  I complain about the injustice of it all on a regular basis.  Had my accident been just a tad different, I could have broken my back or snapped my spinal cord.  Might have broken my neck or turned my head into pudding.  Coulda been a lot worse.  Maybe the bad back isn’t so bad after all.  I can’t make it better, so learn to live with it.

Number three – Take a lesson from everything that happens.  You might not see any value at first, but if you keep looking there may be something.  I think that in a way my accident wasn’t all “accident.”  This may seem odd, but I think I got a push from a force that’s been trying to get me to get off the fence about something.  The message from above was, your back is toast.  You work hard to work around it, but you know there is something you can to.  Now, realize that it’s time to do it!  It was a push through the portal I’ve mentioned before.  And it’s working.

I learned a lot of other things too, like bones aren’t as hard as the ground and there is no gain from being stupid.  But what I’ve outlined above are bigger and better lessons.  In the future, I’m going to use my head, be appreciative, and learn from the past so I’ll be better in the future.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com


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The Antique Shop

Poop or get off the pot!  That’s what they told me.  Well, they may have used some other words, but the gist of the statement was to make up my mind and do something.  One way or the other.  Quit dilly-dallying! 

Over the years I’ve often thought of opening an antique shop.  Real moneymaker, eh?  It’s just that I love all those old things.  Maybe not all of them, but a lot.  Everyone likes what they like, and maybe I like more old stuff than other people do.  When I was young my parents would take me to old dusty places filled with lots of old junk.  At least that’s what I thought until I found “it.” 

We were in a place in New Jersey.  Oh, what was its name?  Pinskey’s? Probably closed by now.  The man that ran it was ancient those many years ago.  Sprawling. Dusty.  Jam-packed.  But I found it.  That old bugle.  Nice patina.  It had a dent on the bell.  But it had a mouthpiece and it tasted like old metal when I blew it.  A horrible sound.

The old man came around and said to me that the bugle was the very one that Teddy Roosevelt carried up San Juan Hill during his famous charge.  Oh, what a story, what provenance!  Had to have it.  I think it cost twelve bucks back then.  My dad knew the story wasn’t true, but he saw the look in my eye and bought it for me.  Today it hangs by a golden lanyard inside a wooden frame lined with blue velvet.  History!

So now I want to open this store.  Filled with all the stuff I like.  But it’s a scary move.  High risk.  Not such high reward.  Other than that I control my destiny that way.  Yeah.  That’s valuable.  Beyond belief.

I’ve done some research on opening a stand-alone store.  And on running an antique mall.  And on just having a booth in a mall.  I’ll start with the booth in the mall.  But the stuff, what will I sell?  Those old antiques are expensive and I don’t really have a nest egg to begin with.  I’ll just wait some more.  Boy it sure would be nice to do this.  I’ll just wait.  Man, it would sure be nice to do this.  You get the picture.

Then one day I got off work early and decided I’d go to an antiques store nearby.  I walk in the door and bam, there “it” is.  No, not the bugle.  Something else I had to have.  And then there was something else, and another thing.  Before I knew it, I’d bought a whole bunch of stuff!  I said to myself, “self, time to jump into the game!”

I don’t have the store yet, but I know which mall I’ll be in.  I can picture the booth, filled with my stuff.  I see dollar signs.  I keep buying stuff.  Every weekend, yard sales.  Craigslist.  Ebay.  I’ll be selling everywhere.  It’s really happening. 

At yard sales I look and buy.  I see what others are buying.  Dang, why didn’t I buy that?  Oh yeah, I don’t care for that kind of thing.  I’m still learning what’s hot, tempered by what I like, and what stuff is worth.  That’s a scary part, but I’m in.  My biggest problem right now is where to keep all this stuff until I have a store to put it in.  My wife says, “Why don’t you wait.”  I’m in now.  Coming up my problem is going to be this:  sell it?  What do you mean sell it?  I can’t part with any of this stuff; it’s all so cool! 

I’ll enjoy the hunt and the purchase.  I’ll treasure each item for a while, and then pass it along for other s to enjoy.  I’m sure I’ll keep some things for a long time.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com


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Undampened Spirits

It rained.  And I mean some rain.  Noah, yes, the biblical dude, would be able to relate to this.  College graduation.  Scheduled to be an outdoor ceremony in a beautiful garden on a warm, sunny, early May day in the deep South.  It was more like November in the Northeast!

Four years of anticipation for a thousand graduates and their families.  Visions of the sun and birds chirping.  Dashed!  The weather forecast had been kinda iffy.  For several days they had been predicting a chance of rain, possible showers, isolated thunderstorms.  All the things they predict all the time, most often with the outcome an outbreak of sunshine and warm breezes.  Almost Paradise!

But ya never know, so there was a back-up plan.  In case of rain, we move it all indoors.  Simple.  Cool.  No worries.  Except for one.  Or two.  If it moves indoors, many of the traditions would be lost.  There is an archway in the garden through which the new graduates walk to mark their transition.  The arch can’t be moved indoors.  And, and how this one is so, so imperfect, there woud be an element of human decsion making.  Under less than optimal conditons.

Should it be raining, or threatening, a decision would be made at four AM as to which way the ceremony would proceed.  I don’t know who makes the decision.  In this case, it was someone who had no good choices.  Four AM.  I know I’m always wide awake thinking most clearly then.  The ceremony was scheduled for nine AM, so an early, early morning decision was necessary.  Oh great weather predictors, what is your forecast?

Chance of rain.  Beginning after noon.  That’s it.  We go with the outdoor ceremony.  I think the weather predictors were in a different time zone.  It was raining when I got up at six AM, and never stopped.   We were all outside in the rain.  Lots of umbrellas.  Wet shoes. Wet clothes.  Lot’s of grumbling.  

The ceremony was cut short.  Short parade.  No long speeches.  No speeches at all except from the master of ceremonies saying how we were all showing great flexibility and an ability to adapt!  Interesting thing though.  The kids all marched through the arch.  And each name was read aloud.  And there was no dampened enthusiasm.  All else might have been soaked, but in the end, spirits soared.

It was, after all, a great day.  A day marking achievement, hard work, dedication. A day filled with pride and happiness.  And a testament to the human ability to weather all storms.  It’s certainly a day no one will ever forget.  And I wouldn’t have moved it indoors for anything!

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com


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