The Daily Lifestyle Syndrome
I have a question to ask anybody. What do you do with each day of your life? Do you have things to do or just find different ways to deal with boredom? Are you accomplishing anything worthwhile or just passing time?
Does your day mean just helping yourself or doing something to help others? I suppose if you have a family and a job, that pretty much fills up your time. If your kids are grown, and you are retired, does each day have meaning or is it another moment in your life where you just plod through?
I often wonder what value I have to my spouse or my kids as I get older. What legacy am I going to leave behind? Can I still impart wisdom to those around me or just drift off into never land biding my time?
Wake Up Calls
I wrote several blogs that highlight death defying moments in my life. When I was 15 years old, I hit a tree when I skidded off a dirt road in Mississippi at a high rate of speed. When I was 21, I crashed in a sailplane and walked away with a compression fracture in my spine. A year later, I drove my Porsche sports car over a 300 foot cliff and lived to tell the tale.
I had three different chances to die and yet I still found myself alive. I often wondered why God allowed that to happen. Was there a reason that I would discover later? Do I still have value on this planet?
The main thing that was imparted to me was maybe the answer is yes! I think I do have value. I do have something to give back, but what am I going to do about it?
A big wake-up call hit me hard when my wife had a heart attack. I wondered how much time I had left to be with her. Would she die and leave me alone. What should I do to spend the remaining days with her and make up for missed opportunities gone by?
Wasted Days and Wasted Nights
I am kind of a hard person to get to know and harder still to live with. My wife once told me our lives together had evolved into a sort of brother-sister relationship. I had reached the point where I took her for granted and she just succumbed to my wishes and demands.
It didn’t matter to me what she wanted, as long as I got what I wanted. Move here or move there. Buy this or that. Eat where I wanted to eat or do what I wanted to do.
Instead of spending quality time with my kids, I spent most of my waking hours wishing they were not around. Lectures or punishments seemed to be the normal course of action. Kind of sad when I think about all the wasted hours gone by that I could have used to connect with them.
Get up in the morning, eat something, then go to work all day. Come home at night, eat dinner, watch some TV, drift off to sleep. Go to bed, sleep eight hours. Wake up, rinse and repeat. I wonder how many lives are like that.
I have had a very interesting life. I have lived in over 30 different homes, 8 states, in both city environments and rural life styles. Ghost towns, diving with sharks, weekends in the county jail, hunting in the desert, digging up rattlesnakes, sliding down cliffs, you name it.
I didn’t need others to entertain me, I did it myself. My front teeth are missing, scars dot my face, my hands show saw blade scars. I am a failure at suicide and the art of permanently mutilating different parts of my body. I have smashed my head into overhead apertures more often than once.
I should be crippled with missing fingers and a steel plate in my skull. Or how about squished in a crumpled tomb of steel or teeth driven though my eyeballs. A bullet in my head would have been possible hunting with careless comrades.
Now I spend days remodeling my house, doing yard work, fixing stuff, and writing; mostly writing. I am using this website to do 2 things:
First, I want to share what I have learned with my readers like you, and add my insights to specific issues along the way. I like to include humorous stories or near death episodes that depart from a run-of-the-mill type weblog. I am learning how to write, cook, run a web site, and live in the country on a budget.
Other goals are to be a better husband, father, brother, and person. When I see or hear something I don’t like, I have learned to shut up. Instead of lectures, I have found ways to allow the other person to talk and share their views. In short, I have taught myself how to learn.
Second, I want to write a novel or two. Create characters in a story and become part of their lives while building a plot of intrigue with an interplay of romance to round out the scenarios captured between the pages. That may seem hard for someone like me, but I happen to like movies built around two or more people that are at odds with one another, then fall in love. Add a mysterious or difficult background to the story, and I am transfixed.
Some favorite cinema examples of mine are:
- The Long, Hot Summer (Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward)
- The Young Philadelphians (Paul Newman, Barbara Rush)
- It Happened One Night (Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert)
- Pandora And The Flying Dutchman (Ava Gardner, James Mason)
The nicest feature about writing is that I am in control. I get to be inventive and whimsical and mysterious and say whatever I want. I can be respectful or disrespectful. I can create and destroy. I can be spiritual or diabolical. There is no limit.
So I have been blogging for a year and now I have written my first novel. It is in the final editing stages and I plan to find Beta readers to plow through the pages and give me their input. I think it is a very creative fiction novel that includes love, hate, mysterious enemies, a fallen hero, and a very tense conclusion.
I have reinvented myself to transition from the death defying world I lived in to the pacifist work of writing wear I can create death defying moments from the tips of my fingers. And it is something I can stick with because it is mine. I built it from scratch and will allow it to evolve.
You can do the same thing. Flee boredom and the traps of everyday life by pulling yourself out of the humdrum scenarios you face every day. Write an essay, paint a picture, save a wild animal, run through the woods, or help someone you don’t like any more. Read a book or watch a documentary and teach yourself something new. Tell someone close to you you love them and say it more than once.
Is it too late? Only if you plan to die tomorrow! Your brain still works and you still breathe and you can do it. Some of the most notable accomplishments in life are done from a wheelchair, after reinvention took place.
You are in control of you! Excuses are a dime a dozen (whoops, there goes one of those dreaded clichés). You just get up and decide to do something different. If you don’t do it now, then do it later. Or you can watch someone else do what you ‘wish’ you had done!
So that is my take. I want to expand on this in a future blog. I will also present more details about my novel which is still evolving, just as I am reinventing myself. Extra steps are involved to perfect the dialogue and make it more and more interesting as I keep the reader engaged. I hope to stay engaged as well. Until then….!
PS. I just shot this blog out and bypassed the usual editing fixes. Please accept my apologies ahead of time. Thank you.