Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

“It’s not the life you choose Dad, it’s the life you live”.

The line is from the movie “The Way” which takes Martin Sheen and other Pilgrims on a Journey through The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of St James.  People from all over the world take this 500 mile pilgrimage every year for whatever personal reasons they have, whether spiritual or just a need to change a life direction.  In this case, Martin Sheen finishes the Pilgrimage his son began, but perished on the trail his first day.  He makes the decision to finish the trip his son began while in St Jean Pied de Port, France to pick up his sons remains, then takes his ashes with him and spreads them along the way.

“It’s not the life you choose, it’s the life you live”.

Yet the life we live is predicated on the choices we are given, so we choose.  We make a choice as to which path to travel.  We make the choices we make because it provides the best way to fulfillment.  It’s the best choice to provide for family, self and spirituality.  So by making choices offered are we then not living life?  Do we need to journey abroad and visit ruins and walk on cobblestone streets and drink coffee with the locals in order to live life?  Of course not.

We can have our mundane careers and jobs but outside of that we can live.  We can make things happen each day that we are alive.  Instead of ending our day and reclining in our favorite chair, we can:

Walk to the end of the driveway and meet our neighbors.  Get to know who they are.

Travel to the other side of town taking a different route and possibly discovering something new.

Spend more time with friends.

Enjoy more family time together and share stories that can be passed from generation to generation.

Take that stroll through the park we’ve always talked about.

Rekindle a friendship that we thought was lost.

Take that golf lesson, cooking lesson, or learn to scrapbook or try just about anything you’ve always wanted to try.

Stop letting those vacation days pile up and use them.  Whether it’s to take that once in a lifetime trip, or to just sit in the back yard and drink a cold beer or hot cup of coffee.

Listen to the laughter.

Take a moment to remember a loved one who is gone, and smile.

So while we have the life we chose, if we “live” the life we have, we shouldn’t have any regrets.

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Old Dog, New Tricks

Posted: April 7, 2012 in Life
Tags: , , ,

Sixty is the new forty, right?  And fifty is the new thirty.

Well try telling that to those in their 30’s (the new 15) who are responsible for hiring.  Why are upper middle-aged people and seniors so reviled in today’s culture.  Why is it that once upon a time, those who reached that exalted pinnacle in life, were adored, revered, respected and looked upon for advice, but now they’re a mere annoyance.

The past few years, since the great recession started, this experienced class of citizens have been tossed aside for the favor of younger and less experienced workers in this changing climate.  So the dreams we had of getting older with a little bit of prosperity have disappeared.  We are no longer our parents generation, where we worked for one company and then retired with a company sponsored pension and health benefits.  No, today it’s self pension via 401K’s or other investments and no health care upon leaving a company.  But those are topics for another time.

So what happens to someone who is displaced when they reach that age of disenfranchisement?  They learn new tricks.

She painted her first painting when she was 76 and went on to paint over a thousand more until her death at 101.  Grandma Moses, when she could no longer hold an embroidery needle began to paint and became an American Icon.

At age 52 he started what was soon to become a worldwide empire.  Ray Kroc saw an opportunity and partnered with the McDonald Brothers and soon saw the growth of the largest fast food hamburger franchise ever.

When he was 77 years young he took his second journey into space, this time for a nine-day adventure.  NASA still valued his knowledge and experience.  John Glenn had the right stuff on February 20, 1962 and then again on October 29, 1998.

Now, at age 58, I’m looking ahead at the new tricks I can learn.  Just before I lost my job, (I know I bear some responsibility for the job loss) I began to teach myself the art of apparel decoration.  Now two years later I’m still learning.  No, I’m not rich and famous, and my work isn’t being carried in large department stores, but I am fulfilling a quest to becoming something more than a burden waiting for handouts.

While I’m not a college trained graphic designer or a skilled artist, I have taught myself some basics involving design studio software, the art of e-commerce, social networking and writing the occasional blog.  Working on my website, www.presteejustees.com gives me an opportunity to learn and grow.  It may not have the latest and greatest indie designs, but it does have my soul, and I do the shirt creations myself.

Now back to you 30 somethings who hold sway over all people looking to lend talent to your company.  By passing on the seasoned worker, you are passing on some of the best resources available to you.  People who have endured life at a multitude of experiences that you cannot imagine.  People who can bring with them, wisdom, common sense and compassion.  Try learning that in a text-book.

Just look into their eyes that have seen so much and say to them:  “We would love to have you on board”.