Monday, January 30, 2012

It's A Great Day To Be Alive

Last week I was thinking about a friend who is going through a lot of health problems. Some of them are very serious problems. He had to take an early retirement and with his problems he doesn't get out much. So I decided I would give him a call. As soon as he answered the phone I could tell he was not having a good day. We talked a little and he said he had to go as he had a doctors appointment, I said that's ok hope you get some good news from the doctor.

The next day he E-Mailed me and said I am sorry I gave you the bums rush yesterday. I told him not to worry about it I understood. He then said some thing that really made me feel sad, he said when I go to bed at night I hope I will not wake up.

After thinking about it for a few days I decided to do some research about people and their reasons on why they are so happy to be alive.

Thanksgiving was just a couple of months ago and I hope you used that day to reflect back on the things you had to be thankful for.

Twice in my life I have gone through depression but with the help of some loving family and some great friends Thank God I was able to work my way out of it. I also made a lot of changes in my life and one of the biggest changes was defining what is important in my life and what is not so important. I discovered that a lot of the things that depressed me really were not that important after all.

I asked myself if I wanted to have a more meaningful life and of course the answer was yes I do. I found the best thing for me was to start dwelling on the good things in my life and stop dwelling on the bad things. It is a big challenge when every day we have to deal with all the problems and burdens that come our way, annoying and cruel people, illness, death, and so on. And yet when we begin to be grateful for what we have and stop complaining on what we don't have, it can change your life dramatically, if you don't believe me, try it you will be surprised how much it can change your life.

I think I pretty much know the reasons to be happy but when I started my research I discovered a lot of things that I should be grateful for that I have more or less just taken them for granted. I came up with so many reasons I will not attempt to list them all but will list some that just jumped out at me.

1. You are alive. Mornings are a gift, every morning when you wake up say Thank you God for the gift of a brand new day.

2. You can see. The gift of sight, what a blessing, you are able to see the beauty all around you, your family, your grand children, just so many reasons we are so lucky to have the gift of sight.

3. You can hear. You can hear the waves of the ocean, raindrops falling on the roof, the laughter of children, and you can hear the words when someone tells you they love you.

4. You can speak. You can say words like Thank You, I am here for you, and very important you can tell the people you care about, I Love You.

5. You can touch. Your hands can caress and soothe a loved one. With touch you can express your love without words.

6.You can read. Reading can open up so many doors for you.

7. You can write. You can write and share your experiences, you can write love letters, thank you notes, etc.

8.You can sleep. You can rest when you are tired and exhausted, so you can recuperate and re-energize yourself.

So many other things we can do that we mostly take for granted. You can sing, you can think, you can feel, and the list just goes on and on.

Relationships are Blessings:

When you begin to see that each person is brought into you life for a purpose and reason you begin to appreciate them and view them in an entirely different way.


Be grateful for your family. Isn't it great to have a family. Imperfect they may be but here we find the opportunity to grow, share, give and receive love.


Be grateful for your friends. True friends stand by you, they know your quirks and weird ways, but love you any way. LOL


I had some great teachers, Thank God they had a lot of patience, I wasn't always the best student. LOL


They taught me teamwork, how to work with and get along with others and most important discipline.


They can listen to you when you pour out your heart as you pour out your burdens.

Joy Givers:

They radiate sunshine and warmth. When you feel down, a dose of their joy lifts you up.


They engulf you in a big hug that makes you feel safe and secure. Their hugs let you know you are not alone.


Be grateful for lovers, the words that come out of their mouth are the words that start with love. Lovers of life, lovers of goodness, lovers of sports, lovers of helping people se the beauty in themselves. Be grateful for people who will lead you gently back to yourself.

Things we can enjoy:


Finding joy and love in taking care of and nurturing animals. My life has been touched by amazing animals.

Other things we can enjoy, food, be grateful if you are not hungry, having a roof over our heads, water to drink, books, where you can gain knowledge and wisdom, Google, I have learned more since I discovered Google than I learned in 12 years of school. LOL

Great memories:

Fun things from when you were a child.

Your first bike.

Falling in love.

Getting married.

Birth of your first child.

High school reunions

In wrapping this up think about these things,

If you have someone to love, some thing to do, something to hope for, every day can be a celebration.

A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson,

When I open my eyes in the morning and look

out at the beautiful world I Thank God I Am Alive.




Go to Google and type in video of It's a great day to be alive, that video will help pick you up.

Love And Best Wishes To You And Yours. Joe

Monday, January 23, 2012

My First BLOG for 2012, How To Grow Old Gracefully

For some one that turned seventy one back in September 2011 I tell my self I don't feel like a seventy one year old. That's my mind telling me that, my body is trying to tell me some thing different. LOL As most of you know I had major back surgery last year. The back surgery was a success but since the surgery I have had trouble with weak legs from the knees down. The Doctors have told me it may take up to a year for that to go away. It doesn't cause me to not to able to do most every thing I did before it just means I have to do it slower. LOL The pain I was having before the surgery was excruciating, I am so thankful to be free of that pain that I try not to complain about my legs. When I went for my first consultation with the surgeon he asked me a lot of questions about my past as far as why I thought I had the back problems. I said well I played all the sports and played hard at them. I have rode ATV's, wave runners, horses, probably lifted things the wrong way, etc. He asked me if I wish I had avoided doing some of those things and I said Hell no I had to much fun to look back and complain about it now. As I am getting older I've become more kind to myself and less critical of myself, I figure why dwell on it as there is nothing I can do about it now.

I have seen too many family members and dear friends leave this world too soon before they understood the great freedom from aging.

My motto is I can't stop from growing old but I can stop from growing up and that is what I try to do. That's one of the reasons I try to spend so much time with Carter & Griffin, they help keep me young. I try to avoid negative people as much as I can because they will drag you down. I like to hang out with crazy people which for me is easy because almost all of my family and friends are crazy. LOL A big plus for me is that both of wives have been crazy also, Bubba was crazy and so is Joan which means life almost is never boring.

I am some times very forgetful but there is things in my past I want to forget any way. Actually I tell myself I just drove those bad things out of my mind so I can concentrate on remembering the good things.. LOL

Has my heart been broken? Yes many, many, times. How can your heart not be broken when you have lost as many family and wonderful friends as I have. How could I not be heart broken when my Daughter had a major stroke at the age of 45. Her quality of life is not great but she has a Husband, A Daughter, and a wonderful Mother-in-Law who love her and take care of her. How could I not be heart broken when my beautiful step daughter Janet was taken from us on Christmas Eve 2002, as the result of a tragic car accident.
My Father passed away when I was 12 years old. Those are just a few of the times my heart has been broken but you know what as I look back over my life I realize that the ups in my life have far, far, out numbered the downs and for that I am grateful. Dear family and friends the advice I would like to give you and I only wish I had started doing it a lot sooner in my life is to dwell on all the good things you have experienced and less on the bad things.

If you have family and friends that love you, if you have reasononly good health yet, if you laughed a lot more in your life than you have cried than count your blessings.

So what if I don't have any hair, so many of my family and friends didn't live long enough to lose their hair. As I grow older I actually find it is easier to be positive, you get to a point where you don't care what other people think about you, I don't berate my self nearly as much as I used to, I think I have earned the right to be wrong. LOL

I actually like the person I have become. I am not going to be here forever but I have adopted the
philosophy my late Dear Brother-in-Law Frank Strawderman had, he said he was going to live until he died and that's just what he did, and that's what I hope to do, I want to live until I die.I for sure will try not to worry myself about could have been because with the great life I have had I figure I really didn't miss out on too much.
Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad
But never forget the things
That made you glad
Always remember to forget the
Family and Friends that proved untrue
But never forget the ones
 That stuck by you
Always remember to forget the troubles
That passed away, but never forget
To remember the blessings that come each day
If you get a second chance, grab it
With both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
Nobody said life would be easy
They just promised it would be worth it.
May you always have a smile on you face
And laughter in your heart
Forever and ever!!!!!!!!