Thursday, December 30, 2010


Lead, follow, or get out of the way."  --Thomas Paine

I did some thinking this morning while running.  The quote "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" has a lot of merit.  It's not too shabby of a guideline, is it?   It is maybe a little brash, but it does drive home a fine point.

There is a finite amount of time for us on this planet.  No matter what course of action you take in this life, time still passes.  Time still passes if you want to take things very slowly.  Time passes if you want to speed through things very quickly.  Time still passes even if you decide to put off making a decision on a course of action.  Nothing stops time.

So, there it is.  Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

We have things to do.  We have goals to achieve.  We have life to live.  Tick tock.  Time just keeps rolling by.

In our lives, the people around us can show us how they would live.  They can show us how they would do things.  They can lead us down the path that they would take.  "Follow me!"

The others in our life can follow us.  They can do things how we would do them.  "Get behind me!"  Ha.

If the people in our lives cannot choose one of these courses of action, they should just get out of the way. 

Time is wasting.  My time is precious.  I don't have time to waste on a dead end road.  I don't have time to waste on unhappiness.  I don't have time to waste on indecisiveness.  I don't have time to waste on a tree blocking the road.  I don't want to miss out on  a minute of happiness because of an hour of despair.

So, lead, follow, or get out of the way.  I am going to lead, or you show me how.  But, if you aren't doing anything at all, get out of my way.

"Hey ho, let's go! Hey ho, let's go!" - Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No Exit Needed.

"I've got arms,
And I've got arms
Let's get together and use those arms!
Let's go!
Times a wastin'!"
Time's A Wastin'  (June Carter Cash)

In a time of uncertainty and chaos in the world of life and relationships I have asked somebody participate in a very old tradition with me.  I have done what I said I would never do again.  Ever.  I have asked a woman to be my wife.  I asked a girl to marry me.  And, she accepted.

With the divorce rate in this country hovering at a little over 51% the idea of marriage could be a frightening one.  When you factor in that the divorce rate has actually dropped a little in the past few years because people just aren't getting married anymore, it could become even more scary.  Numbers and statistics can be hard to ignore, can't they?   Does anybody really ever say "forever" and mean it?  Odds are that if you have at one time or another, there is a little better than a 50/50 chance that you will end up divorced.  Think of ten of your friends that are married and imagine that 5.1 of them gets divorced in the next few years.  That's not really very good odds, is it?  Then, when you factor in that the actual rate of people staying together for the long term is lower yet since many people aren't even bothering to get married since their confidence in the idea of it lacks luster.  Many people feel that getting married just complicates the breakup.  I think that they are right in thinking that since marriage does really complicate the breakup.  So, why get married if you are just going to split up eventually anyway?  Then again, why stay with somebody for any amount of time if you are planning on ending it someday, anyway?

What makes my relationship so special that after less than half of a year, I am willing to commit for the rest of my life?  Am I a fool?  Is she?  Are we both just dumb and in love?  Are her and I both living in an unrealistic fantasy mindset in which no matter what happens things will just magically work out?  Just because?  Do people really stay in love anymore?  Do people ever stay together anymore?  Really?  When people say "I do" do they really mean "I do for now?"  Or do they mean, "I do until something better comes along?"  Do people just keep looking to stoke the fire inside of them, and if it starts to dwindle are they ready to fly away to find a new source of fire?  Is it ego?  Is it pride?  Is it selfishness that people decide to end their relationships?

I think my relationship is different than most.  I think that her and I are different than most people.  I have left myself no exit strategy.  I have asked her to leave herself no open exit door.  For the first time in my life, I want to be married.  For the first time in my life I want this one precious person to share my every waking moment.  I look at her and I know that it is right.  I know that I want her and her only.  I want this one person to be with me, equally and beside me no matter what comes our way.  I don't want a way out with her.  I don't need to leave myself a lit exit door because I know that together her and I can conquer anything this life can bring in front of us.  I look at my parents with envy for the 46 years that they have been together and I know that they are still very in love.  I want to be the way that they are, forever.  I have found the person that I can do that with.  It is very exciting!

I know no matter what happens, she has given me the best times of my life.  There is nothing anybody can do to erase that.  There is nothing anybody can say to tarnish that.  That's why I love her and want her without holding back.  That is why I don't need a good exit strategy.  I don't need an easy way out.  I don't need any way out. 

I can't wait to be her husband.   I cannot wait to call her my wife.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


In this world I think most of us, if given a choice, would take the path of least resistance.  We would never have to fight to have what we want.  Well, there are some of you out there that would disagree, but I know that when you get home at night, you're alone, and there isn't anyone for you put your super-tough-as-nails face on for, you would agree.  We all, as a species, truly want peace.  We want low stress.  It is in our nature.

In this life many times we are presented with problems and situations that not only ask a lot from us, but sometimes way more than we ever thought we have to give.  Questions arise.  Why me? Why this?

Why do I always have my neck on the line?  Because you can.  Because your neck is tough.  It has been there before and has persevered.  If it hadn't, you wouldn't be here today.

Why am I always the one who has to give a little extra?  Because you can.  It is in your abilities to give a little extra maybe at a higher level than those others around you.  You can do it. 

Why is my life always put on hold for the needs of others?  Because you are able to give more in your life than they can.  You have the gift of giving of yourself at a higher level than some other people without having your life put into an upheaval in doing it.  If your life IS put into disarray because of it, you have the ability to recover quickly.  Be thankful for that gift.

Why am I always the one that has to forgive?  Because you can.  You have it in you to forgive.  You have it in you to see past the shortcomings or unfavorable actions or reactions of others and cut them some slack even though they may not return that slack to you.  But, you know it is okay because you look at the big picture and try not to trouble yourself with the petty.

Why do things always have to be so hard?  Because God knows what you can take and won't give you more than that.  Because you can survive almost anything.  You have spent your whole life training to continue your life.  Because instead of just looking like you are tough-as-nails, although you may not feel like it, you are tough as nails.

Why does it seem like I work so hard but never get ahead?  Every day you wake up and have a roof over your head and food in your mouth, it is a good day.  If you have people to share this day with, it is even a better day.  You have gotten ahead just by getting through your day.  You are a success.  Revel in it.

What am I supposed to do now?  Breathe.  Think.  Breathe some more.  There is a path.  There is a way.  You will find it.  You have always found it before.  You will find it again.  And, this path, whether it is right or wrong, is your path.  This is the way things are supposed to go.  This is what you are supposed to do.

What if I make a mistake?  Then you are human.  If the people that are important to you can't look past it, then you need to surround yourself with people that accept you as a human.  If you fall, you get back up, dust off, and continue.  That's what you do.

What is really important in this life?  Love. God. Kindness.  Family.  Friends.  It certainly isn't houses, cars, boats, jobs or anything else that could easily be burned, destroyed, or discarded as rubbish.  The moments we share with the people that care define our lives.  That's all there is to it.

This is what was on my mind today.