The Season

“Every Single Day, in Every Walk of Life, Ordinary People do Extraordinary Things.”  -Jim Valvano

The mental blocks that come up when we are older change our perceptions of what we hope to be or can still become. Yes, there are so many people that do reach their dreams, but there are many others that still are hoping for that break that lets them finally claim their niche in life. It is a struggle but if we continue to go after our goals, we can say that at least we tried and if we are very fortunate, we might start a new goal that would really be exciting!

The truth is that we do amazing things in our lives, but the struggle is real. It is about belief, but it also is about being flexible and realizing that what worked for us in 2015 may not be working as well for us in 2020. However, the ability is there. The experience still applies. Look, this is a difficult time, but you know that this new year is going to be better. Put yourself in a positive mindset. Focus on what you want this new year. Things are faster paced, and change comes quickly. 

We are coming to the end of this year (and what a year it has been). It is time to look forward to a New Year and hope that we can wash away 2020 with its pandemic and children doing remote learning at home. This year has been more like science fiction. It isn’t going to be a radical change right away but, hopefully, we will see the vaccine(s) and our lives will look more familiar. That is my wish for the holiday season this year!

It’s Not About Me, But I Wish It Was

            I could write about 20 things that bother me and how they can be magically resolved if I were wizard, but it’s not about me. I have always wanted to be someone special, and maybe I am, but I will probably never be that person that I imagine I could be. Our expectations for ourselves when we become adults can be daunting. Ironically, we have no such problems when we are children. Ask a first or second grader and they will tell you that they want to be a ballerina, fireman, singer, a basketball player, and/or an actress. 

            However, that may change now that children can’t go to school. This will likely change how children see staying at home without seeing their friends in person. The therapists are going to have a lot more children finding that it is difficult to play with other children especially when parents are trying to keep them safe. It is difficult to suddenly change what you have been doing for years. However, with the numbers growing higher all of us are taking fewer chances with our children. 

Keeping up with the changes in technologies and understanding how the world operates can be challenging. However, at the center of each of us is a store of information that we have amassed over our lifetime and the ability to adapt and change is there. It means putting your best self-front and center and going at the challenges that we are trying to avoid. Creativity, belief, drive, personality, quirkiness, ability to see things that others may not – these are your tools and your advantage. There is no one quite like you. And even if it is not about me, there is only one me and there is only one you. Be that best person that you can be, and it will be more than enough.

The Act of Writing

Sometimes you Need to Release your Thoughts

Below is an example of letting go

Try it and see what happens

I need to write. Lately, I have turned writing into something difficult like a chore, but when I do write it always helps me feel better. The truth is that I prefer writing to most activities I do. However, in my mind I let the voices of doom absolutely destroy any chance of writing for pleasure. I am the one that should be leading the emancipation and expression of my own thoughts, hopes, dreams, and fears (let’s be real, it’s not all going to be lollipops and unicorns in my head). If I opened up to all the negative thoughts, each and every day, I don’t think I would make it to the shower let alone to work. It does feel like an ongoing battle, but it also feels like I let the voices run the ship.

It’s time to take back the reigns. The reason I bring this up is that I need expression. I need to be better than I am. I need to believe and embrace that I am better than what I show as an individual. I’m tired of fighting myself. I am flawed. We all are. I need to accept that and move forward. I’m sick of the walls that I build and then lament that they are there. I’m getting older and I feel like I am regressing. Meditation, positive thoughts, helping others, teaching, mentoring are things that help but, still at the core, I have to monitor myself and work on myself to be a better version of me. Thoughts and dreams are great, but I can’t get to a better state of mind without working at this every day. Why me? Why not me? That is the question.

TRANSITIONS

Looking on the Bright Side

This is a new day for our country if we can finalize the results. There is a President Elect who knows his way around the White House and, for the first time, there is a Vice President Elect who happens to be a female and a person of color. Hopefully, there will be an end to the accusations of voter fraud and people will acknowledge that Biden and Harris won this Presidency. 

We are in the last weeks of November and December and the holidays are upon us. How are you doing these days? This has been a year that no one could have expected. However, 2020 is finally coming to coming to its end. We can see the 6 weeks of Fridays and this year will be over. I don’t know what 2021 will bring to us, but I am hoping for a better year. 

The song that comes to the mind in this edition is Mr. Brightside by the Killers. Make some time in the next couple of weeks to find the thing you hope to do this coming year. We can all dream for something much, much better than this year. It starts with hope or dream and looking on the bright side. 

The Holidays Are Upon Us

You are Resilient

Wow! The holidays really are upon us now. How are you feeling? This is such an interesting time to be on this earth. We are right around the corner to Halloween which may have some people celebrating it and probably many others that will not. I feel sympathetic for those parents that were going to take their child to their first trick or treat and the other children that are not going to be allowed to go. That’s okay because it will be more fun explaining to a young child why Santa is not coming down the chimney with presents!

I am, of course, kidding! This year has been something that no regular person could have anticipated. However, it also shows that despite all the roadblocks and difficulties that we have navigated in 2020 we are still finding ways to continue as best as we can. You are resilient and you will find a way to get through! I know that it can be difficult when the pundits say that things are getting better one week and the next it is getting worse. Just trust in yourself and know that one day this will stabilize once again.

Know your Limitations

How are you looking at your situation?

I believe in myself and that is a good thing. However, in this moment I am struggling where do I go now. I feel like someone who was left at the bus stop with no one to talk to. We all know that time doesn’t stop for anyone. We need to look more closely at our situation particularly during these turbulent times. We can only start again and hope that we have learned valuable lessons. 

This story really isn’t about failure. It is about what you do to pick yourself up again. Everyone drops the glass of water, but we eventually get another glass because we need to drink. There is always a chance for recovery and that makes the story satisfying. As humans we do not like to end on a sour note. We live for redemption. It shows that no matter what happens there is always a chance to pick yourself up and change. We cry during movies with redemption stories because they are the most moving. We know that people are going to make mistakes, but it is the lesson that remains with all of us. 

The Election

Rock the Vote!

It is time for the election. We have a month to elect a president. Every person that registered has the right to cast their ballot. I remember my first election. I was so excited because it made me feel like a grown up. I was a Political Science major and I felt like I was doing my part to show my belief in the electoral system. I still believe in the process, but I wonder if our system has taken a couple of wrong turns. It seems like many people simply listen to another’s opinion rather than reading up on their own and making their decision. 

This is a very important election. There are a lot of issues that are important for all of us. We all need to be leaders not followers. In the end, it really does matter if you vote. There is no one quite like you. Your opinion is important. Make sure that you are giving yourself enough time to go vote this November 2nd. This year we need people like you that care about this country and are ready to vote. See you at the polling booth!

One Life is All We Get

Where do you derive your meaning?

My parents were immigrants to the United States in 1959. They came to this country looking for the land of opportunity. My siblings and I were born in Los Angeles. My parents had great expectations for us. They wanted us to be somebody important…a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. They would tell us that we needed to work hard to be somebody important here. That’s why they came to this country. They also talked about not being “un Don Nadie” which translates from Spanish to English as “Mr. Nobody.” I was the youngest of three boys and I was terrified of becoming “Don Nadie.” I could not imagine being nobody.

I’m 57 years old and that scared child is still within me. Being labeled as the person who is going to become a doctor or a lawyer is a heavy weight to carry when it is not your own dream or path. I have spent 30 years in education and it is pretty clear that I am not going to ever be that guy who has a six-figure salary and a grandiose title. I’m the guy that people ask “so what do you do for a living?” and the answer is that I have been juggling several jobs that I actually like. I like mentoring teachers, being a life coach, and teaching psychology. That’s what I do. However, if I break it down into one sentence it would be, “I like helping others on their journey through life.” That is what I enjoy and where I derive meaning for myself. I still struggle at times with it, but this is me.

So, my question to you is where do you derive your sense of meaning? Additionally, are you happy with it? Meaning in our lives helps us to understand ourselves. I still struggle talking about what I do for a living when I should really be happy that I know what I like and I’m doing it. “Don Nadie” can go to hell. I know who I am and what I like. We need to take off the façade and just be our authentic selves. Don’t waste your time trying to be something you aren’t comfortable with. You do you better than anybody else in the world. Focus on your life and meaning.

One life is all we get.

Carlos Lossada May 25, 2018 · 2 min read, originally published on Medium for JRNI.

On Any Sunday There Are No Fans in the Stands

We’re all at home

I know that my title sounds like a Dr. Suess book, but this is where we are. Here we are on a Sunday in September with football. Yet, it doesn’t seem quite back to normal in the grand scheme of things. The NBA is getting closer to crowning a champion. Baseball is playing a third of what they usually do in a season and so are the NHL. Oh, and I almost forgot, that we don’t have actual fans at most of these events. I don’t want to highlight the fact that people are not in the stands, I mean to say it is more about how lonely and strange the stadiums look. 

Like many people in this country I am counting the days until we have sports with fans in the stadiums. I am getting used to the cardboard they use in baseball and the electronic fans in basketball. But at the end of the day I give props for the people that have made these strange images that somehow you find yourself liking just a little bit. However, and again, I am still waiting for the real people in the stands. I can’t wait to have the people there again.

If you are looking at sports tonight remember that those athletes are also missing you as well.   

Every Kind of People

Connections

It all begins with people and the connections that you make. Whether we are talking about neighbors, friends, colleagues, coworkers, or someone else along those lines it is very important to have people with whom you can share your thoughts. This is something that is both beneficial for you and for whomever you are talking to. Communication and understanding of other people make it easier to talk with others.

We are living in a world where our communication has been disrupted because of COVID which has separated people and made it harder to feel connected with one another. Although it seems that more people are speaking face to face, albeit with masks. That is the beauty of people expressing their opinions. People will always find ways to let others know what they are thinking. This is one positive thing that COVID has done: We share what is most important to us during the pandemic. We will never give up sharing our opinion and that is a great thing!

In the end, the more creatively someone shares their opinion, the more interesting it is to read or to contemplate. As we continue to see different ways of getting to know people let us also hope that we will have a vaccination at the end of this year. I am looking forward to every kind of people that will help us to get to a brighter future shaped by every kind of people. As Robert Palmer sang in 1978 it takes every kind people to make the world go ‘round. We are all those people.