The Need For Summer

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Summer” by “The Daily Post.”

Ah, Summer, a time of plenty, plenty of Sunshine and heat that is! Summer has always been the time of year most looked forward to by humans throughout history.  For farmers, it is a time of harvest for their crops, and for children a break from school and a time to just have fun. It is the time of family vacations and relaxation. In a lot of ways, Summer is a time of renewal.

Summer is for recharging one’s “batteries” to get through the rest of the year and life in general. Now, of course, Summer is not all “sunshine and daisies” it does come with its own set of hardships just like any other time of the year. But overall I do believe Summer is a much-needed part of life’s existence and not only a bearable one but quite enjoyable as well.

Summer is as much about relaxing and having a good time as it is about preparing for the future. Just as with anything in life in good times you prepare for the worse, so is it with Summer. We as a society have this romantic view of Summer. We picture the family in a camper on the classic “road trip” and “outdoors.” To be truthful Summer does include those things and a lot more. But above all what anyone thinks about Summer, it is a much needed time.

Really, it is perhaps the most important of seasons in the year, besides the most looked forward to. Although I will say that I do wish the weather patterns were a little more predictable, instead of one day rain and the next sunshine and one week of rain and the next without and so on. But that is just a fact of life that one has to deal with and it still does not take away the importance nor the joy of Summer.

My Quest For Better Managing My Time

There is not one person out there in the world who does not value the time in their days and how much of it that they have. Time is very important in today’s society, it’s been important in every society throughout human existence, but has been especially important in today’s world. In our busy world, always with so much to do, everyone wants/need to be able to manage their time right, to maximize the amount of tasks that get done and done well.

Managing one’s time is such an important skill to have in life that there are many different self-help books out there for consumption as well as online sites. Like MindTools or the dozens/hundreds of more like them. For me, I find all the info out there useful and helpful as long as I only use what I learn to make a time management system that works for me.

This here is the key to being able to manage your time the right way, the way you want/need to do so. Of all the ways and tools out there to help one manage their time, chances are not a single one out there is just right for you. Instead, you will be taking a little of what you learned from this source and that source and so on to combine.

I am the only one who knows what I need to manage my time. This is something that I have had to come to realize more and more in my current quest to better manage my time during the day. I am always on the look out for a new tool and/or advice for better managing my time, but the best thing that I have found is to not to have a schedule of just what and when I need to do my tasks; but to have a “rough draft” of one.

What do I mean by  a “rough draft”, “Surely he’s not recommending I use  an incomplete  schedule?”  No, I am not recommending that at all, in fact, I am not recommending anything, but just telling what works for me in time management. For me, if I try to go towards having a very complete, detailed schedule with what I am doing by the hour each and every hour, I would never be able to follow it. I am just now wired that way to be regimental about my time.

But when I set up an outline-like schedule, to where I have a general idea of how my day is supposed to go with things like appointments and set time things shown and then being a little more general, about the rest. That works very well for me. Here is a good example below.

  •  Begin the day/wake up at 6:00 am
  • Workout at gym between 6:30 and 7:00 for 20 mins  
  • Research for writing topic at around 9:00 for at least an hour.

This tells me what I need to get done for a given day and at around what time I should be doing them, but it also sets a good pace for me doing the things I need to do throughout the day and transitioning to the next without it being regimented. It leaves room for me to adjust my time to changing circumstances and lets me breathe as well.

That is what I mean by having a “rough draft” of a schedule, it just needs to be able to tell you all that you need to get done for the day, but not be full regimental complete detailed down to the wire. It is very much like making up an outline for any major writing project, whether an essay or a book. You give what the project is to be about, the protracted length, with a beginning, fillers and ending, but you still don’t know at this point how the book or the paper will turn out, but you have a good vision of such.

The same is with a “rough draft” of your daily schedule. The thing to remember with trying to better manage your time is that you cannot control it, or exactly what happens during the day. No matter what you may think or how hard you try to make it so, you will not succeed. It is just a fact of life that we have to deal with. Once I realized this and started to plan my time schedule to reflect such insight, I have noticed a big difference in what I am able to get done and how much.

Now it isn’t perfect and is still a work in progress for me, but the outline way of managing my time works for me. Now I will say that at least for me, managing a schedule requires a lot of discipline, a lot more perhaps than a regimented schedule would require. Which is ironic for me since I did say a regimented schedule does not work for me and yet I am going towards a method that requires more discipline, but to me, that makes perfect sense.

For a system, of managing one’s time better to require a lot of discipline is actually the opposite of a regimental system. To require discipline is to depend on one’s self and one’s own abilities with only a little bit of guidance. Instead of having a schedule that tells you what to do and when to do it, you are free to set your own pace that allows you to get the most done as long as you are able to stick to it. A regimented schedule does not require much discipline in my view because it does tell you what to do and when and for how long.

Anyway, this is the method that I have found to work for me in my quest to better manage my time. Whether it works for you, only you can answer that, but I hope it at least does give you some useful ideas for  developing your own technique. But remember, it is only managing time, not controlling it!


Remembering My Dad; Happy Father's Day, Dad

This is a tribute to my Dad, who is gone from this world, but not my heart or my memory.

When my Dad died in 2010, it was just before deer hunting season. In fact, he was on some land that our family owned, (we called it the Ranch) doing some work and getting it ready for hunting on. He died when the tractor he was on, while mowing a certain spot got too close to a ledge and fell over and ended up landing on top of him. So he died just before hunting season, but not just any hunting season, but the one where I was to return to hunting with him. For a number of years before, I had kind of got out of the hunting spirit.

I would still go up with my Dad to the “Ranch” for the experience of being closer to nature and to be with him, I just would not hunt. Well, that changed the year before when one weekend that we were at the “Ranch” and my dad was deer hunting, I went hog hunting at one spot. I did not get anything, but seeing deer come in and just being out in the blind with nature made me want to get back into hunting overall. So I ended up doing all the things I needed to do so I could hunt seasonal animals, this included taking a hunter’s safety course that was needed in order to get a hunting license each year.

The year my day died was to be (and still was) my return to hunting, but also hunting with my dad. Suddenly, he was gone, killed in a tractor accident, while getting ready for that accession. So flash forward to a couple weeks into that year’s deer season, I was up at the “Ranch” with my dad’s friends/hunting buddies. Though at the time I was taking everything very well, I, obviously, looking back, was missing him terribly and was only hunting because I had put such effort into being able to and I felt that I had to do so.

Then one evening, as I went to go out to my hunting spot for whatever reason, I decided to hunt at the spot that was my dad’s favorite to hunt at. I heard that it was a good hunting spot that the deer go to, so I gave it a try. So I got set up in the hunting blind there and not an hour later, just right after the feeder went off, two deer came right out of the bush to the right of the feeder.

After I took the shot and got the doe (female deer); my dad’s friend who was with me that day came up from his hunting spot to help me with the deer. As he was taking a picture of me and my kill, he pointed out that me shooting my first deer since coming back to hunting at that spot was like having my dad with me again. A true gift from God that moment was.

And he was right; when and where and how that I got a successful hunt that day, did bring me closer to my dad. Ever since, whenever I have hunted I almost always hunt from the blind that my dad would hunt from. Not always, but every deer I have ever gotten over the years since then was from that spot.

When I am hunting nowadays, I am not only doing so to be with nature and reflect but to also be with my dad, oh and of course God who makes it possible. To me, hunting is and always will be about spending time with my dad. Even when I do not get a deer like what happened this last hunting season, I still feel like I have had a very successful hunt/s.

To my dad, thank you for all that you have given me in your life and beyond. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for loving me, and raising me, and just thank you for you being you. I miss you and I love you, Dad! Happy Father’s Day!

To Struggle Is To Live

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Struggle” by “The Daily Post.”

What does it mean to struggle? Is it good or bad or what? According to Merriam-Webster; struggle is “to try very hard to do, achieve, or deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems.” To struggle is all that and more, much more. To struggle is to want something so badly that they are willing to work for it, to sweat for it, and do what it takes to get it.

If you really think about it, to all the times in your life that you had to struggle for something, was it not something that you actually wanted a lot or thought about a whole lot? I take that back, it is not just that you want something that you will “struggle” for it, but actually the combination of wanting and needing something so bad that you are willing to go through all the “muck” for it.

When we struggle for something; and I mean really struggle it is because what we want is something important to us. If it wasn’t important then we would not struggle for it and as soon as we encountered resistance, we would have walked away and thus have faced no struggle.

That’s another thing; when we as humans do face struggles in life, we learn so much about ourselves as a result. We both learn about our character and our struggles tend to build character as well. To struggle is to learn, and grow within ourselves.

What is life without a “little” struggle; without the feeling of accomplishment when we do face and then get through our struggles? If we had no struggle, we would not be able to really appreciate what we had in life and be able to look forward to the future, of things that we want or need. Without struggle, our dreams would never be fulfilled and would just be that dreams, there would be no point in having them.

So remember the next time that you find yourself facing a particularly hard and difficult struggle for. Just remind yourself what you are struggling for, and why it is important that you continue. To struggle is to live and face life throughout all its hardships, looking forward to the good times to come. To struggle is to hope for something more and something new.

The "Rebuilding Spirit"

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Rebuild” by “The Daily Post.”

When life is interrupted briefly and abruptly in tragedies, the capacity of the human spirit for rebuilding afterwards and getting on with life is extraordinary and a wonderful thing. This is the coming together of community to help and be there for those effected. As I  read and watch the news about the night club shooting in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning at 2:00 am; I am sadden and sickened that such an evil act could take place, yet I am also heartened by the fact of people coming together. I am heartened by the fact that there is still hope.

This is a most horrific/evil event to have taken place by a most evil person, doing so from early reports in the name of religion, in the name of God. That is just unexplainable to me that someone can kill even one person let alone 49 or any number in the name of their religion. The victims of this horrible event where just trying to enjoy life and have a good time only to be confronted by such evil.

Yet, despite the loss of life, the loss of opportunity, and the hurt that this despicable-evil act caused there is still hope. There is hope, hope in healing and morning, hope in the offerings of condolences and offered prayers. This is the beauty of the “rebuilding spirit” of humanity, that no matter what happens, “we will endure.”

To rebuild is not to forget, not to ignore, but also and most importantly not to let this shooting or any tragedy palaize us as individuals and as a society. By rebuilding, we say to the world and to those who would encourage such evil acts, “You will not win, you will not take away our lives, our hopes and dreams.” We morn and remember those that were lost; we move on and adapt our lives to new realities. But make no mistake we will continue to live as we want to live, not as others want.

No matter, how tragic and/or how senseless an event may be, it is important to remember that there is always hope and that life will go on and things will get better. This is done through the rebuilding process. As long as we have hope, we still have meaning and purpose and thus can never lose.

To all the victims of this senseless tragedy, and to the friends and family, you are not alone;  the whole of the United States is with you. You will rebuild, you will live on, you will continue to have dreams, hopes, fears, and everything that life has to offer. You are down, but not out. Get up, dust off and rebuild, we will be with you, as you do so.

Seeing a Transformation Of Self; A Beautiful Thing

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Transformation” by “The  Daily Post.”

We are all different persons at different times in our lives. We are never the same person; we are constantly changing and adapting to our circumstances and such. But only rarely do we have those transformative experiences to where, we literally become a new person and have a new perspective on life. It only happens a few (perhaps 2 to 3 or more) times in one’s lifetime. Even rarer is when we see this transformation happen in someone else. But oh, what a beautiful thing that must be to see happen.

To be able to see the how, when and why a good friend or family member goes through of a positive change that effects their lives and those around them. There is just something amazing about it, and is one thing to hear about it but to witness it happen, just amazing. The same thing applies to ourselves, looking back it is easy for us to know the when, why, and how of our own transformations, but if and when we are able to be aware and to witness it, as we go through the process, such an oportunity in life.

To witness one of those few transformations of self in life whether our own or that  of someone else, is to witness something special in life. For after the transformation has taken place, we know just how important that time was for the transformed, so to witness it as it is taken place is like taken a part in it, of it. In some ways, if we are able to witness a transformation either with our selves or someone we know, we are most likely playing an important role in the process.

To witness or be aware of a transformation, we are able to play a direct role in how it plays out, we can slow it down, speed it up, or even stop it completely. Or we can do nothing at all and let things play their course. In some ways being aware of a transformation is like planting and watching a flower grow. We do not do anything other than plant it in the soil and water it from time to time, but nonetheless we do have an indirect role in how it grows and if it grows and blooms. In the mean time we get to watch as this beautiful flower takes shape and blossom.

So that next time you may get the chance to see and witness the transformation of self in someone close to you or even become aware of one happening to you as it happens, no matter what you do, realize just what a special gift you have been given. It would be like  watching a great play or symphony take place or seeing an artist at work on a great master piece. It is also a great responsibility as well as a great joy.

When was the last time you were able to witness such an event? Was it of yourself or someone close to you and what did you do? Did you try to stop it, nurture it, or just stand back and watched something amazing at work play out?

Beware The Idols In Life

“Little Children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21 NRSV

Idols are everywhere in today’s society from the obvious to the not so obvious, that it is really hard not to have idols. In striving to keep away from idols it is important to remember that they are not just objects but can be people as well. Idols are anything or anyone that becomes a focus of “worship” but not truly loved or appreciated for what the item or person really is.

We see idols in pretty much every aspect of our lives, around us from the products we buy in stores to celebrities and unfortunately even politicians. With so many examples of idols around us all the time, our lives are just saturated by them; it is very difficult to stay away from them. How do we keep away from idols when we have so many in our lives?

We keep away from idols by focusing on the real things in life. For the reason why idols are to be avoided in the first place is because they are all things fake in the world. They offer only temporary happiness and joy. So the key to avoiding idols and the pitfalls associated with them is to focus on what is real in your life, on family, friends, loved ones, and especially God.

When we do this, when we focus on what is real in our lives, we are less tempted to go towards the idols surrounding us, because we are more fulfilled in our happiness, which does not end. My time spent with my family is something that always fills me with so much happiness that can never come close to anything I may buy. It is only through real things in one’s life such as family and God that one can find true happiness. With idols the only happiness that one gets is hollow, fleeting, and only causes you to seek out more, but not with things that are real.

Focus on that which is real in your life, no matter what that is, be it God, family, friends, or all of the above. Stay away from fake idols of life. 

The Endless Sky

Sky 01

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Sky” by “The Daily Post.”

The Sky is such a limitedness joy to stare at in all its wonders. I love to just sit outside and just stare up into the sky both on a clear sunny day and at night, but also sometimes even on a cloudy day. Why do I enjoy this so much? Because there is just something sublime and majestic about it all. It also helps me to keep and put things back into perspective about life. And that is that life is more than just what goes on around me and is bigger than me.

The sky in all its vastness and beauty is very humbling for me, it keeps me in my propel role and place in the grand schemes of the universe. What I particularly love is looking at and taking in a very good sunset and sunrise. The contrast in colors and light is just so overwhelming, but also calming.

Whenever you find yourself just so busy with everyday stuff to do and are not enjoying life, go outside and look up into the sky and really look. It just puts you in a different mood, a thinking and reflective mood. It reminds you of just how small you are, but in a good way. When we take the time to enjoy the simplest of things in life, those things that we have around us all the time, but usually don’t give much thought to, we can get a whole new outlook on life.

To appreciate the sky in all its beauty and endlessness is to appreciate life in all its vastness and beauty. That is why I love to just look at the sky, because it fills me with such wonder for life and God’s creation. Yes, God created you and me but he also created everything in the universe, and to stare into the sky and really, I mean really take it all in, is to love that creation and be reminded of it constantly.

Do You Have A Life Purpose?

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Purpose” by “The Daily Post.”

To have a purpose in one’s life is something that everyone wants. It is a desire that seems to be engraved in the human spirit/DNA throughout history. That something that drives us to do something more with our lives. Merriam-Webster gives three definitions for purpose, the reason why something is done or used: the aim or intention of something, the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something, and the aim or goal of a person: what a person is trying to do, become, etc. All three of these definitions are applicable to what one wants for their life.

To live is to have a purpose, and in order to live we need a purpose. We humans have a deep seeded need to make something with our lives. Its why throughout history we have built monuments, temples, great cities and more. It is also why every culture and human civilization since the beginning has in some form or another believed in a divine being or beings.

The human search for a life purpose is not just a search for something to do with one’s life and to leave behind but a search for meaning of why we are here on this Earth. For us humans, who are always searching, always questioning, always asking why, it is not enough that we exist and are here, we need to know why. Whether it be from religion, science, or both we seek to know our purpose as well as have a purpose for life.

So what is your purpose in life, do you have one? If not why not, are you still searching for one? How are you searching for your purpose? We all have our purpose for this life, we just have to find out what it is and why we where put here into existence. Once you know what your purpose for life is, you find that life is so much more bearable and well livable. So find your life purpose.

We Keep Getting Angry

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Angry” by “The Daily Post.”

Everyone gets angry at some points in life. Unfortunately, it is part of our human emotions that no matter how hard we try we can never completely get rid of it. Throughout one’s life  there seems to be an endless array of subjects that have and will get someone’s anger boiling. Each time somebody gets angry about something, he/she will do something about what upsets him/her, and predictably that anger would cause one to overreact and a lot of times making things worse instead of better.

No matter how many times we get angry at different things and how many times we learn from our experiences, we still can’t seem to completely do away with the emotion anger. Even when we take steps to always remain calm in all situations and even for some in extreme conditions take anger management courses, there will always be that one instance that gets us just so frustrated or angry that we will lose our cool or at least some semblance of it.

We can never seem to banish the feeling of anger for good, it will always come back and in true form with a “vengeance” at times. I think the lesson to this is that we need to realize that we cannot control any of our emotions let alone anger. The best we can do is “manage” them; for managing one’s anger there are three main ways to do so, hiding it, releasing, and getting rid of it. For me I go with the third option or try to, whenever I start to get angry and are reacting to that anger I move to remove the conditions that made me angry by cooling off and then returning to the situation or problem.

Regardless of how one chooses to “manage” their anger when it shows its ugly head, I do believe it is important that they realize the need to “manage” it and not solve it or kill it. When one does show, he/she will at once notice the effects of anger when experiencing it. This is defiantly the case for me, when I do experience it, because I have always resolved to just manage it, it is more quick to abide and is less effecting of me and my actions.

So the next time you find your self in a situration where your anger is getting the best of you, remember that anger like all emotions will always exist and is there for a reason and that a little anger can and often is healthy if used the right way. Don’t try to destroy anger, instead learn to live with it and it will be less impactful. We all have and experience anger at some point whether in small or large amounts. What matters is how we handle it not that we have it.