FollowCraig: “KEYS”

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Now I must say that I have had a really good life so far. I was born in Northern California and raised in Southern, my mother only married twice and I have three brothers along with three sisters from my fathers second marriage. I’ve had more than my share of wives, two wonderful children and now six grandchildren. Yes the life I’ve led has been full, so full of twists and turns, ups and downs and pain and pleasure. I have lost count of all the automobiles I’ve owned and how many jobs I’ve held. During my first and second marriages I moved so many times that a PO Box was my only real stable address and I always had a “KEY” to my mail.

All my adult life it seems I was moving from place to place and from home to home. A few years ago a dear friend said someday Craig you will have a key to your own front door and when you do you will know peace. I really didn’t quite get what he meant as I have always had a key to my front door?

Recently when speaking to my son I told him “Son, it’s so good to finally have a key to my own front door” and like me he really didn’t get it.

Life is so often that way, we don’t always get it.

You see I was so busy living my life, working, playing, drinking, loving, hating, having and trying everything I could think of to make me happy and appear to be on top of the world that I never just stopped. I never just stopped to know what it was like to water a plant and watch it grow, to just get up in the morning and relax before rushing out the door. Never did I think about the little joys in life that make a life so joyful. A few years ago as my life began to cure from the crazy days of drinking and personal self inflicted destruction it slowly began to dawn on me that life was so beautiful. You know those days when we get up and the the weather is not your favorite or when you get to work and the boss or your surroundings just seem to suck? The days when things just seem to not be anything close to the way you had planned? Yes, even those days I would find beauty and peace. After nearly a decade without holding that ice chilled glass of scotch as I did for so many days, weeks and years, my life had changed and one day at a time peace would come. Today I understand what my friend was saying when he told me about having my own “KEY” to my own front door.

It’s that special key, the one that opens your heart to the joy of living, loving, caring, working, praying and experiencing every minute of everyday, everyday of your life with gratitude laced with optimism and joy.

I do have the “KEY” to my front door and will always hold it in my hands and heart always ready to give it away.

You’re still reading, I’m still writing, so please keep following……

Craig

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FollowCraig: Something to Ponder

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Although some believe George Carlin wrote this, it was actually written by Bob Moorehead a relatively unknown author.

A Message by Bob Moorehead, “Something to Ponder”

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. Happy New Year to you!

I’m still writing, you’re still reading, so please keep following……

Craig

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FollowCraig: “Your Life”

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A friend asked me the other night how it is I always seem to lift myself out of the dumps and find the positive in life when often things appear to be crap? So I was thinking about this and thought I would answer that question for them and perhaps some of you.

It’s simple really…

First it should be known I do have my share of difficulties in life just like everyone. I have bad days, sometimes no money, my family upsets me, politics or religious issues get to me, the car breaks and a whole host of other life events. It’s just when these issues come up I like to take the “Glass is half full” attitude. Here is how and why it works. Recently many of you may recall the NFL replaced referees with college referees during a labor strike. When a controversial call was made, some odds makers in Las Vegas and Atlantic City claimed they lost 300 million dollars on that call. So think of it this way, if some lost 300 million dollars then that means others gained the same. (Glass empty or full)?

Our lives are filled with possibilities and every event has an eventual outcome and it’s up to us how we perceive and live with that outcome. Another example goes something like this; Everyday someone at work or in your life is asked how they are today and the first words are “oh fine”. Just what does that really mean? Another person is asked the same and they answer “GREAT!” with enthusiasm. Who would you rather be near that day? It’s the words that come out of our mouths that really begin to dictate the outcome of our day, our weeks an our lives. An old adage ” What we think about comes about” is so true but even more so when it come to the words we say. I have learned that when I approach each morning with an enthusiastic hello coupled with a sincere smile the world around me seems bright and open to great opportunities. I truly believe and have proven time and time again that what I speak is what I experience. If you really want to be lifted up when things seem gloom, then just stop and look at both sides of the issue. A positive side always exists, always and we are the ones who choose on which side we want to be. Choose to be enthusiastic when you speak, invite others to want to be near you. Be the one people want to be around!

As the words of Michael Jacksons song “Man in the Mirror” explain, we and only we can decide our destiny, one moment at a time, one word, one sentence, and yes the words we say to others and to ourselves truly drive your attitude.

I’m still writing, you’re still reading, so please keep following……

Craig

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FollowCraig: 7 Day Wind

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We have a cuckoo clock here at home that is rather old and holds great sentiment to my wife. We also have a wonderful grandfather clock that holds so many family memories. I just love wind up clocks. They remind me of a wondrous creative time when artist, science and craftsmen come together and create often beautiful or even whimsical keepers of time. Time is very interesting and even more so the methods we use to keep track of it. I remember my son never really grasping the concept of a clock with hands that revolved in a circle but rather was more comfortable with a digital clock or how in awe I was when first learning of the atomic clock in Colorado. Have you ever looked at the beauty of a watch and wondered how all those little pieces just keep working so well together? It’s amazing how much effort, thought and imagination it must take to create these wondrous devices. Then time itself is so fascinating as we all have the same number of hours, minutes and seconds everyday. No matter who you are or where one lives, time is the same for all of us and no one knows when God will call us home. So why do we have such a fascination with time and what would we do if we never kept track of time with all these clocks? What if we never knew what time it is? What would you do if you really had no concept of time?

I love wind up clocks and watches and the attention one must pay to setting them. Our cuckoo clock needs to be wound every 24 hours and if you forget, it just stops. Our grandfather clock lasts 7 days before it just stops. These clocks are much like life, in-fact very much like life. Weather each clock is a 1 day, 7 day or even 30 day wind, these incredible machines must be maintained or they just stop and re-starting them always requires a reset. Sometimes our lives need to be reset when we haven’t maintained our standards, integrity or our faith. Like these wonderful timepieces, daily, weekly or monthly winding often prevents having to reset.

Perhaps comparing wind up clocks to life seems odd however much like clocks we really can reset our lives anytime we want. And we can maintain our lives with daily, weekly or monthly maintenance. Some of us call this faith and prayer.

It so happens that my favorite clock is our “7 day wind” grandfather clock, as I wind it every Sunday before heading off to church. I believe God is the real keeper of time and our beautiful clocks are there to remind us of his love and his precious gift of time.

I’m still writing, you’re still reading, so please keep following…..

Craig

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FollowCraig: “Full Circle”

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As you have surely discovered I write about my life experiences often and today is no exception. For those of you who don’t know me, I should share a little about my past. I spent a considerable amount of my adult life as a career car salesman. My career and experience is vast and actually very successful. Although I poorly managed my personal life including not managing money, drinking heavy and all in all playing way to much. About 13 years ago all that craziness came to abrupt end. Shortly after a long road of depression and loss of self worth became my story. Always the man who once was? I grew heavy in weight and began to carry personal baggage that weighed even more. My depression led me down a path that seemed impossible to escape. My wife of twenty five years gave up on me, then a second wife came and went. Finally after about three years of being so lost, I finally stopped drinking. The damage I had began creating just a few years earlier still continued to grow. I became more and more distant from my family and friends. But then somehow my life began to change ever so slowly. Life somehow became important again as my depression slowly ended. Then overtime all the damage to my friends and family became more distant. I found work again and then by chance or perhaps divine intervention I found love. Someone who began to lift me up and not give up on me.

If you wonder why I’m writing about these things, it’s to offer hope to anyone that may me be going through depression. As a man who has experienced this sense of emptiness and the loss of self-worth that becomes more powerful than anyone can imagine, I am here to say it gets better.

My story is not so unique as it happens to so many. In my case it was the abrupt loss of a career and not having any foundation to support me that triggered my darkness.

Today my life is so much better and in many ways I have come “Full Circle”. After many failures and so many disappointments and such a deep depression, I have finally become whole again. I had often said, if I could just go back to that career I will be happy and all would be good again. It’s funny, I am now back doing what I know best and actually love doing and yes it makes me happy but what’s really is so different? It’s my faith. I had not built my life on a foundation of standards and I had damaged any I had so when the unthinkable happened to me I was unprepared.

One thing I have also found out about depression and surviving it is this. We cause a lot of damage to ourselves and often even more to those who care about us. They try so hard in so many different ways to help but they just can’t. And most importantly it’s not anyone’s fault, not yours or theirs. Depression happens, it’s real and it’s devastating. However you can come back, you can even come “Full Circle”.

For me it was finding my faith, something I could hold onto in the darkest hours. You can climb out of depression, it takes a lot of work and often a lot of pain. However if you can find a way to get back into the game of life just a little at a time no matter how much time it takes, you will make it. It took me nearly 13 years so I understand how difficult it is, but you can get there!

Life is truly a roller coaster ride and I am so blessed to be on the ride!

I’m still writing, you’re still reading, so please keep following…….

Craig

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FollowCraig: Always look at the bright side of life!

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At the close of the Olympics this year a wonderful uplifting song was being sung by all the crowds and perhaps around the world. Just for fun I have posted the lyrics to that song below. The words cause me to wonder and also give thanks that my faith guides me to believe there is so much more than just taking a bow when it’s all over.

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best
And…

Always look on the bright side of life (whistle)
Always look on the light side of life (whistle)
If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing

When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing
And…

Always look on the bright side of life… (whistle)
Come on!
Always look on the bright side of life… (whistle)

For life is quite absurd
And death’s the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin – give the audience a grin
Enjoy it – it’s your last chance anyhow

So always look on the bright side of death (whistle)
Just before you draw your terminal breath (whistle)
Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it

Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you

And always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life (whistle)
Always look on the bright side of life (whistle)
Always look on the bright side of life (whistle)

I’m still writing, you’re still reading, so please keep following…..

Craig

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