When I was a kid it fascinated me so much when each week huge trucks would come to wash and sweep the streets in front of our home. First one would come and clean the other side then later perhaps an hour or so the same powerful truck would come back and clean our side of the street. Oh they were fun to watch and I so wanted to climb up and drive one. Now I was sort of a clean kid and most things in my life needed to be in order for me. My bedroom was always clean, my cloths put away and my bed made. So sometimes if the second truck didn’t come to clean our side of the street it would really bother me. Things outside just did not look even and balanced and I would think either both sides should be a mess or both clean but not half and half. Although others never seemed troubled by this. They would walk the sidewalks or drive on the streets even if only one side was clean. I would on the other hand stay on the clean side or at least try to and life would just go on weather the street was clean or not.
After many years and so many events in my life it occurred to me sometime ago that life is much like those streets and those sweeping machines. How is that you may ask? It’s simple really. When I have had disagreements or troubles in relationships both personal and business, the world around me would continue to go on just like those messy or half cleaned streets. However my own personal world would be in some degree of pain and discomfort. I would be feeling bad and try so hard to fix whatever was wrong and get back to that clean peaceful side of things. After years of trying to fix things and never really having success my frustrations and disappointments would bring my life to a total halt and I would be stalled at every turn of everyday. Then I remembered that when my half that street was clean in front of our house, everything was good. I had a clean space to walk and travel.
Like those streets so is my life today. I cannot change or fix the world or the people in it or those who surround me. The world around me still goes on no matter the troubles and mess. However I can strive to keep my part of life and my part of relationships clean. Stopping often and looking at what my place is in arguments, troubles or disappointments; then taking out my own personal street cleaning machines (compassion, love, understanding, courage, faith, prayer, integrity, humility and more) and applying these tools to either clean or keep my side of the issues clean. I have learned and know I cannot always clean that other side of the street but if my side is clean and I have a peaceful place to be then perhaps this peaceful path will be visible and available to the other side.
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U+Me+?=1? Is this some secret formula, something like H2O? Well kind of! It was sure a secret to me? When I married in the late seventies, I was so happy! My life was going to be just perfect. A wonderful woman, a daughter already in the family, my career was soaring and as they say: “my future was so bright; I had to wear shades”. It’s funny though, when your own life is not built on solid ground, when you don’t know your own standards it’s easy to begin drifting. I sure did, I was living in fear and didn’t even know it. That fear drove me to a very self-centered existence, Craig first, career 2nd, family and wife somewhere in the rear. I did whatever I wanted! When I traveled out-of-town on business, I would visit “Strip Clubs and Bars of every sort” I would be the big shot at every party, pick up bar tabs, wore plenty of gold and very expensive custom hand-made shirts! So very much about Craig! No one would really ever believe I had a wife and little girl at home? This was my behavior before my son came along. After he was born, I got even worse. So it’s known, I love my son with all my heart! It’s just at that time in my life having children and a family interfered with my busy playtime. As for my wife, she went to work, stayed quiet, didn’t speak out about her feelings. She just read paperback love stories all the time. It’s not until now at this time in my life that I get it! In a recent post I am “Housewife”; I am Man! | followcraig., I spoke of the three most important persons in every relationship. Do you know who they are? Some would say it’s both partners plus God or both plus the children. In fact when I married for the last time a little over a year ago, my pastor spoke of this. He said the three people in every relationship are the two plus God. I disagree! The most important persons are; the two plus the relationship itself. That relationship, like children are born of the two. It is so to speak their first child together, it must learn to crawl, walk, be fed, housed and loved. Both partners must pay attention to this gift. We will always have our personal lives, our desires, our own passions and that is what brings us together to create this relationship. It’s up to each partner to covet their relationship, to feed it with love, faith and attention. God is always watching over the relationship and it’s partners. These things I know!
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Perhaps that should read the lives we shouldn’t touch? Early on when I began writing this blog I mentioned that my life at 50 was a very different picture than it was when I was turning 40. My decade from 40-50 was a blur.
I think for most of my gender (men) who happen to be in our age group believe we are invincible. That whatever we strive to do we can or whatever we think we were supposed to do we will! This myth is confirmed by our peers, our career, our success (money) and so much more. For me this held true. You see, I was brought up and taught that no matter what; the MAN is in charge, the MAN feeds the family, the MAN does! So, that’s cool right? Here is the problem with that. If the MAN does not have the basic foundation of knowing what he believes in, what his standards are, what he expects of himself, his passion? Then how can he ever really sustain the life that is expected of him? This takes me to the blur. Not any different from so many other men, I worked and worked and worked. Also I played and played and played. Since my life foundation was not built on solid belief’s, strong personal standards and personal expectations embraced with passion? I was doomed to crash!
Did I really have a family or was it just a photo album of what supposed to be? So begins the lives we shouldn’t touch, the ones we bring into our world without the sound foundations within us to be partners in theirs. Perhaps as you read this blog and as time goes on you may see somethings in your life that should matter? I promise to share more about my personal discovery and the journey on the road I’m traveling. A journey I hope will guide those of you who, like me finding their path and passions. Many thing ahead to share with you.
I’m about to start my very first blog..wow! I’m not even certain what a blog does, do you know? I have been told it’s a great tool to share ideas, thoughts, practices and more with the world. That’s an incredible thing! So, back to who is Craig?
I’m a guy who is now 60 years old, can’t believe I’ve lived this long? I’m married for the 3rd time and very happy. My age and having children qualify me as a grandfather. So you may wonder why would a 60-year-old grandfather would ever be doing writing a blog?
I’m writing for you, at least that’s my intent. Life is good to me now but it has not always been so. I believe that many people like me have gone through a lot of changes in their life by the time you hit 50 or 60 plus. Perhaps the changes haven’t happened to you yet, but they will. I’m writing because I have lived through some really big changes and hope my experiences can be of help to others like me. Perhaps some of you can even help me as well.
So, a little more..
Everything seemed just fine to me while in my early thirties. I had now been married for some time, had two children and a very successful career. To put that into perspective, it was the mid 1980’s money was easy to make. My wife and I each had a career and were doing very well. An all American life! Work, bills, credit cards, kid’s and so much more..you probably know the story. So what happened? Nothing really happened..or did it? Fast forward a few years to my forties, my own lost decade. From 40-50 years old everything went so fast, so very fast. When it was over, when I hit 50…life was so different! I was divorced, career over, way over-weight, unhappy, broke, living day-to-day not knowing where I would be sleeping? All the while drinking the best Scotch money could buy and acting as if nothing was wrong. Yep, I was ready to get married again! I DID! I was of course a great catch!
Do any of you ever remember or even imagine what it must be like for others to watch you and just go..“Oh s…, he sure is messed up!” Well, that was me! I was the messed up one. It’s funny now as I look back in time. You know, I really did not know what “Self-Centered” meant? Sometime later I will give my definition of this.
Rather than go on about me right now, let me ask you a question? What does it feel like for you when others have opinions and thoughts of you, you know it and yet no one really tells you? Perhaps your life is out of control, but you don’t want to admit it and you are certain you can control it. I only ask, because that was what was happening to me? It has taken several years a lot of learning and pain to be at peace today. In time, perhaps some of what I’ve learned can be used by others you may know or I may meet?
For me at this critical time in my life was hitting bottom. “Bottom?” That’s when your life is falling all around you faster than you can lower your standards”
So, what did I do? Nothing for a while…just kept going on like I always had..Craig First! However, some events were about to happen that would forever affect my life and the lives of many people around me…