The Other Side Of The Mountain

July 27, 2010

Life does have ups and downs.  The hard times try us but in those dark moments sometimes a small light illuminates the path to better times.

Do you remember that film from the late 60s or early 70s called “The Other Side Of The Mountain”? A young boy goes and lives alone in the mountain wilderness endures hardship, learns about life, and then returns to his everyday life back home with his parents.  Right now I am on the other side of the mountain in a way like that movie character was.  Things are not what they once were.

After being out of work for a while I have started an out of town project near Boulder, Colorado.  The client is but a few miles from the edge of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado’s Front Range.  I can go outside in the parking lot and view the line of mountains running from north to south stretching from one end of the horizon to the next in an unbroken line.  The peaks and foothills tower above the farmland on the rolling prairie that spreads to its edge.

That image reminds me of this past year.  Life was just rolling along like the fields near the peaks and then WHAM, divorce and no job. The peaks had risen up and stopped the rolling plains of my life.  Where I thought I was going suddenly changed, and worse, I felt I was in limbo going nowhere.  Pressure and stress mounted as time went on; nothing seemed to be going well at all.  I knew I needed something else to occupy myself besides a frustrating search for a job. 

So one day, I looked around my office, found my books on how to publish a book, and resolved to finish the book I had worked on, the one you now see on Amazon and B&N.  While I looked for a job every single day I also now worked on my books, I started something I wanted to do and something people said I was good at.   Amidst the angst of my situation I resolved to work on this new effort, a new path down the road of life.   In that quest I did learn something about myself.  Just as the boy in the film learned how to live from the land, I learned to do something new that was important to me.  I knew I could do something I had not done before and that fact gave me new confidence in myself.  Now, I am a confident person anyway but when you are faced with major negative events in life having any success can make a huge difference in your outlook on things.  Such a triumph helps you reach your own other side of the mountain.  In failure or disappointment one small victory, which may only seem small at the time, can be a large factor in getting past a trying period in your life.

Having now reached a place over the top of the past year’s hard to scale peaks, life is returning to normal again.   My mood is better, my sense of humor and good nature are as they were before.  And I still work on my books.  So I have reached the other side of the mountain just like the boy did.  I have endured some trying times and life has been restored.  It is not the same as it was before but it is good nonetheless and new things to look forward to.

We should all try to find the other side of our own mountains of life and climb the rough peaks, endure the cold winds that blow through us, and learn how to live well again regardless of what we endure to get to a new, warm place in our life.


Colors Of the Rainbow

July 25, 2010

All of us have heard the old saying “it takes all kinds of people” right?  Here is one way of looking at that from my first book, “Notes To Stephanie” Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”.

Colors of the rainbow. You have more than one time my dear compared our personalities to the colors of the rainbow. A visible spectrum of behavior if you will. You said you were, and saw, the whole spectrum of light. Thus you saw people and events with more shades of grey than I did. While I was the mostly the ends: black and white. But with a ray of red down the middle, thus explaining my usual tendency of having one way or the other views but also showing why I have an almost inexplicable off the wall side (like my weird sense of humor) that cropped up from time to time.

Our personalities are therefore alike but yet different still. We share some colors, but many we do not. There is much we have in common but there are still enough differences to create great interest in the other and sometimes great frustration as well. These differences, and common traits, also ferment great passion in our love life and create a sense of wonder about the other most days.

In nature, a rainbow appears after a storm. It is luminous and shiny after the dark and rainy event that gave birth to it. Likewise with each of us, events both dark and stormy, but also ones that are bright and full of life, have made us who we are individually, and in turn who we are together as a couple.

The colors of our relationship rainbow really do blend together to create a close and exciting marriage that is also full of contentment, safety, and predictability for both of us. That way, as life’s storms do rage around us, and the rainbows appear, we are consistent in our love for one another always.


Forgiveness

July 18, 2010

As I am now in the process of getting an editor to review “Days Remembered” I looked back on my first book, “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories” at some my favorite or meaningful Notes there.  And here is one.  It covers a concept all of know to be right and true but sometimes find hard to practice.

Forgiveness. Yes forgiveness is a two-way street my darling. We must forgive each other but also ourselves. It is obvious that both of us sometimes have hurt the other through our fault driven actions. But also, we hurt ourselves by blaming ourselves for things that have happened to us or to our children. Now if we had done things deliberately to each other, or to our kids, or even to ourselves, to cause hurt then forgiveness would be a difficult thing to justify. But in our case, our mistakes were just that, mistakes. Not premeditated actions intent on hurting others.

Also, until time passes, just how does one know if something was a mistake sometimes? After the time a decision is made, the correctness of the path it dictated may later come into doubt by the appearance of new information or more wisdom. Things that one day seemed to be the logical may later become inexplicable.

Because it is impossible to exactly know if an action is really the correct thing to do, one has to forgive one’s self for things that are later found to be mistakes. If you don’t, you could judge your whole life to be a failure or a source of woe to yourself or to others.

Yes we will all fall short, as we both have, but in the end our hearts are true and our intentions good to ourselves and others. Since we are good people we have to be able to forgive each other and just as importantly ourselves. To do otherwise would mean forever suffering angst about what might have been done better instead of learning from our shortcomings and applying that hard-earned knowledge to improve our lives by making better choices. So we must always tell ourselves the past is both gone and our actions were OK and move on down the road of life with better directions for the journey that will unfold along its length. That way, we will make fewer wrong turns at its forks.


Forever

July 10, 2010

This note is from my original book, “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”.  It is one of the first notes I ever wrote to “Stephanie”.   I am going to post some of the notes from that book here from time to time.  Thus you can get another view of the overall story I am telling in the first book and the sequel “Days Remembered”.

Forever. Remember that Saturday night you told me with such love and emotion in your eyes you wanted to be with me forever? I still think of that, the picture of you so clear in my mind filling me with strong emotions still.

You said that when we die our being, our soul, our energy leaves our body and goes off into the universe. You said you hoped we would be together then, forever, somehow our energy finding each other. Who knows what happens when we die. Maybe you are right. I surely hope so. Knowing you now, the corporeal Stephanie that I love so much, how could I bear to not be with you forever? It really does hurt to think of not having you around one day.

That hurt of someday not having you with me is a sign of how much I love you, and is a feeling that I have never had before with anyone. Your wish of never being apart from me shows clearly how much you really love me. The look of hope, love, and longing in your big, beautiful eyes when you said that still shines in my mind’s eye just as bright as it did that evening in our den. Maybe it took all of our ups and downs over the years to know what real love is and how much it means to have it. And how much it would hurt to lose it.

Regardless of what eternity holds, I will always enjoy the time we have in this reality. So if one day we can be together in the “great beyond” I know we will be happy there too, just as we are happy now in this plane of existence.


The Perfect Day

July 3, 2010

Yesterday afternoon it rained cats and dogs.  A tropical downpour from the remains of Hurricane Alex. When it started I was hot and tired, I had returned from the park and grocery shopping.  Plus I was cooking dinner which also raised my ambient temperature.  So what did I do?  I put on my bathing suit, grabbed a cold beer,  went out in the deluge, and got in my swimming pool.  Of course I submerged under the water but when I came up I was surrounded by rain.  Water all around me, cooling me down.  The sound of it cascading from the trees and the house was all that could be heard.  Crazy you ask?  Maybe so but it was  similar to something I did on a  perfect day a few years ago.  Hopefully within all of the rainy days of life we can find something good.  By the way, this will be the first Note in my upcoming “Days Remembered”.

Do you remember the day we finished the French drain in the backyard by the pool?  You did most of the work digging the trench that first June of our married life.  With a large rainstorm looming we had to finish the project to see if the drain worked. So we decided that day was the day to get it done.

 And so we did.  That day was like many June days.  It was cloudy, humid, and windy.  The radar showed the heavy rain was coming in so we rushed to get the trench filled and smoothed over before the deluge hit us.

 So there we both were:  me in my swimsuit and you in your light green bikini looking sexy indeed.  As we shoveled the dirt we both got covered with mud from head to toe.  But that was part of the fun you see, working together to finish that important task under the threat of more rain to come.

 And then it started raining on us.  We had a couple of beers and kept moving dirt as the rain started to fall.  We finally got the ditch filled when the bottom fell out of the grey sky and a long downpour was upon us and the Earth,

 But the pouring rain was a good thing.  It cooled us off and also washed off all of the mud, grass, and sweat.  Do you remember standing up in the rain as if it was a shower, laughing at that as we chugged on some beer?  Since there was no lightning about we just enjoyed being out in the cooling rain, getting clean and a little drunk at the same time.

 We were out there a while then the rain let up and we went back inside and took a real shower. The rest of the day we relaxed, satisfied that the drain was diverting the water and working well. We were happy about taking a shower outside in the rain with a cold beer in our hands to wash away the dirt covering us both. 

 Certainly that day was a perfect day.  We did something as a couple and really enjoyed it from start to finish.  A day filled with work was also filled with fun and love together in the pouring rain on a warm summer day in June in the backyard by the pool.