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Another year and time to reflect

So tomorrow I turn 38. Last year, my bud Noah and I were off to Vegas with my good friend Bobbi. We had a blast staying up late, walking the strip and meeting new people. This year, I have forgone any trips to go on a trip to South America in September. I look forward to the adventure and where I may end up on the journey.

What have I learned in this last year? Too many to list, but there are a few that stick.

1. Treat your friends as you wish to be treated. A good mentor once told me, "Chad, in order to have friends, you have to be one," It may sound cliche, but it is true. Often times in life we love having friends, but we hate having to listen to the drama in their lives, or possibly the mundane things that they may have to say. They may seem boring or mundane to us, but to them its important and sometimes they need to get that off their chest. When someone confides in you, it is an honor, a symbol of respect and trust.

2. Live each day as if it is your last. I recently read a commencement speech by Steve Jobs and it discussed the fact that when you live each day as your last, you have no regrets. With his battles with cancer and recent liver problems, I am sure that everything he does is with purpose and love. I try to do the same and I must constantly remind myself to live in the moment, for tomorrow may never come

3. Each day is a gift. If you wake up in the morning with the attitude that "today will be the day that you meet new and exciting people, make some amazing acquaintances and learn something new about yourself", your opening yourself up to billions of possibilities. When you start your day off on a bad note or think about bills and debt or going to work, you shut yourself off to the love flow of energy that abounds. Henry ford said it best, "think you can do a thing, or think you cannot, either way, you are correct"

4. Being single isn't a curse. It is a pathway chosen by few to help aide the masses. I remember when i was 23-28, if I wasn't in a relationship, I truly felt bad about myself or thought that something was wrong. I looked at relationships as the gold standard. If I was in one, healthy or not, those around me would view me as valid and good. Now I believe that some people are meant to be single. Creativity flows for some when they are single, ideas resonate with other like minded souls, guidance comes to those in search. Being in love now has a different connotation for me. I love all my friends, truly and deeply. I love hearing about the weddings and births as well as the breakups and in some cases the passings. It is all in the life cycle, the journey of life.

5. I am getting older. I found my first gray this year. Sad but true :-). It made me realize that we long to hold on to our youths as long as we can, but at some point, we have to let go. I still feel young and look fit, but the truth is, I am aged. I am a 38 year old. When i look at the 18-24 year olds, I remember my time at that age and what I was doing. I don't want to go back to that time in my life because I lived it exactly as I should. I have no regrets and am thankful to all who came in my path and influenced me. I am thankful for all the experiences and the choices that I made to bring me to who I am on this day.

A song that has been playing in my head for the past two days that leaves a resounding chord is a great song by The Moody Blues called "The Balance". I will leave you with the lyrics and should you choose to listen to the song, I am sure you will gain some perspective on how amazing this journey really is. I have included the link to itunes below the song, just in case you would like to listen/buy it. Enjoy!

After he had journeyed,
And his feet were sore,
And he was tired,
He came upon an orange grove
And he rested
And he lay in the cool,
And while he rested, he took to himself an orange and tasted it,
And it was good.
And he felt the earth to his spine,
And he asked, and he saw the tree above him, and the stars,
And the veins in the leaf,
And the light, and the balance.
And he saw magnificent perfection,
Whereon he thought of himself in balance,
And he knew he was.

Just open your eyes,
And realize, the way it's always been.
Just open your mind
And you will find
The way it's always been.
Just open your heart
And that's a start.

And he thought of those he angered,
For he was not a violent man,
And he thought of those he hurt
For he was not a cruel man
And he thought of those he frightened
For he was not an evil man,
And he understood.
He understood himself.

Upon this he saw that when he was of anger or knew hurt or felt fear,
It was because he was not understanding,
And he learned, compassion.

And with his eye of compassion.
He saw his enemies like unto himself,
And he learned love.
Then, he was answered.

Just open your eyes,
And realize, the way it's always been.
Just open your mind
And you will find
The way it's always been.
Just open your heart
And that's a start.


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