Once is enough!

When you live every moment, once is enough!

Kissin’ Cousins

I haven’t watched this movie in years.  It’s funny how all of a sudden, you see something differently after having some life experience.  I must have seen this movie at least six times and never noticed the song Once Is Enough before last night.  Pappy says “You only have one life to live.  Life can be rough.  But, if you live it every day, all of the way, once is enough!”.

Who would have thought that a comedy produced almost 50 years ago that was really meant to showcase Elvis’ music would actually have value as a great life lesson? Continue reading

Do you mourn a death or celebrate a life?

Mourn a death or celebrate a life?

10/10/10 is a day that will be etched into my mind forever.

I need to set the stage here.  In May of 2010, my mother had a fall.  As my brother was trying to help my Dad with Mom, Dad had a stroke.  Mom and Dad ended up on opposite sides of the hospital on the same floor for weeks.  Just one day before Mom was to return home from rehab, she had a heart attack.  They did emergency surgery and after three weeks in a coma, we had to let her go.

My son with my grandmother.

Fast forward three months and my son, on the tenth day of the tenth month of the tenth year of this century lost his battle with cancer as my grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday.

We lost grandma just a few weeks ago, barely three years after my mother and son.

Do you mourn a death or celebrate a life?

Mourning

It’s very natural to mourn.  We have experienced a great loss that leaves a void in our lives.  Filling that void takes some time.  I would no longer be able to call Mom when I was watching a stupid movie only to find out she too was waiting for the movie to get better, until it was over.  My son would no longer be teasing his siblings and making us all laugh with his antics.

We miss them every day but life will go on.  My wife describes it best.  There is a place in our hearts where we keep them near us.  Every now and then, we feel the pain.  We let it out and feel our loss and then we put it away for another day because we know they would be angry if we let the loss consume us and take us away from our granddaughter, our three other children and the rest of our families.

There is no “getting over” the loss of a child.  It’s never easy but we expect to eventually lose our parents.  You need to get through it in order to move on.  That’s when you make the choice to celebrate a life.

Celebrate life.

Today is a day to celebrate.  My son had almost 24 years in this world and my grandmother almost 93.  We still have three wonderful children and a beautiful granddaughter to share life with.

There is a choice to make.  Get stuck in that dark place of grief and continue to mourn our loss or make a decision to get up and dust ourselves off and get on with life.  Today, I choose to celebrate the lives of my son and my grand mother.  Our lives were enriched and great lessons were taught by both.

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My son fought for two years to make sure his daughter had a chance to know him.  He spent his last few months working to ensure his daughter would have some great memories of her father.  The picture to the left was taken as he recovered from having a lung removed.  That bought him another year.

 

 

Pivot point, birth of a child.

God bless the mother of his child who, although they didn’t make it as a couple, she remained his friend and co-parent. She worked with my son in that last few months to take my granddaughter on what adventures they could.  Visits to the CN Tower etc.  She has been amazing and continues to make sure our granddaughter stays in touch with us and the family.

My son is one of my greatest heroes.  He showed courage and strength when others might have just given up.  He put his daughter’s needs ahead of his own and worked to ensure there would be lasting memories so that she would never doubt that her father loved her.

 

Grandma_Grandpa_Dad-webMy grandmother was a woman who led by example.  When my grandfather went to war, she went to work in the grocery stores cutting meat to put food on the table.  In later years, she became a vice president of the union.  She too, worked to make sure she left a great legacy and she succeeded.

I remember hours playing Canasta as we were selling paintings and I remember travelling to union conventions where it became very evident that she was highly thought of.  Yet another of the great heroes in my life.

Do you mourn death or celebrate life?

The answer is…both!

Take the time to mourn death.  We need that time to heal so that we can continue.

Once you have faced all of the feelings that will flood over you, get back up and celebrate life.

Celebrate the lives of the ones lost so that their memories can become moments that warm your heart and give you the energy to go and create your own legacy.  Let them be models for you.

Most of all, celebrate your own life.  Even the trials because each trial teaches you something that will lead to making a great life.  In my case, I choose today, to celebrate two people who enriched my life.  Each has taught me to appreciate each new day and make the best of it.

What will you choose?

 

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful my younger son is coming home from out west to visit.  I’m thankful we are picking my granddaughter up tonight for a couple of days and will meet her new sister.  I’m thankful for the best life partner, my wife, who has been an angel at my side whenever I face a life challenge.

What are you thankful for today?

Pivot points. We all have them!

Pivot points are those challenges and/or moments we face throughout our lives that cause us to take inventory and consider which direction to head into next.

Pivot point, birth of a child.Examples of pivot points.

Pivotal moments are usually those times when we are faced with a great loss or the potential of something that could lead to causing us pain.

  • Birth of a child.
  • Death of a child (yes, we experienced that).
  • Job loss (yep, that too).
  • Marital breakup.
  • Mid-life crisis.

This list could go on and on.

Making choices.

When we are faced with a pivot point, we are forced to make a choice.  How will you  interpret the experience?  Catastrophe or opportunity?  Now you have to make some decisions on what to do next.  That choice will lead you to the next pivot point.  Life takes so many turns, there is no way to predict where you will end up.

It’s like when I was a kid and we would all load up in the car.  Dad would start driving and we would each take a turn on which direction to take next.  We never knew where we would up!  Could be the countryside and enjoying the scenery or could be the local dairy for ice cream.  Somehow, I think Dad managed to have us choose the “right” direction!

Like life, it was more about the journey, not the destination.  There was excitement in not knowing where we would end up!

In your business.

Think about this like “chunking”.  Your business is one area of your life.  Looking at that, it too has pivot points.

Let’s say you are in marketing.  In years past, it was about pushing your message out to the masses.  Then along comes social media and not as many people or companies are looking for print ads or TV commercials.  This is the time of attraction marketing.  You have reached another pivot point in your business.  Will you give up and walk away or will you do what it takes to shift your focus to the new way of doing things?

Your business is like each component of your life.  Each comes to different pivot points at different times.

What will you choose?

  • Will you treat every misadventure as catastrophe or opportunity?
  • Will you accept that the result is because of your choice, not what someone else did or said?
  • Are you willing to let God guide you in making your choices?

We are all given free will.  With that comes the responsibility for your actions.  Yes, “stuff” happens.  It’s what you do when you reach that pivot point that makes all the difference.

This video has a great piece on this subject.  Amazing how much of a parallel there is between business principles and the bible!  Listen to how Carey Nieuwhof explains Pivot Points.

 

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for open minded people.  I’m thankful for every new opportunity.  I’m thankful for the support of friends and family.

What are you thankful for today?

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