reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Category: My Ongoing Life Story (Page 1 of 12)

What’s Next?

It’s been on my mind to do some more writing and podcasting — a thought that has me pondering both the content I want to get down in words, and the potential purpose of completing and publishing that work. I’ve gained a lot of valuable and life-improving perspective in recent years, that I think could be of help to others who may be journeying down similar paths. It interests me to distill my observations — partly for my own use in developing my thinking further, but I also wonder to what extent it may be a worthwhile endeavor to publish the results, either here or elsewhere.

With time being in short supply relative to my many projects, I'm driven to weigh the value of this endeavor as realistically as I can. To what extent will it matter? I think of all the superb writing that's already out there on the subjects that preoccupy me, by writers whose wonderfully articulate insight both inspires and humbles me (see my links page for some of my favorites), and I have to wonder whether the most useful thing I can do is direct people to their work. Twitter is an apt and effective tool for that, and a substantial part of my use of it (as well as this blog) has been for that purpose. Where others have said with great clarity of thought what I have lacked the talent and time to articulate, it makes every bit of sense to direct people to their articles, podcast episodes, and videos with due enthusiasm.

Time is in understandably short supply for potential readers, too. In a world where Twitter's brevity connects people with ideas, and with one another, with undeniable effectiveness, I make the time to read my own favorite writers far less often than I'd like to. What are the chances that others will find the time to read my own humble work, or can be reasonably expected to? At the point of that thought, I fall back on the knowledge that putting my thoughts together in writing is of great benefit to me, independent of how many or few others may read or benefit from the results. But if I'm going to take the time to craft work that I'm happy enough with to publish, and because I harbor hope of helping others and building friendships with people on similar journeys, I feel driven to figure out what I can do that would be most effective and worthwhile.

They say to write about what you know, and maybe therein lies the answer. More specifically, I think I need to figure out what I can contribute that's relatively unique — what's a novel result of my own perspective that might not be found elsewhere. My thinking about the frontier cycle and the development of new frontiers seems likely to be part of that, and I may redouble my focus on that pursuit both here and on the No Fear Pioneer podcast. I'll be interested to see where that goes, and I hope others will find some value in the results of these pursuits too.

As always, I'm figuring it out as I go…

Mother’s Day

This will be the first Mother’s Day without my Mom, who passed away last July. It’ll be the first time I can’t send her flowers and a card, or call her up and wish her a happy one, or thank her for all her boundless love and caring and kindness over the years, or remind her how much I love her and how much she means to me.

Mom and Me at a Cabin in Sequoia National Park

Mom’s final stage of decline was fairly fast, but she spent a lot of time before that in sort of a “plateau” that I’m relatively grateful for, where her Alzheimer’s symptoms seemed to progress only very slowly. Sixteen months ago, she had forgetfulness and confusion, but she could still laugh, talk, smile, and walk about with a little help. We spent Christmas of 2015 together, Mom chuckling approvingly from the sofa as her grandchildren played at her feet. A month later, she was bed-bound and much less communicative, and shortly after that it became clear that my 89-year-old Dad could no longer care for her at home, even with help. They moved into an assisted living facility just a few months before she passed.

I worry about Dad now. Thankfully, he’s always been an optimist who is very good at finding the bright side, keeping busy, and carrying on. We speak often, and he seems to be managing fairly well. But I can only imagine how much he misses her. Loss of one’s spouse is a weighty thing that I can scarcely begin to fathom. I’m heartbroken all over again, just contemplating this Mother’s Day, and revisiting old pictures and my post from Mom’s passing last year. Treasure the time while you have it, my friends. And make sure to care for those left behind.

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