Archive for December, 2008

Wishing you all well

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Howdy!
I almost have the Aggie accent down. Its been four months since I arrived here in Texas. The first semester is over, grades are posted, reports are underway.

I’ve met lots of nice people here, and I want to add them to the list of friends to thank and wish a happy holiday season and especially a happy new year to!

Steve and Joanna, lifelong friends from Fargo, they seem to know just when my spirit needs saving and have a card waiting for me. I don’t get to see them often, and this was the first in 25 years that I missed seeing them in the summer….and I missed it! But i’ll be there this next summer!

Mark T., Tom V. Milton, Mark S. Harold and Judy, John and Shirley, Alan D., all pillars of the Fargo Architecture Engineering and Construction Scene…maybe not Judy and Shirley, but they support the pillars in their family so they are honorary pilasters.

Frank W. Patrick D, Hunter, Andrew Mc, Dannette, Yvan, Kihong, Annie, Thom, Walid, and Jay, my friends in Blacksburg that kept me in good spirits through difficult times and supported my development as a teacher, architect, fisherman, baseball fan, and friend.

Glen M., Ward W., Marcel E., Phil T., Dick D., Melinda R., Hala G., Ginger W. Mallory S., Kirk H., and Kathy, people who are helping make Texas home with friendly advice, invitations to lunches and dinner, and weekends away from the world of work….

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Along with my daughters Erin and Maggie, my elder-mentors Frederick and Fran, and my brother and sisters (Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary too!) in Chicago, these people kept me going with unlimited support, faith, and lots of patient listening. I thank you all. Its been a big transition, its not over yet, but I didn’t want to wait to say thank you, I’m in your debt.

…and to you all that i’ve done wrong to, I’m sorry for it, I can’t go back, I’m sure this life is the right direction, but I never intend to cause anyone pain…(even the guy who set my rear suspension up wrong and wore out my tires early) I hope your next year goes better too.

Happy holidays to you all! Here’s hoping next year is calm, peaceful, and fulfilling for you.

Take Care, look out for each other, write to you again next year.

You have to take your lumps

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Benjamin Disraeli said “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”

Life has incredible inertia, in acting to overcome that inertia one takes a great risk. The action may 1, amount to nothing, the action may 2, lead to a life that is worse than the stasis one was experiencing before acting, or the action may 3, lead to a joyful life, filled with hope, satisfaction, kindness, all the things one always hoped for but never could quite gather up in one life.

The negative aspects of the first two possible outcomes of acting to find happiness are obvious and substantial risks. I think they define the inertia that binds us in our lives. We naturally don’t want to end up in a worse place than the one we started, yet there are no assurances that action will lead to happiness…

Even when we do get outcome number 3, the life we always dreamed, someone will be made unhappy, often someone who had a stake in our inaction keeping us in our unhappy lives. But there are surprises too, people you thought would be in your corner, who would share in your happiness sometimes can’t accept the change quickly, or had their own vision of how your path to happiness should progress, and may not be able to be happy for you as you make a change.

Yet, action is necessary to get to happiness. Happiness just doesn’t seem to fall out of the sky for most of us. So to act is to risk…not only may the action not put you in a better place, but it may distance you from those you love. This is the hardest part of acting, maybe also the most selfish part. To act is to risk losing their love, yet, often it seems, to not act is to be unable to return their love.

So to be the best person we can be, we must act, we must risk, or all we can do is offer the numbed part of us to those we love, to offer less than we know we could.

To be safe, we position ourselves through inaction to be less to family and friends.

To be happy, we risk not meeting the expectations of our loved ones.

What to do? I took the risk, I am happier, now I have to take the lumps from the loved ones and hope their love was real, hope they can see past the action.

Time will tell I guess.
Take Care, Be Good to Each Other, Support a risk taker in their quest for happiness….one day it may be you.