Is This All There Is?

Written By: Kim - Oct• 18•11

Three days a week, I take the commuter train of the living dead. Let’s just say we are pulling away from home before 6 am. And, yes, there is one more train before ours that leaves my hometown a little after 5 am, but I rarely make that train. The last stop puts us at Washington, DC’s Union Station at 6:57 am. Most of us spend the last few minutes pulling in to the station gearing up for our day ahead. Or at least hoping the caffeine will kick in soon.

Today, one of my train buddies, who has a great personality and sense of humor was shaking his head and yawning. I asked him what was up. He pondered: “Some days, I wonder. Is this all there is?” I chuckled and told him that he was having a mini mid-life crisis. And, that most of us do not work because we want to, we work because we have to in order to enjoy things such as a home, vacations, college tuition, etc. As we went our separate ways, I thought about what he said.

Praiano, Almalfi Coast, Italy rainbow ©God. Photo ©Mike Howard.

We toil. We live. We survive. We love. We work. We learn. So what? Why are we doing this again? What drives us to enjoy life? I am not talking about simply going through the motions, but really living. Enjoying our family and friends; liking our career choices; finding our talent and passion outside of work. Making a difference somewhere to someone.

I don’t have the answer. I can just tell you to do something that makes you happy. If you hate your job and can’t leave, find an interest outside work. Discover one of your 10 talents. I have it on good authority from my Mom, who knew everything, that God gives us all 10 talents. It’s up to us to find them all. Volunteer — an organization somewhere needs someone just like you. Try a hobby. Hit the gym. Spend time with your friends. Start a book club, a poker night, bunco group or knitting club.

Do something to make yourself happy and discover there is more to life than we realize. Seize your day.

If You Are Free, Thank Someone

Written By: Kim - May• 29•11

As the USA celebrates Memorial Day this weekend, it’s more than a three-day weekend. It’s a time to reflect upon how our hard-fought freedoms are won. And, give glory to those who won it for us.

It’s become a trite saying over the years: If you are free, thank someone in a uniform. But when was the last time you thanked someone for serving their country? As an Army brat, I sometimes don’t feel it necessary to often thank another service member since my family lived it. We lived it for 26 years, several hardship tours and two tours in Vietnam. But, that said, it doesn’t mean that I should never say thank you. This is my public thank you to those who currently serve and those who have served.

© Robert Linder, courtesy of stock.xchng

Anyone connected to the military knows what kind of sacrifices Armed Service personnel make. From the most public: battle scars, possible life-long mental and physical disabilities or death. Many sacrifices are more private: less pay, long family separations, higher divorce rates, assignments in desolate locations, and letting politicians decide your fate. Citizens enlist in the military for a variety of reasons and reenlist for the same reasons: They are called to this vocation. There simply can not be any other reason because no one really wants to make these sacrifices. But, when you are called to a profession, you cannot ignore it.

There is something special about a uniform. It denotes a belonging. It identifies the person wearing it with a group. It’s one of the most powerful brands any marketer could ever hope to create. It sends a sense of fear and hope, depending upon the situation it is worn in. It provides a sense of pride.

So, for all of the opinions out there, remember that you are allowed to have your opinion because the U.S. Constitution guarantees it. And, never forget that someone in the military has upheld it for you since 1776.

So reach out the next time you see a military uniform. Say thank you to the woman or man inside it. You won’t regret it.