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short stories

Life’s a Vacation

What kind of vacation are you planning to have?

      Think of life as a vacation. When we are born, the vacation starts. At first, it seems like this vacation will last for a very long time. However, as we grow older, our vacation soon speeds up and will all too soon be over. The hardest thing about the greatest gift (life or shall we say vacation) is we never know when it will end. Like any extended vacation, there will be ups and downs that we will go through.

       This vacation starts out great, with nothing to do but enjoy the playtime. Soon, as we grow a little older, we must pay our dues, so we can continue to enjoy our vacation. If we don’t work hard, the vacation soon starts to fall apart. We can no longer enjoy the finer things without putting in the work. If you want to be enrolled in your college of choice one day, you must put in the work to add that to your itinerary. The first thing that is thought of when someone says college is the money it cost. You may have wealthy parents to foot the bill, but you still have to keep them grades up, not only to get in, but to stay once you are there. How about being able to visit a different part of this great park, we call earth. The money must be saved and spent to visit different countries. You may need to learn different languages and customs to be able to stay for an extended amount of time. This all comes down to, how much do you want it, and are you willing to put in the work to get it?

      Most people think of the one or two week vacations you get after you have worked a job for a year. If we think of life as a vacation, then we are working many years to enjoy it until we leave. This vacation can be as good or bad as we make it. This can truly be a lifelong wonderful vacation, if we want it to be. We can also have a miserable vacation, if we allow ourselves to let it be.

Two small children talking, one in wheelchair and one sits in chair

      Here is a thought for you to put into perspective, why are people that are born with disabilities, usually the happiest people to meet? These people accomplish more and enjoy life more than the fully functioning person out there. Maybe, just maybe, they see life as a vacation they have been granted. This thing we call life, most people don’t think of more than just a struggle, but those with afflictions (who should be the ones complaining), are those that find the good things about life and live it to the fullest. These people truly enjoy life because they can see what a gift they have been given. They also know to make the best of it before their vacation runs out. Why can’t we all see life in this way? Why take this gift and make it a nightmare? The breath of life is a gift, if you want to believe it or not.

        The middle of our vacation is the hardest. This is the part of the vacation we must work, not only for our own vacation, but for our families as well. As a man, I can say with all honesty, once my children started being born, all I thought about was them. I didn’t worry about me anymore, I wanted to make sure they had a better life (vacation) than me. Children make us want to work harder, so they may have the better things in life. If we are to have the nice homes, cars and family to put into our vacation, we must be willing to sacrifice a great deal for the reward. We, along with our significant other, might have to put aside what we want, in order for our children to do better than we did.

William Scaggs holding his grandson
I’m a proud grandfather holding my grandson

      As you get older and look into your grandchildren’s eyes, you can see what you have passed down into their vacations. Furthermore, we become older, and our vacation is coming to an end. Did we get to see and do all the things we wanted to earlier in life? You would probably answer no to this question. So, if we didn’t get to enjoy the whole park (or world) did we at least get to enjoy most of life up to this point? If your answer to this is no, then it’s make-up time before the park closes. Few people get to visit even half of the park. The question is, did you get to enjoy the part of the park you have seen? Are you happy with the part of the park you are at? Can you be content to finish the rest of your vacation where you are, with happiness in your heart? If the answer is yes, then you, my friend, have been successful in life and your vacation has been wonderful indeed! If you have answered no to this question, then maybe it’s time for a few changes. You have worked hard all through life, and you deserve to end your vacation on a high note.

      Let’s take a for instance and look at what you believe should be the high point of leaving this vacation. Have you been saving your money for that rainy day, but always wanted to go on a cruise? It is a good thought to be prepared, but if you are just holding money with no more reason than, if something should happen, you are letting your vacation slip away. I’m not saying to spend your life savings, but don’t just rot away on that old couch, either. Enjoy some of what you have worked so hard for. It’s a fact that you can’t take that money with you, it will stay at the park when you’re gone. You may be saving it for your loved ones to have, but you should have rights to some of it, shouldn’t you? Your loved ones should want you to enjoy the park before it closes. They are working on their own vacations, and what you leave them should be considered a bonus, not a fully paid vacation.

       So let’s look back at what life is. Life is a vacation that we have no idea how long it will last. If life is a vacation, then we must work hard to make it the best vacation that we can. If we want to make the best of our vacation and truly enjoy this great park, (earth) we better do the best we can every day and not wait. Those that wait, may miss a ride if the park should close before they decide to enjoy it. Our families are also here on vacation, and we must help them make the best of the park as well. If you want to accomplish something that you have dreamed of, don’t put it off too long, or the park may close on you before you can.

       This maybe the wildest way to look at life like a vacation, but isn’t better than thinking of life as a struggle? There is good and bad here at the park we call earth, but searching for the good is better than accepting the bad. We have no idea how long we will live. When your number is up, it’s up and that’s it. No matter how bad things are right now, if you look for the good, life is better. The world is not a perfect place, and we must overcome many obstacles, but overcome them and move on. Don’t give up when you’re down, keep getting up and go again. Let’s make life the best vacation ever!

Memories are past / look to your future

    We all look back at what we have done but that is what it is, [ DONE ]!! What we have planned for the future is what matters most. Good or bad in the past is said and done. We must learn to put the past behind us. If we continue to live in the past, we can never see what future holds.

    I am reminded of this idea as we put this year behind us and look forward to the next. We should live life the same way so we can continue to grow. We have learned what we have learned already. Now we must look forward and continue learning. Remembering is one thing but don’t dwell on it. You must believe that your best days are yet to come so you can fulfill your life’s goals. If you have already met the goals that you have set for yourself, it’s time to set new ones.

    Life continues and we must continue with it. If we continue to live in the past, we will never accomplish what the future has in store  for us. Pictures show what has been but not what is about to come. So enjoy your pictures but don’t stand still with them. Continue to move forward in life and enjoy the journey. We only have one life to live on this earth. It would be a shame to miss out on all life has in store for us. Yesterday is over, today is now and tomorrow has yet to be. What are your plans for the future? Do you have a plan or are you just winging it and taking it as it comes? If you don’t have a plan, today is a good day to start one. Write down your plan so it won’t escape you. This is very important to help you stay on track and keep focus.

    We never know how long we have to create a legacy to leave behind for others to see and learn from. Don’t let time slip through your hourglass and disappear before you have accomplished everything you want. All too often people wait and their life is snuffed out before they can complete their life’s work. Don’t let this happen to you. Have a plan and push to the finish line. Don’t wait my friends. Life is short and the older we get, the faster time slips away. As we count down the end of 2021, you are granted another more prosperous year. Grab 2022 by the horns and hold on for the success you are about to receive.

    Make your New Years resolution to begin the rest of your life with a future full of success. May God bless you in your journey. Remember, we are all in this together.

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Blog posts

Living and life

It is true that we must labor to make a living, but what are you doing to make a life? I’m not talking about having children, I’m talking about your life. Going to work at a job you don’t like will make you a living but not necessarily a life. You need to enjoy what you do for a living to have a good and fruitful life. You can have a job that you dislike and still enjoy it with the right frame of mind.

Mechanic working on car
Keep a joyful life even while making a living

Most people don’t realize the difference between just living and life. One hundred percent of us are in the living sector but what percent can actually say they have a good and fruitful life? Many go to work forty or more hours a week to make that all important living that pays the bills and puts food on the table. Maybe seventy percent of these people make it to retirement age. Once retired, possibly twenty-five percent of those retired have the means and physical ability to enjoy the remainder of their lives. That’s not very high in my point of view. Besides, why do we need to get to sixty-five or older to have that life we so much desire? Why can’t we have true meaning before we get old?

So what makes a good life? Some are content with the nine to five jobs, going home to see the family and for a home cooked meal. Three or four hours of enjoyment, then off to bed. The best thing we can think about is the weekend or maybe the week or two of vacation once a year. Of course the family vacation takes away the savings we have, which later will hurt us when we are ready to finally retire. Some have retirement money through their jobs like the 401k or maybe the company will pitch in if you spend thirty years with them. By the time you reach this all important age, you find out the retirement money isn’t really as much as you planned. It really looked good on paper, but when you start paying for things you want to do, you find out it’s never enough.

Man carrying a woman piggyback
Don’t wait till retirement, enjoy life now

I know it sounds like I’m being down hearted about this living versus life, but I’m going to bring a light to this right now. You can make a living and have a good life everyday once you set your mind to it. This has nothing to do with money. This my friends has everything to do with your mindset. You have to learn how to enjoy life even when things are at their worst. If you are of the mindset of just putting in your time till retirement to have a life, then that’s exactly what you’re going to get. You will not find true joy until you receive that gold watch for thirty years of hard labor. And sometimes, once we arrive at that time, we find out how fast time has gone and how much joy we have missed. Worse of all, maybe our bodies aren’t in the shape we planned on when we get there. This would really put a kink in our plans.

Retired husband and wife looking off into the world with morning coffee
Retirement is happiest if you enjoy life before

To have a good life from beginning to end, we must determine to live every day to it’s fullest. Then once we hit that all important time to finally retire, we can look back and see that we had a good life all along and didn’t miss the joy that came with it. When you wake up in the morning, and every morning from now on, decide to have the positive outlook instead of the grind it out negative way. I will guarantee, if you follow my advice, even the worst day can be a good day.

My friends, this may not make sense to you right now, but if you try the positive outlook for one month, every single day, you will feel the joy that you so desire and deserve. Don’t wait to get old to have a life. Start today and enjoy the time you have. We never know how long we truly have. Don’t wait to enjoy life. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
short stories

I said patience!!!

I thought I had great patience, however, like most Americans, I don’t have as much as I thought. I am learning to be a little more patient because of this blogging thing I have going on now.

I have learned that one letter or number put wrong in the wrong spot, can cost hours upon hours to fix unless you have the gift or training to find your mistake. I do not possess this quality on either side of that coin. Furthermore, I’m a learn as you go kinda guy. This learns as you go thing is not a great thing to have when dealing with computers.

I have made a total of three mistakes since I have started this blog that have cost me enormous hours of work trying to fix. I will get one thing fixed just to mess things up somewhere else. 

Man leaning over table,  gripping table with left hand, shaking right fist and screaming angrily

Where am I going with this? Well, other than the complaining I mean. I want to tell you that losing your patience with something is no reason to quit! If I had given up any one of those times, my blog would’ve ended right there. Instead, I buckled down, did a few chats with the computer geniuses and kept going.  There is always a solution, you just have to keep going and trying different things until something works.

Why the exclamation points in the title, you ask? That was what I caught myself yelling at myself earlier today, just before I figured out the solution to the mistake I made night before last. Of course, that wasn’t the whole sentence, there were a few choice words also used, but I’m trying to keep this a G rated blog or at least PG.

Man in a yellow raincoat standing on a bridge fishing in the rain, waiting for that first bite

As a recap, I want to ask you a question. How long is your patience? I think the answer to that question is, how important is it to you? This blog is important to me. I want it to be the best one of its kind. How long is my patience? I have yet to find the end of it. I may get upset, throw my hands in the air and yell out some profanities, but afterwards, I’m right back to work.

Learning to be patient is a lifelong lesson but given enough attention, it can lead to lifelong dreams. Take care and remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
short stories

Crossroads showing up in life

I know you have heard the term, I’m at a crossroads in my life. To this, I have to laugh.  If a crossroads in your life isn’t just ahead, well, you must be pushing up daisies. We as humans are at a so-called crossroads every day of our lives. Every day, when you wake up, you have choices to make. These choices (crossroads) can be as simple as getting out of bed or just going back to sleep. They can be as complicated as putting your paycheck in the bank or trying out the stock market.

Aero view of a major intersection of highway that resembles a cloverleaf

We all have plans for our lives, and some work out, some don’t. I am willing to lay odds the ones that don’t work out are because we have either decided to quit on that plan or found a better opportunity to follow instead. Some people believe if they are able to pay their bills for the month,  it’s all going great. Others believe if they haven’t made a million dollars this month, they have failed.

I don’t know where you are in life or where you want to end up. I do know you can go as far as you want if you want it badly enough. Furthermore, I’m not talking about just money, but what really makes you jump for joy.

When you wake up in the morning, don’t think of how bad things went yesterday. Instead, think about how great things are going to be today. In turn, if you had a great day yesterday, that was yesterday and today is here. How are you going to make today as good, if not better than yesterday? Hmm, a crossroads? That’s right, every choice you decide to make today is a crossroads in your life.

Your choice to go left, right or straight ahead with the plan you set in motion today will lead you down a path. Is it the right way or wrong? I am here to send you some good news. If you choose the wrong path, you can fix it because there is another crossroads up ahead. Think of it this way, you just took the scenic route instead of the expressway. May take a little longer, but there’s less traffic!

Don’t dwell on mistakes because you chose the wrong path. We learn from our mistakes, and it makes us stronger people for making them. Remember, mistakes are learning tools, failure is only when we quit. What is your crossroads today? Is it simple or complicated? It doesn’t matter, go with your gut feeling and if you’re wrong, it can be changed at your next crossroads. Have a wonderful life and remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
short stories

Technology, Good or Bad?

I have been offline for a couple of days because my website was broken.  It was a rough couple of days full of a lot of hair pulling.  As you can see, my site is back up and running.  Thanks to the good Lord above it wasn’t any longer because I’m running out of hair. This little stint away has brought me to my next journey into a phase where I ask myself and others, “Are we better off with or without the technology we have today?”

The first thing that comes to mind is, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with all of you if there wasn’t internet. The second thing that comes to mind is how much simpler things were when I grew up without all these gadgets we are stuck to today.

Picture of apps on a phone screen

I believe this is a subject that takes some looking into. Do these electronic devices help or hurt us? In some ways, life is so much easier. You don’t know the answer to a question today, well ask the all and powerful Google.  I mean, before Google,  we had to look things up in a dictionary or travel to the local library to find the answer.

Of course, on the other hand, if the grocery store loses power before you are done checking out, we’ll then you go home with no food because none of the registers work. Before all this technological advancements, if the power went off, it’s okay because the drawer still opens to make change.

Nowadays, we can find out what our military is doing overseas by simply turning on the television and searching through a million channels twenty-four hours a day. When I was growing up, we had three channels, and you couldn’t pause the station to use the restroom.  If you left the room for any reason,  you missed what ever happened to be on.

Now, I’m in an up and down battle with myself whether these advancements are good or bad. I mean as far as knowing everything the military is doing overseas at any given time may be a good idea for you, but I’m against it. As a veteran of these United States,  I believe something’s are better left untold. I may go into more detail of that at another time. ( If you would like to read my thoughts on why I don’t believe we need to know everything that our military is doing, send me an email and I may write a blog about it)

River rushing through the forest
There are many things to see without a phone on hand, like this creek.

So where do I stand with technology? I guess I enjoyed life a lot more without it. Sure it’s neat to have a phone I can carry around with me and not get strangled in the cord, but I spent a lot more time enjoying the world we live in without it. I  didn’t have that feeling all the time that my phone buzzed even when it wasn’t in my pocket. Anybody else gets them sensations?

I guess that’s my feelings on technology.  Let me know what you think.  I really like reading the opinions of others. If you don’t want my audience reading what you have to say, it’s okay,  drop me an email like a lot of others do, and it will be between us.

Well, I’m glad to be back to writing again, and I hope you are glad I’m back. Take care of yourselves and set that phone down sometime and enjoy the world around, there are a lot of things to see without a screen.  Until next time, remember, we are all in this together.

What road are you on?

Man looking down a old country road

      Have you ever felt like your road goes on forever with no end in sight? That’s great! That means there’s still hope for you. This is known as life. Ups and downs. My question to you is “Are you on the top, the bottom or in the middle”? If you are in the middle, are you on the uphill or downhill swing?

     Throughout our lives we have our ups and downs, and we hope to be on the uphill swing at the end of life. Are you planning your life in order to be on that uphill swing? Everyone’s top of the hill is different. For some it’s money, for others it’s simply that your children are happy.  I can’t, nor should I try to change your opinion on what you believe to be your hilltop. I just want you to look inside yourself and decide what is right for you, and don’t let others stop you from reaching your top!

     Here’s the trick that a lot of people forget. We have no idea how much time we have to reach our goal. Life happens as well as death. You may have eighty-five years or two weeks. So what are we to do with the time we have?

      Remember when I asked if you were on the top, the middle or the bottom? Well the bottom is easy, gotta go up right? The middle is what some would call a cross road, meaning it’s your choice. But, what about the top? If you believe that you are at the top, then I challenge you to change your goals. That’s right, my friends, there is No top to the hill of life. The only thing that is keeping you from reaching higher is you! If you are content where you are, then your dreams are over.

     The proper way to setting goals is setting more goals once you reach your goals. No matter who you are, you have not reached your true potential. If life knocks you down, then get up and go again. If life was easy, it would be boring, and I don’t deal in boring. Keep your heads up and keep climbing that hill we call life. I have faith in you and you should too. Till next time, this is your author, Billy. Take care out there and remember, we are all in this together!