Best of the Ministry of Happiness

Best of the Ministry of Happiness

ireland, selfie, happiness, travel

Rev Kane in Ireland

 I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things. ~ Lech Walesa

So I’m feeling a bit lazy tonight, good but lazy.  Today was a day where I really felt like myself for the first time in a really long time.  It was a good day, I slept in, pushed myself to go the gym, did a little cooking.  While doing a little bit of work I found the photo above. However outside of that it’s been a pretty mellow day.  It’s been a dreamy kind of day, in my head I’ve started thinking about what I’ll be doing in on my time off, starting to formulate plans.  So, I’m dreamy and I’m lazy so I decided to link back to some my favorite Ministry of Happiness posts.  I hope you’ll forgive my laziness tonight, give a couple a read and have a happy day my friends.  ~ Rev Kane

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Remember the Sweet Things

My Polar Bear Adventure

Trekking in the Himalayas

Overcoming Demons to be Happy

Petra a 2000 Year-old City

 

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Happiness, Returning & Emotion

Happiness, Returning & Emotion

03Happiness is having a large, close-knit family, in another city.                              ~ George Burns

So it’s going to be an interesting and stressful week, you see I’m heading back to the place I grew up for my grandmother’s memorial service.  The range of emotions will be a bit staggering.  There will be joy at seeing some people, my brother who I do not get to see often enough, my nieces and nephews, old friends and others.  There will be tension, I have one family member in particular right now who I’m angry at beyond description.  There will  be sadness in the missing of my grandmother as the grieving process continues.  There will be abundant annoyances I’m sure, unexpected opportunities for smiles and laughter.  All in all a really mixed bag and a whirlwind happening over four days.

There is always both nostalgia and irony in returning to the town I grew up in.  Nostalgia for the simplicity of life I had as a child, those places where I made significant memories.  The irony in returning there for me is in that I had one single goal growing up and that was to get the hell out of that town.  My childhood was complicated, not always happy, I never felt like I fit in even remotely with the majority of the people I grew up around.  I lived under the delusion that it was all tied to that place and the answer was simple, get out.  Of course it wasn’t, but I was young and naive, in fact leaving led to even larger problems and eventually to the knowledge I needed to eventually fix my problems.

We take our problems with us, they are after all, our problems.  Place and people can of course exacerbate those issues but the issues reside within us.  My home town was a small place, I always think about it when I hear a line in the Peter Gabriel song Big Time.  The line, “they think so small, they use small words.”  Finding a camaraderie of an idea in that song is not surprising as it is purported that he wrote the song as a response to former band mates who thought his head had gotten too big as a result of the success in his solo career.  That town couldn’t offer me the things I wanted in life, when I was younger I thought that made it a bad place, it doesn’t.  It just made it a bad place for me.

Each time I go there I think about this idea.  I’m thankful for a lot that happened there, my childhood, complex and hard, also afforded me some very good things.  Being a bit of street kid, I learned how to read people and that is a skill that has served me very well in my life.  I also learned how to fight and what it feels like to physically get my ass kicked, both of those were very handy lessons.  I learned a lot about the world there at far too young of an age, but I was exposed to realities in this world that I often realize others have not experienced well into middle-age.  So I do have some gratitude for what that place provided.

I am glad I left, I can’t imagine my life having always been located there.  I know, some of you reading this will be unhappy with what I’m saying.  Those of you who never left might feel I’m putting myself above you, I’m not.  If your decision to stay there worked for you, if you’re happy with your choices great.  For me it wasn’t an option, I would have been miserable.  The idea that I hope people reading this will draw is that places, biological family and even events bring about emotional responses for all of us.  Some of those responses are far from positive.  What’s important though, is how we choose to react to these things, the choices we make.  So this week will be difficult, it’s my job to pull the positive experiences and focus on them, to make choices that minimize the negative experiences and attitudes.  Then again isn’t that our job every week?  In fact I think it is, and I hope you are all successful in that effort this week and that you have a happy seven days my friends ~ Rev Kane

Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and Becoming Who You Are

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Our Best Happiness Posts for 2015

Revisiting Some of Our Best Posts & Pictures

There are Angels Among Us: A True Story of Giving & Kindness

Remember the Sweet Things

Happiness is Not Safety

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Happiness and Hitting Reset

Happiness and Hitting Reset

01
What’s so fascinating and frustrating and great about life is that you’re constantly starting over, all the time, and I love that. ~ Billy Crystal

Occasionally, even if things are going ok you can end up out of sync.  That’s where I found myself this past week.  My new job had started out insanely busy but I’d finally got into a routine and was feeling comfortable.  My fitness goals were moving in a positive direction, I’ve recently lost 17 pounds although I’m still nursing a fairly serious shoulder injury.  My blood pressure is pack into an acceptable range and my blood sugar is improving, I’ve even gotten a little hiking in over the last two weeks.  So all in all things were good.

Last week I was out for a conference and out of my routines.  I found a decent pizza place and since there is no good pizza where I live I indulged two nights while away.  Sleep is always iffy in a hotel and there was a lot of learning at the conference.  The conference was informative but was also an opportunity for me to reconnect with some old colleagues as well as reconnecting with a few I didn’t expect to see.  There was also some bad news, a person I really liked passed away last week.  We’d worked together for a few years, he was one of my favorite adjunct faculty and I have missed his smile, his greetings and our conversations.

So I found myself at the end of the week feeling disconnected.  The weekend was hectic with a college event on Friday night and a Relay for Life Event, I typically do a late night slot for my hour walk and this year was no exception.

01So with my eating and sleep patterns wrecked and feeling just a bit out of sorts I decided to hit the reset button.  I slept in a bit, did my Sunday chores around the house, took a little walk and completed a little DIY home project to take care of a problem with my hot water.  My favorite football team won big tonight, I’ve written down some goals I needed to solidify and I sit here at the end of the weekend and am appropriately tired, my chores are done and I’m ready to get rolling again.  Back to it on Monday morning, keep moving forward, keep making things better, keep trying to be a happier person and always remembering to have a little fun and happy days my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

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A Happy Conversation

A Happy Conversation

fix crop sign 2Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose                ~ Lyndon B Johnson

So I’m back in the Sacramento area, I’ve rented a place her for a couple of months while I do a job search.  I’m happy to report I have an interview on March 7th so things are moving forward for me.  It’s nice coming back to someplace you lived and worked for some time.  I had the pleasure of hanging out at my old workplace a bit over each of two days and visiting and catching up with friends.

It’s been a bit of a surreal experience returning, settling into an apartment, running errands.  The treasure hunt that has been digging through my storage space has yielded some odd results.  For instance in getting ready for my interview I was able to find my suits, my dress shirts, my pants and even my ties.  However, I have not been able to locate my dress shoes and socks.  I don’t think I’ll get the job if I show up in a suit barefoot, or wearing my hiking shoes, so I guess it’s off to do some shoe shopping tomorrow.

Although a bit weird it does feel good to be settled a bit.  I’ve really enjoyed cooking the last couple of days and have been eating a lot.  I want to cook everything I haven’t had in a long time immediately, so it will be good to get back into my daily gym routine this week.

I was wondering what I would write about for my Sunday post, the report out above was of course part of it, but didn’t have a lot to do with happiness, then I bumped into one of my favorite people at my old job.  He’s a custodian and besides just being a nice guy and a hard worker he’s always happy.  In the three years we worked together I never saw him in a down mood, never heard a negative word from him.

I was instantly happier once I saw him, his positivity is down right infectious.  I told him how much I appreciate his attitude and he smiled, of course, and told me it made no sense not to be happy.  He related to me that in his fifteen years in the United States he has come to know that this country is really a wonderful place.  That he’s so thankful every day for his life here, once again we see that gratitude pays dividends.  He grew up in the former Soviet Union and his life when he was younger was tough and full of deprivation.  He truly loves the United States and not just what America represents but the actual realization of that in his day to day life.  I think the favorite thing he said to me was how nice it is to just to be able to live your life day to day, work, relax, sit in the sunshine.

He truly gets the formula for happiness including not having expectations that are unrealistic, appreciating and focusing on the small things, being mindful, and expressing gratitude.  He also said to me that even when he feels bad, he smiles, because just smiling makes him feel a little bit better and helps him have a happier day.  So smile and have your own happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Resources to Boost Your Mood

On Being More Mindful

Resources for Overcoming Loss

The Power of Hugs

How to be Happy

Habits for Happiness

Resources on Meditation

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Happiness is Poetry: Leonard Cohen

Happiness is Poetry: Leonard Cohen

leonard cohen, poetry, happiness

Leonard Cohen

To keep our hearts open is probably the most urgent responsibility you have as you get older. ~ Leonard Cohen

If you know Leonard Cohen, you likely know him from his music and personally I think these are a couple of his most amazing songs.

I’m your man

Dance me to the end of love

In addition to a long and amazing a career and perhaps an even longer and more interesting life, Cohen was also a poet.  So tonight a few of his pieces for you to enjoy.         ~ Rev Kane

 

When this American woman from “Let Us Compare Mythologies”

When this American woman,
whose thighs are bound in casual red cloth,
comes thundering past my sitting place
like a forest-burning Mongol tribe,
the city is ravished
and brittle buildings of a hundred years
splash into the street;
and my eyes are burnt
for the embroidered Chinese girls,
already old,
and so small between the thin pines
on these enormous landscapes,
that if you turn your head
they are lost for hours.

 

The Genius (“For you I will be a ghetto Jew ..”) from “The Spice-Box of Earth”

For you
I will be a ghetto jew
and dance
and put white stockings
on my twisted limbs
and poison wells
across the town

For you
I will be an apostate jew
and tell the Spanish priest
of the blood vow
in the Talmud
and where the bones
of the child are hid

For you
I will be a banker jew
and bring to ruin
a proud old hunting king
and end his line

For you
I will be a Broadway jew
and cry in theatres
for my mother
and sell bargain goods
beneath the counter

For you
I will be a doctor jew
and search
in all the garbage cans for foreskins
to sew back again

For you
I will be a Dachau jew
and lie down in lime
with twisted limbs
and bloated pain
no mind can understand

 

THE NEXT ONE (“Things are better in Milan …)” from Death of a Lady’s Man

Things are better in Milan.
Things are a lot better in Milan.
My adventure has sweetened.
I met a girl and a poet.
One of them was dead
and one of them was alive.
The poet was from Peru
and the girl was a doctor.
She was taking antibiotics.
I will never forget her.
She took me into a dark church
consecrated to Mary.
Long live the horses and the sandles.
The poet gave me back my spirit
which I had lost in prayer.
He was a great man out of the civil war.
He said his death was in my hands
because I was the next one
to explain the weakness of love.
The poet was Cesar Vallejo
who lies at the floor of his forehead.
Be with me now great warrior
whose strength depends solely
on the favours of a woman.

Other Poetry for your Enjoyment!

Charles Bukowski

Warsan Shire

Doug Draime

Rev Kane

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Happiness is Emma Dumont

Happiness is Emma Dumont

emma dumont, happiness

THE GIFTED: Emma Dumont as Polaris/Lorna Dane

Tease hair not homos ~James St. James (Emma Dumont’s favorite quote)

So tonight I’m going to go a little bit fan boy on you my friends.  I’ve talked about this before, I’m a TV watcher and a science fiction fan and so when Marvel announced a new TV series I knew I had to at least check it out.  So I launched into the first episode of the Gifted and immediately was drawn to the character Polaris.  The character is pretty cool, but the real shot was the actress, Emma Dumont.  She has an amazing stage presence and is absolutely stunningly beautiful as the picture above demonstrates.

Now it’s rare, but all that unusual to find a beautiful young actress on a TV show.  But there’s something really special about Emma and I decided to Google her.  I was suddenly even more impressed.  Not just an actress but a classically trained ballet dancer as well.  Even more impressive she’s also working on a mechanical engineering degree through Olin College.  So she’s intelligent, beautiful, physically and artistically talented, talk about your total package.  At that point I started to think that Miss Dumont is going to be a huge star.

emma dumont, happiness

Talk about your double threat, ballet and engineering

I was kicking around the web looking at her previous work on IMDB and then saw her Instagram address so I kicked over to take a look and noticed she was doing a live feed.  So I followed her page and dropped into her live post on Instagram.  Now, I’ve seen some live feed posts before and I’ve never really been all that impressed by them.  That changed watching Emma Dumont’s live feed, she was absolute captivating, genuine, kooky, she bursts into song sometimes for a reason, sometimes not.  She truly seems like a nice human being, she seems to genuinely care about her fans and makes an effort to acknowledge them.

emma dumont, happiness

Emma Dumont has a great smile

As I said, she’s an impressive woman, smart, talented and willing to take a stand.   Whenever I see her on live I try to jump in, like I said she’s a ton of fun to watch doing these.  While watching one she mentioned a trans issue and some of the fans starting making anti-LGBTQ remarks.  A lot of folks would have just ignored the comments or cut the session but she didn’t .  She went at the comments and pointed out it wasn’t cool, she pointed out people are people, she re-iterated her favorite quote.  She addressed that she realized some people are raised with hate and need to get more educated.  And although she was standing up for herself, she was also apologizing for being direct and a little confrontational.  Now that’s a great PR move, but in no way did it seem like a calculated act.  She just truly seemed like a nice person trying to stand up for her values and feeling bad that she might be making someone else feel bad.

It’s this genuine niceness, her relaxed demeanor and nervous energy that makes her incredibly approachable by her fans and I count myself among them.  Check her out, remember her name, she’s gonna be a major, major star and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

Other  Happiness Posts!

Acceptance is the Way

Simple Lessons in Happiness

Happiness is Yasmin Hamdan

Happiness is Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso

Happiness is Blue Poop

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My Bucket List

My Bucket List

happiness, hiking, appalachian trail

My Polar Bear Selfie

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.                  ~ Oprah Winfrey

I remember writing my first bucket list, it was almost thirty years ago.  I only put on twenty items, my thinking was not as expansive as it is these days.  I would write additional bucket lists over the years as the items on my earlier lists were completed.  Not that that I’ve ever completed all of them, the first item on the list has always been on the list.

photography, travel, adventure

Aurora while photographing Polar Bears in the Arctic

However, I knew even when I wrote the first list, I knew as a child that I always wanted to travel.  My curiosity is immense and likely insatiable, I have always realized that I’ve wanted to see everything, know everything, as impossible as that obviously would be in a single or even multiple lifetimes.  But that hasn’t stopped me from trying and that will be obvious from my list.  The list is heavy on places, but that shouldn’t be seen as limiting, because the journey to these places, that travel, provides experiences that are priceless.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my first view of the Treasury Building in Petra, peeking through the Siq, camels kneeling on the ground for anything.  But as amazing as that vision was, it was the journey to Petra that was so fantastic.  My first time in a Middle Eastern country, my days in Wadi Rum with the Bedouin, conversations with cab drivers and locals, almost driving into an ISIS attack that killed 30 people, and bobbing like a cork in the Dead Sea.  All of those experiences were wrapped up in the seed of one item on the bucket list, going to Petra.  Although swimming in the Dead Sea had also long been on my list.

petra, jordan, travel

Rev Kane at Petra

So, I’m sharing my list with you tonight (in no order of importance), using this post as a reason to reconstruct a new one, in hopes it will inspire you as well my friends.  Not just to draw up your own list, which I hope you will do.  Writing the list is a fun little dreaming exercise of its own.  But even more importantly in hopes that in creating your list, in reading my own adventures, that you’ll start checking off items on your own list and have happier days my friends.  ~ Rev Kane

My Bucket List

  1.  See the Great Pyramid at Giza
  2.  Travel to outer space
  3.  Complete the Appalachian Trail
  4.  Hike at least 500 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail
  5.  Hike the Western Highland Way in Scotland
  6.  Hike in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco
  7.  Hike the Overland Track in Australia
  8.  Hike 500km on the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand
  9.  Hike to Machu Pichu
  10.  Hike in Patagonia
  11.  Do a walking tour in Kenya
  12.  Hike at least 500 miles on the Trans-Canada Trail
  13.  Bicycle across the United States
  14.  See Stonehenge
  15.  Walk on the Glaciers of Greenland
  16.  Go to Iceland
  17.  See Mount McKinley
  18.  Take an Ocean Voyage
  19.  Kayak the coast of California
  20.  Kayak the Zambezi River
  21.  See mountain Gorillas in the wild
  22.  See an elephant in the wild
  23.  See a lion in the wild
  24.  See a hippo in the wild
  25.  See a right whale in the wild
  26.  See a grizzly bear in the wild
  27.  See a tiger in the wild
  28.  See a snow leopard
  29.  Go on a bigfoot expedition
  30.  Photograph the great migration
  31.  Swim in the Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls
  32.  See Iguazu Falls in Brazil
  33.  Do a cage dive with Great White Sharks
  34.  See a Rhino in the wild
  35.  Go to Marrakesh
  36.  Go to Tangier
  37.  Hike the Muir Trail
  38.  Hike Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon
  39.  Photograph the Wave in Arizona
  40.  Go to Tonga
  41.  Go to Tuvalu
  42.  Go to the Cook Islands
  43.  Visit Cappadocia, Turkey
  44.  Go to Up Helly Aa
  45.  Go to Angkor Wat
  46.  Go to the Great Barrier Reef
  47.  Visit Australia
  48.  Go to Antarctica
  49.  Visit the Galapagos Islands
  50.  Visit Vietnam
  51.  Go to Carnival in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
  52.  Surf a sand dune in Fortaleza, Brazil
  53.  Visit Italy
  54.  See the Taj Mahal
  55.  Backpack in India
  56.  Backpack in Thailand
  57.  Go to Bangkok
  58.  Hike Rainbow Mountain in Peru
  59.  Visit Norway
  60.  Attend Diwali in India
  61.  Run with the Bulls in Spain
  62.  Visit Cuba
  63.  Take a hot air balloon ride
  64.  Skydive
  65.  Do Peyote
  66.  Do Ayahuasca
  67.  Search for a buried treasure
  68.  Do a century bicycle ride
  69.  Do an Alaskan Cruise
  70.  Go to Timbuktu
  71.  Go to the Louvre Museum
  72.  Go to the Van Gogh Museum
  73.  Climb Kilimanjaro
  74.  On the same day, sunrise from Mt. Whitney, sunrise from Death Valley
  75.  Go to Glacier National Park
  76.  Watch a game at Wrigley Field
  77.  Swim in a Great Lake
  78.  Learn how to surf
  79.  Go to Spanish language school in Oaxaca
  80.  Be in Oaxaca for the Day of the Dead
  81.  See an Orca in the wild
  82.  Meet a penguin
  83.  Photograph Antelope Canyon in Arizona
  84.  Hang with Grey Whales in Baja
  85.  Visit Bhutan
  86.  Photograph the race track in Death Valley
  87.  Go Parasailing
  88.  Learn how to play the saxaphone
  89.  Learn Akido
  90.  Publish a book of fiction
  91.  Catch a stage of the Tour De France live
  92.  Swim in Jellyfish Lake – Palau
  93.  Start a business
  94.  Too personal to post
  95.  Hike to Kuang Si Falls in Laos
  96.  Take a boat from Manaus to Fortaleza, Brazil on the Amazon
  97.  Vagabond for at least 3 months
  98.  Create an art prank like fairy houses
  99. Find a meteorite
  100. Swim in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Have any better suggestions, add them in the comments ~ Rev Kane

 

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Happiness & Aging

Happiness & Aging

happiness familyMy issue isn’t about physical aging; my issue is about wanting to remain vigorous and youthful in my spirit. ~ Rob Lowe

I had a job interview last week, it went ok, I was definitely a bit rusty and not at my sharpest.  Being completely out of the work environment for fifteen months will do that to you.  In my mind I was doing two things at once during the interviews, both with the committee and with the president of the college.  I was both answering the questions and also evaluating my performance in real-time, trying to compensate for bad answers, think of the connections between questions while still being myself.  I know that sounds a little nutty, but that’s how my brain works, there are always multiple tracks running at once.

One of the things I noticed about my answers was how much my grandparents informed what was going on for me in the interview.  I actually directly mentioned my grandfather, in terms of aging and my personality.  I love telling people that he got in a street fight at age 87, particularly because the result of that was him telling me the following; “I hit that guy up in his gut with everything I had and he didn’t go down.  I think I might be getting old.” The reason I love that so much was the authenticity in his eyes when he said it to me.  It really seemed that he had never truly considered the idea before that he was getting old.  He wasn’t a moron, he obviously knew he was aging, but he was someone who in spite of aging, walked everyday, gardened and truly enjoyed life.

During the interview my Granny was also on my mind.  I didn’t take one of her best pieces of advice to me on the writing assignment, do the hard thing first, and in addition to mishearing the timing it caused me to have to turn in an incomplete result.  Hopefully it didn’t kill my chances at the job.  But I thought about her words a lot on the way to the committee interview.  But I also knew what she’d be saying to me at that moment, it’s over, can’t change it, get over yourself.  I smiled at that thought and let it go, I got a second shot to talk about that exercise in the interview and so hopefully it all worked out ok.

Granny doing her best Lou Reed inpersonation.

Granny doing her best Lou Reed impersonation.

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.                 ~ Betty Friedan

Both of my grandparents, my Grandpa Kane and my Granny Cordato lived until they were 90.  I hope like hell I get that many years, part of what I think got them 90 years were their attitudes.  You see they were both tough, Granny was a hillbilly who had survived poverty in Appalachia, a hard up bringing, the early loss of a husband, breast cancer and the loss of her vision in one eye.  She was sooo tough and was always a fighter, and yet always had so much love in her heart particularly for her grandchildren.

My grandfather survived Normandy and being a prisoner of war in World War II in Germany, not only that but he once escaped and was recaptured.  The Germans reported him dead, we didn’t talk about PTSD in the 50’s but I’m sure he suffered from it.  His marriage also dissolved right after the war and he never remarried.  He was tough as nails, always a brawler, literally into his 80’s.  But like my Granny, gave unflinchingly and was much softer with his grandchildren than with anyone else.

They’re lives taught me that attitude counts for so much, so my friends, be fighters, but take the other lesson as well, love people, be soft with the little ones, they have enough hardness in their world.  Stay positive and have purpose it matters, it will keep you young, and above all, forget about getting old, we all have to age, but none of us have to get old.  Remember that and hopefully you’ll have many, many, happy days my friends.                     ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Life Lessons from Granny

A Post with a poem about my Grandpa

Happiness is Granny

Why I’m Happy Right Now!

Making Change Happen

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Thoughtful Happiness Quotes

Thoughtful Happiness Quotes

01Tonight a set of quotes to get you thinking, have a happy day my friends         ~ Rev Kane

1 1 02 2 2 033 3 04 4 4 05 058 09 9 010 010 10 10 011 11

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Quotes about Inspiration & Happiness

Quotes about Happiness, Gratitude & Kindness

Revisiting Some of our Best Posts, Quotes & Pictures

Inspirational Quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

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Happiness is Not Safety

Happiness is Not Safety

maslow happiness safetyThe quote above has been flowing around the internet and possibly truer words have never been spoken. If you don’t move forward, take chances, risk yourself in some way, you stagnate. True, you revert to a place that is more predictable that is safer, but is that better, is that someplace you’ll truly be happier?

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I say no, and I give you this example. Remember the first time you fell in love, remember that amazingly terrifying feeling of falling helplessly and loving every second and every breath you took during those moments. You never get there, you never feel that way without making a change, taking a step forward, a risky step at that. Yes, often that feeling was followed by the normal rollercoaster of love, but would you avoid the downside, trade that most amazing feelings, for being safe and never hurt but never knowing love. No matter the pain you’ve felt I don’t think you would.

Rev Kane relaxing in the arctic snow flurries

Rev Kane relaxing in the arctic snow flurries

Too many times in life we opt for safety, security, predictability.  We pass on a wonderful job opportunity because it means moving and uprooting our lives.  We let our doubts work their evil on us and scare us with the idea we might not be good at the new gig.  What we effectively do is let the current box we live in and the script that society has handed us define who and what we will be.  Stop it!  Scare yourself, you can never truly know how amazing you are, what you are capable of or how wonderful life can be until you step out onto the edge and try something new.

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This idea is amazingly relevant for me right now.  I just came off of a year of doing just this.  When I told my human resource director at my last job what I was doing, that I was stepping away from work he was actually confused.  “You won’t have health insurance, you know you won’t acrue any time towards your retirement?”  Now these are idiotic statements and although I didn’t like him very much I can’t say he was a truly stupid man.  What had happened was I had stepped out of the box and it was inconceivable to him and so he started quoting the things that our society has scripted for us, things that keep us safe, health care, retirement, blah, blah, blah.  You know what’s not in that script, FUN!  The script doesn’t talk about enjoying life, trying new things, exploring this amazing world and the greatest gift we’ve ever been given, our life.

100_0032By time I start working again sometime in the late spring or summer, I will have been off of work fifteen to eighteen months.  Not only didn’t I die or ruin my life but I had an utterly amazing year.  Now I know what some of you are thinking.  Sure, you’re single, you make good money when you’re working, you don’t have kids, it’s easy for you.  My reply is bullshit!  You know plenty of single people, how many of them have ever left their scripted lives and just traveled for a year after the age of 30.  We all have complications and responsibilities in life.  All of these can be addressed if you are willing to take a chance, to give up the scripted safety for a bit.

land 25There are whole websites, like Families on the Road, that cater to folks who have taken their kids out of school and hit the road for months or years at a time.  What people think is that this sort of thing is half-assed and irresponsible, it’s just the opposite.  In order to do what these people did, what I did, it takes a lot of planning.  I planned for three years before I took this year off.  It took that long to figure out the plan, how to pay for the time off, how to save and create the finances needed to cover the responsibilities and bills we all have whether we are working or not.  Irresponsible, how could creating the coolest year in your kids whole childhood be considered irresponsible?

happinessLife goes by so fast, it seems like a month ago I was at a parade for the US Bicentennial in 1976, college seems like last week, the birth of my fourteen year-old niece hours ago.  Don’t let life slip by my friends.  One of the greatest compliments I have ever given was by a co-worker in Tennessee, she looked at me and said, “my friend you are a sampler of life.” The fact that being that type of person is not normal is one of the saddest things I can think of, we get one shot, why the hell not make it the best ride possible.

happiness, appalachian trailI know it’s hard, I know it’s scary, beyond terrifying even.  It’s as scary as climbing a thirty foot rock wall with a thirty-five pound pack on your back.  I know that fear all too well, but what I’ve learned every time I’ve done something like this, is that it pays more dividends than you can possibly imagine.  I love that so many of you who read my writings do so to come along for the ride.  I’m happy you do, but what I want even more for you, is for you go for your own ride and take me along.  I don’t want you just to virtually experience my happiness, I want you to create your own.  You’re never too old, too fat, too bald, too small, too broke to do this, it just takes the desire to do it with a bit of planning.  So be bold my friends, identify the step and take it, boldly, bravely and take the happiness you deserve and along the way, and always remember to have a good day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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