Editor’s Letter

Editor’s Letter

“The obstacle is the way!” — Ryan Holiday

Wow!!! Seriously, I can’t believe that this year is almost done. Feels like I’m just getting into it and it’s over. As you are reading this, Thanksgiving decorations are being packed away, and everywhere you turn Christmas smacks you in the face; on the radio, in shops, online and on TV.

At this time of year, I like to go into my office and truly reflect on the events of the past year: both the highs and the lows. For all those high activity, goal-oriented people out there; we do have the tendency to feel like we have failed if we didn’t accomplish everything on the long list of goals, we set for ourselves for the year. Over each passing year, I have come to realize that failure is not the end of the world, only the beginning of the adventure.

I have a photo app called Shoebox. I have about 65,000 pictures. I mentioned before that I’m into photography. Shoebox sorts them by day, month, years and categories. So, for instance, if I want to see my daughter’s birthdays for the past 5 years, it’s easy to find. If Debbie wants to see how she decorated the house for Christmas last year: Boom! And they are found.

Each day I get a Shoebox email saying, “What did you do today six years ago?“ It shows a picture from each day, for every year, going back as far as you want. I love Shoebox! I get really inspired by it. For example, I can see how all my training has changed the way I look; or how much work we’ve done on the house.

Lastly, I have been looking at all our past Christmas vacations; where we spent it and with whom. Recently, my father-in-law has taken a turn for the worst with his Parkinson’s. He has been suffering with it for years now, but suddenly in the last three months he has drastically declined to the point that he is now in assisted living. He now only has about 15 minutes of clear thought a day, and no longer remembers his family. It’s heartbreaking for my mother-in-law to visit her loved one every day when he has no clue who she is. All those memories you share with your dearest are now gone. It’s a massive shock not to be able to share those memories of your life’s journey together with your partner. I am so grateful now that I had the foresight to make his past few Christmases so special for him and the family.

In my recent scare in Vegas, back in August, when I thought I was going to die in a taxi on the way to the hospital, I had massive epiphany. I suddenly realized I wasted so much time stressing about the future and not focusing on the present. Right then I made a promise to myself to enjoy every day and appreciate all the little things that go into making our lives colorful. Time is our most precious commodity and yet most of us waste it because we think we have so much more ahead.

The Prince Ea song I heard the other day was spot on: “It’s not death most people are afraid of. It’s getting to the end of life to realize you never truly lived!

No matter how your year was, look back at all the memories you created. The first day your kid started high school, the Homecoming Dance, a birthday celebration, the fun day at the beach, the epic sunsets and sunrises, and going on your exciting vacation. You will feel so grateful for all those beautiful moments you created.

My daughter, Tayla, is flying to South Africa over Christmas to see her Grandmother. She tells me, “Dad, I just love flying! It’s so exciting. I love the layover; the surprise food…I don’t care if there are delays or that the food is not great, it’s all an adventure to me!”

Don’t you just love that attitude? No matter what happens, she is telling me, she is going to enjoy the journey!

Take pleasure in the small things. They end up creating an amazing life. Go fill your Shoebox!

Happy Holidays!

–Ralph