Monday, February 22, 2016

Getting Up

There is nothing more counter productive than doubt. Lately I have felt motivated but not active, instead, I sat back and "thought" about my next move. Of course I knew what needed to be done, just did not have the energy to get up and get going. It was a conversation with my brother that brought me back to reality. I believe hard work and practice will bring my goals closer to reality. By no means would I consider myself a good photographer but I did realize that sitting back and "thinking" about it was only pushing me further away. So I got up and took off, back into the mountains with no distractions just hiking around enjoying the beauty. I completely surround myself with the true things that motivate me.

It was then I realized my next move was to get up, get out and go back to what I love. If you find yourself doubting just remember you can do it.

A little creek in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Plum tree in full bloom

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Thankful For What I Have

Growing up the concept of being thankful for what I have, was always forced into my head and heart. It took many years and 17 months of deployment in a combat zone, before I truly knew what it meant to be thankful.

Recently I have had the honor of working with local organizations and community members to combat Veteran homelessness. It is an amazing feeling when community members ask for my opinion and assistance in the matter. Without hesitation I agreed to help in any way possible. I have no personal experience of being homeless, my life has been filled with blessings and loved ones who were always there to pick me up when I was down. Personal actions on my part could have very easily lead me down a path of becoming homeless and I never take the roof over my head for granite.

The past few weeks have been filled with phone calls, emails, text messages and meetings all focused on helping others. Lately the thought of being able to help and choosing not too has been the driving force; my personal motivation to help in any way possible. I am not a rich man, like many other Americans, I live paycheck to paycheck. So I can not just cut a check to do my part in helping others. What I can bring to the table is my personal experience of over coming obstacles in life and extensive knowledge of the Department of Veteran Affairs programs, benefits and regulations. It would be safe to say the organizations and veterans I am helping have asked for my input because I can navigate through the complex maze of Federal and State benefits. By no means do I consider myself an expert in the various programs, thankfully I know people who are experts. 

So today I am thankful for everything I do have in my life; including a roof, family, friends and my health. Today I am most thankful for the opportunity I have to help others. I am thankful for the situations that have led me down this path.

Remember, donating money is amazing and always helpful. If you can not donate, there is nothing wrong with that. There are many other ways YOU can help others in your community.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gifts From A Conversation

Recently I was having a conversation with a family member; actually more of me venting. There was so much going on in my life that it began feeling like I could not keep up. During the conversation I had brought up an issue and was looking for reassurance that it will all work out. I never wanted anything or asked for any help. I'm the type of person who will go without before worrying too much about my own problems. Most of us are guilty of doing this, not only does it help mask our issues while making us feel all warm inside with helping someone else. We do this with emotional issues, physical issues and financial problems. This time for me was financial.

So it was a huge surprise when I was called and told my "problem" was put out into the community for help. At first anger filled my whole body and felt disgraced. After a few hours of relaxing that passed and reality kicked in. It was not that I am without money; it was the problem could not have came at a worse time. It was a month full of more money going out then coming in, so that meant savings ended up being drained. Then it would be a few months before I could fix the problem.

A few days went by with overwhelming support from the community. I began feeling so blessed and loved. There is a local group here called the Military Family Support Group; which I have been involved with in the past. They are an amazing group of people who do so much for the military families and veterans in our county. They wanted to help me, no strings attached; I was open to their offer and accepted it with an open mind and heart. They provided a relief and the chance to move forward in life with one less thing to focus on.

Before they were able to finalize everything a veteran had sat me down and told me something I will never forget.

"The money being provided to help may have came from a family member who lost their loved one in a war. That it may be their only link to that loved one. Or it may be from someone who was once down on life and worked their way back on track and want to pay it forward. Accepting help even if it was not asked for is a gift in itself. Now get off your high horse say thank you and be prepared to pay it forward."

In the spirit of giving if  possible please donate they help out so many.

Monday, December 14, 2015

What I Did Not Know!

So here I am; a few days into this new journey. What a journey it has been. When looking at different blogs in the past I always saw different styles, pages and layouts. That was never an issue for me, what I always looked at was the changes I would make. Now trying to figure this all out has been frustrating, confusing and fun.

I am fortunate to have a mother who also runs a blog. She has been the guiding light as I stumble through the darkness of my new project. In the past she would ask for my opinion on her blog and like normal I would suggest changing this or that. She would usually respond with "it is not as easy as you think it is" that is usually the time I would give her a hard time. Of course with my "know it all" mentality; which my mom would tell anyone I've had since I was a child. Seeing how I know it all my mother would try her best to explain and educate me on the workings of a blog. Those talks usually went in one ear and out another.

I would assume it was a surprise to her when she found out about my blog. Of course my mom being awesome she told me if I needed help figuring this all out, she was there for me. After I got everything setup on this blog; I asked her to look it over. She was happy to help and then called me and asked about going over to her house to work on our blogs together. When I got to her house we both pulled out of laptops and then mom pulled out her notepad and began asking me questions about what I wanted to do with my blog.

After an hour or so of talking she began teaching me things about blogs. I sat and listened (which I'm sure was a big deal for her) while we bounced ideas and goals off each-other. we began fixing little things on my page. A few hours passed by and all the issues with my blog were fixed.

I could not have done it without the help of others.

Thanks Mom.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

First Day, First Step

Here I go. A new day with a new beginning, heading for the unknown. Blogs are nothing new to me, I have a couple family members who have their own blog. Starting a blog has been on my mind for awhile now. Of course those who are close to me seem to always hound me to "get it going" and somehow the days go by without starting a blog.

Yesterday was a cloudy and wet Northern California day; so I stayed inside working on an upcoming photography job. Sitting behind a computer screen for the most part listening to rain drops fall onto my roof. Which is amazing to me, I love the rain. Sometime mid-afternoon I decided to go outside and walk around.

I had walked a few steps through a large puddle and imagined myself as a child again. It was deep enough to jump up and make a huge splash. It was the perfect puddle to jump into, the one a child splashes into getting all of those around him or her soaked.

After a few seconds I finally looked back up. It was amazing; a double raindow clear as could be right in front of me. I turned around a ran back inside, slidding all over the floor in an attempt to make it to my camera bag. After running through my house like an over excited puppy I grabbed just my camera and off I went.

Once I got into place the rain started again and the rainbows began fading away. I was able to get a few pictures but not as many as I would have liked to. While trying to capture the moment I decided now was the time to start moving forward with my dreams.

So here I am; this is just the beginning of a long journey.