Category Archives: Travels & Musings

Post 1,000: End of an Era

tumblr_mp3mmhFrXH1qcjbroo1_500Tonight is my almost last post.

Every 100 posts I’ve made a point of pointing out that I’ve made another 100 posts. This is the tenth such hallmark (if you do the math, you’ll see that I’m right, and also that I might secretly be Captain Obvious), and upon reaching it, after almost four years of posting five nights a week, without fail, since May 28, 2010, I’ve decided no longer to keep to such a demanding posting schedule. And so …

I’m going ad-hoc.

I will now only post when a subject strikes my fancy. You might get five posts in a week, you might get only one, but it will be much less frequent either way. I will not cease to write, but I will write as my other activities permit.

And those activities will be many.

Starting this weekend, this site will be converted into a sell-me site, focused on presenting myself and my skills as a freelancer, doing what I’m learning to do better and better every day.

  • Novelist / Writer
  • Graphic and Publication Design
  • Voice Work
  • Professional emcee
  • Musician

And so that’s the future. But what about the past? I mean, four years is a lot of time. A lot of writing. Where have I been?

My name is Christian Michael.

Today I turn 28, my golden birthday, and also begin a new phase of my life. Yesterday I left a fantastic job with the 22nd Air Force to begin a position known in the Air Force Reserve world as an Individual Mobility Augmentee, and will be based out of Joint Task Force, Fort Monroe, Virginia.

My plan (que God laughing at me) is to spend the next three years traveling, working at various units performing a variety of tasks, get promoted to Master Sergeant, attend online courses to get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, apply for and attend Officer Training School, and publish two more novels beyond the one I just wrote.

I hope to meet lots of new people, see many new things, make new loves and a name for myself. Should you choose to follow me on this journey, I would, indeed, be honored. Be aware, I’m opinionated, political and irreverent for most things. My personal motto: Life is too short to take too seriously, and too long to worry about today.

So, to start us off, today I’m spending my birthday relaxing with a friend, running some mild, entertaining errands, going to my going away/birthday dinner and to see Prince of Persia. It’s gorgeous outside, the weather is nice and God is good, even if I’m not so much.

And let me make this clear, I don’t think my daily life is all that exciting. “Brushed my teeth around 7 pm” is not likely to be listed in my blog unless I had a revelation while cleaning my molars and just NEED to detail it. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my trips and my ramblings!

Christian Michael

That was my first post. And wow, have I come a long way since then. I projected three years on the road and two more books published. But I’ve written twice as many books, traveled so very much, seen so very much …

2013-12-13 15.27.16 copy
December 2013

I’ve battled pornography addiction, my friends’ fears in difficult times, finished my bachelors degree, been deployed overseas, owned five vehicles, made a six-month, 9,000-mi roadtrip cross-country, voice national-level commercials and documentaries, and grown deeply as a man and a professional.

I’m such a different person than I was then, and yet so very much more the same person. I’ve refined, trimmed down, grown more secure, confident and yet in other ways have remained as absolutely as vulnerable as when I started it.

And yet, I feel I’m on the precipice of what I believe is a whole new journey. I don’t know what it will be, but it will be different. And it will be awesome. And I’ll share it with you as it happens.

But what a journey it’s been! Sometimes I go back to read what I used to write. And I rarely find anything I disagree with, but I find a lot that was youthful where today is mature and more well-rounded. I’m sure when I look back ten, twenty, forty years from now, I will marvel at how much I’ve grown. And it’s not about lamenting or missing or wishing life were otherwise.

Too often we look back thinking yesterday was better than today. We rosey it up, and often forget the daily dull and troubles that made yesterday as … common? as today. Instead of looking back wishing it were still yesterday, we could live by a very simple principle I’ve come to embrace wholeheartedly over this rather grand 1,000-post journey:

If life isn’t getting better the older you get, you’re doing it wrong.

I will never forget this particular leg of my life’s rather-interesting journey. Especially as I’ve written a great deal of it down here on this website.

But to be honest? I consider it a great challenge to do better than I have done. To go farther, see more, live greater. To love better, submit more fully, lead more boldly. Anything but merely survive by abiding daily life.

To live.

3546832731_3d95510b79_oSo thank you for joining me. If you happen across these thoughts, read to your heart’s content. There’s at least a thousand of them. Some are as profound as the great mysteries of life. Others are videos of cats. Which as things I’m interested in go, are pretty much near the bottom.

But whatever you do, WHATEVER you do, don’t stop thinking. Always be willing to set your assumptions aside and to listen, to guess, to believe. Never believe anything because you’re expected to, never believe what you believe is infallible, and when you do seek to understand a thing, look for its root. The root is always the goal of all information. Once you understand the root?

You’ll understand all you need to know.

Good night. God bless. And Godspeed.

Change coming to ChristianMichael.org

Logo - Christian Michael VertOn the thousandth post here at ChristianMichael.org, begun May 28, 2010, I will change the schedule of posting my opines and columns.

Only about four short weeks from now, I will have posted five nights a week without fail for nearly four years straight.

I actually debated between changing up my format on the 1,000th post or on May 27, 2014, which is four years after I started, but I thought 1,000 would be a better delimiter.

This isn’t the end of me posting. I’ll still post columns periodically, but not as often as I used to.

All of this will be in effort of opening more time for writing my books, doing design projects and otherwise freeing myself to do … you know. Stuff.

I’m in the middle of several books, design projects and am looking to expand some of my experiences into professional emcee and hopefully more voice work, which I admit is a bit more about me being gunshy looking for work since competition is so im-freefierce and I still don’t feel supremely confident about my studio. I’m not much of an audio designer, which I’ve always felt is my achilles heel. I need to correct that as best I can, so I would like to have more free time to dedicate to it.

So, March 27 will be the final five-nights a week post for this site. I will then rework the site more to sell myself and my products as a freelancer. So, here’s to one final month and then the future!

How to Write a Book

PeanutsSnoopyI’ve written seven novels, and am in the process of rewriting one to strengthen the series it anchors. I’ve self published one and am waiting to publish my first series because I don’t need the money and I want to take my time to ensure the series is everything it needs to be. Taking that time to put my books together and plan future books is exciting and keeps my creative juices burning hot, but it also requires work.

The more I write, the more I enjoy the work of planning as much as writing. It’s relishing each part of the writing process — from planning, restructuring, writing, continuity quality and control, editing and polishing.

One thing I tell new and hopeful writers is that the best way to start your first book is … start. It sounds strange, but like many things in life — especially your dreams — starting is the best, and often only, way to really get going. However, it doesn’t hurt to get a little advice. So, if I can offer you some writing advice, here’s how I plan each book I write.

1) WRITE CHAPTER 1, OR AT LEAST A SCENE OR TWO

One thing I’ve discovered is that the best way to plan a book is to get arms-deep in it its story. For me, that means writing chapter one, or at least a few scenes, to get an attitude of the story and its characters. As a writer, your characters often come to life for themselves. They begin telling you who they are and what they want pretty early on, especially since, as “God,” you know what they’re thinking. Oh, and don’t worry about finishing. The goal of this step is not to write your novel. It’s to figure out how it tastes. It will make outlining it much richer.

2) WRITE A LIST OF ALL EVENTS, POINTS

For a story or novel, this will be a list of events. Whether it’s that key opening scene you’ve been dreaming of since you first came up with the story concept, or that final showdown between the pro/antagonist, write down a list, in very short terms, what each event is about, and list as many as you can think of.

For a nonstory, it’s a list of points you want to make. Whether it’s a book of lessons, instructions or other points, list what you have as it comes to you. Our brains don’t always think of things linearly, so just write as it comes.

Don’t worry about order. That can come next. However, once you’ve gotten as many down as you can think of (more will come, trust me), then think about order. You could use two separate lists. One is the list of disordered events/points, the other is blank. Take your main large points and put them with large gaps in between. i.e. “Hero Starts Journey”, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, “Hero Fights Bad Guy” …

This allows you to take each event and consider where it belongs in the grand story arc. You can also question previous assumptions of when things would or would not occur, or points that need to be made might be reordered based on category.

3) EXPAND EACH BULLET POINT INTO 1-2 SENTENCES

Sometimes during brainstorming, all I can or should get down is a mere bullet point about a scene, event or instructional point. While I’m brainstorming, it’s best to avoid getting in the weeds, or it slows the overall flow of your outlining. Focus on the major stuff and get it down.

Then, after you’ve gotten a mostly complete outline — you won’t be able to outline everything in the beginning, trust me, you’ll discover more to discuss later — start expanding each bullet into 1-2 sentences. Let your brain expand in brief what each chapter — or subchapter — needs to cover. Mention any famous quotes you know or research you’ve done by saying the name or part of that quote so you can go back later and flesh it out during the full writing process.

At the end of this process, you’ll have what I like to call your “Master.” It’s a document I use as my story Bible, telling me what each next scene is supposed to be about, and something to which I refer regularly to ensure the story is put together and to reference when previous events occurred. It’s infinitely easier than trying to go back and look through previous chapters without a specific reference to find things scene-for-scene.

4) DELINEATE YOUR CHAPTERS

After expanding each point, it gives you a much clearer idea how big each block is going to be. For a novel, some scenes will be short, others might capture the entire chapter. Now you can cobble your scenes together into a rough estimation of chapter sizes. Now, this isn’t scripture. I’ve had to move scenes to difference chapters due to going too long with other scenes, and that’s okay. Each scene should be fleshed out as it says it should (and yes, it will tell YOU when it’s done), and then you figure out enumeration later.

Also, for non-story books, figure out your points. Chapters should usually be categorical. If you have too much material for one chapter in your book, this is where you figure how to break it down so that each chapter can still stand for itself. You refine how you are going to present your information in the best structured format for your reader.

5) WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE AND WRITE

Here’s the exciting part, but lemme be very clear, if you want to be able to write through your entire book without suffering the constant writer’s block you’ve faced in the past, this point is useless without quality prep work. Now, whether you do it like steps 1-4 here or you develop your own process, just sitting down to write can really come to a screeching half.

However, if you’ve gone through your quality development and are at this point, the most important thing is to write a little constantly. Stephen King says to write a little bit every day. I can’t do that. Personally, I need a day or two a week where I’m not touching the book. But constancy is huge. The more I stay steady in writing a little bit on a regular basis, it helps me keep going. It helps me keep just enough creative juice to add more every day. It also builds on itself more than you think. A book seems so massive when you’re first starting to write a book, but don’t worry about writing a book. Focus on writing the next scene. Scenes — or points — are absolutely doable for new book writers. So keep writing.

A FEW IMPORTANT TIPS

A famous writer — I think it was Hemingway — said always to leave a little something at the end of your writing session, and I can tell you, absolutely, 100%, that it’s true. It’s like choosing to stop eating just before you’re full. Always leave your brain a little bit of starter fuel to simmer on when you’re NOT writing. You’d be amazed how your brain operates, and the more you write, the better you’ll understand your own brain and creative process.

Avoid worrying too much about the story when you’re not writing the story. This, also, is a Hemingway point. He also said to write in pencil, but I can’t get behind that one.

If you’re hitting a dry spell, take some time to work on extraneous elements of your book. Design your cover. Write out your flaps and back panel. I’m a graphic designer, so it can reignite some of my passion for the story.

Never delete scenes you don’t want. Store them somewhere. Even if you never go back for them, it helps to at least keep them available for name, location and time references.

There is more, but you’ll end up developing your own writing methods and habits. This is a starter for you, but not a final. the key is to step out, to start, to get going. Fear of a book’s size is much like other tasks in life we, as younger people, learn in our development. It seems overwhelming, at first, but you realize that it’s just a series of very attainable steps that, over time, become seamless. Like driving.

 

Once In A Rare While

Around the Games: Day 0 - 2014 Winter Olympic GamesI have very little to speak on tonight and I don’t have enough creativity to generate something worth speaking on. I hate these nights, but I’m dedicated to writing at least something down.

There’s politics to be debated, faith to discussed, culture to be dissected … and tonight, I’d rather watch Star Trek and work on one of my websites.

Georgia prepares for Snowpocalypse 2014: The Sequel.

Shirley Temple Black passed away.

That giraffe in Copenhagen is still dead.

Tom Brokaw has cancer.

That NBC anchor fellow has an eye infection.

Justin Bieber got slapped in a Starbucks by LA Clippers player Blake Griffin. For good reason.

Aliens. (Picture that Ancient Aliens guy.)

Sochi Olympics are a complete cluster (I mean, aren’t they getting worse every round?).

Democrats hate Republicans. Republicans hate Democrats. Both hate Libertarians, who just hate the overbearing state.

Taxes and death. You know, all that jazz.

Anyway, don’t forget that you’re doing to die. Whatever is bugging you now will eventually mean absolutely nothing. Your problems, your fears, your concerns … all passes away as dust. It is best we can do to eat, drink and be merry. So let go of yesterday. Live in peace.

Seasons of Satisfaction

88464289_t_Afternoon_NapI’m usually on the prowl for my next life change, and it’s not that I’m constantly submitting for new jobs or my next move, but my eyes are open and my mind is active. It’s good for someone like me to balance the “alert for opportunity” and “satisfaction with myself and where I am” attitudes. Also, not expecting too much from my plans and not shying away from making plans, either.  One of those a little bit of this, little bit of that-type of things.

But in recent weeks, I’ve grown rather comfy where I am. It’s not that I want to stay in Denver long term, but I feel satisfied personally, professionally, emotionally, with the tasks ahead, my pace in their accomplishment, my quality of their completion and the balance of how I’m spending what time not already dedicated to production of some kind, be it for my primary income or secondary projects, of which there are many.

And I love the taste of this accomplishment in my soul. I’m performing a number of side projects that, while not bringing income at the moment, lend toward a portfolio that could bring me a good income later. At present, they bring me great personal satisfaction because they do directly promote fiscal gains for the people I’m building them for, such as logos, websites, flyers and the like. I enjoy doing this for people and I don’t need their money. God has provided amply for me with my main income, I’m more than happy to do without requiring income from it.

100107_conversationOf course, I won’t mind if they feed me once or twice, but you get the idea.

My own projects are coming along beautifully. I’m doing well on my rewrite of “Peter,” which is taking time but that was absolutely expected. It’s very satisfying to rework the foundation for my entire septology in a manner that creates a much greater depth and platform for the follow-on books I have yet to write. I’m designing book covers and personal design projects and all sorts of things. I’ve submitted “Man We Need” to my review board and I hope they’re plucking through it. I’m not paying them, so I won’t really hold them to a hard timeline. I do know that it’s entirely too soon for me to read the book and get the kind of bearing I would need to do any deep editing myself, so after my review board gives me rework suggestions and edits, I’ll be looking for a professional level fiction editor and I’ll pay him or her to polish it.

It comes with great satisfaction to work more and more in my chosen industry, at least on the personal side. To build products that improve people’s businesses, or get them set up as freelancers, or encourage them as writers … and these are things I do and want to do more of, myself.

I also recently finished mastering side novels that I can work on when I need a creative break from my main novel series, and for them to be set up as they are, it means I can resume work on them at any time without much backtracking.

thirtysomethingI wish I had a few more single, non child borne friends I could hang out with, but I would admit they might take me from my work, and I know I need to focus on my work before that day comes when I might marry and have children, because unless my fiction IS my income, it becomes infinitely more difficult to write once you’ve started a family.

All that said, even with as busy as I am, or pointedly because of how busy I am, I feel satisfied with where I am right now.

Change will return soon, and I look forward to it, but at the moment, my soul is satisfied, and I want to enjoy it while I have it.

Not every season is good, and no season lasts forever, so I learn to appreciate the good ones as one would a hot bath — you know the water will cool, but I will forget all things for the delicious time I soak in its warmth, and learn to let go when its warmth ebbs, sure that another day will bring another fine feeling.

Christian Michael's response to SOTU

700hq

Here is the official response of ChristianMichael.org to the SOTU.

http://youtu.be/oxqrOHagUEI

http://youtu.be/7GrodWcxpP0

http://youtu.be/Jw7tejS9nD8

http://youtu.be/NJlyMFCX9CA

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/too-cute/videos/too-cute-kittens-highlights.htm

http://youtu.be/LE2mcAtRolE

http://youtu.be/IgrkWqQXL7c

http://youtu.be/BQNLVyBk09w

Thank you for watching.

It Kinda Was My First Rodeo

2014-01-21 19.33.08I attended the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo last night in Denver. It was my first actual rodeo and it was pretty cool. Kind of a whole smorgasbord of different events that were pretty fun.

We got there around six and wandered around the exhibition hall, which had tons of vendors offering clothes, furniture, jewelry, rugs, throws, standard and fancy RV-style stock trailers, and all sorts of other Western stuff. I would have spent more time looking around the RV trailers — having lived in one for a year — but I was with others and we were somewhat limited on time.

Starting at  7 p.m., the rodeo show (because it wasn’t just bronco and bull bucking as the uninitiated might think, among whom I used to number) kicked off with no lights and a loud emcee announcing the event. The opening ceremony included a neon-lined female rider and her neon-lit American flag riding around the dimly lit stadium. Then a whole host of other riders just like her rode out and they rode around in the dark a bit.

When the lights came up, there were some more riders for the early showcase, the introduction of the event and the opening ceremonies with a host of military in their uniforms of the day and the anthem sung by an Air Force Airman. It was military appreciation night at the stock show.

The rodeo would have a primary event, including bronco riding, bull riding, calf roping, calf wrangling, barrel riding and a rather hilarious portion involving rather young children riding sheep before falling off.

Each main event had smaller events between them, including advertisements, as filler. It was a very right-wing conservative style event, so if you’re skittish about prayer and mentions of Jesus, you might not want to attend, but even if you don’t believe but can tolerate it, you might have a great time.

I rather enjoyed myself and might go again in April when the next rodeo is scheduled. Below I’ve posted my photos and a number of videos. Enjoy!

(Videos are currently loading in Youtube. Will post them here soon.)

Creativity Update: Shooting, Scouts and Star Wars

stack_of_booksI’ve been staying very busy as of late.

I mastered two novels recently — a standalone Star Wars novel called “The Fourth Universe.” It’s based in the New Republic area, post-X-Wing era of Star Wars fiction. The second I’m calling “Freelancer” about a man who do perform just about any major kind of job. He seems to know how to do just about anything and will help people. He’s the “Derek Dawson” series I was writing and then fizzled out on, so if you’ve liked that series, you can expect to see it again soon.

It’s been refreshing to plan on these books. To exercise new ideas and set myself up for side book projects is very exciting. It allows me to write on my main projects and then, whey my brain gets tangled, I can go write about completely different characters and goals and scenes and work out my mental kinks. So you’ll see both series posting chapter/chapter here in episodes.

I’ve begun the rewrite process for “Peter,” but with so many other projects, that’s currently slow going. I’ve begun reviewing “Man We Need,” and that, too, will take time as I work out if I want the book to feel freeform or to present a slightly more structured feel to the messaging. The book is about freedom, its power, and the danger of busybody government.

Also, an old project of mine has resurface as an interest and I’ve been doing some visual designs and some structuring brainstorming: offering a reformation to the Boy Scouts of America to become the Scouts of America, merging boy and girl scouts and a sharpening of BSA content. I’m an eagle scout and I absolutely love the BSA and my experiences in it, but it’s entire structure evolves more slowly than grandma’s aversion to using Facebook.

Logo BSA ORIGIt’s time to get ahead of the politically correct busybodies demanding the BSA behave as they want and for those who love the scouting program to help it evolve into something that youth both need and would likely remained interested in, because as it stands, it’s a dying breed. I don’t want to see it end, and I don’t even want it to have to change, but most of society won’t tolerate the scouts as they currently exist as we progress into tomorrow. We must evolve so that WE control the change while preserving the most valuable core of scouting tenants — our laws and our honor.

For my own security sake, I won’t post any of the actual material until I’ve finalized and readied it for publishing. Then I’ll post more about it here. And I’ll sell it to you, too! But until then, that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

At work, I’ve been pretty satisfied with my general products, though I may have met a man who can help me transition to the next field in my career. I’ll try to connect with him again tomorrow.

Otherwise life is good. You can stay up-to-date on my novels at www.facebook.com/cmichaelwriter.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

"The People" Are Great When You Want Something

In our democratic republic, our elected representatives represent “the people.”

In a communist republic, the unelected leaders also happen to represent “the people.”

In a tyranny or junta, the leader represents the true ire and action of “the people.”

All of them claim to be operating for “the people,” but what is “the people?”

Were as I an individual citizen to attempt to stop, argue with or even assassinate the leader of “the people” under the premise that I am “the people” and that I don’t want what the leader is attempting to accomplish, I’m dismissed. I’m not “the people,” I’m a lunatic, right?

In a tyranny, junta, socialist parliament or other mostly unelected government of a people, it might be easier to argue that I could be acting on behalf of the people since the leaders are not selected by the people. They simply take the power and hold the threat of violence should the people refuse to obey them.

In a democracy, the argument is more easily made that the leaders are really operating on behalf of “the people.” But what if they were elected by a 50.1% majority against a 49.9% minority? They would then represent only half the people, and then only by a bare majority. But they are then placed in power over the whole.

Which “the people” do our elected reps actually represent under such an election? There are two disparate groups being ruled by a selection by the bare majority. Can a government truly represent everyone if they don’t actually represent everyone? Or even a good, solid majority?

ussr0142The concept of “the people” is a highly flawed one, most often used by people who want others to feel they serve the interests of enough other people that their ideas and behavior should be supported. But what if everyone believed the world was flat and you believed it was round? What value would “the people” have for you? It’s meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

“Hey look, lots of people agree with me. We should do what I say.”

That doesn’t actually work with the realm of reality. Causes for “the people” have been used from everything including helping the sick and need to creating the sick and needy. From ending wars to starting them.

It’s a byword, a strawman, an ambiguous term that means little but a very weak attempt at fluffing up your argument when you don’t have the logic to support it.

“‘The people’ want what I’m here to offer them.” Really? Have you asked them all? Or perhaps only those you already know will agree with you? It’s easy to think “the people” want what you’re offering when you only give weight to the people who support you.

Is this not true to nearly every political party you’ve ever heard from? Republicans, democrats … it doesn’t matter. We all listen to the voices we agree with, and even if we do listen to other voices, dismiss them as less logical, less intelligent than our own.

There is no such thing as a permanent group of people. Humans, their wants, desires and societies change constantly. What we need in one moment might change completely in the next. That’s not always true, but is certainly possible, especially in a world where we are far less limited in our daily life choices as we might be in a more agrarian society, living hand to mouth.

We might say being American is somewhat permanent, but even the definition of being an American has changed over the years. It will continue to change, as will the needs of Americans the nation over. Can these best be solved by someone who will almost completely fail to truly understand what is a multifaceted, complex and ever-changing set of needs and desires?

Humanitarian_aid_OCPA-2005-10-28-090517aThere are problems for government to solve, but we have to be careful with blanket statements like “the people.” “The people” need or want this or that. It’s easy to think you know what “the people” want or need, and much harder for you to prove it.

Most politicians find one or two examples to prove their point, but it’s nearly impossible to prove the problem is ever as widespread as they claim. While problems people bring to public light might, indeed, be problems in need of real solutions, attempting to use “the people” as justification for your one-size-fits-all solution is a dangerous road, indeed.

So next time someone tells you their efforts are in the best efforts of “the people,” ask which people they’re talking about, and exactly what about collective consensus makes their logic superior. Groups can think as poorly as individuals.

Never forget that.

I Just Have Nothing to Complain About

peace-treeGod is so very good.

I’m sitting here, trying to think about what to talk about tonight, and despite more than 30 subjects I’ve started on or logged so I could write on later, sitting and staring me in the face with the condemnation of an unfinished project, I just can’t seem to drum the motivation to discuss the difficulties of this world.

God has blessed me with a new 2014 Jeep Wrangler, which I’m paying off at high speed and, upon paying off, will proceed to customize. The jeep, also, is an answer to prayer, as I finally have a vehicle I need not worry about whether it will crank in the morning or deliver me safely to my destination.

I’ve got a cozy little place closer to work in a pretty good location.

I’ve got good and steady pay.

I just finished writing my seventh novel.

I’m about to start rewriting an older novel but will soon strike onto the eighth.

Other than the Jeep, I have no debt and still maintain a sizeable savings — for me, anyhow.

Work is good with good people.

Hobbies are good.

Church is awesome, having found a place that challenges me spiritually to help me grow. Finally. I tell you, too many churches are just helping Americans feel better about themselves instead of forcing real growth.

God is so good.

No girlfriend, but with all my book projects, web projects, etc., it’s better if I don’t have the distraction.

I don’t have much to stay tonight — everything is so very good.

And I certainly don’t think this is a permanent fixture in my life, but I’ll enjoy it while I have it; and then, when times get rough, I’ll be content there, too. We often spend so much time wishing we were elsewhere — good or bad — that we don’t often take the time just to rest in the moment where we are.

keep-calm-and-just-keep-swimming-167If you believe in God like I do, it’s easy to want to think bad times are punishments and good times are earned, or are always pining for better times we “used” to have. Truth be told, life is like nature — it comes with the summer of good times and winter of not-so-good. We need not think we brought the rain to know we must still weather the storm.

And when the times are good, we shouldn’t waste our time fearing when it will turn back or feel guilty we have good times while others may not.

Every man has his own time and own experiences to live. We should not compare ourselves to anyone else, as our lives are our own. Spend time enjoying who you are and learn contentment where you are. Happiness can come today if you stop worrying about what other people have and what you don’t. You can always strive for more, but do so knowing that life is found in present moments, not future or past moments.

Live now, plan for tomorrow, forgive yesterday.