The Greatest Of All Times

My heroJune 3rd will be forever bittersweet for me. My daughter was born on this date, which makes me happy. But my adolescent idol, Muhammad Ali, has passed away. He meant so much to so many that I know I am not alone in the deep sadness I feel. I also know I cannot claim to love Ali more than anyone else who is grieving over what feels like a sudden loss. All I can do is remember him for who he was and what he did for others, and certainly for the influence he made on me personally.

Seventy four is considered young today. But besides influencing many lives, Muhammad Ali also lived many lives. I’ll let history explain why I say that. All I want to add here is that I hope the Greatest has found what his religion promised him. It was his belief in Allah that helped him through tough times, and I’m sure also helped him to believe in himself when he needed to. He was a wonderful example of what self-love looks like, and he will be greatly missed. Ali! Ali! Ali!

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Almost Done

I’m still working on my book, plus it still needs to be edited. I had hoped to have it done and published much sooner, but that’s OK. I couldn’t have added some of the things I did without the experiences I had over the past two years. They say good things take time, and although my book is already good, with a little more polishing, it promises to be a very good book. I’ll try to add a few new posts in the meantime, and I want to thank all my blog readers for being patient while I’m still polishing. 🙂

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He Said She Said

“I write about fears and insecurities on my blog and I’m not afraid to admit I still have some. Fortunately, I know I can overcome my fears and that I’m capable of working through any insecurities I feel. Like the other day for example. The thought popped into my head that I might appear to be feminine at times. After a few minutes of self-talk, I was able to reassure myself that I’m actually quite manly. Then as I finished painting the rest of my toenails, a smile came to my face as I realized how ridiculous the thought was.”

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Litter Your Life With Laughter

So I went to Walmart today, which is one of my least favorite places to be, but I needed cat litter and it’s cheap there. In case you’re wondering. Yes, I have a cat. Anyway. I see the brand I normally get and spot a box with the word “new” on it, and to my excitement it also reads, “get 3 lbs. free.” (Obviously it doesn’t take much to make me happy these days.) I saw no reason to doubt my good fortune wasn’t true and joyfully picked up a 28 lb. box for the same price as a 25 lb. one by its handy carrying strap, and went on my merry way to the checkout register.

However, on my way there, before I could even start anticipating how long the line may be—I believe Walmart has a rule where only two registers are allowed open until the number of customers reach 100— the top tore completely off. This left me holding only a thin rectangular piece of cardboard by the handy carrier strap I mentioned, while the box laid on its side with what was probably the extra 3 lbs. of litter spilled out all over the floor.

I found a worker and informed them of what happened and where the spill was, and after he enthusiastically responded…“OK,” I went back with a shopping cart this time to get another 28 lb box of cat litter.

I ended up paying for it at the pharmacy section, which I don’t like doing; it’s for purchasing prescriptions, right? But unlike the two regular checkout registers that were open, there was no one there, and I knew this was my chance to get out of Walmart. Apparently people don’t know about this trick when the rule is in effect, but it was there that I told the nice lady helping me about what happened. She laughed, and as I was waiting for my receipt I couldn’t help remarking that maybe this is why they give you three extra pounds. She laughed again—I love when people get my jokes—and I happily left to go back home where all went well with the litter.

There is a moral to this story by the way. Don’t cry over spilled cat litter. Instead laugh about it and be happy for the little things in life, like good deals and people who laugh at your jokes.  

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I Am Like Ali

10629406_1494929920794012_7933882471451155099_oI was a skinny and very insecure teenager, and as a result, I needed to be someone I wasn’t. Someone great. I even started boxing at fifteen because of this, and tried to act like Muhammad Ali. With dedication and a boxing style I copied from Ali, I was able to win an amateur Golden Gloves championship at 16 years old, but my insecurities stayed with me as I grew older. Eventually, I found that a continual striving for personal and spiritual growth helped me become more self-confident, and a whole new world opened up to me. One where I would start to love myself and others, and help those in need. Today, I still try to be like Muhammad Ali. But when I stop and think about who I’ve become; who I am. Although I’m not famous or have achieved all the great things he has, I can say I am like Ali in some ways.

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Remembering You

We Love and Miss Our JonesyI believe we shouldn’t dwell in negative emotions and I do a pretty good job of not doing so, however, there are emotions we’re supposed to feel when we lose a loved one, even a pet. It may seem strange to some that I included a pet, but I’m sure all the animal lovers out there don’t think so.

Having lost our dog this week, my wife and I have experienced a deep sadness that while not unexpected for her, came as a surprise to me. I loved the dog, and I always knew I would miss him when the time came for him to leave us. But he was more my wife’s buddy than mine, and I thought I would be fine. Well I’m not, and that’s the reason for this post and my poem.

You see if I’ve learned anything in my sobriety it’s that there is a difference in feeling the emotions we’re supposed to and dwelling in ones that serve no purpose. We need to process our sadness, and believe me, I’m still processing mine, but I’m aware that dwelling in deep sadness isn’t a good thing for anyone.

So with that said, here’s my poem. Besides crying and talking to someone about how I’m feeling, writing is another way I sometimes process sadness.

Our dog’s name is Jonesy. And he will be greatly missed.


Remembering You 

We’re still crying over a loss
That was greater than we knew
It takes time to let go of a pet you love
And we’re not finished remembering you

We still call out your name
Even though you’re no longer here
We think about you everyday
And look at pictures we hold dear

We still go on the walks
That you always got excited for
We haven’t forgotten the treat afterwards
And how you always wanted more

We still look out on the deck
Where you enjoyed laying in the sun
We haven’t forgotten how you liked to play
And which toy was your favorite one

We haven’t forgotten the barking
And how you wondered what was in store
Every time you heard a knocking sound
Or someone actually at the door

We haven’t forgotten the noises you made
Little whines full of delight
Whenever you were outside with us
And another dog came into sight

We haven’t forgotten the car rides
And how much you liked going bye-byes
We simply miss everything about you
And have good reason to cry

We experienced a loss
That was greater than we knew
We will never let go of the love we feel
And will never stop remembering you

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