Embrace Your Challenges
What will your 2024 look like?

Some lots in life are choices we create, and others are difficulties beyond our control. In any case, you should embrace your challenges.

It’s been said, “Nothing is new under the sun.” But what about the moon? More on that later.

I know nothing is new anymore, but it can be. It depends on timing, how, what, who is saying it, or point of view.

I can think of many scenarios when I had a choice and scenarios when I didn’t. Some were outside of my control.

Some examples are:

  • Marriage - The best/easiest decision I've ever made.
    Raising 4 children has its challenges yet love helped to embrace, so it was mostly not that difficult. This is still not the best example, though.

  • Losing my 14 yr. job at a manufacturing company. Not an easy decision and it was extremely challenging. Since then, I have…

    A)    Decided to work for myself (Foreclosure cleanouts, junk, and trash removal). This is very challenging. The market has changed 3 times in the last 10 years, but so far, so good.
    B)    Started a hobby website in 2010 (Worm Farming Revealed), along with gardening and homesteading.

  • My father passed away in spring 2021. This was NOT the challenge I wanted but a difficult circumstance beyond my control. This was the greatest challenge I’ve ever had to embrace thus far - 10 days and nights by his side, he had no food or water, no words spoken from him, nothing but faith, family, and friends gathered round. This helped us to embrace difficulty.

  • I took on the challenge of writing several books and webpages. Each book took about 3 months to write, and the website is always a work in progress. I say it’s a challenge because I absolutely hate to read and write. It’s like getting a train moving. I don’t always hate it (obviously), but I always HATE getting started.

  • Now, my most challenging project is finishing a screenplay I started in 2017 and is still being refined. It was initially to be a small children’s book, but I saw way too much potential. It’s actually finished. It was finished years ago. I’m only rewriting it and taking it to another phase to gain more interest in the community and eventually a producer.

This reminds me of a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.,

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."

He also said,

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

I know 2024 will be an extremely hard year for most of us. I don’t fully know how difficult it will be, but I know of many reasons why.

When I say “embrace your challenges” I don’t necessarily mean the daily routines of life (unless that IS your challenge).

I’m talking about those goals and dreams you have in life. This year may be the worst time to start, the best time to start, or the greatest time to keep on “keeping on”.

Sometimes I wish I took the easiest path to accomplish something, but that’s not me. No! I always seem to choose the most difficult path I can find. Sometimes it’s not a path at all. It's a jungle. I grab a machete and beat a new path.

Why do I feel the need to reinvent the wheel or pioneer something?

One of the most difficult things for me is to stare at a blank piece of paper. It’s like listening to the sound of silence, being alone with your thoughts, or not able to see the hand in front of your face, it’s so dark. Imagine all three at the same time.

I love nature but I’m not a tree hugger. But if I were a tree hugger, this would be my challenge.

Embrace Your ChallengesEmbrace Your Challenges

I took this picture several years ago because I saw potential. I didn’t exactly know the potential at the time. I do now. It’s just an average locust tree. I was sure there were many points to this tree (a dad joke is a bad joke).

However, to me, it’s my blank piece of paper, my sound of silence, my path to pave.

It’s My Challenge to Embrace!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a blank sheet of paper worth? It’s worth everything in your mind we haven’t experienced yet. The only obstacles are thorns (excuses).

Again, I ask myself, “ WHY?”

I’m reminded of the ending of the original Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston. He finds the Statue of Liberty, looks up and yells, “D*** You All to Hell”.

In my mind, I picture the Statue of Liberty as a locust tree and it’s my job to hug it. For if I can manage to write it, grow it, pave it, or hug it. I will find liberty and freedom from everything within me that was saying, “I can’t do it!

Another challenge I embraced (as a youth, fresh out of high school) was becoming a roofer. WOW! That was one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It would last 7 years, the last two being part time. (cheated death twice)

I’m reminded of another quote, from President John F. Kennedy,

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,"

Why do we choose the things that are hard?

To forge us into better people, to inspire others, and to (not just accomplish, but) live our dreams/lives with purpose.

If you don’t have a purpose in life, you become depressed, ugly, and unhappy to be around.

There’s one last quote from a type of “Cinderella story” titled, Now Voyager, 1942 with Bette Davis, 

“Oh Jerry, Don’t Let’s Ask for The Moon; We Have the Stars.”

I believe this pic is a more respectable POV

Scary Locust TreeScary Locust Tree

I'm still trying to tackle the moon.

“But one day, I shall glide amongst the stars, if not for anyone but myself. If everything I have done was to better me, then so be it.”
 Okay! That quote was mine. 😳

Embrace Your Challenges!

Go hug your tree no matter how painful it is, how long it takes, or how big you dream. Maybe we just found a reason for the machete.

“It’s not necessarily the destination, as it is the journey.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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