Monday, November 18, 2013

Cliff Hangers - Love Them or Hate Them?

You're sitting in a movie theatre gripped in the action, on the edge of your seat and suddenly the credits start to roll and the lights come up.

"What ?!#?#. Now I have to wait to find out what happened?"

In my last post, "Near Death Experiences" I was recalling my bout with illness when I was six months old and how it shaped me to this day. I left off with me blue, almost dead and en route to the hospital with my parents via ambulance.

While yes, I did intentionally leave you hanging, it was not my plan to go quite this long between posts. Sometimes life gets in the way and our best intentions go awry. In my defense, life is actually one long series of cliff hangers. Case in point - the budget battle in Washington, health care reform ... need I go on? Fortunately, I am not a politician and won't keep you hanging any longer. So finally - here it is:

Chapter 2 The Hospital

The next seven hours were critical. The Doctors were with me the whole time. Today, would Blue Cross Blue Shield cover that kind of care? (And, that's if you're lucky enough to have Blue Cross Blue Shield!) The Doctors were doing what they do to continue to save my life. I was unconscious.

Finally, I regained consciousness and lay without reflexes for 2-3 weeks. I started to move. At that time, no one knew what the effects would be - large motor, small motor or whatever.

The bottom line was that I was ALWAYS, no matter what, picked last in gym.

This blog is about writing a book: “How to get Picked last In Gym and Survive!” (The Plight of Just an Average Guy). I discovered that everyone has a story they want to tell too. Here's a forum for us to share our life shaping moments and to write a book along the way. I welcome your stories and comments!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Near Death

We’ve all had near misses in life – narrowly avoided car accidents or other tragedies where with pounding hearts we thank God (or the powers that be) that it just wasn’t our time.

For some of us, it goes a step further into the realm of near death experiences. Yes, the white light, seeing long-passed Uncle Bob, kind of encounter. For me, my near death experience was early in life so I have no real conscious memory but the effects still shape me to this day. A true “life shaping” moment.

How about you? I’d love to hear if you’ve had a brush with the grim reaper and how it has impacted the person you are today.

Here’s the next installment in my story:

Chapter 1 Near Death

Author’s note: A bit graphic, but it was the beginning.

When I was 6 months old, some 55 years ago, I had a severe cold/flu with a 105-degree fever. As I proceeded to throw up phlegm I aspirated, which is when the gunk is inhaled back into your lungs. The diagnosis was “Chemical Pneumonia,” not sure what they call it now. I have never heard of anyone else with this “thing” in 55 years!

This book is not about the medical angle of illness but rather the emotional side effects left behind. Today, if you looked, watched or talked with me, you could not tell at all, well maybe you might think something is wrong, but not from my childhood incident!

Anyway, after I aspirated, the ambulance came and off we went to the hospital, my mother and I. Imagine the fright for my parents, a six-month baby who was blue and almost dead.

If my Dad was not holding me and heard/felt gurgling in my stomach and had the quick thinking to hold me over the sink and try to make me throw up; I wouldn’t be here today and there would no story of my life. So in a way, you all have to suffer through this, because I lived. Good for ME, sucks for YOU!

For some reason, I still think I remember the ambulance, but it is probably one of those weird memories of hearing about something so many times, you think you remember it as if you were there. Pretty scary so far…..

Stay tuned for Chapter 2 - “The Hospital”

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Who is This Blog For?

The rough draft of my book's "Forward" - whatever the heck that is, may have the answer:

What the book is not:  About a person that was picked last in gym and then became an Olympic athlete, who can relate?  It's a book about an average guy, that is moderately successful, that fought adversity.

"Getting Picked Last in Gym" is a metaphor for something you wanted to do and couldn't, in life, school, work, maybe your first failure.  Remember, all my jocky friends, your first failure?  Pretty rough - probably still hurts, huh?

All of us have been there; some more than others.  Hopefully, this has your wheels turning and you are starting to think about your story(ies).  I'll share my Chapter One with you next time. 

How Do You Eat An Elephant? In Very Small Bites!!

This is similar to writing a book. 

You may recall from my last post that one of my goals to accomplish over my career/life is to write a book. I also deputized each of you to be part of my accountability group and help me reach my goal.

Here’s an update.  So far, I have a title, dedication, bullet point outline and about 800 words written.  FYI, a book needs to be a minimum of 60,000 words.  So, for my non-math guys, my book is exactly 1.333333% complete!   However, if I take my own advice and eat the elephant one small bite at a time, the book will get done.

Now I am whining, but please indulge  me (this is the last time I will complain, promise.)  Writing a book:    it seems fairly easy – ya,  for someone  else and  if you put your nose to the grind stone, but believe me it’s hard!! Remember, I have a full time job, wife and a family, so my writing is in my free time, which g-d forbid, interferes with “Words with Friends” time, so no more acceptances that are new.

I was having writer’s remorse that other than a good title (at least I think so and from other people’s reaction, it seemed to be good) maybe the story is not that interesting, except to my Mom.  But I have the need to get it out.  I feel that my story is a microcosm of most of our lives.  By sharing maybe someone else’s life will be better because I ate the elephant one bite at a time! 

P.S.  Here’s the title:  “How to get Picked last In Gym and Survive!”  (The Plight of Just an Average Guy).   A funny thing I discovered as I talked to people about my book is that everyone has a story they want to tell too.  So this process is much more than about writing a book; its about life.
I welcome your stories and comments!!

Summer Reading List

What does accountability mean to you? If you are like most of us, it is the spine crawling sound of   scratching your fingers on a chalkboard.  (For those who remember, now they use some kind of techno method, I’m sure.)

After pondering this for some time, the best definition I have heard is “doing what you say you are going to do.”

So, if this the meaning, is actually holding yourself accountable easy?

I am actually starting an accountability group, because who cuts you more slack, the company you work for or yourself?  It is a close call!  As to the slack issue, I think an outside group might be the way to go, but I will share my experience and the group’s success with you in a few months.

One of my goals to accomplish over my career/life is to write a book. I have now deputized all of you as part my accountability group, so help me reach my goal and I will help you.  When you next see me, ask me how my book is coming along and share something with me on you “to-do list” that hasn’t quite left the ground (yet).  I promise to give you an accountability “nudge” too.

In closing, my summer reading list is actually to start writing a book.

Have a good summer and enjoy your summer reading list, whatever that might be!!