Thursday, January 15, 2009

Standing Outside the Fire

This is my favorite picture. That's me in the background deciding if I'm going to stand by as an observer in life or if I am going to jump in and make it happen.

In "The Alchemist", Paolo Coelho explores this struggle we all face in fulfilling our dreams and in dealing with the various faces of fear that would sabotage us along the way.

Sometimes we fear to fail. We can't bear the idea of falling short because to try and fail is much more painful than to not try at all.

"We who fight for our dream suffer far more when it doesn’t work out, because we cannot fall back on the old excuse: “Oh, well, I didn’t really want it anyway.”

Sometimes we fear the disappointment or loss (perceived or real) of those we love. It is terrifying to stand alone - even in greatness. (That's what Trish tells me anyway.)

"We are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream."

Sometimes we are afraid of success. What will be expected of us. What we will expect of ourselves.

So we don't try. We don't even really start - which guarantees that we don't succeed.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

But if we do - when we do - we find that the fears of what might happen never seem to be as bad as we imagined.

“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. No heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

I think there is a direct correlation between our happiness and our willingness to do what we dream to do. My life is happier when I step through the fear and just go for it. And when I don't, I am not really living at all.

"Life is not tried it is merely survived if your standing outside the fire."
Did I just quote Garth Brooks?

So in that spirit I will be completing another item on my bucket list this year. This one is a stretch and will require time and sacrifice. I am pumped.

This year I will be doing this:

And this:

And this:

And I'm sure some of this along the way:

But no matter.

This year I will be doing a backflip on a wakeboard.

How about you?

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Vacation From My Problems!

Move over Bob Wiley! Christmas '08 was awesome at the Harward's. Instead of stuff we opted for time and activities. Trish will add pictures I'm sure but here are the highlights for me:

Where: Rockport TX then home for more

When: Dec 22nd - Jan 3rd


- Homemade gift exchange on Christmas Eve
- Blake riding his new ripstick while shooting passing objects with his new airsoft gun
- Maddy catching her first TWO fish
- Ella and Cole hopping up and down in excitement Christmas morning
- Sword dueling with Cole and his new ninja sword
- Ella dragging her doll around with her puppy backpack on
- Winning the week-long Sorry tournament
- Sleeping in with Trish
- Launching fireworks over the ocean that shoot 150 feet up and are as big as my house
- Ella and Cole feeding an entire loaf of bread and several bagels to the family of ducks off the dock
- Pelicans dive bombing into the water off our back porch

Honorable mention activities:

- Christmas Eve/Day watching Christmas lights glisten on the water
- Fishing off the dock every night with my kids
- Shell collecting and swimming at the beach
- Flying remote control airplanes and shooting off rockets in the park with the boys
- Sleeping in
- Eating out
- Church at the tiny Branch in Rockport where a lesson on Elder Uchdorf's talk on hope somehow got twisted into a discussion of...animal flatulence. I kid you not. It was awesome.
- Homemade pizza night
- Trips to the USS Lexington WW2 Aircraft Carrier and Texas Aquarium
- Projector movies every night that filled the whole wall.

Result: Closer friendships among siblings, parents/kids, spouses. Memories to last a lifetime.

Capping Moment: Blake saying, "this was the best Christmas we've ever had".

I agree. I will remember this forever. Here's to Christmas and family and memories.