First and foremost, this post really has nothing at all to do with real estate...more about life in general. So, I hope no one is offended by the fact that I'm thankful as all Hell about what I have and I'm not afraid to tell the entire world about it. Negative people be warned.
Secondly, you may learn more about me than you ever wanted to know by reading this. Fair warning again.
See, I was just talking with several agent friends of mine on Twitter...and someone said something that really struck a cord with me. We were discussing the difference between positive and negative people...and one of my friends said that some people simply focus on misery...and even went to so far as to say that seeing people being happy and focusing on good news is bragging.
Is being thankful for the good in your life bragging??? I surely don't think so! And, quite frankly, I feel sorry for the people in the world that do feel that way. I'm sorry if my being thankful for what I have makes you feel bad about what you think you don't have...Chances are, you really do have it. You just refuse to see it.
When a hurdler lines up for his race, he focuses on the red tape at the end of the race...not on the hurdles. The hurdles are simply things you have to overcome to get to the red tape at the end. See, to me, being negative and thinking negatively about everything is a gigantic waste of time, effort, energy, and mental space (something I'm in short supply of anyway). I have far too much going on in my life to spend a good portion of it focusing on things that do not help me move forward.
Why in the world would anyone want to purposefully make themselves or anyone around them feel like crap? Psychiatrists say that people with low self esteem tend to think of the world as being a ‘glass half empty' place mostly devoid of positivity and productivity. And, in order to make themselves feel better about themselves or their situation, they feel this carnal need to take down those that appear to be above them; Bashing their attitude, achievements, family, friends, even their lifestyle simply to make themselves feel better.
Well...to all of you people that think that you're insults, your snide comments, your emotional tirades are having any affect upon my ability to be thankful, you are sorely mistaken. And, to prove this to you, I have compiled the following list of things that I am thankful I have/lived through/been exposed to/seen/heard/felt.
I'm thankful that...
- I was born into a poor family. We grew or shot our food, chopped our own wood for heat, and busted our humps for every dollar we needed to survive. I was working at age 8. I was never handed anything, but I never went without. My dad was a hard working, hard living man who sometimes went without just so I wouldn't. The work ethic I have as a result of my up-brining is enviable to most and amazing to others. To me, it's just the way it should be done. My parents are well off now...as am I. But, not for a lack of hard, hard work.
- I graduated high school and college. I was never a perfect student, but I'm only the second person in my direct family lineage to have done so...and I'm proud of it. Education is important. In fact, knowledge is the only thing that can combat ignorance.
- I was married when I was only 22. I married the first girl I had ever dated in college. I'm telling you this to lead up to #4...
- I sat by my wife's side for the next 3 years and watched her slowly succumb to the effects of a rhabdomyosarcoma inside her heart. Yes, she had a cancer tumor in her heart. 2 open heart surgeries, 3 trips to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and enough chemo and radiation to kill a large village, and she never complained. Not even once. I became a man in that time. And, Im a better man for having had the experience. It has made me a better father, a better husband, and a better man.
- I owned a bar at one time. I recommend it to everyone that thinks they know how to handle a business. Try it some time. It is quite frankly the hardest thing I have ever done.
- I overcame alcoholism. While I had the bar, my wife died and I poured myself into a bottle. I drank solidly for almost a year. One day, I woke up and had a 24oz White Russian for breakfast...and quit at that moment. I sold my bar, gave up my apartment, and moved. I still have a beer or 12 now and then...but, I know my limits now. And, I am thankful that I refuse to go down that path again.
- I have had too many jobs to count. I have a very vast working knowledge of everything from renting movies to sales to inspecting airplane parts and knowing how to run a CNC machine. I can discuss the GDP or the CDC value of a milling head versus the CDC of a countersink drillbit. And, thanks to a good number of folks on ActiveRain, ReelSeekr, Twitter, and many others...real estate.
- I married a second time...and adopted 3 beautiful daughters. I love them so much. And, I am proud to have them in my life.
- I still am called ‘Dad' by them even though their mother and I are divorced. We are far better friends than we ever were a couple. Without having been down this road, I never would have known what it would be like to reconcile with someone on a level that can hardly be described by some.
- I walked away from a severe drug addiction that nearly cost me my family, my health, my possessions, and my life. I spent 3 years in the grip of methamphetamine. Again, after waking up for the first time after being awake for nearly a week, I quit my job (my source of my addiction), sold my possessions, and moved back to Montana. I quit cold turkey. And, I have never looked back. Strength is measured in different ways. But, little can match what I had to go through to overcome this addiction...and still have to do to maintain my freedom from its continual attempts to rule my life.
- I overcame a severe depression. Yup, all of this pretty much send me over the deep end. Clinically depressed, even on medication for it. After 2 years of being on the meds, I went to my doctor and told him I didn't need them any longer. I had learned how to deal with life...and learned that there is a positive side. Again, strength is measured in weird ways.
- I met my current wife!!! She is truly the love of my life...and I would not be where I am today without her love and support. She is 14 years younger than me and a two-time college graduate. And, I could not be prouder of her. It is true that love knows no bounds.
- I have two glorious sons!! Both of whom are perfect in every way.
- I have a fantastic job!!! I make more money than most in my community and I live a very wonderful life.
- My job is not my passion. I use my job to help support my passions...my family. I require my job to be able to provide for them. Without them, all I would have is my job. And what existence is that...?
My life has been far from perfect. But, it IS my life. And, I have used the things that have been given to me...the choices I have made...to make myself a better person now than what I was. The key word here is ‘WAS'. Without these negative things that have happened...positive ones too...I wouldn't have the outlook on life that I do now. I wouldn't be me. Im proud of who I am and where I have come from...and no emotional black hole is going to take that away from me. No negative influence is going to force me to view anything that has happened to me other than in a positive light. After all, we are talking about a great person here....Me. And, if that is bragging...then so be it.