Finding my way...

I’m pretty good with maps.  It started back in jr. high school (circa 1959) when I was lucky to be included in an after-class map reading group.  It was danged interesting.  Today, with satellite and gps… it’s a no brainer … even for us who learned on paper.

I have, however, never found that “roadmap” for life.  It seems uncharted, even with thoughts of pre-destiny or divine reckoning.  I wake up; usually with a plan.  That night, down I go with experiences and what I perceive as “progress” … but very seldom with certainty.

This is not a complaint, nor a lament.  It is merely a view as I near the top of the mountain.   

It has been a good-bordering-on-incredible life.  The people, the adventures, (the food, fishing and tequila).  No way would I go back and try again, even if offered the chance.  Mainly, my thinking is I could make worse decisions the second time … so why risk it.  But I am off track … or more likely “off the map”.

Old maps, on paper, had markers, guideposts, monuments and such to compare with what one saw “out the window” as you traveled.  As life and landscape got more complicated, so did the methodology for staying on track.  For the last how many years if you forget to turn off your GPS you are chided to “return to the course” or “turn around and go back to ….”

The point is that in life, as we wend our way through, we find guideposts for living.  Those help us navigate daily life much as maps.  They are things we trust; we accept them as accurate, correct, believable … and comfortable usually.

Putting together a roadmap for life is not nearly as difficult from this end as it was at the other.  I believe that it is God’s sense of humor that brings us into this world healthy, strong and totally without a clue, but sends us out frail, sickly and as wise as we will ever earthly become.  Just me.

So, what guideposts are rock solid and unwavering.   Again, just my thinking but first is always honesty – complete honesty, especially to one’s self.  Next is humor.   Without it, the world is not only boring, but downright without color.  Thirdly, honor.  Again, this is self-induced and not dependent on others.  It is your hand you extend to shake hands.   Up next, look to humility.  You (and I) are just not that important.  We are just bit players on a much broader stage.   We’re almost there; the map is filling out.   Lastly is the careful use of the time we are allowed.  Don’t waste it with anger, hate, boredom or minutia.  It is the great gift.

So why the deep philosophical dive at this point in life?  Just spent a week with one of the most influential people I have had the honor to spend time with – my brother-in-law Randy Shelhorse.  Retired AF Major, AF Academy grad, F4 wild weasel and SR 71 pilot;  then almost 30 years as a beat cop in downtown Seattle.  Not much left of his mind or memory at this point and in his early 70’s way too young for this.  Just bringing him as many smiles and as much Texas BBQ brisket as we can.  Makes me re-examine what I have left .. both to spend it wisely, lovingly, enjoyably …. and try to pass just a bit of it onward.  Again, just me.

Best to all