Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Life is a Good Teacher

In typical CTAM fashion you're getting day 7 of Scintilla a few days late. What can I say? I'm saucy like that. Plus, I can't write on a schedule. It seems forced.

The first prompt asked us to write about someone who was a mentor. The second asked us to talk about "event horizons" - defining moments in life that there was no turning back from.

Today you get both.

My grandmother was a mentor to me when I was a child. And in many aspects the little lessons I picked up from her are still with me. I remember a time when I was 11 or 12 that has stuck with me over the years. My grandfather had Alzheimer's, which if you've never experienced first hand is crushing. There was a time when he had used the bathroom upstairs and had ended up putting toilet paper, paper towels, a hand towel, etc. into the toilet. My grandmother had to fix it. I was in the bathroom with her and she put her hand in the toilet in order to get the wedged towels out. I remember being all 'Eewww grandma!' And without losing a beat she said "you can always wash your hands".

At the time I took it for what it was because it was true. However, as I've grown up I see it in another light. Not to say that one should give up when things are hard, but rather if something isn't working, wash your hands - start fresh. I now see it more as a reminder NOT to give up. When things get sticky, when there's too much going on, I wash my hands. I take time out and refocus. I keep a very relaxed attitude and 95% of the time am completely stress free. I worry about what I can control and I wash my hands of the rest.

As for defining moments in my life, I suppose that may have been one although I never knew it. Others include when I picked up and moved to New Jersey at 20 for a job and a guy. Both of which I've moved on from. It was the first time I was doing something 100% spontaneous and without thought of how it would work. Five years and 42 pounds later I decided to take back my health. It was a defining moment because I was completely in the mindset to work out, pay attention to what I was eating and make smart choices. Like someone who has gone to catholic school those ideas and lessons are still with me, but I've lost sight of them. I'm working on that. Finally, the birth of niece and my sister's passing. Both extreme ends of the spectrum. My niece has taught me unconditional - spit down my back, pee in my lap and you're still the center of the universe - love. And my sister has taught me that life is shorter than we could ever imagine. Although it's always been my favorite, she's taught me that the words of the serenity prayer are not just words. It's true.

Who has been a mentor to you? What moments have defined your life?
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I'd still love to hear your thoughts/ comments!


  1. I LOVE this post!

    My Gram was a very influential person in my life and I can remember many things she has taught me through the years that to this day I will still do or talk about and remember he telling me them clear as day! Man I miss that woman!

  2. Hi Michael! Just hopped over and had to say that if you ever venture to Cleveland, you have to let me know. We have this one burger place where the burgers are DIVINE! :)

  3. There are a lot of people that I admire and I take a little from each and every one of them. I know about moving for people. My ex wife moved all of us to Vermont. That's 3,000 miles away from my home on the beautiful beaches of Cali. Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons.