Finding the Hidden Blessings

Between Thanksgiving 2017 and NYE 2018; I worked as a seasonal driver helper for UPS. It was not what you would call a very glamorous position. (In fact, there are many people that quit the helper position in the middle of the shift). You had to run packages from the “big beautiful brown” truck to every non-descriptive rural home on our route. (A minor part of the job was helping load the truck a little after our half way point but if you can’t handle 25lbs this job ain’t for your candy-ass, either!)

 

At moments this job was mind-numbing, between hearing rattling parts after hitting countless potholes and the whistle of leaves being tossed around. The upside is that I worked with people that didn’t want to kill me and those folks thought I did an adequate job.

 

I was more than happy to run around like an idiot with my punk ass clothes avoiding getting bit by dogs. I got to see the outskirts of places I’ve lived near and never went to. I got to see friendly faces excited for Christmas. It never seemed to rain when I visited people that I used to work with. I would often end my day traversing neighborhoods of beautiful homes with twinkling lights. My driver was a hardworking guy that took care of his family and enjoyed the little things of the job. He reminded me of what I used to dream about when I was a kid watching the UPS truck pass by.

 

This job was a hidden blessing. It was an opportunity for me to have my dignity back after being fired twice. It helped me focus on my life after losing a high paying job.

 

I soon was able to add this experience to a list of things that other people dreamed of. Getting fired was a blessing that set me back in the right direction. The hidden blessing of the seasonal position was relative quiet and a feeling of giving.

 

Just like the challenge of a strange job; I was blessed with something different. I must implore you that the small challenges in life are often the hidden blessings.

 

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Because You Can

               I encourage you to always dream and undertake steps to achieve those dreams. Mostly because it is a piece of who I am to throw “fuckall”to the wind and be the person to tell you that you should “because you can”. (I have a tolerance for positive belief).

                 I have a desire to meet or fall within the US Navy SWCC guidelines, (sparingly known as the gold standard times of the SWCC Physical Screening test).

                Many of you didn’t know my struggle with physical fitness during the 2000-2004 time frame but know of the lard ass days that I loathed well afterward. I had at one time desired to join the SWCC community as a crewman. I lacked the “fuck it”goals and the sobriety to get it done. I know of someone, ( a senior enlisted man code named AquaLung) that encouraged me to try for a SWCC team. He was evidence that you could do something “because you can”.

                Now in life; I don’t want to join a SWCC team. I do want a crew of able minded men in life. I do want physical fitness. I have decided that this would be a perfect time to undertake the journey to blow these numbers out of the water. Many people would ask why; my answer is easily “because I can”. I choose to dress better. I choose to become physically fit and engage in physical fitness. This can allow me to be a leader of sorts. (Either I can be a leader or at least have the semblance of a leader).

                I encourage you to undertake missions in your life, not for the “feels” or some shitty expectations of others, but for the fact that you can. “Because you can”is a great reason to do something positive. These steps put you within the frame of a leader, especially when others won’t. “Doing” is within the scope of men. Do because you can.

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A FreeThanksgiving message from Matt FreeMatt

I started somewhat sporadically writing down five things everyday I was thankful for. I wanted to use the Thanksgiving holiday to offer my thanks to the Fraternity of Excellence, my brothers in all stages. I would rather have a few ronin with me than a promise of 100 that may not exist when troubles are abound.

 

Tex:   I can only strive to become a man like Tex in the future, unless I can be better using his example.

 

Hans:  To remind me that written communication can be spoken communication. It is up to me to relay ideas.

 

Adam: Tomorrow and today; I should strive to learn from your successes. Why not “f*ck the world”?

 

Never a lack of knowledge to share; Rugby is a man’s library.

 

Khairy: Our brother from the far end…is closer than we think. In a few years, brother.

 

F*ck: For every year its utterance is disappearing from the 21Con but its importance is real when spoken by Hunter Drew.

 

Undertaking the process to change is one that we must do wholeheartedly. Only “you” are responsible at the end.

 

Laughing at naysayers. My drive to ignore and charge into the flames has increased: F*ck the World!!!!

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Revisiting Failed Attempts

Hunter Drew, brother from the Fraternity of Excellence and The Family Alpha (@HunterDrewTFA), had previously said that we need to try something stupid sometimes. I wanted to revisit this idea again.

 

Many people that I know think it is stupid to revisit something that has gone awry previously. (The concept of looking towards the future and ditching old shit that has failed you in the past). My “stupid” thing to revisit is something that I had failed at big time.

 

Last night while I was at the gym; I squatted (3×10 for 230lbs) for the first time in a few months. This was after previously throwing the bar along with 300 odd pounds on the safety rail when I was crunching my back and rolled my shoulders. (I wasn’t going to get started bitching about injuries or other copouts). (I had worked around squats altogether for a decent time using other bodyweight exercises and other machines). (The time not squatting allowed me to increase my deadlift by a good amount). It was a strange feeling throughout my upper body and I was struggling to remember my breathing patterns required to not get light headed. The end result was that many of the muscles that I had been neglecting are springing to life.

 

I honestly thought revisiting things that went shitty was a terrible idea but it has given me an opportunity to try to engage my “1000 lbs. club” goal. I am making headway and it is another thing for me to look forward to. I choose to be positive and I find reasons to be the light within my life. I believe that the drive and acquisition towards a brighter future is one thing that men can bestow upon other men.

 

I am hoping that I can drive you to revisit a “stupid”/failed attempt. It might take your second time around to reach it.  Keep going and be the blessing in your world!!!

 

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Podcast shorts: In the mean time

I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that I have been out and about, causing me to not be able to make our normal commentary possible. I have been working on some short inspirational type videos with my usual flair. Please enjoy “Victim Signaling”!!

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“Shut Up” and Its Benefits

Elizabeth Warren attempted to take the bull by the horns and she ended up getting gored. She attempted to answer to a potentially hyperbolic set of statements for Pres. Donald Trump on her Native American heritage claims by “transmitting” her results to the media, (albeit in an attempt to call Pres. Trump in his “million dollar DNA challenge”). The response is most likely something that she lost credibility over and the results are not what she wanted. Her best response would be to “shut up” and not give any attention to anything close to hyperbolic.

Along with speaking plainly and with purpose, shutting your mouth quite often can benefit you greatly. The vast majority of the time you can wait for an adversary to make a mistake. (The only time a grandiose response could be considered is when the “stiff hand of silence” is seen as lazy or when something is needed to defend someone’s honor. Heritage is not one of these situations). Giving in to vitriol or hyperbolic statements are often what the person is looking to begin with. Why give them the benefit of playing into their game? You can save your energies for times where passion is best suited such as a televised debate where you must be as marketable as possible and you must put forth the best face.

Quite often striking at the right moment is what it takes to defeat a political adversary, (Donald Trump made Jeb Bush look less presidential. He also “hit” him with his hands down). Shutting up is waiting for the right time to pounce. Time is a gift; use it.

We have all heard a saying close to the idea that “its better to be called a fool than speak and remove all doubt”. I believe that you aren’t a fool when quiet but you seem smarter than someone who is ill-informed. Appearing smarter than you really are can’t be a bad thing.

I wanted to close with a simple statement to remember: You should seldom turn down an opportunity to “shut the f*ck up”. Consider it a gift that might reward you.

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Burning Bridges: You Might Return

I am writing to you while I’m on a business trip in a place where I had previously been to. This place had seen its better days when government funding was plentiful but it is now more known for weeds and abandoned structures.

I don’t specifically enjoy coming here. I feel like the vast majority of people have given in to “learned apathy”. Very few dare to do anything different and they easily watch the rest of the world leave in a trail of dust. Most people are friendly and that makes living here temporarily a lot easier.

I decided to withhold my offhanded comments that many people have heard me share. I understand that every place I go is not a “bumping” metropolitan city. I also understand that people operate a little more simply than I do. It is okay to be different, (I would probably go nuts if I just got stuck dealing with a world full of people like me).

I have decided to make an attempt at getting to know people here and create connections, (please note I am sporadically here. It could be twice a year or I could not be here for a few years). I want to “find” reasons to be positive and allowing people to be themselves is a great start.

Shying away from being ugly and adding value to other people’s lives is something I need to do. The concept of making a “home” wherever you go is a good policy. It can help you through having local knowledge and perhaps when emergencies come along. I believe that not being a stranger is a good policy wherever you go, (and the reciprocal is true when you run into others in your town). Burning bridges is never a good idea, you might need to return. Make an effort to build a new path for the future.

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Withholding Despair

As the temperature fluctuates with the changing of the seasons, I am reminded of the “death” of another year. A large portion of the country may see a blanket of snow while the untouched portions see the loss of deciduous foliage. We are supposed to look forward to football season and a temporary respite from terribly hot weather but I find fall to be a time of uncertainty.

I don’t know what the company has in store for us. (In my past jobs I never knew if a budget would involve layoffs or even a bonus around the corner). The vast majority of the people are celebrating the end of the business cycle but many of us are anticipating next year’s schedule.

This is all before “winter” sets in, (fall being “imazingly” short and giving birth to our observation of winter).

Winter has never been a time I have been at my strongest. I traditionally slip up the most during this season and I often neglect to take care of myself. I let things get bad, along with feeling like shit. The cure is to be mindful and focus on a series of escalating goals.

It is imperative that you look at winter as a rest instead of a time of despair. It is a time for you to keep working and to enjoy the “knocking down” effect of the cold. Please feel free to work hard and trudge forward. Withhold your despair and harden up. This is my plan for this winter.

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Thank the Unknown

Many of the multitudes of readers have heard me preach about dealing with uncertainty. (In short; Ive mentioned that you need to tackle anxiety head on and by not quivering in your boots. Dare and do). I want to share with you a beautiful break through that I had seen today.

I had been traveling through a few towns that I had previously seen before. I don’t particularly enjoy this drive. People seem to not give much “carriage” to a vehicle my size. I also travel through areas that saw their better years in the early 90’s. I see boarded up “mom and pop” hotels. I see roadside gas stations from the 1950’s with trees through the roofs. It is often boring riding alone with close to pure static on the radio. The only positive is my thoughts are allowed to be sifted. I do my best to find beauty when possible.

 

Our route was changed a little on this trip. Instead of a rock desert and a poorly planned neighborhood, we took a turn into a equally bleak exit. I didn’t see a whole lot this way either. I wasn’t sure why we were taking this alternate route. We drove through the complete lack of excitement and then there was a breakthrough. I see a few buildings and landmarks I had never seen before. I see the glimmer of civilization, a hospital. We came near our destination, specifically near somewhere I had never been. I saw an old church that had a beautiful stand alone building. I had seen business suites that were in the process of being born again. There are many things to find value in.

I still am not fond of the place that I have ended up at but I am thankful for a little excitement. I also owe a big thank you to the unknown. It helps salvage a strange trip.

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Moving On to Adult Things

Last night I enjoyed traveling to a neighboring metropolitan city to see a speaker, (former pastor and author Rob Bell) (@realrobbell). I enjoyed the long ride to the event that featured in depth MMA discussions and reflecting on how things are changing for us as men. We chose to reflect on some positive aspects and tried our best to not lament some of the dumb things we see, (I can’t say that I am perfect but at least we laugh about it). I have mentioned more than once that we are living in the “golden years” because we can choose to be happy.

 

One of the things that I celebrate now is that I can enjoy events like a spoken word event, film presentation, or other “intelligent type” get together. This was not always possible when my sole focus was booze and screwing. I learned that I could have a decent time with other people of many backgrounds. The biggest joy is that I saw other adults enjoying a moment to relax and use their brains instead of walking around like zombies or being involved with child like endeavours that I see other supposed adults being engaged with, (don’t get me started on this crap…you know who you are)!

 

I had seen people using critical thinking skills instead of staring blindly at something else that would do the thinking for them. The vast majority of the people there didn’t seem to have a “super fake” veneer to them compared to other places that I mistakenly wondered into. I heard people use sentences to communicate instead of stupid shit like “lol” or any other “low end” drivel that passes for words. I have every reason to believe that I saw people that decided that they were moving on to adult things in their lives.

 

If I could press you to embrace one thing in your lives; it would be that you end the extended adolescence that we are expected to live and find the adult things that can truly bring you a semblance of peace. This is in comparison to the chasing of dopamine blasts with ephemeral entertainment that we engage in. We will stop being sick when we unhook. We will be well when we embrace adult things. Please join me.

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