These passed few weeks have been a little sideways with atypical issues demanding attention in my life.  It’s been busier than usual, hard to squeeze out any time for the fun stuff, like writing in this blog.

The silver lining?  I got a new hashtag idea.  Didn’t research it, just decided it’s worth using, for now anyway.

It refers to something I’ve become for my elderly parents.  Not that they’re living in my house.  With three little kids, my wife and I have no time or space to have two seniors living with us.

Fortunately, my parents live in a good home that provides complete assisted living services. Exactly what they both need given their condition.  But my brother and I are the ones who are now managing all of their affairs.  Everything.  Bills, health issues, legal matters, transportation, insurance companies, .

The tables are turned as they so often are.  Grown children taking care of their parents. We are their caregivers now.

It often gets tough, trying to manage and respond to competing interests.  The trump card for me is this:  there’s no higher calling than helping elderly folks have dignity and some comfort at the end of their life.  It’s right up their with being a parent.

It’s up to us to make their life as good as it can be at this point. Giving time, giving energy, giving care.


Take It In Stride…

I say this all the time, “Take it in stride.” When talking to people about facing difficulties, unexpected tragedy, lose, etc.  that’s typically in my response somehow.  The thing is, when I say it to other people, I’m saying it to myself too.

I really believe in this philosophy to my core.  The idea is simple:  Take whatever comes at you as if you’re walking or running along, and don’t let the thing upset your progress, don’t let it break your stride.

Of course I well understand that some things happen that effect our progress forward, sometimes not only breaking our stride but knocking us to the ground with a “thud!”.  The point isn’t really whether we get knocked down or not, the point is that it’s up to each us to keep moving forward.

I was talking to my mother yesterday about pain — she’s been struggling quite a bit of late — and I said, “Mom, you’ve got to try to relax, take deep breaths, and sort of lean into the pain.” I’m no pain management pro, but I know that by relaxing and focusing on breathing, you reduce your susceptibility to the pain your experiencing.

I also believe that once you accept the pain as reality and then work to lessen the effect, then you’re making progress toward improving your life.  And if you’re improving your life, you’re living well, pain or not.

Indeed, as Scott Peck wrote once, something like, “We are all of us the walking wounded…” – in addition to the context Peck referred to, I would add, “we all struggle, we are all challenged countless times in our lives.  It’s how we respond matters most.  Don’t avoid difficulty, improve the way you respond to it.”

When you get knocked down, how fast can you get back up and keep going?  Try it, I know you can do it.

Whoops…That’s Life…Keep Going


Sometimes life gets away from you.  Days and deadlines pass, the to-do list blows up, unforeseen issues come up that demand your attention.  Those issues take hours — ones you didn’t plan on allocating — to resolve issues.

That’s ok.  That’s just life.

The key point here is how you respond to said situations.

It was a busy week last week in my world, that’s for sure.  Between managing and providing care for elderly parents, the usual activities on the home front with three little kids, a charity golf tournament my Lions club was putting on, and Father’s Day celebrations, well…before I knew it, it was Sunday night!

I’d realized that I hadn’t posted during the week, Friday Faves for the week had vaporized, and there I was.  And here I am, actually.  Could have typed this out last week to share a little insight, but just didn’t get it done.

The result?  Is the blog permanently damaged?  I don’t think so.  Friday Faves will be back this week.  And the situation also gave me another simple example of the attitude I’m trying to promote at work, at home, in the world:

“Look on the bright side…”

“Find the silver lining…”

“Life is how we make it, happiness is a choice, make the best of it…”

Half Full, All GOOD.”

So I say, “Whoops!  Things didn’t go as planned.  Oh well.  Gonna make it a better week this week.  ONWARD.”


Friday Faves, #44

This week’s list is like a fine wine….it’s tasty, and it will grow on your.  ENJOY.

Destination of the Week:  Menlo Park, California.  Not just a pretty face, not just deep pockets, but a complex and cool, mid-peninsula town in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check it out. More than once.

Quote of the Week: ” We don’t want to try to pigeon anybody and say, ‘You’re only a third-down ‘back.’ I don’t believe in that. If you come to play football, you come to play every down.” – Tom Rathman.

Band of the Week:  Not a band, but an iconic figure in American folk music for a half a century.  Joan Baez. Sample?  HERE.

Meal of the Week:  Vietnamese sandwich.  Need one?  Me too.  Maybe HERE.

Website of the Week:  Like pro cycling?  Me too.  Might have shared this site before, but no matter. Twice is better than none!  Check it out for all the races, great pics, and as a portal to cool cycling info. HERE.


REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Make the Time, Enjoy!

Life is full of challenges and choices.   Countless things vie for our attention.

One of the best things about being human is we get to choose what we will do.  And there are so many things to choose from every day.

There’s the girlfriend or wife, the boyfriend or husband, maybe you have kids, or other family and of course our friends…all want our time.

When to exercise, how much to sleep?  What’s on TV, or how about a new movie, or maybe you should try that video game you’ve been hearing so much about…?

Or you could read a magazine or a book, or a blog or the news via Reuter’s website, or play the guitar sitting in the corner of the room that’s been long neglected…and of course, there are the weekly chores that need attention.

Here’s the main thing.  Make the time to do the things that are currently most important. Then DO. Every day.  Time is the most precious commodity we have. Make the most of it.

Prioritize, decide, and take action, based on what’s most important to you.  Every day. Find the balance of what you need to do and want to do, what you enjoy and what you must endure…and GO.

Oh yea, and savor the small, simple moments of joy along the way: birdsong, a nice breeze, the blue-gray light of early morning, that first sip of hot coffee.

Now?  GO.  DO. ENJOY.



Friday Faves, Issue #43

This week’s list is all about beating the heat, ’cause it’s pretty hot in this neck of the woods….  ENJOY!

Destination of the Week:  Cambria, California is one of the many great, quaint coastal communities on the central coast.  Can’t beat the coast to stay cool when much of the state is bakin’!

Quote of the Week:  “Hydrate or die.”

Band of the Week:  Who else?  The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Here’s a classic.

Meal of the Week:   Ice Cream.  One of the best places to procure on the planet found here.

Website of the Week: Great Website. Great Tips.


REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Problems? GOOD.


I’ve written a lot about attitude…err, trying to have and maintain a good one, that is.  I think about it all the time, actually.  But like everyone, I also struggle with the endeavor plenty of times.

The basic concept that “life is difficult” is one I consider often as well.  A variation on that idea provided a little spark and refresh to my perspective on things this week.

The more active you are in life, at work, etc., the more problems you’re going to face.  The more we do, the more opportunity there is for things not to go well.  Difficulties, unforeseen issues, etc. are bound to come up.

The insight is, problems don’t have to be thought of as obstacles.  Instead, if you think of them a opportunities to make things better, learn something new, improve a situation, you’re on your way to a whole different mindset.

And that mindset?  It’s GOOD.