52 Weeks to Optimizing Yourself – Week 10 – Go As BIG As The Taj Mahal With Recording Family History

Go Big as The Taj Mahal

An Inspirational Building

My brother is recovering from an illness, and when we met this week it was nice to have some laughs together and to see that he is feeling better. I am going to write down some of our family history this week, so it is not lost, and my brother is going to supply me with some information as he has all the records.

We had so many laughs from discussing our dad, who was quite the character, a rough around the edges seaman with amazing stories to tell. My brother dubbed him the original “Indiana Jones”. He spoke five languages and travelled the world many times, often in the grip of some danger or mystery.

He took on the riskiest missions while in The Canadian Navy during WW11, delivering sensitive intelligence to Allies on the cargo ships, with the boxes up on deck with ropes, and orders to dump it all in the ocean if they came under attack. He once captured a German prisoner in his submarine during WW11, clamping his injured artery together in his hands until they got to shore for medical help. After the war, he lived in a boat in Vancouver’s Coal Harbor for a while, and when I was young, he had some land jobs, like walking the high beams as an ironworker building bridges, and driving a gas truck and getting danger pay for it.

For this week’s optimizing yourself, I am going to write down some of his stories, so they are not lost, and I am going to find a Richard Halliburton book, as he was an important part of our childhood:

One of our dad’s heroes was travel writer and seaman Richard Halliburton, and my brother remembered the name of his book that was our family treasure. It was called “The Royal Road to Romance” and my Dad used to read it to us as kids. My favorite story was about The Taj Mahal.

Here is a write-up on Richard Halliburton. (Richard Halliburton was a great writer with columns in many newspapers, including The Toronto Star).

He had a reckless love of life and romance.

Writer, Lecturer, and World Traveler, Richard Halliburton published numerous books during his short lifetime. During his world travels, he visited exotic locales such as the Taj Mahal in India, climbed the Matterhorn, flew across the Sahara desert in a bi-winged plane, and swam the entire length of the Panama Canal. He also roamed the Mediterranean Sea retracing the route followed by Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey and crossed the Swiss Alps on the back of an elephant in a recreation of Hannibal’s expedition. Halliburton died in March 1939 as he and his crew attempted to sail a Chinese junk, the Sea Dragon, from Hong Kong to San Francisco as a publicity stunt. The vessel was unseaworthy and went down in a storm around March 23-24, 1939. His body was never recovered.
Amazon.com

I will let you know how my family history recording goes next week.

Photo: photopin/flickr/creative commons

10 Reasons Why I Should Adopt Justin Bieber

10 Reasons Why I should Adopt Justin Bieber

Time to step back and gain perspective?

1. He needs a family to live with. My husband and I have been married for 31 years and we have three well-adjusted sons close to his age.

2. He will gain some perspective on his life if he lives at our house. He spent his adolescence performing, rehearsing, living out of a suitcase, and making more money than he could handle. By stepping back from the music industry, he will see that people around him don’t recognize he is heading for burnout, as his self-destructive behaviour indicates.

3. Our house rules are simple – have fun without hurting yourself or others, and obey the law. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation, and call a taxi, or walk home, so you don’t injure yourself and others.

4. He can sing and jam in our home recording studio. His three new brothers need a good lead singer for their rock band, and they can do the recording and mix and produce the songs. They can also make electronic dance music for his dance moves. Afterwards, they can have some spaghetti. Eating fast food while on tour makes your body tired.

5. We will remind him to treat people with respect if he forgets.

6. His adoptive dad will lead by example, and won’t confuse him by participating in bad boy behavior with him. You have many friends to party with, but only one dad to guide you.

7. He will be free to go shopping at the local shopping mall, without paparazzi sitting on his car so he can’t leave the parking lot safely.

8. He can get back into playing hockey when he’s living in Canada with his adoptive brothers. He can go with them when they rent the ice, play drop-in hockey, or throw the net in the back of the truck and have a scrimmage on a local frozen pond. One of them is even a goalie! He can have some fun with his peers before he is back working from dawn to dusk on a fifty city tour on five continents.

9. There are lots of good addiction treatment centres nearby us, and TMZ doesn’t have to know which one he signs into.

10. His mom loves him and wants him to be happy.

photo credit: jaredpolin via photopin cc

Winter Needs Christmas

Winter needs Christmas

Christmas brightens winter

Many people are not religious, but they still love Christmas.

Christmas has become more secular, and more spiritual.

In those parts of the world where winter is cold, Christmas warms our bodies and souls from the inside out.

Christmas is a time of expansion – we eat too much, spend too much, drink too much, but our hearts expand in the process.  When we extend ourselves for others, we feel better, and associate Christmas with abundance and love.

A Happy Celebration

A Happy Celebration

The neighbours’ Christmas lights stay on all day and night, leaving an added glow, brightening the outside, when the days are short and the temperatures are cold.  When the letter carrier delivers the mail, it`s only a Christmas card, yay no bills!

My sister hosted a family Christmas gathering at her house, a wonderful opportunity for family bonding. No need to fly to a sunny location for Christmas; almost everyone wants to be home for Christmas, spending time with loved ones.

At Christmas, we give what we can.  It’s a time of goodwill and peace. We call a truce to arguments and wars, we see people we only see at Christmas, reminisce about Christmases past, and get updates on their lives today.

Christmas trees and decorations transform the inside of the house with colored lights twinkling like stars, with an angel on top.  We relax by the fire with hot cocoa, grateful for all the riches around us.

Christmas breeds joy in our hearts, of giving and receiving, rewarding service,  holidaying from work and stress, making wish lists, filling stockings with names on them, shopping in bustling toy stores, going to parties, making gingerbread houses, and smelling pine cones.

goodwill to all

goodwill to all

People I meet are wishing me a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, and to me it means have a happy celebration, good fortune, good food, and love.  I am not offended if they wish me a Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanzaa, although I am not Jewish or African-Canadian, because I know they are wishing me the best celebration they can imagine.  Christmas is a family time that warms the heart and shortens winter.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/2094406126/”>Darwin Bell / photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameliatwu/6541663721/”>CameliaTWU

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29233640@N07/8303780929/”>** RCB **

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Thankful for the harvest of my life

“Gratitude is an inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is following that impulse”.

Henry Van Dyke

In our farming past, Thanksgiving was a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the winter season.

Today it is a holiday where many people share a traditional turkey dinner and pumpkin pie with family and friends.

To me, it is a day to say thanks for everything I am and have, and all the wonderful people and animals in my life.  I have abundant love and health and joy in my life, and the more I count my blessings, the more blessings I attract into my life.

I hope your Thanksgiving is extra special!  Ann

photo credit: photopin/thanksgiving