31 days of randomness personal inspiration day 15 – Forgive and acknowledge

In continuation of my 31 days of randomness – Day 15 – Living, loving and learning

Many years ago when I was about 17 I read a book called “Living, Loving and Learning” by Leo Buscaglia.  I don’t remember all the book had to say but I do remember the part that stated something to the effect that you should forgive your parents for whatever they did that continues to make you so angry, or sad, or whatever it is you are feeling is your parents fault because they only did what they knew how to do at the time.  They could only work with the tools they were given.  Basically they did the best they could at the time they did it and usually with no mal-intent intended.

I did in fact take his advice (not quite at 17 but not so much later than that) and forgave parents and have since applied this theory to siblings, friends and even sometimes to strangers.

The next step in my opinion is acknowledging.  Acknowledging what you ask?  Thanks for asking.  Acknowledging who you are and where you came from.  You SHOULD forgive but you should not forget who you are or why you are the way you are.  You ARE a product of where you came from.  Some people act ashamed of their past or their family and sometimes even the friends they had. Really?  I am who I am because of everyone I have known and every place I have been and sometimes I forget that a little… so today I want to just inspire myself to remember and acknowledge all of the people, places and things that have made me who I am today.  I am Sam, Sam I am.. I am what I am.. Thank you world!!

31 Days of Randomness- Personal Inspiration 6 – Celebrate life


In continuation of my 31 days of randomness – Day 6.  Personal Inspiration – Celebrating life

This inspiration actually came from an idea I had years ago.  Before my mom passed away the one thing she said that really stayed in my head was that she did in fact make many mistakes but could not go back and change anything so she just decided to go on and live her life as fully and completely as she could.

After my mom died I proposed to some friends and some family members that I wanted to begin an annual “Just in case.. you aren’t there the next year” party and instead of having a somber memorial service we would celebrate our lives and triumphs while we were there to appreciate our accomplishments and each other.  Well…. no one liked the idea because they felt it was morbid and possibly could bring about bad luck.  I sort of gave up on the idea of an annual party but have been actively seeking ways to celebrate the life I have.

Recently I ran across the following obituary.  It reminded me of my “brilliant” idea of hosting annual “just in case” parties.

Val Patterson – Obituary

1953 – 2012

I was Born in Salt Lake City, March 27th 1953. I died of Throat Cancer on July 10th 2012. I went to six different grade schools, then to Churchill, Skyline and the U of U. I loved school, Salt Lake City, the mountains, Utah. I was a true Scientist. Electronics, chemistry, physics, auto mechanic, wood worker, artist, inventor, business man, ribald comedian, husband, brother, son, cat lover, cynic. I had a lot of fun. It was an honor for me to be friends with some truly great people. I thank you. I’ve had great joy living and playing with my dog, my cats and my parrot. But, the one special thing that made my spirit whole, is my long love and friendship with my remarkable wife, my beloved Mary Jane. I loved her more than I have words to express. Every moment spent with my Mary Jane was time spent wisely. Over time, I became one with her, inseparable, happy, fulfilled. I enjoyed one good life. Traveled to every place on earth that I ever wanted to go. Had every job that I wanted to have. Learned all that I wanted to learn. Fixed everything I wanted to fix. Eaten everything I wanted to eat. My life motto was: “Anything for a Laugh”. Other mottos were “If you can break it, I can fix it”, “Don’t apply for a job, create one”. I had three requirements for seeking a great job; 1 – All glory, 2 – Top pay, 3 – No work.

Now that I have gone to my reward, I have confessions and things I should now say. As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest. Also, I really am NOT a PhD. What happened was that the day I went to pay off my college student loan at the U of U, the girl working there put my receipt into the wrong stack, and two weeks later, a PhD diploma came in the mail. I didn’t even graduate, I only had about 3 years of college credit. In fact, I never did even learn what the letters “PhD” even stood for. For all of the Electronic Engineers I have worked with, I’m sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well, and were well engineered, and I always made you laugh at work. Now to that really mean Park Ranger; after all, it was me that rolled those rocks into your geyser and ruined it. I did notice a few years later that you did get Old Faithful working again. To Disneyland – you can now throw away that “Banned for Life” file you have on me, I’m not a problem anymore – and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this.

To the gang: We grew up in the very best time to grow up in the history of America. The best music, muscle cars, cheap gas, fun kegs, buying a car for “a buck a year” – before Salt Lake got ruined by over population and Lake Powell was brand new. TV was boring back then, so we went outside and actually had lives. We always tried to have as much fun as possible without doing harm to anybody – we did a good job at that.

If you are trying to decide if you knew me, this might help… My father was RD “Dale” Patterson, older brother “Stan” Patterson, and sister “Bunny” who died in a terrible car wreck when she was a Junior at Skyline. My mom “Ona” and brother “Don” are still alive and well. In college I worked at Vaughns Conoco on 45th South and 29th East. Mary and I are the ones who worked in Saudi Arabia for 8 years when we were young. Mary Jane is now a Fitness Instructor at Golds on Van Winkle – you might be one of her students – see what a lucky guy I am? Yeah, no kidding.

My regret is that I felt invincible when young and smoked cigarettes when I knew they were bad for me. Now, to make it worse, I have robbed my beloved Mary Jane of a decade or more of the two of us growing old together and laughing at all the thousands of simple things that we have come to enjoy and fill our lives with such happy words and moments. My pain is enormous, but it pales in comparison to watching my wife feel my pain as she lovingly cares for and comforts me. I feel such the “thief” now – for stealing so much from her – there is no pill I can take to erase that pain.

If you knew me or not, dear reader, I am happy you got this far into my letter. I speak as a person who had a great life to look back on. My family is following my wishes that I not have a funeral or burial. If you knew me, remember me in your own way. If you want to live forever, then don’t stop breathing, like I did.

Though I do not believe that my “just in case” party idea will ever take off.  I do really try to embrace life and attempt things I never thought I would do.  Each thing I do actually inspires me to do more things that eventually inspire me to do more things.  My previous post “Extreme Simplicity” shows some of the things I have attempted and accomplished in the past couple of years.  I’m constantly looking for new ways to celebrate life and my personal inspiration today is to really write some ideas down and just do them.  Take some chances and do some things you never thought you would do.  You really never know where it might lead you.  Currently accepting ideas..

This all started from a random site I found called thenester.com.  Apparently there is a group of people who have committed to posting a topic a day for 31 days.  31 Dayers 2012


A while ago I made a promise to myself. I promised that I would try to focus on activities and decide if I really enjoyed them before I went crazy and bought every thing connected to my new obsession and then decided I really didn’t enjoy it.  I have always liked taking pictures but never really focused on what I was doing until about 5 years ago.

When I decided that I loved taking pictures I made myself a 2nd promise.  I would encourage my habit every couple years if I was still interested and purchase a simple but upgraded camera.  I have been using the Sony cyber-shot now for my last 3 cameras and have just recently upgraded to 18.2 mega pixels with a 16x optical and up to 32x clear image zoom.  I can’t wait to use it.

At the same time I decided to become a huge fan of extreme sports – Sky-diving, paragliding, rafting, canyoning, jungle-trekking.  These activities make for incredible photo opportunities.. the problem is these activities are very hard on cameras and there is a constant fear of dropping, soaking, sanding, and stepping on the camera.  I tend to be overly protective of the basic point and shoot cameras I have owned.

Because of my new-found obsession conflicting with my long-time obsession I decided to treat myself during my last visit to the U.S. and I bought myself a Nikon CoolPIX waterproof, shockproof ORANGE camera.  It only has an optical zoom of about 5.  However, I had a rafting trip planned and it would be perfect for this type of activity.

The story of my new camera…  So here I have this brand-new, never-used ORANGE camera.

Nikon – Shockproof, waterproof, ORANGE camera

I know.. cool right?  Well, a friend was taking a trip to this amazing beach to Los Roques near Venezuela.  He asked to borrow this never-before used camera.  My first impulse was to just say no.. but the inner me.. the me that is trying so hard to be more giving, nicer, more of a sharing person over-ruled the Id.. and said.. uh.. o.k.  I felt proud of myself and good about the decision. See mom, I grew up and learned how to share.

A few days later my friend returns from his vacation and I asked how the camera worked and very excitedly he said, “GREAT!!!” He paused.. then he said, “It was stolen!!” I couldn’t believe it.  I was SHOCKED.  I thought he was joking.  He wasn’t.  I also thought he was going to cry.  He felt so bad. So I started feeling bad.  He told me he would do everything in his power to get me a new camera, an exact replica of my newly stolen camera and he would get it to me within the next 5 days. Miracle of miracle.. this magic man, bought a camera, shipped it to a friends house who would be traveling back to Venezuela by Tuesday or Wednesday.  I would be leaving Thursday. I know the suspense is killing you.. did I get it?  How did it work out?  Wait for it, wait for it..

“Miracles don’t happen. You make them happen. They’re not wishes or dreams or candles on a cake. They’re not impossible. Reality is real. It’s totally and completely under my control.”  ― Julie Anne PetersFar from Xanadu

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Extreme Simplicity

My daughter was making fun of my blog’s title saying, “Wow mom, simplicity and legendary should probably NOT be used in the same sentence because it’s sort of a contradiction.” The truth is I have lived a life of LEGENDARY simplicity.  By fault or plan I have had very few things for most of my life and as a matter of fact, most of my life has had very little to do with the things in it.

I find life more entertaining, elegant and happy when I have fewer belongings.  I am always amazed at the people who spend most of their lives slaving away at their jobs, saving their money and planning their retirement – AND – complaining about how little time they have in their lives and at the same time how much junk they have.

I often hear people say things like, “If I only had more time in the day..I can’t wait to retire.. if I only had more money..if I could only find more time to relax..” and on and on.  When you try to tell them to change their job or their plans or their life they will say, “Oh, I’d like to.. my spouse would never let/accept.. I’m too young.. I’m too old.. I’m too deep in debt.. after I pay off my house or car or tv or the next big thing I buy that will strap me to this spot or this job for the rest of my life… then I’ll look into a different lifestyle.”

I’m not against working hard (if it involves a follow-up play hard or relax hard moment).  I’m also not against owning items.  I have a computer, ipad, ipod, random other things in my home that I love and would hate to lose.  However, if I did lose them it would not destroy me.  I refuse to let the things I own – own me.  I am lucky right now to have what I want in my life, but if given a choice, I would chose to have time over money, travel and friends over things.

The one thing that can sometimes be difficult to let go of is the internal turmoil, the everyday stresses or the financial worries.  Having less can also provide stress and emotional imbalance.  In the past two years I have found a way to release even some of those problems.  I call it extreme activity.  This allows you to fall into extreme bliss which leads you back to extreme simplicity.  Possibly Legendary Simplicity.  Not everyone would agree with me, as a matter of fact, many have begun to think I’m crazy for it.  Maybe so, but it’s just one more idea to put away in your little future chest of maybe one day I will”.

Stay young – live long. Peace. (clink the links)

Canopy in Ecuador – Flying like a bird, through the trees.  In control but not.  Jungle beauty. Sounds below you – swish of metal on rope above.  High above the trees.  Bouncing – fast – slow – upside down.  Belly jumping.  Laughing.  Nervous. Laughing. Happy.  Calm.  Release. Memories

Skydiving in Venezuela – (tandem of course) –

Dropping.  Falling.  Extreme letting go.  Brain goes empty, everything is beautiful.  Calmness envelopes the body and mind.  No worries, no bills, no drama.  There is sound but it’s a loud rushing sound like a waterfall, like a hard rain, like a windy day.  Life and sight rushing by.  How long?  I don’t know. Chute opens pulling you towards the sun. So fast the air leaves your lungs.  Pause. Floating.  The world lays before you.  Total in its beauty.  Unmarred.  Serene. Closer – closer.  Then quickly you touch the ground.  You breathe again. You’ve been breathing the entire time but at the same time holding your breath.  Nothing again will be the same.

Canyoning in Venezuela – (2 more links) 2nd link , 3rd link – Scared, hot, cold, falling, jumping, sliding, wet.  Energy, Exhaustion and Emotion.  Rushing water.  Drowns thought. High-low-tired-wide awake.  Heart racing.  No worries only the moment.  No thinking only moving.  Laughter. Fear. Laughter. Memories.

Rafting in Barinas, Venezuela Tranquil. Floating. Momentary rush. Popping, Falling, Jumping, Pressing, Screaming, Laughing.  Heart racing – muscles burning. Mind high. Jungle around you.  Instructions = movement.  Movement = rush.  No worries.  Unity. Teamwork. Cooperation. Happy. Wet. Memories.

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Guamanchi Tours – Merida, Los Llanos, Barinas, Los Nevades

Skydivevenezuela – Aeropuerto de Higuerote, Miranda, Venezuela