All We Need is a Little Patience … And A Good Idea of the What

With a wonderful business, you can figure out what will happen; you can’t figure out when it will happen. You don’t want to focus on when, you want to focus on what. If you’re right about what, you don’t have to worry about when ~ Warren Buffet

by Pete Ferguson

As I look at where I am today with work, with my personal finances, and with family, I can’t help but appreciate the importance of patience.

Five years ago I wanted to sell our current house to move into a larger one. I wanted to find a new career. I wanted a lot of stuff.

And I had plenty of people willing to take my money to give me what I thought I wanted at the time. But nothing felt right except to stay where I was and dig in deeper.

Years later, that is paying off well. Our house will be paid off early next year which means the only interest in my life will be what I receive from the bank and investments. The only bills we will receive are the usual water, electricity, gas, phone, and Internet.

Most of the stuff I owned five years ago has been replaced. And the stuff I thought I wanted would now be mostly obsolete.

As we await our sixth child, I can’t help but think how much better it is to live in the now, invest in quality in all areas of my life, and enjoy the ride instead of staring at the rear-view mirror or trying to imagine what is over the next horizon. Sure I’m putting long-term plans into place in anticipation of the future, but I’m not spending the majority of my time dreaming of mansions above when I have such a great existence in the here and now.

With a wonderful life, you can figure out what will happen; you can’t figure out when it will happen. You don’t want to focus on when, you want to focus on what. If you’re right about what, you don’t have to worry about when ~ adapted from Warren Buffet

Forty – One

In your 30s, you’re having a lot of varied experiences. You’re scrambling. You’re putting pieces in place. In your 40s, those pieces start to coalesce into knowledge about who you are and how life works. ~ Suzy Welch

by Pete Ferguson

This past year has been a great year. I left 30s behind and embarked on 40.

Always the over achiever, I had scheduled my mid-life crisis early so as to get it out of the way. I went through the whole job/career/following my passion thing around 37 – so when I finally hit 40, I was in a good place.

A year ago today I was in top physical shape, and I’ve greatly enjoyed it. Rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, jogging, canoeing, white water rafting, hiking, and getting back into honing my skills on the gun range all fell within about 14 months.

I allowed weight to come back on – and I’m finding that it doesn’t peel off so easily now. But overall I wake up feeling good and can tackle just about anything I want to.

I’ve read great books, chased my dreams, dreamt some more.

People in their forties have a greater sense of self, for better or worse. Superficial people are more clear that that is what they are and deep people are easier to spot too. ~ Naomi Wolf

In my 30’s I had two years where I racked over 100,000 miles in the air, stepping foot on many countries in Asia and throughout Europe. I was checking off bucket list items monthly.

And the grand conclusion to all of this searching is that I love being at home, with my family, reading, writing, and hanging out all the while planning new adventures together.

Thankfully this knowledge didn’t cost me a divorce as many of my friends have endured. Or a heart attack or anything else serious.

A good therapist is always recommended to understand why one does as they do. We have a great one who’s goal was for us to become each other’s therapists. Much cheaper and more rewarding. Also takes trust and intimacy to a whole new level.

I absolutely loved turning 40– it didn’t feel awful to me- it felt like coming into my own … I felt as if 40 meant I was finally wise enough to give advice and be taken seriously but still young enough that the world offered the upward trajectory of possibility. ~ Lee Woodruff

I’ve always been of the mind that life should not have regrets. Take your lumps, learn from them – but never regret them. Just do your best to not make the same mistakes twice. Something I’m still working on.

Forty-one is a good number.

For Noah’s family – it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. But then it stopped on the 41st day.

On the 41st year, after many years of wandering lost, the Israelites entered the promised land.

In astrology, apparently 41 is very significant … maybe you can read this post and tell me why :-). It’s all over my head, but I’ll take what I can get.

[Another way of interpreting 41 is to separate the 4 from the 1. The numeral 4 equates to a brick, which has four sides. Bricks are used to withstand a lot of pressure and stress; The numeral 1 represents new beginnings, new steps.] ~ English, B. (2006, May 17). Seeking meaning behind 41. The Boston Globe.

No matter how you look at a number, the most important number is representative of where you are today. That’s your number. Your opportunity to make a difference. Your new beginning.

But I’m waxing too poetic. I’m not really 41 until 12:49 pm. So I’ll go back to bed and enjoy my nine hours of being 40!

Quality vs. Convenience

An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an “Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order” sign, just “Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the Inconvenience.” ~ Mitch Hedberg

by Pete Ferguson

I’m a wanna be audiophile. I’ve always enjoyed music and spent hard-earned cash in search of better quality components.

Currently I’m looking at speakers and a new receiver for my Man Cave – and thankfully manufacturers are beginning to swing back to their audio roots and make things more compact. Although trying to find objective reviews on sound quality are tough as most reviews are more focused on number of HDMI inputs.

Same goes for streaming music services. It is all about # of songs and price. Not about the stream sound quality.

And it got me thinking just how far we have departed from quality as a society in many ways:

  • Fast food/processed food – total junk, fights our body’s natural abilities and makes us sick, but tasty and quick
  • Air travel – Greyhound bus in the sky whereas our grandparents used to don a suit and tie or dress and were served a meal on linen and china
  • Any video or audio served up on a portable device
  • “Family time” often means watching television in the same room together (while texting, gaming, or watching another show on mobile devices)

I remember in high school a band I was in was practicing in our friend Gordan’s basement. During a break he showed us his dad’s vinyl collection. It was the age of the CD and I thought records were dead.

He then did a side-by-side comparison of discs and records both being played on top-quality (the system was easily the cost of my first condo) equipment and hands down the records had more oomph, vitality and “life.”

But no sound system sounds as good as seats at a symphony. And nothing beats standing a meter in front of a great painting or original photograph.

Just because you can now go to the gym and get on a cross-fit trainer, watch a show on your tablet and text on your phone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t skip all of that for a good hike or run every now and then.

This summer was great for unplugging. I went on two vacations where there was no service, and no fast-food. It was regenerating at a very high level. I find I have a lot more creativity and I’m taking more time to just unplug and relax – although I am looking forward to my Orb Audio speakers and a new Marantz amp to chill to some good jazz and classical music with my family during dinner and just hanging out.

I’m also looking forward to our seven symphony concerts we were able to get on discount now that Mark is playing with the Utah Youth Philharmonic Symphony.

As I sit here fully connected to the Internet, I’m listening to Mark practicing cello while Amber is practicing flute in another room. Now that school has started, we are also back to reading Tom Fitzgerald’s “The Great Brain” series about growing up in Utah in the 1800’s each evening instead of watching the tele.

Take time to invest in quality – and purposely skip convenience. It takes work, but hopefully like it has for me – it will unlock your creativity.

Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Show

With each sunrise, we start anew

by Pete Ferguson

A few weeks back at our morning fitness bootcamp our instructor was winding us down for stretching when she instructed us to grab our mats and come outside to “enjoy the show.”

The timing was perfect as the sun was just coming over the Oquirrh mountains and the sun instantly warmed the chill in the air.

In contrast, this past summer we were able to go to the arch shown above during a hot summer day. The breeze from the valley below came through the arch and cooled us.

When we are doing dishes at night and I notice the red glow from the sun, I often grab my wife and we go out to the front porch, escaping the activity of the house to enjoy the show.

Whatever life brings you – don’t you forget to stop – and enjoy the show.

Attack Your Fears!

Feed your faith and your fears will starve.

~ Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear

rappellingby Pete Ferguson

Okay, so there is never a flattering photo of someone rappelling down anything, but this one is pretty rad – especially since it is zoomed in to hide the true height at which I started my descent.

The last time I had rappelled was when I was 13 and it was horrifying. I had to be cajoled into it by my family and others after some time and threats of being a chicken or a wimp.

photo[1]

My Brother-In-Law Eddie just before I climbed to the same place.

So when my kid brother invited me to go rock climbing and rappelling over our family reunion last week – I didn’t exactly jump at the occasion. But then I decided it is time to man up and address my fear head on (or hopefully feet first in this case.)

I purposely chose to try to NOT to think about it in the days leading up to it. This was not helped as we toured the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and I embraced my fear of heights by slowly creeping up to the edge of thousand foot cliffs to peer down.

I purposely chose not to dream about it. And when the day arrived, I found myself wanting another valium – which was very useful when I had laser eye surgery a few years back.

But all of the wimping out was really draining too. It was good though because it made me angry. And anger is a great motivator. I became sick and tired of my fear towards heights.

The day arrived and as I began to climb up about 50 feet, I only allowed myself to focus on the present. Where was I currently? Where is the next hand or foot hold?

I took lots of deep breaths. Breathed through the anxiety.

I was on a rope, and I trusted our new friend and guide, Angela, to keep me from falling to my death. I had on climbing shoes for the first time – which make a HUGE difference and adds confidence – and I wasn’t about to be shown up by my brother or brother-in-law.

photo[3]

After seeing this, I really felt silly. These kids were casual and fearless.

I also saw a group of a bunch of kids who didn’t “know better” to be scared. That definitely ignited my inner competitiveness.

And so I climbed. And I made it to the top, and rappelled down.

And it was exhilarating and I didn’t plunge to my death.

I didn’t do a lot of looking down, to be honest. That will come next time.

And I can’t wait for the next time.

I kicked a fear that had been nagging me for 27 years. And that feels fantastic.

What fears are holding you back? Time to send them packing. Find a great guide, make the financial and time investment, and overcome what is holding you back!

photo[2]

We visited six National Parks in seven days – I don’t recall which this one was, but I was standing on the ledge of a pretty significant drop.

Hydration – Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!

I hate [all vegetables], even though I’m vegetarian. I basically eat pasta every day. How can something taste good that’s green? ~ Miley Cyrus

by Pete Ferguson

Eating veggies as a food may not sound appealing, but eating them for their hydration properties will likely give you a big boost when it comes to physical fitness performance.

As the temperatures are hitting over 100 every day in Utah, I’m finding it difficult to drink enough water. But with many neighbor’s gardens starting to produce squash, tomatoes, and zucchini -hydration through eating veggies is starting to sound more appealing.

Staying properly hydrated offers numerous benefits when it comes to exercising harder, faster, and longer. And this includes a strategy which includes more than just drinking when you are thirsty. Thirst is not a good indicator – especially during exercise – as it comes a bit too late.

During exercise, body temperature rises and the body sweats. Your body loses water and electrolytes. Dehydration can cause blood volume to drop, which lowers the body’s ability to transfer heat and forces the heart to beat faster, making it difficult for the body to meet aerobic demands. ~ Active.com

But loading up on 1-2 fruits and vegetables per meal along with plenty of clear liquids will ensure that when you start pushing your body it will have what it needs to deal with the heat and be willing to let go of fat and build muscle.

If you are like me, this can be a challenge. Some things I’m doing this summer that I’m finding helpful:

  • Strawberries are in season! I’m cutting them up and eating with just about anything – or by themselves
  • V-8: I only drink one a day because of the sodium, but compared to a Diet Coke, I think it is a better choice. It tastes better cold and only while eating my lunch followed up with 8 oz. of water.
  • BBQ your veggies. I am not a huge fan of steamed veggies, but I love to put them on a skewer. During the winter I also like to stir fry.
  • Smoothies: Throw a handful of your favorite fruits into a blender with a bit of water or a cup of plain nonfat yogurt.

Another favorite way to eat corn for me is to soak the corn still in the cob, peel back and lightly coat with olive oil and a sampling of herbs with a touch of salt. I then put the husks back on and wrap in tin foil, cook over medium heat 5 minutes per side, set aside and cook the rest of the meal.

“Juices of fruits and vegetables are pure gifts from Mother Nature and the most natural way to heal your body and make yourself whole again.” ~ Farnoosh BrockThe Healthy Juicer’s Bible

What’s your hydration plan?