The End of Hurry

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I spent a lot of years being in a hurry. As I look back, I wonder what for. Learning is about the only thing.

I’ve found the end of hurry.

In my twenties, it felt like being a dog where your master is immaturity. I ran from, and to, thing after thing. I was full of anger, energy and arrogance. There was some tenderness and compassion. My wife was the one who brought those two things out. I honestly think she felt sorry for me in all of my storms.

In my thirties, I was still in a hurry. In this frame I saw things to be conquered and possessed. I had my eye on what was to be found over the horizon. I started to hear more friends and advisors say things like; “be here now” and “take time to reflect.” I wasn’t having any of it, at least in my behavior. I was at war, the tale of two Eric’s.

In my forties (now and coming to a close), I discovered how precious time is. Certainly, the reality of what’s left dawned on me. The more important awakening was:

  • About 20% of each day is where the gold is found. This is the stuff I put intense energy and effort into. The other 80% won’t be remembered or represent any true value in the end, and the end matters because you don’t know when it will be. Here’s the trick of it, God gives each of us something beautiful to discover (God, music, relationships, wine, a starlit night) every day. It’s not obvious to the person in a hurry and most of the time they miss it. When you find it (that 20%) the intensity of the moment lasts a lifetime. It is happiness, it is joy, it was what I was looking for. By the way, it really found me.
  • Yoga, yes yoga, grabbed me in an unexpected way. The movements and the wonderful breathes slowed me down and centered me. No exercise has meant more in my journey.
  • Wine taught me to linger. I don’t know anyone who gulps wine. As I started drinking wine for the health benefits, I found an added benefit of slowing down and enjoying my dinners and the accompanying wines. I didn’t realize what a life lesson it would bring me. Wine whispers to me to linger and slow down.

So, are you in a hurry?

Elephants in the Room

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I had the pleasure and honor to shoot a part in Elephants in the Room a few months back. The trailer is above.

I’ll let you check out the trailer to learn more, but the subject matter is so timely and relevant. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to check out the full length when it hits full release.

Your Moments

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Got this from a friend. It was a response to a note I sent him regarding staying in your moments.

Thanks Eric. Great timing.

Last Sunday, my wife and I were resting after a long day of splitting wood and stacking. We were sitting in our garage just talking when we heard a loud ‘pop’ and then a sliding sound.

We walked to the entrance of our garage to look out toward the road (our front yard is 100 meters long and spotted with mature trees) to see if we could see what made the sound.

We saw a truck stopping with two people getting out and hurrying toward our driveway entrance. We also saw something else on the ground, but couldn’t make it out.

We ran up to the entrance to find that an elderly couple had a motorcycle wreck on our road. Their rear tire had blown and they were thrown from the bike, hit pavement, and then slid into our yard. The bike was still in the road, and the husband was holding his wife in our ditch, propped up on her side to prevent her from drowning in the massive amount of blood that was pouring from her nose and mouth. She was unconscious and non-responsive, but breathing (difficultly).

I called 911 and ran to the house for towels and water. My wife was with the other people that had witnessed the wreck and they were calling all of the family members of the two as the driver of the bike told them where their phones were.

Once the two ambulances, two fire trucks, four state troopers arrived, they moved the husband away from his wife and proceeded to work on her. Life flight was then called and moments later, a helicopter was landing in my neighbor’s yard to fly both of them to a nearby trauma center.

This lasted for several hours. They worked on the woman for a while before flying her to Dayton and the man suffered a broken hip and broken shoulder.

I couldn’t help but think when it was all done how the day must have started for those two. They woke to a beautifully sunny day with perfect temperatures and no clouds in the sky. They must have said to one another “let’s go ride around and enjoy this picture perfect day and feel the wind on our faces and be together.” They were 5 miles from home and were headed there to end the evening…..only to have it end in tragedy.

I watched family members rush to the scene and express a variety of emotions; anger, sadness, fear, calm. I felt emotional as I thought of my wife and how I would react if I were holding her knowing it may be the last time I am allowed. The emptiness that it would create.

The woman died on Tuesday evening. She was in a coma, and they cut away her skull to help with the swelling of the brain, but it was too much for her system and she passed.

I will be taking some time to hug my family more and to pray to God and thank him for the ‘now’, because we don’t know what the future, short or long, will hold.

The Fractured Man

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

-Teddy Roosevelt

I am a fractured man. I have multiple scars and limps from battles lost, and won. All of these are forming every day. The forming of:

  • Empathy
  • Love
  • Humility
  • Focus
  • Contentment

The fractured men and women I’ve known are full of clarity. They see no point in pretense and posing. They understand that life is a limited time offer. This is only known when a human comes in touch with the brink (death, business failure, relationship loss, and more). Each time I’ve been in the position of looking at the brink, I’m reminded of the futility of thinking I have control. The story will never cede its authority.

I used to see the process of fracturing as unwelcome visitors. I discovered some time ago that these visitors are friends designed to bring me to a form of completeness.

In the age we live in, my words are contrarian and not talked about. Everything is about winning, typically at all costs. You would think life is just a big contest with all the glory at the end. I wish we paid more attention to the input, the blood, the sweat. It could make a big difference.