The end of the year is always a time of reflection for me, as it is for many of you. This year there was a little more reflection than the normal new year. This new year ended a ten year struggle that has been the hardest I have had too endure. The last five years were the financial collapse and divorce. This new year also marks the end of a three year period of looking deep within myself to find my part in all of this, and then making the changes I need to make. It also marks a new beginning. I decided to rid myself of the things in my life that had me locked in a vicious, destructive cycle. To be sure there have been outside influences, but the real problem was me. At every level, in each case, there was something I could have done to change the out come. The resposibility was mine, and I did not take it. In some instances I merely enabled others, in other cases I had a more active role. I’m not perfect now, far from it. Every day I wake up, look in the mirror and think about the day before and the day ahead, what am I working on today, what do I want to change about yesterday. But I am moving forward and the change is happening now.

Part of the reflection was admitting what did not fit in my life and doing somethings that were difficult for me to do. The two hardest were the people I had to walk away from and the steady paycheck I needed to leave behind. After I made the decisions, came the time for action. As I began to take action, opportunities and people began to cross my path. Some of the opportunities left me dumb-founded, I just “couldn’t believe my luck” as some people say. Some were people who needed my help, some were people who helped me. All of it has been welcomed.

I have often quoted to other people, “every ending is a new beginning.” But the reverse is true as well. Often the most important periods in my life are book-marked. Events or people, that as I look back, clearly mark the beginning and the end of that period. I was thinking about this as New Year’s eve approached and 2013 was winding down. The beginning of my decade was 10 April 2004, the birth and loss of my oldest daughter, Alexandra. The end of my decade happened while I was contemplating it all, 1 Jan 2014, the loss of my sister-in-law Rachel Pergeson.

Rachel was a really neat person, tough, but with a good heart. Very intelligent she was also an entrepreneur. Small in stature and large in life, a fiery red-head that you could not help but notice as soon as she entered a room. She was strong-willed (like me) and we did not always agree on what was best for the baby brother (I raised for the first 8 years of his life). I will miss her, but I have no doubt that one day I will see her again. Because I do believe the soul goes on.

My belief in the after-life is a part of my spiritual beliefs, but I also believe it is bourne out by science as well. It is science that tells us that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only changed states. A friend of mine extolls readers of her blog to “Be the light you already are.” (click the phrase) Sheri’s right, we are light, each and everyone of us. That light that you are, that energy, is unique. Of all the people who have existed no two are exactly the same in every detail. Each is beautiful, unique and precious their way. CS Lewis said, “We are not a body that has a soul, we are a soul that has a body.” However you want to look at it, whatever you own spiritual beliefs, we are all unique, we are all energy, positive energy; and when the body dies our essence merely changes states.

Rachel with her daughter Paige Rachel E. Pergeson  25 Feb 1975~1 Jan 2014

Rachel with her daughter Paige
Rachel E. Pergeson 25 Feb 1975~1 Jan 2014

But while we are here, I for one, intend to live life to the fullest, just the way Alexandra and Rachel would want us too. I am not sitting this dance out. Though I have to wait to see those I love who have gone on before me, they are still with me. As long as my mind is clear and I have my memories, they will go everywhere I go, they will be right there with me, encouraging me with words spoken now only in my memory, but just as potent and true as when I heard them the first time. I hope that you too will try to grab that brass ring and live life to the fullest. When you have the chance to dance or sit it out – dance, dance like all the world is a stage.


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6 responses to “Reflections

  1. Love how real and genuine you are Joe. It’s a true reflection of wisdom. Im thankful that our paths have crossed. I’m thankful that you are experiencing and embracing life fully. I know it’s not easy to do, not for any of us. Thank you for showing that being real, exposing your heart, can be done. With much love and admiration. Sheri


  2. Hey Joe… I’ve met you a few times at Local Cantina in Creekside and I just read Reflections and I just wanted to give you the link to my blog and see what you think of my writing. Looking forward to reading more of your entries 🙂 best wishes.


  3. 2014 is going to be a good year. Sending you peace, laughter and love.


  4. Very insightful and honest. More honest than I have been with myself. I admire you. Hoping ’14 brings you joy and good health.