Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Slow Down”

Driving Under The Influence of Stupidity

Okay I am not really complaining, but maybe sort of. When I was a kid in order to get my drivers license it was required that I take a “defensive driving” course. It taught me how to be sure to anticipate the people and things that could come up as possible threats or obstacles as you drive.

I can’t help noticing that these days people seem to be driving “offensively” more than on the defense. I see people making last minute decisions to cut into lanes, people who make turns from lanes that are supposed to be for thru traffic.   They seem to be doing it intentionally. Maybe they are unaware ( that would actually be scarier).

Any way you look at it, the idea that people can just make those decisions without care for those around them makes me wonder how many times a day they are being avoided.   Maybe its the generation that grew up on video games. All the way back to “rad racer” and ever since, it seems like simulated road maneuvers and even road rage are centered around those kind of games.  I’ve played them myself. They are fun, but not reality.

My dad taught me that if you miss an exit on the highway or a turn on the street, you find the next exit or turn and make a correction. Just the other day I saw someone move from a lane 4 lanes away to get to their exit at the very last minute. I was glad I was far enough behind to miss any possible swerving as we were going 70 mph at the time.   Did that person have any idea that they could have caused an accident, or even the loss of human life? Not entirely sure.

Okay- so easy to complain I guess. Just want to be sure that my kids learn the “defense” because the offense seems to be the majority these days. It probably has always been that way, but it seems more obvious to me than I can recall in my decades of driving.

Do you see it that way where you live?


Embrace the Day

A smell, the weather, a certain sound, a book, a song, a painting, a color, a texture.


So many things capture memories, trigger the recall of things that have been- things that are. The best ones are those you don’t seek I think. The memories you don’t conjure up. They just appear, they just show up in a dream, on a walk, sitting with your friend, your lover.

They take you through time and capture something that was hidden in your brain, a feeling, a thought, a place you’d forgotten, a person who has long since not been part of your life. That is the building blocks of who you are. Those are the things that preserve the fabric of your being.

Yet, some other days seem void of things, almost like they come and go so quickly that they blend in with each other. That is when we need to remember what is really important.

Don’t run away from it, don’t force it or be angry because that day has come and gone with what seems like no purpose. Just embrace the passage of time and be aware of every small victory, every simple opportunity to provide grace to those around us. It only makes those empty days full.

Sometimes its worth saying it again.


Be True to Yourself

There is a very long story, from a very long time ago that I have rarely shared.

Charting The Course

Over ten years ago my first-born son left home to go out on his own. He had met someone on the Internet and became friends with her during his early teen years. When he turned 18 he decided he wanted to move away to be with her.

Perhaps a classic story of the prodigal son. Perhaps something that would have ended up on one of those hyper-active sensational TV talk shows [did I say it was a long story?]. It was painful as my wife and I and the rest of our family watched our son take what seemed a drastic 180 degree turn in his life and leave home with someone who we had never realized existed to that point.

There were a thousand things we wanted to say to him. There still are, though I doubt he’d listen. Yet over time and a highly emotional roller coaster of feelings, he has been out of contact with our family for over 10 years.

In reality there is only one thing to say to him. It was something that struck me the other day [another long story]. It is something I have to believe that my other three children have learned. Perhaps even because of their oldest brother, perhaps just because we had to live it with them again and again.

Be true to yourself. Don’t lie to yourself, but be honest to what you know in your core are the right things to do and be.

Sure, you will make mistakes, you will find yourself doing and saying things that aren’t really part of the inner center you have come to know. But in the end, be true to who you know you are. Use compassion and forgiveness and the awareness that you are part of the human race and God’s plan for it.  Make peace with what you are. But don’t sell yourself short. You have the potential to be the person you know you could be.   I am not talking about riches, or fame.  But be the “person” that defines your spiritual inner self. God will be your guide.

So to my three wonderful kids, I give them this advice. Don’t deny it. Be true to yourself, to who you are.

To my long-lost first son. If there was one thing to say…

Songs About “Time”

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” – Henry Van Dyke

The Time Is Now

Coming up on my the end of my 2nd year of posting to “tracks in the dust” and I think I have shared my thoughts a lot on time and its passages. It is truly thinking through the concept of the idea of our tracks we leave behind us in our lives. Each day,each hour we have during our mission here on earth, time passes and we have less of it until that moment our life ends in this form.

Time is something no one can change once it has passed, and everyone is subject to it in the moment that is “now”.

There are so much said on the blogs here in WordPress, so many books written about it, so many songs ( there I am again in the musical mode). It is

We all are subject to the changes that time deals out.  It changes everything – except that when it tries to change us we seem to so often be surprised. Go figure I guess.

We all understand that there is no way to stop the clock and wait for things, as much as we sometimes wish. Like stopping a terminal illness until a cure, it won’t happen. It is 5 years since my cancer surgery and start of radiation treatments and time has been kind. I have been blessed that the ongoing treatments invented to help fight the disease are helping, and that while I am surviving  as new things are being discovered to help further fight it. Count on the fact there will always be that race.

My kids will often wish that time would hurry, so they could get to the next thing in their lives. Live for the big event, live for the weekend. Look out toward the horizon. But they stop looking at the “now” and cherishing what that is. I think that comes with age (maybe) or the wisdom that is provided us by the life we live and the perils in it.

Which all leads up to the point I have made again and again. The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.

Enjoying while you can. It is yours to spend until the end… time waits for no one.

Some of my favorite songs about time:

Ambrosia: Time Waits for No One

Al Stewart: Time Passages

Embrace the Journey

When I was a child I remember fondly the idea that my family was going on a “vacation” – a road trip.

Road Illuminated

There was an excitement about the “journey” and all that came with it. Sure there was the superhighway, but there was also roadside stops. Places along the way to stop. The restaurants strategically placed, the car-parks to stop, attractions worthwhile to get out of the car. There was “time” actually… at least it seemed to be more of it.

We may be weren’t as much in a hurry back then it seems. We had interest in what was going by the windows as we drove by. “Getting there” was still important, but taking a planned detour… heading down a rural route, was just as important.

Which is why I sometimes ponder what makes me in such a “hurry”. Perhaps it is because everything is instant these days. In my life seems like most inventions have all designed to be moving things along quicker. Faster cars, faster cooking, faster Internet with faster search engines, faster travel, faster answers.

Even the movies we watch are faster. Watching an “old” mystery movie the other nite with my daughter from 1995 (gasp) it was amazing how slow the plot moved, how slow the dialog moved. We both noticed. My daughter was wondering if people were just slower back in ’95. We both were thinking that we hit the FF button we could get to the mysterious conclusion.

Guess its time to work on slowing things down a bit. Cherish the journey. I have been so busy thinking about being in a hurry at work, that I have even ignored the most important person in my life, the love of my life,  and hurt her more than I can imagine. Just thinking about how to get the job done at work I have missed what is around me. What’s with that?

How many things have you let pass by because you were so focused on the destination?

How often have you missed the most interesting things in your life as you drove ahead to reach where you thought you needed to be?

Embrace the journey. Bring your loved ones with you. Take life’s trip, but take some time to stop along the way and enjoy the ride.

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