I am Still Here :)

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Hi, remember me ?  Mini, the guy who wrote semi frequently, telling his story of a Heart Attack and a few other little tid bits?  

Well, in case you forgot, I am still around.  I needed a break from a few things badly, very badly.  MY mind was in dissaray and I could not concentrate on quite a few aspects of my life.

I was struggling with editing family photo shoots that I had taken.  It seemed like I was editing poorly and not managing my time well.  I made myself way too busy without a plan on how to manage the good that I was doing.  

I was working somewhere that I felt I could not be successful at even though I thought it had promise when I started, I thought I could do it.  I realized I could reach the objectives set before me.  I just didn’t have it in me.

Personally I struggled with wanting to be around and see people but also wanting to be alone and invisible with no way to be contacted.

I wanted to create time to volunteer more often but just had none.

I wanted time to even just let loose, but time was lost.

I struggled with where to go from here, what to do next how to move forward.

So, I took a break.  I got many photos edited, took some free time to be alone.

I also went to Disneyworld.  I spent time with my good friend Jennifer who lives there.  I needed magic.  Where else can one find some magic ?  The House of the Mouse !

It was exactly what I needed and now I am back and working on direction.  I have plans for the coming months, some goals that , for now, I will keep to myself.

In the coming weeks, I have a few blog posts coming up.  Some great things did happen.

One of the coolest things with which I need to share is that while in Disneyworld, I got to meet Sarah Klena from www.heartattack@31.com for dinner !  I have a post written about this evening her that I will share this week.

That girl is amazing and she is doing so much for Heart Health in the United States.  She inspires me 🙂

Until next time…..with many posts to come…back on track.

Mini

 

Sacrifice- A Great Motivational Video I Love

Earlier this week I saw this video on a friends Facebook Page.  I watched, then watched  it again.  It caught my attention in a good way, it made me think at the way I am going about the life I am living, made me think about my dreams and goals and why I allow myself to get comfortable rather than push.

 

Image Courtesy of : www.befreetoday.com.au
Image Courtesy of : www.befreetoday.com.au

 

I have no doubt I will watch this video many times to remind myself to keep pushing to reach my dreams and not get comfortable.

Take a view of this video, it may or may not inspire you.  Below the Video I have added the transcript for those who wish to read it and save it.

Enjoy,

Mini.

[(Motivational Speakers: Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Ray Lewis) Sacrifice – Motivational Video] Source: LYBIO.net

[(Motivational Speaker One:)]
There will never be a point in your ti — in your life — where it’s the right time to do a great thing. If you’re waiting for that perfect perfect moment, that perfect timing, it’s not going to happen. You know what you have to do? You have to create the perfect time, and the perfect opportunity, and the perfect situation.

[(Motivational Speaker Two:)]
So a lot of people become comfortable. They stop growing, they stop wanting anything, they – they become satisfied. People getting ready to go to jobs that they don’t like, jobs that are making them sick. You see when you are not pursuing your goal, you are literally committing spiritual suicide. When you have some goal out here that you are stretching for and reaching for that takes you out of your comfort zone, you’ll find out some talents and abilities you have that you didn’t know you have. When the messenger of misery visits you, what are you going to do? What will keep you in the game.

[(Motivational Speaker One:)]
There are things that you think you’ll never need to know. That you may only need to know one time in your life, but that could save your life because you had that knowledge.

[(Motivational Speaker Two:)]
Unless you attempt to do something beyond that, which you’ve already mastered, you will never grow. What is it that you looked at, at some point in time and you decided that you couldn’t do it, that you talk yourself out of it.

[(Motivational Speaker One:)]
You’re waiting on your next door neighbor to make it happen for you, it may not happen. If you’re waiting on your mother, or your father, they may be so ancient in their thinking, that they don’t understand this opportunity that you have. And if you’re waiting on them it may never get done. You don’t beg average people to be phenomenal. You don’t beg good people to be phenomenal. You just are phenomenal, and you will attract phenomenal.

[(Motivational Speaker Two:)]
What reason can you remember, that you can call on, that you can reach on, that can make you get back up. Find that reason.

[(Motivational Speaker One:)]
If you’re not where you are. If you’re not where you want to be. If you don’t have what you want, want to have. If you’re not where you think you should be at this particular place. It has nothing to do with the system, but it has everything to do with the fact that you’re not making the sacrifice.

I want you to make that dream become a reality, because if you don’t, you will be working for somebody else to make their dreams become a reality.

And everybody is against you, or don’t believe in you no more. And let me tell you something, that’s a lonely feeling. That’s a lonely feeling. Particularly people that you are doing it for.

Most people take their greatness, take their ideas to the graveyard with them.

Listen to me, if it was easy, everybody would do it. There are people right now who are working who don’t want to work. There are people who hate their jobs, but they keep getting up to do it.

[(Motivational Speakers: Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Ray Lewis)] Source: LYBIO.net
The wealthiest place on the planet, is the graveyard. Because in the graveyard we will find inventions that we never ever were exposed to. Ideas, dreams, that never became reality. Hopes and aspirations that were never acted upon.

The question is what are you going to do with your time. What drives you. Greatness is a lot of small things done well. Day, after day. Workout after workout. Obedience after obedience. Day after day.

When things don’t work out for you. When things happen that you could not anticipate. What are the reasons that you can think of that can keep you strong.

You will never ever be successful, until you turn your pain into greatness, until you allow your pain to push you from where you are to push you to where you need to be. Stop running from your pain and embrace your pain. Your pain is going to be a part of your prize, a part of your product. I – I challenge you to push yourself.

See it’s easy to be on the bottom, it doesn’t take any effort to be a loser. It doesn’t take any motivation and any drive in order to stay down there on a low level. But it calls on everything in you. You have to harness your WILL to say I’m going to challenge myself.

I mean that what you did last week don’t count. Today today is the only important day. There are eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day and how you use those are critical. You got eighty-six thousand, four hundred today and what you do today is going to cement who you are. Nobody gonna talk about what you did last week.

Yet the biggest enemy you have to deal with is yourself. There’s an old African proverb that says “If there’s no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.”

You have this opportunity of a lifetime. It means absolutely nothing if you don’t take advantage of it in the lifetime of this opportunity.

I got a saying that: When life knocks you down, try to land on your back because if you can look up, you can get up.” If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it. If all that you dream and scheme is about it. And life seems useless and worthless without it.

See it’s time now. If you want to make this your decade, you’ve to start saying YES to your life. You’ve got to start saying yes to your dreams. YES to your unfolding future. YES to your potential. As opposed to saying no.

[(Motivational Speakers: Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Ray Lewis)] Source: LYBIO.net
When you die, die on E. Leave no dream left behind guys. Leave no opportunity left behind. When you leave this earth, accomplish every single thing you can accomplish.

Listen to me, you’re going to be here one day, but you’ll never get here if you give up, if you give in, if you quit. And finally guys, you gotta wanna succeed, as bad, as you wanna, breath.

* die on E (die on Empty)

SACRIFICE – MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO – SPEAKERS – LES BROWN – ERIC THOMAS – RAY LEWIS. STOP RUNNING FROM YOUR PAIN AND EMBRACE YOUR PAIN. YOUR PAIN IS GOING TO BE A PART OF YOUR PRIZE, A PART OF YOUR PRODUCT. COMPLETE FULL TRANSCRIPT, DIALOGUE, REMARKS, SAYING, QUOTES, WORDS AND TEXT.

Sacrifice- A Great Motivational Video

Image Courtesy of : www.befreetoday.com.au
Image Courtesy of : www.befreetoday.com.au

Earlier this week I saw this video on a friends Facebook Page.  I watched, then watched  it again.  It caught my attention in a good way, it made me think at the way I am going about the life I am living, made me think about my dreams and goals and why I allow myself to get comfortable rather than push.

I have no doubt I will watch this video many times to remind myself to keep pushing to reach my dreams and not get comfortable.

Take a view of this video, it may or may not inspire you.  Below the Video I have added the transcript for those who wish to read it and save it.

Enjoy,

Mini.

[(Motivational Speakers: Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Ray Lewis) Sacrifice – Motivational Video] Source: LYBIO.net

[(Motivational Speaker One:)]
There will never be a point in your ti — in your life — where it’s the right time to do a great thing. If you’re waiting for that perfect perfect moment, that perfect timing, it’s not going to happen. You know what you have to do? You have to create the perfect time, and the perfect opportunity, and the perfect situation.

[(Motivational Speaker Two:)]
So a lot of people become comfortable. They stop growing, they stop wanting anything, they – they become satisfied. People getting ready to go to jobs that they don’t like, jobs that are making them sick. You see when you are not pursuing your goal, you are literally committing spiritual suicide. When you have some goal out here that you are stretching for and reaching for that takes you out of your comfort zone, you’ll find out some talents and abilities you have that you didn’t know you have. When the messenger of misery visits you, what are you going to do? What will keep you in the game.

[(Motivational Speaker One:)]
There are things that you think you’ll never need to know. That you may only need to know one time in your life, but that could save your life because you had that knowledge.

[(Motivational Speaker Two:)]
Unless you attempt to do something beyond that, which you’ve already mastered, you will never grow. What is it that you looked at, at some point in time and you decided that you couldn’t do it, that you talk yourself out of it.

[(Motivational Speaker One:)]
You’re waiting on your next door neighbor to make it happen for you, it may not happen. If you’re waiting on your mother, or your father, they may be so ancient in their thinking, that they don’t understand this opportunity that you have. And if you’re waiting on them it may never get done. You don’t beg average people to be phenomenal. You don’t beg good people to be phenomenal. You just are phenomenal, and you will attract phenomenal.

[(Motivational Speaker Two:)]
What reason can you remember, that you can call on, that you can reach on, that can make you get back up. Find that reason.

[(Motivational Speaker One:)]
If you’re not where you are. If you’re not where you want to be. If you don’t have what you want, want to have. If you’re not where you think you should be at this particular place. It has nothing to do with the system, but it has everything to do with the fact that you’re not making the sacrifice.

I want you to make that dream become a reality, because if you don’t, you will be working for somebody else to make their dreams become a reality.

And everybody is against you, or don’t believe in you no more. And let me tell you something, that’s a lonely feeling. That’s a lonely feeling. Particularly people that you are doing it for.

Most people take their greatness, take their ideas to the graveyard with them.

Listen to me, if it was easy, everybody would do it. There are people right now who are working who don’t want to work. There are people who hate their jobs, but they keep getting up to do it.

[(Motivational Speakers: Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Ray Lewis)] Source: LYBIO.net
The wealthiest place on the planet, is the graveyard. Because in the graveyard we will find inventions that we never ever were exposed to. Ideas, dreams, that never became reality. Hopes and aspirations that were never acted upon.

The question is what are you going to do with your time. What drives you. Greatness is a lot of small things done well. Day, after day. Workout after workout. Obedience after obedience. Day after day.

When things don’t work out for you. When things happen that you could not anticipate. What are the reasons that you can think of that can keep you strong.

You will never ever be successful, until you turn your pain into greatness, until you allow your pain to push you from where you are to push you to where you need to be. Stop running from your pain and embrace your pain. Your pain is going to be a part of your prize, a part of your product. I – I challenge you to push yourself.

See it’s easy to be on the bottom, it doesn’t take any effort to be a loser. It doesn’t take any motivation and any drive in order to stay down there on a low level. But it calls on everything in you. You have to harness your WILL to say I’m going to challenge myself.

I mean that what you did last week don’t count. Today today is the only important day. There are eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day and how you use those are critical. You got eighty-six thousand, four hundred today and what you do today is going to cement who you are. Nobody gonna talk about what you did last week.

Yet the biggest enemy you have to deal with is yourself. There’s an old African proverb that says “If there’s no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.”

You have this opportunity of a lifetime. It means absolutely nothing if you don’t take advantage of it in the lifetime of this opportunity.

I got a saying that: When life knocks you down, try to land on your back because if you can look up, you can get up.” If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it. If all that you dream and scheme is about it. And life seems useless and worthless without it.

See it’s time now. If you want to make this your decade, you’ve to start saying YES to your life. You’ve got to start saying yes to your dreams. YES to your unfolding future. YES to your potential. As opposed to saying no.

[(Motivational Speakers: Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Ray Lewis)] Source: LYBIO.net
When you die, die on E. Leave no dream left behind guys. Leave no opportunity left behind. When you leave this earth, accomplish every single thing you can accomplish.

Listen to me, you’re going to be here one day, but you’ll never get here if you give up, if you give in, if you quit. And finally guys, you gotta wanna succeed, as bad, as you wanna, breath.

* die on E (die on Empty)

SACRIFICE – MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO – SPEAKERS – LES BROWN – ERIC THOMAS – RAY LEWIS. STOP RUNNING FROM YOUR PAIN AND EMBRACE YOUR PAIN. YOUR PAIN IS GOING TO BE A PART OF YOUR PRIZE, A PART OF YOUR PRODUCT. COMPLETE FULL TRANSCRIPT, DIALOGUE, REMARKS, SAYING, QUOTES, WORDS AND TEXT.

Stories of Survival Breast Cancer Edition.

Stories of Survival Breast Cancer Edition,

 On September 17, 2014 I had  the privilege of being the Photographer for The Canadian Breast Cancer Survivors Luncheon and Parade.

It was bittersweet really, as I lost a friend three years ago to this terrible disease.  A friend I only knew briefly but made such an impact.  Currently I have another friend surviving and thriving in the face of breast cancer.  It is such a terrible disease, I did this for them to help in raising awareness.

SHARON AND CARRIE

It was an experience like no other.  So many smiling faces, embraces and genuine happiness.

I was unsure how the day would really go.  I was there to do a job, a volunteer job.  My job was to photograph the event, the survivors and get candid shots.

It became more than just a volunteer job that day.  It became a day of connection, seeing the stories in people’s eyes and hearing them come from their mouths.  These ladies were so proud to be survivors and happy to do what they could to share their experiences with those around them.  Sharing with those who understood and have been there. 

These women captivated me from the start of pretty much every conversation or maybe it was their genuine smile or the slight flirting they did with this photographer.  Captivated by them, their stories, their pride.

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I met an 83 year old woman who was a 43 year survivor who shared that this was the first year her husband would not be there to see her come down the escalator.  Sadly he passed away in the past year.  She spoke of how hard the battle had been, the fear of being told she had cancer. She said it was all worth growing through because of the relationships she has made over the years of attending these events.

Then there was a woman who was in her mid 50’s.  Twice a survivor.  She told me of the toll it took on her husband and her.  Their relationship struggled, after the first battle with Cancer.  Now, because this is a public blog, I won’t share the exact struggle as it is her story to share with whom she wishes, not mine.  I am honored she shared with me.  Anyway, once diagnosis 2 came around with battle #2 they worked together and their relationship became stronger.  She even said “ I may not be as young as I once was but I am still a looker .”  She has had a double mastectomy and a reconstruct and was now a 12 year survivor. This made me smile, she smiled.  It was great to see her confidence.

Pink and Purple hair, not just dyed for that day but always dyed that way.  A 77 year old woman who says she does it so she does stand out, so she can tell people why.  I was drawn first to that beautiful hair then her eyes as they lit up as I complimented her style. 20 year Survivor full of life and youthful even in her 70’s.  I took a few photos of her to ensure I captured her eyes along with that wild hair.

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I spoke with a few 20 plus tear survivors who have attended all 11 years of the Luncheon and Parade.  They told me of being there for others who are new to their battle with Breast Cancerand having a kinship with others who have been there…..because they understand each other.  It really is a sister hood.  These women  hang out throughout the year and for those who don’t they love seeing everyone each year at this event.

As you look into their eyes as they tell their stories you can see joy of survival but still a little hurt as they recall the first diagnosis, the chemo, mastectomies, reconstructs, loss of relationships but gaining of new ones.  Realizing who your friends are by going through all of this and making new life long friends.

I was told of the Rowing Club who recently won the championship.  IN 17 years of the club they have fortunately ( or unfortunately? )  Only had 12 ladies pass from this disease.

The ladies flirted with me, touched my bum and even told the stories of being older but now having the breasts of a 20 year old.  I took over 800 photos and my friend Steve took another 600, we captured the emotion, the excitement, the speakers, the staff and the onlookers.

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The funniest story of the day was during the draw for door prizes.  One prize was for a bag that had lingerie in it.  Well……

Out comes the Lingerie, the thongs and immediately laughter engulfs the whole room as these women put the underwear on their head, flung a thong at Steve and even offered me a private showing later ( which of course was a joke….or maybe not haha.  )

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I could go on and on with stories from today but a blog post does not really allow for that, so , I will conclude with this.

Cancer in any form is scary.  Most diseases are scary.  Sadly many will leave this earth as we still try to find cures and treatments.  If you are a survivor you have a choice.  You can just sit back and do nothing or you can create awareness and encourage others who are going through the battle.  You can get involved by volunteering and offering your talents to whatever cause you are passionate about.  It is not always about donating money.

testing

OK, one more thing. 

Whether you are a survivor or had struggle of any kind or not, just listen.  Listen to those who have been through some struggle.  Even if their story does not inspire you, the sparkle in their eye from being able to share to anyone who will listen will warm your heart.  Listen for them. Listen for your heart.

Mini

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38 By 38 “To Do” List- Part 1

Inspired by Lindsay Smallwood, a friend who did this last year and blogged about it. I have decided to create my own to do list.

You can check out her blog here.  http://30for30pro.blogspot.ca/ 

What is it?  It is a list of 38 things I WILL accomplish by my 38th birthday on August 19, 2015.

Without further delay, here is the first 18 things on my to do list.  But first a Picture.

38LIST

1. My first Tattoo by my friend and artist Ashla Bee.

Ashla works for Atticus Tattoo and I have seen her work online and love her talents. I want to support friends in their endeavors and her work is amazing. I recommend you check it out their Facebook Page at:  https://www.facebook.com/atticustattoo

2. Complete my first Half Marathon post Heart Attack.

My goal is the Melissa’s Half in September. Physically I am ready for this. Mentally, I will be strong enough. I love running and love the half distance. This will be more challenging than the first one I ever completed.

3. Take a homeless person to lunch.

I actually have a particular homeless person in mind that I saw everyday close to my work downtown. I want to do this to be able to share an experience with someone who may not get a chance to have a “Fancy” kinda meal and actually listen to whatever they wish to talk about. There are so many stories behind people’s eyes.

4. Photograph and interview 10 random people who I do not know.

On the spot interview. This may be more difficult than I think. I wish to do this to test my ability to connect my passions of photography and people. I will only grow as long as I keep being comfortable approaching new individuals.

5. Take a Sushi making class.

I have wanted to do this for ages and just never got around to it. I would love to be able to make sushi from home but I want to learn from a sushi chef first.

6. Kiss a girl underwater.

Yep, you read that right. Whether in a pool or lake or ocean, I want to do this. Being single may make this tough to achieve. Any women I know want to attempt this with me? I think this would be just a fun thing to do.

7. Bake a birthday cake for a friend.

OK, I am no baker and I have attempted this and failed once. I want to try this one more time.

8. Celebrate my 37th birthday.

Those who know me well, know I hate doing things for my birthday. Not sure why but I just do. I hate the attention I think. After having a Heart Attack, I have reason to celebrate this next one for I almost did not get to my 36th.

9. Volunteer at a race.

I love race volunteers and I know how much many of them have meant to me in the brief moments I see them when I am running. Whether it be at a water station or giving out a medal, I want to experience the other side of a race.

10. Write 2 articles for www.mindbodygreen.com .

I love this website and read it regularly. I find the articles fun and inspiring and interesting to myself in creating a healthy me. I want to be a contributor at least twice.

11. Write 3 letters to friends and mail them.

Letter writing is a lost art nowadays and I cannot remember the last time I did this. So now I want to send three friends a letter with a little something special inside. I am curious as to whether they will write back.

12. Spend a night at the Palliser Hotel.

I have always wanted to do this for as long as I can remember. It is historic and a big part of Calgary. I want to feel like a king for a night by staying there. It is a hotel that is out of my price range usually but I am going to save to experience The Palliser in all her glory.

13. Say yes to everything for one day within reason.

There will be no shenanigans that will endanger or humiliate myself or others but I will accept challenges throughout the day and absolutely write about it.

14. Buy a completely tailored suit.

I have lost weight and become healthy. My current suits are too big and I wish now to buy my first completely tailored suit to match my body type. Trust me, buying a suit regularly for a guy my size is always a tough thing to do. I am awkward and I am ok with that.

15. Walk to Banff National Park and back.

Crazy idea ? Absolutely ! This is a personal challenge. I want to test myself and this is a somewhat safe way to do this. I may never walk or run across Canada ( or maybe I will ) so this is my physical challenge to me. May turn this into a fundraiser.

16. 1 month, 1 random act of kindness per day.

I am a giver, it is what is in my nature. I have been blessed many times in the last year so I want to pay it forward. I want to be anonymous and hopefully not found out 

17. Read 25 books to completion.

I love reading and sometimes I will start a book and forget to come back to it. My goal is to finish each book in full.

18. Hike Sulphur Mountain in Banff.

I have not done this since High school but remember how much I enjoyed it. It is physical challenge #2 on my list.

19. Disconnect from all social media and non work related email for one week.

I am a self confessed Social Media whore and spned more time online than is probably healthy. When I went to Cuba in April, internet was limited and I loved the few days I had with no outside contact. I found it enabled me to ease some stress and really pay attention to what was around me. Including the people who were with me. 7 days. I can do that right ?

 

What you have read here are the first 19.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the next 19.

 Life is about adventure my friends and now it is time for me to experience a little.

Mini

 

 

 

The Worst Day of my life. My Mom’s Stroke – 1996

The worst day of my life. February 9, 1996.

 Some of you may be thinking….well, duh, it was the day you had your heart attack !  Ummm no.  Maybe you think it is the day I lost a job I worked so hard to get or maybe the time or two A relationship of mine ended and it seemed like my world was tumbling.  NO, NO and NO.  Here it goes and it’s a story about my mom.

mom2
My momma and me 🙂

This is a story I think I have shared maybe once or twice.  I do not speak often of this.

Many of my friends know that my Mom had a stroke on February 9, 1996.  This left her paralyzed and not the same woman who raised this man and two daughters.  I was 18, my sisters, 14 and 9 respectively.

I remember this day so vividly even now,  18 years later.

I was in Grade 12.  I got up early and as I was leaving for school I noticed my mom was in the bathroom after having a few drinks with her boyfriend and a few friends the night before.  Hungover, or so I thought.

I went to school at Diefenbaker High school that day.  It was Friday which made it a half day at school.  I went about my day as usual, attending classes, seeing friends and being happy old Mark.

The school day finished and I was off to my part time job at a place called Easy Street in Sunridge Mall as  an arcade technician and mascot- Ronny the Racoon.

I was maybe 45 minutes into my shift when I got a message to call Foothills Hospital.  It was that phone call that turned my world, my families world upside down.

“ Mark you need to come to the Hospital.  Your mom has had a Stroke. We have been trying to contact you all morning.”

My family had tried calling my school but missed me by mere minutes and I was then unattainable on the bus to work.

I remember standing there, stunned, not believing what I had just heard.  I did not want to believe this really happened to my mom. 

I left work immediately.  When I arrived at the hospital, many family members and some friends were already there.  I was taken to where my mom was, unconscious, lying there.

I could not bring myself to go near her hospital  bed that day and for a couple days after.   I was scared, in shock.  I did not want it to be real.

Would mom live? What the hell happens now ?  What was going to happen to my sisters and I ?   Those were my immediate thoughts.

It was like a bad dream where I hoped I would awake and mom would be there being her silly self chasing us around for fun.

What made this worse for me, were my last words to my mom the night before when she had a few drinks and asked me to go to the liquor store to buy more alcohol for her and her friends.

Those words…..could have potentially been the last I ever said to her. I am sure she doesn’t remember, but I do….. “ Fuck off, I am not going, you all are too drunk.  Seriously, leave me alone.”  Since then I always try to leave friends and family with encouraging words at the end of a day, for you never know when you could lose someone you love.

I hated seeing her drunk.  I hated in that moment that I was 18 and of age to purchase liquor.

The day of her stroke those words replayed many times in my head. 

Nothing I had been through to that point in my young life had ever been so terrible.  Nothing I have experienced since has even come close to how that event hit me like a ton of bricks. 

My mom did survive.  Paralyzed on the left side of her body, mentally and physically changed.  Her spirit stayed and she is still my Mom.

 She has never quite been the same but she is always mom.  She still gives me crap, makes me laugh,  calls me incessantly, gives me $20 even when I don’t need it, wishes me the best, tells me she wants me to be happy, encourages me to dream, wishes I would find a good woman and give her more grand kids.

 I know she blames herself for a lot in life and worries all the time about her kids.  She has a great love for her grand children ( none provided by me lol.)  She still gives as much as she can to others because that has always been her nature.  She is a big reason why I am always helping others, giving back and trying to be as best of a human as I can.

My Momma !  Love you !
My Momma ! Love you !

My mom is not perfect but she is my mom, yes she can be a pain in the ass lol…..BUT,  I am thankful she is here still all these years later.  My only wish is that she could have experienced things in life that I can only imagine she dreamed of.

Sometimes, I wonder how I can make that happen.

So, in honor of the woman who had a big hand in making me the man I am today.  I say thank you to my Mom, Cheryl Suchlandt, I love you and although I am not perfect I will always do my best to be the best son I can.

Mini

Behind the Lens. My Eyes See

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Behind the Lens is where I love to be, I wish not to be the star.

 

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I see the beauty in a woman’s eyes, her smile. 

see the smirk when a man looks at his girl with love and admiration, happiness. 

I see the hearts of two people in love.

 

 

 

I see the pain of those secretly suffering, afraid of the world. 

I see the story behind the smile.

I see excitement at success.

 

I see the love of a family and friends.

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I see connection of those around me.

 


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I see desire of one to be happy.

I see pain in our world, loss.

I see the imperfections that really are perfect in their own way.

I see a beauty in others that they may not see.

I see hope.

 

I see the innocence of a child’s way, unbridled joy and excitement. LEEMER

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I see a parents love for their child.

 

 

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I see the love shared between two people.

 

 

 

 

I see God’s great creations in their true nature and look on in amazement.

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I see the uniqueness of architecture

 

 

I see a world beyond what the news tells us.

 

I see the real you.

I see my dreams.

I see the secrets you hold, the secrets I hold.

I see you for who you are, which may be better than you perceive of yourself.

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I see the strength inside people.

I see the beauty in every moment. Little moments.

 

 

These things I see,  brings me joy.

 So I stay

Behind the lens.

I am in room full of people but many times I am lost….

So many posts I could have done tonight but I have chosen this one for a reason.

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This past week I was in Veradero Cuba to Photograph a wedding.  The wedding of two friends I met through Reffing Hockey 3 1/2 years go.

This week could have gone in a couple directions and fortunately for me it went in the right direction.  But before I say how or why I must give a little back story.

Since my Heart Attack last year I have been in many different social situations.  Most I have felt a little out of place. No fault of my friends, I must clarify.

If I am to be honest here.  I have almost preferred to be alone than around a group of people.  I am not who I was and many times I have no idea how to portray who I am exactly now.  Do I even know who I am ?

In a room full of people, I have felt lost.  It is almost like for a time I forgot how to react or get involved in conversations. I forgot how to be social.  It’s not that people have secluded me.  It more like I have secluded myself a bit.

I have always been the guy to try and find a place to really “fit in”  My friends are a Cornucopia of different groups and I wouldn’t necessarily say I fit into any one certain group.  I have always kinda been this way.  I adapt to the situation or group I am with.  Usually with success.

Since my Heart Attack…..

Not so much.  Social anxiety, feeling like you are being watched when in fact you are not.  Strange, I know but these are my thoughts.

Now back to Cuba….

Beach

I knew a fair amount of people attending this wedding but it still could have been a lonely time for me.  They are family.  I am a friend there to do a job.  I am not even a close friend but a friend there…. to Photograph a Wedding.

What happened in Cuba is more than I could ask for.

Not even once did I feel alone, secluded or like an outsider.  I felt like a part of the group.  I was included in the activities such as the Jack and Jill party, a few dinners, pool time, late night Ocean swimming, dancing against my will ( Thanks Kailee and Riley !) I was joked with, laughed at and with.

You know people like you when they harass you a little.  Or a lot, haha

I could have been left to my own devices and yes there were times I was on my own but by choice really.  People invited me to hang out to let loose and have fun.

I was like I belonged from the start.  No awkwardness. No having to try to hard to be liked.

This resulted in great conversations and meeting new people and a few wobbly pops and a lot of laughing.

What did I learn?

Just Be Me.

 

Me- A Clutz !
Me- A Clutz !

People can like me for whoever I am now, even if I am not 100 % unsure of exactly who that is.

Dance against your will my friends, you may just tear up the floor and genuinely have a moment of joy unexpectedly.

Mini

That Girl…..

In a few moments of sarcasm, funny looks and a little flirting, she had me.

At first it was her look, innocent yet devilish, those eyes and her wit.

As time progressed it became her intelligence, her confidence, the way her sarcasm put me in my place. It was her laugh, seeing her smile, how she made feel real, relevant and funny.  Her affinity for Minions, Lime Chillers, Hockey Boyfriends.  The way I felt normal through conversations, texts and time spent hanging out.

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Lime Chiller…..mmm Tasty

It was her slight awkwardness, the way her eyes told her stories or that smirk that made you wonder.

It was her determination, feistiness, her tough yet soft demeanor, her shield. It was all of these that made this “like” genuine and for the right reasons.

Man up Mini.

In the moments where nothing made sense, that girl did.

 

Mini.

2014 New Chances and Opportunities Reach for the Sun.

HAPPY NEW YEAR !

I am not really one to really celebrate New Years Eve or use it to “start fresh”

My start fresh moment was in August of 2013 but it took a major life event to really tackle my goals more seriously than ever before.  Do not let this happen to you.

We have the chance daily to start new.  I almost guarantee if you have made resolutions they will fail.  Then you will give up on them.

DON’T GIVE UP !  Keep re setting goals all year long until you get it right.  I don’t think there is ever a perfect time but you have to keep trying.  Habits and life changes don’t just happen because the clock strikes 12 am on New Years Eve. Changes happen once we accept and really commit and make the small goals to get to the big ones.

I would rather try and fail a million times than just give up over some resolutions that were not met.

I don’t make resolutions.  I set goals all year long and break them down in order to make sure they are attainable.

If you have resolved to do anything, whether its to lose weight, stop smoking, run a marathon, spend more time with family or even just be a better person then I wish you the best in meeting these resolutions.

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Like the sunflower, grow as much as you can until you have made it as close to the sun as possible showing your true strength and beauty. !

As for me?  I am just going to continue to be awesome like always and do my best to be the best ” ME” I can be in 2014.  Bring on the successes and challenges !

Cheers,

Mini.

 

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