Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

Letter to Future Self

How would you start a letter addressed to your future self? Let’s say you know you’ll be opening it twenty-five years from now, what would you say? Would you start it off congratulating yourself for having survived another quarter century? Or would you simply turn over in bed one morning muttering something silly under your breath? Perhaps you would say, “Meh.”

I’ll tell you how I would do it…

Writing a letter to future self.
Writing a letter to future self.

Dear Jack,

Here you are, twenty-five years later. How does it feel to be officially old? Imagine where you were/where I am now, and pat yourself on the back for having survived this long. It takes guts to go through a full lifetime having read all the warning labels on products, obeying your traffic signals and eating the right things to live another day. But you did it. You’re here and there’s no turning back the clock.

How did I do? Did I finally become that best selling author I dreamed of becoming? Whatever happened to the blog I wrote? Did it go out peacefully, or did I call it quits while I unceremoniously set my laptop on fire? Do I still use a laptop? I would have thought by now I would have been typing on an air keyboard complete with optical sensors and biometric security.

Whatever happened to the movie I wanted to make? Did it ever become a success? Okay, so maybe that was shooting too high. At least I would have hoped to have realized it, right?

How are the kids? Did they grow up to become what you had wished—contributors to society? I didn’t forget that it doesn’t matter what they have become, as long as they’re healthy and happy, that’s all that matters. You do remember that, right?

Hey, how’s retirement? Did you retire like you were planning or are your working as a greeter at a department store? Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just that, I would have imagined flipping burgers being more fun in the elderly years. The image of a cranky old dude flipping burgers seems like a lot of fun. Now that I’m thinking of it, did I do that? Yeah, if I have forgotten about my retirement plans it’s because of what I just wrote.

How’s the love of my life? Has she grown old with me? I’ve always had a sense of recognizing how important she is to my well-being. Did she provide the encouragement to become the best I could be? She is the mother of my children, after all. Did I comfort her during her down times? Did I offer her guidance as we moved from year to year? How is marriage treating me? Hopefully, as good as it is now.

Listen, Jack. I gotta tell you something. You know this, but after having read it twenty-five years later, I’m sure you have forgotten it. Have fun with your life. Keep focused and enjoy. I’m sure I’m going to have some nasty battles to fight. It won’t matter. As long as I know I will survive, that’s all I care about.

One more thing: About that Romance novel I will be publishing—I don’t need to mention again why I had written it, do I? It was something I had to get out of my system. The only thing you have to remember is that it was my way of decompressing from the zombie genre.

And the superhero thing—but we won’t get into that.

Yours in the past, always in the future,

Jack

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Have you ever written a letter to yourself?

Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

Sweet Moments

That moment during a hot summer day when the clouds above you churn and you know it’s coming. The smell of burning wood on a cold winter night and all those memories flood your mind of how it used to be when you were a kid. How sitting on the park bench while the wind chills you reminds you of what a hot chocolate will taste like when you get back indoors.

Spring in Canada
Spring in Canada

They’re there. We just have to see them. Those beautiful junctures that make life all the more wonderful to live. Allow me to take a sliver of time from Freedom Friday to tell you about my sweet moments.

How the grass smells when I first cut it. How the house looks when it’s clean. How the garden looks when de-weeded. How I feel when I have a good movie I want to watch and have been waiting all week to watch it. How the sound of an ice cream truck brings me back to when I was a boy playing hockey with my friends in the street. How a sunset makes all the sense in the world, even when things at the time don’t make sense.

When the first snowfall hits, and my excitement builds knowing Christmas is right around the corner. When the leaves change, and I have my camera with me to take incredible shots of the colorful foliage. When the birds return after having spent those dark months away, and they sing their wonderful spring melodies at five in the morning.

My favorite food
My favorite food

The way my tongue dances after I bite into the most delicious dinner ever made in the history of culinary excellence. The silence I hear when I’m reading a good book. The joy I feel when a plan works as expected. The smell of an electronics store when I first walk in and all I want is the latest film release, but it tempts me with more. The sight of a dog chasing its tail and not knowing anything more complicated than that.

There’s more. Like those times I walk in on my wife, grab her in my arms, and tell her how lucky I am to have her. When I look into the eyes of my children and find myself staring back. That moment spending time with the extended family and someone tells a joke that everyone laughs. How the smile on someone’s face can make all the difference in the world when having a tough day. And how I try to see the good in others even when they’re terrible to me.

You see, I have many sweet moments in my life, and I’m sure you have them, too. If you look closely, you can see them. They’re there. They’re waiting for you to discover. When you do, it will amaze you by how it makes you feel knowing you’ve found one. Not everyone knows about them, but that’s okay. One day they will.

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What are you sweet moments? What special place do you have that you can call your own?

Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

More than Friends

By the time you read this, it will have been a full two weeks since I wrote it. Yes, this is how far in advance I plan these things. Tonight, or rather two weeks ago, my wife read me a journal entry she’d written about our courtship almost a year before our marriage. I had to cross-reference it with my own journal entry for that same period to find what I thought of our friendship.

Journal
Journal

Can you believe we wrote journal entries of our experiences together before we got married, and we didn’t know we did until a few years ago? Enjoy this Freedom Friday post, it’s about my wife and I, and how we became more than friends.

As I’d mentioned, my wife and I kept journals. We didn’t know we did, and we certainly didn’t know we’d write about our experiences from two different points of views. For instance, a few months prior to making my intentions known that I’d wanted our friendship to move to a new level, she was dating other guys. Nothing came of those relationships, but she did learn what she didn’t want in a guy.

In the meantime, I’d written how I had dated widely—not the girl Widely—widely in the sense of extensively or broadly. I know, corny joke. Anyway, at the time, I’d dated almost every girl in our church. It was a goal I had, and I’d almost completed it had I not chased after my wife.

When we first met, we had zero attraction to one another. Yep. Zilch. Nada. Squat. Don’t get me wrong, we got along. We dated a few times, you know, because we liked each other’s company and all, but we didn’t have that “love at first sight” lightning bolt strike us like you hear other couples had happen to them. We just became good friends, which meant hanging with the same crowd, doing stuff together, and simply having fun. We didn’t feel any pressure to become anything more either. Our families and our church let us do our thing while they went on their merry way.

Marriage Rings
Marriage Rings

And thank goodness we weren’t part of one of those cults that grooms kids to get married as soon as they hit legal age, and then the couple pops out a bazillion kids, and then one or both feels empty, lonely, depressed ‘cause one or both had to give up their dream on account of thinking they were doing what they were supposed to do but now they’re scratching their head wondering what went wrong since, after all, they fell in love with each other as soon as their eyes met in second period Chem. class and those awesome feelings were there and, and, and…

Whew! Where am I? Oh, now I remember—us.

By contrast, our relationship grew slowly. We dated other people while we stayed friends. Our Saturday nights consisted of practicing our singing routine with our outreach group that toured retirement homes on Sundays. As well, throughout the week, we’d stay in touch by phone, talking about the mundane things in life, like the way the fabric softener hides in the clothes when sorting them in baskets.

But it wasn’t until one sunny afternoon when we’d gone to the library together that we had realized something else brewed beneath the simple conversations, the spur of the moment dinners, and the long walks. I’d noticed it months prior, yet she hadn’t come around.

I can never forget where we were. We stood between bookshelves with the Italian section looking straight at us. And it happened. A giddy moment between friends. We exchanged the words, “I love you.”

From that moment forward, the awesomeness kicked in. Whatever we thought we hadn’t felt for each had suddenly appeared in gushing waves of affection that remains to this day. Not a day goes by that we don’t hug or hold hands. Like the other day, when she picked me up in the pouring rain from my walk, and she didn’t immediately put the car in drive but just stared at me.

I said, “What?”

She said, “Well?” then smiled.

Oh, of course. I kissed her.

We drove home to where I wrote another journal entry for that day.

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How would you describe your relationship with the love of your life?