Your 4th Quarter

What is the legacy you want to leave your family, friends and community? Some might think this is a question we should be asking as we head into the 4th Quarter of our journey. But I disagree with that thinking. We never know when our 4th quarter will come.
None of us know when we will be entering the 4the quarter of our journey. When we are children, we think the 4th quarter looks so far away. We are just getting into the game. But sadly, some of us have seen children pass away.
When we enter our 20’s, we experience freedom. A time to start making our own decisions. Good or bad. A time to find ourselves. A time to put the lessons we have been taught into action. Once again, good or bad. In our 20’s, we begin to make life long friends as we travel through higher education, military and the workforce. Some begin to fall in love with the person they will hopefully walk through life with until the end. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
When we enter our 30’s, some begin to start families and build their careers. Yes, you can do both. Some buy houses where they will raise families and build beautiful memories. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
When we enter our 40’s, we scratch our head and wonder how that’s possible. Parents begin to see their children heading off to college and even getting married. A lot of changes during this time. Once again, some good and some not so much. But we press on. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
When we enter our 50’s, we think 50’s not that old. Then we start experiencing little aches and pains. We start going to the bathroom at strange hours of the morning. Some will become grandparents. Some say goodbye to their own parents. We start looking at retirement a little closer. Some begin to look at the legacy they want to leave. Hopefully, we started looking at our legacy earlier in the game. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
As we enter our 60’s, some will retire. Others will find a new exciting purpose. A new passion. Some will begin traveling more often. Building memories with grandchildren and old friends. Life will change. Once again, for better or worse. All the sudden we will lean more about the medical world than we ever wanted to. We will reflect back on life a little more. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
As we enter our 70’s, Florida will get a little more crowded. Some will become more like their parents. Once again, for better or worse. Some will become great-grandparents. We will begin to experience more changes in our bodies. We will start saying goodbye to old friends. Some will find their second act in life. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
As we enter our 80’s, we will be challenged to sit around and watch life roll by or chose to build into the lives of others? To keep living and making a difference. Some will move in with family members. Sadly, we will start attending more funerals. We will spend a little more time reflecting back on life. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
As we enter our 90’s, we will spend more time reflecting back on our lives. Some will look back with fondness, while others will look back with regrets. Some will build houses for the needy. Some will continue to run marathons. Others will become authors and artist. For most this will be their 4th quarter. Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
Some will become centenarian. That will mean you have entered Overtime. God bless you. Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave? ~OC

Lessons Along The Journey

During my 17 year crazy beautiful health journey, I am often asked what lessons I have learned along the way. I could probably write a book on the lessons God has taught me, as I have walked this journey. I am not up for writing another book at this time, so I thought I would share a few with you. Here we go…..

Prayer. I knew the importance of prayer way before my crazy beautiful journey started, but this journey has only reinforced the importance and power of prayer. I can look back on multiple occasions when the prayers of many saved my life. Praying for others is a real honor for me. Prayer energizes me.

Choose to Thrive. Dealing with multiple health issues can be overwhelming. The journey can flat out be exhausting. It can be very easy to just survive. To just make it through the day. Who could blame me? But years ago, my wife and I decided Just Surviving was not how we wanted to live life. No, we decided to Thrive in life. That means not allowing my health issues to define us. Thriving means embracing life. Even on those rough days. Choosing to thrive is  a daily choice. Sometimes a moment by moment choice.

Finding Purpose. During this crazy beautiful journey, I had to find a purpose for it all. There had to be more to this journey than doctor appointments, unending test and hospital visits. During my 17 year journey, God has allowed me to become a Abolitionist, Missionary, Motivational Speaker, Author, Patient Advocate and Thought Leader. I made the choice to turn a perceived negative into an opportunity to make a difference in life. What a ride it has been.

Laugh Often. When you have been diagnosed with as many life threatening health issues as I have, you just have to laugh. My wife Laura and I have used humor, dark humor most of the time to get through some of the toughest days. I mean when your known as The Man Who Refuses To Die, you have to laugh.

Don’t Sweat The Small Things. Life is too short to worry about the small things in life. My wife often shares with people, “Todd and I do not argue over how one of us squeezes the bottle of toothpaste.” 

Find Your 3 am Friends. Who’s in your posse? Who are those friends that you can call at 3am when life becomes overwhelming? Do you have any? I truly believe God brings those 3am friends into our lives. I do not believe they can be manufactured by us. Also, I believe your posse can change over time. And guess what? That’s okay. I believe some relationships are just for a season. So don’t stress out when your posse changes.

Travel. I had never really traveled that much before my health journey. A few trips here and there. But after I started dealing with my health issues, my wife and I decided we wanted to travel more. Sometimes it’s just a day trip up the road and sometimes it is trips to Cuba and Alaska. Traveling has been a true blessing for my wife and I. So plan your next trip.

These are just a few lessons learned along the journey. I pray they will help encourage you, as you walk your own crazy beautiful journey. ~OC

 

 

 

 

 

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