As I was reflecting on 2013 over the last few weeks, difficulty and pain seemed to be the overriding theme. Today I made a list of highs and lows, and I was surprised what i found.
Major surgery for suspected cancer
Being sick so much
Tough Mudder with my brothers
Ward Christmas program
Temple with Raven and Sidnee
Riding Sundance with Ryan, Reed and Kevin
Catching Fire with Raven
DeLana taking the kids to Canada
Riding 650 miles on my mountain bike
Making the Tough Mudder book
Using a lathe for the first time
Erick & Tami Hull visiting unexpectedly
The financial struggles and potential cancer weighed pretty heavy on me, so that seemed to linger in my mind, but there were clearly many good things that happened this year. I am confident that 2014 is going to be a better year for us, because things are going to finally work out financially, and I have chosen to look for the beauty in things. My struggles do not define me. I define me.
I’ve been sick for two weeks, so I haven’t been able to ride during my Christmas break. Today I took my new GoPro out to test it and get the dogs outside. This is from my chest rig.
We decided to do an experience for our main Christmas gift this year. My wife gave me woodworking lessons with our friend Marty, so I went to Marty’s house yesterday to play on the lathe. I had never used a wood lathe before, so Marty showed me the basics to carving grooves and beads. It was a cool experience. I am going to do a few more sessions practicing the basics before I tackle a project.
It was a great idea to do an experience for each person. I will write the kids’ experiences as they occur.
This has been a difficult year, and the last few months have been especially painful. About 3-4 weeks ago DeLana said something that stopped me in my tracks. She said, “What if our trail isn’t for us, but for our kids.” As I thought about that the weight of it brought me to my knees. What if this was all for my kids and I said I would do it? I would have no right to complain or have a bad attitude. I shouldn’t have a bad attitude about my trials anyway, but if I was experiencing something difficult for my kids or someone close to me, then I had agreed to it and should be humble about it. I know I agreed to it for some reason, whether for myself or someone else, because I was born in America, in the covenant, in the last days.
Fast food workers walked off the job this week because they mistakenly think they should be paid $15/hour for working at McDonalds. Most employees making minimum wage earn that because they are high school students or unskilled/uneducated workers. These people do not deserve $15/hour for several reasons. People with a strong skill set and education are struggling to make $15/hour. There will always be an uneducated workforce, and raising the minimum wage only serves to erode the buying power of those that have worked to become educated or develop the skills to maximum their earning power. If Little Caeser’s has to pay $15/hour to their employees I will not be able to buy a pizza for $5. I would then have to pay $10-12 for the same pizza. People love to talk about the cost of living for those employees, but raising their pay severely cuts my pay. I earned a college degree and have held several professional licenses, which cost me a lot of time and money. Why should a 15 year old get a 200% pay raise and I get a 50% pay cut? I have worked to try and better my situation. What has the 15 year old done? For you hippies that want to try and bring up adults that work minimum wage jobs, most of them don’t have the tools to secure high paying jobs in a good economy. Rewarding this group with higher pay directly punishes me with lower buying power, not to mention the fact that $15/hour will only buy what $7/hour does now for all people.