Category: Inspiration


I have decided to add my cowboy hat to the boot and belt so I can complete my wardrobe lol! I post about this because of the passion I have had over the last few years on learning how to dance and compete in this sport.  I try to look at this and figure out why I am so taken with it?  I do have fun and get tremendous enjoyment out of it and having the chance to playing a “role” so to speak on the day of competition.

I will be 49 years old next week and have come to realize as I get older I wonder like others “is this all there is”? I mean this in the sense of working for a corporation, trying to climb a ladder, acquiring things and then realizing this does not mean anything and you do not get any self-worth out of this in the long run.

Learning how to dance and compete has given me a new chapter in my life and something positive to focus on instead of the same old drudgery day in and day out.  For the most part no one tells you this in your 20’s or if they did I didn’t listen!! I have decided I am not going to sit here and ride out the rest of my life doing the same job everyday and not learning anything new so I will take charge and learn new things on my own. I have recently attended a personal trainer workshop and testing with my next focus on group fitness training.

I know one thing, the people who I have met dancing are some of the most positive people I have met and lots of them are over 70 and very active which I really admire.  The decision I have made at this point in my life is to hang out with “positive people” and my hat, boot, belt reminds me of this and I encourage anyone not to remain stagnant but do something totally out of character that what you are used to.  I know I did, by dressing like a Cowboy!! My momma and her friends think I look like George Strait lol, I don’t know about that but it sure is fun.

Cowboy Hat, Boots, Belt
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As I make this post it has been 1 week today that I had to put my dog Molly down and I wanted to make one last post about her. Molly was a lab mix and 13 years old and last weekend she wasn’t doing very well, laid around vomiting and by last Monday she couldn’t keep water down so at 4:00 o’clock I called the vet took her in and the Dr. felt like she had a tumor in her stomach and it didn’t look good and offered to run tests, but it probably didn’t matter. I agreed Molly was suffering and it was time to end it.

I called my wife who was just leaving work and I was trying to hold back my tears telling her what was going on and said she was on her way to the vets office and would be there in about 50 minutes. The Dr. asked if she could give Molly a sedative while we waited and I agreed. I sat in the floor beside Molly for about an hour petting on her telling he how much I loved her and that I would miss her and what a good dog she had been, of course crying the whole time.

My wife got there and the Dr. came in and administered the shot and she was gone in about 10 seconds.  The Dr. had asked how we wanted to dispose of her and I said I have to take her home and bury her where she belonged, because Molly loved our big yard where she would chase the rabbits, bark at the buzzards that flew overhead and pull the corn stalks from my garden, pick off the ear of corn, shuck it and eat it with her front teeth like a person.. I never saw anything like it. I could hit golf balls and Molly would get them and bring back to me.  She did everything I asked and I will miss her terribly!

As I sat there with Molly I told her when I get to heaven we will do the things that she liked to do while she was with us and I can’t wait to see her again.  I don’t what the belief is of anyone who reads this but I believe we go an after this life and I believe that something special like a pet cane be there with us in heaven once we get there. I know our pets can’t talk, but if you are like me and look into their eyes there is something more going on there than we realize and that is why I believe the way I do,

I have attached a picture of Molly and a poem my sister-in-law emailed to me that night that comforted me that I wanted to share. I hope this post may help someone get through what I have experienced in the last week..

Once in our lifetimes we all have a pet

that not for one moment will we forget.

While here on earth we treat them like gold

but despite our best efforts they start to grow old.

Their time here seems short,  one year to our seven

but I believe in my heart that all dogs go to heaven.

Although it is painful,  the sadness it brings

when they trade in old paws for a new set of wings,

cherish the time that you had with your friend

and know that you were there for them until the very end.

I have blogged periodically about wearing a cowboy hat that I never thought I would do, but it has grown on me since competing in country western dance events.  Next week will be the first comp of the year and 6 months since the last one I competed in. I blog about this not to “brag” about it , but how this gives me something positive to focus on in life and how much fun I have doing and preparing for these competitions!

I have figured out that as you move through life you need to change course, do things differently,or think differently in order to keep from being in a “rut” or the same mundane things day after day! Putting on the Cowboy hat for the weekend lets me focus on something fun and being somebody different for a few hours!  I can see why as we get older that depression can set it because our kids get older and have their own lives, our relatives or friends die and we can quickly find ourselves alone doing the same old thing we have always done day after day and then “situational depression” can set in!

From the competitive stand point I want to do well and try to win, but if not I still have something that helps me to have a well-rounded life and not to mention meeting interesting people who help to enrich my life!  Oh yeah.. I have posted a picture of “the cowboy hat below” lol.

First let me clarify what “my Biff” is so this post will make sense and I will post a picture below as well.  Biff is a talking stuffed animal that was made by Mattel in 1965 and he was mine when I was just a “little crum cruncher” at the age of 4 (and by the way I am 48 now!).  I had lost track of him in my twenties with my wife’s aunt taking him saying she would fix him up as his clothes and body needed to be sewn up.  I did not concern my self with it as I had my own family I was raising, working and just dealing with more important things in my life.  I would ask about Biff periodically and my wife said she would check on it and we would move onto something else.

Flash forward to just a few years ago when I found out that Biff had made his way to my brother-in-law who now had possession of him.  Again the same thing, I would bring it up about checking on getting Biff back but it was not that important.  However, in the last year getting Biff back became more important and I will share that later.  Anyway, I was opening presents for Christmas and when I opened the box there was “Biff”!! I couldn’t believe it!! My older son had gotten him, gave him to my sister-in-law to sew up and repair and gave it to me for Christmas!! I was so excited to finally have Biff back in my possession! He doesn’t talk anymore because the voice box is broken, but that doesn’t matter as I have a fond childhood memory back in my possession.

As I reflect on why this is important to me it becomes obvious to me that age may play some part of this.  I find that as I get older I reflect on things that made me happy and that meant something to me and Biff was on of them.  This is not to say that I am not content with Life now, I am.  It just reminds me that having possessions and acquiring things really don’t have any meaning for me and I find myself wanting to spend my time being around my family and friends and remembering what is important and by having Biff back (even though he is an inanimate object) helps me to realize this. Biff helps me to think about the positive things in my childhood and not the negative and what is important to me today.  Biff is now proudly displayed on my bookshelf!

 

Biff

The reason for the title to my post is the quote below from Albert Einstein:

Everybody is a genius.  But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.

— Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

I read this and it started me to think about a few things about life that I wanted to share and how sometimes we might make a big deal out of something or pound our heads against the wall in futility for something that may not be achievable.  Think about what it would really look like if a fish was truly trying to climb a tree! The most likely response would be “Look at that stupid fish”, doesn’t even know how to climb a tree.  This assumption would be made because you may have the ability to climb the tree and the fish doesn’t.

I find my self thinking that way about my dog! My dog will chase and bark at  Buzzards that are flying in the air above our house and I will think “Stupid dog, you can’t fly and catch that Buzzard!”  My dog like most dogs are very smart and if I judge my dog based on the fact she can’t fly and catch the buzzard then she may believe she is stupid which would be an incorrect assumption.

I find this quote to be particularly relevant in the workplace where someone may label you as stupid because you are unable or have the skill level to do what they do when in fact you may actually be smarter person.   This could apply to hobbies as well as in my situation where I enjoy taking dance lessons. I have been in group lessons and hear comments about someone being a “terrible dancer” of they “must be dumb”.

So when I sit back and think about this quote I truly believe we “are all geniuses” and just because someone is not cut out to do a particular thing does not make them stupid and to the people who hear that from someone; don’t believe it!  You may not have the ability to “climb a tree” or “fly like the bird”, but you are good at something and while you try don’t let those around you judge and call you “stupid” because we all are a genius at something, we just have to find out what it is.

I have made several posts about the cowboy hat I wear for the dance competitions. As I make this post I am on the way to another event to compete in and once again it will be an opportunity to wear this hat once again.  Some may say “what is the big deal” about wearing a cowboy hat, and I say there is not but it is to me for what it represents and not what it is.

This cowboy hat gives me the opportunity to focus on something (dance competition) that has given me balance and a peace at this point in my life that I may not have had.  For example; I work for a corporation and have been doing what I do for about 20 years, but don’t get me wrong I enjoy what I do but overtime things can get on your nerves.  If all I had was this job and my whole meaning and focus was my job and trying to climb a corporate ladder with others in control of your destiny, this could make for miserable life and probably why people turn to substance abuse.

But for me, I have found something in dance competition to take my mind off all this crap which helps me clear my mind and re-vitalize me! I have to work hard a spend a lot of time practicing to be ready.  I hope I do well and win, but if I don’t that is ok because at this point in time  I believe God has delivered the very thing to me that I needed to get over the hurdles I have faced at this point in life and I will be forever thankful!!

Below is a pic of me and what I will wear on Sunday!! Lol  I am wearing a Cowboy Hat!!

 

Me and the cowboy hat have an appointment tomorrow a 1:00!

 

As I post this blog I am a few hours away from leaving for me next dance competition this weekend and donning this cowboy hat that seems to have become part of my life even though I had no idea that it would!! I have posted before how OCD I was about wearing a cowboy hat etc.. so I will not go into that again, but suffice it to say I have become more accustomed to it as part of my dance attire!  Anyway, what I wanted to post about is what the “cowboy hat” has helped me to achieve in the personal aspects of my life and goals.

I am attending my third competition and have practiced and planned accordingly in hopes of improving my scores. With my last competition I was not satisfied with what I scored so I changed my game plans and prepared differently than my prior two times with more practice and lesson time. At this point I have had positive feed back from my partner and coach that things seem to look better and I am doing some of the necessary things to succeed.  I have approached this situation differently than the last two times with the following philosophy: 1)work hard, 2)have a good attitude, 3)listen to the coach.  I believe I did those things enough, but maybe not enough I just don’t know.

I also recognize that the things I have done differently may not work, or when it comes to show time I could make a mistake and that is just part of it.  But what I wanted to say is this; I have set the goals listed above and have tried to the best of my ability to make them happen. I have come to a point in my life that am tired of chasing things like money, promotions in a corporation, and things that do not have meaning in life.  As I make this transition from “chasing” these things I find myself to be a more content man and put my efforts into things that have meaning in life.

Some may say “how is this dancing give meaning to your life”?  I realize “different things have different meanings” for all people, but doing this competitions and learning to dance correctly has helped me interact with people I would have never made a connection with and this gives me satisfaction that maybe my actions or words have influenced someone in a positive way.  What I am doing with “my hobby” if you want to call it is give me a more balanced life and help take the stress away from the corporate world and for that I am thankful.  Because and the end of my life I will not be saying “wished I had worked more nights and weekend”!! I don’t plan on having any regrets and the end but I might wished I had taken dancing up sooner as it has given me an excitement for life that I haven’t had in a long time.

So if you take anything away from my post is to find something other than the everyday mundane things of life and do something that gives you excitement and joy in your life!! Don’t sit around and wait!! Take action and enjoy the life you have because none of us know when it will be over!

 

The Competition Cowboy

I decided to go ahead and post the photo above that I am going to talk about so hopefully what I have to say makes sense.  This was the second dance competition I had competed in and the first wearing this ht and clothes.  You must know what a change it was for me to even put a “cowboy hat” on my head!!  It was just an adjustment for me and a personal hurdle that I had to overcome which I did!   I had observed during my first competition the other male competitors wearing a black cowboy hat, black shirt, black pants and boots.  During the final stages of my preparation I finally decided I was going to do this a play the part for this particular dance competition.  Some might say “what is the big deal”? and all I will say is that most of the time I do not get out of my comfort zone and I have decided that it is about time that I do!!
 
The competition was a few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon and put on my “outfit” and went down to the ballroom ready for competition!  I danced in six different events and did not knock off the cowboy hat one time!! That was a feat in itself!!  After it was over I was so pumped up and had so much fun that I hated for it to end!  I was asking myself “why did I seem to have more fun this year than last year”?  It dawned on me that not only was I participating in the dance competition but that I played the part as well by dressing up like a “dancing cowboy”!  This may sound corny, but with the everyday drudgery of life, sometimes it is good to play another role completely different from the person that you are in real life.  Playing this role and putting on this outfit is totally different for me and has been a positive influence on my life.
 
Sometimes you need to do other things in order to get your mind thinking in a different direction instead of the same thing everyday; get up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed and get up and start it all over again the next day.  Even though I do not know what they are right now, I believe this has opened my eyes to other possibilities in life and to try new things. I have decided I am not going to sit around and let time pass by wishing I had tried something or be afraid to change and as I like to say “there are always possibilities”. This has been a positive change for me and as I type this post the “cowboy hat” is hanging on the chair post as a reminder to me of what I have overcome.
 
For those who care if you look in the photo I do not have “cowboy boots” on! I only mention this because this is the final hurdle I will overcome as I purchase a pair this year to complete my “dancing cowboy outfit”!! I am having a blast!! And by the way.. that is my sweetheart in the picture with me!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I wanted to make a short post has things have been hectic. I have been informed by people with experience regarding cowboy hats that mine does not fit so I need to add and extra layer of weather strip in the band so it will fit properly! This is too funny to me being a “rookie cowboy” and all. I am wearing this for my dance competition so I have to get it right because I have raised my bar high! Now I am trying to talk myself into the cowboy shirt I should wear and I think “Oh lord what have I become!! lol

As you can tell from most of my blog it is about politics and current events but the reason I name it “neubworthynotes” is so I can post about other things when I feel like it and this day is one of them.  The title of my post may be weird to some but you must understand that wearing anything that has to do with cowboy, western, or country stuff is just not my style.  I am in no way criticizing those who like these things it just wasn’t for me.

Anyway, I have been taking dance lessons which started with some ballroom and country-western and I seemed to gravitate toward the country. The music was lively and the dancing I liked to do fit with the music.  I go to the local honky-tonk with my wife to take a lesson and practice and even in this setting I do not wear the typical “cowboy gear”.  Last year we participated in a dance competition put on by a country-western dance 0rganization and at this event we were not required to wear country-western gear as this was out first time, however many did so.

As 2010 progressed I decided that I would breakdown and get a cowboy hat to practice in and wear to my next competition.  It just so happens my brother in law had a stetson that he let me have so for the past few weeks I have been wearing it to my dance practice!   As I stated above this is a big stretch for me, but decided that in order to achieve the goals I have set in this particular area of my life then I needed to play the part.  Obviously, the next “piece of equipment” I need is cowboy boots!!  This is even a bigger leap for me but I as I stated in the last sentence sometimes you have to “play the part” in order to achieve your goals.

I post this story to show that none of us should take ourselves to seriously.  Why do I care if someone has never seen me in a Cowboy Hat and wants to make fun or laugh at me!   I have set a goal that I want to reach and that is to be the best dancer I can and if I can get into that role by wearing a cowboy hat and boots then so be it!  To top it off I have been listening to country music too!!  To me this is one of the positives of getting older in life is that you care less about trying to impress others and forge ahead with the things that are positive in life and wearing the “cowboy hat” at this stage in life is very positive for me!!

 

Me and the Cowboy Hat!