Originally Published in: Game Ready - 52 Takeaways for Winning
You know something I used to be really guilty of doing? I was guilty of taking life for granted. I used to just get up in the morning and go do my thing. That seemed to work for me for years, but after spending some time every year in a hospital from 2011 to 2017 due to heart or head related health issues my thought process changed. You would think that after my first visit to the hospital in 2011 I would have changed. But I will admit, I am pretty hard headed.
I guess when you are a kid 'taking life for granted' is pretty normal because you just go about doing your kid stuff. You play, you have fun, and you're being a kid, not really thinking about a whole lot except just being a kid. Actually, the more I think about it the better that really sounds!
My brothers and I had what I would call a different type of 'kidhood' that's childhood for you who may have not understood the term. This was our 'kidhood' experience. We would get up in the summertime and feed, saddle, and ride horses. Then, we would go and work cattle just like they did in the Old West. My daddy, Kid Marley, ran horse and cattle operations for people, which meant my brothers and I, along with others, were the ranch hands.
That was fun stuff, just like in the movies! Except in the movies they don't show you hauling hay in the blistering heat or digging post holes with hand-held tools so you can string up some barb wired fence!
They don't show it to you because it isn't fun stuff until you are finished. Anyway, there is always some good and bad in anything you do. That work made us physically, mentally, and emotionally tough, and we didn't even know it! We were kids, living our 'kidhood'.
Now, just like everyone else, we went back to school in the fall, winter and spring. Some of us played ball, joined the school band, maybe even rodeoed. Well, not to brag, but we were all good at what we did in those 'extracurricular activities'. Now, when it came to actual book learning, some of us had a little harder time than others. l was the us. My brothers were the others. You know what though? We grew throughout school. We had fun; we loved . whatever we did. We loved living from what I could tell.
As my brothers and I grew, and individually went our separate ways to college and beyond, I noticed something that seemed not to change. We loved living. We eventually grew up, became adults, and did, and are still doing, the adult thing. We still seem to have one commonality - our mutual love for living. Now, how cool is that!
I really don't remember a whole lot of whining, complaining, or just plain ol' negativity. That's not to say everything was always picture perfect and times never got hard. Things did get tough, and hard, at times. But I really don't remember it affecting us in any way that took away our love for living.
Now, as an older adult with a lot of experience under my belt, I have experienced marriages, divorce, births of children, and deaths of family and friends. I can truly look back today and see how blessed we all have been. We have had great lives! I know I have had a great life and look forward to every day of it.
It's really pretty simple. We didn't bring anything into this world when we arrived and we aren't gonna take anything with us when we leave. The way we approach life, positively or negatively, has great bearing upon how we will live our life. I truly believe that you and the people you surround yourself with are the main determinate in whether or not you and those around you live a happy life or not, so I can't emphasize this enough: Life-love it because you're gonna leave it.