When I posted twice on Christmas Day about my day of volunteer service, I wasn't attempting to blow my own horn. It was just a very meaningful day for me and one of the best Christmases I've had since 2011, so I just wanted to express my joy on that day.
After blogging about the bittersweet taste of 2014, I determined to make 2015 mean something beautiful and powerful. On a sleepless night a few weeks before Christmas, an idea came to me that might just make that happen. I got a vision for a public awareness campaign that marries my love and passion for music with the fight against breast cancer. I'm going to call it Kick Cancer's Ass (sm). I plan to launch a cause and begin promoting it on social media very soon.
It's nothing earth-shatteringly new, but it is a way for me to honor my mother, who is dying of cancer, and the loved ones I've lost to the disease--my maternal grandmother, an aunt and a cousin who was a couple of years my junior and the mother of three children.
I began putting my new focus into practice on Christmas Day helping a homeless woman I met at breakfast and continuing it from that day forward. Again, I'm not drawing attention to my acts of service, but to my new energy and focus. I want to leave a mark on my community, wherever I am, and create a legacy for my daughters to be proud of and footsteps in which, hopefully, they will follow. My girls have ALWAYS been an inspiration to me, never allowing me to pass a homeless person in any of the places we've lived--Tallahassee, Indianapolis and Fort Myers Beach--without giving them something, even the change out of the ashtray in the car.
What do I hope to gain by launching a non-profit? It's not a get-rich scheme or anything like that (some people do get rich running non-profits). I just want to have a purpose greater than myself. I want to devote myself to something that will enrich my life. Yes, I have my daughters and being their Daddy is the most satisfying and life-enriching challenge I've ever faced. It gives me all the meaning I need for my life, but I also want to be about DOING something. I've always known there's more than 8-to-5 punching a timeclock everyday. There has to be! And while I will continue to be gainfully employed somewhere, I will be busy doing good, as well.
So for 2015, I've vowed to be more purposeful, more positive and more proactive. I just came up with that...three P's. That mission will guide my decisions and my actions for the coming years. It sparked with an idea in mid-December, turned into forward motion on Christmas Day and will continue as long as I have breath in my lungs.
Yes, 2014 was a challenge like none other I've faced. I am certain 2015 will bring even more difficult challenges, but my attitude is what will make the biggest difference. I am launching headlong into this year with a positive, self-affirming, more purposeful attitude. Thank you 2014 for reminding me about what's truly important. And HEL-LO 2015! Let's go and do good!
(Editor's note: As I began writing this, a stranger approached me at the McDonald's in Tallahassee where I find myself writing today, and asked me to move my car so she could have someone give her vehicle a jump. I gladly told her I'd help, as I have a long, heavy-duty set of cables in my trunk. I do believe in Karma.)