Monday, September 3, 2007

Faith, Family and Friends

"It's just a normality of life that I've been searching for. I'm just tired of being gone."
Michael "Fatback" McSwain

Hello everyone,

As you can tell from the header, I'm want to talk about how we all should look at how we are living our lives and slow down some.

As I was sitting at work Sunday, watching Speed channel prior to the NASCAR race, I saw a interview with Micheal "Fatback" McSwain that really caught me off guard. I really wish I had a recording of the interview to share with you, but I could not find it anywhere. As soon as the interview started, it caught my attention and made me start thinking about how what he was saying was how I felt almost entirely. He was telling the reporter that he has made the decision to step down from his crew chief duties at the end of this season due to his desire to work on his "Faith, Family and Friends". He reiterated that he had given everything he had for the last 15 years to gain in his career, but had sacrificed the relationships with his faith, family and friends. But now has figured out that this sacrifice he gave was not worth it in the end and he has decided to make the change in his life to regain some of what he has lost. I quote a comment from him," If I can lead one person over to celebrating life, I will have succeeded". He goes on to say that "I love life".

Well, this is the same type action that I have been trying to figure out how to make for several years now. Unfortunately, I am not as well off as Micheal and just can't stop working; which I don't think he is stopping, just slowing down. But his words of leading his life for his faith, family and friends really hit me hard and has given me a slogan to use in order to set my life to the way it needs to be. I am going to call it ''the three F's of life". I encourage all of you that read this to think about these words and make the decision with me to live your life by these "three F's.

I know that this is not something that can happen overnight, even though it should be that simple. But I will start working on this direction. I am open to any and all help from you as to how you have found to make these changes in your lives. If you are like me, it will be very difficult to change your ways of thinking and actions. But I feel that if we could all do as Micheal and just do it for ourselves and lead one other person to a better life, we will all succeed with life to the fullest.


I am particularly going to have a hard time with the first "F", being Faith. I have my beliefs intact, I have just lost my way of worship. I do not feel that you have to necessarily go to a church to have faith, but do feel that I am missing something by not going to church and being involved with a church. As most of you know, I am a preacher's kid. I have used this as an excuse for not going to church for along time now. You see, when I go into a church building, that is what I see and feel. I find myself looking around finding problems that need fixing or the inner politics of the church tearing it apart. This just distracts me and I end up not coming out with the feeling I feel I should have. I do enjoy going to the contemporary service and the music and fellowship there. But I still don't make it a point to go when I can. As far as my example for Hunter, I don't know how. We have never been a faithful goer to church his whole life, so I am going to have to really think about and talk to Amy about how to make sure he knows what faith is. (Amy told me that she has pointed out faith as a lifestyle, not church "membership" in his daily life since he was little. Apparently they discuss "karma" as she calls it almost every day.) I feel that I have given worship thru my work on several occasions and have attempted to have compassion and be a steward for God as I deal with the different patients I come in contact with. But this is not enough, and I will be looking to find a way to better my Faith throughout this change in my life.


For most this would seem to be the easy part. Well, it is not. I love my family so much, but hardly ever show them or give them what they deserve. I tell myself that all the working I do is for them, but then work takes me away from them and is what drives my stress to make me grumpy and to disrespect them when I am around them. I find that due to being tired or irritated, I am short with them and they do not deserve this. Even having a intentional way of thinking about how I am acting, I find I still am short and irritated. So I have a large obstacle to work my way over. I also struggle with how to deal with Amy's illness a lot since she feels bad a lot of the time and I don't want to push her, but at the same time life has to go on and my way is to just push thru. I have to realize that she can't do that. We think so differently about things like that. Nether of us is wrong, its just a difference that causes stress a lot of the time. So that is something else for me to work toward being better at. Hunter is a typical 13 year old. He is growing up and I find myself having to remember how I was at that age. My parents have always told me that I would understand some of what they did when I was going up, and I find myself telling myself "so that is why you do it this way". I am so proud of Hunter and I hope he will keep growing in the way he is and stay smart and interested in living to the fullest. As far as my parents, brother, and other relatives, it is a day to day basis of what to deal with and how much I can do. I give to all them as much as I can, but still feel like I disappoint them sometimes. I know that they understand, but it does not make it easier on me as one who will give everything away before I think about myself or my family. I do not think I can ever repay my parents or Amy's parents for all the help they have done for us in the past. Perhaps one day I will hit it lucky and have enough to make a dent in the amount they have given to us. We have such a great extended family network and I thank all of them for all they do and hope we all can someday just sit and relax together.


I struggle with friendships a lot. Most of what I know as friends recently are more work related than actual friendships. I hope no one misunderstands this as they read this, but I just don't feel that I have many current real friends that are life long and lasting. I find myself doing all the work to make the friendship work. I have tried on several occasions to have friendships, but my phone never rings or I am never asked to do things outside of seeing these people at work or other related events. The closest friend I have Is Andrea and she and I don't even contact each other much anymore. I am working on regaining some friendships with some of my old friends from school. But they are hard to re establish due to the distance between us and all the time that has passed. I feel that good friendships are very important to have, and struggle due to the fact that I feel lacking in this area. My partner on the ambulance is probably the closest person I have apart from my family. She and I know each other well, but it is not a "friendship" but rather a working relationship that is close to a friendship. But she at least cares about what goes on in my life and I do the same for her. Like I said earlier, I have a lot of people that I have a relationship with. I just wish I had a true good friend that we did things together and it was mutual in giving and taking.

Thanks for letting me share with you and I hope that all of you can understand that the feelings I have expressed are deep in nature and may be hard to understand. I don not wish any harm or ill feelings, just an open relationship with all of you to express my feeling and look forward to your input.

Love you all,


1 comment:

michael mcswain said...

Dear Jeff,I think it's really cool you were touched by the interview before the race in California.pray to God for help with your dreams I am living proof of the amazing things he has done.God bless.