Talent: Inherited or Learned by Lois Hewitt 

It is a beautiful evening in Western North Carolina.  I am sitting in my she-cave with no lights on except for my little fake Christmas tree, listening to my favorite 70s classic rock (slightly louder than I should), and enjoying a cup of herbal tea.  For just a few minutes, it all feels perfect!

Then my mind, as it usually does, starts to wonder.  This is something I used to spend hours thinking about, but haven’t given it a thought in some time. Is talent inherited or can it be learned?  I’m listening to Bob Seger tell a story about his life, everyone’s life, set to music.  Then I think about Ayn Rand and the way she used a story and her words to change my perceptions of life.  As I struggle to learn the guitar, it is clear that I do not have the internal talent many musicians have.  You know the ones who never took a lesson yet shred the guitar most impressively.  Painters, architects, seamstresses, and the many other talented artisans in our world with God-given talent.

I opened my mind to the arts in my 20s.  I took a Humanities class and nothing has been the same since. I learned to love art, even if I did not understand it.  For example, I tried to read Shakespeare’s sonnets to no avail. I had no idea what he was trying to say, but I appreciated his efforts.  After some time, I tried to find my very well-hidden talent. Because I reasoned, doesn’t every person have a specific talent?  I have a friend who is an excellent painter as is everyone in her family.  I know people who can sing, dance or play an instrument.  I know a young lady who can transfer her thoughts into words in the most eloquent of ways.  I know all these talented people, they surround me and yet I feel like I missed the day talents were given out. 

So again I ask myself, are these talents inherited or can they be learned?  I still do not know. How many Bob Segers are there, really.  Not everyone can compose like Mozart or play numerous instruments like Prince.  Or write like Fitzgerald.  Those people, who truly have a gift, and enrich the world by bringing beauty into it. Art is a life force in and of itself.  It takes nourishment to be created but then returns it in the form of beauty for one’s soul.  I suppose that not everyone can have artistic talent.  That makes me sad as I am one of those people not gifted.  But……

I have learned that there are other types of talent outside the artistic realm.  Some people can pull out spectacular outfits out of old clothes.  Then there are the people who can truly listen to others and feel genuine empathy.  The person with an encouraging word at just the right time.  The perfect cookie, a hand-knit scarf, a helping hand and a kind gesture are all talents. I see it now, not every person can be an Adele, but every person has inside of them the talent to affect change in the world.  

I’m never going to be a Hemingway and, I guess, I am ok with that. I would rather be a tortured writer creating written images that will transcend time, but, alas, that probably will not happen.  Can I help someone in need? Most definitely.  Can I listen to a friend who is struggling with life?  You bet.  Can I make my corner of the world a little better?  I certainly hope so.  Those are my internal talents as well as some I have picked up on my journey. 

So is talent inherited or learned?  Yes!  It’s both.  We all have our talents, the ones we are born with.  But we can also learn new ones. Ones we experience on our own or discover on our own journeys.  I realize that there is no need to feel like I missed out on something.  Sometimes the answers are not that obvious. 

So tonight as I listen to some great music while sipping an artisan tea, I am so pleased that I learned to appreciate the talents of others. That is a talent, and one I plan to hone. 


Sunrise by Lois Hewitt

I have never been the kind of person who raves about sunrises.  I always figured if I missed the one today I could catch the next one.  There are quotes and sayings about the light coming after a long dark night.  Or each day is a new beginning.  In theory, I love sunrises as much as anyone, but I never actively sought one out.

My apartment faces the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains and I could have the chance to view every sunrise right from my living room, but I never took the time until today.  I have been under the weather lately and stressing about an upcoming move, so my mind has been in full self-indulgent mode.  Last night was the first night in a while that I slept without horrible coughing.  

I woke up very happy that I was feeling better and started my usual morning routines: sent a few texts, checked balances, etc.  Then I looked out the front door, which is mostly glass and I saw it.  I watched, mesmerized, as this incredibly bright orb made its way from behind the fall-colored Mountains.  Each movement created more outstretched rays of light until the sun was fully in sight and surrounded by beams of light. It brought with it a sudden warmth to ease the cold night away.  

It was stunning.  I cannot believe that in the year and a half I have been here, this is the first one I have consciously noticed.  I am usually running around doing something I feel is extremely important or something of no importance at all.  I never took the few minutes to just look out the front door. I don’t even have to go anywhere, it comes to me.  Every single morning.

So I thought I was finally getting wise in my old age, thought I was starting to understand things.  Then I see a sunrise and I realize that I still have a long way to go.  If I run around being busy (legitimately busy or fake busy) all the time, and I do not pause for a moment or two to just enjoy life’s beauty, then I haven’t actually learned a thing.  This morning I unintentionally looked up from my iPad to witness a miracle that happens every single day.  A miracle that I have taken for granted over 20,000 times.  

I have squandered my time in one of God’s most beautiful places.  Amazing tree-lined Mountains, glorious clear running rivers, fresh crisp air and, yes, daily sunrises and sunsets are the norm here.  I hiked once or twice.  I looked at the beauty from inside a moving train car without fully allowing myself to drink it all in.  If I had to guess what lesson was learned today, I would have to say that I need to stop a little more often and enjoy the surroundings.  I always figured I had to be a outdoor person to enjoy this splendor but that’s not true. To be a human being means we have the ability to be conscious of the beauty around us.  We have the ability to formulate thoughts and emotions about things we see and feel.

I need to become more present, more aware, of those things around me that are beautiful.  Many of the images and things we see today are ugly interpretations of hate, war, violence and greed.  It is easy to want to retreat into one’s shell and never look outside it.  But if you do that, you end up missing the beauty.  I realize that not every place is the place I am at now.  God brought me here so that I could see a place of peace and tranquility.  As I plan to leave this place I realize that I missed it much of the time I was here but I plan on drinking in its beauty while I’m still here. And, hopefully, not miss all the future sunrises. 

It just goes to prove that something that happens every day can still be wonderous. 

On Being A Minimalist by Lois Hewitt

My actual and entire wardrobe. I never have to guess what to wear!

My days of hoarding and compulsive buying seem to be over. I say that knowing full well I could slip back into old ways at anytime.  Every purchase is weighed now against cost, storage space needed, percentage of actual need and what I already own that has to be donated to make room for this new item.  It has taken the fun out of shopping, which is a good thing.  I racked up massive amounts of debt “having fun” shopping only to feel guilt and regret after the high diminished.  I have embraced being a (almost) full-on minimalist.  

In the beginning, it was just about the money.  I was spending way too much on absolutely unnecessary things.  Why would two people need three sets of dishes?  Does anyone using the bathroom really care if all the towels and accessories match?  Oh, how much time and money I spent on having some sort of allusion of outward perfection while the reality was that I was drowning inward. Things stopped being just things to have and started to own me. I worked multiple jobs and was always scheming for ways to pay for all the stuff.  My life was not mine but it was owned by the 20 plus creditors I owed.  I was miserable, so I would shop to feel better then have crushing guilt over the most recent purchases.  I then went through a stage where I could not even buy necessities for fear of incredible remorse.  My life was killing me….

Then I lost all the stuff.  All the security blankets and false self-esteem symbols that I built around myself were gone.  I was lost and miserable. Then the sun came up and I saw a brand new life in a brand new light.  I was now free to live without outward hindrances.  I left Ohio with a suitcase and some items I thought I would require to live. Then as I was on the road those items found new homes with other people or in the gatbage. The more I moved the less I needed.  

Here I am a little over two years later. Getting ready for another move and evaluating my current possessions.  I, honestly, acquired a few more things than I wanted to, but all paid for with cash.  It’s not much, but I am culling everything I have accumulated over the last couple of years. I did good, but have a few things to donate. And a few sentimental gifts from people I’ve met, which I will keep.  When it’s all said and done, I do not ever want to go back to my mega-consumeristic ways.

One major byproduct of this lifestyle is now I have the ability to actually help others with time and money. Before I was always so busy trying to make a buck and always short lots of bucks that I could not ever help anyone. I just couldn’t. The freedom is astonishing!

I know it’s not for everyone, I am not advocating that it is. But for me, it was the best decision ever forced upon me.  I thought I would miss the things, but now I can hardly remember what those things even were.  Peace, for me, is not owning much. It keeps my life in perspective. When I was drowning underneath all the things, I had no perspective.  Now I see how those things hindered my life and my progress to becoming the person I wanted to be. I was holding on so tight to the stuff, important things slipped through my fingers. Today I can reassess where I am in a short time and that has allowed me to finally grow. 

The worst thing in my life, losing it all, has been one of the most important changes in my life. Today, I can truly say that I am blessed.

Lessons Learned…Continued by Lois Hewitt 

The journey that I am on is one of continual lessons to be learned. My time on the train is finished and as I close this chapter of my life, I thought I should reflect on the newest lessons learned.

People are sometimes mean and cruel.  I have strived to treat others as I expect to be treated but not everyone shares that desire. Between my short-lived career at the casino and my time on the train, I have met a lot of unhappy people. The kind of people that no matter what you do, they will never be pleased. I used to take all that negative energy personally. You cannot do that.  Those people are unhappy period. They were unhappy before they crossed my path and will be unhappy long after our time together. I have learned that when they lash out at you, most times it is not personal.  It feels as if it is but something else, something deeper is the root problem. The same is true with me I have learned.  When I’m mad it is usually something much deeper than the situation I am in. So don’t take the lashings personal.  

Get used to entitlement attitudes. The difference between last year and this year on the train is like night and day.  More and more people act entitled.  I have found that a few people will run you ragged at the expense of everyone else and not even be satisfied with it.  In my job on the train, I would be the server for up to 44 people.  Some would never utter a peep, while others demanded more every time I walked past. I would be required to refill drinks that had one sip gone.  Or get extra salad dressings that never got used.  I am guessing there are a group of people who think they somehow have to get everything they can out of the experience even if it means less time with other customers. I have a problem with the entitlement mentality, I just haven’t found a way to conquer it.  It is becoming very prevalent in this country and it is beyond sad.

You cannot live on cafe hot dogs everyday.  Enough said.

Don’t expect outer gratification.  Servers live off tips and there was a time when you could depend on those. Don’t depend on them anymore. More and more people tip badly or not at all. Yesterday I served a family of ten for 4 1/2 hours only to  have them slip me a dollar and expect my undying gratitude. If you cannot live on the hourly rate alone, maybe it’s time for a new career.  It’s very difficult to make a livable wage from the generous few.  That’s where I am at, looking for a new career path. 

Babies don’t seem to like 4 1/2 hour train rides, nor do toddlers. Who knew?

Your coworkers have to have your back and visa versa.  The more demanding the job, the more you need the support of your coworkers.  If you cannot get along with them, it’s going to make it extremely difficult to get along with strangers/customers. 

Celebrate EVERY victory. Some days everything is in perfect alignment and the day goes off without a hitch. Celebrate it somehow. Those days are few and far between so enjoy them.  Some days start incredibly bad but end up great, celebrate!  I have learned to not expect the win, but when it happens I celebrate with an ice cold beer, a delicious dessert or a long nap. Whatever it takes.  Each victory is precious!

You have to take care of yourself. If you don’t, things usually end up being worse.  Take your vitamins, eat right, get enough sleep and don’t work so much that you forget what you love to do.  I have had such busy times in my life that I actually forgot what things I used to love to do.  Your soul needs nourishment as much as your body does. Nourish your inner self. It helps keep you sane during the chaos.

There are a lot more lessons, but this one is my most important one.  Always act in love even to the entitled, bitter people.  My very wise cousin told me, you never know whose life you can change with a kind word or a good deed.  Random acts of kindness and paying it forward are both real things. They can change the world for the better…one act at a time.

It’s been an amazing adventure.  I am grateful for the good as well as the bad. I learned from both.  

Why Am I Surprised? By Lois Hewitt

Before I begin, this is not a post fishing for a compliment or to say how great I am.  That’s not what I want this to be about.  This year on the train has been so different from last year.  I cannot pinpoint what made the change, just that it did happen.  Rudeness from customers is now the new norm.  Complaining is the new point of conversation.  The temperature is never right, the food isn’t up to par, the seats are too hard, the service isn’t fast enough, the trip is too long or too short, the line to the restroom is too long, and the weather isn’t good enough,  just to name a few complaints. 

I try to tell about local history and I can barely get their attention as they continue to talk over me.  Today, I stopped mid-sentence and walked off, I doubt anyone even noticed.  I explain that I go to each table over and over so that I can make sure that no customer is missed or ignored. I try to treat all 44 of my customers the same.  Well apparently, some people are more important than others because they will do anything to get their request filled immediately.  When I say that I’m on my way and will be there as fast as I can, they act like I kicked a puppy. There goes another tip down the drain.  

Seems no one has any tolerance for even the slightest discomfort. There is definitely no tolerance for being inconvenienced even if you are assisting another customer. So the rudeness isn’t just directed at me, it’s aimed at all people everywhere.  This morning it was chilly outside. We always board people who need a little extra time or need assistance first.  Today I asked if anyone needed assistance and everyone in line came up.  I doubt that the entire car was not in need of assistance,  their personal needs came before people who truly needed help.

Today I sit here defeated, wondering where society is headed.  Where are manners and basic respect? It’s so sad that when you meet someone who is considerate, you can’t believe it.  It has become such a rarity in our society.  Today I am very sad for the people of the world for they obviously do not see things from the same perspective that I do.  Tolerance, love and compassion are all traits I am trying to cultivate in myself, but you can only be totally ignored or cast aside so many times until you give up. I’m on the verge of giving up.

If entitlement and disregard for other people become the norm, I don’t want to live here any longer.  I am thinking about becoming a hermit. Except that isn’t a high paying profession!  I feel hurt and discouraged.  I feel sad and disappointed.  I realize that no place is idealistic but it’s not so much about a certain place, it’s about human response to other humans. 

I will keep trying because that’s what I do.  Occasionally you have that perfect day that plays out beautifully. You feel love and give it freely.  Those days are few and far between but they seem to keep us all going, moving forward.  I wish those times where the norm, but that’s probably too much to ask for. As long as entitlements and greed have a stronghold on people it will only get worse. 

Maybe I’ll start looking for a cave to live in since deserted islands are usually too expensive.

That Which Makes us Stronger by Lois Hewitt

I can admit it now.  As a child and a young somewhat-adult I was weak.  Ever afraid to have someone not like me, ever afraid of not being nice.  That behavior made me weak and it allowed me to get into situations that were not healthy for me.  It also caused an unpredictable, terrifying rage to live inside of me.  Now I’m not talking about trying to be a good person or having manners.  I’m talking about being afraid to say no to harmful situations, about doing whatever to have someone like me.  The horrific thing about that is I was usually trying to make someone I would never have liked in the first place like me. I could not bear to not be liked. My self-esteem was that low.

I spent many years vacillating between rage and guilt.  I was mad these situations happened, then I thought it was all my fault.  That’s when I started dealing with anxiety and depression.  I allowed those bad situations to dictate my life years and years after they occurred.  I chose to wear those situations and my weakness as a badge. Look at me and how pathetic I am.  Looking back on myself all I see is complete and utter weakness.

In retrospect, I can honestly say that now I can be liked or not.  I can live with either.  I can now venture into a situation and not just say no, but say no F*ing way.  I have learned through this amazing and terrifying journey that those negative experiences truly have made me a much stronger person today.  I still have moments where I think for a second about not being liked, then it goes away and I take control.  I never want to be weak again, I want to fight back when necessary.  I don’t want to tolerate bad behavior just because it is the nice thing to do.  

You can be a nice person and still be strong.  You just have to be able to stand up for yourself or someone who cannot do it themselves.  You can be kind and strong at the same time.  If you don’t have the kindness part of the equation, you can run the risk of being a bully.  You need both components.  You can remember those past hurts and use them to keep you strong.  I used to hate those times when I was unable to stand up for myself, now I look at them as my training ground for who I am today.  Without them, I would not be as empowered as I am right now.

To all the people who took advantage willingly or unknowingly, thank you.  Once I got my head out of my nether regions, I saw my own inner strength come out.  The self-pity and even the unpredictable rage went away.  I still get angry at times but it is over a current situation not one from 40 years ago. There is a huge difference.  

I have decided to learn from the past instead of reliving and reliving it. I have decided to forgive them (however not forget) and to forgive myself.  I did not have the tools then that I have now.  Ironically, the tools I have now came from those experiences.  I feel so much healthier now that I let up on the grip those circumstances held over me.  I feel a new kind of freedom…and it feels good!

If Only….by Lois Hewitt

Not sure who wrote this. Sorry for the profanity.

If only I could pay off my bills, then I would be happy.  If only I could lose this excess weight, then I would be happy. If only I was prettier or smarter or more of something else, then I would be happy. These are lies I have been telling myself my entire adult life. Basically I was saying that I was unhappy because of one or more things in my life were missing and once I found those things than I would finally be happy.

I have been on this self-awareness journey for a very long time and I just figured this out.  Last night it hit me. I was laying awake trying to sleep and my mind just kept going in circles. I was thinking about what it would be like if I could lose about 30 pounds, cut my hair short (and miraculously have it be thicker too), start wearing some cool glasses and have a new sense of how to dress.  I thought as I fell asleep that those things would make me happy.  

Then I woke up as me; still chunky, gray haired with the same two outfits I had yesterday.  My mind wishes I was prettier and smarter, but my reality is simply what I am. That’s not to say I can’t try to improve myself, but the groundwork is laid and a beauty I’ll never be.  That’s ok.  Once I can finally accept my weight, my looks and my IQ, that’s when I think I will finally be happy. 

I gave up reading magazines and watching lots of tv years ago.  I found the constant bombardment of beauty products, clothing ads and other such nonsense made me feel less of a person.  So I did my own little boycott of those things thinking I would come to finally accept myself.  I thought I had but it turns out that I was wrong yet again. Those images still plagued me without even knowing it.

We, as humans, have been given the amazing ability to change ourselves for the better.  But short of plastic surgery and a wig, my looks are my looks. I can always learn new things, but I’m never going to be a Mensa.  And my fashion sense has always been and always will be a lost cause. Guess what?  That’s ok because those things along with my experiences have made me who I am today.

So no more wishing I was gorgeous or brilliant or even talented.  I will continue to try to improve myself but no more “if only” in my life. That seems like such an obvious lesson, yet it’s not one I easily learned.  So world here I am with all my flaws.  Now I get what Popeye was saying. I am what I am!

What The Heck Was I Thinking…….by Lois Hewitt

So the day before yesterday, I had to learn to drive a stick shift.  At 55, I’m just now learning to do that.  Am I crazy?  I live in the mountains this is not where you want to learn this particular skill.  I’m also working a job really catered for younger or, at least, more fit people than myself.  I just bought a guitar and am trying to learn to play it.  

What the heck am I thinking?  When I was younger, I assumed that when I was 55 years old I would be planning to retire, sitting on the porch knitting, and generally starting to slow down. Well, that is not the case in the least.  Almost everything in my life is new: new state, new job, new surroundings, and an entirely new way of living.  There is no time, or money, to retire.  No time to knit and definitely no time to slow down.  What wrong turn did I make in life to get here?

I was thinking about it hard the last few days. I was feeling like I really messed my life up. I have spoken about this before. Starting a completely new life with almost no belongings in a completely new place was starting to seem less courageous and more plain stupid.  Am I too old to keep learning new things?  Some days I barely have enough energy to walk from the couch to the shower. 

Then I realized that I’m the kind of person, if not pushed or slightly prodded, that I would sit down and not get up.  For many years I dreamed of these changes but was paralyzed with fear of change.  It took something drastic to make me move. Now here I am, moving onward and upward. So instead of feeling like I took a wrong turn, I’m going to start thinking of it as finally making the right turn.  Although I have days I want desperately to just sit down, I’m not really ready to just sit down. I need to continue to push myself and learn things. It’s good for the body, the mind and the soul.

So even when I’m tired and don’t think I can go on, I will know in my heart there is joy in the pushing of oneself.  It means you are alive. And it means there is purpose in life. Who knows what other life skills I am about to learn, but for now I’m open to the possibilities and age has no bearing….well, ok, I’m not going to sign up for gymnastics or anything like that. Stuff within reason and somewhat age appropriate.  

I am learning there is a special kind of joy when you learn something you never thought you could do.  Today I got the all the way into fourth gear. I was ecstatic.  And I got home in one piece, even better!  I look forward to learning new lessons. 

Now if I could only figure out chords on the guitar…..

Can’t We All Just Get Along? by Lois Hewitt

I’m the very first person to admit this…I’m not always easy to get along with.  I am a stickler for structure and order.  What I perceive to be chaos, which can be normal for someone else, overwhelms me.  I like to do things a certain way. That’s not to say that I can’t change, it’s just a slower process for me.  I do not try to be difficult….it just happens.

I try to be, and want to be, all chill and easygoing.  I have had a reputation in the past for being a little intense at times.  I have been known to get really mad here and there. If I get pushed, I tend to push back.  I feel strongly about some things and won’t budge on them.  None of these qualities are any that I’m necessarily proud of.  

I look around my little piece of the planet and I think of the strife I create.  I really don’t mean to do it.   It is no wonder on a global scale that we can’t all get along.  No one wants to be wrong.  Opinions are as different and varied as the stars in the night sky.  It is so easy to think that yours is the right one.  Admitting yours may be flawed is a very hard thing to do.

I have started burying my head in the sand when it comes to some of the global issues we are all facing in this day and age.  The fact that there is so much hate in the world because of differences in opinions causes me much anxiety. The fact that we as human beings can hate entire groups of people, and have them hate us back, because of skin color, religious beliefs or any other myriad of differences cuts me to the core.  I hate the diversions, yet I’m not always flexible either.

So how do we start to get along?  I’ve always believed that it really starts at home, then it can radiate outward more globally.  But it’s not always easy to understand another human even those closest to us.  Each of us have our own unique experiences that set us up to think a certain way.  We all carry scars, visible and invisible, on our bodies and in our souls from hurts and injustices aimed at us.  These things veil our thought to a certain mindset, one that is often difficult to overcome.

I am in constant study of how to become a better person. I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Yet I cannot always see the other side because I’m so busy looking at my side. The climate of hate today seems to create an atmosphere where we all, myself included, feel the absolute need to defend ourselves.  I find myself trying to explain my actions and the reasons for them.  We all get defensive rather quickly because it is easy to feel like you are getting attacked.

I figured out, for myself, that when I feel I am being attacked and I get so defensive that I cannot see anything else except my side.  My ability to, at least, consider the other side completely flies out the window.  I cannot possibly see your side when I have to guard myself from your attack.  Any hope for resolution is lost.  

How do I become less defensive?  I honestly do not know the answer to that question.  I’m like a wild animal at times, I will “bite”first, then think about the situation.  I think many of us are like that.  We just want to protect our little corner of the world.  But sometimes that closes our eyes to the other side of the story.  

Maybe if I stop perceiving an attack where there isn’t one, I may be able to bypass the defensive mode and actually have a real dialogue rather than a heated discussion of my intentions versus yours.  Maybe if I don’t automatically feel backed into a corner, I may have room to see the other side. Jesus spoke to many different kinds of people during His time on the Earth.  He listened, didn’t necessarily change His opinion, but heard the other person out.  He talked to them with compassion and understanding. He knew His moral compass.  Even when He was being attacked, He pleaded for mercy on those people.  

I cannot seem to be like that but I certainly can strive for it.  I will never be that understanding but I can try harder.  No more defensive behavior for me. I want my eyes open to see the other side. I may or may not change my opinion but I’m going to trust my moral compass more than my emotional compass and see if that doesn’t change things, even a little bit, for the better.  

Train, Train 

Some people love trains because of their amazing mechanics or the fact that these behemoths gracefully move down two thin rails.  Trains can move people as well as freight.  You can ride in  ultimate luxury or with basic surroundings.  You can feel the warm breeze on your face in an open air car drinking an iced tea or the sipping a mimosa in the cool air of a climate-controlled coach.  You can go somewhere new or no where at all.  

I love trains for all those things and more.  The ride, at least, on my train is slow.  You have a chance to actually catch your breath and enjoy the scenery. There is no wifi so the only connections you make are with other human beings.  The ride is like a huge rocking chair gently swaying back and forth to the rhythm of the wheels.  

You can drive to the same places we go but on a train you do not have to contend with traffic.  You actually get to enjoy the sights at 19 miles an hour instead of 50.  Many folks do not care for the slower pace.  Let’s face it, there are always a million things to be done at any given point in time.  Riding a slow train through the woods seems like a huge waste of time.

 But it’s not.  I don’t believe it’s healthy to be constantly on the run.  Down time is something no one has time for anymore. Your soul suffers without a respite. Your body becomes stressed and learns to stay that way.  I know from experience what it feels like to be in fight or flight mode all the time. Rest becomes a memory. Always feeling your heart beating out of your chest is the norm.  Joy is gone.  

There is no way a train ride will answer all of life’s problems, but what if you had a chance to become reacquainted with yourself again.  What if you had the chance to actually relax without anything you had to do.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  I’m not trying to do a commercial for my train or any other.  I have come to learn the value of finding that thing you love to do and gaining the benefits from that.

I work on a train. It is, by far, the most physically demanding job I have ever had and ever loved. I can have just a horrible day at work and wake up the next day excited to go to my office, a train car.  It’s an unexplainable feeling.  For someone like me who wants to keep moving, it is perfect.  

The best part are train people.  I have met the most wonderful and giving people on this train from my co-workers to the passengers. The train is what brings us all together and it’s the train that makes us feel alive. It’s more than an engine and metal. It’s a daily journey that is ever changing.  It can make you happy, make you laugh and, at times, make you cry. Riding the rails has healed me deep into my soul. And the people I have met have touched my heart. 

I am forever changed.