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  • Writer's pictureEric Dahl

Two Chapters Do Not a Book Make

I have re-written this piece numerous times trying to decide how much to share or not. Sometimes we get caught up in our own troubles and woes. I know I certainly did last spring and in the past few months. Like many of you the last two years my life certainly hasn’t gone the way I had hoped or planned. Between personal life changes and multiple health issues it has been a crappy roller coaster ride that I longed to exit. Talking with friends and family during this time and even strangers with similar or worse issues was comforting. And unfortunately, many of us have had friends and loved ones pass away due to Covid or from other causes during this time. Because none of us are getting any younger. Living alone can be good or bad depending upon the day and where your mind and emotions take you. I have found that working out at the gym, walking, and keeping myself busy help. It occurred to me that the past two years, no matter how bad they have been, do not represent my entire life nor do they define the time I have remaining. Two years are comparative to two chapters in a book, but they are only two chapters, and I must turn the page and continue to the next chapter to see how the story ends. Continual health issues, like some of you, have thrown a monkey wrench in my ability to move forward and make progress. Last August I was diagnosed a Type 2 Diabetic (my A1C is now under thanks to losing 70lbs), October 22nd Burst Appendix (took until the end of February to completely heal but I’m alive) and two months ago two Kidney Stones were extracted. I’m ready to avoid Drs, ERs, and hospitals for a while. What I’m working on now is me – mentally, emotionally, and physically since I left the old Eric behind a few chapters ago. The question is what lessons I have learned from this two-year journey and how will it shape my choices, priorities, concepts of success and goals going forward. A few things are immediately evident as I have a deeper appreciation for quality usage of time. The #1 priority is the time I spend with my daughter Taylor. It is precious and fortunately we enjoy doing a lot of the same things such as restaurants, movies, and travel. I have deepened my faith and found a church that I enjoy attending and playing music at. And I see prayer as an opportunity to be thankful instead of a chore. I don’t put my job on a pedestal as I once did and although I need it and enjoy my career it does not define me, nor does it take precedence over the time with my daughter, family, friends, or health. My friends have been invaluable to me for their support by just calling and checking in on me during these turbulent times. In the past few weeks, I have started becoming more okay with myself again. Some of my old confidence, humor and strength are returning and I’m beginning to feel optimistic about the future again. It’s not easy but I have turned a corner. I have begun adding heavier weights into my workouts to regain my strength. It is all a journey and there is no fast road or path back only persistence. I feel blessed to still be around and enjoy my daughter, family, and friends. My goal is to apply the lessons I have learned from the past few hard years and use them in a productive way to make things better going forward. And to help and be there for my friends and family in their times of need as they were there for me. If we don’t learn from our mistakes and failures, then we are destined to repeat them. The good news, for all of us, is that the past two years have only been two poorly written chapters in our book. We determine the next pages and chapters as they unfold, and I personally plan to write my own story instead of allowing life to happen to me. Here’s to a happy, positive, and productive next chapter for all of us.


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