Category Archives: Fun

Is Your Life In Balance?

cruise-ship

Is Your Life In Balance?

Most of us have a hard time balancing our lives. It’s easy to become focused on business, and we forget that life is for living – not just working. Sometimes we need to take time out to play.

Last week I spotted a cruise leaving from Galveston (our local cruise port) for 7 nights in the Western Caribbean. Well, I know the Western Caribbean fairly well, but decided to check out where the cruise was going just to see if it might be interesting: the price was certainly right. It turned out that it goes to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel.

Cozumel is an island in Mexico, a bit south of Cancun, Belize is further south still, and in case you don’t know where Roatan is, it’s between Utila and Guanaja, and I have T-shirt to prove it! (Isn’t that a great example of a totally accurate statement that doesn’t really answer the question?) OK, Roatan is in the Bay Islands 30 miles off the north coast of Honduras in Central America, and I first went there because it’s a great dive destination.

Roatan

Several years ago I built a second home on Roatan which I now rent as a vacation property (you can see it here). We normally go down once or twice a year for a working and diving vacation, but have been cutting back on the trips since the airfare doubled. When I found that the cruise cost less than half the air fare, it seemed to me like a no-brainer, especially when I told some friends and they jumped at the chance to join us.

So next week we plan to take a complete break. We’ll have fun on the ship, spend a day visiting the house and friends on Roatan, take a shore excursion in Belize and find something to do in Cozumel. Sometimes we need to take time for ourselves and our friends to balance our lives.

Now, If I can just figure out how to take a cruise like this and stop off for a few weeks in Roatan instead of just one day, the airlines can say goodbye to my business!

My Roatan Home

My Roatan Home

If Roatan sounds interesting to you, visit my website and take a look at what it has to offer, and you can also check out my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SonrisaDelSol. If you decide to book a trip, let me know that you read this post, and I’ll give you a 25% discount on the cost!

Don’t you owe it to yourself to bring some balance into your life?

Alan Jenkin

Author
Alan Jenkin has posted to several blogs for a number of years. His subjects include health and fitness, running, personal development and internet marketing. He lives in Texas and has a vacation home in the Caribbean, where his hobbies include boating and scuba diving. He is married to best-selling author Billie Willmon Jenkin.

Just Having Fun!

My Roatan Home

I just got back after a month’s R&R in my home in Roatan.  As John Denver sang, it’s good to be back home again!  However, it was great to escape for a while.

So if you’ve been wondering why I have not posted for a month or so, that’s the reason.  I took the time to relax, enjoy the warmth, and think about what I really want to do for the next year or two.  I expect to have an even better idea after tomorrow, when I am attending a seminar by Mike Dooley in Houston – I’ll let you know what happens!

The excitement began already for me, when I found a cheap flight to London.  I booked two seats for early May with the intention of taking a couple of weeks in UK and France to coincide with the Country Music Mayfest where my stepson will be the star performer.  It will also give me a chance to visit friends and relatives in UK, see some of the prehistoric monuments in Brittany and brush up my French.

Megalithic Tomb

Megalithic Tomb

We’re planning another trip to Roatan in the summer – probably July and August.  That way we can escape the summer heat in Texas by heading for the tropics, where we can enjoy the trade winds and snorkeling and diving in the warm waters of the Caribbean!  Why not come and join us, and maybe take a sailing trip, too?

Isn’t it great sometimes just to have fun?

Life Goals

Have you set your life goals?

Are you achieving everything you would like to achieve?  Do you feel your life is complete, and there is nothing more you desire?  Is everything perfect for you?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, move on: but first, tell me how you got there!

If your life were ever truly that perfect, there would be no point in going on living — the whole point is to keep making it better!

I was just reading Juniper Currie‘s blog at http://junipercurrie.com/mindset/life-goals-and-dreams-five-steps-to-achieving-them/, where she sets out a five step life plan that anyone can follow.  I don’t know about you, but I find this is something I really need.

Every year, at about this time, I look back on my achievements for the year and wonder what went wrong!

I suggest you read her blog, because she explains the reasoning behind the steps much better than I could.  In this post, though, I’ll summarize the steps and add my own comments.

As with everything, the hardest task is to get started.  So where do you start?  She suggests starting with a eulogy.

1.  What would you like people to say about you at your funeral?

In other words, if you could be there and look back on your life, what would be the most important achievements for you?  What sort of person would you have been?  How would you have spent your time?

We all have greatness inside us, but most of us fail to recognize it and to live it.  Achieving that greatness is our only purpose in life, and it’s different for each individual.  The secret is know where our greatness lies and to express it.

As Juniper says: “The key is: start living your life so that you will actually accomplish your goals and remember to enjoy every moment.”

2.  So how do you set these goals?

She suggests you start with family, travel, professional, personal development, mindset, education, spiritual, hobbies, charity, and recreation. You may think of more – the more aspects of life you touch on, the fuller your life will be!

I was listening yesterday to a recording that Mark Victor Hansen made back in the 90s.  He claims to have more goals than anyone: hundreds of them, in fact.  For me, that would be far too many.

3. Now fine tune your list.

Fill in the details and condense as necessary.

My attention span only allows for about three goals at a time, so I would combine several of the topics that Juniper suggests.  Since travel is a hobby for me, I might combine travel, hobbies and recreation into one category, but still have more than one goal for them.  In the end, it’s whatever works best for you – they’re your goals!

4. Next, build a timeline.

Check through your list and decide what you want to achieve in the next 10 years, 5 years, 2 years, 1 year. How about this month? Now you have a ten year plan!

By this time, your goals will be S*M*A*R*T goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Risky and Timely.  “Risky” is where most of us tend to slip back, but remember these goals are meant to reflect your dreams.  And it doesn’t cost any more to dream big than dream small, but it’s a lot more rewarding.

5. Finally, you reach the most important step: Take ACTION!

Break your monthly goals down further and create a to-do list for this week. What can you do each day to further your goals? If you can get one thing done on your list, then you’re a step further to making those dreams become reality!

Setting Life Goals is a task that most of us shy away from (at least, I know I do!)  – Juniper shows us how to go about it in such a way that these goals are in alignment with whom we are and whom we choose to be.  Too often in the past I have set goals because I believed they were what I should do, rather than what I chose to do.  I also tend to forget that life goals change over time: sometimes because we reach them and sometimes because our desires change.  Nothing wrong with that: that’s what growth is about.

Thank you, Juniper, for this excellent post.  Now all I need do is act on this advice.  How about you?

A Helping Hand

Sometimes we all need a helping hand.  I received this e-mail from a friend today, and immediately realized that I wanted to post it here as a reminder of that fact.  I hope that you will enjoy the story as much as I did!

Something cool happened in downtown San Antonio this week. Michael R. is an accounting clerk who works there in a second story office. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.

Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning, Michael watched as the mother duck encouraged her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off. Office work came to a standstill as everyone gathered to watch.

The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn’t stand to watch this risky effort nine more times! He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling, near its mother, was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter, ready to help.

As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it down it by its momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful leap. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was trying to help her babies.)

One by one the babies continued to jump.. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy downtown sidewalk traffic came to a standstill.. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother.

At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River , site of the famed “River Walk.” The on looking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother’s approval, and loaded them in the container.. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River . The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight, all the way.

As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping in the river and quacking loudly. At the water’s edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after their adventurous ride.

All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking.

At last, all present and accounted for: “We’re all together again. We’re here! We’re here!”

And here’s a family portrait before they head outward to further adventures…


Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have made it alone without lots of helping hands. I think it gives the name of San Antonio’s famous “River Walk” a whole new meaning!

It’s Not Always Easy!

Nashville

Sometimes we need to take a break from work to recognize how tough we can be when we need to.  I took a mini-vacation last week and went to Nashville.  The occasion was the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday, April 24.

Now you need to understand that I’m a fair weather runner.  Yes, I trained for the half marathon – you don’t just go out for 13.1 miles at my age without training for it – but if it was too cold, too rainy or too hot I’d either stay on the treadmill or take a day off.  After all, it’s supposed to be fun, isn’t it?

Maybe that was why I wasn’t really prepared for the weather we had.  Last year, I ran the Country Music Half Marathon on the hottest April day on record!  It was 95 degrees when I finished.  According to one runner, he had to dodge the fallen runners lying on the road at one point – they had all been moved on by the time I got there!

This year, the weather had another surpise for us.

At the start, it was cloudy and mlld.  The forecast was threatening rain, and I was concerned that I would be rained on while awaiting the start.  Since I’m in one of the last corrals, starting about an hour after the elite runners, this could mean standing around wet and cold for an hour or more before the run – not a good way to start!

Fortunately, though, the weather held up, and it actually got quite warm during the first few miles of the run.  I started too fast, but was excited to see my time was looking better than last year.  It wasn’t too long, though, before I knew that I would need to ease off a bit if I was going to finish the race.

Then we saw the buses coming by and heard an announcement that they would be picking up the slower runners and taking them to the finish.  Bad weather was coming, they said …  But the buses later returned, apparently empty – just as I was thinking a ride back might be nice!

About mile 8 it started to rain – just a light drizzle that felt refreshing.  “This is OK”, I thought, and hoped it would not get worse.  A mile or two later, though, the temperature dropped, the wind got up and the police were warning us that we should think about taking shelter, as a tornado was on the way!

Some people took shelter, but the valiant (or stupid?) continued to battle on.  Of course, I was one of them – by now I just wanted to get it over with.  Only another three or four miles to go …

Soon after, they announced that they were cutting the marathon short.  I felt really sorry for the runners who had trained for 26.2 miles and were only allowed 15 or 20 – what a disappointment.  At least they let us finish the half.

It was around mile ten that the weather really hit.  Strong, gusty winds and rain that was so hard it stung my arms.  I splashed on through water that was several inches deep. and finally arrived at the finish feeling like a drowned rat!

As I sit here sneezing and coughing, I think “Hey, ain’t that just the way it is?”  Nobody said it would be easy, but the point is to hang in there and know that it will always get better!  And to know that we’re doing what others won’t do, as Jim Rohn said, so we can have what they won’t have!

Finish