Morning Reflections


There was a time many years ago when I woke up exhausted every week day, crawled out of bed at about 5:30am and faced a daunting and life-sucking 1 hour and 40 minute 1-way commute to work, doing a job I came to dislike, and then to dread. It was hard on my wife and me. She was left all alone in a strange town with two young children, and her friends and family were two hours away. It was a low point in our lives and marriage.

As I drove to work I felt trapped and stupid for ever having gotten myself and my family into the situation. Every penny we could scrape together had been sunk into the relocation and new home, the house wasn’t appreciating, closing costs at both ends meant we’d lose everything if we quickly sold the house, and the closest job I could get was an insanely long distance away. We endured it for two long, long years. (As I’ve said in earlier posts, I’m a slow-learner.)

Fast-forward about 35 years. My morning started with a kiss from my wife (always a good way to start my day). Our dogs came over to snuggle me and get their first scratch of the day. I got some coffee and began my commute. It took all of about 15 seconds. I “work” from home. I put quotes around that word because what I do professionally feels a lot more like play and pleasure than what most people would consider “work”. It even started as a hobby, then friends and family asked me to do it for them, then they convinced me that I should do it professionally, so I now I get paid to do what I love: Managing investment portfolios for Clients, and advising people who like to do the investing themselves.

A window in my office is open and I hear the birds singing. I look out to see my small redwood grove and fern garden in all its glory as the sun filters through and the wind plays to a beat only it knows, creating a slow- moving kaleidoscope of many shades green with reddish-brown accents.

I sip my coffee and turn on my computer. My constant companion, a chocolate lab named Duke, is nestled at my feet. My “work” day has begun.

It took too long for me to figure out that I had much more control of my own destiny than I’d dared to imagine
—as I said, I’m a slow learner. It took a lot of effort, some risk, and the courage to dream and to take action every day toward turning my dreams into reality, but with the encouragement and support of friends and family my dreams have come true.

You see, although I’m a slow learner, I often do eventually “get” the lessons that life so patiently tries to teach.

As I reflect back on less happy times such as that grueling commute and life of so many years ago, I’m reminded once again as to how blessed I am. And immensely grateful.

I wish the same for you; that you’re dreams have or will come true.

About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and the beauty of kindness and nature.
This entry was posted in Abundance, Courage, Creativity, Dogs & Other Wonderful Creatures, Education, Family "Fun", Friendship, Generosity, Gratitude, Growth/Learning, LIfe Lessons, Observations, Optimism, Random Thoughts, True Stories I've Written and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Morning Reflections

  1. GinaV says:

    Love this post. I feel the same about my gratitude, that I can work from home, with a kiss from my husband to start the day and my darling dog at my feet while I work. Thank you for sharing.

  2. russtowne says:

    Thank you, GinaV. Sometimes it feels like life can’t get any better than this.

    And then occassionally, out of the blue, one of those OTHER types of days/weeks and sometimes months shows up that remind me why it is important to enjoy, cherish, and be grateful for the wonderful ones.

    And if I get out of my own head even briefly I remember that there are billions of people who’d gladly trade their lives of poverty, addiction, slavery, depression, disabilities, incarceration, ill-health, chronic pain, etc, for even just my WORST days.

    Then, instead of wanting to wallow in my own Pity Party, I realize how silly I’m being, and begin to throw a Gratitude Ball.

    • GinaV says:

      Wow this is so well put! Great reply. And so true to remember how many people would still trade places with us on our worst days. I have heard the expression Pity Party but now I’ll add ~ switch it over to a “Gratitude Ball” Brilliant!

  3. Paws To Talk says:

    Russ this is a great post. Good for you!
    Bella and DiDi

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