After an 11 month hiatus from the day to day grind of life both my Dr. and UPS’s have cleared me back to full duty. I’m sure most people wouldn’t be looking forward to loading trucks at 4:30 AM but believe it or not, I am. When I look back on the two decades in which we raised our family, it would be very easy to focus on all the hard times and how we never caught a break to be able to be truly successful or wealthy. Life was definitely a struggle. I lost one career of ten years to take better care of my daughters as well as developing an anxiety disorder due to exhaustion and over-work. That’s right, this supposed tough guy had an anxiety disorder. I still shake my head in disbelief at that one. Well there’s no keeping me down so I just decide to teach myself to install hardwood floors and over the next ten years I develop my skills into the beginning of a successful small business. Then the economy crashed and my little 4 hour a day part-time job at UPS became my only source of income. The financial hardships that followed are a big part of what tore apart a great marriage. Top all of that with spinal fusion surgery in 2008 and total bicep tendon repair last year and it looks pretty bleak. My station in life right now is nowhere near what it was ever supposed to be. If we actually go back to the beginning I was supposed to be an Aerospace Engineer. I was accepted to two really good schools but didn’t have the money. So why am I sharing all this negativity? Because it’s only negative from one perspective. Let’s just shift our viewpoint and focus on the positives.
First, during all this struggle, we raised four terrific kids. What better measure of success is there than that? I would love to have been able to give them so much more but they all have an incredible work ethic that you don’t see in many of their generation. I know that this value alone will serve to make their lives better than anything I could have provided for them. While we were never able to buy a house that also has a VERY positive side. At one point we were pre-approved for many hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy one but with the size of our family and the ridiculous price of houses we decided not to join the rush and over-spend. A few years later millions of people were wishing they had made the same decision when the economy crashed. I remember both of us being so sad about not buying at the time but we would have lost everything. We were also able to take the severance I got from losing my first career and have our wedding with our family in Jamaica. This was one of the great highlights of my life and it is a memory that will never stop making me happy.
When I got the call this week that UPS wanted me to be examined by their doctor not just for my arm but my Parkinson’s as well, I was ready for another knockdown. “We’re sorry Mr. Robinson, we just don’t feel that you’re able to function well enough to drive for a living anymore.” With my history, that’s what I was ready to hear. Instead what I heard was “You’re fully qualified and ready to go.” and from my surgeon Dr. Tortosa (the absolute BEST) “It’s been a real honor to work on you. Keep doing what you’re doing.”. To my surprise I’m NOT losing everything and things are looking up. While this has been a hell of a knockdown, I’m far from out. What I want you take from this is the knowledge that you can turn your trials into triumphs and riches just by changing your perspective. Focus on what you have not what’s been taken from you. All I have to show for myself is my values and my family. In that respect I am wealthy beyond measure and actually proud of my life. Now it’s time to get up off the mat again and start working towards that other kind of success. Now you know why I’m HAPPY to be going back to work.
Thanks for reading all of this, it really shows your perseverance. I hope it helps. Now go get ’em.