Week 20–The Dash

The Dash

Well, readers, this has been a useful concept.  I did my calculation and have come to the projected number of Fall color landscapes that I will be viewing from the mountaintop home in Cashiers is about 26 times.  Hey that’s not bad.  But, hey that’s bad if I don’t live that long.  I used my genetic milestone to come up with that and if I do as well in the longevity department as my father, that’s what it will be.

So the real question is not how long it is but what to do with it.  Og Mandino, as usual, has the answer and we all know scroll V in our sleep:  “I will live this day as if it were my last.”  So what does that really mean to me?

I think I would set the alarm clock for 12:01AM and get going.  Maybe ideally I should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night and my doctor recommended 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise, but I think this last day, if it were my last, would be an all-nighter.

I used to pull all-nighters in college all the time and when taking OB call in training and other times waiting for a baby to be delivered, that wasn’t a big deal.  Of course my effectiveness would decrease as the body and mind fatigued, but this day is a 24hr dash, the last one, after all.

I think Og’s admonishment not to think about the day past and forget about the one that’s not coming is a good one.  After all, that’s history and speculation.  Neither does a body much good when the clock is ticking for this last day.

I think I would spend the first 30 minutes connecting with the Universal Spirit and be thankful for the time that I have had and imagine the future connection with Him and also with the rest of His Universe, here on earth, still working on their dash. I know that through Him we will all still connect and be part of the Force within them. That’s satisfying because my PPN of legacy will remain in this world without me.  My next thoughts would be to make use of the financial freedoms attained through the efforts of the past and spread them like white dandelion seeds blowing from a field in Wisconsin.  There is much that could be done for others.  For my children and grandchildren, for my church, for the people in our Colombian mission, and for my dear wife, Kathy.

Of course, this was all imagined, inspired, and planned years before, but one final check before I  finish the day’s dash will assure that the results have been achieved.  Satisfaction, peace, and happiness.  Bring on the dawn of this day.

I have to share the reason for this topic.  A man whose father had been a mentor of mine in my last network, a juice company, passed away this week at age 39.  His dash abruptly ended a tumultuous life. His father died in a plane crash about two years ago and I watched his downward spiral and his unhappiness which he was unable to deal with.  I’m lucky and/or thankful that I have been able to find help for myself when I recently seemed unable to focus, set my goals and do so with a PMA.  My dash won’t end like his, but it could have.

So I don’t really think this is the day that the dash ends for this soul.  I feel happy, purposed, loved, physically well, and wealthy in more ways than I can count.  And I look forward each day as the monument I build higher and higher attesting that this day is my greatest.

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I was born in the same hospital I trained in almost 65 years ago. Family came from good old Germanic stock matched with my Irish mother's value added good cooking and discipline. I had four brothers and I was the oldest. Education was with the Notre Dame nuns, the Jesuit priests, and then the Holy Cross fathers at Notre Dame. I completed my medical school back in Milwaukee and actually trained in the same hospital I was born in. My best thing that ever happened to me was meeting and then marrying my Kathy, a patient and loving gal who has given me three great sons and a lot of her patience. The story is longer, but for now check out donketterhagen.com for more specifics. We spend our days building a Lyoness shopping network and living in the mountains of North Carolina in the summer and Estero, Florida over the winter. Life is good.

4 thoughts on “Week 20–The Dash”

  1. Don as usual, a wonderful and thoughtful post. I’d make it an all nighter too! I see the relevance in the dash for you this week. The story you shared is so sad. May your choices lead you to Abundance in all aspects of your life, creating a Legacy that outshines the sun!

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