Life Can Only Be Understood Backwards; But It Must Be Lived Forwards - Kierkegaard.
My name is Ralph Yaniz, and I will be blogging to you about life as a Regional Vice President for AARP’s mountain region which stretches from Texas to Montana and includes New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming. It’s a big region, and being that I’m Chicago based I rack up lots of miles. In fact, with O’Hare as my main hub, I’m considering adding “professional delayed plane waiter” to my resume.
I was born and raised in Chicago (Go Cubs – yes the lovable Flubs!). I am the oldest of seven and from my parents I bring a real mix of cultures – Spanish/Cuban, Lebanese and Basque – and maybe a few other things lost long ago in the mixing process. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor for more than two decades, I worked many years with individuals and families. I also spent substantial time in corporations training on issues like stress management and dealing with change. This was real life, and yet for many people I worked with, there was a great amount of joy and happiness in life, too.
I have always been struck by the power of the Kierkegaard quote above because for me, life is really all about meaning and purpose. And yet, like for so many of us, it’s often hard to really know where life is headed, especially when unforeseen events occur, when obstacles get in our way, and when we realize that we can’t always control everything that happens to us. This became a real test for me when seven years ago I learned that I have a form of muscular dystrophy (now actually identified and goes by a couple of names – LGMD2L or ANO5). I have had considerable muscle loss in my legs and arms. So, in essence, what many of us will go through in a normal aging process I am experiencing in an earlier, accelerated manner. Going from being a lifelong weight lifter and avid bike rider who went over 3000 miles per year to a person who struggles some days to make it up the steps has been intense. I definitely have a new perspective and understanding. In AARP terms a “life reimagined” if you will.
Blogging is a new foray for me. I’m excited to learn the wordpress platform as I go, and hope to use it as a way to stay up on technology. I am very excited about what’s coming ahead as I join you on a regular basis and hopefully hear from you regarding your own life experiences. I look forward to the journey and hope to learn a lot. Feel free to leave comments below or you can tweet me @ralphyaniz