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Date Posted: 20:21:19 05/06/02 Mon
Author: Cari
Subject: Hey Zaz
In reply to: zazoo 's message, "Re: If anybody is out there...." on 18:09:53 05/06/02 Mon

You know this sleep thing is something I have fought with all my life. My mother says it is genetic and comes from her and her parents. My materal grandmother fought all her life with feeling most natural and most rested on a nocturnal sleep cycle. She would stay up after the family was in bed, do all her housework, sleep from 7 am when the kids went to school until noon, work in the afternoon and spend time with the family in the evening. My mother and maternal grandfather never slept more than 4-5 hours a night. They went to bed between midnight and 2 am and got up between 5 and 6 am everyday. My mom is still basically that way, although she does take naps occassionally.

I have been a hard-driving workaholic since I was a kid. I took extra classes in school and went to summer school just because I loved to learn, loved new challenges, and thought every moment had to be filled with doing something productive. I did extra chores because I loved how it pleased my folks and I liked the time spent working alongside them. I worked 2 fulltime and 1 partime job to get the money for college and I work all the way through college. When I went into the work world as a professional, I always took the most challenging paths. I didn't just run one business. At one time, I was in charge of 4 corporations.

I used to have a bedroom/rec room/nursery at the office for the kids. We even had a shower bath and a kitchenette. When they were young and not in school, I had nannies in the daytime and early evening, took a break to be with them in the mid and later evening and then worked all night at my desk designing, putting together work plans, schedules, checking invoices, the bookkeeper's work, writing instructions and communications, etc. Sometimes I'd fall asleep at my desk, sometimes I'd just not sleep. Usually one night a week I would catch up on the exhaustion. In the mornings I'd get the kids ready for school from the office or we would go home and get ready there.

Was all that a good idea, not in the least. I finally have started to learn some lessons from the life I led, but I'm still learning. I thought I was doing what I had been taught to do, work hard and build for the future. I thought I was building a secure future for my kids, but what I didn't see is that they needed me more than they needed the things I could give them and they needed me while they were young not when I was ready to slow down. I thought that I could control my destiny, but I learned that life and business are too fragile to be controlled and the best I could hope for was to appreciate where I was and what I had at any given moment.

I was once young, strong, and worth nearly 3 million. Now I'm all too aware of being older, physically and emotionally almost burned out, and nearly broke because I tried to hard to keep the wrong things. But I and my children are happier than we've ever been and I am more aware of God's blessings than I ever was. Unfortunate changes in the economy, the nature of the business, the bankruptcy of major customers and my own burning out took away what I thought I had worked a lifetime to acquire and couldn't do without. But God showed me that what was most precious was still in my life and waiting for me to place my focus where it had belonged - on my faith, my children, my family, my friends and my community. In those places are riches that can't be lost.

I still haven't broken myself of keeping long hours, doing something, anything just to feel productive, and of over-filling the plate of responsiblity, but I am working on it. Your words were properly offered and well received. I can't chance habits I've developed over a lifetime, but I'm chipping away at them and that's something. My father's workaholic ways were cured when he died suddenly and quite unexpectedly from a heart-attack at 60. Maybe God had a hand in changing my professional path before I made the same mistakes he did.

As to the question about the lake. We have two places at the lake side by side, my mom's and mine. This year, I may sell mine and take over hers. They are each park campers, Fleetwood's, about 8' x 35' on permanent rented sites. Each has attached large florida room type enclosed porches, and extra sleeping areas, sheds and large shaded yard areas with a campfire area. Our family has been renting these sites for over 30 years. On one side of us is a shaded park and public docking area, on the other side is a heavily wooded natural area, behide are more campsites and in front is the lake. The lake is part of a 5 lake chain with 3 fishing lakes and two skiing/speed-boating lakes. We swim right off our own dock, plus their is a public beach within walking distance. It's very nice to us, but for some it might seem too modern, and I guess, to others too rustic. It's about an hour's drive from our home. We have a floating raft in our swimming area, a fishing boat, a pontoon for meandering about the lakes and a speedboat for me to act like a maniac and the kids to go tubing. It's all a lot of fun.

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