NOTE: To view all photos related to this story, download the PDF below.
Oops! I have not released the December calendar... and today is December 1st... so I guess I better do so!
I do apologize because I have not finished any articles to share in his update. So I hope you don’t mind if I share a story anyway - one that, at least for me. represents a highlight of 2021 as well as a few reminders of some valuable life lessons.
In the April 8, 2021, issue of this Local Cancer Community Update I shared:
On the first day of spring this year (March 21st) I gathered my kites and a lawn chair and headed out alone to Firehouse Park to fly a few kites.
I spent about two hours getting six single-line kites in the air at the same time (by anchoring them with ground screws). I was constantly moving (bending down, looking up, making adjustments from one kite to the next). As I packed things up to head home, I questioned why I brought a lawn chair! 😊
Photo (see attached): “Tim’s One-Man Kite Show” on March 21st! My goal? Ten or more kites in the air at the same time!
The intent of ST&BF is to allow opportunities for area cancer patients/ survivors (& co-survivors) to connect with one another while also introducing them to a variety of healthy activities and encouraging them to “Survive, Thrive & Be Fit” following a cancer diagnosis and for the rest of their lives! As a cancer survivor myself, perhaps no one has benefitted more than I from “Great Heights with Delightful Kites”!
I am happy to say that since then a good number of area cancer patients/survivors have enjoyed experiencing “Great Heights with Delightful Kites!”
After a failed attempt earlier this month to surpass my previous P.R. (Personal Record) of seven kites in the air at the same time (the six single-line kites in the prior photo along with one dual-line kite – not pictured) I have been watching the forecast for good conditions for another attempt. Last week Tuesday provided the perfect opportunity! So, I took the day off from work, packed up my kites and headed to Firehouse Park. This time I left the lawn chair at home.
Long story short, this photo tells the story:
Photo Above (see attached): If you look closely, you can see ten kites in the air!
Just as I was getting ready to launch the tenth kite, I was approached by a young man and his dog who, curiously, asked what I was doing.
He introduced himself to me as Stu Zywicki of Social Dog Marketing and he was in the area doing some drone work when my kites caught his attention. “I thought I’d find a bunch of people flying kites,” he remarked. But it was only me!
He asked if he could send his drone up and take some video... and I welcomed it!
Photo (see attached): Stu Zywicki of Social Dog Marketing prepares to launch his video drone.
Photo (see attached): The drone before take-off!
We chatted a bit. He told me about his relatively new business venture (Social Dog Marketing) and how much he enjoys his work. I shared my enthusiasm for the work I do in our local cancer community. He told me more about his drone. I told him more about my kites.
Eventually, he headed out and I began to pull down the kites. In the end, it took me almost four hours to launch, anchor, pull down and pack up all ten kites.
Before I went to bed that night, I received an e-mail from Stu that included some video from his drone. It was wonderful to have this day documented in this way! I am not very tech-savvy and not sure how to share the video with you, but if you would like to see it, let me know. Otherwise, here is a cropped photo taken from one of the videos Stu sent (with Lake Michigan in the background):
It may sound silly, but this turned out to be a very meaningful day for me... mostly, I think, because the day represented some of, what I consider to be, the most important lessons of this life!
Life is short. Don’t take life so seriously. He who has the most fun wins. Let the kid inside of you out. Kite-flying is fun... that’s all that matters. I think this world would be a better place if we all spent more time and energy on the things that bring us joy!
Move Your Body through Play!
Physical play is fun, it is healthy, it is healing, it is good for you. Dance, skip, hop, roll around in the grass. The body was made to move... so move it. Don’t think of it as “working out”. It shouldn’t be work... it should be fun... it should be play!
Even as Wisconsin’s whimsical winter weather approaches, all one needs to do is check the forecast, dress accordingly, and maybe bring an extra layer (just in case). There is no reason we cannot continue to enjoy time outdoors over the winter months. And, as I learned last winter, snowshoes and kites are a good combination (photo by Bruce Becker)!
Feeling connected to each other is a basic human need. Stu and I made a connection. I hope we will connect again and we both express interested in doing so. Even if we don’t, he has impacted my life! Thanks Stu!
Simpler is better!
Life can be complicated. But it does not have to be. As my Dad would often advise, “Keep it Simple Stupid!” Sometimes, often times, the simplest things... the simplest days... are the most meaningful and memorable!
Do Good... in Everything You Do!
It may seem silly to consider a “personal record” in an activity as silly as kite-flying. But I think it is important that we all continue to push ourselves to be as good as we can... in everything we do. I am already planning for eleven... or twelve... or maybe thirteen kites next year!
Albert Einstein said it well: “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” It really is a choice... perhaps the most important choice that you will make... over and over again... with every new moment, experience, or opportunity. Choose wisely!
There is a Swedish Proverb that states, “A joy shared is a joy doubled. A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.” Thank you for allowing me to share my story and the accompanying joy over these past few pages. If you have a story, a joy, or a sorrow about your personal cancer experience that you care to share... I welcome you to contact me or join us an any of our upcoming activities!View PDF