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When I wrote my book, “Nobody Knows, They Just Want You to Think They Do” back in 2018, a book really wasn’t on my radar.

My project started out as just an exercise in telling my life story so that I could possibly pass it along to my posterity. But after a year or two, I thought I would expand my life story to include what I thought about various aspects of life.

Just months after my book came out, my son Dusty passed away unexpectedly from a spontaneous dissection of the right iliac artery. In an instant, my life changed forever.

Judy and I had just sold our home in AZ and purchased one in Southern UT days prior to Dusty’s passing. So not only were we now dealing with the loss of our son, but we were also on our way to a new area where we really didn’t know too many people. Though grieving the loss of our son, and in an unfamiliar place, we made the decision to get involved so that we might find friends and hopefully a community. We went online searching out hiking groups, softball leagues, pickleball folks, and others who shared our views on life. In time, we made several wonderful friendships that have grown exponentially ever since our arrival.

Roughly a year after my son’s death, I felt that I wanted to write a chapter about losing a child. This exercise was very therapeutic and gave me the opportunity to share something more than just an opinion. It gave me a chance to tell the world about my son, and how Judy and I learned to cope with our loss. This life therapy became chapter twenty-four in my book.

If I’ve learned anything from the life stories of my podcast guests, it’s that nobody gets through this life without experiencing challenges. Some seem to have received more than their share, but everyone has them. As I’ve heard these stories, there seem to be a couple of underlying themes relative to those who’ve experienced life-changing challenges. One, they appear to have made a conscious decision to still find joy in living. Two, and this dovetails number one; they seem to have embraced the belief that the quality of one’s life, is determined by the quality of one’s relationships. So, they have a wide circle of friends.

These are my thoughts, and you may think differently, and that’s ok. I learn every day through reading, listening, and observation. It’s often said that life is a journey, but I like to think of life more like, continuing education. Let’s keep an open mind and a quest for learning.