Friday, January 20, 2017

For Yourself

My family got an abrupt wake up call over the Christmas Holidays.

My brother, Jim, just four years older than me, is an active guy. He owns an RV park and he and his son-in-law do most, if not all, of the work. In addition, Jim keeps track of his steps, averaging about 17,000 to 18,000 steps a day.

He and his wife were in San Diego with his family and he and Laurie, his wife, wanted to take his grand kids and their own kids to Disneyland. A family Christmas Holiday. He and Laurie’s gift.

Jim was taking a walk and he noticed that his back was hurting. Annoying to say the least, was that fact that as he walked, he noticed that his shoulders rose to an uncomfortable position. He would stop out of discomfort, not because he was out of breath. Because he was in so much pain, he decided that on the eve of his excursion to Disneyland, he asked Laurie to take him to the hospital so he could see what was wrong with his back and what was up with his shoulders.

Jim was admitted on the spot, much to his surprise and not understanding why for just a back ache. Long story short, Jim had at least one heart “episode” and was about to have another. The doctor told him that if he had gone to Disneyland with his family as he had planned and had not gone to the hospital, the chances were better than average that he would have suffered a massive heart attack and Jim wouldn’t be with us.

Sobering, and as I said, an abrupt wake up call.

He’s doing fine and to be honest, Jim is a fighter and if anything, resilient and persistent. So, a quadruple bypass later, he’s out of the hospital and doing well.

That’s the good news . . . for him, and for our family, especially his.

Why do I bring this up?

In my writing, I’ve always asked us to consider others. To be kind. To be compassionate. To be gentle. To care. To extend ourselves above and beyond ourselves. And I get enough feedback to hear and to witness you doing just that. I think caring for others helps not only the “other” but it helps us as well.

But I think we can . . . and should . . . do more . . . For Yourself. For You!

You see, if we don’t stop to do some good for us as individuals, I don’t think we can adequately do as much good for others. Yes, helping and doing good for others does help us, but I think we need to go beyond that.

So I ask you this day, what are you doing For Yourself? What is your passion? What is it that you desire the most and because of time, or effort, or whatever the excuse is at this moment, what are you putting off?
We need to take care of ourselves. We need to make sure we are in the best possible place to help and to care and to go above and beyond. We need to be kind to ourselves, too. As selfish as that sounds, we . . . you and I . . . need to do For Yourself, too. Not exclusively, but making sure you get what you deserve, too.

There is a lot to do out there.

Hike. Read. Write. Sing. Listen to music. Be in and with the moment when you are with your loved ones . . . or just by yourself.

Take care of and listen to your body. Be in tune with yourself, with nature, because I believe your “gut doesn’t lie.” It never does. A professor once told me to “Go with your gut! If you have a hunch, bet a bunch, because your gut doesn’t lie.” And neither does your heart. I do care about each of you, I really do. I want you to be around a long time. I mean that. So please do For Yourself. It will always help you to keep doing good for others. I promise. I have that hunch, and I’ve already bet a bunch. Something to think about . . .

For My Readers:
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If you like Thriller/Mystery fiction, check out what other readers have said about my novels.
Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy
“Joseph Lewis has created a cast of characters that you grow to care about. Their story is filled with twists and turns that keep you reading. When the book ends you will be left anticipating the next one! This was a story I could not put down!”  “I am really glad I happened to see this Trilogy while looking through my Kindle unlimited series. Great strong characters, especially George and Brett. Looking forward to reading more from this author. Started Taking Lives and immediately turned the pages to get to Stolen Lives.”

Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.           

Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy
“I couldn’t put it down, a really good book!” “Great book! I can't wait for next one!” “This book is excellent. The whole series is definitely worth your time.” “Expertly written. I ended up buying all the books in the series and am waiting eagerly for the final installment Splintered Lives."

Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.           

Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy
“Engaging characters you care about. A story that is fast-paced and holds your attention to the point you cannot put it down. Great finish to a great series.”

A 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t know it. Their family vacation turns into a trip to hell. Out gunned and outnumbered, can this boy protect his father and brothers? Without knowing who these men are? Or how many there are? Or when they might come for him?       

Taking Lives, Prequel to the Lives Trilogy – only .99 cents on Amazon
“Great book by Joseph Lewis. Many twists and turns. Fasted paced.”  “Couldn’t put the book down.”  “Great story can't wait to read the next one!” “Great book! I really enjoyed it. Good author!” “Each character is developed thoroughly, igniting the reader's interest and stirring emotions. The frustration of the detective flows to the reader. The young boys are endearing.”

FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.  

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