Sunday, August 21, 2022

What is Your Treasure?


Growing up in a family of ten on one income, even way back in the fifties and sixties, was tough. We didn’t have much, but we had plenty. Ironic, isn’t it?

We wore hand-me-downs, and mom patched holes in our jeans. Dad repainted bicycles. We had sports to play, books to read, a radio to listen to, and a TV to watch. Mom made sure we had food on the table, prepared and baked by her.

We had a backyard to play in, woods to explore, and a river to raft on. Church each Sunday- left side, third or fourth pew. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, though I didn’t excel or pursue scouting. I was into other things. Sports. Music. And school.

We had neighborhood friends to play with, but mostly, we had each other.

And then, somehow, I lost my treasure!

In college, I had a passion for coaching, but in order to coach, one should be (or so I thought) a teacher. I had always wanted to coach football alongside my brother, Jack. He’d coach defense, and I’d coach offense. Not to happen. I became a basketball coach by chance. The phone call to come interview stated I would teach social studies and be a head football coach, assistant basketball coach. Fine with me. Got to the interview, and about half-way through, they informed me they had hired a head football coach, and offered me head basketball with assistant football. I didn’t think much about it, and I said yes!

Thought I had found my treasure!

Always wanting better, always wanting bigger, I coached three years at the high school level, then two at the college level while earning a master’s degree in counseling, then went back to high school for five more. Tiring of it, I became a counselor.

Did that for many years- loved it. But I had wanted more: money, a bigger job, bigger whatever, so I became an administrator. Assistant at a large school for one year, principal at a small school my next. Principal at a bigger school for my next stop, and then principal for an even bigger school at my last stop.

Always wanting bigger, better. More pay. Bigger and nicer house. More. The thing is, at first it was for me. A bigger name, more recognition, all that … stuff.

The treasure I thought I had wasn’t much after all!

Then, I got married and had three beautiful kids. Everything shifted- as it should have. Maybe I matured. Maybe I evolved. Maybe I learned. Who knows?

My life became about them: Kim, Wil, Hannah, and Emily. Whatever I did, I wanted it for them! To make them happy, to see them successful, to ensure their lives beyond our own family.

I began doing for them, not me. Instead of money and recognition and all the “trappings” (and I emphasize trappings!) of my own success, it shifted and became about Kim and the kids! They have become and are my treasure.

And how satisfying it is now, and looking back on my life before Kim and my kids, how unsatisfying it all was then. What I thought was my treasure wasn’t. 

I think my semi-retirement has helped. No pressure. No paperwork or politics that come with the office of the principal. No major decisions other than what to eat that day. Nothing major except can the laundry wait one more day or should it be done now? 

I get up early on weekdays and do my part-time job at the high school- love it! I come home and I write- love it! I text the girls each day and many times throughout the day. I love hearing about their lives and what they’ve been up to. And Kim and I talk. We spend time together. Our biggest decision is what to watch on TV or what to eat for dinner.

My treasure became not about me- the me in my younger years, but has become about them- my family, my wife and kids- my true loves. They’ve become my life. They’ve become my treasure!

I’m so much happier for it. I’m so much healthier for it. I now have real and lasting treasure! Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I have a new gig!

I was asked, and I accepted a position of Story Writer for Acorn TV. I write short stories or submit my books to them and they decided if they want to develop them into a TV series or movie. Good News! One of my short stories, Changes and Secrets, is going into production. They are flying in a crew of fifteen and a production manager to scout out locations, production design, and production schedule, and discuss with me the script, and possible changes. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

I mentioned in my last post that my ninth book, Fan Mail, has been accepted by my publisher, Black Rose Writing. The publication date is March 30, 2023If you check out my author website at www.jrlewisauthor.blog/ you will find more about me, my writing, my books, my new gig as Story Writer, and my new book, Fan Mail.

While you wait for Fan Mail to hit, I hope you take the time to enjoy my other work. The last four books have won twelve awards, while my Lives Trilogy has won two.

If you have read one of my books, I would like to ask a favor. If you could go online and write a review or, at the least, give a rating on the book, it would be of great help. Both a review and a rating would be wonderful. The review could be one or two lines. It doesn’t have to be long. Just let others know you read it and hopefully, enjoyed it. Obviously, 4s and 5s are the best. Thanks for this consideration.

Connect with me on Social Media: 
Author Websitewww.jrlewisauthor.blog/
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at: 
www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author  
Amazon at: 
www.amazon.com/Joseph-Lewis/e/B01FWB9AOI /

Blaze In, Blaze Out: A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read! A BestThriller’s Editor’s Pick!

Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko, the head of a Ukrainian crime family, meant the end. It was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. Andruko hired contract killers to go after and kill O’Connor and Eiselmann. The killers can be anyone and be anywhere. They can strike at any time. They care nothing of collateral damage. Andruko believes a target is a target, and in the end, the target must die. https://amzn.to/34lNllP

Betrayed: Two Top Shelf Awards: 1st Place Fiction-Mystery; and Runner-Up Fiction-Crime; A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!

Betrayed is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! https://amzn.to/3AfUUpS

A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. Greed can be all-consuming, and seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the hunted. https://amzn.to/2EKHudx

Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent, and methodical. So far, he has murdered eight people. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement. https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm

Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by BestThrillers.com 

Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! http://bit.ly/2WO3kka

They found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. A violent gang, MS-13, controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo Fuentes to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay. Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKF7696  
 
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
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 live in separate parts of the country, the lives of 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 Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out. 
https://amzn.to/34nXBH5
 
Book One, Stolen Lives: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards!
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 will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved. 
https://amzn.to/3oMo4qZ  
 
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. 
https://amzn.to/2RAYIk2 
 
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and death? 
http://bit.ly/SplinteredLives  

Photo Courtesy of Bjorn Pierre and Unsplash.

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe