President George H. W. Bush had a small plague affixed to the stone wall of his Kennebunkport home in Maine that simply had the four letters, CAVU. The letters stood for the areonautic term of, Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited. President Bush was World War II Navy pilot. He said in a letter to his children that, ‘My life is CAVU…and it will be until the day I die.’
Really our lives are often limited by our own self imposed chains and weights that we encumber ourselves with. Life is a Horn of Plenty if we choose to avail the bounty that is before us. It is easy to let others place limits on our abilities…or to fasten the yoke around our own neck…until it feels normal and somehow right for our environment and our station in life. In volunteer work there are so many things that need to be done…and often we feel unqualified or that someone else is more qualified than we are for the important task. Each journey begins with a first step.
Never put off to tomorrow what you can do today. This includes adventures. If you want to write a novel…get started today! If you want to travel…buy the tickets and pack your suitcase. Do not plan for retirement fun…many folks do not live to retire. When there is a task to be done and you would like to attempt it…do it…raise your hand and say, ‘Here I am Lord!’
I wanted to be a writer since childhood. After I retired we visited our friends, Margo and Jeff in Nice, France. I was inspired by Margo’s dedication to writing her blog and publishing her books. To hear her speak of her passion for writing and to see, first hand, her writing studio…I was hooked…and I returned to the States to write, almost on a daily basis since that 2014 month long visit.
At 29 years old the superintendent of Building Services and the Associate Director of the Physical Plant at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale begged me to take the assistant superintendent of Building Services vacancy. I did not really want it…I felt unqualified…I had not held the position of foreman for little more than a year. But, I thought if not me…who…if not now…when ? So, I accepted the position and held it for 12 years and subsequently became the superintendent of the department for the last 13 years of my career. My career goal was to become a foreman in the department and I had no visualization of holding either of the management positions.
Accepting a task or a position or a lifelong desire will cause you to step up to the plate and give the task more than you realized that you had to offer. I watched with some interest…several individuals that were hired at SIUC who were lauded and praised for their infinite abilities and skills and how we were so fortunate to have their presence on our Campus…only to see them leave for greener pastures in 1 or 2 years. All the while others that went unseen…worked diligently and without praise or accolades in the worthy accomplishments of enriching our University and subsequently the entire Southern Illinois region.