After the Storm: Moving into the Next Big Adventure

If you follow me here or at, you likely know that I was recently diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV), a rare and slow progressing blood cancer. No, I’m not going to regularly post about my condition or let it dictate who I am and what I write about. But it has been a life-changing event and it’s got me to thinking about what I want to do next.

A Return to Performing Music?

You may know me as a writer, but long before I blogged or wrote books, I wrote and performed songs. When my daughter was born in 2005 and I found myself in the position of being a single dad, I had to forego performing. I have continued practicing and writing songs. Annie is now 13 years old. I see a time in the not-so-distant future in which I could perform music at regional coffee shops, wineries, and breweries.

Something happened about the time I was diagnosed with PV. I returned to working on a style of music I hadn’t played much since my late 20s and early 30s: The Blues.

I also found an old 1967 Gibson LG-1 acoustic guitar at about one-third the usual cost. (It has one crack but stilll plays well.) These guitars are known for their classic country-blues vibe.

To add to coincidence, I recently had read a Willie Nelson book in which he made a reference to “cowboy zen.” Just for fun I checked to see if the domain was available. It wasn’t, so I bought About a week ago it dawned on me that Cowboy Zen might make a great name for a country-blues act. (Note: I decided to make Cowboy Zen into a poetry site, but I have other plans for a music site.) So it feels like some things are lining up for future musical performance opportunities.

Tinkering Around Home and Beyond

I’m also a home owner. While I enjoy writing and blogging, so far it hasn’t provided me with much return on my investment. When one is diagnosed with a long-term disease, it promotes some long-term thinking. Although I’ll continue to write and blog, I’ll be devoting more time to playing music. I’ll also devote more time to home improvement.

Why home improvement? Because it works into my longterm plan. I’m only 10 years from retirement age, but I’d actually like to retire on the early side if possible. Think 60-62. That’s only 5-7 years away.

Therefore, I need a financial plan. Improving my home is part of that plan. It will allow me to resell at a higher asking price and gain more equity from the sale of my home. At that point, I’d like to move to a lower-cost region and buy a condo in a downtown region. Either that or the Oregon Coast. We’ll see. People with PV should live in mild climates at low elevations if possible. But the point is that I’m motivated to pay off debt and increase value.

The Next Big Adventure Is Now

Enough of all this talk about the future. The truth is that my next big adventure is NOW. So is yours. It’s not our plans that get us to the place we want to be. It’s our actions. What we choose to do each day, every hour, each moment is important. I’m choosing to move on, to move forward. I encourage you to do the same. Think about the things you really want to accomplish in life. Consider where you want to be in 10 years. Then, simply take action.