7-17-17 – Four Years Ago

What would you do when death was suddenly a topic on a regular basis? When you realize you have not accomplished things you want to accomplish? When you’ve collected way too much CRAP to take care of?

I love numbers. They’re meaningful to me. 7-17 is a big deal in my world.

In early 2016 we had an epiphany.

ANOTHER friend died. Too young. Leaving his family way too soon.

He was successful – like off the charts successful! He was the kind of wealthy person that you’d never know. Not flashy or boastful. Just humble and kind and always shared his wealth and his experiences with his “people” (aka his friends and family).

I remember sitting on a boat in the marina – the boat he planned to have for his memorial send-off. It’s a blur of details. I felt honored to have had a few experiences with this man and his wife and now I feel that blanket of sadness that he is just gone. And it was a slow death so he could get things in order.

The list of people I know is giant. Last check I had 5000+ contacts in my phone. On top of that I’ve personally met every runner in every race we produced. Then there’s all the races Randy participated in that I was his “crew” and you make friends with all the other crews gutting it out.

I’ve met so many people in Nevada, Utah and now Colorado.

Knowing a lot of people means you’re gonna have death. Regularly. Suddenly. One conversation at the Start Line of a race with a dynamic runner has MEANING to me. Maybe not for them, but for sure it does with me.

I sat there thinking: what is important? What’s happening now that I want to change? What have I not been able to experience that I want to still experience?

Then there’s the other important topics: Last Wishes? A Will or Living Trust? Where will I be buried? Should I be cremated? Who would even come to my funeral?

Now I am older and have lost too many people and they did not all get a chance to finish that list, write down that recipe, decide clearly on their final wishes…nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

First things first: I want to get those EXPERIENCES in my head. I want to drift. Untethered! Free! But HOW?

Both of us have held jobs since we were teens. We were dedicated to our churches and put the responsibilities there above personal fun and experiences repeatedly. Vacation? None in my childhood that I can remember.

Our last “child” was leaving the nest. We lived in a 5 bedroom home which is just ridiculous in my opinion. We did not need all of this STUFF and it sure wasn’t making us happy keeping track of it.

We took a tenting camping trip north on the PCH.

On that route we have to pass Emma Woods Beach which is where Amanda’s life was lost in a terrible train accident. Normally we avoided that stretch of driving – but this trip we could not.

I was the driver and I remember the silence in our truck. I hate that silence. Nothing is comforting at all. I held my breath while we pass “the place” where it happened. I’m still very angry that this accident happened and that there are people that feel it was the way it was supposed to be – like some sort of supreme being INTENDED it. Don’t get me started, that’s for another blog post.

We arrived to our campsite. San Simeon State Park.

This is where we decided it was time to change things. Explore the unknown.

And we set the date to downsize our life and simplify.

So many questions popped up that we didn’t know the answers to. We kept our plan a secret for almost half a year and then we knew we needed to plan closing our business completely.

So 7-17 is a day of freedom for me. Free thinking. Free to go where the wind takes us.

That was four years ago.

We made TONS of huge mistakes and have learned a lot.

Social Media Kills

I want to get completely off of social media. My screen time is down 43% already! I’m headed in the right direction.

Have you noticed that every other post in your feed is some sort of ad?

Have you noticed that people befriend you (request to be a friend) with the sole purpose of selling you what they have to offer? They don’t know you, they’ve barely given you 2 sentences of conversation really, yet they want to let you into their lives?

But it’s the ads! All of it Social Dilemma driven…do you NOT believe this?

It’s boring to me now. Maybe that’s how it’s set up: I’m being penalized for downsizing the number of people in my Friends list?

This month I downsized from over 800 friends to 300. MAN did that reduce the noise.

I want to log in and see actual friends. You know, the ones that I could call on for help (and they’d help with more than a LIKE or COMFORT emoji). I want to see my family updates but hope I’d hear about it from a phone call.

What if that was what this social media thing became for each of us? How many people would be in your FRIEND list? How many are there now?

On that note, I’m reviving my goal to write letters and send them in my Happylopes to those people I think fall into the “friend” category. Of course I’ll keep up on my family too (we talk to each other often now…so much better than seeing a social media post by the way).

Artificial Intelligence = Loss Of HumanKIND

I do not like bait and switch. Do you?

People that want to befriend you only to put you on an automated playlist of funnel-ready canned communication…TO SELL ME SOMETHING.

Oh where are we headed HUMAN RACE?

I think we better be more human and remove this auto-pilot that is pretending to be human.

Pick up the phone and call someone.

Write a letter if you don’t want to commit to a 60 minute long catch-up call.

Just stop automating to people you are calling a friend.

If you are running a business on social media platforms I really hope you have your own website and you have gathered the contact information of all of the people you’ve met in your life. Maybe you could utilize that to promote to directly. Side note: when I first began with a FREE page on social media for our boot camp business (and every business since) I knew this gravy train would have to have an “end”. I knew we would need to keep tight reign on this incredibly valuable connection to each person…you should do. AND DON’T DO IT WITH A FREAKING “FUNNEL” (for older people it’s called a drip-campaign and I’m too busy to try to remember what we called it before that) – DO IT WITH FACE-TO-FACE CONVERSATION so people can know who YOU are and what YOU do then let them remember you when they need what you’ve got. That’s my preference and it goes against so much of what people are being taught is “marketing” these days. Ya, it’s got flaws but at least my flaws can be caught and responded to by someone that cares about me and I reciprocate.

That’s my 2-cents on this Shoemaker Holiday.

Take care my friends and family!

Author: Sarita Shoemaker

I love my kids, husband, pets, the Earth and family. My Top 5 feelings: gratitude, honor, honesty, respect, encouragement. Pretty certain this is how most of us would answer the prompt "About Me". Enough about me...how About You?

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