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©2001 Andy J. W. Affleck
Wednesday, January 09, 2002
On the drive in to work today Chris and I were struck by the sheer beauty of the sunrise. It had been raining and freezing-raining over night and the trees were all black from wetness. Through them, a rich pinkness had emerged broken by stripes of a glowing aqua blue. "The water in Maui is that color" said Chris, who leaves for Maui tomorrow morning. As we drove along the sky faded and we commented what a beautiful morning it was. Not long after, we saw it: a faint rainbow starting to form off to the west, opposite the sun that had just risen. As we drove along it grew and formed into a solid arc that went all of the way up and back down again making a single, solid rainbow. As the sun rose higher, the main bow grew in brightness and you could just make out the secondary and tertiary bows just underneath the main bow. Finally, outside of the main bow a major secondary bow formed bringing the total to four visible rainbows all at once. Traffic, as you would expect, slowed down as people craned their necks to see the show. By the time we reached work, the rainbows had faded into the slate blue of the clouds. It was a glorious way to start the day.(8:13 AM)

Sunday, January 06, 2002
I just finished reading "Band of Brothers" by Stephen E. Ambrose this morning and am moved by a great many things. First off, the incredible work that these men and all of the other servicemen did in World War 2 (including my father-in-law who was an engineer stationed in Africa) humbles me. Sometimes when I consider the problems of my own life I have to stop and consider what these men went through and why. I know that personal issues are completely relative and that what may seem horrible for me personally would be laughed at by another. But there is also a line at which nothing compares. That line is somewhere between here and where these brave men stand.

What really struck me was how successful these men were in their later lives. Many ran companies, built things, or taught. But all excelled in their chosen paths. I realized that much of that is due to how disciplined and driven they were. They were one of the best units in the war because they were so finely tuned, so well trained, and deeply prepared to meet any challenge. When I look at my own life and the situation I am in, I realize that one of my worst habits is that when confronted with a major problem, I turn my back on it and wait for it to go away. And therein lies the problem. The key to success in life is the willingness and ability to face hardship square on and look it in the eye. It is having the courage to stand up and handle problems as they arise. It is also in being so prepared that problems do not catch you unawares.

Upon realizing this I found a new sense of resolve within myself, almost as if I had been waiting to finally get this through my thick skull. The time to act is now, the time to live is now.

I have to go. I have a lot of work to do today.(10:39 AM)

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