Taking and giving.

Note: I am collecting for a charity drive against cancer! Please donate!

Those that know me well, or at least have been around me enough, know that I am subject to epiphanies. It’s a little hard for me to avoid, and makes me look like a weirdo when it happens. But connecting dots and reasoning out solutions, in my work and personal life, drives me like a bum to a ham sandwich. It can’t be helped.

Epiphanies are thus nothing new to me. I remember vividly in high school when I first realized how covalent bonding worked (or some other chemistry principle I have long since forgotten).

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Covalent bonding… Oh yeah! Sadly, it seems I am not smarter than a 5th grader.

After staring blankly at a textbook for 45 minutes (my usual study method), suddenly covalence dawned on me. “Wait a second!” I exclaimed, “I’ve got to go to the bathroom!” (That is the cleaner version of what I said.)

My friend looked on in shock and disgust, but I had just felt a huge relief. From solving the problem, I mean. And it was time to, you know, do something else. Yes, this story is as awkward now as it was then.

The point being that I love being tasked with difficult or (to me) impossible scenarios, breaking things down, and solving them.

Generally speaking, I also like to be able to identify with causes. Large or small, doesn’t really matter. Bur particularly being away from work, I feel a need to contribute with some sort of value.

Which leads me to an epiphany moment I had a few days ago. Two things happened that brought this one around.

The Vatternrundan – Join a pack

The first glimpse I had that I needed to do something came during the Vatternrundan just a few weeks back. For the better part of half a day, I sat in my bike staring at the butts of other cyclists.

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The view from/of the rear. “Insert Card Here” was not an option.

It is impossible to not take note of said butts when riding in a pack. One of the primary goals in cycling is to stay as close to the butt in front of you as possible.

For over an hour, I stared at a pack of butts with, “Ride of Hope,” emblazoned on them. They were riding closely together, and the common sense of purpose and support was claer. While training with a team  didn’t interest me per se, I really liked the idea that there was a greater meaning they could draw from the race.

The Hospital – Get engaged!

The second glimpse came during my daughter’s recent hospital stay. She had a lengthy stay of 8 days, thankfully nothing life threatening.

But we were surrounded by people who were fighting all sorts of ailments. I’d been in the adult wings of many a hospital, it’s a little uncomfortable to be around people who aren’t doing well. But try spending several days in the children’s wing. Uff, that will get to you…

There are few things harder than watching a child suffering in some form. We had quite a nice stay under the circumstances, but it seemed there was always the sound of someone crying down the hallway. We went to a play at the Ronald McDonald House, where kids fighting leukemia and other diseases were staying. It was a collective slap in the face, reminding me that I really should do more to help others.

So what are you going to to about it?

So I want to be part of something, but don’t want to formally join a team. I want to enjoy my time away from work, but I want it to be meaningful. I want to help others, but short of volunteering I am not technically skilled for many of these things. So the epiphany came.

Just link my completing the events of the Svensk Klassiker with independently fundraising for worthy causes.KlassikerForACause.jpg

Fortunately, it is easy to find sites that let individuals to do specifically that (I went with crowdrise.com). The hard part was choosing 5 different charities, but after 20 minutes of Google searching, scouring a charity rating site, and reading a Forbes article, it was pretty clear to me who I wanted to support.

Then to quote Matt “Guitar” Murphy in the Blue Brothers, “Let’s boogie.” (see the pic below). Hey, if you don’t try, nothing is achieved.

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“You better think about the consequences of your actions!”

I hope you join me with some sort of small (or large) donation to the 5 worthy causes I have selected. All are internationally beneficial and are causes I believe in.

For more on the events and charities, please click here.

I am starting with cancer research because various forms of it have affected members of my family across generations. I would hope we help can contribute to sparing both my kids and yours (or your future kids perhaps) from it’s devastating effects.

Thanks for your support!

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