Wednesday, May 9, 2012

PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE—MANU FORTI—WITH A STRONG HAND



This year, 2012, has been a period of reflection for me. Taking stock. Looking at what I’ve accomplished and what I still want to achieve. Revisiting and revising my goals. I’m not sure if this reflection is the result of losing a dear brother, days shy of his fortieth birthday and seeing what it did to my family. Perhaps it’s seeing my son finish high school and knowing a chapter is closing and another beginning. Maybe it was because I almost died. Any or all of them, most likely. Whatever the reason, I’ve been thinking about past, present, and future.

In case you were wondering, Manu Forti is my clan motto. My father’s family also had a coat of arms and motto, Non Sans Cause.  That motto dates back, according to the family tree passed down through the generations, to the 13th century, with the Lord of Prideaux (he was one of the knights that came over with William the conqueror) and was awarded lands in Cornwall. Many of his descendents settled in the Devonshire, England. My paternal, many times great, grandfather, Walter Geere, married a daughter from the house of Prideaux (late 1400’s).


A Family tree chart
I mention this because both sides of my paternal family have some pretty tough mottos and have had some tough and strong people living them. My mother’s family have never been slouches when it came to stick-to-it thinking. They were real rebel rousers, literally, in the 1700’s in this country. Not particularly liked by the crown during the revolution. But they fought for what they believed in and very much a part of making this country free and independent. Two went on to be presidents—a father and son duo. Hey, we predated the Bush family by several generations, lol!

As a family, we’re not the type to give up easily. I’ve been taught that all my life. Determine a course of action, set your goals and do it. Be willing fight for what you believe in, what is important to you, and don’t give up. Strategic retreats are okay, but only for regrouping.

These mottos and all the stories surrounding them were the backbone beliefs that went into our immediate family. And there were lots of stories told of bravery, courage of convictions, and deeds of valor. One of these days I’d like to write some of those stories. Or use what I know as a basis for stories I want to tell. There were definitely heroes and villains and a good measure of happy ever after.

It didn’t matter what it was, we were taught to fight for what we wanted and stand for what was right. If you can envision it you will find a way to make it so. But we were also taught another lesson. Don’t just look out for your self but pay forward. Give a helping hand where you can, not for the accolades and praise, but because it is the right thing to do. Don’t ever compromise your principles.  I call that honor and having principles. 


Those principles and mottos worked well for my career, finally having a child, building a life I wanted, more or less. I can definitely apply that to writing as well as other pursuits. Yes, I’ve retreated more than once and there’s no dishonor in that. I set up strategy, made plans and regrouped—always with the plan of moving forward. I’ve maintained a sense on honor, chosen the right path based on principles. I’m teaching my son to do the same.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Use your experiences of the Past, in the experiments of the Present
To achieve your expectations for the Future. 
Personal goals work that way too. You have a goal and you created reasonable steps to accomplish that goal. Don’t give up when the going gets tough—and it always gets tough at some point. Retreat if you have to. Regroup, employ strategy, and move forward.

Conclusions? I like knowing my past. It determines my present, which determines my future. I’m not in control of my past or my future. I have a measure of control over the choices I make for this day. They are only small steps towards the future. But I know, the best things in life; be they large or small, are worth fighting for. 

Giving up is not an option.




.

31 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A great post espcially the last words which I firmly believe in.

Yvonne.

DonnaGalanti said...

Sia, strong and true words! And what an amazing family history you have that wonderfully leads you into the future. Yes, all we can do is live our present day with as much courage as we can and believe in the future. Never give up indeed. And that is what a published author is too - one that never gave up.

Tonya Kappes said...

My father-in-law is a big family tree person. He is always tracing each strand and spending hours upon hours at different courthouses. I have to say. . . I'm not really into it. But I don't ever give up on my dream. Even though it's his dream to find out all he can and he enjoys it, I enjoy listening to his passion.

Jo said...

I've never been much of a one for family trees, but others in our families, both sides, seem to be.

Matt has a couple of kings in his history, I don't have anyone similar that I know of. My family motto is dum spiro spero (sp) with life hope.

Anne Gallagher said...

Over the course of the last few years, I've been writing down some family stories and have found an incredible past. Someday soon, I will set aside the time to really trace my family history. I'm sure it will be eye-opening.

Karen Walker said...

Sia, you have no idea how I needed to read what you wrote today. I can't say why in a comment here, but thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Karen

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia .. I get a feel of your thoughts here - last year was very tough for you.

What an interesting family you have - it must be great to have that knowledge and genealogy going back all those years .. no wonder you write.

Giving Up is Definitely Not an Option .. how right you are .. everything is worth fighting for ..

Many thoughts - and believe in that future - yours and mine, and everyone's .. cheers Hilary

~Sia McKye~ said...

Yvonne, no giving up is never an option. Modify and regroup, sure. That's called living. Sometimes what we thought was the path needs modification.

Donna Present is what's important. Getting stuck in the past is depressing and a way of hiding from life, in my opinion. It's good to know it but unless you employ the lessons learned it's not much good. :-)

I do come from an amazing family. Sometimes I shake my head in disbelief at what they've done.

I agree, a published author is one who refused to give up. They are the ones that believed in their abilities, sharpened them, revised and modified, but while moving forward.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tonya Bringing passion to anything important is good. As for the family tree, it's been done through the generations. I haven't done it, although, it's a good idea for me to add the current generation to it. I have admiration for those who do the whole research from scratch.

Jo In today's world, searching for ancestors is easier and I know there are lots of families with a couple who want to know and do it. Good thing mine wasn't depending on me to do it, lol! I think that is a wonderful motto!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Anne LOVE listening to family stories and always did. We have some doozies in my family. One of the stories I'd like to write, not necessarily biographical, is the love story between my mother's parents. All the family interference put that one at the breaking point, for several reasons. My grandfather was a nobody in Grans family. It was something that made my grandfather say, I'll show you. He went on, after serving in the war, and made a fortune and a name for his self. Thumbed his nose at them. The sad part of it all was, my grandparents truly loved each other. They divorced when my mom was young--preschool. Gran remarried when mom was twelve and found a measure of happiness, but Jack was the love of her life. Jack is in his late 90's and not doing well, but he and my mom are close.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Karen, I glad something I wrote resonated with your heart. And that's a big heart you have darlin', just sayin'

Chin up, shoulders back. You can do it.

James Rafferty said...

Good post. Knowing your past offers a foundation and we can build from there. If you set goals, you at least know what your target is and perseverence is important once you've set that direction.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hilary, thank you. Yes, it has been a tough couple of years. I'm getting really good at making lemonade out of lemons, lolol!

I admit, I do come from a family of storytellers, lol!

Always fight for what your want, what you really need. Hugs to you and your mum.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Sia! Just got your message - glad the flags are gone. I'll get your link back into my sidebar by this evening.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Alex. thanks! Yah, I'm excited. I need to get my blog roll set up again.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Very true, James! Perseverance isn't always easy. but then, much in life isn't either. I always feel better having a plan of action. :-)

Elizabeth Loupas said...

Yay for no more warnings, and great post!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Sounds to me like you come from some very resilient people. What a tough year it's been for you already, but I'm certain you'll get through it all. Seems to me you already are. What a great lesson. I think giving up is only an option if you give yourself permission to do it.

Other Lisa said...

Love the post! I am too fuzzy-headed with this cold to say much beyond that... :)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Elizabeth, thank you.
And yes, it feels grand to be out from under those darned warning flags!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Carolina, I take it a day at a time. I'm doing good. Yes, sometimes we do have to give ourselves permission to do a variety of things.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Aw, I'm sorry Lisa. Fuzzy headedness is no fun. Glad you enjoyed the article.

Feel better.

Olivia Cunning said...

What a fascinating family history you have! My paternal grandmother did a family history and published an obscenely thick book about it. Turns out I'm related to the Hubbles. The ones the telescope was named after. Other than that, I don't know much about my distant relatives. I'm not sure where my personal drive comes from. It must come from somewhere.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I'm laughing at the Hubbles and the telescope. Science. Imagine?

I have copies of some of the older papers-not the originals, but even then, gads it takes up the size of two 3 inch wide ringed notebooks. Parts of the family have the book form and parts don't. I never cared. I just love looking at the history of it all. And the stories.

Olivia, regardless of our family history,we develop our own drive. History only goes so far. I look at your family and see hard working and determined people. Your gram is amazing!

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Sia,

This is the best post ever! You've got to post this were we can see it all the time. I read it yesterday and I've read it again today...it's wonderful. I love the courage, the will it passes on to all of us...I love the motto...One of mine is ~ "Only the strong survive" and "What doesn't break you, makes you."

Your take on the PP&F is how every one of us should believe...it is so true! YOU CAN'T LET THE NEGATIVE RULE YOUR FUTURE. YOU'VE GOT TO LET THE NEGATIVE PAST GO AND MOVE INTO THE POSITIVE FUTURE.

I want a copy of this POST!!! I want to frame it and put it on my wall! Pictures and all!

Awesome post...just awesome
hugs sweetie
Hawk

Liz Fichera said...

I am so very sorry about your brother. *Hugs*

Thank you also for the very kind comments you left in my blog yesterday about my Dad. I appreciate them so much. :)

Diane Kelly said...

Persistence, resilience, and endurance are definitely great traits to have!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hawk, what am I gonna do with you? You want a copy of my introspective ramblings, eh? lol! Thank you, but are sure this isn't the result of writing 2500 words a day for the past few weeks?

~Sia McKye~ said...

Liz, Thank you. I speak from the heart and from walking that path. It's never easy. I'll be checking in on you, if for nothing else but to send a hug. We never get enough of those.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Diane, exactly. Not always easy to live but needed in these days. :-)

Dana Fredsti said...

Your post, especially the last line, made me think of Galaxy Quest and the whole "never give up, never surrender" line... Love it!