Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Anxiety and Anticipation

The time is drawing near. I'm full of anxiety and anticipation at the same time. I, both, love and dislike these feelings I'm experiencing. No! This is nothing new. I go through this every time this particular time draws near. Life seems to be full of so many paradoxes.

So, what is the “time” I'm speaking of? Could it be the holiday season? Could be, but it's really not. Could it be the end of another year and the beginning of a new year? Could be, but it's really not that either. So, what is it?

It's the feelings I always get as I'm preparing to venture out “on the road again.” Whaaaat? But, you're a self-described “professional nomad.” It's what you do. Why are you dealing with anxiety and anticipation at the same time, you say?

Carly Simon wrote and performed her song, “Anticipation” in 1971. The first lines go . . . We can never know about the days to come, But we think about them anyway. And, the late Wayne Dyer said, The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it's your thoughts that create these false beliefs.

So, why am I feeling both anxious and anticipatory at the same time?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Life On The Mild Side

I was thinking a bit the other day and I came to an interesting conclusion. There are three ways to experience life.
  1. You can live life on the wild side
  2. You can live life on the mild side
  3. You can live life on the safe side
To my way of thinking, the first two are where I believe life should probably be lived. The third side is for those people who are too timid or overly obsessed with security or in general, just go along with what life throws their way and attempt to not rock the boat.

I see nothing wrong with any of these three choices. And, in some cases, there are people who may straddle all three styles. Allow me to take a few moments to explore each of these three lifestyles. Let's begin with, where I believe the vast majority of people settle in, “the Safe Side.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Purpose! That's what I want to talk about in this article.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives these three simple definitions:

  • the reason why something is done or used : the aim or intention of something
  • the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something
  • the aim or goal of a person : what a person is trying to do, become, etc.

Last week I was interviewed by WMSC, an FM radio station in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. This is the station's 50th Anniversary, so they will be celebrating the rest of this year until next May when they have a big party planned. The WMSC party coincides nicely with my 50th Class Reunion.

Why did they want to interview me? You may remember an earlier interview I did with this radio station about three years ago, so you already know the answer to the question. Fifty years ago I was a senior at Montclair State College – 4,000 students (now University – 20,000 students). I founded that radio station. I didn't do it alone, of course. I had a small team of dedicated dreamers who jumped on my star and helped me launch the original station. A half century later I'm still around and . . . my dream is still around, doing better than I could have ever imagined.

Last week I also posted on my Facebook page about having done the interview. My Kiwi buddy in Auckland, New Zealand, Brian Morris, saw the post and immediately challenged me to write a short ebook about how I started a radio station with $100.00. The challenge was interesting, but I didn't start the radio station with $100.00. Even 50 years ago, $100.00 was only a very small fraction of what it cost to launch such an endeavor. Of course, that's before factoring in the value of all the volunteers' time invested to make the dream a reality.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wouldn't It Be Nice . . .

  • if it is sunny all but two days every month
  • if all our neighbors are nice
  • if there is no crime or violence
  • if everyone has all they need to eat
  • if everyone has a secure, adequate size place to live
  • if everyone has nice clothing appropriate to the climate
  • if everyone earns a living doing something that's fun and suits him or her
  • if everyone has a good, useful education
  • if everyone respects each other
  • if everyone has all basic needs met
  • if everyone enjoys a few luxuries

Saturday, October 8, 2016


I need your help!

I am embarking on the most exciting endeavor of my life. And, I really do need your help. I am synergizing my 50+ years of knowledge, skills, experiences, creativity and talent in audio recording, audio and video production, book publishing, voice-over and communications to begin, what I hope will ultimately become, one of the largest, ongoing, digital, multimedia archives of human knowledge, experience, achievements and wisdom ever compiled.

Before you blow me off, hear me out. I am one person with a big dream and limited resources. But, I have an insatiable lifetime curiosity and passion for learning and gaining from other people's lives, stories and wisdom. Add what I bring to the table from the last paragraph and I'm about to launch, in my estimation, the biggest and most all encompassing dream of my lifetime. It's also, most likely, going to be my last endeavor of this magnitude.

I'm calling it “Big Questions” as a working title. The name comes from an author, John Applegath, I met several years ago in Durham, New Hampshire. He created an idea to discuss really important issues and questions about life in informal group discussions. Due to health and some other issues, he wasn't able to really launch the concept. His idea has remained in the back of my mind since we met.

The scope of what I'm working on is far more detailed than I can explain here. I'm preparing a treatise you'll be able to download. It will explain in great detail the entire concept and scope of my Big Questions project. This is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Right now there is a certain urgency. The commencement of this project involves interviewing certain individuals who are nearing the “expiration” dates of their life spans. I must start immediately recording these interviews.

Here is where you come in. I already have a number of questions of my own. A few people have already submitted some questions to me. Now, I'm soliciting you to submit one, two or maybe three questions to add to my list.

I don't need the usual simplistic questions we all see/hear and read in “People,” “Time” or hear on typical talk shows on the various media. What I want are questions that delve deeply into life issues – whether personal, relationship, business, philosophical, faith based, political, financial, etc.

Think of it this way, if you could have the opportunity to sit with friends, relatives, colleagues, people active in your community, business people, etc., what you would really like to know about these individuals. What would you like to know about their philosophies, attitudes, experiences, special knowledge on the really important subjects like life, death, success, failure, love, science, medicine, assisted suicide, marijuana, the experiences in their lives that were pivotal in who they became . . . as far as I'm concerned, there are no off limit questions. Consider this, what questions would you like someone to ask you to get to really know who you are and what you believe?

I will be listing these questions (and I do expect duplicates and some that may be similar with slight variations) and categorizing them. Each time I'm preparing to interview a subject, I'll select questions I feel are specifically apropos for the individual. I'll send them the questions in advance so they may review and prepare to answer them. They may decline to answer any questions they prefer not to answer. All questions will be anonymous. They will not know who submitted the questions.

I will ask some initial “back story,” oral history questions to establish who the individual is and his or her background – where born, parents, childhood, education, occupational/professional career and similar before asking the “Big Questions.” The interviews will be informal and will start and stop for breaks. There are no time limits on any questions. And, if, as the individual is responding to a question, I think of other questions to delve deeper into the primary question, I will ask them.

The interview subjects will not be individuals of celebrity status, although, that is not outside the realm of possibility. If you are familiar with Studs Terkel and Charles Kuralt, they are two of my main influences. They documented people through recorded interviews, photos and video from all walks of life from the poor to the wealthy, mostly between the extremes.

All interviews will be video and audio recorded (other than several I have on audio from the past – some are deceased) and archived in unedited format.

I won't go into further detail at this time. When the treatise is ready, I'll make it available so you may access it and learn the full scope of this project.

I currently have a short list of interview subjects, so time is of the essence. If you desire to participate in this project, please respond rapidly, but thoughtfully. Also, I'm open to suggestions of interview subjects you feel represent 20th/21st Century society. Submit a name, contact info, location and brief statement why they would be a good representative of our times. And, don't be surprised if someone doesn't suggest you.

I'll be using my blog, social media and email to solicit questions, so please, don't be upset if you receive this by more than one communication mode.

Please send all submissions to my Gmail address – ed.helvey@gmail.com.

Thanks, in advance, for your assistance in this exciting endeavor.

Live free and be happy. EH

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Live Free and Be Happy - Part II

This is the continuation and conclusion of my discussion on my “live free and be happy” mantra and philosophy. As a brief recap, in the first part I discussed my ideas on the words “live” and “free” as I use them in the mantra. You can go back and read Part I if you haven't already. Use this link http://bit.ly/2dpUMJR.

I want to remind you that you're reading my thoughts, definitions and philosophies. I do not expect you to accept all or any of what I have to say as reality or truth for yourself. I offer it only if you're seeking answers to your own questions, realities and truths. If something I say is enlightening or inspiring, I'm pleased for you. If it sounds like a bunch of hooey or bullshit to you. That's fine! You are a different person. You have the right to accept or reject anything I say or anyone else says.

With that, let me move on to the second half of my mantra “be” “happy,” beginning with the word “be.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Live Free and Be Happy - Part I

Today, after taking a leisurely walk for my daily physical and mental health and adding to my step count, I decided to write about my mantra, “live free and be happy.” While walking, I was listening to some soothing music emanating from the ear buds, plugged into my smartphone (my 21st Century multi-tasking device). This music was streaming from the Internet on Pandora through my wireless phone and data service. It was all conducive for my mind to wander to my life and my mantra.

How miraculous this life is. I was born 12 days before Franklin Delano Roosevelt died, a few months before Harry Truman gave the command to drop two atomic bombs on Japan and change the world in ways no one could imagine. Like everyone, my life has been a journey. A journey I could not have dreamt in my wildest dreams. I'm walking down the street in a small rural town, next to a flowing river that goes all the way through and past our nation's capital more than a hundred miles away. I'm connected to the entire world with a palm-sized device many times more powerful than the computing systems that took men to the moon and brought them safely back to Earth.

For those of you in your third half of life, like me, the wonders we've seen and experienced would be hard to enumerate. For those who lived before us, the same was true, except it has all accelerated. And for those currently in their first and second halves of life, you guys ain't seen nothing, yet. I can't begin to guess what this country and world will be like in 2045, my 100th birthday. And since the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. is the centenarians, there is a nominal possibility, I might see that birthday.

That being said, this morning I shared a picture on my Facebook page (another of the miracles of Internet magic) that depicted two groups of children. It's a “then and now” scenario. Here's that impression. I believe most of the people reacting to this on my Facebook page recall the days depicted by the group on the left.