Archive for March, 2013

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

This famous quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus – has been one of my life's main mottoes for many, many years and one that has served me well especially during very hard and challenging times. Heraclitus, who lived around 500 BC, realized that nothing ever remained the same and everything was in a permanent state of change, while observing the seemingly constant and steady flow of a local stream in his hometown of Ephesus in Ancient Greece.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2007 my life seemed on the ever permanent up and up – my travel company was put on Entrepreneur magazine's list of the “500 Fastest Growing Companies” in the US. I had a girl I wanted to get married to and have kids with, a house and two dogs that brought me joy simply by being dogs.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2009 my life was about to be turned inside out and upside down – my travel company had become insolvent, forcing me, as the owner and guarantor of my business, to file for personal bankruptcy. The girl I thought I would be getting married to confessed that she didn't want to have any kids after all and that it wasn't really working out between us and I that I should be thinking of moving out – business gone, house gone, girl gone, dogs gone – the life as I had known – gone!

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

My cancer doctor, right before retiring, and we are still in 2009 btw – suggested to have my heart checked out, as studies had shown that heart valves in a number of cancer patients who had radiation therapy got calcified and would eventually need to be replaced. After getting my results back, I was informed that I was amongst those “lucky” ones with a calcified and malfunctioning heart valve which eventually had to be replaced. “But don't worry” my cancer doctor said, when she broke the news to me, the surgery is not that bad, there is worse in life. Little did she know. And as the icing on the cake, my dad decided that this was the perfect time for him to pass away.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

My mom lives in Vienna. Vienna, Austria that is and not Vienna, Virginia ; )

She is the ultimate mom. She is a mom machine. She was born to be a mom. She is an über-mom and everyone who meets her instantly falls in love with her and wants to have her as their mom. She is a rock in my life and always there for her sons. No matter what the issue; no matter what time of day.

When life threw this major curve ball at me I of course stayed with my mom – after all we had a father to bury. She flooded me with TLC, cooked for me, did my laundry, and even darned my socks and my underwear for me. Given the financial collapse I was facing I had reduced my spending practically to zero – and that included not buying any underwear.

I had plenty to begin with and with a caring mom like that I had nothing to worry about, right?!

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2011, when things finally started to improve for me again, she fixed one, let's say, well utilized underwear of mine.

When I put on this particular piece of clothing, I realized that in her eagerness to help and support me she literally must have “dismantled” the whole thing to then sow it all back together piece by piece – imagine the amount of love and work put into fixing a bloody underwear – only that when she put it all back together parts of it were turned inside out – so parts of the outer side are now the inner side and vice versa. For example, the little brand label that is usually on the top front side, is now facing my belly as opposed to my pants, if you know what I mean.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

Now, as we are approaching the summer of 2013, and while my heart valve still is waiting to be replaced, I still miss my dogs, am still not married – although my girlfriend is here tonight visiting me from Europe – I still have no kids, I may proudly say that not only all of my debts have been paid off, I am making more money than ever before in my life – let's say I am earning twice as much as my surgeon brother while only working half as much as he does and with only a quarter of his stress level – and this, I am telling you, is pissing him off on a major scale, to say the least; actually I am on the road to total and complete financial independence – if all works out as envisioned, we should be arriving there within the next couple of years already. What an incredible journey, and were I not the main proponent here, I would have a hard time believing this myself.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

Rest assured, all of my underwear has been renewed since. As I travel so much, I actually own so many, underwear that is, that I could go for weeks and weeks without ever having to look for a laundromat. But one single item you will still find in my closet. One that gets to travel with me wherever I go. And on the days when I randomly pick it out of my suitcase, that day, becomes a special day of appreciation for me – I think of my mom and everything she has done for me, her love and support throughout my life, no matter what the challenge. That day is the a day where I am consciously aware of the underwear that I am wearing and everything this underwear represents for me – the constant change of life.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

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