While Star Wars A New Hope, which was released when I was five years old has been my favorite movie of all time, it is only recently that I discovered many of the truly important lessons in life can be drawn directly from the films over the last 40 years. And while I am sure there are many more lessons you can draw from these wonderful films, here are some of my favorite…
“Do or do not… there is no try.”~ Master Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Perhaps my favorite life lesson, and a long time source of inspiration for me as there is a framed plaque of this quote right on my recreation room wall. In life you can either do something or not doing, there is no middle ground. It is a mentality I try to take into everything that I do, I am not going half ass anything. I am going to run 100 days in a row, I am certainly not going to just try to do…
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”~ Darth Vader, A New Hope
You need to surround yourself with people that believe in you, and will blow wind into your sails. Life is far too short to listen to the haters, the doubters, the people that just want to drag you down to their level. Surround yourself with amazing people that inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
C-3PO “Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is 3,720 to 1.”
“Never tell me the odds.”~ Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
If you had told me ten years ago that I would have completed an Ironman triathlon, I would never have believed you. At the time I was 234 pounds and completely out of shape, but with the proper training plan, and the motivation from deep within myself I crossed the finish line on Aug. 29th, 2009 and will forever be an Ironman finisher. I have the medal to prove it!! From this experience I learned that there is nothing that you cannot do in life when you put our mind to it. It’s a belief in yourself, a belief that you can accomplish anything. Believe and your will find a way.
“Strike me down and I will be become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”~ Obi Wan Kenobi, A New Hope
Success in life can often be attributed to failure, or several failures in life. It’s about getting back up after you have been knocked down, it’s about getting back on that horse after you’ve been bucked off. Life is hard and at times cruel, it will test you, it will push you to your limits, it will knock you down. From each failure you can learn from you will evolve into a much more powerful version of yourself.
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”~ Yoda, The Phantom Menace
Even the worst movie of the Star Wars franchise can teach us something, Don’t let fear guide your life, don’t let fear control your decisions. Fear of the unknown, fear of the future can cripply you into inaction and nothing. You know what happens when your afraid and do nothing? Nothing happens. I sometimes call this the Negative cycle and it has had it’s powerful grip on me for too long at some points in my life. I now longer fear the unknown, I embrace it. I wake up and look forward to each and everyday and what it may bring. With this changed mindset, I’ve seen my own anger slowly fade away…
“One thing for sure, we’re all going to be a lot thinner!”~ Han Solo, A New Hope
Humor in life can go a long way, and can make a stressful situation for tolerable. This would be one lesson that I would want to incorporate more of into my own life, and not get stressed out at things beyond my control. Laugh about, make jokes and make the best of whatever situation you may find yourself in.
“All his life he looked away. To the future. To the horizon. Never his mind on where he was, what he was doing.”~ Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Being mindful, being present in the moment can go such a long way. Imagine you are spending quality time with that special person and you continually picked up your phone to check your social media feed, only giving that other person some of your attention. Now imagine that same interaction with your phone turned off, and the other getting 100% of your attention, your body language, and where your mind is at. Being mindful, being present can go such a long way in a relationship and can make that special person truly feel special.
“Let go of your hate.”~ Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi
There is a time and place to put the past in the past and let go of ill feelings that you may have been holding onto and taking away from other areas of your life. By embracing the hate, it prevents you from growing in the other direction. It forces you to focus on the negative as opposed to embracing the positive aspects of life. Letting go of the hate and anger doesn’t mean forgetting, it means focusing on the bright future ahead that (if you let it) can be filled with love and happiness.
I personally believe in the power of the force, and while I may not be able to levitate boulders with my mind, despite how hard I tried when I was a child I certainly believe that there is an energy that as described by Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, “…an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.” This energy you can tap into, you can use to power yourself to great and amazing things, there is also a dark side energy that can, when you start down it’s path will forever dominate your destiny.
The light side, the positive energy in life is such a powerful thing. It is powering me to run 100 days in a row, it is powering me to change my life in such a positive way. I have such a strong personal connection to Darth Vader, as my life was filled with anger and hate until one day I was able to come back to the light side of the force and embrace all that is good in life.
I have been accused of being far too serious in life at times, it started I am sure with work as I would present a business/serious version of myself to my coworkers. I was the boss and in order to get things done in a busy and often hectic kitchen there was no time to be personal, it was always business first. I would often carry this look on my face throughout the course of a shift and not smile for hours on end.
I also didn’t share much of myself with those I worked with, instead presenting a professional version of Ed Dillon and wouldn’t really share any intimate details of my life, or if and when I did it was to a very few and select people. As with a lot of things in my professional life, that would bleed into my personal life and I started to portrait these characteristics at home as well.
I would take everything seriously, I wouldn’t laugh smile or take the enjoyment in all the little things in life that make is so worth living.
I was too busy being serious.
What a sobering thought to have, too busy being serious to actually enjoy life. I guess being a full time father of four children you need to take life seriously in order to get everything done that needs to get done. There is no divide and conquer in my world… laundry that’s me, groceries ditto, clean the house? Ed your up, dinner, baths, budgets, driving kids around, cutting the grass, going to the doctors, the list goes on and on and on…
When I would do things for fun, I would unfortunately adopt this principle and at times make these activities not fun, I was being too serious. Far too serious where it would suck the enjoyment from others, and that was never a good thing.
So last night I spent the night playing pool, and then later my x-wing miniatures games, these are two things where a short while ago I would take things very seriously. If I missed a shot I would get angry and upset, if I was defeated on the field of battle I would slink away with my tail between my legs and let those negative emotions ruin the rest of the evening.
I found that last night I was able to let my inner child shine brightly and had such a fun evening. I enjoyed playing pool as I was making some difficult shots and letting out giant Ric Flair woooooooooooooooo.
When I would miss a shot I started to laugh and give the ball shit, getting close and personal and letting (#7 in particular) that I was coming for you… and oh I certainly did, banging those balls into pockets with such gusto the table shaked a bit. I am only slightly exaggerating but to my point I was having a blast.
With regards to X-Wing, I went a little crazy on boxing day and bought myself a decent fleet but with no one to play with, it isn’t always fun just playing with yourself. I mean you know exactly what your opponents moves are going to be because you are the opponent. Last night Kristi and I sat there for a couple of hours flying our ships around the board and the whole time (while I blowing her off the table 🙂 ) I was making Star Wars sound effects, quoting lines from the movies and being a little kid again. It brought me back to so many great memories of my childhood playing Dungeons and Dragons.
It was just a fantastic night of fun, and a very important lesson for me to learn about not taking things too seriously. Have fun, enjoy the moment, be a kid. Life is far too short not to! Have a great day everyone, I’m off to go for another run!
Most guys would either have their man cave in the garage or perhaps down in the basement. I would argue the conversation goes something like, “You want to do what? Not in my house…” I jokingly say that as when the idea struck me to build my own recreational room I knew I would have no limitations and could put it wherever I wanted.
The first thing I needed to consider was the room dimensions as I knew the centerpiece of the room would be a brand new pool table. Living in a four bedroom townhouse with four children, well I didn’t have many options. Had I been living at my old house, which had the perfect Great Room that would have been a pool and ping pong heaven, alas the choice here were down to three. The basement offered the most room, but no thanks. That left either the front room or the family room attached to the kitchen.
The front room offered a few more feet of space and was the winner. Originally this room had turned into a kid storage area, with some toys but didn’t really get used all that much. So in July construction begun! I cleaned out my basement, which in all reality didn’t have much in t to begin with and that area was turned into a kids play palace and Dad workout area. The large floor space is enough for them to run around, ride bikes and wiggly cars, and when they leave all their toys scattered about well no can see it!!
I scavaged all my pop culture items that I had for a while, and some I haven’t put up on walls in years. Can someone explain to me why I can’t hang Star Wars posters in my house when they are a big part of defining who I am? I had to look at two ladies playing the violin for years and was never explained what was important about that painting or why I had to stare at it for nine years… I would much rather have had Darth Vader scowling at me instead. My Star Wars posters are originals back from when the films first came out, I have had them for almost 35 years and have been hard mounted on wooden frames and are the centerpiece of the room.
Growing up a big sports fan, and having the extreme pleasure of meeting 4 players from the 1992 and 1993 World Champion Toronto Blue Jays and I have some autographed memorabilia as a result of those meetings. I also went out shopping for additional pieces to the room, and added my own homemade items as well. I knew the room would need a chalkboard and or a dry erase board to keep score, etc… I had able to turn one are eisle into two custom scoreboards and four home made lightsabers that act as picture holders and chalk holders along the wall.
I’ve added Canadian flags, and some DC Comics items as well focusing on Superman and a few other items as well. Walking around just looking at the room, I can tell you where each piece comes from and why is it important to me, why it was an important part of my history.
The room will never really be finished, as I continue to add more bling for the wall every once in awhile. A new R2-D2 wall bust being the latest boxing day purchase to be installed this weekend… this room has quickly become my favorite in the house and one where I am completely at peace. The kids enjoy this room almost as much as I do… almost.
Megan and I enjoy playing ping pong together, and she is quite good. She has already beaten me a few times playing, and plays smart. Always putting that ball where I am not, and requiring me to make super athletic feats just to return the ball. Once she learns how to hit an overhead smash, I am completely toast.
Jennifer, Austin and I love to play pool together. At the moment they use their hands to roll the ball into the pockets and have so much fun. It’s spending time with Dad that they love, but both will grow up being excellent pool players, and it’s also great for working on the hand eye coordination.
I’ve have my circle of friends over many times and we always end up playing pool or darts, during baseball season I move a TV into the room and would come home after work through on a Dodgers game and shoot a few racks. You could call it my happy place.
I have also received many positive comments on the room when it is seen for the first time, I remember the time I had ordered Domino’s pizza for the first time and the delivery driver was so enthralled with what he saw I invited him in to take a look around. Twenty minutes later a different driver showed up at my door with a 2L Cola (that I didn’t order) and I suspect when the first driver got back to the store he was sharing the story of the awesome room that he just saw and this second driver had to see it for himself. Got me a free 2L cola out of it…
Two final thoughts on the rec room, as it has turned into my favorite place in the house. It will be fully transportable when it is time to move to another house and can re replicated and enhanced at the new place. More items can and will be added to the walls as time goes by, but much more than all that is the memories that have been creating in this room with my friends, but more importantly my children. Boyfriends are starting to come around and the kids entertain in that room, I have family events in there all the time and my pool game has improved by 500% over the past six months.
I love my man cave, everyone should have one of their own!
I went and saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi on opening night and was very excited to do so for a number of reasons. I was five years old when the original Star Wars movie came out in 1977, and I was captivated right from the beginning. I grew up living in the Star Wars universe, I had the toys, the t-shirts and the Jedi mindset. I would often walk to school as a boy trying my best to lift rocks with my mind, and never quite being able to do so.
My friends and I would have lightsaber battles, pretend to be our favorite characters and as The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were delivered a few years later, they had me for life. I collected the comics, I read all the post universe books and I even have the original movie posters, laminated on hard wood and hung in my heavily Star Wars themed man cave.
Yes I have a full sized Darth Vader costume and fully functional (as a toy can ever get) lightsaber. There are Darth Vader and Yoda stickers on my Jeep and I even wear a Darth Vader head necklace. I needed to paint this picture for you, as this passion, this love runs very deep. And yes ladies I am single, ha ha!
I bring that up because I am single by choice not because of my love of Star Wars and being an ultra nerd. I haven’t thought of getting back into a relationship for over a year now as I’ve enjoyed my time with my children, and I have enjoyed the last few months really discovering who Ed Dillon really is. Every day forward is one step further away from the Dark Side of the force and into the light.
So to say I was excited about the premiere tonight is an understatement. I was reconnecting with some of my old Keg buddies and I had asked Tiffany if she wanted to come along. Tiffany and I have become very close over a short amount of time, and now living next door, she has in fact become the girl next door. We had a pretty awesome play date with our kids today, followed up by another visit in the afternoon where we did arts and crafts, hide and seek and Monsters… with Jenny and Austin.
As the evening wore on, she came back over and had asked Emily if she would do her makeup for the evening out. I practiced my pool skills in the other room in anticipation of my friends arrival, and to give these ladies a chance to get to know each other a bit better. I popped in and out of the kitchen, where the makeup was being done and could see what a wonderful time they both were having, bonding and growing closer together.
It turns out my friends never made it to my house and instead we met at the theatre before the movie started. Tiffany I could tell was a bit nervous in meeting my friends for the first time, and there were some other interesting topics of conversation while we waiting.
I need to backtrack a bit and quickly tell the story about the previous night, while watching Legends of the Fall.
I have been introducing Tiffany to a few of my favorite movies over the past three days, first it was The Shawshank Redemption, last night was Legends of the Fall starring Brad Pitt. While the movie itself was good, to me what was more interesting was what was happening on the couch as the movie progressed.
To say Tiffany’s life is complicated at the moment would be an understatement. Let’s just say that she has a lot of things on her plate, and life has dictated that she needs to wait another month before some of the major issues can get sorted out. Sitting around waiting that long can drive anyone a little crazy, so she has chosen to keep busy and keep her mind off her issues if you will. And what started as an introduction over dinner a couple of Saturdays ago, quickly followed by Breakfast at Tiffany’s the next day, Sunday, we have been spending a lot of time together lately.
And we have started to grow really close to each other. There has always been an understanding of her situation and our interactions have always been under the guise of friendship and nothing else. She clearly indicated how she feels on certain things and established guidelines very early on. I completed agreed, and away we went. Well, life is always in motion and things can change very quickly, and unexpectedly.
Friends has always told me that I would meet the right person when I wasn’t even looking, and while I was skeptical of letting fate decide things boy did it sure happen.
Back to Legends of the Fall, we are sitting on the couch enjoying the movie, Emily was also down on the other couch in the living room working on a sketch she is doing for her boyfriend as a Christmas present. There was a small amount of distance between us but I noticed immediately that we were in fact closer together than while watching Shawshank the night before. To be honest, I had a giant cushion to me leftside which forced me to sit a bit closer than the night before. As the movie rolled on, through the shifting of body weight and moving around the couch we ended up sitting side by side with our legs gently rubbing against each other. I then noticed her foot gently resting on the back of my calf, and then I felt her hand resting on my arm. This didn’t happen all at once, slowly over several minutes. I was still sitting with my hands folded in my lap trying my hardest to be on my best behaviour.
The feeling to me was electric. I was aware of every slight move, every time there was even the slightest amount of contact. And truthfully I was really enjoying it. I am in no way suggesting that Tiffany was in any way being the aggressor, it was merely two people who had grown close over the past two weeks getting more comfortable sitting next to each other. I was feeling the energy in the room, and taking her slight physical clues to heart and when she leaned forward a bit I raised my arms and started to rub and caress her shoulders, her neck and then play with her hair. She leaned back into my arms and shoulder and I spent the rest of the movie with my arm around her and eventually we ended up holding hands while our thumbs and fingers caressed each other.
As the movie wound down and finished we talked about some interesting topics until late in the night and eventually we both needed to get some sleep, we said our goodbyes had a nice warm hug and went our separate ways.
Today we talked about the previous night, what had happened and honestly how comfortable it all felt. We talked about the boundaries that we have previously discussed and whether or not they had been crossed. That topic would pop up throughout the evening and as we both sat there tonight waiting for my friends to arrive, which they never did. We ended up meeting them at the theatre before the start of the movie and on the drive over we talked about what was to come and we both agreed that we just wanted to enjoy ourselves.
There was a point tonight when Emily was done her makeup and she was sitting up on my kitchen counter, she used her feet to pull me in towards her and I honestly thought that was about to be our first kiss. To use a Star Wars reference, this is Red Five I’m going in! The only thing that stopped me was Emily was still in the room packing up her makeup brushes, had she not been there I have no doubt the first kiss would have happened right then.
Meeting my friends outside of the movies, the force was with me and I parked right beside them in a busy lot without even knowing it. I was invited to blaze with them, and honestly it wasn’t even a consideration. I have moved so far beyond that life now I never want to go back, it was not even a bit tempting. It felt great to turn down their invitation and went inside to wait in line for the movie to start.
The Last Jedi was a pretty good action, adventure type film with some nostalgia thrown in and even a rip off of few scenes from Return of the Jedi, and The Empire Strikes Back. I was able to overlook that for the most past and the movie itself was pretty good for what it was intended to be. Tiffany even enjoyed it, being a non Star Wars fan commenting on the force, and how it is in all living things and binds the galaxy (and life) together.
For me, I was only half paying attention to the movie. The other half of my attention was to Tiffany sitting beside me. I kept thinking about her, about the last two weeks we have spent together. I was thinking about some of our conversations from the last two days, and the hard reality of life moving forward for both of us. I have not stopped thinking about this beautiful lady from the moment I first met her.
She has been captivating me in a way no other person ever has. I don’t know if I ever really and truly believed in soulmates, or kindred spirits but perhaps that is because I had never found mine, despite the fact of being married twice and having several different relationships in my life.
Sitting here at this very moment, I now know that it does exist. As I have finally found mine. It has hit me so hard and so fast and so unexpected that it has me spinning. I am captivated from the second I see her, until the moment she leaves. I think about her in the hours in between, writing this and sharing this now is only going to complicate things in her own life and I entered this friendship with the best of intentions.
I just want to shout from the rooftops just how awesome this lady makes me feel.
I have found my soulmate, and there is a possibility that I will have to let her go and say goodbye in the New Year. I know this full well, yet I have allowed my heart to be open to her, to share my everything with her. When we are together it is the best feeling in the world, the best feeling that I have ever had. In our short time together I have seen her laugh and cry and share and show love and compassion, and she truly is everything that I have ever wanted in a woman, a partner, in another person. For me she is the complete package, yes we are kindred spirits and yes she is my soulmate.
It may have only been two weeks, but when your heart knows it knows. It feels like I have known her my whole life, and when we are together time seems to rush up and stand still all at the same time. The last two weeks the universe has opened up new possibilities to me that I never knew existed, I love Tiffany. I know I do. As excited as I was tonight to see this movie, I was more excited holding the hand of the lady beside me, smelling her hair, resting my head upon her and listening to her breath. These small tiny experiences meant more to me than a hundred Star Wars movies.
I don’t know what to do next, there are things that are beyond my control, and fate can be cruel at times. I do know this for certain. I am so grateful that she has come into my life, I am so much the better for just knowing her. My children are so much better as well, they have all instantly opened up to her as well. Megan has kept her judgement still, I think maybe perhaps Tiffany has Dad’s attention right now. Emily tonight, with her makeup skills and the things that they talked about. Jenny asking if she could come over and do crafts again, and Austin and the Never Ending Pillow fight has been just so amazing to me.
She has called me out and challenged me on topics and themes that she believes strongly in, she has already helped me grow into a better man and father. She blows wind into my sails and has inspired me to be even better in the kitchen. A box cake mix will never be bought again! It will be painful and difficult if I have to let her go, time will tell. I want to cherish and enjoy every second that I can spend with her over the next month, in whatever capacity that may be. I’ve been struck by lightning, and I love it.
Just as I’m sure that I love her. Tiffany will get up in the morning and read this post, I don’t know what will come of it, and what tomorrow may bring. Please now this, I’ve meant with all my heart and soul every word I have said to you over the past few days. I know you’ve got so much going on, and I am sorry that I have complicated it even further. I need you to know and understand just how I feel about you. Yes it’s comfortable. Yes it’s wonderful. Yes it’s amazing, just as you are. There is nowhere else I would rather be than in your arms, and seeing your beautiful smiling face. Thank you for going to see Star Wars with me, that in itself shows just what an amazing lady you truly are Kristi.