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Sunday, November 7, 2010


Life is full of pivotal points, where who and what you are hangs in the balance of opposing forces and critical decisions.  Put another way, we all have our own Waterloo moments.

For the uninitiated, the Battle of Waterloo (Waterloo is a village in Belgium) occurred on June 18, 1815.  The battle was significant because it was the pivotal point of French expansionism under Napoleon Bonaparte.  Had the French been victorious, the world would be different today.  Instead, Napoleon was defeated by the forces of the Prussians (commanded by General Von Blucher) and the British (under the command of the Duke of Wellington).  After the battle Napoleon became a beaten, defeated man.  The stage was set for the further expansion of British power and the seeds of a larger, more powerful German state were planted.

But that's enough history.

Now our own Waterloo moments don't involve anything nearly as grand as imperial expansionism and epic battles, but smaller scale doesn't equate to lesser importance, at least on a personal level.  As I write this, I'm looking at something of my own Waterloo.  The details are important to me, but not so important for the Internet, and besides,  my personal Waterloo isn't the moral of this story anyway.

So what is the moral?

I guess for me...and for's this:  simply facing it.  In some respects, I've faced this Waterloo a few times, and every time in the past I managed to basically walk away from the battle.  That was a mistake, a mistake I deeply and permanently regret.  It's time now.  It's time now to engage this battle...this Waterloo of my own...head on, eyes wide open.  Fortunately for me, there will be no bullets, cannons or bayonets involved.  Unlike Bonaparte, I will not be banished to Elba, unlike Wellington I will not be lauded as a hero.  No, this Waterloo has more to do with the daily things that make up a life.  For those of us who are not Dukes, Generals or Emperors, you don't get much more important than the "daily things that make up a life".  Think about it.

I've never asked anything of anyone in any of these musings over the years, but if you are reading this and are so inclined, wish me well as I march into my own Waterloo.  This time I'm not walking away.

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