This is a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that I find very inspirational. I know that I need to work on letting go of mistakes that I’ve made and work on moving forward from them. I find myself thinking about little mishaps that I have throughout the day, and bringing them to mind frequently. I feel like many people could use the advice provided in this quote. There are so many little things that can happen in the course of a day. We just need to keep moving forward and see each day as a new day and a new opportunity without the burden of yesterday. (Yeah, I know, easier said than done, but just try, okay?)
Today I said a final goodbye to a man who has made such a positive impact on my life. Paul Pullman taught me so many things over the years, and was a bit like a grandfather to me. I hadn’t seen him in a while before he passed away, but I will miss him greatly.
The first time I met Paul was at the new Karen Pullman’s Pro Shop and Bowling Center that had opened up fairly close to my house. My dad and I just decided to go bowling just for something to do. There were only a few people in the center, and Paul came up to me and asked, “Are you having fun?” I replied that I was. Little did I know that a short while later I would be bowling at the center nearly every Saturday morning in the Saturday Juniors league a short time later, with my first team name being Paul’s Angels.
I spent 8 years on Juniors leagues where Paul was one of the coaches, starting at Karen Pullman’s and moving over to All Star Lanes when the Center was closed and the league moved to join All Star. The team name Paul’s Angels would come up a few more times during the years, and during those years, the number of times that Paul asked me if I was having fun is uncountable.
Fairly early on I realized that If I didn’t enjoy something, it wasn’t worth doing, and that if you’re not enjoying yourself then you’re missing the point. This is just one of the many valuable lessons that I learned from Paul. He focused primarily on the fun of bowling with me. Yes, he coached me and helped me to become a better bowler, but it was in reminding me to have fun where he helped me most. There were many times when I became frustrated with myself, and with bowling in general. Then Paul would come up and remind me to have fun, and although sometimes it always help my mood, it put things in perspective.
This lesson that I learned from Paul has extended far beyond the bowling lanes and has followed me now into my college experience, especially when trying to figure out what I want to do in my career. I want to make sure that I find something that I enjoy doing and that I can excel at, just like bowling.
Paul had an amazing life. He was involved in so many organizations and touched the lives of so many people. He was always a joy to be around, and I wish that I had more time with him. He really meant a lot to me, especially at the time he came into my life. I just hope I can be half as wonderful and touch as many people as he did.
For more about Paul Pullman and his life, you can read his obituary here.
This is a picture of the my college campus in fall. The campus is really beautiful, and I find it inspiring just to sit around campus and be surrounded by the beauty of nature. I also find it fascinating that there can be times that are so quiet on campus, but other times it is just bustling with activity. It kind of reminds me of the natural ebb and flow of life. There’s a time to be busy, and an time to relax and go with the flow.
Considering the title of this post, one may think that I am just referring to my family, but oh no. I’m talking about a diverse group of people who come from all over the world, but trace their ancestry back to the borders of Scotland, back to the mighty Clan Scott.
A couple of weekends ago I traveled to Estes Park, Colorado to attend the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival where Clan Scott Society held their Annual General Meeting. Clan is means family, or a group of closely related families, and is usually used in reference to groups of Scottish families.
The Clan Scott AGM happens every year at different places throughout the US. This is the first time that I have been able to attend one and fully participate.
First, I want to discuss the festival itself. It is so much larger than the one that we have locally. The location is so much bigger and there are so many more places to go and things to do. It was hard to figure out where I wanted to be because I wanted to be everywhere at once.
There were some awesome vendors and I was able to get a lot of cool stuff that I wouldn’t have been able to get had I not been at this festival. There was also a ton of great food. The Scottish barbecue was incredible. I also enjoyed being able to walk around and see different events going on around me. There were bagpiping competitions, highland dancing competitions, the traditional Highland athletics, and many other entertainment opportunities.
One of my favorite parts of seeing all of the events was being able to see some awesome new bands that I had never heard of before. I really enjoyed the music from The Elders and Albannach. The Elders have a kind of Irish Folk/Rock vibe, and Albannach has a Scottish primal sound. I don’t know if that makes a whole lot of sense, So I’ll link to a couple of videos to show you guys what I’m talking about at the bottom of this post.
Now, back to the Clan Scott AGM part. I enjoyed being able to participate in this. The actual meeting part was kind of boring, it was great to meet so many other people who are part of Clan Scott, as well as seeing a different and bigger Clan Scott tent setup than what my family puts up at local events. (My dad is comissioner for Clan Scott Society in our state, so we go to the local festivals and set up an information tent, and we never see this many members of Clan Scott drop by.) Here’s a picture of the tent with just a few of the people who were there visible:
I was one of the youngest participants, and part of the meeting discussed attracting younger members. Due to this, I may be helping the Clan to expand their social media presence. This is exciting for me because it will give me experience and it gives me a way to be a bit more involved with the clan overall.
The biggest takeaway I experienced from this trip was to meet with others who are as passionate about their heritage as I am. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many people who care about keeping their heritage alive, and not only Scottish heritage in general, but that of my clan. Now I have a greater feeling that I am a part of something bigger than what I see on a daily basis. I feel that I can see the “bigger picture” a bit better now and that I’m a part of a community that I hadn’t really felt like I was a significant part of before.
I’ll probably be posting a Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Festival haul video in a few weeks. Keep an eye out!
Here are those videos I promised earlier in the post: