After Thoughts

“You can hand over your keys or your life. Make the right choice.” After Thoughts.

Back in 2000, I was the manager of my high school hockey team. It was the first year we had a team and I wanted to do anything I could to play my part and support. I managed the team with my friend, Jennifer Cheney. She was a loving, caring, funny charismatic girl with a smile that made you feel at home. The kind of girl that shined her light so bright when you spoke to her she made you feel like you were the only one around. The team would practice early every morning, so I would swing by her house and pick her up before school, then we would head over to practice. One day that all changed.

My dear friend Jen was in a horrific accident and was killed. It was the other driver who decided to drink and drive. He planned to get drunk that night. Actually, he planned to get wasted. I entirely believe he never once thought about the lives he would be putting at risk and about how many lives would be changed forever. Our community came out in droves of support for Jen. It rocked my life. Death is always around the corner yet it never gets easy. As a high school student navigating a life altering experience I became lost in the confusion of her death. I couldn’t understand how this could happen, even more so why? I made a pact with some friends and myself during this time period that I would never drink and drive. Thinking about it now 17 years later I am still affected by this loss. She left an impression on me that saved so many lives years later.

I never thought I would play a part in a film such as this. It’s a film created by some students of Livermore. It highlights drunk driver awareness and is now getting national attention. After Thoughts has been nominated for the All American High School Film Festival and will be showcased in Time Square later this year. With over 2000 submission from 50 states and over 40 countries, the film was selected for the Jostens category which is “teens taking a stand against societal issues.” I cannot express how proud I am of everyone who played a part in making the project happen. Last year I sat in a classroom and met the high school students who had the seedling of an idea and the fire of a pack of lions in their eyes.

It was impressive. They showed the stamina and dedication to changing the world and they have. This film continues to get picked up and watched, and now it will get showcased internationally, in turn saving the lives of millions, touching the lives of billions. As a creator and artist, we never know what piece or work is going to be the one that others notice. It can be painful sometimes putting our work out there not knowing what it’s going to do. We have our hopes, our dreams, our goals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will happen. We never know how one of our creations will touch people until it does.

Some of us in life never get the opportunity to hear how much we play a part in others lives. Between work, raising kids, trying to feed mouths or worry about our bank accounts, we tend to lose track of time and how much others mean to us. Then one day someone comes to you and clearly says,

“You changed my life. I’m not sure words can ever explain how much you mean to me and how much I love who you are and what you do, you inspire me.”

The way I see it, we all live on this earth for such a short time, we fight, we claw and we strive for what we want in the future, but it’s appreciating what we have now that really matters.

To the team of After Thoughts: You have left an impression on me and have been an inspiration to all of us in this community and world. There is no telling exactly what this universe has in store for you going forward, however, you can hold your head high and with great confidence knowing that you created a film that is leaving a lasting impression on all who watch it and pay attention. Thank you for allowing me to play my part in this project and thank you for saving my girls and families life. Good luck in New York and what ever happens, keep going!

Check out the short film After Thoughts

#TeamAfterThoughts #DigitalLegacy #Besomebody

I Am Not Going To Make Your Party As I Am Going Blind…

The work from Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PHD has shown that the brain recruits other senses when one of them is taken away. So taking my vision away should heighten my others senses. (I am secretly hoping my hearing) but will be surprised at whichever one it is if none of them at all. It has been shown in as little as two days normal sighted volunteers began using more of their touch and sound. This is why I have chosen 48 hrs. Our free weekend!

Friday night I will fall asleep with my CPAP machine roaring, my meditation sounds in my ears and a fully blacked out mask on my eyes so not a singe light enters my retina. Then the fun begins. I suppose I will get a lot of help from my wife and kids and maybe even a stranger as I make my way around town (not behind the wheel of course) Costco, shopping, going for a walk, sitting and thinking. Whatever.

This year with the introduction of Idea To Launch In 366 Days it has taught me the type of world we live in, one that is caring and amazing on its own, which I would trade nothing for. Yet on the flip side we also live in a world that is highly negative. I have come to the understanding that empathy is linear mostly due to our inability to visualize it if it is not in front of our face. Empathy is found and can be felt in all areas of this world and in many different senses but is often times only acted upon when seen. We can feel empathy, we can hear empathy, we can taste empathy but we tend to block it out if we can’t see a reason for us to help or maybe we don’t know how we can help. Because of this I am choosing to go blind for 48 hrs to get a better understanding of how much our visual sense can take over our others and prevent us from doing the things we really want to do as humans in a fantastic moving, living, breathing society. My girls will be hijacking my social accounts this weekend to document our adventure so I apologize if they decide to over post on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat! Feel free to call me over the weekend to have a chat. I’d love to hear from you! See you on Monday!

We have come to the end of 2015

 

So we’ve come to the end of another year but not the end of our time. Where have all the days of 2015 gone? We met some new great people, we lost some great friends and family members but none of them will ever be forgotten. We wake up every day to a whole new world of possibility and potential…we just have to reach within ourselves to act upon it.

It’s OK to dream big.

 

We loved, we laughed and we cried…some tears of joy, others tears of sorrow. All in all it was a good year. A healthy year, a year to reflect amongst the decades ahead, where there are shiny glimmers of hope and growth for our families and village.

Don’t be afraid to take risks.

We’re excited to venture on into 2016 and sometimes feel as if we are carrying the weight of 100-soldier army preparing us for battle with our futures wars. But we are strong…not because we stand-alone, but because we stand tall with the support and love of our village.

 

There are really no words to explain how much we love and care for those around us and we can’t even possibly attempt the process. The only thing we can say is THANK YOU. Thank you for being so awesome. Thank you for showing us how to live. Thank you for supporting our family through all of life’s events and Thank you for allowing us to be part of your family and village as well.

 

Cheers to 2015 and a huge bottoms up to 2016 and the amazing beautiful days ahead. We couldn’t ask for anything more than what we have right now.

Love The Hempels.

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The 5 lessons I learned while waiting for my daughter for 30 min in a Disneyland bathroom.

Lesson 1: if she’s not ready to get off the pot. She’s not going anywhere…..really she’s not moving.

Lesson 2: you can’t really entice her out of the bathroom unless she has something better to go to……find a better destination.

Lesson 3: distractions are a curse to your sale of getting her out……..don’t let them go in with anything in their hands….ie. BALLOONS.

Lesson 4: when she goes silent, that’s not a good thing at all because you now have to up the anti for negotiation tactics…….silence will cost you.

Lesson 5: ask “is there anything that I can do for you to have you get moving?” Even when her answer is “yes, look for a little sink so I can wash my hands”…..if there isn’t one build one asap.

I actually learned more than 5 but am too frustrated to write any longer. Respectfully signed Waiting Dad.