1/ Well, I turned 54 today.

I paused to reflect on my life and thought I might put some thoughts in a thread.

My life has had some ups and downs but I wouldn't change any of it.

If you don't want to read the thread, here's the abstract:

Money โ‰  Happiness.

Follow your Dreams
2/ After 29 amazing years in the Army, I came to a decision point for my family and me.

Two tours of Afghanistan in my last 4 years brought life into harsh focus. Seeing the fragility of life at close hand my wife and I decided that I would retire.
3/ The improvement in the quality of life was immediate, but there was a lot of baggage to be sorted out.

Then slowly, not PTSD, but depression and anxiety took hold.

Like many military men, I looked for the solution at the bottom of a bottle.
4/ For all of my years of experience, skills, and qualifications, I figured I was worthless, and that my family would get on a lot better without me holding them back.

FYI, this was the 180ยฐ opposite of the 'normal' me. I was an Officer, a Leader: Impervious to weakness.
5/ Without a doubt, the most terrifying thing I have faced in life was being scared, without knowing what the enemy was. How can you fight what you can't see?

After a 3-month drink-to-the-death spree, something clicked. I'm not religious, but some kind of epiphany occurred.
6/ I decided to give life one more go. With the undeserved love and support from my wife and daughter, I got sober.

I tried Psychiatry, but to be honest, I couldn't find someone who 'got me'.

So, I read and read. I researched what was going on in my head.
7/ Fortunately, I was able to regain control - or not! 'Control' was my thing. I realized that it was OK to not have everything tied down and mapped out. Control is a lie we tell ourselves.

Men plan, and the Gods laugh...
8/ It took about a year, but the experience brought a greater clarity to my wife and me; and built on an already strong bond.

We decided to figure out, and do, the thing that we loved.

Enter Bulgarian Street Dogs...
9/ We had a ski apartment in Bulgaria, but when we saw the terrible conditions of the dogs there, we were faced with a dilemma:
Ignore it?
Do something about it.

THAT was when our lives changed.
10/ We restructured our professional lives. We both set up our own, separate online coaching companies (Her specialism in Pharma)
We also set up and now run a Charity dedicated to alleviating the suffering of street dogs.
11/ To date, over 800 dogs have been rehomed. Many more have been fed, neutered, and generally cared for.
We currently have 100 dogs in foster homes, supported by our organization (this is not a pitch btw. all are already fully funded).
12/ Welfare will never save animals, so we came up with a business approach.
Until COVID, we were well on our way to setting up an EU-Funded business school for Veterinarians.

Newly qualified Vets would be trained to run practices and be supported by EU and Corporations.
13/ They would then set up private practices, but would be responsible to the Mayor to care for the street dog population.

COVID Has ended that dream.

But the dogs don't go away.
14/ So, our new plan. We have bought a factory site in Germany.

This will have 7 Apts, who's rental will feed the charity.

We are setting up a shelter system where dogs can come to be viewed prior to being re-homed.
A vet clinic.
Then, my favorite area: The Forever Home. Daughter, in work experience. She is now studying to be a Ve
15/ Our site is huge. Our financial model and business plans for the site are such that we will have the finances and capacity to accommodate dogs 'forever'

This is our dream: All the old, grumpy, one-eared, three-legged mutts will have their own 'Home'
16/ Too often, these are the dogs who suffer the most. Considered un-home-able, they face a grim future.

Obviously, we can't save them all.

But the ones we do are EXTREMELY Grateful!
17/ So.

What have I learned?

It's OK to not be OK.

It's never too late: to start over. to change. to grow.
18/ My wife and I work 24/7 with and for dogs.

We have never been happier!

We will never be rich, but we are constantly surrounded by unconditional love.

We still work in our business lives, but we can choose when to join or leave the 'Rat-Race' Priceless!!
19/ In closing.

When you figure out what you 'Love', then life has a habit of going in the direction you want it to go.

We have had tragedies, difficulties and show-stoppers.

But when you know where your passion lies, you never think for one second that it won't happen.
20/ Find what you love - and do it!

Screw conforming. Screw what others think.

To hell with fame and treasure.

Love your life and Life will love you back!
Can you work your unroll magic here please?

Many thanks! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜Š
Hi @threadreaderapp compile please.

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