My grandfather only tried to buy me once. If I would forego a mission, he would put me through Harvard. It wasn't quite phrased like that, but my parents sat me down and explained that was what it really meant. I'd already passed on MIT and Stanford (though he did not know that) in favor of BYU. I turned down his offer.
I grew up in trailer parks, the son of an enlisted man in the Air Force. My dad had volunteered, been rejected, was drafted and was then accepted (the draft board didn't care about his broken back, and when they cleared him, the Air Force was suddenly interested in him). He never got out, staying in the military far longer than the four years he had originally expected.
My mother's family had a different perspective on life. When she went to visit her uncle in prison, the guards served them a picnic lunch on the hillside. She later learned that guards in most prisons do not address the prisoners with "yes sir" (or the Greek equivalents). My mother's twin had a place in Manhattan, one in Rome and one in Athens when they weren't at Princeton. I had a triple bunk bed I shared with my two brothers, all the books in the world, and was happy. I look back and am still happy to have lived my life.
Best of all, I had loving, kind and thoughtful parents, who spent time with me and who I am happy to see, even today. And I'm glad I did not sell myself.
Thanks to FMH and Eve, whose post [here] got me to finally start writing a bit on this topic. I'll try to write more.
On the Shangri-la Diet, I've come across some various flavorless protein powders and I'm going to start using those for my flavorless calories, at least in part. That way I can up the dose, yet still get enough protein in my diet. I'm pleased with the new weight training approach I've found and am really hoping to be in decent shape by September. Funny, I've gone from having a hoped for goal of 178 pounds to seeing that as a way point on the way to my current goal.
My bruised rib is almost completely healed (I lost track of the ground while trying to throw someone softly and dropped them on me instead of on the ground. Still a throw for Ippon, but ouch ...) My shoulders have recovered from the rotator cuff inflammation I had that sidelined me for a couple of years,* and I can now do weight exercises with them. It has been interesting coming back to Judo without a significant edge in arm and shoulder strength. I am finding many, many things I learned wrong but that I used to muscle through.
Now I learn something new every class, often with a good deal of embarrassment.
(*it was too easy to fix, especially after being a nagging pain for a couple of years. I saw a doctor, he passed me off to his therapist who basically told me that it didn't matter how I got the problem, all I had to do was work on my posture and it would go away. I did, it did. That theme of "it doesn't matter what caused the problem, the question is how to solve it" has come up a lot in my life this year).