What’s Best in Life?


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. So that’s a very broad question… But I can answer one piece of it.

Most of us (me included) do not know what we want. Before you say, “No *expletive deleted* Sherlock!” Allow me to dig a little bit deeper.

It occurred to me that I’m not doing what I want to do. Even though this occurs to me on a regular basis, one memory from four years ago still lingers… You see, I was riding the train home and sitting next to someone that was putting off a putrid body odor. Before everyone knocks my lack of compunction, let me tell you that this was far beyond your standard human being stink. I’m not talking someone who walked two miles to the train station on a humid 95 degree day without underarm deodorant. I’m talking about the kind of stink that lingers over a two-week old dead body lying in a rainforest.

Now that I have sufficiently gotten your attention (and perhaps offended the Hell out of you), allow me to continue…

Sitting for 1.5 hours smelling death in a small, hot train car can make you come to some realizations in life. For one, I realized that I don’t ever want to do that again!

During this time, I found myself pondering the immortal words of Conan (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger), when he was asked, “What’s best in life?” Without missing a beat, Conan replied, “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.” Now there’s a guy who knows what he wants!

The more that I think about Conan’s statement, the more I understand my lack of an answer to the question “What’s best in life?”

I know what my dream day would be like… I would wake up, take a short walk, and then swim (in my backyard pool) for an hour or so. After a shower, I would eat a good (nutritious) breakfast that was prepared by my nutritionalist and chef. Following that, I would write for about two hours straight (uninterrupted). Next, I would spend some playtime with Kristine and kids. Once we wore ourselves out, I would hit the music theory and guitar for an hour or two. After guitar, I’d tackle some business by returning emails, calls, and innovating my next great idea. Then, I would get some more kid playtime in. I’d squeeze some form of physical fitness in at this point in the day. Finally, I would wind down with the kids and Kristine watching TV or goofing off. After putting the kids to bed I would do some more business and prepare my agenda for tomorrow (more of the same). Before turning off the light for the night, I’d get some reading in.

That day would obviously be altered to fit in other activities, hobbies, etc. Also, from time-to-time, there would be a two-week vacation to somewhere exotic.

Funny thing about my list… I don’t see work (at least not in the traditional fashion) listed. Try as I might, I can’t seem to squeeze it in there. Some of you might argue that my writing (if done on a professional level) would be considered my work. Or, doing my entrepreneurial business ventures. I guess that’s true, but running my own business in brief time slots and writing are both things that I am passionate about. I don’t normally associate passion with work. Viola! Therein lies the problem… In order to make my life more meaningful, I need to be passionate about what I do for a living! *cue inspirational music*

The problem grows when you consider that balancing things you are passionate about and work is nearly impossible. So, I have decided to dedicate some time and effort to figure this out… If and when I figure something out, I will probably write an instructional manual and publish it.

For now, I will continue to commute to and from work. And, I will continue discussing these things with you on my blog.

Please feel free to comment with what you feel is best in life!

A passionate man who is still seeking his passion!

Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

Stalk Me

It may sound creepy, but I’d love for you to stalk me! Seriously! I’m always looking for new virtual connections and friends. In this information technology age I am living life on the bleeding edge. I have countless social media outlets and memberships. Today I will list many of them and request that you click on each and connect with me! Please?

Without further ado, click away!

Stalk Me Online

My Online Blogs and Sites

To find out more about me, read my article: Allow Myself to Introduce Myself

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Also checkout my About page.

Better yet, read my memoir, Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C.

Enjoy your stay here, and please remember to subscribe to our newsletter and share this site URL with your friends!

Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

Allow Myself to Introduce Myself

You probably wonder who this guy, Vaughn Foster Ripley, is… Why he’s started the Healthy Wealthy Tribe… And, why he’s (yes I’m talking about myself in the third person) qualified to inspire you… I’ll use this article as an introduction to my inner-being, and a pathway into my crazy psyche.

An Aries baby, I was born on April 12 in 1967. Yes… that was a long time ago! I was born with a rare bleeding disorder called hemophilia. I’m a type-A hemophiliac, which means that my Factor VIII (8) levels are low. My Factor levels fluctuate (this is very rare among easy bleeders) and my level is normally mild with occasional swings into moderate. My levels have never been severe, but I know a bunch of severe hemophiliacs.

Suffice it to say that I spent much of my childhood time in the Emergency Room getting Factor VIII to curb bleeding episodes. I believe that my addiction to adrenaline and extreme sports is not only genetic, but directly related to the fact that my parents, siblings, friends, doctors, and teachers all kept me protected and warned me to avoid any contact sports and dangerous activities.

For most of my childhood, I listened… Then when I hit about thirteen I decided to follow my own rules. So, I started playing football in the neighborhood

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. We also played Murder the Man with the Ball. Soccer. Skateboarding. BMX biking. I did most of these things without my parents knowledge. However, my hematologist was no dummy and he knew I was ramping-up the adrenaline games. He tried to counsel me, but I wouldn’t listen. My need for excitement grew with each day!

Because of my dangerous sports and hobbies, I started having more bleeds and joint issues. I was in the ER at least twice per week of my entire teenage life. This is the main reason why my knees, ankles, and hips are always so sore.

Then, in 1986 (or earlier), I contracted HIV from a bad blood transfusion. My family doctor called my parents and me into his office and told us that I had fewer than two years to live. I was nineteen years old and devastated. I spiraled into a deadly dark place and started drinking and doing drugs. I was heading for a short life in multiple directions. After two years of depression and drug abuse I picked myself up and realized that I wasn’t dead yet. With the help of my wife (then girlfriend), Kristine, I was able to defeat the drug addictions and straighten my life out.

A few years later, Kristine and I were married. I had found a career path doing my passion of computers and technology, and I started working my way up the corporate ladder.

Circa 2001 I found out I had Hepatitis C and probably had it for most of my life (again from tainted blood). This was disheartening (especially considering all of the drinking I had done), but not the end of the world, or my life. Right around this time, a new medicine regimen was introduced in America that had a 50/50 chance of curing Hepatitis C. The bad news was that the medicine caused severe flu-like symptoms and extreme weakness during the entire procedure; which takes ten months to complete! I didn’t see any options, except doing it.

I got on the program and literally suffered through the ten months feeling like I was dying. It was the second darkest nadir of my life (finding out I was HIV+ was numero uno). Sometimes I could not even get out of bed, but I managed to make it through. After I finished the results came back as it working for me. I no longer had Hepatitis C! Finally, a deadly disease that I had acquired was beaten! I was elated (to say the least)!!!

Kristine and I decided to have children. A new form of in vitro fertilization, called ICSI was introduced as a viable option for serodiscordant couples (where one person is HIV+ and the partner isn’t). We jumped on the bandwagon, and after five tries we were able to have two healthy children! You can read more about our pregnancy adventure here: healthywealthytribe.com/creating-life-in-a-laboratory.

Recently, I published my autobiography in a memoirs format. Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C; which details my life story and the crazy life I’ve led. This book started as a journal and legacy that I could leave behind for my children and quickly turned into a full-blown book.

After completing my memoir, I realized that I was a writer at heart and started on my first piece of fiction, a cyberthriller titled, Decrypted. This is actually the first of a dozen or so books in a series about a female hacker named, Jessica Carter. Recently I got a literary agent for representation and I’m hopeful to publish my first (of many) fictional books in the near future.

Throughout my life, I’ve done many adrenaline-packed adventures including: rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, and so on. One thing that has stuck with me is motorcycle riding. I spent many years racing on the track and riding crotch rockets:

Dan, Chris, Vaughn, and Ben about to go out on an adventure.

After my daughter, Trinity, was born, I decided to hang up my racing boots. However, I still love riding and do so on a more laid-back Harley Davidson.

In more recent years, I’ve started giving inspirational speeches and talking to groups about improving and making the best of life. This belief has led to my inspiration blog posting. Before I started the Healthy Wealthy Tribe, I did regular posts on my first blog, hivlongevity.com. This blog was primarily a resource for people to see how I’ve managed to be one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.

Drop by my About Page for more details.

That’s me in a nutshell. If you want even more gory details, feel free to get my autobiography:
Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C

I hope this article helped to shed a little light on me, and gave you a touch of inspiration.

Love you all,
Vaughn Foster Ripley

Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.