Busy, Busy, Busy

It’s Sunday morning which affords me some time to put some thoughts together. The next couple of weeks are going to be a challenge to my patience and my overall well-being (not to sound melodramatic or anything). I just feel off when I’m unable to have some time to reflect or just be. It is one of my favorite activities. I hate the “go, go, go” attitude. I mean, what does it really accomplish? What does being so damned busy that you cannot see the world around you or appreciate the little things in it that add to one’s life? It’s like an endless chase that does nothing but motivate one to continue chasing something that really isn’t there. Really, it’s mind-numbing. There has to be something more to being here. I refuse to believe that we are here simply to stay busy and produce. I refuse to believe that we are nothing more than units of production.

Take, for example, the word business. It is defined in the New Oxford American Dictionary as: 1. a person’s regular occupation, profession, or trade, 2.the practice of making one’s living by engaging in commerce, 3. an affair or series of events, typically scandalous or discreditable one, 4. actions other than dialogue performed by actors, and 5. a scolding; harsh verbal criticism.

Then take the root of that word…busy. Busy is an adjective, defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as having a great deal to do, being occupied with or concentrating on a particular activity or object of attention, full of activity, excessively detailed or decorated; fussy, or engaged.

It hit me a little while back, the relationship between the two words busy and business. We probably hear those words in some context everyday, but especially for the word business, do we rarely consider where the word comes from. It comes from the word busy. After looking at the entry for business in the New Oxford American Dictionary, I’ve learned that in Old English the original sense of the word stood for anxiety. The sense has apparently changed, because I know that when I am engaged in business of some kind, there is a level of anxiety, or anxiousness, involved driving me to finish the business successfully. Depending on the level, or importance, of the business being conducted, the level of anxiety can be great or small. Even still, there is some anxiety, so the Old English sense, in my humble opinion, still applies. Then during the Middle Ages, the word came to mean “the state of being busy.” This was apparently used up until the 18th Century, but the word was then changed from business to busyness. That’s just kind of something to think about. Back to business…as it were…
We are given life. Where it comes from really isn’t important in this line of thought, but we are given life all the same.  I cannot comprehend that in order for the gift of life to have value one must maintain a level of busyness…or business…the hell with it…one must stay busy. One is deemed as successful if he, or she, is busy. The level of success accorded to a particular individual is directly correlated to the level of busyness he, or she, maintains. Then there are arbitrary notions that one person’s busyness is worth more than another’s. Ditchdiggers or janitors do not receive as much compensation for their busyness as a computer programmer or an investment banker. They could maintain comparable levels of busyness, but that does not matter. The banker’s level of busyness is worth more to society than the janitor’s.

I’m not really sure where I am going with this, but it is something that I want to more deeply consider and think about. There are levels of inequality within this world that are built upon what I believe are faulty premises..staggering levels that we are all immune to simply because we are to busy, or wrapped up in our own busyness or business, to see or to care. With such, I firmly believe that we lose what it is that makes us distinctly human.

 

Advertisements

We are…

“When we are honest, we admit how agreeable it can feel to be singled out for favored treatment.  The biggest barrier to equality for all is that inequality for some feels good.”

-Philip Gulley, The Awakened Soul, Part 12:  Democratic Character Structure

“As bad and frightening as mind-based forgetfulness can be, it is in no way as damaging as soul-based forgetfulness, when we forget what it means to be human, when we can no longer identify with the forgotten, the outcast, the poor, the hurting, the left out, and the left behind.”

-Philip Gulley, The Awakened Soul, Part 13:  When the Soul Forgets

This has been on my mind a lot over the last week.  I read the pieces in which they are contained toward the beginning of the week, and have had little time to think about them very much.

I lied in my last post when I said that I had not written anything in my notebook this week, because I did write these passages, and jotted down some thoughts concerning them.  I am going to begin there and see where this goes…

I admit that empathy is not my go to reaction all of the time.  Often, my knee jerk reaction is something more negative when it comes to someone screwing up, underachieving, making a bad decision, or otherwise living in a way with which I disagree.  This has a lot to do with my patience, which in some cases is nonexistent, especially when it comes to what translates in my mind as willful ignorance, stupidity, or laziness.  One thing that I am just as impatient about, and have a negative reaction toward, is when I hear or see another refusing to sympathize or empathize with another human being that has done no wrong toward anyone.  I guess in some ways that makes me a hypocrite.

Usually, once I slow down to think about these things, I see the error of my ways, but there are occasions when such will never happen.  One instance is willful intolerance, or willfully intolerant people; especially those that are intolerant of people who do no harm to others in any way.  Their intolerance is fueled by a lack of empathy because they refuse to understand something, or someone, that is wholly different from them or what they believe.  However, in order to have or show empathy, one need not agree with another.  They do not even really need to understand what it is they are refusing to tolerate. They simply need to understand what their actions are doing to those whom they are showing their intolerance.

It goes back to one of the above quotes from Philip Gulley.  Regardless of our present stations in life, we have all been in a position that puts us against the fray or singled out from the status quo.  We’ve all been there, and we remember how lonely it feels.  We all have experienced being told that something we are doing is wrong, yet we know in our heart, our soul, that what we are doing is right, and we want nothing more than to have our actions or points of view accepted.  We seek that connection with people, that connection that tells us that it is okay, that it will be okay, and life will go on.  We seek empathy.

Without that empathetic connection, remembering that in some way we have been there and can identify with the down-trodden, we lose a bit of our soul.  We lose a part of us that makes us distinctly human.

We are not perfect beings.  We never will be. Not the first one of us.  It is here that we are all equal.  We all make bad decisions, and sometimes those decisions bring harm to ourselves or to others.  With those decisions, there are always repercussions.  When the harm is done to ourselves, hopefully we learn from it in order to not make the same decision again.  When the harm is done to another, recompense must be brought to bear. With both cases, empathy is a necessary component to ensure neither happens again.

To simply say that one is undeserving of the same joys that others experience because they live a life that is different from the predominant world view is wrong, especially if that joy will bring happiness to them while not affecting another’s life in a negative way.

We have a challenge before us in that, as the first quote above illustrates, we all want to be given favored treatment for being right, or better yet, for being righteous. We are a prideful lot, even the most humble or penitent of us, and nothing fuels that pride more than the justification received when our actions or thoughts are given credence by those with whom we most strongly agree or identify.

We then forget that there are people that do not think the same way we do. People have different value systems; be they spiritual, material, or moral. As long as what is believed, or what one thinks, does not bring physical or mental harm to themselves or others, there is no need to degrade or tear those that do think or live differently down. Such only fuels an imaginary righteousness and puts people on different levels that do not exist but only in our own prideful minds.

We all have a right to live happily in the way that we choose, again, as long as that life does not bring physical or mental harm to ourselves or others. We all have a responsiblity to treat others in the manner with which we wish to be treated. These are rules that I was taught during my childhood.  I have no doubt that many were taught just the same way.

I work on this daily.  I take many deep breaths and do my best to understand positions that are counter to my own.  It is hard…I mean hard, and sometimes I fail. It is a challenge, and will continue to be.  It is a process; but one that will make me a better person in the long run, and will persist in making my life more pleasant and livable.

In essence, it is about bringing light to the lives of those we love, including ourselves, and those around us, rather than spreading darkness, and remembering that we all have a common core, a starting point that is inherently the same.  We are all people.  We are all human, and not one of us is perfect.

Now that is something with which I can empathize. Can you?

A Response

This is in response to this post by Holistic Wayfarer…

Upon viewing the list included in her post, I decided to focus on two topics within the list:  my relationship with my sweetheart and the relational boundaries I draw.  That seemed like a good place to start, and the two are somewhat related, so why not knock out two birds with one stone.

First off, I am an intensely private person.  Funny, huh?  Especially since I keep a blog.  I try to avoid anything too private when it comes to my writing here, only focusing on things that I believe many of us have in common.  That said, it still remains that I am intensely private.  I have a difficult, no, extremely difficult time letting people into my life.  This affects those topics listed above.

In short, I have walls…high, strong, and impenetrable walls set up to protect me.  What do they protect me from?  Or, what do they protect?  I’ve had these for a long time, as long as I can remember.  When I think about it, it isn’t just my protection that the walls serve, but also I do not like to have others close to me doting on my problems or worrying about me.  So, it is also about protecting them. It probably hurts a lot more than it helps, keeping these walls up, especially concerning my relationship with my sweetheart.  I do try to open up the gate and let her in, but it is pretty hard to do a lot of the time, and I well understand just how frustrating that can be for her.

I guess the truth is that I am afraid of how others perceive me.  I could say concerned, but it is really fear much more than concern.  I don’t much care for negative feedback or being criticized at all.  Who does? I prefer to be welcomed rather than shunned, liked rather than disliked, or loved rather than hated.

Is it better to be loved as the person I want others to see, or to be loved, or hated, for being the person I really am?  This is the question that my walls protect me from.  In truth, I do not even know if tearing down my walls will bring hatred or negativity my way.  Questions, sure, and a lack of understanding are possible, but hate?  It is out there. That much is sure, but let’s ask the question again.

Is it better to be loved as the person I want others to see, or to be loved as the person I am?

I think that is a much better question and focuses more on the feelings I feel and want to experience.

Though love is the most important emotion, and strongest, there is something to be said for respect.  You cannot have love without respect, but you can have respect without love.  So…

Is it better to be respected as the person I willingly show to others, or to be respected for the person I am?

It’s a good question.  To earn respect of another is a pretty fantastic feeling, but is that respect deserving when it is given without seeing the whole picture?  but, this is off the topic and may be better dealt with at another time.

Back to topic…

I am afraid of how others perceive me which brought me to the question asked above. We know what the answer is.  In the short run the first part seems like an obvious choice because, well, in the short run things tend to come and go.  However, in the long run, the latter must be true, otherwise the lies and deceit (intentional or intended with malice or not, it does not matter) will take their toll on the one hiding who they are, and, possibly, what they do.  Fruitful relationships cannot be built upon this and be expected to last and will ultimately fail.

I guess that is a long winded way of saying that, in terms of the topics stated at the beginning, without fear, things would look very different.  My relationships would be much stronger and infinitely more meaningful, thus contributing more positively to my life and happiness in it.  More or less, fear is crippling, and serves little positive function when it comes to relationships between people.

Siesta Key, My Desk, My Coffee, and Back

It’s been a crazy week, so there has not been much time for writing or even to think of something about which to write. We’re just going to go with a true free writing session and see where the fingers and mind take us.

One great thing that has happened this week is that my wife and I have ironed out our vacation plans. We are going back to where we spent our honeymoon last August. The super cheesy part is that we will be there to celebrate our first anniversary. It was all my idea. I swear.  We will be heading to Siesta Key, a small barrier island right off the coast of Sarasota, Florida. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. The name of the island gives a pretty good idea about what it has to offer. Siestas abound, and if you know me, you know I love siestas. Siestas on the beach, as long as there is an umbrella that will move with the celestial movement of the sun in order to protect my fair skin from the beams of cancer that radiate from it, siestas in the condo, siestas on the lanai, siestas anywhere I can lay my head and feel pure serenity. Needless to say, I am excited.

Also, also! my new writer’s desk arrived this week, and my wife, being the ever so crafty and assembly inclined woman she is, put it together for me while I was at work on Wednesday night. I was pretty stoked about buying it, was stoked when I bought it, and was stoked when it showed up. I am still stoked about it. The surface is four feet by a little over two feet, and is unfinished which I love. For a long time I was a top of the lap or a tv dinner stand laptop user, but now I have a desk and I must say that desks, especially those that offer room, lots of room with no clutter, are the way to go. When I was in college and it was research time, which seemed like all the time, I would stake my claim on the biggest table in the library I could find and go to work finding books, printing journal articles and dissecting them all in marathon, caffeine induced, sessions. And there was room to organize and stack everything in its proper place. Ahhh, I miss those days. Maybe my new desk will allow me to recapture those moments along with a cup of my sublime weekend coffee.

Oh yes!

The weekend!

It is nearly here, and I have no plans. Ahhhhhhh, it’s a wonderful feeling. So when asked what I am doing, the response is likely to be “nothing” or “I don’t know…something,” and That. Is. Fabulous. Maybe I’ll go for a walk. Maybe I’ll hole up with my new desk and write. Maybe I’ll watch a movie. Two things are definite, and two things only. I will have coffee from my French press, and I will be practicing making the perfect cappuccino with my espresso maker. Oh yeah! My espresso maker! I now have my own area of the kitchen that is solely mine. Mine! It does not have a name yet, but it is the little countertop by the sink that has my weekday automatic coffee maker, my French press, and my espresso maker on it.

You could say that I am an addict. Actually, you should probably say that. I am an addict.  When I went back to school in my late twenties, I discovered the indispensible value of coffee. Coffee to wake me in the morning. Coffee to get me to lunch time. Coffee to perk me up in the afternoon. Coffee to accompany through the evening hours studying or writing papers or doing research. And coffee to push me through the deep, dark hours of night to meet assignment deadlines. I embraced it. I came to love it, and still do. Although, now I try to keep my coffee intake between the hours when I wake up until lunch time. After lunch, no more coffee, and that is okay. As I have matured in my coffee love, I have come to know good coffee, and life just keeps getting better. My wife’s sister sent us some coffee from Italy, Lavazza Crema e Gusto, at Christmas time. Not long after, we bought a French press, and coffee heaven has been in our midsts since on the weekends because good coffee takes time and time in abundance is something I do not possess in the morning during the work week.

Needless to say, our French press and our Lavazza will be making the trip with us to Siesta Key, along with my immersion blender to foam my milk. Heaven in a cup in our siesta filled heaven that is to come. Life is good. If only I could take my desk…

My wife will likely have something to say about that, and speaking of my wife and remembering that she is the boss, I have yet to ask her what the plans are for the weekend. I’m hoping she feels about it the same way I do.

It’s Only Natural

After a long, long day, I returned home from work last night to something.  Something quite amazing.  On the sidewalk, not far from the door to my apartment, was a snake constricting a small songbird.  I did not witness the snake taking the bird into its coils, but watched as it continued to squeeze the life out of it.  My wife, of course, went out of her mind when I told her about it, but we both knew better than to interfere with it.  So, I continued to watch the scene unfold before me.

I will give you the scene in detail in a moment, but this morning I had a thought that I wanted to share with all of you…well, really a couple of thoughts…

We have a tendency to romanticize nature, basking in its splendor and beauty.  We photograph sunrises and sunsets.  We watch as deer or rabbits cavort in fields and backyards.  We attempt to bring a little nature inside with us by the use of aquariums or terrariums.  Often, the calmness of nature, the sweet melodies of songbirds at sunrise, the endless and gentle bubbling of a nearby brook or stream, the repetitive rhythm of the tide on the seashore, or the evening serenade of chirping crickets and bellowing frogs, brings us peace and serenity.  With all of that, we tend to forget how vicious nature can be, and how quickly the serene can become terrorizing, just as it did last night for the unfortunate songbird and its mate.

These two songbirds made the support beams beneath the second floor landing of my apartment building their home.  They could be seen huddled together at night after a busy day or in the morning, early, before the day began.  They could be heard singing sweetly as songbirds do.  In a word, they were adorable.

Then, last night, as one lost its life to its hungry predator, the other was shrieking harsh and panicked tones.  I could hear the panic it must have felt.  I do not know if birds experience fear as we do, but last night it experienced something dreadful and truly awful.  Once it realized there was no hope for its mate, the lone bird became quiet and, in my mind, sorrowful.

After the snake ate its prey, I brushed it away with a broom, attempting to bring my wife some level of comfort.  I’m still not entirely sure that worked, though.

The next morning, I woke early, I mean early for work.  3:30am early.  Yeah…early!!  Usually, when I’m up and out that early, I can look up into the woodwork of the landing above and see my two melodious friends.  It was not to be this morning.  I took a few more steps and saw my lonesome friend tucked snuggly into the corner, on the steps going up to the second floor and against the side of the building.  It happened to be the same step from which it watched its mate disappear into the coils and then mouth of its reptilian predator.

At that moment, the romanticization of nature set in and I felt a profound sense of sadness.  I felt a little sadness last night, but this morning, seeing that little bird huddled in the corner, in solitude as if placed in time-out, I just could not imagine the sorrow that I was sure it felt.

I don’t even know if birds feel sorrow or love, but I’m pretty sure I saw love last night.  I saw something tragic and beautiful at the same time.  Beautiful because the bird did all it could do to free its mate from its captor.  The anger and panic in the bird’s tone was present.  There was fear as well and desperation, but there was nothing the bird could do.  Eventually, the sense of desperation visibly and audibly became a sense of despair as the bird came to know that there was no way to save its friend.  The moment the bird came to that realization was powerful and instantaneous.  One moment it was screaming loudly, beating its wings furiously, and jumping here and there in sheer panic.  The next moment…nothing.  A mournful, almost pleading series of gentle chirps, no beating wings, and no jumping…just watching as it realized that there was nothing to do.  Its friend was dead.

Neither of those two birds knew that Wednesday morning would be their last morning together.  They had no idea that one of their lives was going to end that night.  I imagine that they went about their day as usual.  Chirping a little here.  Flying over there and then chirping a little more.  Eating a few bugs, perhaps a worm or two.  Such is a bird’s life.  No doubt they keep their eyes open for predators, for not even a songbird can be naive enough to think that dangers do not exist. I guess the hard part is knowing from where they might come.

In a previous post I stated, “People will not know what happens next, as much as we pride ourselves in believing we do know,” and it’s true.  100% true.  When something does not go in the way in which we expect, panic certainly sets in at least until the unpredicted situation is realized and a solution or a conclusion is reached.

Nature shows us again and again that as predictable as we think the world is, there are no guarantees.  Just take a tally of how often the weather man is spot on with his daily forecast.  Human ingenuity, logic, and reason can be used to explain so many things.  There is one thing, however, that they will never explain, and that is the natural element of surprise.  I admit it.  I don’t handle surprises very well.  Especially the bad ones.  I often times do not make lemonade when life hands me lemons.  I would prefer to throw the lemons back at wherever they came from.  I do not like to roll with the punches.  I don’t even like getting punched.  I would much prefer that the punching just stop as quickly as possible.  There are a ton of these I could go through, but I won’t.  I’m thinking you probably understand what I’m saying.  I hope so anyway.

Knowing all of this, however, I am still going to do my best to live life and not allow the fear of the unknown stop me. Regardless of what danger may lurk around any corner, it’s best to just keep on keepin’ on.  The world would be a pretty boring place otherwise.

 

 

 

Hurry Along

I’ve had a difficult time getting the creative juices flowing this week, and my mind has been a bit more muddled than usual for some reason. So, I’m hoping this little free writing session will help me out a little.

It’s been a long week. Work is a little busier as the calendar lurches on toward the summer months, and the summer heat is coming right along with it. I am not ready for that! See…I’m one of those weird southerners that prefer  cooler weather. Spring time weather is about as warm as I want to feel. 65 to 75 degrees works just fine for me. Anything over 80 better have a stiff breeze coming with it, otherwise misery ensues. Why does summer have to hurry along so quickly?

Hey, there’s a topic. Hurrying. Let’s run with it and see where it takes us…

Do you ever just stop and think? And when you stop and think do you ever wonder why it is we are always in such a hurry? I say “we” as if you are in just as big a hurry as I am. Are you? I read a pithy meme on facebook sometime back that said something like “when did staying busy become such a glorified trait?”  I agree wholeheartedly with that statement.

But it isn’t just being busy, it’s being in a hurry. Everything is a hurry nowadays. I find it sad, ironic, and a bit humorous that everyone pines for days gone by when life was perceivably easier and things moved more slowly. Yet, the same people that wax philosophical about those long, lost days move nonstop from sunrise, or before, to sunset, or beyond, and rarely slow down long enough to see the world that is around them.

Admiittedly, I can be the world’s worst about being in a hurry. When something has to be done, I need it done immediately. If it does not get done, then I stew over it and stew over it until it gets done, so I prefer to get it done and out of the way. When I have to get somewhere, I am in a hurry to get there in order to keep from being late.  Lack of punctuality is probably my biggest pet peeve. I consider it incredibly rude to be tardy, me or anyone else.

But why?  What is the point?  What good does it do us, in the long run, to stay busy or in a hurry?

Personally, I feel much better when I am able to slow down and relax.  Sure, there is satisfaction after being busy and completing a task, but there is just something about being able to sit, take a deep breath, and just look around at the world in which I live. I feel calm and collected. Then at some point, it begins all over again.  A task presents itself and needs to be accomplished as quickly as possible, usually to be followed by another one. Instead of enjoying life, it becomes a contest.  Get the task done in the appropriate amount of time, and I win!

But…win what?

What is the prize?

I previously posted about a list of things that we are supposed to do as we develop and our minds and bodies mature, but it seems like I forgot to add one…

Apparently, we are supposed to stay busy.  I don’t know where that rule is written down, or any of the rules for that matter; but in order to be a good and decent person, we have to keep busy.  We always have to be doing something “productive.”

It does feel good and satisfying to complete a task.  The harder and more demanding the task, the better it feels when it comes to fruition.  However, that pleasure does not come until I take a moment to slow down and reflect on what I did and how I did it.  Why did I take on the task, though?  And beyond its completion, is the task or the results of the task going to give me satisfaction? And how long is that satisfaction going to last?

All good questions I think, and I bet the answers are just as good. Of course, every task that I perform serves a very important purpose, brings immense satisfaction, and that satisfaction lasts ’til infinity and beyond.  It’s true.  Every bit of it.

Now my body is telling me that I better hurry up and get the coffee going so I can relax and enjoy it once it is done!

Have a great weekend!

 

This Needs a Title…

I don’t really know what made me think of it. I was in my car on the way to work and being grateful just popped into my noggin.

My brain does weird things. Don’t ask.

So, I thought about being grateful and, of course, what came up are the things for which I am grateful. There were a lot when I really got down to thinking about it. Then I got into the whole taking things for granted issue in my head. I do this a lot, too. I take things for granted. Lots of things. Then again, don’t we all?

The short version of things for which I am grateful goes like this…

Life.

I am grateful for life. Pretty short, eh? And it’s easy. Think of something in your life that does not bring pleasure, make the day better, make the day-to-day easier, make life worth living, or teach you in one way or another to live life, differently if needs be. All of that adds up to life. If you are not thankful for it, get rid of it. It isn’t worth having, doing, or suffering through.

I try to tell myself these things, and my self does not always listen, but sometimes it does, and my life is the better for it.

Then there are those things that I take for granted. Like I said, this is a big list. Pretty much it goes like this…

What do I take for granted?

Life.

Not always, but a lot of the time.  Other issues that seem important and life altering at the time tend to take precedent and demand immediate attention and action of some kind.

After taking a little time to consider what I am thankful for and what I take for granted, I have come to a conclusion.

For me anyway, those things which I am typically most thankful for are things that I want. Those things which I take the most for granted are those things that I need.

Now I could go into a long, drawn out debacle concerning those things I want and those things I need, but I won’t. I know what I need and know what I want…I think.  Here’s the thing, though. When I don’t get the things that I need, I feel off. Things don’t feel right. I might feel depressed. I’ll probably feel anger, and probably have a sense of despair. I don’t feel these often, but when I do, I feel it all down to my bones.

When I don’t get what I want, I tend to whine about it in that moment I want it…no…that moment that I think I need it. The situation in which the thing I want is needed passes, and the pissiness goes away. Sure, I will mull it over and wish for it should the desire arise again, but it just toddles off like a passing fancy. Usually anyway.

I have been thinking a lot about this over the last little while…weeks, months, years..a little while anyway. I’ve written countless pages about it in one of my little journal books, trying to understand it and cope with it. I know there are a LOT of books out there that will claim to tell people what they need and what they want, but how does some author or specialist that has never met me, spoken with me, or even seen me know what it is that I need or want? How do they know what makes me happy? How do they know what makes me sad? How do they know what angers me or depresses me?

There are some good general rules, I suppose, but each of us is different. We each experience life differently and have different experiences that add to the lives we live. I will not assume what makes you happy, but I am continually learning what makes me happy, and what makes my life worth living. I know this, writing, is one of those things. Sharing my thoughts with others makes me happy. It is something I need. It is even better when I find people that agree with me, though it does not happen as often as I like. That is something I want.

Needs and wants are pretty closely linked. They seem to be anyhow…to me, and with a world full of seemingly infinite possibilities to fulfill any number of wants and desires, it is easy to lose focus on what is really important.

I know I feel better when my needs are met, and for that I am most grateful. I am thankful for those wants that I have acquired as well; but it’s those things I need that I receive that bring the greatest joy and greatest sense of fulfillment to my life, and that is what’s important.

 

Severe Miscalculation

image

Since Sunday, maybe even before, my little corner of the world has been warned of some extremely bad weather coming our way on Tuesday and lasting through Wednesday.  If you follow the weather the way I do, then you know of the devestation and loss of life throughout the south due to the same weather that is supposed to be hitting us in north-central North Carolina. So like any weather geek with multiple weather apps on their phone and ipad, and weather sites bookmarked on their computer, I have been glued to them all…

watching…

waiting…

expecting…

I even began planning what I would do should an emergency present itself due to the weather. If at work, make my way to the central hallway or meeting room that is centrally located in the facility. If at my parents’ picking up my dog after work, make way to either of the bathrooms (the basement is full of instruments of death should 300 mph winds come about). If at my apartment, find solace in the bedroom closet with my better half and our dogs.

See…all figured out. Safety first, as they say.

The anticipation is almost gut-wrenching!

What you may not know about me is that I am a nut for thunderstorms. I love them. Always have. I enjoy sitting, or standing, out on the porch (covered of course) and watching the lightning flash and the wind blow and the rain pour from the sky. Sure, I get spooked from time to time and common sense prevails, telling  me to get my ass inside, and more often than not, I listen. I’m not without at least a little working gray matter upstairs. But, I love thunderstorms, so a sick and twisted part of me gets all giddy when I see a severe thunderstorm watch come up on my little weather apps…a severe thunderstorm warning is something akin to Christmas Eve. I know… there is something wrong with me. You don’t have to say anything.

You can imagine the level of anticipation I was feeling yesterday when I checked my weather apps first thing yesterday morning. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ALL DAY TUESDAY AND ALL DAY WEDNESDAY…lots of yellow, orange, and red on the future-cast radar…80% 90% 95% 100% chances for the foreseeable future. Call me a kid at the candy store with mom’s credit card.

Excitedly, as excitedly as first thing in the morning prior to coffee, I went through my strict weekday morning routine and headed off to meet the day ahead, watching the horizon and nearby sky for hints of the impending shit storm that was to be coming our way.

I drop my dog off…

Nothing.

I get to work…

Nothing.

Not so much as a little gust of wind. A little drizzle, which, I do not have to tell you, is about as annoying as it gets when it comes to weather…you can just never get the windshield wipers to wipe at the perfect interval.

Immediately, I check the weather.  The severe weather has been pushed back to beginning at lunch.

Great.

I check again at lunch time…it has been pushed back to starting during the midafternoon.

Check again at midafternoon, around 3ish, pushed back to dinnertime.

Check again…check again…check again…check again…

Pushed back…pushed back…pushed back…pushed back…

You can imagine my displeasure.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad my entire world has not been blown away. I’m glad I still have my life, my wife, my dogs, and my stuff. BUT not even a rumble of thunder…hell…not even a strong gust of wind…bigger hell…not even a gust of wind…barely a breeze…just dull, boring, gross gray sky and drizzle.  DRIZZLE!

My wife stayed at her place of business last night, being the good boss and facility director she is, in case anything catastrophic happened. I stayed home with my dog, expecting at any moment to be awakened by a freight train of wind and to hurry into the closet. I woke up multiple times to check the radar and the forecast to see that, again and again, the storms were pushed back. No awakening to rumbles of thunder or flashes of lightning or the pelting of rain or hail on the window by the bed, and awakening to the dull gray sky, the same sky I saw all day yesterday, this morning.

I know predicting the weather is not a perfect science, far from it. Lots of unpredictable things happen in a seemingly predictable world, but…damn (I was hoping to be a little more profound, but that’s all I’ve got).

I’m still looking at that gray sky now…still waiting…still watching…still checking…though expecting less and less.

Relax…

 

imageI came across this litte gem a few days ago on Facebook, and a thought came to my mind…

Who on earth wants to be an adult?

Maybe I was a weird kid, but the last thing on my mind was wanting to become an adult.  Work, bills, a mortgage, rent, car payments that seem to never end (like a mortgage), health insurance, and a plethora of other things adults have to handle were NOT my aspiration.  Oh, and kids and raising a family…definitely were not on my to do list when I was 15.  Truth is, I didn’t know what I wanted at all at that time.

When I turned 18 and graduation loomed on the horizon, I knew I wanted to go to college, and I thought I knew what I wanted to do.  As it happens, I was wrong, as are a lot of teenagers. I know a lot of folks that did know what they wanted to do, and have done it. I even know some that began doing what they wanted to do, saw that it wasn’t up to the snuff they thought, and then found other things to do.

The fact of the matter is that too many are in too damn big a hurry, and… AND, this little piece of wisdom illustrates, there are things that people are supposed to do as they come of age.

We are supposed to become adults.

We are supposed to raise a family.

We are supposed to have a career.

All of those came before living life without failing at it.

There is my thought in a nutshell. Life is not about the things we are supposed to do. There is more to living than that. Living is doing what you enjoy and figuring that out for yourself. I’m learning that slowly.

I am big on routine, so big on it that my most regimented routines are more like rituals. If one piece of the routine goes wrong, then chances are my whole day is screwed.

I like plans. I love it when a plan falls perfectly into place and runs itself flawlessly. If one part of the plan comes undone, then panic mode immediately sets in, impatience ensues, and the world as I know it comes to a grim and bitter end.

Some may think I’m being a bit melodramatic. Just ask my wife if that is an overstatement. I’m working on it though, It helps that my wife is the most spontaneous and erratic individual that has ever graced the earth.

It comes and goes, more going than coming at this point, but my patience with life will grow. My patience with living life will overcome. I will survive.

The rituals and knowing what we are supposed to do may make life easier and more manageable, but it does not necessarily make it better. One never, ever knows what is coming around the corner.

So, I would boil down this little proverb into two words.

Relax. Live.

That is all we really have to do.

Looking out the Window at Work…

It’s a slow day, so I thought, “why not write?”

Truth is, I am bored at work. I mean…really bored.  So this will end up being a bunch of rubbish from start to finish. Sometimes I just like the feeling of typing something out. Always have. I can remember when I was a kid and our old Tandy computer with no games on it. I would find my way to the word processor and just start typing. Nothing of any real consequence (like this), but just typing. Maybe not even real words, just jibberish like this…

ajkekmenjdn dikenyeooie ,fnliha wusndimfb vi fjknf fhjs nsl,fnlufhyrnosnuemdnaha.

I don’t know why. It is just something I would do when I was bored…kind of like now.

There is somethng that has me thinking this morning, but I’m not quite sure I am ready to tackle it just yet. I did leave a bit of a cliffhanger with one of my previous posts asking what do I want to see concerning being the change one wants to see in the world.

As I sit here at work, that comes across my mind as a pretty complex question, and one that I probably shouldn’t try to answer, but sometimes it’s good to go with your gut. So here goes…

What do I want to see?

I want to see a world without apathy. I want to see a world where people care about something beyond themselves and their wants. I want people to consider others when they make decisions. I want more empathy in the world. I want to see more people care for one another. I want a world without labels. I want a world that is inhabited by human beings. Not Europeans. Not Americans. Not Asians or Mexicans or Latinos or Hispanics or Whites or Blacks or Chinese or Japanese or Italians or Greeks or Germans or Turks or Iraqis or Iranians or Christians or Jews or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus or Sikhs or Eskimos or Canadians (don’t ask me why Canadians came up last. I don’t know). I want to see people live according to their fullest potential and see them happy doing so.  I want to see myself living according to my fullest potential and be happy doing so. I want to see a world without regret. I want to see others living without regret. I want to see others and myself learning from those regrets and no longer regretting them. I want the poor to no longer be poor. I want the sick to be healthy. I want to see it snow. I want to see the sun shine. I want to see it rain. I want to see the wind blow. I want to see the sun rise and set. I want to see the moon.  I want to see the ocean and the tides.  I want to see a world where possibilities are realities everyday. And right now, at this very moment, I want to see food because I am starting to get hungry.

What do you want to see?