Monthly Archives: August 2015

And The Cycle Continues

vicious cycleI am more than a bit confused. Realizing that such a feat is not all that difficult, I beg you to continue reading anyway if you please.

Think about this:  We are bombarded by food adverts day in and day out.  Most of these are not for healthy food.  Such unhealthy foods lead to such things as obesity which can lead to liver damage, diabetes, arthritis, and more obesity since we are too ill to exercise.  With me so far?

Now, factor in the boom in gyms all advertising for your money to “get healthy.”  And factor in all the “quick health remedies” with their powders and their pills and all their expensive products and their cheerleader sales reps telling you that all you need to do to get healthy is sell your home to afford the first month of their products.  If their products don’t work as advertised, these cheerleaders cheer even louder that you must use MORE of their products.  The next month you have to sell off your kidney or lung, but hey, you are making progress because you are 10 pounds lighter and 500% broker.

Then there are the physicians, who fuss and fume about eating habits and exercise habits, while they require test after test, exam after exam, and referral to other physicians who are thrilled you have insurance and they all prescribe medications which require more funds you don’t have.

So you decide to eat healthier.  Go to the grocer to purchase healthier foods, where you are faced with a dilemma: do I pay the $60 water bill this month or spend that $60 on healthy groceries I can hold in one hand?  And the cycle continues.

I am not convinced that I want to be healthy while living in a cardboard box under the overpass down by the river, or live the life I have, die sooner, but have a LOT less hassles and VASTLY fewer hands digging into my meager stipend!

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Second Chances

second chanceHave you ever said something you regretted?

Have you ever done something and wished you could have a redo?

I have learned, having been on this spinning orb long enough that my mind frequently loses focus, that every breath is a second chance! Every morning when I wake up, I have another opportunity! Every opportunity to meet someone new is an opportunity to make a new friend.

We spend so much time worrying about the past, and we KNOW the past has already been written. We spend so much time worrying about the future, which has yet to be written. We lose sight of the story we are writing right now!

Take your pen and write YOUR story, mistakes and all because it is truly a tale worth telling over and over.  Every moment is a second chance…make the most of each one!

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Uhhhhh……Ummmmm……Huh?

WhatI have always been quite the curious lad.  My mind seems drawn to what many take for granted and I want to know of the origins, the reasons, the causes, and such.  As a child, I was encouraged to hold my tongue and keep silent (usually with the ear pinch or whack to the seat of the pants).  But my mind is relentlessly curious and occasionally observant.

  • Why does Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal promote cannibalism by showing their cereal bits devouring each other on their commercials?
  • Who was the first person to get a college degree?  How did they know they had learned enough to earn that degree?
  • Why do we, as a society, continue to make stupid people famous?  Do we truly have nothing better to do with our lives than to watch their lives implode?
  • Why do we insist on enhancing our bodies surgically in an ongoing effort to “look younger”?  What’s wrong with being who you are?
  • Why are there no quiet wrappers on foods or candies so you can eat in peace without having the scroungers coming around to pester you for some?
  • Why do parents bring their children to a quiet place, like a library or a coffee shoppe, only to let them run rampant like screeching monkeys attacking each other for the last banana?
  • Why do we demand respect yet believe showing respect is a sign of weakness?
  • We spend so much time working that we have to have someone else raise our children (that we somehow found the time to create and birth), and then complain about how tired we are only to take a vacation to go someplace coastal only to spend the time either cramming so many activities into our time away that we return more tired than when we left, OR we spend the time away working through our phones, tablets, and various other devices?
  • Why do people poke holes into their bodies big enough to show the inner workings of their bodies then complain that no one will hire them and expect those with jobs to support them?
  • Why is it that on all the episodes of people being stranded in the wilderness or on some deserted island or forsaken encampment it is only the men who end up needing a shave?
  • Why is it on these same episodes that only the beautiful girls get lost?
  • Why do we need “reality shows”?  Do we not live true reality every day?  Of course, true reality is not as melodramatic or so badly overacted.
  • Why are there some people who simply seem incapable of NOT talking?

I’m just a curious lad whose mind seeks answers.

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See With Vision, Not With Sight!

EpictetusI happened upon this quote of Epictetus, “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”  How odd that this nugget of wisdom from the ancient Epictetus is still a resounding truth today!

Take, for example, the idea that for centuries we feared sailing beyond the sight of land because we just KNEW that we would fall off the edge of the world. And yet, we were eventually able to learn the truth that the earth doesn’t just drop us off when we go so far.

For many years we just KNEW that the Moon was made of cheese, yet we were eventually able to overcome that thinking to realize that attempting to make a sandwich with the Moon was not exactly ideal for the digestion.

Consider, also, the notions regarding diet.  For a while, eggs are bad, then they are good, then they are back on the naughty list with bacon and all the other foods I find thoroughly tasty.  We also have been told that meat is bad, then it is good, then it is bad again.  The same can be said for bread, butter, sugar, coffee, beer, and other delectables.

We go to the beach and are told that the sun can cause skin cancer so slather on lots of sunscreen. Then we are told that the ingredients of the sunscreen are ineffective as sunscreen but make an excellent skin softener.

I mistrust anyone who claims to have the final knowledge on any subject!  How many times have you decided not to order something from the menu because someone you knew told you THEY didn’t like it?  How many times have you had a wonderful experience at a business only to have that experience jaded because someone you knew had a bad experience?

We seem to miss out on so much wonder found in this world because we think we already know all about it, yet we make new discoveries quite frequently.  We need to start opening our own eyes and senses to experience this world for ourselves!  Stop relying on the declarations of, let’s face it, other human beings as flawed as we are.

Why do we elevate the opinions of others above our own?  Are they the ones who will be living YOUR life?  NO!  You live your life!  You experience your own adventures!  Let’s open our senses and LIVE our own lives!  See the world with your own vision!

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I’m Confused……Sort Of…….Perhaps……Yeah, Definitely!

Are You SeriousMy mind generally likes to run rampant among the quiet villagers, keeping them awake at night, and causing slight mayhem when possible.  My mind especially enjoys a good loud romp through the minefields when it’s time for me to sleep and I have an early meeting in the morning.

*  Think about this for a moment:  We used to write on tablets of stone; we graduated to papyrus, parchment, then books.  Now, we are back to tablets.

*  For some reason, my mind ventured off to a jaunt back to my college days.  I remember one of the girlfriends I had.  We were, shall we say, enthusiastically adventurous when it came to amorous activities.  During the afterglow snuggle, if I had to release the bladder, I would get up, take care of the matter, and come back to bed all the while wearing nothing but a smile.  However, when she had to take the same journey, suddenly the sheets were whooshed off the bed, wrapped around her like a mummy and off she would go, and then she would come back to bed STILL wearing the tightly wrapped sheet and slide into bed so I wouldn’t see her nakedness that I had so vigorously enjoyed earlier.  I could tell you about every mole and freckle; about every spot that got a great reaction to the “don’t touch” spots, but she’s now fearful of my seeing her naked?

*  And speaking of women (who confuse me more and more), why is it that women dress to flaunt their physical attributes but take offense when they are noticed?  Are they flaunting only for a select few and everyone else is supposed to somehow realize this and avert their attentions elsewhere?  If you are bold enough to put it out to be seen, I am bold enough to look! If you don’t want it noticed then don’t put it on display!

*  Have you ever noticed that people tend to push their grocery carts the same way they drive their cars?

*  I remember, as a child, going to the grocery store with my Mom who got herself all cleaned up like she was going to church.  Now, you walk into Walmart…….

*  When cellphones first became popular, they were HUGE! There was the over the shoulder bag phone that weighed a ton, and there was the brick sized phone.  Gradually they became smaller and smaller until they became the size of a credit card.  And then just this morning I saw a kid pull out a cellphone that was the as big as my shoe!

*  When I was growing up, weddings and funerals were respectful events where you wore your best suit or dress and men made sure they took their hats off when they entered the building.  At the most recent wedding I attended, people were dressed as if they had just taken time to come from the beach to see the ceremony and then they were going back to the beach.  Even had some who showed up in what appeared to be band-aids and string which was a HUGE distraction for the groom…not to mention the minister.  And the last funeral I attended had people show up in raggedy shorts, tank tops on the girls barely covering a freckle much less any skin, and flip flops.  Sunglasses and hats remained ensconced during the entire inside event, never once were they removed.

I am confused and bewildered by our behaviors as humans or are we reverting back to animals?

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What’s Wrong With Being Weird?

Why Are You Looking At Me As If I Am Somehow Weird?

Why Are You Looking At Me As If I Am Weird?

Everyone has quirks, oddities and weirdness in their daily habits.  I have a friend who will only shave her legs on days that have an “S” in them.  Have another friend who will only drink coffee with the handle of the cup facing to the right.

Athletes have their own weird habits and oddities.  Some have a lucky bat.  Some have a charms they wear.  Some have rituals such as tapping their left shoe with the bat three times before stepping into the batter’s box.  Some will only cut their hair when their team loses.

I have a few habits that might be considered odd or weird, but I consider them normal.  For example, I have to put the left shoe on first.  My computer trackball is only to be used by my left hand (while I am considered right-handed). When I answer the phone, I am listening with my left ear.  I like to listen to Military March Bagpipe music when I walk.  When I run (jog, slog, shuffle) I sing cadence to myself.

My point is just because we have oddities in our lives does not make us outcasts.  They just make us weird!  EMBRACE YOUR WEIRDIOUSITY!

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What Keeps You From Flying?

butterfly

Flying seems like it should be a rather simple feat.  One should merely spread one’s wings, flap them vigorously, and off you go.

     We make all sorts of excuses as to why we cannot fly.  We forget excuses are nothing short of our fears being vocalized.

Think about it:

     I’m too heavy!  Okay, perhaps you might be carrying more than you should…learn to let go of what’s holding you down! You see, we are hoarders of the unnecessary.  We hold on to things far longer than they should be held on to, simply because holding on to them brings a sense of comfort to us.

     Take GRUDGES for example.  We carry these mountains around with us for years and YEARS!  Even beyond the point where we can no longer remember what it was that pissed us off in the first place.  Oh we might say we have “let it go” but the truth is we have only taken them from our shoulders to our backpacks.  It’s as if we are actually afraid of trying to exist without them.  We might forget that we have a grudge against someone and, *gasp*, talk to them!  Perhaps even befriend them.

     How about our PREJUDICES?  Whether consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously we have prejudices that must be CONSCIOUSLY dealt with.  I am a Protestant Christian, and for years I was prejudiced against any group that thought differently than I.  Then I took the chance to talk with people who do believe differently than I do, and we have a mutual respect that I won’t try to change their way of believing and they won’t try to change mine.  Some of the nicest people I have met do not believe as I believe.  Yet we wear the armor of prejudices to protect ourselves from having our beliefs challenged, and in so doing, that armor weighs us down!

     I will admit that I am still prejudiced toward people who bring their children into a quiet coffee shop to run rampantly wild, disrupting the force, and generally annoying the patrons.  While their little demons gallivant about upturning chairs, plowing into other customers knocking over their coffee, screaming like banshees, these thoughtful parents/guardians/caretakers find a place to hide.

    We cling to hatred, misconceptions, anger, hurt (real and imagined) like a drowning person clings to anything that floats.  Learning to let go isn’t easy and it takes conscious effort.  But when we are able to let these heavy weights go, we begin to realize that we are not just floating, we are flying.

     Another great thing about flying…you don’t have to have a destination!  You can fly just to change how you see the world around you!

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Are We Truly Becoming More Stupid?

common-sense-300x210

What is happening to us?  In the 60s and 70s, when I was a kid, we watched Bugs Bunny cartoons yet never felt the need to drop an anvil on someone’s head or shoot them in the face with a shotgun. People knew that steam rising from the coffee meant it was going to be HOT! We knew knives were sharp, guns were not something you looked down the barrel of, and we also expected to get a butt whoopin’ if we broke the rules.

In school, we respected our teachers because we knew they would spank us if we misbehaved and then tell our parents.  My parents were of the mind that if the teacher had to spank us, my Mom (who was a stay at home Mom for my formative years) would spank us again when she had to come get us, and THEN when Dad got home he would “get our attention” and lecture us afterwards.  Honestly, I would rather have had my butt beaten rather than have to endure the lecture.  Good grades were rewarded, bad grades incurred study time instead of television time.

We were taught to respect police, fire fighters, clergy, teachers… in fact, twice a week we would put a snack in our mailbox for the carrier.  We ate what was put in front of us or we didn’t eat.  Never did we treat our parents as though we were the ones in charge and they were our servants.

We didn’t have to be told not to drink drain cleaner or antifreeze.  We were taught that stealing, for whatever reason, was wrong.  We were taught that melodramatic extremes were not the way to discuss a situation.  We were taught lying was wrong and got our mouths washed out with soap for lying. We didn’t dare mouth off to our parents or any other adult for that matter.

What has happened to our society?  Have we lost all common sense or do we choose to ignore it in favor of believing that “someone else” is culpable?

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