Monday, September 19, 2016

Sometimes Time

Sometimes I wish I could freeze time.

No. I want to pause time then replay it when needed so I can relive it and so could everyone else in the memory...but then would it just be a photograph?

Better yet, what if I could stretch time? Or hold an intermission during time? At least a breathing time?

No, I want to amend time. Why pause it? Why not capture it along with a variety of other forming memories and make wine out of it and cork it? Then I could sip it when I need it, when I'm lonely, when I'm missing the ones I love.

No, maybe what I really want to do is mend time. I don't mean fix. I want to sew moments together like a quilt and crawl underneath, grow warm there. If only this were possible.

No...what I want to do is bookmark time. Return to that page. Show it those who need to see it so they can see where I'm coming from, why I have the point of view I do. And to share it too.

If only I could punctuate time. Add a comma to slow it down, a dash to speed it onward, a period to stop, or a semi-colon to wait for a while for the inevitable.

Sometimes I don't know what I want. Sometimes time is cruel.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Things one should never outgrow:

While walking one day, I discovered this home-made "Stonehenge." It reminded me of that maxim
1. Eat.
2. Design.
3. Sleep.

Happening upon this little circle of stones, I felt a kindred spirit. What's the point of life if we don't create something out of it? Whether it's a tool or technology, or a territory, we humans make things. And we hope others will admire these creations. My psychology training tells me it's like self-determination theory: we need to feel in charge of something in the world (autonomy), we strive to succeed at that something (competence), so we can share that something with others (relatedness).

I noticed you kid, I noticed.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Let's be honest:

Hate makes you an asshole.
race is in your head. Racism is not.

1. "I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks." ~Harper Lee

2. "You never understand a person until you see things from his point of view." ~Harper Lee

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rear or Year?

You need to have an iron rear to sit upon a cactus, or otherwise, at least a year of very painful practice.” Jack Prelutsky

Agreed, wise poet, agreed. Inevitably, during our lives, we will face many “cactuses” (or “cacti” if you prefer). Some big some small. It might be developing a new skill. Maybe it’s our first year with a new job. Or a complicated relationship. Maybe it’s a matter of health or wealth or something we need to change. Whatever the prickly situation, as a comedian once observed, “cactuses are always sort of flipping us off.” But we must remember this: no one gets stronger and wiser without outsmarting cactuses.

Prelutsky’s poem reveals important perspectives on how to face life’s difficulties. Which is better: the “iron rear” or “the year?” And that, my friend, is the crux. When faced with obstacles and challenges, we must all answer this ourselves. Based on my experience, some tips (pun intended).
  1. Determine if it’s really a cactus. Maybe it’s not as thorny as first imagined? 
  2. Prioritize your cactuses. Which one first and why?
  3. There’s no such thing as an iron rear. Sure, there may be an easy way, maybe cutting corners is possible, but these are often temporary solutions. Remember “no pain, no gain.”
  4. Admit defeat and withdraw. Like a fortune cookie once advised me: “Stop procrastinating starting tomorrow.” This is an understandably popular option because there’s no conflict but there are still consequences plus, by giving up, there’s zero personal growth.
  5. Suck it up and go for the year. It may be the only way. But remember the key word in Prelutsky’s clever poem: practice. Practice is not just repetition. Don’t practice on autopilot, or like a broken record. Instead, make minor changes each time. Problem solve. It’s all about trial-error-adjust-try again and repeat. Strengthen your assets. Trim the problem down into manageable sections. Expect some pain and increase your tolerance. Invest in Band-Aids if necessary but get comfortable with tearing them off. Persevere. Prove the pricks wrong. Grow. And don’t face cactuses alone. Get encouragement and feedback on your process and progress. Finally, no matter the outcome, share your cactus stories; even the unsuccessful attempts may harbor the words someone else needs to hear. And most importantly, help others navigate through their battles. 


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