It is said, life doesn’t put any more on us than we can stand. Frankly I’m not so sure about that. I mean, I’ve had moments in my life where I did lose all hope. Where fear had completely overtaken my thought process, where reasonable thought gave way to panic and hopelessness. Life not placing upon you more than you can stand. Does that account for the millions buried in mass graves around the world? Or to those that die daily from disease and/or poverty?
I feel that for the most part I have a clear desire to survive. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. But the weight of life can place unforeseen burdens on us. Burdens that are often repeated over and over again. Or burdens that slam us so hard, that we are simply overwhelmed. I can’t offer you any solid solution to these situations. I dare not try and offer you any canned solutions, because each person is different. But the first true epiphany I had was realizing that anything outside myself wasn’t going to save me.
Begging for some unseen force to protect you, certainly didn’t rescue me. But the expertise and compassion of others did. Therapist, counselors, and doctors all played a role in educating me in the art of survival. As the years progressed, damage was also being done physically. Here my second epiphany occurred. That of learning to let go and let others carry the burden. Rather it was physically (doctors, nurses, family) or spiritually (burdens, stress, fear), I had to learn to let go. There are moments when life places more upon us. The lesson is learning to face up to your fears and that it’s okay to let someone else carry them for you.
It’s funny how sometimes you have to step into the confessional to cleanse your soul. But what if the sins weren’t entirely your own? We can step into situations not entirely of our own doing. But does that still make us guilty? The one person that has disappointed me more than anyone is myself. So does that make me someone that simply enjoys self-abuse? Or does that make me a pawn in this primal world of dog eat dog?
On my journey of “spiritual enlightenment”, I have been taught to be selfless and giving. Yet the world displays its need for aggression and selfish pride. Why is that? We all have the capability to show kindness. Unless you’re the one throwing paper towels at desperate people after a hurricane. Sitting next to the lake yesterday I simply breathed in and took in the scenery. Then my truest and pretty much only friend texted me. In a few lines she showed a vulnerability rarely seen from her. As she typed I read, reconfirming to me why we have relied on each other for over 40 years.
We all wear our armor. Being taught from an early age only the strong well survive. But even the strongest and most successful of us have burdens that are often too much to bear. The point here is, don’t let society and its impulsive social norms draw you in with its fear. Just look around you. Doesn’t the Christian Bible say, “consider the lilies” (Matthew 6:28). Maybe if we stop and breathe the answers will come. Fear is a seed grown from the unknown. Peace and calm are grown from awareness and understanding.
Don’t panic, just breathe. That’s what I tell myself when feel the old ticker is fibulating. I’m never quite sure if it’s a physical or mental thing. I guess that’s what makes it an adventure, I suppose. Still I find that calm measured breathes help. I’ve lived both ends of a varied life. One where I hustled and struggled for every dime; and one were taking it easy is now a necessity.
To be honest, neither is great option. Yet one often leads straight into the other. But it makes me wonder if some of today’s modern medical miracles have robbed humanity of its natural order. I mean is living a life where you have to tiptoe over landmines like A-fib or CHF really living? Or should we be destined to live and die by our life choices? I know it’s a shitty thing to think about and besides I suck at philosophy.
Hell, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, art. Through the benefit of medical science and a healthy dose of fear, I’ve learned to slowdown. And in doing so, I’ve learned to develop my creative talents and grow with them. So while evolution may say, “only the strongest survive”. The cognitive mind often says, “Wait a moment, I have a solution for that”. Every day we wrestle with the natural order of things to accomplish our goals. But in the end, it’s quality not the quantity that makes it all special. So don’t live in fear of the moment. Embrace it and see where it goes.
Surprise. Surprise. I’m awaken from a sound sleep…again. This time by an extremely foul taste in my mouth and the slightest flutter of my heart. The foul month I could explain away as the remnants of meat laden meal. But the atrial flutter, well I hadn’t had one in a while. Maybe it’s just me over doing it yesterday?
Aches and pains are certainly nothing new to me. Given my amped up sensitivity to change via panic and anxiety. It’s something I’m often confused by, meaning, I don’t know rather to stay or go. The classic fight or flight reaction. Sometimes if I just calm myself, the emotions and physical manifestations will soon disappear. But often that’s easier said than done.
So I’m left either continuing to fear my state of health. Or discovering what a paranoid fool I am. It’s basically a no-win situation, that leaves me physically and mentally spent. So I sit once again frozen in my indecisiveness.
God, I wish I could give you an answer for this shit. I guess my one true weapon is honesty. To stop hiding behind excuses and being very candid about my situation. Putting my words to this screen makes this my confessional I suppose. It may not be a perfect system, but for now it’s all I got. Making me accountable, at least to myself. Don’t let your physical or mental health dictate your happiness or joy. Do the best you can. Seek professional guidance. Do it for yourself, you’re not alone.
There are moments when I feel stuck. You know, stuck in my position in life, stuck in some bad situation, or just plain stuck in a moment. Being who I am, I can’t help but have a little pity party for myself. The kind where the world’s just not fair and everyone’s out to get me. It’s 2:38 in the morning, I was awakened from a sound sleep my body’s urge to pee. So to kill time before I reclaim my dreamland, I checked out a little Instagram. Scrolling through the images, I see the happy productive lives of my peers. And like a poison all those post were telling me nothing except I’ll never measure up.
Now I don’t mean to sow bad seed on those I follow. It’s just that at vulnerable moments like this, I feel like the rest of the world’s moving while I’m stuck in the moment. But if I think for a moment and look deeper into the relationships I’ve formed, I realize we all struggle. That there are times when we all have to give ourselves a little pep talk just to make through another day.
But again being who I am, the weeds of doubt and fear continue to bloom. I don’t care how much you may want your garden free of weeds. At some point you’re going the have to put in a little work and rake and hoe it out. Some prefer out to just stray their garden with poison for a quick fix. But doing so choke’s away much the life you’re actually trying to grow. So don’t feed yourself a constant diet of self-doubt and hatred. Rejoice at the accomplishments of you friends. Then be willing to put in the work to clean out your own plant beds.
Between bitterness, anger, and greed we allow ourselves to be robbed of the beauty. The beauty that stands between us and what others want us to think. Through paranoia we’ve allow ourselves to be robbed of the very things we could use. Standing in this confusion are a few that can’t make heads nor tails between the two sides. As they draw swords in some holy crusade no one will ever win.
I made an effort to listen to all sides. But in doing so, I’m called a hypocrite and an enemy by all involved. Now I’m too tired and need a moment to myself. So if no one minds, let’s not blow the shit out of one another till I’ve had a chance to breathe. Some things aren’t worth the effort. Nor are they worth the time put into them. In a place I was beginning to be a little proud, now everyone is picking up their toys and going home.
Fairness and justice should mean something. Instead, they are pawns in a chess match created by the greedy. Filling our heads with morality and truth, when they themselves have never spoken an honest word. Give me one word that will change my mind. Show me one example of selflessness and sacrifice you’ve made. Like I said, I have no more words to waste. No more time to pine over you.
Believe it or not, I’m actually sitting in my own yard. The leaves are blooming on the fig bush, offering a little shade while a steady warm breeze blows. I know I’ll be sneezing my ass off out here, but anything beats the low drone of the television coming from the living room. Some of the EMC crew are coming in for lunch. So their carefree banter is bleeding into the yard. Every so often a bumble bee strolls by to see what I’m doing. While my elderly neighbor from down the street takes her noon, time walk. You may ask, why I needed a vacation from all this quiet. But to be honest the steady ocean breeze is just what I needed to lose track of time.
My sinuses are giving me that old familiar pain, while log trucks pass bellowing out their long diesel songs. Birds whisper in my ear, repeating tunes sung for generations. Looking in a mirror I mimic my forefathers in looks and personality traits, I don’t even realize. All the while, watching yet another spring rise from its sleep. It isn’t any wonder why human behavior is so predictable. We live in a world of cycles and patterns that humankind has yet to understand.
We are “enlightened” free thinkers that through our own arrogance have forgotten what living really is. Sunlight reflects softly through the leaves over my head. The photosynthesis that breathes in life, from the waste I breath out. We search for peace; we search for satisfaction from the trinkets and toys we create. But it’s where the mind connects with the heart and soul, that makes everything click. Restlessness is its own reward. So find what brings peace to you, but never forget your roots. For the true strength of a tree lies hidden underground.
I often wake up in the morning, knowing “good an damn well” I got pills to take and testing to do. Yet I’ll lay right there and do nothing till I start feeling Ill. With my Type 2 diabetes, I’ll either ignore my morning test or worse yet not eat anything till I’m about ready to pass out. I’m not sure if it’s just laziness or lack of motivation make me this way. Or if it’s the lingering effect of my good-old self-destructive behavior.
I suppose I should ponder these things and take appropriate action. Instead, I just chalk it up to having a bad day and let the shit go. Right now I got a lot of shit on my plate. So I’m giving myself a hard pass on the guilt and lofty expectations. Because I see people that push themselves hard to achieve a goals, only to be left disappointed time and time again. Listen I know how it feels to be disappointed. To reach out for the brass ring, only to get knocked off that horse.
There’s nothing wrong with having goals. In fact I have achieved a number of life goals over the years. The thing I am saying is, don’t beat yourself up over circumstance. Life’s both a hard journey and a boring routine, with the occasional moments of joy sprinkled in-between. Don’t let bad moments steal your joy or your purpose. Take a breath and know that the sun will eventually come out again.
I took a of days off, simply answering a couple messages and editing some friend’s work. Sometimes inspiration comes to me in waves, other times it’s has to be forced out. One of the most fascinating things about telling stories are the responses I get back. It’s interesting to read the comments and see the points others pull from my words.
When I first started publishing my stories publicly, I was so afraid other people would be critical of my words. And yes, there were critics that either disagreed with my thoughts or felt the need to correct my grammar. I first started publishing my thoughts on specialized forums like the mental health forum “Panic No More” and a student forum at the “University of Phoenix”. With each I gained confidence and grew as a writer. I then started a blog on “Blogger” (which is still there) back in 2011. Eventually there came the eBooks, then the paperbacks through Kindle Digital Publishing (available through Amazon). All the while working to build my business career.
To say I’m successful at writing would be laughable, but say I love doing it would be an understatement. Success and fame are alright, I’ve had those things before in another life. But happiness, freedom, and respect are far better. In whatever you do, find joy and find passion; as a Systems Analyst I felt rewarded, but at the same time I felt a tremendous amount of stress and confinement. Eventually that and my own personal mental baggage caused my downfall and a much-needed reevaluation of myself. All I can tell you is, thrive at what you are doing because you never know. But if you find no joy in it, don’t be afraid to let it go.
Me and George have moved outside, to enjoy as much of this sunny weather as we can. The forecast for the rest of the week is cloudy and rainy, so before the cold and wet weather moves in, we’re going to toss balls and dig holes. I’m sitting in here in my rocker typing away, while George lays in the sun chews on his favorite stick, a limb from one of my sycamore trees. I definitely don’t mind days like this, it makes tending to this overgrown puppy bearable. Not that I don’t like George, but I left my child rearing behind years ago.
Some see me as lucky to be able to pursue my passions. I suppose I should acknowledge the blessing, but it didn’t come without a price. Years, decades of struggle created this path. Years of trial and error to discover the right fit for me. For all my planning and preparing I did, only to see those plans completely throw out the window. I guess what I’m trying to say is change is not always a bad thing. But at the same time it’s not always a good thing either.
What makes change work is one’s willingness to accept who you are and work from there. I mean hey, I have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Systems Analysis. Yet here I am babysitting a six-month old brown Labrador. Do you think maybe I’m over qualified for this position?
You see while making my plans to be a Project Manager/Systems Analyst, my body and soul had something else in mind. Both of these situations turned my world upside down. But by first accepting my circumstance, I in turn discovered who I really am. Taking the pieces of what was a shattered life and created a blessing. This is not some trick you can learn, it’s just something you do through trial and error.
Well it’s kinda been a busy morning. Not that I’ve been doing anything productive. I mean I got supper going in the crock pot and I took care of a few overdue messages I needed to send. Other than that, I’m nailed to the house with my usual digestive issues. It’s funny, but for over 20 years one thing or the other has seemingly conspired against me to pin me down.
I suppose I could overanalyze the whole situation and blame it on outside forces or better yet blame myself. But a number of years back, I just decided to quit worrying about it anymore. I have friends that are always trying to reinvent themselves. To take what is theirs and somehow create something new. I don’t know, I’ve tried that so many times that I just don’t see how it’s worth the effort.
Maybe I’m lazy or maybe I’m just a fool. But after looking over the edge, a tremendous amount of the fear I carried, just went away. I don’t know how many of you can relate, but improving one’s self isn’t a bad thing. I fact self-improvement is a healthy thing. But some habits just aren’t worth the trouble or the time. I’ve noticed that just by learning to be: to be quiet, to listen, and to breathe are enough to change the problems within us.
Listen I got no magic formula to sell you. No got rich quick scheme or 16 habits to make you better. I’m just me. But I do love to tell a story, and I figured the story I know best is my own. Hell I doubt I’ll ever get rich or famous, and frankly I don’t care. All I know is I have a decent roof over my head. A toilet that works. And my kids I can call if I’m ever in real trouble. So what else does one need, then to be honest and respected?
I’m looking out the window, while George is napping on the couch. After wearing the dog out, I had breakfast, took my pills, and caught up on my messages. So right now, I’m just breathing. Focusing on nothing in particular other than listening to the central heating unit, the ceiling fan, and the occasional car passing by the window. You take your moments when you can. Because at some point those moments will disappear.
I don’t need to go into any more detail about how my weeks been. It seems that whatever “shit points” I collected decided they needed to be cashed in. So after six days of stressful hell, I can finally take a breath. George is up whining for attention, not much differently than any other situation I’m facing. But for the moment, it’s just me, some jazz playing over the Google Dot, and George now gnawing on a toy.
So what’s the point, you say? Well, everything. As humans cannot function without rest. Even our fight or flight instinct shuts down after a while. Listen, I’ve already pushed myself to the edge and the damage has been done, so I can’t afford any more stress. So I need moments like this to rest and recharge. After all, life’s too short to relay on adrenaline all the time. So go find yourself, find your center, and be at peace during your troubles. For this too shall pass.
Having a little trouble getting to sleep. Been listening to some old records on Spotify. Not so much to remind of the old times, but I suppose to remind me of the times that never were. We’re told to forget the past, to blaze for ourselves new trails. But honestly every time I tried that, I only ended up being blocked by my past. I always felt like I was trying to live someone else’s life. That the dreams I was grabbing onto weren’t really my own. Maybe I’m just being some lazy old SOB, but I truly feel the moment cannot be met without first facing your past.
I may often dwell too much in a melancholy past. But it’s in those moments where I find perspective, not so much in a point of view, but in looking at things from all angles. In other words, why? Why can’t I just accept destiny and accept my fate? Why am I not driven? Why am I so unhappy? Lord knows I don’t have any answers, I wouldn’t even pretend too. But the fact remains, the past cannot so much be forgotten as it can be forgiven.
Etched across my mind is the image of God reaching out to man. I’m sure it’s painted across the ceiling of a church somewhere. For me it represents either the bonding of two souls or the healing of the past to the present. Both of these things I try and reconcile. Neither is an easy task; but they were tasks often hold my mind captive. I understand that some philosophies wish me face truth then let go. But in all honesty, I simply don’t wish to let go. For one is a vision I frankly hang my sanity on to, while the other offers me a clear path to who I really am. I guess all I’m really trying to say is, I’m having a little trouble getting to sleep.
Some days not a word will be uttered between us. Some days there are just too many. For love is often just a compromise between convenience and duty. But as one grows dependent on another, love is often replaced with a chain. Honesty is often choked away behind tears never seen. Behind verbal abuse and disrespect. Behind smiles of charity often hides the gnashing of teeth.
Seldom are the words spoken, for fear of the names. As self-righteous inclinations pour upon those with no other voice. So we stand at a river too swift to cross. Reaching, but never touching, too far gone to not cause a stain. Standing in our respected corners, we say all the right things. Telling ourselves lies. For peace has escaped this existence. There’s nothing left to say. Yet more to be done.
Sitting with the sun to my back a little chilly air rolls across my bones. A couple of kids walk by carrying a bag from the store kicking a deflated ball from the ditch. I sit here listening to traffic as it rolls down 280; with the occasional sound of a barking dog and a four-wheeler in the distance. Lost in thought I think about creation, the effects of winter, and how I’m oddly enough in no hurry to see spring. Life deals its cards and while some of us lust for power or the next conquest. A fine number of us enjoy working with our hands, minding the store, and moving about our day.
Often I feel like I’m seen as sort of a sloth. Milling about my day at some slow motion pace. A bit of an oddball in a world full of what-a-be winners. I used to feel like I wanted to be a winner, but after a while it was just more trouble than it’s worth. Besides, I’ve discovered that even with a few hundred followers and an average 15 likes. The influencing I do is just enough to keep in good karma standing. I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s positivity parade, but really the message we should be sending is pretty simple. That in order to truly be happy, we must live our lives in this moment and the thoughtful of those around us.
I by no stretch of the imagination, am a perfect man. I fuss and I cuss and I complain as much as anyone. But in quiet moments I’m reflective, I focus on the here and now. I that time to watch the last of the leaves fall. Or listen the flapping of wings over from a small bird. I even eavesdrop on the occasional squirrel feud. Without a little quiet and stillness, we will never regain our sanity. There is such a thing as working beyond your own pace. But it’s never too late to change. All you need are a few moments of silence.
I picture thoughts differently, with no real agenda or course. This freedom allows me to move (within reason) about my world relatively stress free. Yet there are still obligations that chain me to the realities of my situation. Realities of both flesh and bone, and thought and duty. Because no matter how unfortunate the situation. Sometimes your hands just have to be tied. I would love nothing more than to walk away from the responsibilities. But then that would only force me to not be the person I’m comfortable being.
To say life is unfair, can often be a cop-out. A poor excuse to remain stuck in a situation you don’t want to be in. I for one walked into this with both eyes open, and it’s up to me to see it through. For even in my so-called chains, I still have the freedom to express myself. To pursue my passions with a certain degree of autonomy. Whereby I may not be completely happy about my life situation, but it doesn’t stop me from expressing my truth.
As I take in one last cleansing breathe before I rest. I open my mind to the emotions around me. The silence, the sound of my wife snoring, our son watching a west coast basketball game. All these things and more create the words I write. Not limiting me to just the things I see, but to the dreams and desires I have. For life doesn’t have to be just X’s and O's written on a clipboard. Life can be whatever you can make of it, even underneath the weight of the choices you’re given.
I can hear Lisa talking to the cats like they’re our children, through the other wall my oldest son plays an old video game. Me I’m laying here half-ass watching a playoff game while finger-tapping these words into my phone. It still amazes me that people actually read this junk I write. I mean, I have no formal writing pedigree. I lived nothing if not an ordinary life. I’ve lived no exotic adventures or even lived through any extraordinary stories beyond my own. Yet I have a modest following of 10 or 15 people, that either like my words or the silly little snapshots I take.
Whatever the reason, I caught the bug to write again after a 20+ year drought. As a kid I wrote all the time. I wrote poetry to all my girlfriends. I wrote superhero stories for all my guy friends. I later wrote stories just to keep myself sane. I suppose I’ve built quite a persona about myself. Being the person others have perceived me to be. I often think to myself, why do I act that way? Like I’m silly and boisterous around some, hard and grouchy with others, or cold and inhumane around a few more. All the while my wife Lisa gets the pleasure or displeasure of seeing it all.
Now I see the world through a very cynical pair of glasses. I suppose my life experiences, have shaped me that way. Hearing kind words coming out of someone’s mouth, while at the same time seeing true intent coming from their hands. I suppose I could accept some form of redemption for those sins. But when actions are repeated over and over again, redemption is farthest thing from my mind. So in order to walk the path, sometimes you got to wade through the shit to get to solid ground. But some things in life aren’t worth trying to understand. All you can do is just move forward, while dropping that excess baggage as you go.
Where do I start? While I was expecting something to happen Wednesday, my mind is still in a whirl over the events in Washington. I mean these once fringe groups wanting nothing more than the anarchy and civil war. But when you recklessly play with fire, something’s gonna burn down. So between the fear mongering on stage outside and in the halls of congress, what else did you expect? My favorite part was all the news analyst and political elites clutching their pearls in disbelief.
But enough about that shit. My New Year doesn’t begin till 12:02 pm on January 20 anyway. And even then, I’m holding my breath. The last six years have taken a toll on me physically. The last five years have done nothing but exasperate my mental health stability. While on the outside I can show a certain degree of calm, my insides are slowly breaking down. Down to the point where even the slightest change in routine or order, can cause serious changes physically. I reckon after 20+ years of walking around feeling like your pants are on fire will do that to you.
So this morning I probably won’t turn on the news or read my newspaper. I’ll just go over to my daughter’s and dog sit a 100 lb. five-month-old puppy. And for a few hours, I’ll worry more about what George is putting in his mouth. Then what’s driving seemingly rational humans into a paranoid state of fear and hatred. Because without compassion, empathy, or truth; the lust for power “makes for strange bedfellows”. So don’t be surprised who you wake up with in the morning.
Please note this was written the night before the incident in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.
I am done…seriously. I am done with the whining, I am done with the denying, I am done with the anger. Most of my family and a pile of my friends, know I’m a “bleeding heart liberal”. But most of them at least still love me despite my “sinful ways”. And I should know, my father-in-law tells me he loves me and prays for me every Sunday. It’s like when my Mom would tell me, she burned letters for me every day to God. That’s the kind of conservatism and Christianity I appreciate.
But over the last several years I’ve noticed a new intolerant kind of religious stance that’s taken over America. That kind that sounds eerily familiar to the rantings of other intolerant religions. I like to believe in the good of people. I like to think all faiths have some inherent good in each of them. But like I said, I’m just done with the shouting. Give me a valid reason why your way is better than mine. Be willing to listen and compromise. Turn off the rhetoric and fear, and give me the honest truth.
Listen the young woman that cuts my hair is as conservative and religious as they come. But we have a whole lot in common. She loves to laugh, she needs to feel love, and she tells a great story. She enterprising, enthusiastic, and loves those she loves. Why can’t we all be that way? This life can be really sad when all you live for is control and domination. It means you live in anger; it means you live in fear. Let’s all be a little more patient with one other. Let’s give everyone the benefit of the doubt, at least in the beginning. I’m so tired of the hate and the banter, that I’m just about ready to shut it all off. Breathe for a moment and listen to the voices and not the shouting.
Wish to be someone I wasn’t, like an actor on a stage. But eventually when the lights dim, all I’m left with is the man I had always been. Without respect of family or kin, I was left to wonder a path of troublesome introspection changing values, like changing socks. It feels a bit redundant even mentioning this, but most everyone wishes they were someone else as well. But it’s also worth repeating that when chasing fantasies of a better life; change never comes without putting in the work.
As a recap I seriously started reinventing myself some 14 or 15 years ago. I pursued a higher education, which I achieved in 2015. But it wasn’t an easy journey there were many stops and starts along the way. Then there is my ongoing mental health issues, which I still live with, but I can handle far better with experience and mindfulness. Now over the last 6 years, I’ve battled back from near death with my physical health. Which despite the limitations it has placed on me. I sit here more at peace and comfortable with myself than ever.
Life’s journey leads us to lots of disappointments. But in those moments that we often learn the most. I may never achieve my childhood dream of being a rock star or even a decent musician. But I’ve learned to appreciate the little things like the cool chill of a January afternoon. The relaxing companionship of a rescue animal. To breathe in the air and hear the constant complaining of a couple of squirrels. Dreams are tempered by reality, but in moments of awareness, you will find your heart’s desire.
Walking a path through oak and swamp leaving all I had known behind. I walk backwards through time to an ancient fort. The massive structure covered in mold and spanish moss, build in several iterations of wood, dirt, brick, and stone. I thought for a moment how this was once a thriving town, left to waste like someone’s bad memory.
As I lay here the memories fade as quickly as they came. But I still smell the dampness of the wood, stone, and ground. I am a nomad at heart a citizen of no particular cult or kin. I don’t belong to the “burbs”, didn’t stick around any particular religious sect, can’t even call myself “Geechee” though I’m an adopted son.
But yet life still pulls, it pulls us to our desires our destiny’s. When we ignore the pull, we often turn inward destroying ourselves in the process. Making bad decisions and gasping at whatever straw we can find. I understand we should keep moving and that we should bury the past. But life without embracing the pain, is a life without embracing yourself.
So I carefully navigate the path, mindful of roots that can trip me. Aware of the places and the people I have known. Becoming less chameleon and more a product of experience; with each step, each hill I must climb. But when you awaken from the slumber, that’s usually how it goes. So as I look over the next horizon I follow a path to a nobler truth. That I’m never really alone, when experience and curiosity led the way.
New Year’s couldn’t have picked a worse time of the year to happen. For one, I’m not in a very festive mood. Two, the weather is just plain crappy. And three, for me 2020 hasn’t really ended yet. I mean, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, the sitting president is showing out like a three-year-old that needs a spanking, and for some damn reason the entire world is watching our senate race like the damn country depends on it. I’m just tired. Tired of the election temper tantrums, the whole not being able to see what few friends I have, and the preventable deaths that have occurred.
I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s “hope and change” parade, I’m just being honest with my emotions. I cannot will a good attitude on myself. I tried the shit way too many times, only to see my pumped-up emotions get popped by a single sharp pin. My only solace is that soon my attitude will change. I’ve lived over 20 years with clinical depression. I’ve seen my share of highs and lows. I’ve watched myself fight and fight to feel “better”, only to be dragged back to the ground by a single drop of rain.
It’s a part of who I am, so I’ve learned to accept it. I’ve also learned that through acceptance and compassion I can deal with it. I have learned to love myself as I am, warts and all. Through forgiveness and self-respect, I’ve learned that things will never change unless you deal with the inside first. No matter how much weight you loose or how much success you have in life. Nothing is ever enough till you make peace with yourself. Life is an unending struggle for us frontal lobe thinking creatures. We threat about the past, as well as the future. When what’s really important is the here and now.
Outside I’m cleansing my palate of all the isolation and bitterness I see. From watching the news and social media, that fills my mind with the poison of fear and division. But now that I’m in the backyard, where even the joshing of the EMC crews is a welcome distraction between what is real and what is fake. Why do we allow a handful of bitter souls dictate our thoughts? When it is clear the real world simply operates like a clunky, but we’ll oiled machine.
Listening to a combination of chatter, truck back-up buzzers, and the occasional songbird bird. I am surrounded by everything but the mindless clutter of well-worn rhetoric that spews from the screen. I marvel at the balance of the antenna tower next to my home, while the same time I am amazed by the complexity and balance of the sycamore trees. Why do we so enjoy the superficial? The talking clans of ignorance that believes they can explain away the randomness of it all.
I sit here in the mid-afternoon, while cars and utility trucks pass by. Seemingly unconcerned with the breeze blowing the remaining leaves that wave it me on this picture-perfect day. An elderly neighbor walks by, with two or three kids in tow as she does three times a day. With a walking stick in hand, her name brand track shoes that look out of place, with her button-up sweater and long skirt. Yet this is what’s real, this is what I cling too, in these seemingly fearful and stressful times.
The water spickets are dripping waiting for tonight’s freeze. It’s been a colder than usual December around here. We usually don’t get this cold a weather till late January or February. But I got the sun to my back, so it doesn’t feel as cold as it is. My mind dances around thoughts between what I want to do and what I’m capable of doing. Sometimes it’s a bitter chain tied around your neck, when you dream dreams and are yet acutely aware.
So I dance this dance with myself. Doling out advice and encouragement to others, like penny candy from Grandma’s purse. Not that I don’t like penny candy, it’s just sometimes I feel a bit hypocritical saying those things. When I’m sitting here in a stationary position. Maybe I remind myself that each situation is different. That one man’s medicine can be other man’s poison. Then again, maybe I’m just making up for all those cynical and insulting words that flowed from my mouth.
Whatever the reason, I sit here and little like John Lennon “Watching the Wheels”. Working on what I can, and accepting what I can’t. I know that may sound defeatist, but at least it’s honest. The road to perfection is a slippery slope, especially when you place so much pressure on yourself to win. So that eventually when you do stumble, it knocks you down so far, you may never get up again. So I’ve learned to just breathe, then accept, and continue on my journey.
It’s funny, how I don’t talk about dreams much anymore. I mean I had dreams, things like business ventures and goals to achieve. Even after my major health scares, I dreamed of creating this new life. Now I just seem to meander through each day without much thought of tomorrow. I wonder, is that a good thing or a bad thing? I haven’t put much thought into it recently. I'm just simply “float through life”.
It’s almost like it was decades ago when I would have some awesome idea and never see it through. Although back then I was held back by a sense of fear and inadequacy. Today it just feels different. At the moment I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s mental, maybe it’s physical, or maybe a little of both. I mean I’m laying here with my heart fluttering a bit. Causing me to pause for a moment and take some deep breaths.
Whatever it is, I suppose it’s good that I’m thinking about it. Instead of just sitting here like a stump rotting from the inside out. So many people just give up. They drone through life bitter and angry. I mean most work simply to survive, but the fire of life has long burned out. I hope that’s not what is going on with me. I mean to come as far as I have to just fade away would seem tragic. But then again, simply living day by day focused on the here and now. Is that such a bad thing? Living to encourage others and to observe life at its simplest, is that such a bad way to float through?
All post written by
FD Thornton, Jr
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