hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “April, 2011”

End:Closures

Sometimes things have to end badly or they wouldn’t end… I cannot remember when or where I first heard that, but I think there is a great deal of truth to that statement.

We want the ride to be longer, the concert to have one more song, our vacation to last just one more day….I think of a movie that I am particularly fond of “Groundhog Day”. Whether the main character wanted the day to end or not, it just wouldn’t. The writers played with that situation well; first the disbelief, then the need to escape, followed by the need to control things. The character found a way to capitalize off of his predicament, but what did he really learn.

The natural order of things dictates a beginning, a middle, and an end. When it is good we don’t want it to end , but when it is what we deem to be bad we can hardly wait for it to be over. Honestly, everything is going to end and a stopping point is very important.

It seems the television media learned all of this regarding “ends” first. Can you recall how series used to go on and on until the ratings fell off and the network was forced to pull the plug? Now when a series is created there are or at least seem to be set time periods. Even if it is a success, the series has been predetermined to run “x” amount of years. This make sense kids grow up on television, people move in and out of lives. If television is to mirror life it has to be realistic on some vein.

I am reminded of a song, “Stop To Start” by Blue Magic.  At every end awaits a new beginning. We look forward to that beginning but the end…. not normally the case. Circumstance always weighs in heavily of course. Comfort levels, decorum, and tact have to be of concern. Sometimes our attempts to soften blows backfire and explode in our faces. I suggest that you seek balance.

Therefore in those time of uncomfortable “ends” or your desperately sought after “closures” reflect upon this.  Just as I am reminded of church and scripture here in this piece, not planned simply appropriate. John 16:33 It is in regards to our relationship with God and our dealings in life. It speaks of how the Lord never promised us that life would be easy, but only that He would never leave us alone. I feel confident that surviving a mere phase or cycle that is part of life, can be dealt with gracefully.

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R-U-Tit-4-Tat?

Oh how I wish I could say without a shadow of a doubt and emphatically, “NO!”, but I can’t. Therefore I will do what any self-respecting coward would do, I will put this off on someone else and pose the question to you.

Pettiness, not a flattering characteristic. Like so many of the flaws in of character we like to place youth in the “hot seat” of blame. Yet, we see these flaws in young and old alike. In a chronological sense I am beyond what would be considered immature; why then do I still find myself handling things like I did one, two, or even three decades ago.

I watched a case of “road rage” yesterday and was reminded of how easily one can fall into this “tit-for-tat” state. It exemplifies our inability to just let things go. Once again we are able to make choices and often times we make the wrong ones. We assign a catchy little name to something and it oversimplifies the impact of it.

How many disagreements/arguments could one have avoided with a mate by simply taking the high road and silently letting “something” get by us. Yes there are people who take these gestures of silence/concession and allow themselves to be elevated to the place that tells them they are always right, but that is the risk you take when attempting to be the bigger person. Let him have his way, let her be right One has to think in terms of self here; what do I really have to gain by arguing with or insulting this person. Furthermore, it could escalate.

I don’t begin to suggest that one should always concede and/or give in, I simply suggest you pick your battles. I have been told I am in individual who has to have the last word. I have to remind myself that I don’t want to consciously make my last word something mean or cross. I have to do this on a regular basis and I am not always successful in my attempts; but if  you at least make it a goal, you will always keep it in mind.

V-Haftoberight

Is it rewarding to say “I told you so..” I know the recipient does not think it to be true. What do you gain by being able to rub someone’s nose in something; wouldn’t it have been better to make a little more effort in convincing them to make a different decision, than to affirm the less than desired results. What about this; even if you were unsuccessful in trying to help, be there for support. When we do things the wrong way, we are quite aware. However, how we respond is under our complete control.

I never thought of myself this way. However, I recently learned that is exactly the way I am. It is difficult to see ourselves through the eyes of others, but we can readily see their faults. Things we dislike so much in others tends to manifest in us. We cannot see it because we don’t appreciate these qualities, and we certainly do not want to own up to them. Being right gives us a sense of power and control.

I submit this to you; there is nothing wrong with being correct about something, but realize at some point in time you will also be incorrect about something. None of us are infallible, if we had all the answers we would not be in one or more of our current situations. Stop building yourself up and patting yourself on the back for possessing a track record of at best 50% , average.  Average, the same, just like everyone else. Think about this the next time you feel the need to tell someone “I told you so”. For every one of those statements I have to  seek out someone and relinquish a “You told me so, you were right”. That should take the ego down a notch; and sometimes we need that, in order to have things put back into perspective.

May I Have Your Attention Please; ALL OF YOUR ATTENTION !

Does this make you think of a spoiled little child? It sounds like one. Can’t you just picture the folded little arms and pouty face? However, this is addressing the spoiled little child that exists in us adults. They cry out” look at me, listen to me; but the important thing is you in some way, fashion or form you recognize “ME”. You see them in stores, standing in lines at your local favorite restaurant.  You want to leave where you are because of them. I submit this to you though, is that person you.

I imagine we may think we are just demanding respect and recognition. One should give way to our obvious wisdom. However, unlike the times of our parents young people today really do not care what older people think, nor do they care how we feel. Young people are concerned with being young and do not want to deal with the fact that if they are fortunate, they too one day may be  what they consider old.

Armed with the knowledge that you are not going to get an automatic pass because of your maturity, wouldn’t it be wise to behave in a fashion that exudes respect. Do not allow your fear of being over-looked cause you to be singled out. Our patience is wearing thin and our tempers are short, but that does not mean it is okay to be mean.

A very dear friend once told me in my forties that I should not do something, exactly what escapes me, because I did not want to be perceived as old and sour. At the time I really did not think at my age I had that to worry about, but what she was telling me was in forming those bad habits at that time in my life, well it may not be so easy to change and as you age change is not always a choice. Finally, who wants to be around some mean, cantankerous soul? Watch yourself because others are watching you, and maybe you will get the attention you deserve with the desired effects.

The Consequence Of Overindulgence

You can have your cake, and eat it too; but what about the stomach ache? Is having everything your way so important that you would risk something truly valuable, in order to obtain that which you think you want.

In our greedy, self-absorbed, instant gratification minded society it is no wonder. I remember laughing and even thinking the name of a Cruise ship named Hedonism was cute and catchy, now it doesn’t seem so amusing or acceptable. In our society the excesses are sought after. What’s wrong with the pursuit of what is grand, beautiful, luxurious? After all, haven’t we earned it at this juncture in our lives?

Do you play the lottery; how much and how often do you wager? Do you love to shop; where are the sales this week? These are simple, harmless pass-times and I imagine those of you who answered affirmatively to the first part of those questions really believe that. However, they were “leading” questions and that is the root of the problem. Where does it ultimately lead to.

If you have ever owned a puppy you have undoubtedly been warned NOT to overfeed it. For a puppy will eat itself to death. It simply wants more and cannot say no. What about us? Do we suffer from a chronic case of “The Mores”? I certainly believe the marketing industry believes it to be true and trust me they do not want us to be cured. They have capitalized of of our condition and offered temporary fixes. Never mind those fixes come with consequences and side affects. They are merciless and are not bound by moral of any type. Their “dirty-pool” mentality allows them to attack the weakest and most vulnerable, they start on us as children.

In a self examination, I played a game I used to play as a child. This game did not require any pieces and it also did not require any other participants. However, you could have others involved if you chose to. Imagination was the only component necessary. It was called “What Do You Want”? I thought this would be a simple trip down memory lane, but I wanted to give a spot of reality and fact to it. The plan was to  briefly address “BARBIE“. Collector or not, male or female, privileged or poor. we all know of “BARBIE“. I wanted to show how a little girl’s dream, wish, desire was to have all the “BARBIE” dolls there were, and how impossible and preposterous a it was. However, what I discovered was it was nearly as impossible to find out something as simple an actual number.

Boundaries and perimeters defeat us in our quest for a “hedonistic” existence, still we gravitate in that direction.  I was introduced to the decadence of cheesecake as a child, my parents warned me not to eat too much, to only get very small slices when I did eat. Well, being an enthusiastic eater I did not heed the warning. I overdid it and became sick. It wasn’t that I did not believe my parents, but my desire for more overtook me and my desire for control.

More, more, more I say if that is your mindset then be prepared to end up in a place whose theme  is “Thanks for visiting and check your soul upon entry”.

Do You Think I’m Sexy?

Rod Stewart asked that question decades ago. It was funny and a conversation piece; for at the time we were all young, beautiful, and sexy in our own individual ways. Now as the gap closes in on us our minds still visit these places and see these things, but the vantage point has clearly changed.

I remember seeing the “May/December” romances playing out on the silver screen and shaking my head in disbelief. I thought “oh my goodness what would she  really want with him”. “Him” being Mr.December and at the time Hollywood was still making everyone in major roles great to look at regardless of age, station in life, current condition.  Now a new animal is on the prowl and she is called “cougar”. She is also as open to the verbal and mental scrutiny of young and old alike. For after all what do the young, exciting, viable want with the moderately slowing down and aged? Here’s another twist, what do we want and expect of each other.

Our children would clearly be repulsed, for even if we do not have the mature and matronly figures, the idea of a parent being anything but a parent is just absurd. We can be successful, attractive, and wise; those are acceptable. Our children are very smart; educated, sophisticated, and worldly; yet this aspect of us completely escapes them. That idea is not unreasonable, I think this aspect even escapes us . No one prepared us for growing older and being in a physical and psychological limbo.

Some of us are in denial. We venture into the cliche’ mid-life crisis arena and we should expect to be slaughtered. We act, dress, and attempt to think like we are still the same individuals that fit into a size three; when we could easily use another numeral in front of that three. Our male counterparts pretend not to feel every bone crack as they try to dunk the basketball like it was done in college, while simultaneously holding the protruding abdominal area in with such force one’s head might explode before giving in and breathing. While these are laughable extremes on some level, I think we all have to own up to a little of it.

Yes, this is very touchy and very subjective. As previously noted some folks in our group are holding-up/going to hold-up better than others among us, why not if you are so compelled at the very least stay within your rankings. Realizing we are a group that hates guidelines, rules, etc., but at some point we do have to abide by them. We have been very successful at what one may say is getting around these standards, or we can call it exactly what it is CHEATING. Accessible plastic surgery has made a lot of us experts.

However, here is a thought; as we see ourselves change why don’t we embrace the change, and let our tastes change right along with our being. As more scalp begins to show, cut it close to enhance the fact there is a nice face to concentrate on without the distraction of all that hair.  Don’t look at the increased size as the inability to wear a bikini, but as an opportunity to allow the cover-up to give you a bit of mystery. My salt and pepper gray now give me the hi-lights I never could manage to wear in my youth. Remember, it is a question. DO YOU THINK I’M SEXY? Perspective and perception work in our favor here.

Green With Envy

What to do about it. Wow just when you think you have overcome something, it returns to you. I really hoped, yes I will say, hoped I was beyond this character flaw. I was wrong. I was going along thinking I was okay and then it hit me. It literally pulled the rug from under me. Therefore, the reason this is so very short is my effort to put it behind me and I want to do it quickly.

I was overwhelmed and shocked at the same time. Then I felt hurt and remorse. I felt this terrible irrational emotion toward someone who I dearly love.  This bothered me immensely and I began to cry. My Bible was nearby so I picked it up. I found 1 Corinthians 12:-18 I was compelled to read more.

Confession being one of the movements, progresses in ones journey toward faith, I confess. I was jealous and envious for that instant my thought was only of ME. Then the  “mental ether”; I shook my head and said, ” Do you realize what you have, do you think about what a loss she has  suffered, and most of all this is just a thing.” I want my friend to be happy and enjoy what she now has, God bless her, she certainly deserves it. This was so ugly of me and I am ashamed, but I am glad that God allowed me to see it so very quickly. I was reminded of how terribly vulnerable we are and if we do not have the proper mindset evil is always waiting.

Finding Your Muse

I really didn’t think I had one. This is a bit of an inside joke and I will leave it there. Just smile with me.

I thought that my works would be labored. I enjoy this project, but it is time-consuming and difficult. Then it happened, I stumbled upon a motivating force. In effortless sweeps, my fingers are flooded with that which is on my mind and I am able to get these thoughts down. They come as gentle whispers, but they are strong like hunger pangs. I have been in a state that resembles auto-pilot. It feels good. I have but one fear and that is will it stop. If it does, that does not mean I will not write, it just means I will have to concentrate. While I have the benefit of presence, I will enjoy and capitalize. My current dilemma again is time itself.

Can you think of anything that is more rewarding than to start something and being confident that it will turn out well? I will take it further, you have the expectation of good results because anything less is a foreign thought. That is what it feels like to be in tune with your muse. We all have a muse, because we all have some talent. Your talent may be something you have overlooked, and that is perhaps why you have not been in touch.

My muse is a beautiful, welcomed visitor.  One that listens, advises, and inspires. I am told one cannot find their muse, their muse must find them. I know that to be true, because mine certainly slipped up on me. I do think the effects will be long term and that is a good thing. Therefore, do not go on an all out hunt for yours. Sit back and relax, that is all the invitation necessary. Your muse will come.

IV-hafarecall

Truth be known, the recollection is far from half. This is being done in code of sorts, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.. and the guilty.

Things done in the dark are ALWAYS REVEALED IN THE LIGHT. Let your imaginations and memories run rampant. This is a place of secrecy. I hesitate as I reluctantly go to this subject. It is wanton and forbidden, we all know this place and at different times in our lives frequented it. It has a hypnotic drawing feature, as well as chameleon type characteristics.

All that being said, are you in “your place”. Can you still feel the thing(s) you hope to have long forgotten or maybe not forget completely. Since I would like to at least hold the attention of a reader for the duration of this piece, I will not concentrate on specifics of my list of “dark places”. Generalizing is sufficient here.

Like moths drawn to the flame we venture toward”it”. We told ourselves, “I will be careful and nothing bad will happen, because I will know when to stop”. Then we dove in, we crossed the line. We were taken aback because”it” was so easy; “it” was not what we thought exactly, but at the same time we still felt we had “it” under control.

Waking from what seemed to be an eternity or maybe it  felt as though only a moment had passed; we awoke to find ourselves in this strange, undesirable,”dark place”. Two thoughts came to us immediately, how did I get here and how do I get out? One thing at a time; we got to the “dark place” because we thought that we were infallible whether we will admit it or not. Alas, we did make it out with promises to self of never making that same error or one like it again.

It’s funny though, all you have to do is keep living and time will soften blows of your life. Memories will become a foggy  and inaccurate haze, if you allow it to happen.  Unkind words will fade and dissipate, mean actions will become surreal, and poor decisions will be given a pass based on it seemed correct for the time. I want to end on this note; in order to avoid having regrets, don’t look back.

Find Fine Art

I think of Tchaikofsky’s ” The Nutcracker Suite” or Swan Lake” I envision Monet, Renior, and Dali…. but no one hold me in a trance like William “Smokey” Robinson. His contributions from “My Girl” to “Oooh Baby Baby”, some 605 songs, speak of love in a way only a poet could describe and only a romantic could understand. Whatever draws your attention make sure you hold it dear; for life without Art is a life without beauty, life without meaning.

I think of how the children suffer in an era where fine arts programs are considered an option.  Art is as necessary and important as the giant three of old; reading, writing, and mathematics. We look for ways to trim the fat off a budget, but do we really take into account of what we are loosing when it is all said and done.

Taking fine arts as an expendable item will result in virtual disaster. At best we can have a society of efficient, dull,  mundane, mechanical  beings ( the conformists) The worse will breed individuals(the rule-breakers) who have too much time to figure out  things that will excite them and that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be good things. We all know the story of “Idle hands”.

Some thirty seven years ago there was a radio station in Los Angeles called  KJOI ; now no self respecting pre-teen of that era would openly admit to listening to such a station, for it was exactly what you might imagine Easy Listening. When we had soul music stations KGFJ and KDAY what was I thinking about? Well maybe the more mature ear can appreciate one of my favorites, Percy Faith’s Instrumental Version of “Midnite At The Oasis”. During a tumultuous time in my life that soft song brought me a calming much needed slumber.  I was well into adulthood before I knew the name of that song or that it even had words. The name Maria Muldar was as foreign to me as the language of the then Soviet Union. I began to equate it with something good was on the horizon.

However, the way I see it pertaining to us is like this; amiss our routine and responsible duties there has to be a place of expression and individuality, where beautiful and unique connect. It is important for the young impressionable minds of school aged children, and it is needed by the seasoned adult who may find themselves too busy to appreciate how it can alter our days.

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