hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “June, 2011”

Cleaning Out The Closets

This being a milestone for this is the 50th post on my blog, I think realizing one of  the new awakenings at this stage is important. The Closet; what does it represent, what is its purpose, and how is it being used? It has been a place that housed things properly, it has hidden things, and things have been lost in there.

Walking into my closet made me aware of many feelings. I remember when it was a place of turmoil and confusion; what on Earth will I wear today? Where are my black pumps? I recall it being a place of awe; There is so much room in here. Then there is the present in which it represents need; a need to clean out, be it throw away, donate, or organize, it is still a place of need.

Certainly there are some shoppers out there. I have always been one myself. I cannot attest to particularly good taste. I do believe I have made some good choices over time. Now a great deal of my shopping is for another generation. My granddaughter, mi nieta,  as I like to call her has managed to do what her grandfather is incapable of; she has space in my closet in our master bedroom. She didn’t ask for it, I gave it to her. The family laughs and are amazed at the same time by the fact that this phenomenon has occurred.

Now space is not really an issue, there is still plenty of room. What I see is there are things that no longer belong in there. Items that no longer “fit” for one reason or another. Like the decision to no longer color your hair, one day YOU realize that it isn’t working anymore. Not necessarily that you don’t like it, but it isn’t believable or it just isn’t who you are. Then I must face the fact that there are still uncertainties here. As some colors and styles are no longer flattering, the question arises, what does work now?

This will be a process and it will begin with organizing. Organizing thoughts, I have to have a plan.  The plan must be carried out with intent,  methodically. The way the plan is carried out will demonstrate how successful the process will ultimately be.

Phase I: Removal. When and where do I start? As I take away the clutter, the unnecessary things in that space as well as that space itself will begin to become clean, clear, and unprotected. Huummm, am I ready for that?

Phase II: Re-Organize. Put everything remaining in a proper space, perspective.

Phase III: Replace. This must be done carefully, for there is a danger of the same clutter returning and returning rapidly.

Phase IV: Revel and Realize. This is a nice change, but it an ongoing process that requires attention and maintenance.

Phase V: Repeat and Re-apply. Move on to the next  “closet” or area.

On an ending note, Good Luck!

They Are So Much More Than Me

Self-image is so much more than the visuals. I have never like photographs of me. I laughingly say, “they look too much like me”. It is not a joke but a vicious truth; for when you are not happy with the way you look, a statement like that is merely self-revealing. However, I will caution you to NOT take yourself so seriously.

I rifled through my pictures today, some on the computer some in hard copy. It was amazing. I traveled through time and revisited my parents in their youth, I looked at my children through various stages of their lives and experienced my grandchild all over again.  I am in awe of each of them, I am grateful to God for them, but I don’t often consciously think of how they are connected to me. I love them in spite of the fact they are related to me not simply because they are related to me. Don’t get this wrong, I am not overtly filled with self-hatred or self-loathing, I just do not feel worthy of any of them.  I am proud and in amazed by all of them. Ah yes, another snapshot courtesy of self-image.

Not unlike a camera lens, self image can take on a variety of characteristics. Many factors have to be taken into account as to why the image looks the way it does; equipment, angle, lighting and focus will all affect the look of the subject. However, the mind’s eye is a very significant factor here, for it affects the physiological and the psychological.

These self-images will determine the types of relationships we have and with whom. After all, who knows you better than you?  Doesn’t arrogance mar knowledge at times?When that happens disaster is inevitable. After enough disasters, hopefully the knowledge will neutralize the arrogance. Then step back and take a look of those people so near and dear to you. Connected by something simple as a bloodline. Realize those relationships that are/were affected by the  afore mentioned self image may be responsible for some of the beings in your life, and some of the beings in your life that made you who you are can take credit for your self image at least as  in part.

Ancestors and descendents they are all still family; and in the big picture, in the grand scheme of things we all are a part of something massive and wonderful. Our roles as individuals  are essential.

Lost and Aware

Realization came crashing in. Ignore it if you will, but it does not stop. Something strange was happening, in the beginning it was very obvious and out in the open where it could be seen. As time went on it became less and less visible on the surface, but it was always there just below the surface, waiting to pounce. Now it rarely shows in the fashion it used to, but it is there just the same.

Have you ever lost something? It is a miserable feeling. Being a collector makes losing something seem so much  more intense. What does the loss signify? Well were you careless, are you becoming forgetful, or did it just happen. You see there is a remedy for the first, the second can be consciously worked on and with some success, but the third is as unbelievable as it is dishonest.

In the exploration of this subject one has to first admit that we are all collectors of something, on one level or the other. Being unaware that you are a collector does not stop you from being one. Therefore, it does make you subject to the rules of collecting.  Ask yourself why you are collecting and what exactly you want to collect? What are you planning on doing with your collection and how long are you going to collect? This is a good start for a beginning collector. It is thought through and rather precise. One thing that I have found that holds true in this life on every plain I have encountered, with out a plan things are sure to go awry.

A good collector has a plan, with purpose and place at the focal point. A bad collector simply will eventually become a hoarder. The one that has no symmetry, his collection has gone all wrong. There is no way of determining what is being collected or why. The hoarder is overwhelmed and eventually will fall victim to his very own “mess”. All the time not knowing how this came to be; but a closer look will reveal this did not just happen, and it did in fact take steps.

Again I ask the question have you ever lost something? During the process did someone close to you or even someone who just happened to be there asked, “Where did you see/have it last?” While this question is both stupid and annoying at the time, think of how many times you have located that lost item. This lends validity to the title Lost and Aware on a primary level; for if you loose something and retrieve it later you were aware of its location, if you throw something away carelessly you no longer have it but you are aware of your actions thus explaining why you no longer have this thing. It takes away our ability to say, I don’t know where______ is and/or I don know how I lost it. Once again we have to face up to our shortcomings, but also we are given another unique opportunity to fix them.

Our 15 Minutes

This one was “deep”. So much ran through my mind and soul in church. I tried to jot down notes, but I was so focused on what Pastor Kevin was saying. I am gonna run with this and see where it ends.

This fabled space that we all will occupy, at one point in time or another. The place in time and space where the spotlight will be on us and we want it there too. Whether we realize it or not. Perhaps that is why I tied the sermon on judging into this piece. For judging is so superficial, in your face if you will. When the discussion moved to how we make judgements based on what we see what is out front without knowing the back story, I connected the dots.

In our 15 minutes we put the best that we have forward, even if it is only a facade. We must keep up those all important appearances However, not knowing the full story or not being able to see beyond what is in front of us does not make the reality of it any less. How much of that 15 Minutes would you want if the spotlight was directed at you and only a very tiny bit of the story was clear, if you weren’t ready for your “close-up”.

Let’s take the camera off of ourselves and point it in another direction, are you going to be as careful with those same shots at someone else as you would hope someone else would be with you? Be honest, you are going to take random and candid shots, you aren’t going to wait for them to make ready. The result may very well be some unflattering images and you think,”Ooh I wouldn’t want that to be me, why didn’t they look up at the right time, why didn’t they check themselves out before hand”. Now take those same statements in a literal context and apply it to what you think or say about another individual when you are passing judgement. However, it won’t really hit home until you apply this same principle to yourself directly.

Cameras, photography, mirrors and even microscopes are excellent metaphoric devices for judging; they should be used interchangeably for Our 15 Minutes, perhaps we would be more cautious with our judging if we did.

VIII-Haftonowhatuwant

This actually began as the question: “what do you want?” It was addressing someone else. I soon realized this question applied to me as well, and the fact that I did not know the answer.  There certainly is an answer, but do you or I dare reveal it.

Free Time at this stage is both an opponent and a companion. There are always things to do, you can always find things to do, therefore being in a rest state makes me feel less accomplished. There is this overwhelming sense that I should be doing something productive. When I do allow myself the Free Time, it still comes with a challenge. In a visceral way the mind must be active, and naturally query occurs. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just lounge around and feel free to just go-with-the-flow?

Example; there is a re-entry of someone in your life. Initially, the excitement and anticipation happens. Then the lull comes, it even deteriorates to minimal contact. What is next? Do you sever the newly established ties or do you  just go along, wait and see? Free Time is in the opponent mode here, therefore this is going to end up in the scrap pile. Inevitably the question arises why the scrap heap, well it is simple the underlying question was/is”what do you want”. You wanted something more didn’t you, something defined and something you could wrap your mind around. No one likes these pieces of obscurity dangling around them without a clear cut purpose. Remember who we have holding onto our arm as a companion and quite a demanding one at that, Free Time.

With conviction and a sense of absolution we make a commitment, either literal or psychological, to what we say we think we want. Yet the more distant and out of each “it” is the better we really like it. For how else could we be able to  convince ourselves that this thing that escapes us is the one thing we truly want and that “it” is what is necessary to complete us.

Knowing what you want is scary; it is scary to have the desire, it is scary if we get what we want, and scary if we don’t.  Who among us wants to face up to fear and apprehension? To characterize this period of our lives one would have to say we are truly in a state of definite maybes, a holding pattern and perhaps we aren’t any closer to what or where we figured we would be a couple of decades ago. We have the feeling we should be actively doing something to change that.  What exactly should we be doing though?. One of our bigger dilemmas is we still have that expectation that things should be different. We cannot be carefree because we know better, life has taught us a lesson or two on that very subject. We cannot just accept things for what they are, because we believe we still have too much life left to live for compromising.

Therefore carry on with the knowledgeable and gregarious spirit that allows you to continue on towards what you want and what you need. Trust that when you do come across “it”, when you find “it” in your sights, you will recognize and take a hold of what you want.

Let’s Fix This

This sounds like it is a simple enough task. First we have to assess the damage though, we cannot simply jump in there and start working without knowing what we are up against. We may leave out or completely miss a very necessary step. Wait a minute, I think this will be an ideal spot for some blame.

It would be nice if someone would step up and say, “I assume all responsibility here and if you give me an opportunity I will rectify the situation”, but that would take a lot more character than we sometimes have available to us. Honestly, didn’t you see this coming? Why do we make the determination that if we act as though nothing is wrong, no one else will be able to see that there is.

Doing things the right way, doing the right thing is not as easy as it sounds. It should be though. There is the element of lazy, there is the need to outsmart and then when you get caught there is the denial and search for a scapegoat.

My offered solution is that take up a task, you do what you are doing with your first thought of God. If you work like you are doing that individual job for the Lord, I am sure it will take on an entirely new meaning for you. In the times where I have lost sight of that, I have invariably lost out. Here I am, AGAIN, having to pick up after what I should have taken care of properly in the first place. Remorseful and embarrassed, I hope NOT to be in this place again. However, my track record for being human stands intact and unblemished. Therefore, I am off to do some damage control and accept whatever the outcome may be.

Ignoring History

It is said that, “Fools who do not know history are destined to repeat it”. I want this to reach people who are oblivious to this, as well as ones who are aware. Sometimes things stare at you in the face and you still walk right into them.

Of mistakes, all parents want to spare their offspring the pains and discomforts of life. We would like their paths to be filled with success and bounty. If they must experience difficulty let it be minor, and let them be prepared to escape the bad as rapidly as possible and recover from it even faster.

In a hopeful state I believe I will get this out and rescue the inhabitants of a “sinking ship”. As I watch the animosity from its conception, I see it growing with intolerance. Although, one cannot truly direct the paths of adults one can try. Fearfully, I address an ill feeling that I am somehow responsible. I am helpless and incompetent. The only thing I have to offer is what I have lived through and am currently living with. Not wanting  this to happen to you, but still unwilling to offer the olive leaf. Have I condemned you with my stubbornness? It may be as simple as a self examination; what do you need to do to rectify your situation and are you willing to try?

We work very hard to try to make our children better than us, but they are us. They see us in our weakest hours at our most vulnerable states, and no matter how we try to hide these things from them, they see anyway. Let see if we can fix these things that seem to be on the road to irreparable damage. Sure they can be fixed, they require a bit of work. You need to discover the truth; your truth, their truth, and the real truth. Take the blame away and be willing to say, “I am sorry” and mean it.  Saying I am sorry doesn’t always require you know why you are sorry, just that you are willing to express it with sincerity.

This is just a start, but doesn’t each journey require a first step?

I’m Always Grumpy In The Morning

Do you know people like this. They growl, snort, or give off a silent air of contempt until they have had a morning cup of java or a specific amount of time has passed since they were plucked from the arms of their slumber. No matter how understandable this is, it does not make it right and it certainly does not make it any less annoying.

Some of this comes from wanting a later start, I am sure there are a number of folks that would prefer morning started at noon. Early has always been a part of my life, if I sleep until nine it feels like I have lost  a great deal of the productive day.

What do you do if your day does start off bad? Do you carry it around and share it with others, or do you try to get beyond it. I promise you no one wants a share of “your bad”, they probably have some of their own. Yet, if you make an effort to get beyond this stuff and give out some positive energy, you may  in deed get a good deal of positive back. All I am saying is you really have nothing to loose.

It is amazing what  your mind can do. Work on a way to get that morning started better right in bed. If it is saying a prayer aloud or silently, if it means laying there a second or two telling yourself” It is going to be a good morning”,  if you have time and energy for an indulgence of the youthful, go for it!

Waking up gives us all another opportunity to make the changes in our lives that will take us closer to our destiny. Yet this wonderful gift is often time taken for granted and treated as though it is a crime that it arrived. Morning generally associated with beginnings, it sets the tone for the day. Do you really want your next 24 hours to be a reflection of a bad start? Therefore, I will bring this to an end with a bit of nostalgia from the 1970’s. Have a nice day.

Are You Ready for $5 A Gallon?

It is coming whether or not you are ready for it. In amazement and utter disgust, I watch the price of oil product change several times a day. Of late it has generally been increases.

I ask myself how do they get away with this? The oil companies have us exactly where they want us, but then haven’t they had us there since the seventies? I recall the gas lines as a child in California. Sitting in line for hours sometimes and then on alternating odd/even license plate number days.  They made us wait in very uncomfortable circumstances for the privilege of “robbing and raping” us at the pump. Here we are all over again. I mean at least back, then they did try to explain themselves. Today we get no satisfaction, no explanations, and no respect. The prices change from one hour to the next and what do we do, we have to buy that gasoline. We have to get to work, go to school, etc.

I caution you to brace yourselves. The oil companies aggravate us to a point of exhaustion and then we are too tired to fight. We give in and become resentfully submissive. They actually gave us a reprieve during this holiday weekend but, I am confident they will reach the projected number before this autumn. This is a tactic to get us off guard. We take a deep breath or a sigh of relief, we think to ourselves, “It has finally leveled off” and then they start all over again with a vengeance.

What can we really do? Well you can limit unnecessary travel; don’t make extra trips to the store, pleasure rides,  road trips or vacations using the car are a thing of the past. From now on when you think of your car and fueling up think of it as a necessary EVIL. You can buy smaller amounts of gas when you do need fuel, this will cause you to make more trips to the  gas station, take up more of your valuable time, thus it will serve as a reminder of how taxing the process is. All we can do as consumers is to express our dissatisfaction in a way to get the oil companies attention and that is hitting them in the pocket, no matter how deep those pockets are. Don’t give in to the thought process that makes you think your participation will not count. It is that same line of thinking that keeps people from voting. Your voice does count, it does matter, and it can make a difference.  Write your Congressman or State Representative. Perhaps if enough little voices express dissatisfaction, the combined outcry may get the needed attention. We have to realize that we may not get immediate results either, but if something is accomplished, if it is just  media coverage saying, “Small Angry Group Voices Disdain”, it may be enough to attract more angry little voices or two or three BIG LOUD angry voices.

For the moment ride the teaser $3.59 per gallon gasoline. Forgive me here, but they are getting ready to give it to us without lubrication. When it comes, when it reaches $5.00 per gallon we will look back and tell our grandchildren, “I remember when gas was only…. “with tears in our eyes.

What Ifs and Why Didn’ts

Curious how in the middle of things, those type of questions rear their heads. It can make one somewhat breathless as you allow your mind to travel there. The land of endless promise and hope, now a desolate wasteland of reality.

The cliffs that overlooked the ocean, the kiss that took your breath away and the song you heard playing in your head. How about the job across the country that you passed up for the familiarity of home. For years these memories stay with you and then one day the memory walks into your life again in the most random form. Oddly enough it is as though no time has passed, but you have to realize that a lifetime has gone by. There you are stuck in a state of wonder.

Sometimes when it is quiet, I put on some soft/smooth jazz and search the archives of my mind. There I find some dust covered recollection. I wipe it off and begin thumbing through. Being ever mindful that this is very delicate, even touchy stuff. I don’t want to damage it, but am aware bringing it into the light could easily destroy whatever else it is exposed to. I still have to take a peek, because some of this is really good.

The plans were made, but when the time came to execute something went wrong. It had to occur to you that this ended the way it should. No matter the reason, failure itself was an indicator that this was flawed to begin with. The next time you are face to face you act as though nothing happened, although you know something really did. You sit at your desk and push aside the newspaper that holds an article about a former colleague just named CEO in the company that you bypassed and know he was the second choice to you back then.

State of mind has all to do with the way you view this feeling of limbo. If you are happy, you merely dismiss it with a slight smile. If you are not happy those endless possibilities begin to take over.

It is unfortunate for some that life does not supply us with a built-in closer, someone to finish the job one who will tie up the loose ends. My closer would have to come with an extra push accessory. That speaks to personal, as well as career driven subjects.

I think a major contributor or culprit to our mind’s state of inquiry is the expectation factor. Examine it a little. Let’s suppose your “What if/Why didnt” concerned a certain individual and it didn’t pan out don’t you think of the possibilities from the standpoint of; “this aspect of life wouldn’t be this way because “blank” would do things in the fashion I would want”. If it concerns a business venture or employment; “that job, or position, or deal would have changed my entire life ,because it certainly would have made things better from an economic standpoint just for starters”. We want a positive result, we have a different reality therefore it is only natural that we would EXPECT  things to turn out better if we had gone the other way.

We are simply too one dimensional and romantic in our thought patterns to just travel a small step beyond, when these yearnings enter in our minds. Check out the flip side, if you will. Life is filled with possibilities; when you do find yourself romanticizing about them give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and realize there may be a down side to the fantasy.

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