hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

It’s Complicated, But

What isn’t complicated these days? Where was I going with this. Oftentimes titles pop in my head and I immediately jot them down, but if there are no thoughts attached to the title….. It leaves you free to fill in the blank(s).

In a mode of reminiscing, a time gone by surfaced. It was a happier time but it was confusing, my time with the status of “It’s Complicated”. I did not realize it until the words began to fill up this piece. Faces began to fill in spaces where question marks once were, I can’t say I liked that. Then more questions came, the beauty of not-so-accurate memories returned.

You probably have watched a film or two that noted, “do not return to the scene of the crime”.  I must comment this is very good advice. In returning you may leave something you never intended for someone else to see, instead of checking for what you may have left behind. Being careless is bad, but being overly careful is not the solution either.

In a moment, where better judgement was lost the journey is made. It is all too familiar this lends to the need to go on, even though there is still time to turn around and go back home. Places and voices are the same as best you can remember. That is because this is what you want to recall. Slowly you tiptoe back into this neatly disguised disaster that used to be your reality, your life. Now it is too late you are right back where you started and now you ask, what actually went wrong? This is not where I thought I would be, I am pretty certain it is not where I want to be, yet here I am.

As another mystery of this thing called life unfolds, we ask why?I know my life is filled with questions at a time that I really thought I would have more answers. Do you, my readers’/my contemporaries feel the same way? Now what? Knowing the history, your history, guided by reactions and results the next move is yours. I submit to you we have no choice but to move forward,  for we have already taken the step into this once familiar place. We ignored the warnings and better judgment to stay away, or at the very least turn around and go back. Now here we come face to face with the fact, this time it will all be under our control. No questions, no excuses,  this time around merely responsibility.

Going Off On A Tangent

Oh, how we love to hear ourselves speak. At times it is to a point that we do not even realize how self-absorbed we truly are. I remember a song that James Brown sang a few years back , “Takin Loud And Sayin Nothing”. I was not a fan of James Brown in those days. I do however appreciate him now. I had to listen to him to put myself in a mindset to write about this  subject and James put me in that state.

I periodically find it difficult to concentrate, there are so many things going on in most of our daily lives. We feel odd or concerned when we cannot remember things, but the busy-fast pace we exist in can be pointed out as the reason. It takes time to process everything and when you do not give proper time to any project or endeavor the results will reflect the negligence.

Now right in the middle of all of this, my position changes again and without warning. I find myself vacillating on the smallest of decisions. Yes, this is a pure demonstration of lack of concentration. Do you have too many things pulling you in too many different directions? I think we all do. There is no time to slow down, because if you do you may miss something else. It is easy to see how one might loose track of where they are or what they were talking about.

It is hard to be effective if you are not grounded or centered. That applies to conversation as well as active, hands-on projects.  Something is missing when we waver, so our battle must begin and we must bother to recover that steady spot. In that mode of recovery our sense of being, our center needs to be retrieved. Otherwise you may find yourself,  literally speaking, in the middle of nowhere and wondering just how you got there.

Are You Smarter Than…

I’ll leave that for you to fill in the blank. I got my inspiration from frustration. My friends will undoubtedly  know the source, my readers can guess, but if you relate you have your very own inspiration. I hope this piece will help.

Have you ever thought, “Wow, so-in-so is an idiot!” I cannot believe ______ is in charge of this, or There is something wrong when someone who is obviously brain dead is running things”. Perhaps these mean but honest thoughts came to you in the aftermath of an encounter that revealed to you, that this same individual did not listen to you/would not listen to you. Whether or not a disaster came to pass; you were still annoyed that someone you had little or no respect for, or held in contempt had chosen NOT to listen to you.

It builds up and then after a while you explode! That’s the good news. I want to talk about the stage(s) just prior to the explosion. I want to talk about the mindset that gets you to the point of and then to the actual explosion.

The aggressive ones, the “go-getters” seemingly are in charge. Whether they are competent or not. They talk a good game and give off the impression that they know what they are doing. Generally they have done this for so long, not only can they convince others of their skill and prowess, they have convinced themselves as well.

In the realm of the work world, this is something employers are looking for; someone they can put in charge who will get the job done, so that the operation run smoothly, and there is someone else to blame if things go wrong.

Now we have a full description of what we have on our hands in dealing with these type of people, but lets examine who they are in our lives. There is no secret formula to uncover, there is really no need to name names, this is something that is just for the individual. You have to identify yours.

They frustrate us because we allow them to; they find those little buttons and they push them, and it is with full awareness that this is done. The simple obvious fix would be to say, “Do not give them the power”. However, the advantage goes to those who have the gift of time on their side and a mission in mind. We all have the ability to self-soothe, but do we always have the presence of mind and proper timing so that it will be effective? So the manipulators, manipulate and we fall prey to our own sense of being.  It is at these times we  have to question, “Who is actually smarter”.

Is there an answer? Certainly, but I don’t have it. If I did this piece would be called something else,  for the motivation would not have been there.

sour….

This comes up from time to time and I feel compelled to address it yet once again. It is my personal effort NOT to fall into the category.

We will begin with the glass half empty scenario. I have always consciously said I am the “half full” person, but then I examined real life situations and thought how many times did I think or verbally express something like, ” Who left the half full soda bottle in the family room”. We have become condition to say we are the positive being and the correct answer for a positive being is to say “half full”. However, what do you think when left alone with your thoughts? Really. Think about it; if your encounter with that half a bottle of soda is negative what will your question be,  and how will it be delivered.

No one wants to be negative, but negative things occur in our lives. We cannot ignore them all and we certainly cannot be PC all of the time. Plus why would you? I think a better way to approach this is to just be real. Therefore let’s journey into real for a bit and visit my old friend”sour”.

My dear friend/ally/ sister once told me in the closing part of a conversation,” you don’t want to become sour”. That has stuck with me for over 12 years now. She told me that as a passing thought, but it stuck. I cannot give an exact date, but I know where I was and who I was working for. That narrows things down quite a bit. Those things are only important to me if I want to determine the exact time thing. I was 40 and said to myself, “Yeah she is right. No one wants to be bothered with a mean old person.” My thoughts turned to how many I knew and how often I had run into the type in daily passing. I pictured the scowling faces and I heard the ugly tones coming out of their frowning mouths. I vowed that I would not become one of those people.

Perhaps 40 was premature to decide something such as I would not become sour, but that is what I did. I believe that we do not just suddenly wake up and become anything. Time is a factor and must be taken into consideration. Fast forward to now at 52 I am forced to see that maybe I was not so successful in avoiding that “sour”. Along with that nasty disposition and grimacing face comes the need to assign blame and responsibility, as you may have guessed “yours truly” is not going to be tagged for any of this negative material. However, the mere fact that I have bothered to recognize I am not to blame forces me to admonish I am. Where are the scapegoats when you need them?

I looked into a mirror and saw the lines of “that mean older woman”. I tried to smile her lines away, to no avail.  The gray hair didn’t help either. Therefore, this is my shout to my contemporaries; Stop It Now. Don’t let traffic, daily routine, and “other rude people”put a permanent scowl on YOUR face.  We are not as young as we used to be, but we are resilient. We have to be, cause we are still here.

Who Do You Think You Are?

This is an excerpt from my novel in the works…

First there was the sign from God… I walked into my living room and noticed how the light shone in from the skylights. I was putting a book away and then it came to me, there is a book missing. The book was the family Bible.

I took it from its safe haven and looked at the golden name engraved on the leather book cover; the name of our family, the name associated with my husband and sons. I said to myself,” I should have had our fist names engraved instead”. Then there was a flood of information and confusion: what names would you put? your first name or your middle, my husbands first name or his middle. I saw that the controversy I was trying to avoid was deeper than just the name(s) that it occurred to me should be on the Bible; and no matter how I was dancing around it, I was still trying to be cleverly deceptive.

Knowing exactly who you are is a lifetime process. It never ceases to amaze me how much we take for granted, when we should be treasuring these things as gifts. I am/was fortunate to have made friends with a very sweet lady, who just happens to be a member of The Church of Latter Day Saints. Genealogy is very special to Mormons and they have a vast collection of resources. I took advantage of my friend’s offer to help guide me on this personal venture and I will relay my trip.

Once I embarked on my journey I found out very quickly that for all I knew and thought I knew about my family, it was just a surface scratch. The truth was that I had only a vague idea who I was. What’s more I had an even less idea about the people who are related to me.

On a personal note, and it seems I always have a personal note, I am pretty certain who I am. I can trace my lineage back to the mid- 1800’s just from my memory of what has been told to me, through photos, and obituaries. This by some standards is nothing, but the farther back you go the less connected you are. The personal attachment becomes weak and frayed. Surprisingly there may still be some family resemblances one can detect. Having this kind of information is valuable; but remember the rules of a collector’s item  and apply them here, for these “items”are only as valuable as what someone is willing to pay for them. Thus, the assignment of worth can be tricky.

I Never Met A Westie I Didn’t Like

For the dog lovers out there I have to talk about my favorite dog. The West Highland White Terrier.

Spunky and independent, never mind that  they are some of the cutest little creatures you will lay eyes on.Their little black noses and  penetrating deep brown eyes guarantee you will be in love. Ours were “Romeo and Julie (not Juliette). We have known Bailey, Lucky, and Muffin. They have  donned the monikers of Bentley and Kellie. No matter what their names they all exhibit the  chief characteristic of a Westie FANTASTIC!! They are so special that the mere sight of them makes you feel as though EACH Westie you see is the one you love. You easily forget they are individuals and they are different.

I may be doing my favorite dog a disservice here, though. What started out being a praise-a-thon has transformed into another self-realization piece. For as much as I love and admire those cute little dogs, I have found out most recently that I no longer am a card-carrying animal loving fanatic.

I do not want to go from one extreme to the other though. I have to point out why and where this process began.  As I found myself  responsible for the chore of cleaning out liter boxes that serviced three cats, each time I scooped out the domed pagoda styled units I became increasingly biter. Three cats with three different time-clocks, three different habits, three different personalities, three different stages of life and I was their servant. Suddenly, I did not like that. Being caregiver was not attractive and then there was the dog… This was way too much for me.

Sometimes we take on too much for our own good. I had arrived at that point with the pets. Even though each pet theoretically belonged to a different individual in my house too many needs were being met by one individual, ME. The cute little animals started to take on the look and feel of an annoyance. I grew closer and closer to the” dark side”, the place where I no longer cared if the cats got outside and they were strictly indoor pets.  Maybe it truly was me and my incessant need to have a perfectly clean, odor free home that finally cinched it. Maybe it was the dog’s barking and cries for attention. All I know is I did not like it. I was disliking them more and more each day, and I was disliking me for the way I was feeling. Something had to give.

My problem gave way to a solution on it’s own. I had to make a tough decision, but it also made me recognize and realize a couple of things.  First, and this is not profound but it can easily be overlooked; NEVER say never (i.e. the title). While I have/had and overwhelming LOVE for my West Highland Terriers that was not a love that was transferable. Next, know when enough is enough or even too much. Finally, make a decision ; indecisiveness benefits no one and it is a disservice to all.

In closing I want to point out if it is not clear, this  piece really was not simply about pets.

You Are Forgiven

This is a subject that always hits home with me. I always battle with and I never really am able or willing at times to explore thoroughly and answer. How about you? I want to caution you to think before you answer.

The most important, happy seasons approaches. In the midst of honoring God and celebrating, there hovers the question(s). I usually dismiss the feeling, I am convinced I have done the right thing. I am quick to remember my significant lesson in forgiveness, because prior to that incident I would let it be known I was a follower of the “I may forgive you , but I won’t forget you”doctrine. I was forced to  re-evaluate and evolve. I proclaimed, “God I get it”. Yet seemingly this time of year the forgiveness sermons come and I am instructed, compelled, driven to take another look.

I know I am not alone. There are broken damaged relationships all around us. We all think we are handling them in a proper fashion. They may not be being handled in a good or right fashion, but in most instances we feel like we are doing what is necessary. Then there are those among us who know better.

Forgiveness in itself is difficult, but forgiving someone who does not think or admit they did something wrong… well that reaches whole new levels. Our pastor spoke of an incident that involved  himself personally, right off the top of my head I recall a portion of a point he was making and it went something like “We want forgiveness for others, but we want justice for ourselves”. That says a lot; it somehow is easier to take if we are able to see wrongdoing will carry consequence, and here is the reference point.

When it comes to forgiveness, I know I have not conquered it. I think I am much better than I was. I know there is still some work I need to do. This is where prayer comes in. I shake my head because as a flawed sinful human being, I really do not want to  offer anything positive to someone who I am not really happy with. I mean to possibly be instrumental in providing them with a doorway to God’s favor… I want that for myself. Yet it is in those times you have to realize that you already have God’s favor and so does that person you are battling with praying for.

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