hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the tag “intentions”

Racing To November

Rushing through these months. Every day politics, politics and more politics. I think what bothers me more than anything is that I am coming a face to face with the fact I know NOTHING about the political process in this country.
Through misinformation or misunderstanding, what I thought to be true is false or it has an addendum.

Transparency is non-existent. One could easily fall into feeling like “It is pointless, why bother?” However, we cannot give up. It is up to US to fix this “structure” that we have been told stands and operates a certain way.

We need to understand and repair what is broken, in order to return to the business at hand in our lives. We should not have to wonder if we are successful in putting an individual in office who said they stood for what we liked or thought, once in the position will unmask and go the other direction. If that happens we should have a rapid way of getting that same individual out of that position, of which he or she is clearly not able or willing to do.

We want to have the ability to adjust, adapt, and promote change, well it cannot happen when someone is put in a position for LIFE! Hell we are oftentimes not even capable of deciding what looks good on our own bodies throughout our entire lives, let alone decide what will be good for our country and most of her people when we are dead and gone, at the tender age of 80 plus!

Our officials, elected AND appointed, should have the ability to start to make changes and even stay around long enough to see them implemented and start to take shape, but they should not be in office long enough to wonder or try to remember why  that something was implemented in the first place. TERMS people; everyone should serve a reasonable term, and always remember just because you can doesn’t always mean you should.

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Why Is That Camera Still In My Face

In this age when a cell phone can take pictures of high enough quality that you want to have them printed and placed in the family album, why can’t we get a decent picture of a person getting on in years. Furthermore, if we cannot get a decent picture why are we still taking them?

I love photographs. They tell a story as they give you a vantage point to the subject. On a simpler side I like looking at pretty things and that is without any prerequisites. Most of us get in a lucky shot here and there, as a photographer as well as the subject being photographed. In my estimation a true photographer is an artist and it is demonstrated consistently in his work.

I did not watch the “Oscars” a few nights ago, but as a matter of curiosity or ritual I always view the red carpet photos. This year was as entertaining as usual. The gowns and jewel were amazing. There were the fashion misses, as well as the disasters. The shock value outfits were very low, maybe Hollywood is actually trying to demonstrate some class.

One phenomenon I did see a bit more of was the aging performer. This is wonderful to see, as we are all getting up there in years. The tribute given to those who have passed on was admirable. What was not good to see was the unflattering pictures of these aging once beautiful faces.

Ladies of whom we wanted to see more of now have more skin than we care to see, and all of it has additional lines and spots. The sexy leading men are now hunched over like the monsters, villains, or antitheses they battled against. The mysterious ones now are just odd looking and strange.

I do not blame this completely on the individuals being photographed though. As I stated earlier photographers are artists and they manipulate what you see and the way that you see it. When one of those legendary performers stepped out and  was surprised by the flashes, they could choose to omit rather than release a terrible look on a seasoned face.

Like the malicious misfits of the writing industry, the ones who used to be accused of “yellow-journalism”; photography has their own bastard child , they are the paparazzi. The paparazzi do not care what the picture looks like, just that they have it. Some of them have nerve enough to cross fields and write things as ugly as their invasive pictures show. We feed them and keep them working though. Our need for sensationalism is voracious. Let’s face it”garbage” sells, because everyone wants to feel like they are one-up-on someone else in any way, means, manner, or form.

Maybe this will give rise to a new industry as it did for the medical community; geriatric photos. I am proud to be 53 and look forward to what lies ahead. I do have a slight advantage on a number of people; because I do not love the camera and it does not love me. Therefore our encounters are limited.  For the people who cannot wait to take a picture a cautionary tip;, digital cameras are accurate, quick, and brutally frank.  Now smile and “Say Cheese!”

Not Who You Think They Are

Clients versus customers; after 4 years in business I realized I had virtually no clients and only a few reliable customers. Is it the economy, is it the nature of my business, or is it ME? Have you ever thought you had something and found out you didn’t, or considered someone in a certain status only to find out the position you put them in was not proper/applicable/deserved? BOOM! I imagine you have heard a person who you are close to say, “oh ___ is my friend, or my friend ____.”  Then there are the patients, caught somewhere in between the four.

There  some areas in the world of advertising and commercialization that should remain untouched. I feel like the medical profession is one of those areas. During our lifetimes we have seen the family doctor evolve. Doctor has transformed from “the kindly, miracle bearing cure-all” to “the stone faced take-a-number/game-of-chance operator”. Don’t be mad at him; we have done this to him, and by “we” I mean society.

What does it take to open up/start up a business? Well of course it depends on the nature of your business. Yet, when you look at a young doctor starting out, there are considerations that must be taken into account. This new fresh physician has student loans (in most cases) that remind you of the National Debt. Everyday these people take lives into their hands with a perpetual monkey-on-their-backs, and we wonder why their bedside-manner is lacking. Then there are the realities of insurance, insurance that they cannot afford and cannot practice without.

If you are fortunate enough to have insurance you may have an HMO plan. This may have been a choice or the only option your employer offered you, but in numerous cases HMO demonstrates and should stand for Health Maintenance Oppressor. Everyone is given the impression they are getting something; the patient has lower cost reliable medical treatment available, the doctors have built-in patients, but they neglected to tell you about the part that you sell your soul to the devil for these “benefits”. The patient is locked into the types and amount of treatment the PLAN feels is acceptable. The doctor is faced with quotas and time restrictions on the care given.

The other type plans may offer more freedom, but they cost you in time and research. Time that you should invest in finding out who this doctor is; where the degree(s) was/were obtained, if there are significant complaints or malpractice suits pending or settled, and still no guarantees or even a promise that the care you receive will be up-to-par.

What these two sited plans do have in common is the power of persuasion facilitated through advertising. Depending on how much spending power you have this power is virtually endless. There can be a picture painted that would convince the strongest skeptic “_____ is the way to go”.

Plastic surgeons were  once looked upon as the bastard child of the medical profession; they had this reputation because of the stigma attached to elected surgery, and they were among the first in the field of medicine to advertise. Pharmaceutical companies have us convinced that we are qualified to suggest a certain medication to our doctors! How, through the media. If I knew what was wrong with me and/or what medications I should be taking, there would be no need for the physician!!!

Now we have the doctor, pharmaceutical company, and/or plan that can afford to make themselves look good in the media, but fail to deliver what they promise or show on television/or ads, in reality. Who suffers?

We must all be more aware, educated, and informed when it comes to our health and well-being. This is merely a carry-over from how busy and complicated our lives are now. However, it all goes back to the grass roots concepts of this piece. You really don’t know who or what you are dealing with, until you discover who or what they think of you.

Do You Have “Rock Hard Abs”

I smiled when this title came to me. It could take off in so many different directions. However, I made the conscious decision that I  wanted to write on a positive note. In my defense I do NOT think I write on all or even most bad notes. I think my writing is very realistic and real. I do wander off into fairy-tale land at times; that is because it is a happy-pretty place and I would LOVE to dwell there, in spite of the facts. That being said, lets get started here.

This year in October I will be 54. I am getting close to that retirement pension I never dreamed or thought about when I accepted a position with the Postal Service in 1985. God willing, I will see that pension and enjoy the “fruits of my labor”. My grown sons will be 33 and 28 respectively. My granddaughter will be 5 and will have started school. My hope is my health both physical and mental will be as it is today, very good to excellent.  However, I also hope I have finally gotten to those “Rock Hard Abs”.

What does a 5o-something year old woman want with “Rock Hard Abs”? I will tell you. “Rock Hard Abs” sounds like an advertisement, I won’t tel you it has NOT been a part of some ad campaign or even the name of a fitness program. I will tell you that I have romanticized about them for all my adult life.  They, out of all the things that have eluded me, did not have to be included in that list. Yet, I have allowed them to be just that, a part of my eluded list. This accomplishment will paint a picture of a sought after success. Plus I plan on highlighting my very pretty “innie” belly button with a piercing, my buddies in tow for support and fun.

I went on a program prior to the holiday season in 2012 I lost about 20 pounds, I felt wonderful, and I managed NOT to gain a single pound of it back during holiday time. I was very proud of that fact.  I did eat like it was the holiday season, but I kept up my program of going to the gym. The beginning of the New Year rolled around, and while I do not make resolutions, I proclaimed “This year, 2013 was going to be a GREAT year”. Let me tell you so far it has NOT! As I tried to keep a “stiff upper lip” and “put on a brave face”, I have been drowning. I have wallowed in self pity, I have ate my feelings at times, and I have neglected the gym routine.

With virtually (in my mind) all my hard work out the window. I have had to start from scratch. The reality is; I gained 4 lbs and all of them were MOST obvious to me in the mid-section. Thus the “all my hard work out the window” comment. I do concede that I must restart, in a sense, for the fitness routine has to be a constant and it has to be maintained. I now know that deviating will bring about UNWANTED changes in me.

Where is this positive/up contribution I talked about in the beginning of this piece? Here it is, I came to the realization that the problem I have not only exists within me, but that I in fact created it. Therefore I do have a bit of an inside track to the solution. That makes me feel great. Knowing you are the master of your destiny, that you are in control of a situation that challenges you is freeing. Now I can begin to fix this and attain my goal. This of course is a metaphoric piece. Do you have “Rock Hard Abs” and if you don’t how are you gonna get them?

I Do My Best Work Under Pressure

Little did I know I needed to demonstrate just that. A deadline was rapidly approaching and I had done little work. What I had done was terribly incomplete. My rest was interrupted, my thoughts cloudy and during this crucial time I was playing the game of denial.

After a nightmare I woke to a clear, cold, and beautiful morning. I felt positive and hopeful. I went to work and I was distracted to say the least. For years I warned others of doing the very thing I was doing, waiting until the last minute to take action.

Now the pressure is on and what am I doing? I stopped and took time to look around and reflect. At first it felt like a waste of time, but I realized I could not more forward until I was able to look back. I felt like my feet were stuck in some quick-drying cement. Now what would my next step be?

I needed to implement a course of action, but first I needed a plan. Considering the urgency did I really have time to sit down and figure out a systematic method of doing something. Of course not, my old procrastinating ways had seen to it that time was not a luxury I would be afforded. Yes, I was in fact lost.

In an almost remarkable sense, this is when I began working on my problem. In less than ten minutes I identified my dilemma, I developed steps to fix it. This was where I realized that the reason I procrastinate is not so much the work I have to do, but facing  up to the situation. I put things off because I just don’t like to look at them; these problems make me have to not only solve them but face the “whys”, and the “whys” generally stem from me as the originator. In this mindset problems are defined as failures, and I hate dealing with failure.

I collected my thoughts and began the attack. How many times before had I been at this stage? Motivation took on an entirely new meaning when defenses were summoned. Then I allowed myself to realize that problems are not failures, merely challenges whose ultimate outcome may or may not rest with you. Their existence by no means illustrates outcome. However, the way that you approach said problem(s) and the effort you expend is dependent on you.

On a final note realize that you have to actually factor in something that can be both finite and elusive, TIME. TIME of which you cannot control, only exist within it’s realm. Do be wary, for TIME will catch up to you.

Does Our Mortality Connect Our Humanity

I was once characterized as having a “Republican” way of viewing things. When this was said of me I was neither insulted or impressed. Since, this was not my political affiliation, the undertones and implications were clear to me. I happily can say, I am still friends with the individual who made that assessment.  I can also tell you LIFE has taught me that the stances I took on numerous things are subject to review, things are not just “black and white”.

More and more of our contemporaries are moving on to the next phase of life. Some touch us more than others, but we are touched just the same. When you find yourself attending more funerals than house parties it has to affect you in some way. If you knew today was your last day on Earth what would you do? How would you treat those around you? Life as you know it would be changed forever. What would be most important and how would you want it conveyed.

I will submit to you something not as final as death, but a major life altering event, a disease discovery. I will leave it to you to determine if it is terminal or not. However, you must take the position it is serious enough that simply ignoring it or going about as though it is not happening, is NOT an option. I want you to think as I relay this writer’s vantage point.

We are dealing with an individual who could never really be touched, not physically and not mentally. Life was a series of conquests and obstacles. No one could be trusted even a close confidant or a family member. To keep that protective shell intact all had to be dealt with as strangers and kept at “arms-length”.

For years of loyalty, dedication, and love the ones who were considered close were rewarded with distance and cold interaction. Then the discovery is made. Now we are afraid; we are hurting, we are confused and we expect compassion, understanding, and love.  However, as much love and affection there is your people have been beaten down. They are numb. They care but wonder how much worse will it be, for if they had you in good condition what will happen as things go bad? A frightening thought for them, a grounding point for you.

Years ago I watched George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama in an interview proclaiming a black man was “his best friend in the world”. I remember seeing  a George Wallace standing on the steps of the University of Alabama some years earlier blocking the entrance to the admissions office. I recall hearing a speech,” Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever…”  I watched this now feeble man robbed of the vitality of his youth; his angry hot blood was now meek lukewarm plasma, and his sharp vicious tongue now slowly being silenced by age. I asked myself, after feeling a bit of consolation in seeing him in his condition, does he remember the evil that he spewed from his person. I wondered if he was really sorry for what he had done or did he fear the after-life. I asked myself why I felt good that he was in such bad shape?

We never know when our respective numbers will come up. Questions arise in a simplified form; in order for us to relate, we must have something at stake.  For example; Tobacco Magnate-“How much money would you make off that cigarette, if your ONLY child should partake and then proceed to get TB or Cancer? I’d like to know the answer.”-William “Smokey” Robinson 

You see, we do not know how really sympathetic or humble we can be if we are never challenged or our existence put on the line. Then when we are put to the test, when we have something to loose we have to ask ourselves are we making our decisions based on doing the right thing, seeing the light- our Humanity shining through or is it simple fear of retribution from sources unknown- our Mortality being exposed.

All I Wanna Do Is Write

That is so very true. All I want to do is write. However, there are only so many hours in a day. My day consists of having to do another job in order for me to continue living, in hopes my dream job will come into fruition. Not a unique story but this is a glimpse of what I have to do in the meantime.

If I start my day in accordance with my workload schedule, I would probably get out of bed at 8:00 A.M. each weekday. Then I could travel to the designated job-site and begin my tasks. That is the simple  outline. The fact that there is something burning in me, and each waking hour makes me so much more aware that I not only want to write I need to write, makes this journey a difficult one.

Instead of 8:00 A.M. I wake at 6:30 A.M.  and as I roll out of bed I realize I do not have enough time to write. I should have gotten up earlier, but I didn’t go to bed until 2:30 A.M., I must sleep at some point in time. The words are pressing against me, I have to get started. Oh but I need to say my daily prayer and read at least one verse in the Bible. I need to reset for the day. Then there is my exercise regime. I cannot let myself get fat AGAIN, this takes a good 45 minutes to an hour.

When I have the time, when I am not pressed, I turn on a soft instrumental let my mind wander and the words, my words flow. That does not happen often. The human condition, the state of our society plagues me. I cannot ignore how I feel and I am compelled to write about those things.

However, today I do have the time. The time to talk about what writing means to me. I am able to feel good, revisit places and people through my writing. I am made aware of life through my writing by connecting with other writers and readers. I get to see another side of myself, that I don’t often have time for. It is an escape and a vehicle for which part of my life’s journey is made possible through. Although I question why I want to turn this feeling, this experience into a career at times. As I explore that  very question I am able to see that I equate career with a job, and as with most folks who work a job is a necessity rather than a choice. I realize how much I love to write and how wonderful it would be to do what I love, because I love it, and it make a way for me.

Recently, I was told by a fellow writer “Do what you love and the money will come”. I think about what was said and think of amazing artists I admire in the music industry. I imagine their fabulous voices as the sound resonates from what seems and feels like it is coming from deep in their very souls. I imagine the musicians who play their respective instruments with the care and patience of a considerate, passionate lover. I realize they have a relationship with their “gifts from God” and while the mere sound of what they do is so very amazing to others, they are appreciative of that very same gift. They would do what they do for free, because they do love it. I smile and I hope what I do, comes across and feels that very same way to others as well.

I Love You So Much, That I Would Die For YOU

In this era, it is sad that this title is about an inanimate object a gun. “They can pry it from my cold dead hands”- Charlton Heston. What an image, what a thought, what a speech from the man who PLAYED “Moses”.

I do not own a gun. I do not like guns so one might say,” who are you to discuss this subject?” My answer is… who am I not to. This could easily be turned into a statistic filled graph. I do not want that. You are free to search and read those on your own. I am reaching for a human contact. Yes I will give up a little data because it is necessary for you to sample the journey my words will take you on. Yet, there is no proclamation of expertise here, it is opinionated and heartfelt. I direct you ask.com or “google” the question “how many people have lost their lives to firearms?”..hint stay away from the NRA sponsored sites. You can find all the data you want and more.

We seem to be travelling back in time to an era when “tea parties” and militia were the norm, the problem is these “time travelers” want the benefits of the future with the fallback of the past at their fingertips and all for “their” convenience. Maybe the mere name “tea party” instantly  tele-ports them back in time. A time when our nation was a mere colony being controlled by a monarchy. Why, why, why do we hang onto the past? The right to bear arms, this so-called loss will make the proponents think romantically of that time not-so-long-ago… wait it was a time that is  long-since past! They cannot have memories for they were not even in existence when the events occurred. That is what is called history and it is documented. You can attempt to re-write it, but you stand a very strong chance that you are not qualified due to the simple fact that you were NOT there.  This is a case of being practical and no proponent of these gun issues wants to be practical. They will fan the flames of hatred, ignorance, and fear to get THEIR point across. Here is a tidbit.

Consider the licensing  requirement process for a start. Gun owners would have to be tested regularly in writing and have their skills(competence at the very least) demonstrated in controlled setting, identified by registration, held accountable and made to be insured. Owning a gun is a deliberate act, therefore one should be willing to  abide by these rules and regulations. I don’t want the rhetoric of “the criminals will not do these things”,  for my answer is simple, “that is what makes them criminals and their actions are and will be punishable by LAW”. Good upstanding citizen should NOT have a problem here. When you load that firearm are you doing it properly, by the book? Is it okay for you to take your firearm outside the confines of the designated area. If you do this what is the fine or consequence? It should not be as simple as going to the store or a gun show and slapping down the funds for the purchase, there is more to it. Just as the responsibilities of being a parent; physiologically you may be capable, but we all know directly or indirectly everyone should not have a child. I turn from behavior that is characteristic of a child, wanting their way, to the horrible loss of children. Forever etched in my mind will be the faces of beautiful little “babies” slaughtered by a man that should not have been walking the streets, let alone have in his possession a gun. I will always remember the guns he had were NOT illegally obtained but licensed and purchased the proper way. I cannot help but wonder had this particular situation had a few more rules and regulations these 26 people who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School may be alive today. Those weapons used would not have been “laying around”; if there had to liability insurance issued, or if in order to have a license proof of passing a written and performed test had to be produced, or before purchase an application had to be submitted and the rest was contingent upon meeting the guidelines which mirror the stipulations of a driver’s license .

Therefore, in closing I submit the following; more paperwork, more long lines, possibly a creation of some more jobs to get these things done and produce a safer environment for all. Still want to die for the right to have that gun, like the LATE Charlton Heston?It is not necessary, just a few more forms and a little more time is all that is required.  Now, faced with the possibility of a few more challenges how much is it really worth to you?

And I Am Not Proud Of This Either

Okay, I am willing to bet that I am the only person on this planet who has  been cut off in traffic and got angry about it….. Now let’s be real. Less than 10 blasted days into the New Year, I became a victim. A victim of my lack of self-control. I have to level with you here, I HATE THAT FEELING! Not being in charge or command of a situation is humbling at the very least. Then after being humbled one must face yet another task, facing the demon. I submit to you my brief, but memorable experience.

Driving used to be fun, driving used to be a joy, but in recent times it has become a necessary evil. There are individuals with various skill levels behind the wheels now-a-days , and ALL of them THINK they are great drivers. The array of colorful creatures includes but is not limited to: the racing maniac either on your bumper or coming off of it waaaay too closely, the good Samaritan assisting every other driver except the one of who he has control over, the Sunday driver with no place to go in Monday morning rush hour traffic, the busy bee multi-tasking behind the wheel, and the inconsiderate brat whose motto is “yes as a matter of fact it is my road”. This is just a small sampling of what one might encounter on any given day  of driving.

On my day I ran into the inconsiderate brat. As I navigated through Buckhead this particular morning in not so horrible traffic it began. She drove a courtesy car from a Lexus dealership. Traffic was moving at a decent pace, but she found herself about three car lengths behind a public transportation vehicle. There were two lanes and then she did it! Simultaneously changed lanes and put her signal on, maybe she even turned the signal on a few seconds after she began her lane change. It doesn’t really matter here for upon the move  in which she cut me off, I blew my horn. Now I do not like blowing my horn and generally one would be hard pressed to get this, but this move her move was so blatant and unnecessary… my blow was saying “really, you didn’t see me right there?” Well from her reaction she clearly did. She flipped me the “bird”. Whoa. On a morning where things were moving along quite nicely, I get the bird for someone else’s stupidity, blindness or down-right inconsiderateness.  MOVE!! “OH HELL NO!” was my thought my reaction was a return of the “bird” along with some choice words I don’t have to repeat, but I am sure you all can imagine. She smiled, she waved, and she continued with the “bird”. I played right into it with her. I blew my horn once more before we were caught at a traffic light. This where the “not proud of this either” moment occurred.

Without giving detail I want you to imagine yourself in that spot, I want you to feel the anger and frustration mount, perhaps reference a similar situation you’ve been in. Feel what you felt at that time and KNOW I was in that very same place. Whatever you did; if you quashed the anger and moved on BRAVO, if you did not and you acted like I did, and I am not judging you but you might want to get a handle on that.

It only took a moment, it only lasted a moment. Two things occurred;  the result she did not taunt me any longer and I had to deal with my feelings the rest of the day. What was worse is it could have been much worse. This is a story whose ending could have made the evening news. I hope she learned something, I hope I did too. Don’t take unnecessary chances “boys and girls” you never know who or what you are encountering on any given day. Two don’t think that it could never/would never happen to YOU. YOU can be either party that I am writing about here. We are all human; and being human in that frail state leaves us open and susceptible to all kinds of weaknesses, then after it is all said and done we are left with regret.

Victims

There are so many of them in today’s world. It is frightening to discover who and where they are. One may be surprised to find they, themselves fall right into that category. Yet, I want to be clear that I am addressing victims and not one particular kind (i.e. sexual, violent crime, emotional). It is a physical and emotional state.

One might be surprised to learn that victims victimize, just as abusers abuse.  Let’s start there. No one can protect or help you if you keep it to yourself.

I am having an anxiety attack as I work on this piece. There is a lump in my throat, my chest feels tight and breathing is difficult. The source of this is my own doing, I have to let go though, I have to let nature take it’s course of sorts. I am battling with what needs to be done and what I want to do. I am left to wonder if I did the right thing. I feel abandoned and alone. I search for solace and I know where I must turn. I have confessed and put mine out in the open.

I invite you to concentrate. The invitation was/is more of an order for me though. First, there is no crime in being a victim. If you wrap your mind around that it may be easier to deal with this piece. I hope this writing is a bit of help to someone reading it.

There are really no safe havens. We have to be informed and pro-active, for ourselves and for our children. No longer is this a gender or strength issue, boys are victimized as much if not more than girls. The guilt and shame for both is only compounded by society finding excuses and diagnoses for these acts. There is a decline in the morality of our society, our conscious’ are becoming increasingly numb and insensitive.

Moving away from the horrid explicit acts human beings commit against one another, we find a lesser demon the victim of circumstance. However, we cannot ignore the fact there is an excuse/explanation for this being as well.

Born into the situation or consciously pursuing something or someone that places us in the situation, the common thread here is at some point one has the opportunity to leave the surroundings that make things miserable for them, if they so choose. Why be a victim if you have a choice, one might ask. Safe is the reason. Even though the place or person is bad to you or for you, they reside in a place you know and place that is familiar. You have the companionship of “knowing”, and the known is safer than the unknown for a lot of individuals. Realize while you are locking yourself in the” safe- familiar-place” you are imprisoning yourself as well. You are not simply a victim, you are making and insuring for yourself that status. At the risk of stating the obvious I say/suggest this; make an effort to break away, free yourself… escape….

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