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Pretty Petty Pickings

cartoon-pointing

So….

                I’ve been thinking about this whole gay marriage thing. And seriously, who cares!? There are bigger issues in the world we should be concentrating on. Does allowing two men, or two women, to marry feed the hungry? No! Does it help care for the homeless? No! Does it prevent war, or educate our children? No! Then seriously, who cares?!?!

                We’ve become a civilization of persnickety bigots. We are so busy focusing on what our neighbor is doing. We forget what we should be doing. We’re tilting at windmills, when we should be caring for our country and fellow countrymen.

                Do I think two men, or two women, should be allowed to marry? I can’t think of a logical, valid reason they shouldn’t be allowed to. So, yes. To say no, is just petty. Petty, petty, PETTY! As for Christians and their, “God Says!!” God says, “Love they neighbor!” The bible teaches tolerance, love, acceptance, and respect.  Christians who use the bible to spread hatred, pain, and discontent have never truly read the bible.

                If they had read the bible they would have read Ezekial 16:48-49: “This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy.” Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior. The Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality. Only six or seven of the Bible’s one million verses refer to same-sex behavior in any way – and none of those verses refer to homosexual orientation as it is understood today.

                And apparently, people forget the one main theme throughout the bible: Jesus helped everyone! He treated everyone as equals. Told his disciples “…and the least among you, shall be the greatest.” Yet…what do we do these days? We hold up movie stars, sports figures, the wealthy, etc. as the greatest. We tear down, ignore, torment, mistreat, hide from, and otherwise cause harm to the least of us.

                This world we live in frustrates me to no end. We’ve let pettiness and false righteousness over take our decision making. Let’s tear someone down, instead of raise them up. Let’s condemn them for their choices, because they aren’t ours. Let’s turn our backs on those in need, because it is easier to look away, or hide them away, then to expend the energy to extend a hand.

                We need to smack people upside the head until their hearts kick back in. We’re losing our humanity, and wasting time spreading hatred. This is not the world I want to live in. It is not the world I want my kids, my grandkids, growing up in!

                I’ll end my rant on this note. Don’t blindly follow. You are far too intelligent, and far to special, to just blindly follow. Let your heart rule your mind, and actions. And never forget..EVERYONE is fighting some battle.

                So, for today, I’ll wish you peace, understanding, love, and quiet realization. Our value is only as great as the value we place on our fellow man. When we stop loving him, we stop loving ourselves. We falter, fall, and never find a way back up. This life isn’t about what we can get out of it. It is about what we give.  Today. Tomorrow. Everyday.

Goodnight my friends!

Flaw

Here is today’s dilemma – I’m tired!

 I’m tired of the news. I’m tired of the Newspaper. I’m tired of celebrities making fools of us. I’m tired of sports ‘heroes’ shirking their duties as heroes.  I’m tired of hearing about soldiers coming home and being treated worse here then they were in war. I’m tired of hearing about any animal being hurt or mistreated because someone put more value on the all mighty dollar then on life. I’m tired of hearing about the values we supposedly hold so dear being trampled in the dust. I’m tired of society sitting idly by while it all happens.

 We open our mouths to complain but, we remain firmly seated on our keesters. It is so easy to sit safely behind closed doors and point out what is wrong with the world.  We hold tightly to the crowd mentality; it is someone else’s job! Haven’t we noticed? The crowd is idle too!

 When will we learn! One person. One single, solitary person can and will make a difference. We just have to be brave enough to try. I’ll admit, right now, my bravery has run off with my common sense. I have my days where I stand by and watch. Where stepping forward and saying something, anything, scares me to death. But…while I may not be brave enough to take on the larger fights, I can still take on the smaller ones. I’ll work my way up to the larger ones as I gain confidence.

 We all have to start somewhere. Recently, though, I’ve been pulled in one direction – to minister. It is not what I want to do. It has never been what I’ve planned to do. I only ended up ordained because I have a never ending desire to learn – everything! Plus, I wanted to make an educated choice in the spiritual path I chose.

 I can’t see myself standing before people guiding them in their beliefs…..or maybe I can. I love to teach. Whether or not I’m good at it, is another question all together. I have more brains then common sense most days. But still…..

 When everything points to standing up, and passing on values you hold dear. Do you hesitate, or give in to what may be fate? Ah, fate. In many ways I’m a believer. Yet, I can’t fight the nagging feeling which says fate is an illusion; another way to justify our actions to ourselves.

 Perhaps that is the answer. Maybe…that is why sports ‘heroes’ no longer choose to be the heroes. They believe that it was fate which lead them to greatness and in greatness they cannot fall. The same could be said of celebrities. How sad such a thought is though.  

 It is only when we help the least of us that we become great. The man who spends time teaching children, or rescuing animals, or building houses for the homeless; he is truly great. The woman who feeds the hungry, clothes the unclothed, and reads to children of the homeless. She is greater than any president, or ball player, or movie star. They are the ones who will change the world in remarkable ways.

 For today, I wish you rest from the weariness of societies bad choices. I wish you encounters with people of true greatness. And I wish you heroes who will never fall because they know greatness cannot be counted in dollars and cents.

 Goodnight my friends!

 I haven’t written in a while, let me catch you up on my wonderful world of weirdness.

First, work…ick! Now, I love my job. I get to be a geek, what’s not to love!?! I also get to be stressed, and worried, and lost in the Twilight Zone. I swear the weirdest things happen when you combine machines with people.

Anyway, we finished the last big project a year ago. Well, in theory we finished it a year ago. You never realize how many kinks are in a project until after it goes live. Then the real issues begin. Everything that was agreed upon suddenly isn’t what the client wanted. Anyone who works with software will understand exactly what I mean!

The client requests a tree swing. So, we make the tree swing, and twist, and work flawlessly. Then…. the client tells you that isn’t what they wanted. All they wanted was a tire, tied to a rope, attached to a branch in the tree. Suddenly all the bells and whistles don’t matter. The greatest inventions don’t matter if they don’t fit the need….which is probably why I NEED a year long vacation. Funny thing is, I’d go crazy if I actually got it.

Work expects us to get excited about new projects. Great! I’m excited!!! Just…..not really excited. It is hard to be excited when you know there is barely enough workers to go around now. Let alone with all the pending projects coming up. So, sure, I’ll get excited….to be more stressed, to attempt to get more done with less and less, to pull miracles out of our….hats, and do it all while smiling and celebrating.

I think our company needs to see a therapist, because it is slightly on the crazy side. Plus, I don’t think the company really sees the paddlers abandoning ship. If it keeps going on its set course, it is going to find itself stranded and surrounded by a real storm. Granted, this is from the perspective of a Monkey on a Keyboard – we don’t always see the grand picture from the top of the heap. Strange how we’re expected too though…

Expectations….now there’s a subject I can sink my teeth into. Especially lately.

My beautiful daughter is expecting her first baby. I’m excited, and scared, for her. Having children is such a wonderous thing. Yet, you go in thinking, “I can do this!!”, and leave thinking, “Oh my goodness!! What did I get myself into!”

You want the best for your children. You expect the best for your children. You expect the best from your children. Even more difficult though….you expect the best from yourself. You truly think you can do it….until the first time that baby cries and rocking, singing, feeding, changing,….doesn’t stop it.

Then you’re scared. You shush, pray, beg, walk, drive, rock, plead, walk, plead some more. Because you’re mom, or dad, and you’re supposed to have all the answers. And all the answers are supposed to be right. And you’re children are never supposed to cry, or hurt, or know fear, or get injured, or feel lost, or feel unloved, or question how much you really, truly, deeply love them. Even if they don’t understand.

And suddenly you realize, that innocent, beautiful child, isn’t there because you have all the answers. It is there to teach you to be a better person. Think about it for a minute….

Before the wiggling, screaming, smiling, beautiful little angel came into your life. What would you have given your life for?? What mattered, anywhere near as much, as the innocent infant who immediately stole your heart? Their health, their happiness, their safety, their whole world matters more then anything!

Then….one day….those beautiful angels are grown. On their own. Having their own children. And you’re scared for them, because you know they’re about to enter the toughest school they’ve ever known. And the cycle of life goes on….

My expectation of life falls short in many ways. As the years have marched on my expectations have changed. The one expectation that has never changed is: I expect to love my children, always. No matter how close we are, or aren’t. Whether we talk everyday, or once a month. Whether I agree with their choices, or disagree. I will always love them, as they are, no exceptions. Their courage, beauty, talent, fierceness, wonder, are only a few of the things which make me so very proud of them.

On that note…

I wish you all lessons you learn when you least expect it. Expectations which move your heart in a world that asks you to be excited by the mundane. And glorious wonder in the eyes of the innocent. Their lives, and belief in themselves, is far more valuable then all the gold in Fort Knox.

Goodnight My Friends.

Largest Details

 

 

I have semi-written rants….several of them! A couple about bullying, human nature, and the solution to all the worlds problems. I’ve solved everything from the rising crime rate, to the neighborhood bully, and his oblivious parents.

I write all these great things….in my head. If I could just get them typed in when I’m thinking about them. I would have more than one post in a blue moon. Speaking of which, enjoy the blue moon this month. There won’t be another one until July, 2015! And yes, I am easily distracted by shiny things. :)

Anyway, if I could carry a computer with me everywhere I go. And, have the time to stop and write when I get the inspiration…without interruption. You would never be able to keep up! There would always be more posts then time to read them. And, if you believe that, I have some great ocean front property for sale in Northern Nebraska.

In all honesty, there are times when I couldn’t write myself out of a paper sack. I have absolutely no inspiration. I lack words, drive, and time. Then there are times when I could write a novel, if I just had the time.

I start draft after draft of posts, and they sit there. Mainly because when I finally get back to them, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say. I blame it on work but, honestly, it is pure laziness! Oh, that is hard to admit to!

Yes, I am lazy. That truly stings to admit. I didn’t use to be this way. I’m not sure when I changed, or even what changed me. I’ve tried analyzing it, to find the answer, and I’ve come up short.

It was a gradual thing…I think. I could probably blame the depression, or even the PTSD. I could….but, it feels like a cop-out. My depression and PTSD (and OCD, and Anxiety/Panic disorder), has inspired me to do so much! To be so much more then anyone expected me to be. Yet, here I am.

I’m left questioning. How can someone, who doctors told to file for disability because they’d never hold a job, go from that to where I am now? How do they ever consider themselves lazy, and doubt their abililty? Doubt is easy. I’ve learned that all to well over the years.

I doubt everyday! There are days I walk in to work and pray no one finds out I have no idea what I’m doing! No matter how much I know, or learn, or strive to know, I still feel like I know absolutely nothing. Everyone seems to be a step, or two, ahead of me. And of course, that drives me crazy. lol

There’s a switch inside me that some how got flipped, and I can’t find it to flip it back. I remember always being outside. I remember running all over the country side, hiking, riding horses, playing with animals, always going and going and going and… when did it stop? When did I stop?

I can’t pinpoint a day, or an event. I’ve racked my brain, and come up blank. It must have happened gradually. There is something odd about that thought. Things in my life don’t tend to happen gradually. They always happen with a flash, and a shock, and a surprise, and… anything but gradually. Or….

Maybe I see things in big events? Could that be it? Think about it. The news shows up everyday that these big events happen. They’re spectacular, and immediate, and always a sense of urgency. Work is the same way…rush, rush, rush, quick, quick, quick, then BANG!

You get married, have kids, get a new job… all big events. We don’t recount the days leading to the events. We recount the events themselves. Maybe that’s the problem? We’ve forgotten how to slow down and live moments. We rush and rush to live events. Then when we have a moment we waste it by being lazy. I know I’ve wasted a lot of moments that way.

I’ve been waiting for big events to signal changes. What I’ve missed though is all the little moments which are those changes. I need to slow my thinking. Go back to living the moments which matter. And, take those moments to write.

It is going to be a challenge, slowing down (the right way!). But…it is the only way I know to refind the me I’ve lost.

So, for today, I wish you millions of moments peppered with big events. In the smallest of moments we miss the largest details. Learn to slow down the right way, and refind the you you may have lost.

Goodnight my friends!

Experimental Adventure

 

I’m starting a new adventure!

I like thinking of the things I do as an adventure. Some how, it adds a bit of magic to the sometimes mundane. I mean really….what is the fun of saying, “I’m starting a new diet” or, “I’m trying a new hair color” or, “I’m going to buy a new outfit.” None of it sounds as much fun as, “I’m starting a new adventure!”

Maybe I watched Alice in Wonderland to many times, or maybe I read to many NLP books. It could be psychology classes too, or it could be Dr. Masaru Emoto’s Water Experiment. Whatever it is…I would rather see life as an Adventure then something to just survive.

So…what is my new adventure. Well, I’m calling it ‘The Diet Experiment.’ I’m going to develop new habits, and a new outlook. And, I’m going to have all of you hold me accountable. So, what are my goals for this little adventure? They’re simple.

1. Eat Healthier!
2. Drink more Tea and Water, then Coffee and Soda – this one is going to be tough!
3. Exercise Regularly – and no, playing with the critters doesn’t count!
4. Lose 5 pounds before the end of September.
5. Write a blog post a day!

Some of it, is not going to be easy! Writing everyday is a challenge. I don’t always have a brillant idea hanging around, or witty commentary. Exercising is going to be a little bit easier. There is tons to do around the house right now, and any activity can be turned in to a workout. I also have an exercise bike I love….I hate the seat though! So, I’ll have to work on the seat before I’ll incorporate it. I’m going to have to break down and buy an actual bike. I love to go bike riding, and we have so many paths around here.

The problem with any great adventure is you never know what the future holds. Around any corner could be speed bumps, furry monsters, or disappearing cats. Yet, the adventure itself, the unknown, holds so many possibilities! I’m a HUGE fan of possibilities!

So many times, I think we lose our sense of ‘possible.’ It gets lost in the rush of the work day, the stress of appointment calendar, and outlandish disappointment. I’ve sat back and seen the ‘impossible’ grow to monster size. Giving in to the easy way out, and fear. The “because” always stops me in my tracks. You know what I mean? It is that…”I believe what I believe because…..”, or the “I do what I do because…..” I can’t always answer the “because”.

The biggest because I have to answer is….”I am the way I am because….” It’s taking that step into the darkness. The one place we often don’t want to go…inside our own minds. It is holding myself accountable for gaining the weight, not exercising, not eating healthy, not writing daily.

This is MY Adventure! I have a choice. Am I going to enjoy it, survive it, or just live with things the way they are..? My choice? I am going to enjoy every single, joyous, moment! Let the adventure begin!

For today, I wish you great adventures filled with all the magic, laughter, and joy you deserve. Today is the day to stop just surviving, and really start living! Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you in its grip any longer. Your life is yours. Take it back, and venture on!!

Goodnight my friends!

Zombified Truths

It has been a while since I wrote. I’ve missed you.

Things have become so hectic around here that I’m not always sure I know which way I’m going. Several months ago now, I had a plan. I saw the plan coming together. I’d put together the study groups I’d wanted to. I was starting to find the kindred spirits I knew were out there. I’d started…. but like so many other times, work interferred.

Funny isn’t it… We grow up knowing we will spend the rest of our lives working. We know it. Yet, it never truly sinks in until the day you wake up and realize….this isn’t who I really am, or what I really want to be. My problem is, I’ve woken up many times and realized this isn’t who I am, or what I want to be.

My life revolves around computers. I love the infernal devices. They irritate me, frustrate me, and thorouthly amaze me! I’ve walked away from them before. Gave them all away, along with the software, passwords, everything. Completely got them out of my life, and swore I’d never go back. And for years, I didn’t. I was behind the times, clueless to the technical age rushing past me. It was wonderful!

Then…. I accepted a job offer where working on a computer was required. I told myself, “Okay, you can do this without getting sucked back in.” Somewhere inside though, I probably knew I was kidding myself. It took less than a year for the driving curiousity, and ‘must know’ nature raised its head. I knew I was completely screwed when it did – I wasn’t wrong. Then it was back to school, more learning, more reading, more…more…more!

I can rebuild engines, fix transmissions, build computers, create programs, get lost in code, and find it all as fascinating as everyone seems to find sparkling vampires. I have certifications in this, degrees in that, and ordinations. Don’t even get me started on awards…. And the most honest confession I will ever make about any of it is…. I will never tell anyone all of it.

That may sound funny to you. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to brag about the things they know, what they’ve done, etc? Do you know what being smart gets you? It gets you hiding under a desk in kindergarten. It gets a room full of kids laughing at you in second grade because you can spell friendship, out loud, without making a mistake. It gets you teased on the playground. It gets your school counselor telling your parents, “We don’t understand how she can be failing, when all of her tests are so high..” It gets you accused of cheating in class, which then forces you to retake your final exam – in front of the teacher, by yourself, so he can watch your every move. It gets you….depressed.

So why am I telling you all of this? Well…this project at work, the one which has my life so wrapped up right now…it has made me think. I don’t want to be known as the one who is ‘good with computers.’ I don’t want to be the SME on a subject. Because honestly…what does it matter? The programs we use today will be extinct next month. Something new and improved will come out tomorrow. What we spent months working on will soon be the butt of some awful jokes – one day they’ll love us, the next they’ll hate it. It is the cycle of things in the technology world. We’re writing our own heartache, and doing it to solve those things we currently see as problems. Tomorrow though, we’ll realize those problems weren’t as bad as the one we just created.

We’re losing, and we’ve lost. We just haven’t figured out how to get out of this crazy, unmanned rollercoaster. We’ve left our brains in the future, haven’t learned from the past, and forget to cherish the present I don’t want to live to be 103 with the mentality of “it’s okay.” I want to live with enthusiasm, and authenticity, knowing today is the most perfect today i’ll ever have!

Life is not meant to be lived within unreasonable deadlines. And definitely not in societies where people are pushed, daily, to give 300% and only receive 2% back. There is no longer a give and take in our society, only a huge mountain of take…and take….and take…. And do I really want that to be who I am? No. Emphatically NO!

I want to be able to say, “I made a difference.” It may not be a huge difference. It may not be a difference anyone sees but me. But, it will be a difference. I have become one of the zombies of the world. Trudging to follow the crowd. Surviving, because that is what is expected of me. Surviving….isn’t good enough!

I want to remember what it is to live. To wake up every morning and think, “Wow! I can’t wait for this day to begin!”, and I want to mean it! Now, I wake every morning going, “I really don’t want to do this…..” It is a necessary evil. And, it is in saying those words that I do my biggest harm. Words become thoughts. Thoughts become deeds. Negativity spreads. And…. you end up, right here, right now, silently screaming that something has to change.

“If you can’t change your life, change your attitude.”

My biggest challenge right now is surviving work. I still love my job, but I’m worn out, burnt out, worn down…however you want to put it. I’m exhausted. When this month ends, a lifetime of stress will be lifted….or at least it feels like a lifetime. I know I’m not alone in this thought. There are so many of us who are worn down from this current project.

I wish everyone involved in it peace, relaxation, escape, and hope. When all is said and done, what was right or wrong won’t matter. The fact that it was done, is what matters. Here is to those who put in the long hours, sacrificed their weekends, gritted their teeth, and bit their tongues. We survived. Let a new journey begin.

Goodnight my friends!

Escaping Thankfully

In a time of Thanksgiving, and Holiday Cheer – I have to stop, and force myself to find reasons to be Thankful. I’m struggling with this right now. I am usually optimist. I can find the silver lining in any situation. It is a bit disconcerting to me to be stymied by reasons to give Thanks.

It may be that I see Thanks as something very personal. Silver linings are shared, and often being pointed out to others. Everything is easier when done for others. I spend a lot of time up lifting others, helping others, and trying to inspire (even if just in small ways). I sound a bit narcissistic saying that, I know.

It is far easier to put effort in to others, then it is to take a hard look at your own life. Over my many years I have often taken a look at my life. I believe in living authentically, and tend to preach far too much on the concept. The problem is, over the last year or more, I have stopped living truly authentically.

I have no doubt the lapse in my authenticity has caused many of my current problems.  I’ve given up the battles. I’ve stepped aside and let others dictate my actions. I’ve become the depressed, frustrated, and reclusive person I was years ago. I despised that person. I fought hard to change that person. And yet, here she is again.

I don’t hate my life. Not the way people in my situation would normally. There are a lot of things I love about my life. I love my job, for the most part. We all have bad days, challenging co-workers, and a loss of faith. I love that I have a home to go to every night, good friends, entertaining critters, and the courage to follow my beliefs.

These are things I should be thankful for – I should be. Many people don’t have a job, let alone one they can be frustrated with, or lose faith in. There are people who don’t have friends or a roof over their head. There are lonely people who would love to be in a relationship, and even people who would love to have a pet.

I think there is a part of me which is thankful. However, I think there is a larger part of me which would be happier in seclusion on an island. Away from technology, office politics, relationships of any kind, and the mundane drone of everyday life.

While I relish the thought of escape I know it would be the simple way out. It is such a tempting idea. I sometimes wish I was the type of person who gave in to temptation.  The fighter in me however…. Can never let things go down the easy road.

So…here is my dilemma. I need to find my thankfulness.  I need to find that one, earth shattering, eye opening, all inclusive reason to be thankful. Until I do, I will work on finding my authenticity again. Part of me got lost somewhere, and it is time to get it back. I know it will involve some changes. I know some of those changes will be welcomed, others…not so welcome.

For now though….I wish you true authenticity. The ability to know yourself, your fears, your dreams, your thankfulness, and never doubt any of it. May your holiday’s sparkle with all the glitter and gold every smile and laugh can offer. It is a time to be thankful, and to remember the greatest thing about ourselves – our ability to overcome when all faith is gone.

Goodnight my friends, and Happy Holidays!