Friday, August 16, 2019

Solutions



“Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created this mess you got yourself into in the first place.” ― Richard Bach, Illusions



We've all had moments of realization. When you think to yourself what a fine how-do-you-do you've gotten yourself into. Again.

We already know the answers to the questions, since we're the ones that thought them up. Usually in the middle of the night, and they keep us from sleeping. We toss and turn as possible outcomes scroll through our tired brains. Whatever we did that sent us searching, we've done it to ourselves.

Most of our problems that we seek answers to are created innocently enough: spending a little more than we should, having that extra drink, staying up too late, slacking at work. We should be smart enough to know better, but hey - still human. We do these things for crazy reasons, one of which is to show everyone that we're in charge. But then.... we're not. We let them slide: no biggie, we got this. Until we don't.

We know not to let them pile up. They're not dust bunnies under the spare bed. They're living, breathing issues that multiply exponentially. And they reproduce like real rabbits. And then.... we're drowning in fuzzy things that poop. A lot. Then, it's game on.

 We can't keep from creating our own nightmares. The potential for small things to go wrong is wide open. All we can do is mitigate the damage by handling them as they happen. Don't compound the damage by putting all your rabbits in one hutch, so to speak. That poop ain't gonna clean itself up.




Thursday, August 8, 2019

Rewards




"There are grand rewards for those who pick the high hard roads, but those rewards are hidden by years.”      Richard Bach, One

You know that feeling: when you've busted your ass and still can't get ahead. When you've done all you think you can do, and come up short. When you're at the end of your rope, and it's still not good enough.

It's bullshit.

If you've learned anything from me (please say yes,) you know you're stronger than that. And smarter. You know we don't quit, ever. Even when people tell us we can't win. We hold our heads up, set our gaze on the prize, and keep moving.

That's why we wear out our shoes. Why we still have a flip phone. Why the last concert we went to was a decade ago.

None of that matters.

Having a safe home where your family plays Uno on Fridays nights matters. Watching your child exceed even their own expectations matters. Hearing a family friend tell someone what a great parent you are.

We may not have all the things we want exactly when we want them, but they show up when we need them. And it's never too late. Rewards delayed are sometimes the sweetest.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Obligation.


“The only obligation we have in any lifetime is to be true to ourselves."     Richard
Bach, Illusions.

I'd like to say my lengthy sabbatical has been because I was having the time of my life, and was so busy I hadn't the chance to blog. But that'd be bullshit. I thought it was because I was being lazy because I thought I was out of things to say, feeling like I was repeating myself. That's be bullshit as well. Truth is, I don't really have an answer, or even an excuse. I just.... stopped. Not sure why, I just... stopped.
Why am I starting again? Not sure about that either. Maybe to get my cousin Cindyloo and friend April to quit bugging me, but they aren't THAT aggravating. Mostly, I think, is I get a thought in my head, turn it  over and over a few times, and something pops out. And I reckon this one took a while. A really long while. But, here we go....

Obligation. The weight of the world, placed upon our shoulders, by..... ourselves. Nobody makes you do things.

You are free to say "no" when you really don't want to do something. There will be consequences, but you can.

You'll get fired for saying "no" too often at work. You'll be sleeping in the garage by saying "no" to the spouse enough times. You'll be walking if you don't agree with that bell telling you the car is almost out of gas.

You're not required to change your plans when a friend asks you to help them move: but if you miss the chance to rescue her from a bad situation, you'll feel responsible when you see the bruises . You don't have to take care of that sick relative: but you'll wish you'd done more when you stand at their graveside. You are free to turn down that date with someone you barely know: but you might wonder "what if" when you see their wedding announcement next year. You don't need to make time for lunch with an old friend far away, but you'll regret it forever when you're reading their obituary.

But oh, what  if you did....

For one thing, you wouldn't feel so shitty about all that stuff today. The line between obligation and regret is thin.





Welcome back inside my head, friends. It's dark and kinda scary sometimes, but everything good begins with that next step.





Sunday, January 29, 2017

Obstacles

“Everything is exactly as it is for a reason. The crumb on your table is no mystical reminder of this morning's cookie, it is there because you have chosen not to remove it. No exceptions.”  ― Richard Bach, Illusions

What's in your way? Most likely, YOU. Things are exactly as they should be, according to the plans you've put in place. Not working out like you expected? Look in that mirror, you are in control of both right and wrong.

I like to think I never planned for my life as it is now. But in the back of my mind, I know I did. I never gave up my independence, so when I needed to stand on my own, I could. It's not always easy, but here I am. I never wanted any of it, but here it is. No, that's wrong. I wanted to be happy, and I am. No matter what happened to get me there.

The reasons we are happy (or sad) belong to us. We make our own choices. It may take some time for them to come around, so don't forget what you asked for. It's different for us all, happiness varies from person to person. But the road to it is paved the same for each: with pieces of those we love, shards of our past, and hope eternal.

The choice you made twenty years ago that just turned south? That was your doing. On the path to joy. Yet another reason to be ALL IN and make wise decisions. When that grand plan of yours works out, it may be when you least expect it and certainly don't deserve it. You let it play out all that time, and NOW you're surprised at what happened? Nothing mystical in that, you set the whole thing up.

Look carefully into your future, and be sure you want what you think you want. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hurt

“We choose, ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what. Us who decides. Nobody else.”  ― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

And yes, we do give that power to others, quite often and in error. It's not easy to take the blame for our pain, but we allow it. You can't be heartbroken over how someone treats you if you keep that power for yourself. But how do we do that? Doesn't that mean we aren't "ALL IN," if we hold back? Sit, readers, time for a lesson...

ALL IN does not mean you get stupid. You live in a bad neighborhood. You wouldn't leave your house unlocked, your car unlocked, etc., right? That's just asking for trouble. Also known as stupid. Same thing with your heart. You want to give it up, don't be in that "bad neighborhood." You've done your research, made sure that you're in the right place, with the right person. No do-overs, so be sure. Otherwise, you're handing over the keys to a stranger. If you don't know their heart, don't give them yours. Because that's... well, stupid.

ALL IN also has a flip side: COMPLETELY OUT. Some people deserve that more than we realize. By keeping people in our lives that don't have our best interests at heart, we hand over the entire set of keys. Not just our hearts, but our minds, our souls, even our physical well-being. Keep them at as much distance as possible, and you won't have that hurt. The hurt you allow. What we condone is what we approve. They don't deserve you, don't let their toxicity hurt you. 

YOU are the master of your own happiness, as well as your own pain. Don't stop thinking, play seven level chess if you have to. Game out your reactions: if you can't shut the door to keep from being hurt, don't even answer the bell. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Baggage

“We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.”  ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull


We all come with the trappings of our past. Ex-spouses, children, bad habits, emotional scars. We choose to let it become baggage but clinging to it. There's comfort in what you know, but with that comfort comes pain. Past experiences as kids form us into the adults we become, full of fear and distance. We allow the lessons to color our future, while all along we have the power to take those crayons from the teachers and break them in half. 

We create our own heavens. And our own hells. Sometimes we drag ourselves back into them, when we've taken a few blows and are feeling vulnerable. Misery loves company, and wallowing in the past that we allowed gives us a ticket straight back to it. It's a constant fight to be positive, since being miserable is so easy. Learning how to be happy isn't something our families teach us. They just want us to survive to adulthood, where we're expected to figure things out on our own. There are no lessons in success: that seems to be OJT. 

Casting off the past is tiresome work. I've grown weary of arguing: my childhood had many wasted hours watching family fight over the stupidest things. I still try to avoid arguments, but when I am in one, look out. I have to have the last word. Bad habit. But I can't completely break it. That lesson hasn't been completed. I also am not good at second chances. I don't expect them, so I find it hard to give them. Never got a break in my life, so it's difficult to grant one.

Drop those lead weights, my readers. Much easier to fly without them...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Challenges

"It isn’t the challenge that faces us that determines who we are and what we are becoming, but the way we meet the challenge: whether we toss a match at the wreck or work our way through it, step by step, to freedom.”  ― Richard Bach, Nothing by Chance

Of course our actions matter the most. Not when we fold our cards and walk away, but when we put all our chips in and draw to an inside straight. Nobody ever said this thing called life would be easy, and if they did THEY LIED! A constant battle to keep our heads above water: sometimes we're lucky to dog paddle, other days we're floating on our backs without a care in the world. I'm more scared then than on bad days: the good ones sometimes allow us to let our guard down a little too much.

I've said before I'm not a risk taker, but I'm also not a doom and gloom person either. I try to take each day and each event on its merits. Just because it's Monday doesn't necessarily mean it will suck. 95% chance, but that five percent just might be while you're buying a lottery ticket or getting a great haircut! I am not much of an optimist, more of a realist. Show me that five percent that has an open door to success, and I'll make something good of it. 

Sometimes the best solution is to toss that match. Not everything (or everyone) is salvageable. I've walked away from things that others told me I would regret leaving. I've also stuck out relationships that would send many screaming to the hills. Knowing the difference is a fine line. I don't always have the timing down, but I eventually get the idea and pick up the gasoline can. No bridges left to cross, keeps the stragglers from chasing you down.