So, I'm eating this really good granola cereal. I'm groggy and thoughtful after a long and strenuous week.
Ba humbug. I was just thinking today that I've been dealing with a lot of people lately who are cheap. What I mean by this is the kind of folks who prefer to purchase an item or acquire a service for as little an amount as possible--without any regard to the consequences of such a desire. For them, there is no such thing as a "reasonable" price. The cheaper the better. (In fact, why not just get it for free?) Well, I have to say that this attitude makes me rather ill.
Because really, if you can't afford to pay for something that's probably already pretty reasonable, maybe you shouldn't be spending money anyway. Otherwise, there are massive corporate entities like Wal-mart and Dollar General who are willing to exploit your cheapness.
Okay, this was my rant for the day. I just needed to get it out of my system. Yesterday, I spearheaded my family's annual garage sale. It is our yearly purging of mountains of crap we don't need. One cheapskate after another kept doing things like trying to shave a dime off of something that was already priced at a quarter. For the love of Anne of Green Gables, GET A LIFE!!!!!!! Luckily, there were also people who were happy to pay for items just as they were priced. God bless these beautiful, amazing people.
In my mind, this brings up another, bigger issue. Nothing in life is truly free. At least, the things truly worth having are much harder to come by. Lately, I've been embracing the idea of only acquiring that which is truly worth having. For these things, I'm willing pay whatever price exists.
I just wanted to invite you all to visit the profile of April's Artist of the Month Kathy Skaggs. She is a talented poet based out of rural Kentucky. You can read an exclusive interview as well as samples of her work by viewing the profile here. This will be time well spent. You can also check out her new website at www.kathyskaggs.com for even more information.
Well, I've spent most of the last two days sick as a dog. On Thursday afternoon, my throat started to feel funny. Within two hours, I had a full-on fever and a massive headache. I felt like my body was on full alert and fighting heavily against a vicious attack of some nasty germ/virus.
I've been so weak that it's been difficult to even walk, and with every step I took, it felt like someone was pounding a hammer in my head. Migraine headache, sore throat, fever, weakness, nausea--this has all been quite an ordeal. All I could do was get myself to just lie down and try to rest. I had to call in sick to work and did not get anything else done.
It's Saturday now, and my fever finally broke last night. I'm still not at a hundred percent, but I'm getting there. My sister got me to take this severe cold and flu tea, and surely enough, it worked like a charm--bringing on the necessary reinforcements that my body needed to combat the bad stuff.
All of this hullaballoo got me thinking. There are people out there who live with severe disabilities and with chronic illnesses. They wake up everyday having a harder time out of life than those of us in perfect health. When your own body is its own nemesis, it must take an immense amount of will power to just try to live through each day. My heart goes out to these people.
I've just had a hellacious two days, but I know this could not possibly compare to what others with serious physical challenges deal with.
So, I started typing early this morning. Made myself some tea. I lay back down and fell asleep. I had to go to my mom's house to color her hair and watch a little HGTV. I'm finally back a few hours later. It's not quite morning anymore, but oh well.
I'm not fully recovered from my fever and sickness this week, but I am feeling much better. The weather outside is gorgeous.
I've been thinking lately about the word "manifest" and about the way we can, consciously or otherwise, manifest various things in our lives. According to dictionary.com, to make manifest is "to make clear or evident to the eye or the understanding; show plainly". For me, I want to create a reality out of what I truly want for my life. Surely, such things don't just appear out of nowhere, but I believe that having a sense of intention and a strong vision of one's true desires will go a long way towards achieving a desired reality.
A few years ago, I envisioned a life in which music would become more integrated with who I am as a person and how I live my life. I'm living in Nashville now and recording my first full album of music a few years later. I also feel as if more big changes are up ahead.
I guess two important elements to reckon with are the significance of time and the patience needed to let it take its course. I have been incredibly methodical about getting to where I am now, and nothing has happened overnight. I have often wished things would hurry up and just happen, but I know now that all things truly take place when they absolutely need to. I just need to have a healthy frame of mind to deal with it all.
During this passed week, I've been reading several articles referencing the existence of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean. I stumbled upon an article that described an area of the Pacific Ocean about the size of the continental US stretching from Hawaii to Japan that has millions of tons of plastic visibly floating in it. (There is also one well-documented area called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch between California and Hawaii that is about twice the size of the state of Texas.)
I grew up in the very tropical South Pacific and spent countless weekends swimming at the beach and enjoying barbeques with my family out in the sun. This Plastic Death, which I like to call it, hits right at home for me.
Plastic is a modern-day convenience that was invented to make our human lives easier. It is now found in virtually everything from car tires to even the clothes we wear. Unfortunately, not only is it also the kind of material that can take up to 500 years to naturally biodegrade, but even as it slowly breaks down, the chemicals it contains can also be quite toxic.
Possibly the greatest tragedy of it all is the effect of the Plastic Death on animals. Animals get caught in all kinds of stuff and try to eat a lot of it not knowing what they are ingesting. Here is a photo of a decomposed bird (a Laysan Albatross, actually) and the contents of its stomach when it died:
I slept in a little bit today, and I think I've slept well. The heavy coat of exhaustion seems to have slid off of me.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of rejection. It happens to everyone in a variety of circumstances. Whether it's the cold shoulder from a potential lover or a company that declines to hire you, it pretty much feels the same. It sucks.
What I struggle with is that if a series of rejections occurs, is this a message from the universe that a different direction is needed, or is it a sign that one should just give up?
In the past, I've used rejection as an impetus to work harder and be better. The same also goes for failure. If I failed miserably at something, I get off my ass and, gosh darnit, I try even more. This strategy has been quite effective for me, and I've learned a lot from it.
One thing that has really helped is to allow for a time of grieving. I treat rejection as a form of loss--a loss of possibility, a loss of potential. I give myself free rein to wallow in my disappointment for just a little while. This stuff needs to filter out. As I grieve, I also stay as positive as I can. The grieving cannot end without this. (One must be vigilant and not get into an emotional rut. This is the worst thing that can happen.)
So, last night I went out with some friends to see the midnight premiere of the movie Iron Man at our local Imax theatre. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it's as good, if not a little better in terms of its writing, as Transformers.
Lately I've been recently enamored of Transformers toys again. I loved these toys when I was a kid. It was fascinating to me that objects could become these amazing, dynamic, and badass robots!!!
Here's a very recent and inexpensive purchase . . .
A lovely, if not slightly weathered-looking, automotive masterpiece:
I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing an Artist Recap to review the Artists of the Month that I've featured since December of 2007. Since then, I've featured the photographer Todd Adams, the painter Jessica Hill, the knitter Lullette Magalei, the painter Gretel Parker, and the poet Kathy Skaggs. They are all incredibly talented in their own right. Check out the recap here.
If you happen to really like the work they do, there are links to their websites. They could certainly use all the support they can get.
There will be a brand new artist featured in June 2008, and so, please stay tuned!!!
I've been sneezing far too much lately. My body is being far too eloquent for its own good. In the winter and spring, my allergies really get all yucky and overbearing.
My recent illnesses, bouts of coughing and fever, and headache attacks have got me thinking more about non-traditional ways of taking care of oneself. The other day, a friend of mine was telling me about this new procedure in which you sit down and put your feet in a basin of this special type of fluid. While you're sitting there, the fluid changes color gradually and several times over. What's happening during this process is that this fluid is luring out the toxins from your body. The different colors indicate where these toxins are coming from and are essentially bringing to light the trouble spots inside your body. The best part is that it is totally painless. I've decided to try this out, and I will have a full report as soon as I do. Doesn't this sound fascinating?
I have also been trying to be good about watching the foods I eat. This is particularly difficult since, well, I really love food. I've cut down severely on carbs and sweets, and I'm getting ready to ban anything that is fried. Since I live in the South, fried food is inescapable, but I have to at least try. Basically, I'm aggressively working on living off of as balanced a diet as possible.
In April, I started going to the gym regularly. There is a YMCA a couple of miles from my house, and I've been working out 3 to 6 times a week in the mornings lately, depending on my schedule. I always do cardio on the ellyptical (which applies the least amount of stress on my legs and knees), and I've been lifting weights every other day. I'm determined to stay in great shape. Next year, I plan on running in both my first half-marathon and my first full marathon. This sounds daunting, but this is something I've always wanted to do.
Here's a recent "athletic" photo of me:
The other day, I was talking to someone about the concept of maturity. Through the course of the discussion the thought occurred to me that immaturity may not entirely be a bad thing. It is one of those rites of passage that many of us have to go through in order to learn and grow even though it's consequences can be quite costly.
In this meandering life of mine, I've come across immature people of all ages. It does not discriminate. I've learned that it's most important to accept people for who they are and where they are in their lives. If I come across an incredibly immature person, I accept it for what it is and move on. I try to stay out of harm's way and just focus on my own growth.
Though I cannot think of any specific instances in my past at the moment, I'm very certain I had my not-so-graceful and putridly immature phases. I do recall that change has happened after my actions wound up wounding someone else in the process. I guess it's not so bad when you only have yourself to hurt. It's exponentially much worse when the feelings and well-being of others are at stake.
Ultimately, there has to be the willingness and the wherewithal to learn and grow. We become better people all around and happen to outgrow our immaturity in the process. Without this willingness, we become stagnant or just continue to perpetually move without any direction.
This is a lot to think about on a Sunday morning. I need to get some coffee. Here's a photo: