I spent the day as a chaperone for my sons band at Six Flags over Georgia. Some observations:
* paint the place - it looks dated and even the parking lines need to be painted
* uplift the bathrooms - table stakes in theme parks
* upgrade the food - chicken Caesar wraps are not healthy alternatives
* people - we have a serious health problem
I find that as time moves on, I am getting involved with different groups. When I was growing up, I observed this in my parents. They were always involved in something. I did not understand why though.
I do understand now. With my personality I seek connections with new and diverse people. For me it is the essence of life. It is my way of living it.
Over the past week I have interacted with several of my current "tribes" as I call them. Our local high school marching band, my son's Boy Scout troop, my Cross Fit classmates. Each group brings something different to me.
One of many things I admire about my dad is his persistence. This is demonstrated through his desire to be self sufficient. On the other hand it has taken me a lifetime to develop this skill. It may have taken him a while also, but I can only speak to the time I have known him.
Recently I tested my own persistence and self sufficiency with my lawn mower. It is is 25 years old. My son had been using it for a lawn service this summer, so it had received far more use than in the first 25 years. As a result a back wheel had disintegrated.
I went first to the local hardware where I purchase a generic wheel. First the wrong size. Next I realized the wheel needing replacement had a gear in it. New mowers are $300. I am frugal in some ways. The mower has a good engine. So I decided to order a replacement part. Once it arrived I was able to quickly fix the mower. Right parts + right tools = success.
Years ago this would not have happened. Maybe the first part of the sequence, but not the outcome. I had failed many times in the past and my reaction had been that I was somehow deficient. Why didn't I know how to do everything? (Note see posts on ego).
Our egos are huge. Face it. Remember middle or high school? Remember how concerned you were with what you wore because of what you thought others would think? If you had a controlled ego you would not have cared at all.
My ego is huge and I have to keep it under wraps. When it comes out it does all sorts of damage. It breeds an aura of arrogance. Overconfidence. Since of entitlement. And so on.
How does this play out? Take yesterday. I was at my daughter's dance recital. She had not been feeling well so it was questionable if she would perform. Like a trooper she persevered.
I was sitting in the audience and as the program progressed I started to get "antsy". My internal clock went back in time to when I used to attend my wife's recitals years ago - they were painfully long. I wanted this one to end. I had enough. No more, please.
I wonder at what point a person stops looking to the future? It is very unique to each person, but the thought process is interesting.
For example, does someone in their 80s stop looking to the future? How about 70? And age may not play a role at all. Maybe they see how their careers, for example, have played out and they say to themselves "this is it, it does not go any further"
I find myself asking more and more of these types of questions. It is a slippery slope as they say. Look too much ahead though and you can feel a sense of anxiety. Which brings me to the now.
Being in the now, the present, can be a tough trick to pull off. You have to be very aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. We Americans tend to be very action oriented, constantly moving and thinking of what is the next best experience. Instant gratification rules.
Everyone has connections, right? It just happens. At work, school, in the neighborhood. You get the picture.
These connections evolve over time. Some come and stay. Some are fleeting but powerful influences. They shape you in many ways. Some ways that are positive and some ways that you have to overcome later on. You learn from each of these connections.
I have read numerous articles about networking, connectivity, etc. There is a common theme around all of the articles - regardless of the situation you can always apply what your caregivers taught (if they were decent caregivers)
When it comes to fun things to do, my sister-in-law has a knack for ideas. Back in 2006 she hatched the "let's go to Italy" plan.
It would be my wife, me, my SIL, and her husband. No kids (we had some, they did not). We would take off in the summer and stay a solid week touring part of Italy. I have no idea why this place was chosen.
At first it was just an idea that was thrown about like some kind of wishful thinking. Then I realized my SIL was serious. Plus my wife did not discount the idea, which meant we were all but there already.
The interesting part is that between me and my SIL, I think we planned the whole thing. I doubt that was really there case, but I will swear by it.
This is totally new for me but exciting. I always wondered what it would be like to blog. So I decided to find out.
It is like many things that I have only recently ventured into. Less fear and more doing and failing, but trying.
So let the adventure begin.
Why non linear? As I am finding out, not much in life follows a plan. And if you think you can map it all out, woe is you. Yeah you can control how you react, sometimes, but that is about it.
Has anyone had a prescribed life so far?
97. That was the temperature today. I sit in my cool house escaping the southeastern U.S. heat. There are hotter places, but still 97 is rough. This picture from a couple of years ago helps keep me mentally cool
Now the gratitude. It does not take long to appreciate the ability to get away from the heat. I can imagine those less fortunate.
I am grateful for:
Marriage is not like the movies in terms of shots of wedded bliss. Let me be clear, it is hard work.
My wife and I are celebrating 30 years of marriage. At dinner last night, we were seated at our table. After a couple of minutes my wife said that she was not comfortable in the chairs were at the table. No problem, we asked to be moved and were promptly.
I mention this because 30 years ago I doubt we would have done that. I doubt I would have done that. My wife nailed it when she said we were taught to be nice.
Being nice and asking for what you want are not mutually exclusive, but it took a long time to realize this. You can be nice and demanding of what you deserve.