Small things

Here’s facebook post I did seven years ago. You may find something in it or you may not:

Have you ever spent a lot of time grooming yourself to look your very best, not necessarily to impress anyone else, but simply to revel in the picture of looking your best? Then, when you’re about to exit the house, your significant other asks you to hold on for a minute. You wonder why. After all, there couldn’t possibly be anything you’ve forgotten, especially on your person since you spent so much time pruning and primping. She/he proceeds to pick a very small piece of lent from your shoulder. They do this without breathing a word of how the total package looks, but for some reason they noticed this almost microscopic piece of lent.

Metaphorically speaking, it is often the small things in life that count the most. Pay attention to the small things and thank those in our lives who notice the small things in our lives.

I hope you weren’t expecting something bigger. Have a great day of small discovery!

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

    Hurrying up isn’t a priority anymore

Do you recall when you were much younger? My assumption here is that you’re over sixty if you’re reading this. Please pardon me if you’re a youngster of anything under fifty. Getting back to the question, if you can recall the days of being knee high to a grasshopper, teenaged years or twenty to thirty something, you might remember being impatient. When I think of those times, I see myself never patient enough to allow time to take its course. When I was fourteen, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get my driver’s license. Seeing the joy on the faces of two of my cousins, three years older than I, tooling around in the old hoopties they had worked hard to save enough money to buy increased my impatience to wait until I turned sixteen. That rite of passage, taking a driving test would be mine to experience. With a driver’s license, I would enjoy my first foray into independence and be a legal risk on the road to myself and everyone else I encountered.

My two youngest kids, thirty-four and thirty are beginning to show signs of patience, but they still have a way to go before they reach that age where everything you’re in a rush to get to isn’t a fire. They’re still at that age where when they ask you for something, with follow-up shortly thereafter. Of course, they want whatever they want from me served up with McDonald’s speed. I must forgive my grandkids and my dog; it’s natural for their requests to be followed with whining and jumping up and down. Neither has a sense of longevity or brevity. They see it and it’s not where it should be, in their mouths, in their hands, somewhere in proximity so an itch can be scratched.

The title of this piece sums up my attitude about hurrying up for about anything, although I must admit, I still do move fast in the kitchen. I don’t mean to brag, but I can whip up a meal lickity split. I think it’s something in my DNA, which causes me to not want to wait more than an hour for a meal that I’m preparing. Alexa tells me that we’re moving through space at 1.3 million miles per second. We can’t feel it because the Earth is orbiting the sun, which is orbiting the center of our galaxy, which is barreling through the cosmic wind of radiation released during the Big Bang. When I think about that, I must accept the fact that there’s no speed on Earth any of us can achieve which can match that. I think I can just relax and enjoy the ride; a ride that has taken me on a journey during these past seventy-years far greater in distance than my mathematically challenged brain can begin to calculate. I’ve also come to the realization that it (whatever it is) will be there when I get there. There’s no need to rush. At my age, rushing could result in something falling off. I’m at that age where replacement parts are hard to come by.

In the meantime, I’ll watch the young folks and the adds on TV continue to pay homage to the god of hurry-up. I see no need to stress myself in such an ungodly fashion.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

                                                                                Your life

How old are you? If you’re at an age where you can review things that have happened over three decades or more, you’ve been given an opportunity to see how wonderful life is. However, I want to make it clear what I consider life to be. The Yogi, Sadhguru doesn’t consider life to be the things external to your vessel, your body. He has been known to say that life isn’t things like your job, community, your family and so on. These are life experiences. Your life is the self-contain biological unit that breathes and navigates through the years it lives on this planet. I agree with that assessment. That characterization of life begs the question: How well are you managing your life. We can’t do very much about what goes on externally to our vessel; however, we can manage our emotions, our health, our intellectual achievement, our attitudes, as well as other components of our life.

Have you been known to say how others make you angry, happy, sad, and so on? Is there a string or some sort of control button protruding from some point on your body which others have access to, allowing them to control how you respond to any given situation? Are you continually experiencing some emotional state that you’d rather not be experiencing? Maybe being aware that you’d rather not be in this state is a state of mind that’s prompting you to do something about it.

I’m so far away from being a mental health professional that I must make it clear that my thoughts in the blog aren’t informed by medical training. However, I have lived a long time on this planet, and I’ve experienced a lot of external stimuli. Much of it has been negative, not good medicine for a healthy mental state. I certainly don’t discount my life of faith, which gives me plenty of fuel in sustaining a healthy mental state. Faith in God, for me, has little value if I can’t use it to navigate the day-to-day struggles that are bound to be ahead. I can have faith in Jesus, and I do, but I must find a way to use that faith in my inventory of wisdom tools. It’s these tools that equip me to look at circumstances and respond to them in ways that are best for my mental health. I started thinking decades ago that there are only two people who continually have my beat interest at heart: God and me. And I’m not the most dependable of the two. Others-family, friends- do have my interest in their hearts, but they have a full-time job trying to maintain their own balance in meeting life events.

We’ve been given the greatest of gifts, life. The entire universe is about life. We shouldn’t allow outside influences to interfere with us doing all we can to have the best life we can. We should eat well, exercise, meditate, use all the wisdom our god provides to develop our lives to be the best they can be. That state of consciousness will better prepare us to be good service to ourselves and to others.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

I’m glad there’s enough good in the world

I used to watch the news regularly, CNN, MSNBC, local news, and other alphabets of broadcasting. I stopped taking large, continual doses of this mayhem, when I started to realize that depression was the outcome of viewing the depravity the media pitches at 6:00 and 10:00. There’s always a war going on somewhere, an incident where multiple loss of life happens, a case of corruption where some government official has absconded with something they shouldn’t have. The story is constant in nature, though small variances exist.

In case you’re reading this, and you might find yourself taking issue with the title. You might be thinking there isn’t enough good in the world. If that’s what you’re thinking, I understand; however, I’m speaking in terms of relativeness. I’m convinced there’s enough good in the world to keep us from eradicating all life from the planet. We have that capability. For the life of me, I don’t understand how we can place that achievement in the accomplishment column.

Good raises its head whenever it must, keeping us from plunging off the edge of a mighty cliff.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

Yahweh’s Relief

The weather here in Arkansas has been brutal the last couple of weeks. Temperatures have been in the mid to upper ninety-degree Fahrenheit range with several one-hundreds thrown in for good measure. Anyone reading this outside of the United States that would be thirty-six degrees to thirty-seven. With high humidity added, the weather hasn’t a pretty sight at all.

A recent morning was another story altogether. After I finished my morning ritual of exercising, reading the paper, meditating, eating a little breakfast (not necessarily in that order), I decided to spend a little time on the back deck with my trusty Shi-Tzu (Ari). The weather was stark contrast to what we’ve been having. There was a light northerly wind blowing, visibly rustling the leaves on the tree line on the other side of the creek that runs behind our property. There was also a mixture of birds playfully riding the updrafts, making flying seem effortless. All seemed well in nature’s laboratory. Even the traffic noise from the expressway, about four miles away, was silent. I only heard the hush sounds of nature. It’s as if Yahweh was acutely aware that I needed a respite.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too. 

America the Beautiful?

Well, I suppose some miscreant figured the best way to celebrate America’s Fourth of July/Independence Day was to shoot at a bunch of folks in a parade in Highland Park, Illinois. Who knows why someone felt the urge to visit an act of random violence on people who were just out to celebrate the holiday?

I don’t know the details yet; however, early news reports say that six people were killed and more than thirty were injured. I’m intentionally not trying to get the numbers accurate, since they may change as time moves on. Even if the number was only one shot or killed, that would be too many. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but when I got out of bed this morning, I thought about whether we would have another mass shooting in our country today. Afterall, what better time for some misguided soul, with a high-powered weapon to express himself. Meantime, the debate goes on about gun control in our country.

For years, I’ve listened to the argument about the importance of an armed militia, the importance of Americans having access to protection owning a gun provides. Unless I’ve missed a report or two, I’ve not heard any account of someone with a gun stopping a mass shooter. These folks perpetrate the worse crimes of opportunity, leaving in the wake of their heinous acts shattered bodies, families, neighborhoods, as well as mental and emotional health issues that will linger for years to come.

I can’t help but think we (America) are excellent at putting on the best beautiful face we can, while the bad and the ugly continue to do things like what just happened in Highland Park, Illinois. When will it all end? All bets are that it won’t in my lifetime. If you’re reading this, not in yours either.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.