Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More and the MoJo is missing

The world was my oyster. I was full of energy. I didn’t have excessive responsibilities.  My mojo cup was filling up.
How’s my cup looking now?  I am older, promoted at work and survived three major lawsuits and feel the effects of mojo depletion.  I am overweight, tired, milky, and my days are cut way too short of free time. I look like a plump squirrel, and felt that life, as I had known it disappeared with my 38-inch waist. My mojo was no mo’.  I recently had my 9th known person commit suicide this year alone.  WOW, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!
The word “mojo” derives from an African language and relates to magic and spells to generate luck and power. In today’s language, the word still refers to a source of vigor, energy, sexual potency and power. An entire Austin Powers movie was devoted to his lost mojo and his desperate search to find it. He ultimately discovers his mojo is within, and that he had access to it all along. Groovy baby!  I feel depleted, overwhelmed, stressed-out, frumpy, tired, bored or lethargic and that means I for sure have lost my mojo.
I find it is really hard to find the motivation to reclaim a lost mojo. But I can’t remain in this mojo-less place for too long, or my lost mojo might mushroom into a full-blown depression. I know just making some small life changes can release the magic of a mojo so that I can begin to feel more energy and enthusiasm about myself and all that this beautiful world has to offer.  Here are some things I know I need to do, but keep delaying!

I need to address Stress. I feel overwhelmed and stressed and need lighten the load and address the source of the stress before I do anything else.  The way it is I have chest discomfort and difficulty breathing several times a day.  It’s works too many demands on my time from family or friends, I need to pinpoint the reason and take action. I know very few things in life are worth the physical and emotional toll of chronic stress, yet it is going on a full year now!
I need to remember “What Fun Is”. Fun is way underrated but it is an essential element of a strong mojo.  As I write this, I have a pen and paper and try to jot down the times in my life when I really had fun.  I am going blank.  That is sad!
I need to get Physical and take An Electronic Sabbatical. It’s so easy to plop in front of the television or computer when I am feeling low on mojo. Once I am in that chair, it is so hard to get back up.  I need to read something inspirational or motivating. No more sitting and zoning out.
Overall, my Mojo Is Late and I should not wait. I must take action to get my groove back, but I am still feeling lethargic, tired or in the dumps after a few months.  I am contemplating seeing a doctor. There are a variety of physical and emotional reasons for losing the mojo, and it might be something as simple as low iron or poor sleeping habits.


In the end, I need to take action and reclaim my magic.

Monday, August 11, 2014

#6... Hope the count stops soon!

I can’t believe it!  Robin Williams, the happiest and funniest man of my childhood, someone I admired and really enjoyed watching him in all his work, supposedly found it was easier not to grow old.  Why?  Just like my previous post, we will never know.

Then I see the other side of the spectrum.  Often when riding my bicycle to work, I come across an elderly man walking.  He must be in his 90’s.  He walks at what I would consider a quick pace for his age, but he moves about 3 inches a step.  He looks happy each time as I go past him in the early morning.  It is almost as if that is all he has left to feel good about, and enjoys the walk. 

I get more confused.

I also noted another generational issue recently.  In my generation, we would take pride on being aware of other people’s time.  What I notice now is the people in the 20’s just live the moment more and more without regard to what was planned or tomorrow.  It just seems odd that they just do not have any issues making others wait and cancel plans as they are enjoying their moment in time.  Just seems so selfish.  But could be I am just becoming that grumpy old man no one enjoys.  I just feel lie there is little respect left in the world.

There's been a fundamental change in adult life. Teachers, pediatricians and therapists are seeing children of all ages who are not afraid of their parents. Not one bit. Not of their power, not of their position, not of their ability to apply standards and enforce consequences.

These days, that look seems to have been replaced by a feeble nod of parental acquiescence -- and an earnest acknowledgment of "how hard it is to be a kid these days."  I have seen children call their parents names and tell them how stupid they are; I have heard adolescents use strings of expletives toward them. 

I have concluded not only are the kids unafraid of their parents, parents are afraid of their kids! What ever happened to the phrases our parents relied on to put us in our place? "Keep your shirt on." "On the double." "What do you think we are, made of money?" "Because I said so." "If you want sympathy, look it up in the dictionary”, or  "Don't bother me unless you're bleeding". Parents once commanded respect.

Today's generation of children is the most closely observed, monitored, cherished and scheduled in our history. They are also the most praised. Families are smaller, and there are fewer children upon whom parents can beam their attention.  Many parents these days don't expect their children to contribute much around the house, although they do expect them to achieve outside the house.

Could it be this is the answer I am looking for.  We never get to be kids, so we do not want to become older adults?  Could it be someone stole their childhood so they steal their adulthood?


Thursday, August 7, 2014

I don't understand!

In the past six months, I know of five men over 50 (two I knew well) who passed away.  All were suspected to have committed suicide.  It is even more alarming when they all had great jobs, successful children and did not seem to have much in life to be concerned.  Yet they decided that they had enough.  We will never know what enough entails.  I tried to search out explanation, and only became more confused.
Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in over 30,000 deaths per year recorded. This is clearly an underestimate of the true figure since many suicides are not recorded as such because of social stigma, financial considerations, and other factors. For as long as statistics about suicide have been collected in the United States there has been a very consistent strong association between suicide and 3 factors: age, gender, and race. Though women have many more suicide attempts than men, per attempt, a man is 4 times more likely to die than a woman.  What is even more alarming is white males accounted for 73% of all suicides in the US in 1996.  Overall, the United States suicide rate is overwhelmingly white, male, and older than age of 50.
There is a well-established strong association between depression and suicide. So I wonder, should I have seen the signs?  One thing I noted amongst them all was they worked hard and work was their life.  They may have lost touch with reality and became depressed, I just do not understand.  I only wish I could have seen this coming and intervened.
I had a thought that really seems wrong.  I find that the people who followed the rules and were doing well seemed to be in the worst emotional shape. These are folks who believed if they always did the right thing, the responsible thing, nothing bad would ever happen to them.
I wonder if someone like me, who's weathered economic extremes for decades, weathered a divorce, had major issues with most imaginable situations, had great friends die when I was in my teens, 20’s, 30’s 40’s and now 50’s had any advantage.  I wonder if I am better emotionally prepared for the arbitrary turns of life’s wheel. I already know how to be poor and get by; to be alone and survive; to have a child despise you and live; to see death and live.  Most of my friends, they didn't.

So why are baby boomers somehow inherently suicidal? They're just so self-centered and childish; of course they throw the ultimate tantrum when they can't get their own way?  Or not. Maybe they're just human beings whose lives have been ruined by the lawless actions of the Wall Street elite, enabled by the austerity fever dreams of the media elite.  Politicians worried about gun control and birth control than providing proper mental health trained them.  I may be so far off, but after the fifth assumed suicide, and that being a close friend, I just look for answers and that may be an impossible quest for answers.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A little better?

It has been over two weeks since I looked at Facebook.  I have only looking at personal e-mails two or three times.  I have discovered that the world has not changed.  I am not sure when, or if, I will look at Facebook again or clean out the e-mail box, but there is no hurry.

I did get about 140 miles biking last week.   A few rides to work and then Tour the Saints 50 mile with Shelley Sunday.  It was very difficult with 15+ mile per hour winds that seemed to change based on the direction we traveled.  Shelley still did a PR of 3:20 for the 50 miles.

I did replace several bike parts before the ride.  Replaced the rear sprocket, replaced broken spokes, new rear sprocket, removed the 28 rear / 25 front mm tires used on the Denver to Minneapolis trip back to the 25 rear / 23 front mm.  The 28 mm tire was hard to get off the bike.  I also replaced a shifter cable and adjusted the front derailleur, which was having issues.  I am glad I took the bike mechanics course so I could do the work myself.  I estimate I save $300 doing the work myself.

I have not been taking pictures lately as I have been busy at work and I had to send my D600 in for repaired.  There was a recall for sensor spots, which I started to notice the last time I used the camera.  I had shipped it out on July 5 and it was returned today (June 21).  I will test it out this weekend.

One thing I struggle with is the emotional letdown after the bike ride and finishing my 30th consecutive Grandma’s marathon.  I think I need a goal, and objective, something to strive for or I get lost.  I am concerned my body will not allow this as I have aged.  It is not as easy to recover.  I find work stress at an all time high is taking its toll as well.  We are short staffed and I have worked no less than a 55 hour week for quite some time and have logged as much as 70 hours.  I usually get to work by 6 AM and leave about 6 PM while eating through lunch.  I think I need to get perspective.

On a positive note, I actually enjoyed a few 2-mile runs.  That was a huge surprise as for the past years; I found no enjoyment in a run.  I will try this again a few times and have high hopes for a turn-around.  Either way, I need to keep going, head on, and that is all I know I can do.

How I feel when I run..  At least this is what I envision the view from others would be...



Monday, July 14, 2014

A blog is better than Facebook?

Today I was asked if I ran a 5 K race over the weekend.  I informed the person I have only run 4-5 times a year for the past few years, and one of those is Grandma’s Marathon.  As I said that, it was clear they thought I was kidding.  I think this is the direct result of something called Facebook.  Facebook seems to decide what they will post and when, unlike the blog which has details in a user defined order as opposed to snip-its.

I have become less enthused with Facebook recently.  Mostly because of how people view the definition of Social Media.  I view it as a place to express oneself.  If I am happy, frustrated or confused, I can express my thoughts.  Recently, I was the subject of ridicule over my posting about a retail firm not keeping their promise.  I had requested they reset my password and they said I would be notified in 30 minutes.  After two days, I expressed my frustration on Face book only to be attacked for expressing my thoughts.  I also have another high level mail order company who double charged me for a Christmas gift and I am still trying to sort that out.  I expressed my feeling on Facebook in January and again was attacked. 

So I have not used Facebook for a few weeks and WOW, life still goes on without the daily use.  Who would have thought?

My physical recovery from the bicycle ride from Denver followed by Grandma’s Marathon is still slow.  Over 6 weeks and I still have limited feeling in my little fingers.  My left ankle is in extreme pain most days.  I have accomplished another 150 miles of biking, but things just are not correct.  I accomplished only one commute to work since May 1.  I am thinking I should try Yoga just to get the body in some sort of balance.

Either way, my son is now working full time and seeing the difficult schedule of the post Grad School life.  Very proud of how he is approaching the challenge.  As a parent, you can’t help but be concerted, as the corporate world he is in is really a dog-eat-dog battle.

At work we are preparing for yet another legal battle.  So many issues and people to just persist on creating a legal quandary instead of just admitting the issue and moving on.  Make the job so difficult to enjoy.

Either way I will try to ride bike to work more in the coming weeks.  This whole year has been hard with rain every week and flood waters higher than I ever witnessed in July.  Also, the weather is cold, in a July.  In the morning we have 50 degrees and a high of 66, in July?

Well, we take the good and the bad and keep pushing on.