Friday, September 26, 2014

Another Month, another life taken…

I spent the better part of the morning crying for someone I had only briefly known.  A young man of 16 decided life was not worth continuing and ended his life.  That makes 8 people I knew personally this year and then there are the four I knew of but no personal connection who took their lives as well.

I will never understand, but at times I wonder if I do?  I have that innate ability not to quit, so I see things and approach difficult times differently.  I always understand life is what we make of it. 

I have a co-worker who is ill often, who will often complain about how much he does not enjoy his work.  He feels under-appreciated and just wants to quit his job.  He said he wished he enjoyed his work half as much as I did.  He was shocked when I said for the past 6 months, I HATE my job.  I despise getting up and coming to work, as it is a heavy burden without much satisfaction.  He said no one would ever know that, as I am always joyful and very productive.

I explained life is what we make of it.  I explained during many of the marathons and longer races I finished, I hated running.  Riding my bicycle from Denver, Colorado to Minneapolis, Minnesota there were several times I hated biking.  But just like life, there are ups and downs and what forms us is how we use attitude to get through the lows.  The there is joy from getting through the hell we often find before us on a daily basis.

I am in an all time low right now.  Not sure anyone cold tell, because I know I was not put on the earth to quit and smile as I work through the lows.  It is a shame so many acquaintances have found it easier to quit.  I will never understand and for that I guess I am blessed.  May you never quit and use a positive attitude to enjoy the life you have before you.

Carry on my friends, Carry on…

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

52 and counting

No this is not my 52nd marathon, my 52nd day of dieting, etc...  No I turned 52 years old.  As a social experiment, I have not been on Facebook since June.  Before I left the world of social media, I purposely made my birthday invisible.  Last year, I had over 100 Happy Birthday wishes, this year, three…  What does that mean, nothing but it shows without social media, how many birthday wishes would you get?

I have something to admit…I’m not good at accepting gifts from people. I always have this awkward feeling and try to refute the gift or reduce what someone would like to give me. It may at first seem like this is really noble of me, and I think it was at first trying to be, but really it’s not. In fact, I’m really just putting myself ahead of others.

When I was a teenager, I had the thought that I didn’t want to get so excited about getting presents from people at my birthday or Christmas. This was partly to save myself from any potential disappointment (yet plain black socks…again) but also because I thought that it was good to not be obsessed with “things” and presents embodied “things” to me. So there was only one option, be pessimistic, put on a dower face and not get that excited over what was happening but instead enjoy the people around me more.

Now is that humble! I totally got over that whole wanting stuff thing haven’t I…oh wait. Actually no. In fact, in many ways I was more obsessed by things than ever before…it was just that I had the power to buy them for myself! On top of that I was looking at things legalistically and not acting out of love.

When I got a present I didn’t think about the other person at all I just focused on how I felt and making sure that I was right. I didn’t think about the effort the other person might take in choosing a gift or anything else. This wasn’t just limited to just birthdays but to any gift that people wanted to give me. Every time the same dance would occur “Oh, you shouldn’t have…I can’t accept that etc”.

It was all a power battle and I was more proud than ever before.  I never considered how it might be nice for someone else to give a gift to me and for it to be received gratefully.

So why am I talking about receiving gifts? Well this weekend was my 52nd birthday.  For the most of human history, to be old is a mark of honor.  Today it is a source of fear.  Fear of losing health.  Fear of losing the active lifestyle that made me happy.  Fear of being poor in the retirement years.  I remember when 52 seemed ancient – and now I can’t believe that I am past 50 and relentlessly getting older. I once was a fanatic about what I eat and how much I exercise daily. I would run five to six days a week, work out with weights, doing resistance training a few days a week and a core training once a week. I would go for regular semi-annual medical check-ups to monitor all the signs of health (or lack of it).

Often I let myself totally pig out, and I eat whatever I feel like eating.  I eat out of stress — usually that means a lot of junk food.  I am doing whatever I can to fight the relentless march of time.  But stress of life has changed me!

In celebration of my aging quickly, I Shelley made me dinner and took me to a play.  We went home afterward and enjoyed carrot cake.  We called it a night and I woke early to work on the backlog of items in that duty they call a job.  Not sure why I am so dedicated to doing the best I can in my profession and let myself go?  I often wonder if I could do what others can do for easy pay and little stress.  But that is like stealing.  What I mean is they leisurely work through the day reporting for work at 8:00 AM and taking 30 minutes to get ready for work and at 4:10 PM get everything set so I can bolt out the door at 4:30 without any care.

Anyway, today, I got another gift.  It was a book.  I am not a fiction reader and finding books that make me interested is hard.  It was an unexpected gift. A welcomed gift.  For once in my life I did not feel like “you shouldn’t have” or gees’, thanks so much.  This was a really good feeling.  For some reason, it was really a personal and caring thought that for some reason left me happy and speechless.  That does not happen to me, but it was a welcomed feeling.

Oh the book, it was “what if: serious scientific answers to absurd hypotheticalquestions” and it is a book I will be able to read over and over as it is just not a dead read, but a book that makes me think deep, very deep.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Busy, lost and confused

Been working 65 to 70 hour weeks for over three months now.  I looked back and have only had 8 of the last 90 days days off from work and yes that includes Saturday and Sundays.  So little bike riding or taking care of myself.

Although my hands are about 80 percent back to normal from the long ride in May.  I need to get some time for myself.  While I am not sick of life, I really feel I have lost life all for the sake of a job that no one could care of my efforts.  I wonder if this is what goes through the minds of the dozen people I know who took their own lives in the past few years?

I had seen the video below posted and I watched it.  Not once, not twice but six straight times.  Really impacting, at least to me.  We are filled with greed and what is in it for me society.  That needs to change!!!

All I know is shortness of breath and chest tightness are regular daily issues with the stress of life and work.  I really do not see an end to this but there has to be...  Somewhere out there...  The sky is blue?

Carry on my friends....

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?