Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Personal Loss…

I don’t remember the date, but the occasion that gathered the family was the celebration of the boy’s girlfriend’s birthdays (both the first week October). We were gathered at my home for Barbeque and togetherness and even though I do not remember the date I do remember the exact moment that some magic left my world. I was walking on the deck towards the stairs that lead to the yard and the barbeque pits beyond, when movement caught my eye.

As the setting sun’s angled rays cast small shadows east of everything in the yard, I saw a small white flower move. It bent down to one side for a second and then stood up straight again and the flower next to it then bent over ever so slightly, and then the next and so on. My absolute first thought was that if I were in the company of a young child, especially a girl (maybe a granddaughter- someday) I could describe the small fairy that is moving through the yard, her ephemeral gown spun from spider silk, her silvery wings moving too fast to be seen clearly, and perhaps she hums softly to herself as she makes her way through the yard.

As I pondered this wee fey moving across my property, a small, dark, and malignant corner of my mind whispered, “Hobby, it’s just a bee going flower to flower too far away to see anything but the flowers moving.”

In that instance some of the magic left my world, the rationalization of what was happening stole some of the enchantment that has colored all of my life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


A poster at work reads, “The best things in life aren’t things.”
As sometimes occurs, I began thinking about this which led to me wanting to write about it. I understand that the point being made is that possessions are not the best things in life, but I would say that is not always true.
I decided I would put together a list of the Best Things in Life:
• The Smile or Laugh of a Loved One.
• The Curve of a Woman’s Body.
• Warm Banana Nut Bread.
• Savoring a good meal.
• An Evening Spent Among Friends.
• Flirting.
• Thunderstorms.
• Mead.
• Cleavage.
• Watching the young play (children, kittens, or puppies).
• Health of body and mind.
• The Smell of Horses.
• The Anticipation of a First Kiss.
• The Internet.
• The Loyalty, Love, Companionship of an Old Dog.
• Being the Reason Someone Sighs or Moans in Pleasure.

There it is my list of the “Best Things in Life” in no certain order (any who knows me, knows cleavage would be ranked higher), it is not exhaustive (I could added many more desserts) and as you can see this list does indeed include some “things.” In our search for the Best Life has to offer we must all decide just what that is, finer things, exclusivity, urban nightlife, or rural peacefulness. Do not begrudge anyone (including a spouse) if their list is different instead be accepting and interested in the wonderful diversity.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Studies are indicating that we (people, society) are not forming the close friendships than we were a generation ago, despite having access to more “friends” due to social media. As I understand it texting and ‘facebooking’ have made the majority of our friendships superficial. I mean really of my 135 ‘friends’ on facebook, how many truly know me? How many people need to truly know me? That’s my question. I have my deep friendships and family connections that are enhanced by social media, so what if the rest are “superficial.”

My deep friends and family keep me grounded and somewhat provide the belief that someone really knows me and still likes me. I feel, strongly, that social media may not have deepened those relationships, but certainly has augmented them by allowing easier access to those friends and family. Recently my mother was hospitalized (ok, she is still in the hospital and I’m writing this just a few feet from her) and social media allowed me to keep all those close to me informed.

My “superficial” friends make me smile from time to time; they share their superficial lives and interests, and expose me to ideas I would not have come up with on my own. During the above mentioned hospitalization of my mom those causal friends offered support and many well wishes, some even opened up about their own mothers moving them closer to the genuine friend category.

I can say that my life has improved, even if superficially, because of social media and I am thankful for the connections it has allowed me to establish and deepen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little exercises...

During my therapy work combating depression I have been taught a few little exercises that perhaps can benefit everyone. My favorite of these exercises is noticing the little moments that make me smile or feel something besides crushing sadness; the idea is that in time I may realize that there are more moments of good feelings than I ever noticed before.

Let me share some examples…

As I worked on the garden fence last week, a hummingbird landed on the fence not 10 feet from me and sat there almost 5 minutes…I stopped working and just stared at this tiny, little creature.

We have walking sticks (stick bugs) all over the property and I enjoy watching them from time to time, they’re just cool (and the largest bug in North America).

A co-worker brought her puppy into work twice this week. The residents really love the puppy, but so do I. It is always refreshing to experience such youthful playfulness.

I also keep a running tab of things I am thankful for in my daily “Muddling Through Life.” And I choose three at the end of the day as the things I am most thankful for, hopefully I may come to believe I have a blessed life.

Some examples of my thankful list…

Co-ed at Subway (in a hot pink sports bra and black tank top for sharing her beauty)
Writing (or the release that comes from writing)
Chicks (the baby chickens)
Co-ed at carwash (I had to write about her)
Looking up from working to find my old dog lying close by
Pics of the incredible female form
The sounds of Cicadas
Flirting with friends
Our cat
Su’s laugh
A good friend with a DVR
Sharing my writing
Puppy breath

I hope that you may try these little exercises to enhance your life, even if you aren't struggling with depression.

I want to thank you, reader, for allowing me to express myself and for accepting who I am. And thank you for sharing this little bit of time with me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stories from Our Lives…

A poster at one of my work places states, “Life is for Making Memories.” I would change it to say, “Life is for Making Quality Memories to Savor in Old Age.” So that when we are sitting in our wheelchairs in the twilight of our lives forgotten in some run down nursing facility we have something worth reflecting on. When I first started this I was concerned that I was lacking in quality memories to relive as I sit, urine soaked, in my “golden years.” However as I took the time to look back, searching for those misty edged visions that make me smile, I began to remember several wonderful little glimpses from my youth…
I was young, still in my teens, and for some unknown reason I was not driving my ’69 Mustang, but rather my mom’s Oldsmobile Delta ’88, a huge tank-like vehicle in a color slightly brighter than OD green.

And I had a date.

She was a beautiful, petite, young woman with a stunning smile.
We had started as classmates moving towards friends and I hoped we would become much more.
I was nervous and I wanted it all to go well.
I don’t remember our plans for that evening or even if we followed through on those plans. Were we planning some night swimming at Flat Rock Dam? Hoping to catch a movie? Hanging with friends? Or just being together?
I do remember picking her up from her mom’s apartment high on the side of a hill, Mountain View Apartments, maybe?
I visited with her mom and little brother before w took off for those mysterious plans. As we headed into “town” I realized needed to fuel the ‘beast’ so I stopped at a convenience store, Circle K I think, the very store that shows up in several of my misadventures.
After gassing up my mom’s land-barge, my date and I walked into the store to get sodas and to pay for the fuel. Reaching into my back pocket my heart froze, my wallet was at home. I had wanted everything to go so well and be so nice that I had…

I’m embarrassed to say…

Moistened my cash with a spray bottle and ironed the dollars flat and crisp and after folding everything neatly in half I hadn’t returned my wallet to my pocket.
So, on my wonderful date, I left that beautiful young woman with the stunning smile at the convenience store as collateral.

As collateral, really?

She and I dated for a while after that night, the gas station debacle was not our last date. Since I don’t recall an argument ending our relationship, I tend to believe that we drifted apart…perhaps I failed to call as often and we each found others to fill our time, but we never stopped being friends.

That is one memory that while outwardly appears negative I look back on with a fondness for it means I lived, loved, and laughed at times in my life…and who can complain about that?

Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.
~Oscar Wilde~

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Meaning of Life...

I’ve written my thoughts on purpose in our lives, but I will summarize here by saying for some of us the purpose of life is to provide contrast to the great people of the world, a back drop if you will. Without the common person, people of importance would not stand out. As a common man I am a, somewhat, productive member of society that is to say I work and pay bills, I am a cog that keeps the economic machine working. I understand my purpose, but can I find meaning in my common life beyond being a backdrop for the great and powerful? What is the difference in a purposeful life and a meaningful life? It seems that purpose is what makes one’s life meaningful, the meaning of life being the broader theme while purpose is specific to each person.
So if living our purpose gives us meaning, then should I attempt to be the best common man I can, the perfect worker ant? I have to admit I was hoping for more. When I began writing this I understood my apparent purpose in life, but I hoped there was a way to give my life meaning, a better way.

This brings me back to my original problem, a poor purpose for my life. I wonder if one can change the purpose of their life. How would someone go about that? It seems a grand undertaking. How can a common man do something so big, so momentous? Perhaps, if we are lucky, there are life purposes that fit the common person category. As long as we are asking the tough questions, does one’s purpose make one a great person? Maybe purpose in life is variable and it is just a possible path to greatness or despair depending on one’s choices. If purpose is so liquid, perhaps it changes many times during our lives. I don’t believe we can just choose a purpose (without serious difficulty) otherwise we would all choose a spectacular purpose of greatness, but rather I believe we have to discover our purpose.

In searching out our purpose we need ground rules:
1. It should be a positive purpose (we may explore dark purposes in another article).
2. It must be realistic (I spend far too much time in fantasy as it is).
Now we have some rules so let’s look at some possible purposes in life and see what fits and is feasible.

• I was never a father, but I have been a parent and a dad. I think I did ok with that. My step-son is well on his way to being well educated and having a successful life, but more importantly he is a good man. He treats others with respect, compassion, and he doesn’t seem to need to build himself up by pulling others down.
• While I am still learning I don’t think of myself as a student. On the other end of the pendulum swing I am no scholar, but I may fit the purpose of teacher/educator.
• Some would suggest that I am a protector, that may sound very cool, but truth to tell it is such a small part of my day that I would call it a role more than a purpose.

If we are going by the largest portion of my day it is spent fantasizing, but that would make my purpose daydreaming and that is too good to be true. The next largest expenditure of my time would be direct care of my students and residents. Am I a caregiver? Is that my purpose in life? Care giving as a purpose meets our rules as it is realistic and positive (even if less than manly). It even covers many of the roles I have played in life i.e. educator, parent, protector, friend, and spouse.

So there we have it, my purpose in life is to be a common, garden variety caregiver (whether or not I enjoy it or am good at it) and thereby provide contrast to the great caregivers of the world (like Mother Theresa, Gandhi, or the Dalai Lama). I suppose I can live with that, but did we answer my need for meaning to my life?

I guess I’ll have to keep thinking about it.