Shaking Up My Thoughts

After the day’s folderol has wound down, it’s time to relax.

Lay on the couch please

Planted habitually on the left side of the couch, my wife places on herself an animal-print blanket she sewed, and the then places on said animal-print blanket three animals: two cats and a dog. I sit on the other side of the sofa and we watch TV, check out a movie, read, or – gasp! – possibly even talk to each other.

If you’re looking for wild parties, we’re not the go-to place. I’m not sure we ever were, but for a fact, I know we’re not now. We’re not exciting – and that’s the way we like it.

Recently, our pattern was most literally shaken up when the ground began trembling.

If you live in earthquake country, you know what comes next. If you don’t, there’s a mental and emotional checklist one goes through at the first inkling of a temblor.

1)    Look for others nearby and check their reactions to decide if you’re just dizzy or disoriented, or to get validation that the movement beneath your feet is actually happening.

2)    Determine if a large vehicle is rumbling down your street vibrating the entire neighborhood.

3)    Check to see if hanging objects are swinging.

4)    If indeed you are neither inebriated nor are tanks or eighteen-wheelers patrolling your street, and your favorite dangling knick-knack is making like a pendulum; then commence praying that this now verified earthquake will not be the “Big One.”

5)    Feel fear rise up in your throat. Decide if you’re heading for safety. Wait for quake to pass. Realize how powerless you are in the grasp of Mother Nature.

Steps one through four pass blindingly fast.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Getting Over Myself

Night sky with star tracks

In eons past, when Greek society was the pinnacle of what we were, noble thinkers such as Aristolte and Ptloemy studied the velvet curtain with pinprick lights that encompassed the night sky.

They, among others, deduced that the Earth was the center point of a vast, miraculous arrangement, whereby every star twinkling at night; the shiny, silent, silvery moon; even Apollo, fiery, blazing god of the sun; all orbited on a vast globe about the our planet. Referred to as geocentric theory of the solar system, it held true until the early modern age.

In the 1500s, contrary to contemporary opinion, Nicolaus Copernicus postulated the planets, including Mother Earth, actually cycled about the sun instead of the other way around. This heliocentric explanation of the solar system became the standard bearer of science until the late 1900s; when, at that point, the baby-boomers reached full power, upturning all convention thought.

“What about me?” became our catch phrase; and civilization adjusted. Attitudes shifted, mores changed, and eventually we discovered that everything revolves around us, giving birth to the current, Egocentric, theory of the solar system.

My prodigious portion of the population has pounded a passageway through history, pummeling posterity and reshaping the social order.  In the fifties and sixties, pop culture adjusted to our demands. In the seventies, so did education, followed by the workforce. We are accustomed to getting what we want, when we want, and how we want it. It has been the norm. It is what is.

It is also no more.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

There’s Nothing Worse…

I am not a snob; anyone who meets me would agree.

snob manWell, except those of an obviously lesser bloodline, of course. But, who cares about them anyway?

Having placed that firmly on the table, I know I can be, um, shall we say, “particular” about certain things and at times, might be prone to splash myself with a faint — very faint — scent of curmudgeonly, especially around speaking and writing.

As illustration, this is the second month of the year, pronounced “Feb-RU-ary,” not “Feb-U-ary.” Should you doubt, you can find out that I’m correct at the li-BRARY (not the “li-BARY”).

I manage to keep my mouth about “Febuary” because one only has to deal with it for 28 days a year.

Yet, lasting seemingly in perpetuity is misuse of  “your” and “you’re.”

The former is possessive while the latter is a contraction for, “you are.” Therefore, one would not write, “Your looking thin,” nor “I love what your doing with the house.” One might however write,

“When you’re on your way over, please let your hosts know if you’re bringing your children.”

See, isn’t that nicer?

Finally can we clarify that those of us on diets are attempting to “lose” weight, not “loose” it? (Ironically, “loose weight” is usually what started us on the path to “losing weight.”)

However, the expression that causes my head to explode is the self-important exaggeration, “There’s nothing worse than…”

This rose to my awareness on a TV commercial for an on-line postage service. In touting its (not “it’s”) benefits, a gentleman exasperatingly laments, “There’s nothing worse than standing in line at the post office.”

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

You Cannot be Happy Until You Let Go

road-sign-with-question-mark

The person in the mirror is not getting any younger.

We see our bodies change and hear ever louder the ticking of the clock.

It can be frightening.

Yet, part of what amplifies the fear and holds us back is attempting to hold on to that which is no longer there.

As another year fades into history, bid farewell to what has passed. Feel the loss if necessary, but say goodbye with dignity and grace. Remember fondly the better memories. Realize all you have done and all you have been through have given you tools you did not have.

Take a deep breath. Smile.

Then, turn and face forward.

Let a new year bring you boldly into your future.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Attitude Calling

At the dawn of my sales career, a co-worker gave me a cassette: Zig Ziglar’s “Secrets of Closing the Sale.”

audio-cassette

Reluctantly plugging it into the tape machine, I expected to eject it (and the ideas) immediately after the slack on the tape was absorbed. Instead, I became a fan of the old-time motivator from Yazoo City who postulated that health, wealth, and happiness are the natural results of treating others well and that attitude is essential in doing so.

Years have passed, and unfortunately so has Mr. Ziglar, but I still remember vividly a scenario he used to illustrate how fluid is our perception. (I’ve altered the concept, but felt it important to give credit to its origin.)

Picture rising on your “average” day, nothing exhilarating or dreadful is on the agenda. As you rub the sleep from your eyes and swing your bare feet from the softness of the bed to the hardness of the floor, using a one-to-ten scale, think about how you’d rate your attitude. Sure, some days barely merit a “one;” others are heavenly, generating a “ten.” But — on the run-of-the-mill everyday — what ranking would you choose? (FYI, based on a long-term survey I conduct, the majority of respondents end up at 7.9.)

Attitude locked in place; you interact in usual fashion with friends, families, and vendors. As the day fades into history, you retire, expecting to rise again tomorrow and repeat the process. Not meaning to cast our existence as mundane; but, it is most of what life is in present-day America.

So, let’s shake it up.

Again, imagine the ordinary morning. However, this dawn you are jolted into consciousness by a ringing telephone. Glancing at the clock and noting the early hour, your first thoughts are concern, “Who is calling this early? What’s wrong?”

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS