Time

Why is it that almost everyone seems to think that they have more time to say and do things – than they actually do?

So many folks take time for granite, meaning as though it is immensely abundant and unending. Procrastinating about sharing that precious commodity with loved ones, family, and or friends.

Time.

You cannot stop it, slow it down, or reverse its direction. (Regardless of what the Avengers did in the movie).

You do not appreciate it at all, when you are young. Seldom even thinking about it, unless you are going to be late to an event.

As you grow older, and start thinking about mortality, and how much time you might have left, or the terrible misfortune that some suffer from having it taken away so soon, it’s then that one begins to understand the importance of it.

We are all on the path, just at different points along the way.  There have been, and continue to be, good times and bad times.  There will remain long stretches of time that may even seem uneventful. There may be times when you wish you could do things over differently.

Ecclesiastes is identified with the following Chapter 3: Verses 1thru 8 –

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

 

It is wonderfully written, and yet lacks an important instruction relative to when?

Perhaps that is poetic in itself, and also instructional.

Maybe leaving off “when” to love, hate, embrace, keep, throw away, weep, laugh, dance, plant, heal, build, search …

Maybe, it isn’t relevant or necessary to be told “when”.

Just knowing that there IS a time for everything is comforting enough, as long as you trust in the word.

Embrace the gift provided to you, and make the most of it.

 

Time for a change

We live in unbelievably repugnant times. Political leadership today sickens me to the core. Let me rephrase that, Politicians today – there is no leadership evident in most politicians behavior.

The divisiveness in politics is at an all-time high. Compromise is non-existent. Those people have no clue, and only say that they care when it’s time to convince you to vote for them.

The elected officials in leadership positions of BOTH parties, act like children. One of them, most likely, never had to play “nice” with other children – based on his stubborn temper tantrums. The others in leadership position are so afraid of being seen as “caving in”, that they don’t know how to compromise on anything.

Guess what? The world is NOT just black and white, right or wrong, conservative or liberal.

Each of them took an oath of office, stating that they would represent EVERYONE, not just those in their elected party, the same gender or race, or political party. Each of them should be held in contempt, for breaking that oath.

But, the big special interests don’t care about that – as long as they get what they want.

Our wonderful republic is being torn apart from within.

Yes, the United States of America is a Republic, not a Democracy.  It was built that way by our founding fathers, to assure a multi-dimensional governance – not just based on whatever the majority wanted.  Protection for the minority, from the majority, meant that the founding fathers understood how detrimental this government would be if the majority had free run of anything that they wanted to do.

Imagine the majority deciding to eliminated anything and everything associated with the minority. Imagine what would happen if the majority made all the laws, elected the judges and legislative representatives. Imagine, if only the majority could own land or businesses, could farm, hunt, fish, or sell to others. How long would you support that thinking, if you suddenly found yourself in the minority?

Majority rule is not all that it’s cut out to be. If left untethered, some in the minority would simply quit trying, leave, or fight back.  Civil unrest would be almost guaranteed – without hope for anything, except violence. Those in the majority would be eliminated, to the point that they would be the new minority.  Eventually, only a limited few would have all the power.

The founding fathers knew this, and used history to formulate their concept for our newly formed republic. I feel badly for those founding fathers, because I think that they would be so terribly disappointed with what we have made of their dream.

Unfortunately, the founding fathers left far too much open to interpretation. Much of what was relevant then, isn’t now. Times change and the world isn’t the same, as it was over 200 years ago.

It just might be time for a Constitutional Convention.  Changes are needed, and since all normalcy in legislating has gone completely awry – drastic measures are in order.

As the sun sets on another year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As I sit and ponder the past year, I can’t help but wonder what the next one will bring.

Another one behind us. Another 365 days in the books. Gone, but not forgotten.

I try not to dwell too much on the past, because about the only thing that is useful about doing that is to learn from your mistakes.  You can’t change the past, but you can use those lessons and try to apply what worked, and what didn’t work, in the future.

With so much bad news and divisiveness in the world today, it would be easy to say good riddance to the past year.  Last years burden really isn’t any different than the one before it, or the one before that one too – or, any really.

Every year is full of both ups and downs. To many people, the downs out number the ups, – so, the year is labeled a “bad” year. To some, the year is a “good” or “great” year – as perhaps that person had achieved a milestone or goal that they had been trying to achieve.

In reality, the year most likely was a mix of ups and downs, with a bunch of mediocre times folded in between.

We seem to focus on the emotional highs and lows, and forget the in-betweens. That’s a normal thing to do, right? The in-between times, tween the weekends, holidays, and special days.

To me, the times where living a normal life, day to day, is the true measure of a year. It’s in the day to day moments of living that a person often takes for granite all the wonderful gifts that they have been provided.

It’s in the day to day living that you have more opportunities that you can count, to be kind to others.

And, I’m betting that if you were to add up all the positive experiences that occurred in your life this year, that they would vastly outweigh the bad ones. It’s just that the bad ones seem to stick longer in the memories, and the good ones are too often forgotten.

The new year also brings a whole batch of new choices and opportunities.

The start of each new year is welcomed with tremendous excitement and hope. New goals and aspirations. A fresh start. Not a do over.

My wishes for everyone this coming year, is to continue to try to choose wisely. Time will measure the effectiveness of your decisions. Don’t dwell on the past. The past cannot be redone, like a mulligan on the 4th hole of a golf course.

May your new year be filled with successful opportunities, and wonderful in betweens.

The quiet before the storm

Sometimes it’s just nice to sit, and do nothing but enjoy the peace and quiet, before the craziness of  the holidays begins.

Today, I will try to make that happen. So far, so good – but it’s only 5.32am, and “not a creature is stirring, not even a  mouse”.  Pretty cool that the loudest sound is me pecking away at the keyboard – while typing this one.

Anyways, as the furnace just kicked on thanks to the setback thermostat programming of our chosen “awake” time, it reminds me of how lucky we are to have a home. I am so very grateful for that because, sadly, not everyone can enjoy the holidays, or a family gathering, in the warmth of a place they call home.

Soon, the holiday parties will begin. Family party on Sunday, another on Monday , which is Christmas Eve, and then again on Tuesday – Christmas Day, followed by another on Wednesday with our dear friends and their families. The quiet and relaxed sounds are about to get cranked up, and the pace will steadily increase.  The shopping and decorating is complete, so now is the time to rest and prepare for all that is ahead.

Christmas is a time of joy. I enjoy, seeing all the family – everyone that is so dear to me. I love getting a chance to see how all the kids have grown, and talk to them about what they are doing, offering my “sage” advice, as all good members of our family so often do.

The noise level goes up exponentially with the entrance of every family and person attending the gathering. So, with my family it gets pretty loud – simply due to the fact that we are a big family. I feel bad for folks that don’t have anyone to enjoy the company with. I am so grateful to have a loving & caring family – especially at this time of the year.

Every year, when we gather as a family – we try to do something fun. To laugh and enjoy the time we have together. In our clan, we don’t “require” participation – so, you are welcome to join in if you want to, and if you don’t – that’s okay too.  We do the typical adult gift exchange – thank goodness it’s not the white elepahnt type where the same gift gets wrapped and shipped off to the next unsuspecting sole year after year – I’m not a big fan of that one, as you can see.

And, we will have cards and games for entertainment purposes for anyone that wants to do that. A couple years ago, we had a blast with a game which may or may not smash whipped cream in your face called Pie in the Face.  It was so much fun watching the little ones laugh so hard at seeing the Aunts, Uncles, Moms, Dads, Sisters and Brothers – get a pie in the face! The sound of the laughter of children is sooo infectious and wonderful to hear. I am grateful to be able to laugh and have fun with the kids.

I haven’t always enjoyed the hustle bustle of the holiday season. The stress and lack of time to do everything that was needed and planned – took its toll – and diminished the happiness that should have been felt.  Now that I’m older, circumstances are different and far less stressful – I look forward to the season. It is a time filled with fun, laughter, and enjoyment. I feel bad for anyone that doesn’t have the opportunity to feel this way, and I am grateful for our continued good health and well being.

I highly suggest before the craziness begins in the next few days, find a place where you can enjoy the quietness – take a moment for yourself – contemplate the wonderful life, friends, and family that you will soon be surrounded by.  Give Thanks to God for all you have, and pray for the less fortunate.

The silence is once again broken by a high pitched beeping, signaling that the coffee maker has finished dripping 12 cups of water through the machine. Thus signaling that day has officially begun.

Well…

Enough of this. Silence is over rated, anyways.

Time to go get this day started.

Broken promises

There isn’t much that is as disappointing as a broken promise.  It just plain sucks when that happens. Too bad people don’t take promises more seriously, or bother to think about the ramifications if they brake the promise.

It happens in our personal lives, and it happens, in business, and it even happens in friendship, and just about anywhere that 2 parties make agreements.

Seems lately, well I guess not really just lately – that people, corporations, and our government all want to bail out of promises that they made in the past to other people and communities. Many of those promises were made involved perceived long term commitments, which ultimately favored both parties – as long as the promises were kept.

Its very disheartening to read and hear about these incidents, where at one time an agreement is struck, only later to have one party or the other (and sometimes both) decide to break the promise.

Almost always innocent people get hurt, because the promises made are broken, and it really makes me upset. I don’t like it, or agree with that as a solution – most of the time.

People working for long periods of time promised pensions when they retire, only to see the promise broken, and the payout reduced or changed from what was promised is not right.

Companies that get major tax relief in the form of abatements, then later close the plant – should be billed for the lost taxes that they only got, because of a promise or agreement that was broken.

In this crazy world of litigation that we live in, those broken promises often result in lawsuits – where we expect a judge and/or jury to determine when the “law” is broken.

The law looks at promises as though they were “contracts” (verbal or written) -agreements all the same. Unfortunately, lawsuits isn’t always in the best interest of the people involved and rulings resulting from the lawsuits don’t often occur until years later. The legal manipulation by the litigants, can tie the court cases up for years and years, and cost lots and lots of money. Promises broken have a price and the parties involved have to decide what the promise is worth. Is the litigation and time and bad feelings and cost – worth pursuing? Sadly, often times it is not.

The sad thing is that the reason behind a broken promise isn’t really that hard to figure out. The reality is that the party braking the promise simply just doesn’t care. More often than not, they get away without remorse, or retribution.

To far too many people, its just words (written or spoken) – and they didn’t really mean them. They just used them to get what they wanted – at the time.  That seems so selfish and unethical to me.

If a promise must be broken, at least have the guts to admit that you are doing it – and that you are willing to help make it right – as best that you can.

I realize that this is often impossible, in some folks minds – but without even trying is worse – in my mind.

After all – a promise is a promise.

 

Stuffed with Wonder

Hopeful, Cheerful, Careful, Useful, Lawful, Joyful, Resourceful, Respectful, Delightful, Beautiful, Faithful – simply by adding 3 little letters a word becomes even more fuller! (Its okay –  yes, fuller is being used incorrectly as it means to crease, make folds, or form grooves – but, it helps get the point across, so indulge me)

Those 3 letters are used to form adjectives from nouns.

Full of, tending to, or thoroughly possessing the quality expressed by the noun.

Noun – a word used as the designation or appellation of a creature or thing, existing in fact or in thought.

Full of Hope, Joy, Respect, Delight, Faith, or Beauty is a great way to explain just “how much”.

Full, to me means that there isn’t any room left – it is all taken up, and no voids exist to be able to add more.

That feeling when there is no room left – I’m sooooo full, after eating too much.

When whatever you are filling starts to overflow the container.

Fulfill is a verb, not a noun. It means to fill up; to make full or complete. And it also means, to accomplish or carry into effect, as an intention, promise, or prophecy, a desire, prayer, or requirement.

Be careful though, don’t overdo it to the point of being “stuffed”, as that crosses over from being cheerful to uncomfortable.

Regardless if its a adjective that’s thoroughly possessing the quality expressed of a noun, or a verb like fulfill – It is amazingly appropriate at this time of the year.

There was no room in the Inn as it was full, but Mary and Joseph were still faithful. The inn keeper was resourceful. The wise men were hopeful. The baby was beautiful. The heavens and earth were joyful.

My wish to you in this season of Hope & Joy,  is that it’s filled with Wonder.

Wishful thinking

We live in frustrating times.  Everything seems to be such a struggle anymore. Turmoil everywhere. bad news upon more bad news. And, then there is the mess called politics.

I try so hard to not dislike anyone, but I find myself having difficulty doing that lately.  Seems like the world is becoming more imbalanced, with an abundance of imbalanced people.

Apparently, the rationing out of bad ideas, poor behavior, and dumbness – is an equal opportunity provision. Both political parties are chock full of these types. Both genders, all races and nationalities. Its almost frightening to think that these “people” are in charge of important things, and making decisions that impact everyone else.

Unfortunately, it seems like most of society either complains loudly about the people that they oppose or they sit on the couch and watch the show with a big bucket of popcorn – like the situation is a scene from a movie, or reality television show.  I think many just hope the show gets canceled, because they feel powerless in doing anything at all. Sometimes, I do both – but usually not at the same time.

My last blog started off mentioning that I read an opinion that politics today lacks humor. No one can laugh at themselves anymore. You have to be super cautious about saying anything, for fear you will upset some faction or group of people.

Yeah, I get that, but I think the thing that is really missing is respect, not humor.

When people stop respecting each other, they close off – they shut their ears, eyes, and heart.  Not having respect eliminates seeing the other side, listening to other ideas, and caring about anyone else that opposed you.  It is a sad and terrible thing – inside and outside of politics.

When people outside politics lose respect for each other or anyone else, the building blocks of society begin to crumble. Neighbors helping neighbors cease to exist, and neighborhoods die off.

When political leaders lose respect for each other, the building blocks of governance begin to crumble. Governance and society is how mankind has survived since forever. Yes, there have always been times when philosophical differences as to how the governance on societies should be administered and on which society or nation.

Yes, there are times when certain people do not deserve your respect – it is something that should be earned, and not simply given away for free. There should be a price for respect, and that price is respect reciprocated back.

Interestingly, even military history shows that lack of respect creates problems both with their own ranks, and also between themselves and their enemies. Without it the chain of command is broken and is meaningless. There is a reason most experienced leaders believe they must show their enemy respect.  Without it, there can be no peace. A treaty or ceasefire is not taken seriously.

I pray that people will change – that they will open their eyes and ears to see and hear not just what they want to, but everything all viewpoints. I pray that they open their hearts, to care about everyone – even people that are not just like themselves.

Yes, that may be considered naïve by many – but, at this time, it is what I am capable of doing, so – that is what I will do.

After all, I can’t fix stupid.

 

 

 

It’s easy as 1, 2, 3 …

Today, I read an article on the CNN website that Politics today lacks humor. It was stated by Alan Simpson during his eulogy for the late president George H.W. Bush.

So, I started thinking and was going to delve into what I thought was really missing from politics today – for my blog today.

Then, the oddest thing happened and the following resulted. Crazy how my brain works, so – my synopsis on the current political situation will just have to wait.

Thank goodness for that, huh?

 

1 – One, Uno, Singular, Alone, Sole, Unique

Interesting findings from Wikipedia include –

In Mathematics,  1 is the natural number that follows 0 and precedes 2 and the multiplicative identity element of the integers, real numbers and complex numbers.

By definition, 1 is the magnitude, absolute value, or norm of a unit complex number, unit vector, and a unit matrix (more usually called an identity matrix).

It is also the probability of an event that is almost certain to occur.

In Science, Dimensionless quantities are also known as quantities of dimension one.

1 is the atomic number of hydrogen. And, +1 is the electric charge of positrons and protons.

In Philosophy, One is the ultimate reality and source of all existence. Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – AD 50) regarded the number one as God’s number, and the basis for all numbers

In Other words,

1 is the value of an ace in many playing card games. In baseball scoring, the number 1 is assigned to the pitcher. According to 3 Dog Night, “1 is the loneliest number”.

The beginning, once upon a time…

One way, One place at a time, One party, One heart, One King, One God – just, One.

One is more than nothing, and less than two.

One requires faith

 

2 – Two, Duo, Pair, Twins, Dual

Interesting findings from Wikipedia include –

In Mathematics, Two is the smallest prime number and the only even prime number (for this reason it is sometimes called “the oddest prime”). An integer is called even if it is divisible by 2. Two is the base of the binary system

In Science, 2 is the number of polynucleotide strands in a DNA double helix.

2 is the first magic number. 2 is the atomic number of helium. And, 2 is the number of brain and cerebellar hemispheres.

In Religion, 2 is important in Judaism, with one of the earliest references being that God ordered Noah to put two of every animal in his ark. Later on, the Ten Commandments were given in the form of two tablets.  In Jewish law, the testimonies of two witnesses are required to verify and validate events, such as marriage, divorce, and a crime that warrants capital punishment.

In Other words, 2 in baseball scorekeeping, is the position of the catcher.  In Chinese culture, 2 is considered a good number. The most common philosophical dichotomy is perhaps the one of good and evil, but there are many others. According to both Tina Turner and Rod Stewart ” It Takes Two”.

Two way player, Two party system, Good things come in Pairs, Two if by Sea, 2 Hearts beating as 1, and All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth.

Two follows One, and precedes Three.

Two generates love, based on faith.

 

3 – Three, Treo, Thrice, Triple, Triad

Interesting findings from Wikipedia include –

In Mathematics, Three is the number of non-collinear points needed to determine a plane and a circle. 3 is the first odd prime number and the second smallest prime. 3 is the smallest number of sides that a simple (non-self-intersecting) polygon can have.

According to Pythagoras and the Pythagorean school, the number 3, which they called triad, is the noblest of all digits, as it is the only number to equal the sum of all the terms below it, and the only number whose sum with those below equals the product of them and itself.

In Science, Three is the atomic number of lithium. Three is the ASCII code of “End of Text”.

Three is the number of dimensions that humans can perceive. Humans perceive the universe to have three spatial dimensions.  Also, the ability of the human eye to distinguish colors is based upon the varying sensitivity of different cells in the retina to light of different wavelengths. Humans being trichromatic, the retina contains three types of color receptor cells, or cones.

In Religion, many world religions contain triple deities or concepts of trinity.

Christianity refers to 3 gifts from the Magi, Christ rose from the dead after 3 days, Peter denied knowing Jesus 3 times, Jesus was tempted 3 times in the Garden, the Holy Trinity

In Other words, Three remains the largest number still written with the number of lines corresponding to the value.  To this day, 3 is written as three lines in Roman and Chinese numerals. 3 in baseball scorekeeping, is the position of the 1st base.  Wait, What? Who’s on 1st??

3 in a row wins in Tic,Tac, Toe and according to Lynyrd Skynyrd “Gimme 3 Steps ” is a great lyric, while for the Commodores it was “Three Times A Lady”.

I think I still have a 3 piece suit (is that still around?), Three sheets to the wind (wonder what that means? LOL), you have to try that Triple Decker sandwich, and what about the 3 Musketeers (candy bar, story, or both), and some might say, 3 Strikes & you’re out. Teachers say 1, 2, 3  – Eyes on me.

Three follows two.

One seemed like it was so alone, until 2 came along – and that seems to have led to 3.

Three generates hope, based on love.

Easier said than done

It has always been very difficult for me to let things go, or not worry about things – of which I really have no control over.  Yeah, I know – that is very dumb of me.

I know better than anyone, that if I can’t control those things, I should just let it go, but that is easier said than done.

I hear or read about stuff, and true to my problem solving nature, begin to figure out how to fix the problem, or find a way to make it better.  That is just how I’m wired and no matter how hard I try to stop reacting that way – I can’t.

I suppose part of the issue is that once I know about it – I can’t just ignore it. Sometimes I keep my opinion to myself, but more often than not – I tell someone just what I think about the situation, along with

a) why the problem exists,

b) my idea of the solution to fix it, including what or how to do it.

After hearing or reading about a problem or situation, I usually investigate and find out more about it – that usually cements my intrigue, and then – its too late – I can’t just ignore it.

Opinions – I formulate lots of them just about for everything and anything. Sometimes, I just keep them bottled up, waiting for anyone to ask the question – So, what do you think about…

Sometimes, after doing the research, I will document my findings and creative solutions – waiting for a potential opportunity in the future to share them.

Yes, I know – it’s kind of silly isn’t it?  After all, I could just ignore the problems and not spend my time thinking about ways to fix them, and instead find a better use of my time.

But, that’s just not in my nature and I don’t think it ever will be.

Bottom line – Although it may be easier said than done, I’ve never been one to take the easy road when it comes to finding potential solutions, and if its worth doing, it is worth doing right.  Right?

 

Getting around to it

Life can be very busy, at times.

The amount of “things to do” and items on the agenda can really add up quickly. Sometimes there seems to be a drastic imbalance between that, and the time needed to accomplish those goals.

I’m usualy not a procrastinator, most likely the result of my upbringing in which that trait just wasn’t tolerated, but lately – it seems I’m embracing the idea more and more.

Self Motivation is a funny thing.

Who would have thought that you have to work at it so much. It gets tiring and tedious telling yourself to get up and “do that thing that needs to get done”, unless of course, it has suddenly blown up into an emergency situation. That always take top priority and immediate attention.

Then, there are all those things that you really, really, really want to do, but you don’t do because if you did you would feel bad that the more important things were overlooked to do what you wanted to do, instead of what you needed to do. Sigh …

Gonna have to work on that.

When I find the time …

pen calendar to do checklist
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com