Lately I've been thinking about why I stopped blogging nearly 2 years ago. I think it was because 1) I didn't have as much witty stuff to contribute the blogosphere as I had arrogantly assumed I did and 2) I was no longer doing a regular job so the routine around which my blogging was planned no longer existed. Anyway, I'm back! Or, I'm back.....(yawn). Either way, we'll see where it goes from here. A quick update. I am now within 2 months of completing my course work and will be commencing an internship in June. It should take about a year and then I'll finally get my degree. I can't express enough thanks to my wonderful wife as she has put up with my absences (both physical and mental) with about as much good cheer as anyone could be expected to exude during such an ordeal. She has literally made it possible for me to follow my dream. So, lets all take a pledge not to tell her that during my internship she will probably seen even less of me, still. Remember, its just our secret....... Okay, now that I've dipped my toes back in the literary water, I hope to be more regular in my posting....but then, I suppose, once every two years IS regular....just not often..........................Later.
Lately I've been thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. A very wise and spiritual man once said "...we are learners, most of the time we are beginners." Well, its funny but even at my advanced age, I still feel like a beginner in so many ways. With that in mind, I've recently decided to become an official learner too. I've started a masters program in counseling. This is a reboot of an effort I began but abandoned about 30 years ago. I have to admit I began with a certain trepidation about being able to keep the pace and assimilate all the information after having let so many years pass without exercising the student part of my brain. However, even though I'm still trying to find a better way to integrate all the reading and paper writing into my daily life, I seem to be doing OK. I have to admit, it feels good to exercise the ol' neural net again in ways I haven't done for so long. All of this has made me think again about our capabilities as human beings and the capacities we have for learning and growing. I think, as a society, we still permit our adults to slip into norms that are more restrictive than needs be. We are beginning to do better about accepting that major life changes can still occur after 40 but as a whole, we still allow our generations to go into automatic pilot mode somewhere after 30. The current economic situation as well as the growing flexibility of the educational system which is now creating many ways for adults to begin or continue formal education, is beginning to dismantle that stereotype. However, it is still easy, as an adult, to let the day to day chores of life and living put us in a place where we forget to be creative in how we imagine our future. I have always said I hope I never stop learning but I have to admit, I let the pace of my learning slow appreciably. I'm now hoping that I won't make that mistake again. I'm finding that the more time I spend as a beginner the less time I have to spend thinking about getting older. So what am I going to be when I grow up? Apparently that is something that will never have a definite answer and I think I like it that way.................................Later
Lately I've been thinking about the benefits of having spent more days on earth than the average guy. Now I'm going to say something profound, something I'll bet none of you have ever heard. Ready? Age brings perspective. I know...everyone has heard that a thousand times. (Sorry about the false sense of anticipation.) I heard it, too, when I was younger so I guess you can say I have always known it. The difference is now I can actually feel it. That's a lot better than knowing it. I really can look back over my life and understand the relative importance of things better than I did in my youthful arrogance. Things like the purpose of life. Before I was LDS I had my ideas and some good direction from my up-bringing regarding what life is about and why we are here and since becoming LDS I've known the "Plan" and the logic of it. However, now I'm beginning to feel it and appreciate the role of ageing and death in it all. I've never really had much of a problem with death; never really questioned the eternal nature of existence. Ageing has given me the opportunity to see how many experiences - both good and bad - have played out over time and come to resolution. And now death feels more like a commencement exercise than ever. The knowledge of the good that lies beyond is more real to me now. Mind you, I'm in no hurry to leave. I love living this earthly life. I have a wonderful wife, great kids, wonderful grand kids.....and a cruise in a week. Can't complain about any of that :) I hope to be here for another 50 years. Its just easier for me now not to sweat the bad times. After all, what's the worst that can happen? We die! And that death will be just the greatest graduation present we ever get. Well, I hope this hasn't sounded morbid. I'm just appreciating every aspect of life more and more. I wanted to tell all of you that haven't yet been able to reap the benefit of looking back over as many years as I have that it's not so bad...this aging thing. I'm kind of enjoying it..............................................Later
Lately I've been thinking about horse sense, or in this case, dog sense. We human beings may have the larger brains but something tells me size is the not always the advantage we suppose it to be. We have a dog in our household. She is an older lady and has a little more trouble getting around than she used to. She is also a little low slung, along the lines of a dachshund. In her senior state, she has been known to confuse a nice, clean carpet with the grass in our back yard and avail her self of it in order to relieve herself. This does not sit well with her human counter parts. Therefore, we do the best we can to encourage her go outside to tend to her needs. In the summer time this is not such a difficult task for her. Her main problem is getting achy, short legs to negotiate the few steps down to the yard from our deck. Now that its winter and snow covers the yard, she has a little more difficulty finding a comfortable way to strike the correct pose for the purpose of carrying out her toiletary processes. I can understand this, to a point. I myself would rather not have to deal with snow up to my waist at such times. Being winter, she has become extremely reluctant to traverse the deck in order to get to the steps that lead to the yard let alone negotiate the slippery treads. In an effort to encourage her to do that which she must....outside, I try to clear the way for her. This morning, while shoveling 6 inches of snow from the deck, steps and, yes from the yard itself, it occurred to me that I was actually shoveling a spot in the grass in the snow without a coat so that a creature with a much smaller brain than mine and, therefore presumably one that is inferior to me could tend to the voiding of her bladder in relative comfort. Kinda makes you think.............................Later
Lately I've been thinking about the difference between what one person means and what another person perceives. Take my brother, John, for instance (You know him, he was Walter the Chicken's mid wife). When he was much younger, he was an MP stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, KS...not at the prison, but the Army base there. Our mother lived about an hour away so John would stay with her when he could. One night he was on his way back to the base from Mother's house, driving on a back road, when he happened upon a couple of hunting type dogs in the middle of the road. All involved were surprised at the sudden encounter and made reflexive avoidance maneuvers. Unfortunately for the dogs, they didn't move the way John thought they would and he hit them. When John pulled over to inspect the damages to animal and machine, he found to his dismay that one of the dogs had not survived. However, he did notice the other had managed to head out over the farm field next to the road. Hoping to assess the damages to the remaining hound and possibly ensure that it didn't just wander off and die, John set out in hot pursuit....not thinking about the fact that he was in full MP uniform...white belt, white gloves, white hat and all. Springing over the barbed wire fence separating the field from the road he encountered his first snag.....in reality...he tore his pants on one of the barbs in the fence. Undaunted, he continued in his determined course. This course led him through two fields (and over two more fences) and eventually to a third fence. Being a bit tired by now, he decided instead of trying to vault over another fence, he would scramble up a pile of dirt that was near the fence to assist him in making the crossing. Taking a quick hop to the top of the mound, he immediately sunk to his thighs in cow manure, uniform and all. Taking stock, he figured it couldn't get any worse so he waded out of the aromatic muck and climbed over the fence. He was determined to find and help the injured dog. After all, these were probably some body's pets and he wanted to make sure that at least one survived. So, off he raced into the night.
The chase finally lead to the yard of a farm house. Upon his arrival, the injured dog, not understanding John's desire to help, immediately sounded the alarm as only a hound dog can. Moments later, before John could calm the dog in order to survey the damage it had incurred, he was confronted with an angry, pajama clad farmer armed with a double barrel shot gun pointed menacingly at John's chest. Finally willing to accept defeat, John simply raised his hands, turned and returned by the path in which he had come. He arrived at his post late and had barely made it in the door when his superior ordered another MP to take John, smelling heavily of the farm, outside and hose him down. Not understood by the dog, not understood by the farmer and not much appreciated by his superiors; John's night was complete. I'll not bore you with a long consideration of the moral here....I think you can come up with one..............................Later
PS: I must be suffering from some form of Beatlebrania....today I'm stuck on Norwegian Wood!
Lately I've been thinking about stuff that gets stuck in your mind. For example, today I was driving to work and listening to NPR, as usual. They were doing a piece on how the prices of used cars were rising and then tied that to a piece about the price of a pen by saying that if we had money left over after buying the used car, we might want to look into buying the pen. It seems it's near John Lennon's 70th birthday and the Mont Blanc pen company has created a special pen. It has saphires and diamonds and the word "Imagine" written in white gold on the barrel of the pen. It can be yours for only $27,000. Now as rediculous as that is, its not what is bugging me today. What I can't seem to shake is the music they were playing as a background to the piece. It was the Beatles singing "Baby you're a rich man." That is what has been in my brain all day..."Baby you're a rich man, baby you're a rich man, baby you're a rich man too-ooo". As if that hasn't been bad enough...its the only part of the song I can remember so that one line is all that has been running through my mind. Not only am I bugged that I can't get it out of my head but now I'm bored to death with hearing that one solitary line on a continuous loop in my brain. I'm hoping that sharing this little bit of torture with you will finally dislodge it from my overworked grey matter. Gosh, I hope I haven't rid myself of it just to have it lodge in your brain...... What a shame that would be..... As they say, Misery loves company..............................................Later