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Monday, July 28, 2014

A WORLD OF UNCERTAINTY

"To teach how to live with uncertainty, yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy can do."
~Bertrand Russell~

Waiting for an answer regarding something we care about deeply is a test of patience and faith. It might go the way we want it to or it might not. Living with the possibility of either outcome is an emotional balancing act of the highest order. Whatever is decided will steer us in our next direction, but coming to terms with not knowing is a psychological endeavor. We talk ourselves from one side of the coin to the other and back again. But we can't know until we know.
    
I long for definitive answers insofar as I can have them, but life teaches me over and over that nothing is ever as certain as I think.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

RUN-AWAY EXPECTATIONS

"Oft, expectation fails, and most oft where it most promises..."
 ~William Shakespeare~

What people will agree to "in theory;" what they will agree to do, to say, to bequeath, to remove, they are not necessarily willing to do. When a real decision is presented to them, a real opportunity to follow through on their talk, their idea, or their verbal commitment, we can watch with fascination as they make excuses and start to pedal backwards. Sometimes they are polite about it, and sometimes not.
     I have spent more time in my life than I care to admit counting on what can't really be counted on, and believing people at their literal word. I take casual, theoretical conversation as fact, and then feel disappointed when reality doesn't pan out as I've anticipated. I can save myself a lot of angst if, going forward, I catch my expectations before they run away with me instead of after the fact.

I stop myself from banking on what is only a done deal in theory. Nothing is done until it's done.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE JOY OF WEEKENDS

"Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath." 
~Lynden B. Johnson~

I am so grateful for weekends, for the freedom of time off and not having to travel up and down the road. Every time Friday cycles around again and accomplishment and exhaustion mix with the suspension of my daily grind, my whole body feels the relief.
     I don't mind working hard. I enjoy it. But I sure do appreciate a couple of days off.

I am thankful for the cyclical relief of weekends every time they come around.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SADNESS

"Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light."
~Jean Giraudoux~

Sometimes I'm just sad, and that's ok. It's a free-floating kind of sadness- for exhaustion, for pain, for effort expended and opportunities missed. I feel sad for all of the suffering of humanity, and for the travails of our beautiful trash-wracked earth.
     But something sweet always come along to restore my hope- something rich and fertile and natural and sublime- something full of life, and full of beauty, and full of loving vibration.
     At moments such as these, life is sad and beautiful at the same time.
 
I accept sadness when it bubbles up. It balances the sweetness and enriches my life.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TOUGHNESS

"Toughness is in the soul and the spirit, not in muscles."
~Alex Karras~

Real toughness is quiet and steadfast; not aggressive, and not belligerent. Real toughness does not advertise itself. It is confident in its own power and reliability. It waits and watches. It is not afraid to be tender and not afraid to be kind.
     More often, what we encounter is a fa├žade of toughness, which is nothing more than a cover-story for fear; a veil of amped-up composure over a puddle of insecurity. This kind of toughness is brittle, and weak.
     When life requires endurance and strength from us, let's call on the reserves of love within us instead of the smoke of our fears.

Fear weakens me, but love makes me indestructible. I choose love. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

TOO LOOSE

"If it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul."
~William Shakespeare~

Too much familiarity too soon with people we are just meeting is uncomfortable. A certain level of propriety, at least for the first few minutes, is appropriate, and appreciated.
     I don't like my waiter to sit down at the table with me to take my order and then call me sweetie and act like we are best friends. And I don't want people to create nick-names for me, or to tease me, before they even know who I am. These types of liberties, though they reflect our increasingly casual culture, feel like violations of an unspoken social contract.
     Let's be respectful and proper and polite upon meeting people, and save our jibes and endearments for when we know each other better and have earned the right to be so familiar.
 
I am sensitive to personal boundaries and the dignity of unfamiliar people and maintain a level of decorum as we interact. I am not so casual that I forget to be respectful.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

ALLOWING FOR DIGNITY

"I think most of us can remember without any difficulty and with a  flush of joy those extremely rare cases in our own childhood when some grown-up visitor treated us with real, instead of with mock, respect."
~William L Phelps~
 
It's possible to smoother people with our care and attention- to fuss and bother over them when they are perfectly capable beings in their own right. We tend to do this with old people and with young children. We insult their intelligence by being overly-protective and molly-codling, and by giving them the message that that they cannot function or succeed without us.
    Let's honor them instead. Let's treat all human beings, no matter their age or their situation, with dignity and respect.

I do not "talk down" to the very old and the very young. I treat them like the whole people that they are.