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Thursday, July 27, 2006
'tween 
Life is what happens between the moments.

........................

I'm not usually this quiet... I'd like to say it's cause I went back on vacation... but alas, I've COME BACK from vacation... which is why I've been so out of it.

The drop-everything projects have all piled up, all with the same deadline, leaving me dead tired by the end of the day. Next week, when this is all over, will be like switching from summer to winter in the blink of an eye... silence screaming for something new to drop in.

Plus the oddest thing's been following me around... everywhere my Hawaii pictures go, the machine breaks down; not like a virus breakdown, and actual physical meltdown. I couldn't use the DVD burner because it simply went through the motions and never actually recorded anything. Then, my laptop's mother board had to be replaced so I could get the pictures off. I placed them safely onto to a brand new external hard drive... only to discover yesterday that the port was broken. Pictures are still safe (again)... I just can't get to them (again).

Mercury again? The anger of Pele?* Or just some universal practical joke?

I've been behaving myself, so I'll just take this as a sign to focus on the task at hand and, like the latest heat wave, wait til it all blows over.

..........................

* Just for the record, I didn't take anything away from Hawaii intentionally. I'm going home to check the bottom of my sandals though, cause you never know... or does Pele not like having her picture taken? Hmmm...


7:20 PM


Thursday, July 20, 2006
What's due with you? 
When change comes, you can resist, adapt or evolve; the choice is yours.

..........................

I have a friend whose company is going through some major changes (it's in the news but I won't name names). Just listening to what he's going through brings up a lot of points about change and how we can either survive or thrive, or perish, in the new world.

His frustration comes out of the fact that his management doesn't know him. They can recognize him in a lineup if necessary, but they don't really, really know HIM. They don't know what he can do, what he's capable of, what he wants to do. And now they're basing their future, HIS future, on what they don't know. He fears being left out; and worse, being left behind.

Having gone through similar stuff myself, I had a lot to share. Maybe you're going through this too, in some part of your world... so here's what I told him.

Create something uniquely you
My 'problem', if you will, was being too 'cooperative' and not staking claim in my own work. I watched as others got praised and I nearly punished, even though my heart and soul went into that project. I realized that I had to do stuff that no one else could do; that way insuring that due credit was paid.

Put your name on it
They can't give you credit if they don't know you did it. So brand it!

Share your glory
If someone else praises you, share the good news with those that matter. The best praise is someone else's praise. Let them see that.

Build alternate support
Sometimes it's only one or two people in the way. By getting other people to support you, one person's negativity will seem petty, when everyone else knows the truth.

Take control
Someone might push back if you get assertive, but you'll be amazed at how people move aside. Some might even welcome it and move you onward. Whatever the case, it's important to be in charge of your own future.

Remember, the stronger the wind is against you, the higher you can fly.


10:12 PM


Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Beget 
Peace begets peace.

.......................

My computer crashed a couple of days ago, rendering me without words, but never without thoughts. And I still have a will, so there's always a way...

There's a lot of turmoil these days. Images of bombings, hatred, death. There's conflict going on everywhere on this planet, just some of it is more newsworthy than the rest. The latest being Lebanon, but suicide bombers and U.S. bombers are still actively pursuing the destruction of 'them'... doesn't matter really, it's just whomever is 'not them' and since 'they're' evil, 'they' need to be destroyed before they destroy 'us.'

This peace mission doesn't seem to be working.

War doesn't lead to peace. It might lead to quiet revolutions, but quiet isn't peace. (Just knowing that we want peace AND quiet should show us that they aren't synonymous).

Peace begets peace.

Inner Peace begets Outer Peace.

You can't have inner turmoil and expect World Peace.

It must begin with us.

"It begins with me."

Will meditating and listening to music stop the bombs from detroying lives on the other side of the world? Who knows.

You know the story of the butterfly who flapped its wings and a hurricane blew on the other side of the world?

So perhaps the answer is 'yes, meditating on peace will change the world.'

It's better to create inner peace and spread it out into the world, rather than allowing someone else's hatred seap into our minds.

Unless we have the button in front of us, we can't control the weapons... but we have our minds and our spirits right here... right now... and that we can control.

Even if our solitude doesn't lead to solidarity, at least we can have peace in OUR world... we can have LOVE and JOY and LIFE... and PEACE.

And that's more than just a start.

That's a miracle.


9:46 PM


Saturday, July 15, 2006
Celebration 
Celebrate... not just yesterday, but today!

.................

My birthday celebrations continue (as they should!).

Last night I went to see Tick, Tick... BOOM! the prequel to Rent. It was quite enjoyable and I'm sure if I heard it over several times one or two songs would become quite memorable.

The performances were also very good, both in their singing and all the different characters being played out.

Hard to believe that the 1990's could be considered a period piece, but the Twin Towers painted on the back wall reminded us of days gone by. Also, going on the same day as the announcement of the one-a-day AIDS drug, made the severity of the one character's news seem less shocking. I wonder if that's a good thing, thinking that it's a livable disease, rather than an absolute death sentence.

My mind left the play for a moment and I wondered if we've become too nonchalant about it; whether we've turned our back on the danger that still lurks.

Then another cute ditty came on and I was back to la-la-la-ing along in the moment... wanting a happier ending to come soon.

It wasn't the happiest of endings, but not the saddest either... it was Life-like... and that's a good thing.

.................

Tonight I had a terrific dinner with some friends. The conversation was also delightfully Life-like... not too over-the-top or bottomed-out... so it was a nice way just to enjoy Time and Good Friends.

.................

I was also grateful that my laptop didn't die either... something it threatened to do yesterday. It wouldn't boot up and had to be taken away for repair. All of my pictures from Hawaii were still on it, so I was a bit concerned to lose it. Fortunately, the technician was able to get the hard drive into a spare machine; allowing me to copy them to a safe place.

(And so the sifting begins again. I'll get copies up online soon. Promise!)

Another reason to be happy with what we have, and appreciate it, since we never know when it can all be gone.

Salud! Aloha! L'Chaim!


11:29 PM


Thursday, July 13, 2006
Half-year review 
You can only go halfway in, then you're on your way out...

............................

Since I started to think about being halfway, it also occurred to me that we're past the half way mark in the year. Can you believe it?

So how are those New Year's Resolutions coming along?

(You didn't just say 'doh!' did you??)

Well, technically, we're all supposed to be halfway to our goals by now, right? So how you doing?

If the answer is 'not so good' how about picking them up again and looking at them a little closer?

As for me, I'm rewriting mine as if it were January 1st. A few of my resolutions are just as fresh as the day I thought of them. A few have gone soft. Several are starting to smell.

I'm not going to beat myself up about 'em... since there's been some really good new goals that sprung up only recently. That's why I'm rewriting, to give myself permission to adjust.

So, dusty, time to clean up and recommit.


10:38 PM


Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Half-time report 
The game ain't over 'til the second half is played.

................................

My grandmother stayed on this earth for more than 90 years; her husband for nearly that. Great aunts and uncles on both sides saw 8's come and go in their ages. Bad diets and smokers among the lot of them too.

I'm thinking my chances are good.

If I'm fortunate to make it to 90, today marks the half way point. Of course, it's all give-and-take a few moments here-and-there... and no playing in traffic.. but it's hard to believe I got this far.

I was born early and underweight. I gained that much weight last week, on the cruise. I had pneumonia and nearly died a few years later... and there were plenty of offers to end my life early by the neighborhood bully or my older brother.

All that now safely behind me, it's been a great ride. I'm looking forward to the next half of my life, however long it plays out.

We never really know, right? I still think about the friends I've lost... and my dear sister-in-law, who reached the middle of her life at 18.

And so I go on a cruise now, while I can still climb the ramp... and stop to watch a sunset, while I can still see... and love, while my heart still knows how to beat strong.

The game's still on... let the bench get cold!



2:48 PM


Sunday, July 09, 2006
Raindrops 
The rain only wets what it hits.

........................

Little black rain clouds have been appearing on my horizon. Nothing serious, just all these spots of sadness seemed to be invading my space; sneaking into my dreams and such. Since there's nothing particularly upsetting right now, I've been wondering what it was.

I just saw what was bothering me... on TV.

Everything.

You see, I don't keep the TV on all that much. I get my news from the internet and DVR shows I like to speed through when I make the time. It helps me control my time and my temperament. Only the last few days, the TV's been on everywhere I go... and like raindrops, it's been slowly seeping in.

And it's not the news that's the problem. It's everything else. It's the dating shows and the infomercials for fitness and diet pills... and everything in between.

TV is designed to make you feel bad. You're overweight, underpaid, poorly dressed and just plain undesirable unless you buy their stuff. Even a hamburger ("get a burger, you'll get the girl!").

Now I'm pretty happy with the way I am, and with all the stuff I've done, so why have I let it get into my head?

I'm an empath, and the marketers are good at what they do. Only problem is, I feel really sorry for that overweight, underpaid, undesirable guy who couldn't get a date.

I wanted to buy him a burger.


11:20 PM


Friday, July 07, 2006
New beginnings... 
Goodbyes are new beginnings.

..................

I went to a farewell lunch today for one of my old teammates. It wasn't that she was sick and tired of the old job (well, maybe, but that's a longer story)... but she had an opportunity come her way and she seized it. It's only a few miles away, but worlds apart from where she's leaving.

Because the lunch had all the others that aren't leaving, the conversations frequently drifted to the Team that Time Forgot. The issues that sent me packing a year and a half ago sound as fresh as ever. Only the names have been changed to project the guilty.

The differences in enthusiasm was striking.

As several drifted out of the restaurant to get back to the grind, I stayed with the lingerers to keep the stories going. What was nice though is that most of the people had something else they've been doing outside of work. The passion still burns in their eyes and makes them forget the burns on their backs for a while.

It shows that you really can't keep good people down.

It'd be great if all that passion could be harnessed for work, but it sounds like the culture doesn't allow for that... so they've gone elsewhere. I tried when I was with them, but even I had to go elsewhere.

It's bittersweet.

And now, the door that she opened for herself may also hold some opportunities for me (still too early to tell, but no, it doesn't involve leaving)... it's just something 'more.'

And that's sweet.


11:51 PM


Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Same ole... 
Just 'cause you're back to the same ole doesn't mean you have to do the same ole.

.....................

Today was the first day back to work, after my wonderful trip to Hawaii. People noticed my deep dark shade of pink (the sunscreen said 'continuous spray' so I didn't know when to stop)... plus they noticed how relaxed I was.

I spent the day catching up with the latest gossip news and started getting myself organized to finish up all the projects that managed to wait for me.

It's amazing how many small habits we form. I noticed it getting ready for work this morning... from my daily routines of getting dressed, to driving to work, to the order in which I start up my computer and get myself situated. There's just so many things that we do automatically; it's no wonder we often get the same results.

We just do it; we don't think about it.

It's a good reminder to mix things up... especially the little things, the things we take for granted; the things we don't put our minds to. Changing the little things are easier to do, but they remind us of the power we have to change.

Just move your waste basket in a new location for the day, you'll see what I mean.


9:22 PM


Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Costly freedom 
Life is free, it's the shipping and handling that costs.

........................

11 score and ten years ago, a bunch of guys did a very dangerous thing. They stood apart in order for all others to stand apart. What they did was treason, punishable by death... yet they were willing to make a declaration to stand free. Fortunately for them, and for us, it all worked out.

For the last couple hundred years, people have still made major sacrifices so that others could be free. They put themselves out there, exposed to ridicule and violence, oftentimes just to be considered EQUAL.

We don't live in an equitable society. People with certain looks and money do get better treatment... and people who are different are seen as wrong... less deserving of the same rights that years before people just like them had to die for.

One way to measure the progress of equality is to look at what the youth take for granted. Not knowing a life before, they come to think that not only has it always been there, it's supposed to be. Little do they know the horrific treatment that goes on in other parts of the world, simple because the powers-that-be are sanctimoniously justified in suffering.

We see it here as well... sometimes in hate crimes; often times in new laws that slowly erode what history forged. Will the next generation come to know the struggle again for the right of freedom? I hope not.

As long as I have a say in the matter, they won't have to.

Where do I sign?


9:31 PM


Sunday, July 02, 2006
Feels like home. 
Familiarity breeds contemplation.

........................

Although the trip is still a day away from ending, it felt like coming home as we pulled into the harbor of Kauai. It's the one island that I've visit very often (twice in the last seven months actually). I know my way around and a number of people there, so having a day and a half here has been like a vacation wrapped in a vacation.

It was nice to see it from the ocean instead of the air. It really is paradise. I'll have a lot of pictures to show as soon as I get home and can go through them. Thanks to modern technology, I'm nearing the 3,000 mark. Not bad for a week, eh?

The sign of a good trip is that you feel like you've been away FOREVER. So far it's been forever+plus+one. I haven't thought about life on the mainland much at all, and when I do, I let it go as quickly as it comes... like a good meditation.

Americans don't rest much, which is a real shame. Other countries have sabbaticals, where you can take off MONTHS from work, to explore and perfect yourself, before returning to your safe job. Anything longer than four days seems like a lifetime... and then people get afraid that the work will either be piled up or not there when they get back. That's really too bad.

Rest is essential to strength and clarity. Some of the most world changing inventions came when people were watching the sunset or taking a bath. That's because the answers are free to surface.

So after you finish reading this, go get some rest. You need it.

The world needs it.


8:49 PM


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