Song A Day Challenge Day 1

Hello dear reader(s)!

I am in a great mood this morning.  Perhaps it is the new moon in Aries.  Perhaps it is the partly cloudy skies.  Perhaps it is the fact that the store trip I made this morning was relatively easy and quick.  Perhaps it is because they had bison.  Perhaps it is the coffee.  Perhaps it is the happiness of having great friends.  Perhaps it is my overuse of the word “perhaps”.  Who cares?  It is a beautiful day!

Yesterday I talked about feeling like I wanted to go on an adventure.  One of the comments was that it was likely Spring Fever.  I give some weight to that theory, and certainly think it might be a factor.  But, I also think it is just the solidification of a philosophy.  A defining and clarification of what the meaning of life is to me.

I have all kinds of theories of what life should mean.  I have my own ideas about how the universe works, and what our place in it means.  Other people have their own ideas.  But when you take away those things that are merely ideas, those ideas and feelings we have, there is only one thing we can know for certain.  We are alive.  Therefore the only reason for life we can determine with total certainty is that we are here to live.  What is living, but not experiencing what we can in the time we have?  We all have a common fate, in this life, with these bodies.  We will all die.  This is something we can not escape.  What happens next, if anything, is something we all have our own ideas about.  The only thing we can prove, is that we are alive now.  We are alive, and that is the meaning of life.  We must live.

Yes, we weigh how much we want to live based on a balance of how much time we think we have to experience things verses how much we can experience.  We plan for a future that we do not know we will experience, but we place odds on in a bet against death.  We decide that we can experience more over a long lifetime, than in a couple of days.  And likely we can.  It is a balancing act, for certain.  But I think that too often we are overly cautious.  We try to extend our lives to such a degree that we take away our ability to experience things.  I think we need to work toward finding a better balance of risk and reward.

You really see that clearly when you almost lose your life way before you thought you ever would.  You look at the caution with which you lived with disdain.  When I was diagnosed with cancer at 34, a cancer not linked to lifestyle or anything else, I suddenly felt like I spent far too much time worrying about the future.  I finally got that it isn’t promised.

Again, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have goals.  It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think ahead a little.  You have to balance it.  If you just did everything you wanted in a day without thought or regard to the future, you wouldn’t last very long, and you would fail to experience very much at all.

What it does mean, however, is that you can’t waste the present moment you have worrying about a future you may never see.  This is easier said than done, I know, but it is important.  Find a balance between the present and thought of being able to experience more as time goes by.  If your reason to live is to live, than thoughts of how you are going to survive is vital.  But if all you do is survive, well you are not really living.

I feel very happy knowing that.  I feel like I understand now why I grow restless sometimes.  I feel like I have a good grasp on what I want out of life for me.  I know the experiences I like, I want more.  I know what I don’t, because I have tried them.  There are plenty of things out there I don’t know about that I want to experience.  There are some I know about and don’t want to experience simply from experiencing the stories from those who have.

I am not going to be afraid of that which I do not know.  I am going to use my reason to keep a balance, but I am going to live this life.  I am going to say “yes” to things more often, within reason.  I am going to make all days as beautiful as I can, and not waste this life in worry.

I was challenged to do a song a day challenge for 5 days.  I accept, but I want to make the songs an emphasis on a thought I would have already posted about that day.  I was challenged by the wonderful A Momma’s View, go check out that excellent blog.

The rules are:

  • Post a song a Day for five consecutive days
  • Post what the lyrics mean to you ( optional)
  • Post the name of the song and video 
  • Nominate two different bloggers each day of the challenge.

Today’s song is Let’s Live For Today by The Grass Roots

Today I nominate Shopgirl Anonymous, and Jewish Books are Awesome.  Y’all don’t have to accept, of course.

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Beauty

Hello dear reader(s)!

This morning, I sit at the table writing this post.  Not really sure where I want it to go, I just type what is on my mind.  I awoke with a smile on my face.  Memories of my dreams, as well as the day and evening I had yesterday were on my mind.  It is a little cold, but the warmth I feel inside seems to make the actual temperature far less important.

I lay in bed for a moment, reading and responding to my messages.  I noticed one of my cats on the top of the headboard looking as if she was waiting for me to stir in order to jump down.  Sure enough, she jumped down so I could pet her when I looked up at her.  My other cat, jealous, walked up from the foot of the bed for some love too.  The sounds of happy kitty purrs filled the air in my room.  I smiled a bit longer, and decided to get up.

I got up to begin my usual morning routine.  It used to bother me that I had such a routine in the morning, but now, I kind of like my little ritual.  Grab out my coffee machine, all the coffee stuff, and make it.  Grab a bagel or other breakfast treat and make that too.  Grab my computer and head out to this table where I babble onto a blank screen as I eat breakfast and drink my coffee.  My cats hover close by, waiting for me to get back up, wash out their dishes, and feed them.  I look out the window and watch the squirrels play in the backyard, and the flags from the small car lot behind the yard flutter in the cold wind.  And, despite the cars, the ugly red, white, and blue commercial flags advertising some never-ending fictional sale, I find it all very beautiful.  Despite the trash caught by the wind and glued against the other side of the chain link fence, I find it very beautiful.

The stupid flags, while ugly, make pretty patterns in a brisk wind.  The trash, while horrible, collects against the backside of the fence where it will be easy to pick up when they clear it.  It is as if nature is helping.  It also appears to be more paper than plastic, which makes me happy.  The squirrels playing remind me that even when wild animals regularly struggle for survival, there is fun to be had.  Plus, they are cute.  There are trees which will soon be turning the shade of green that signals they are are ready to grow new leaves and branches.  Even though they are still bare, they already appear lighter than they did a week or so ago.

It is cloudy, and grey.  But the light from the sun, filtered by the clouds creates a soft and beautiful glow through the windows.  I am a little sore this morning from all of the fun I had yesterday, and from being hunched over a stove and sink preparing my favorite meal.  It is the kind of sore you are actually happy to feel.  And I am missing someone, badly.  But I feel so lucky to know I will see her soon, and feel incredibly lucky to have someone in my life who I can miss so much.

I scroll through my Facebook and see a mass of posts about the Republican administration, the Republican Congress, and the horrible things they are doing.  Yet, the very fact those posts exist is a beautiful thing.  The people in my country are finally paying attention, and finally speaking out.  And while it may be too little, too late, just the massive display of people finally caring about something other than themselves or their new flat-screen televisions is a beautiful thing.  I see hope, that we can endure, and get back on the right track.  I think there is a lot more darkness yet to come, but for the first time since the election, I feel like the light will ultimately shine.  That is beautiful.

There is beauty to be found, if you look hard enough.  I am so very glad today that all of the times I wanted to give up, I continued to believe that I would be able to see it once more.

I hope that if any of you are on the verge of giving up, you can look for and see the beauty as a reason not to.  And if you can’t see it, I hope you don’t give up the belief that you’ll be able to.


 

There are calls for a general strike on February 17th.  It seems very loosely organized and perhaps a bit late in the planning, but I urge you all to participate anyway.  Do not be disheartened by the small participation in early events.  Things are just getting started and will only grow with each action.

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Judgmental Illness

Hello dear reader(s)!

Short post today, as I’m not really feeling all that great, because I slept lousy last night, and there are other things I should do before I crash.  Last night, on some site, somewhere I saw a quote that basically said don’t worry about what people think about you, live your life how you want to.

Now we’ve all heard that before, and it sounds great and all, but it might be hard for some of us to really take it to heart because we face so much judgement and criticism for things that really should not bother other people.

And then it occurred to me…the very reason we should take it to heart is because we are going to get judged and criticized regardless of what we do.  Some examples:

You are sex-positive, the puritans will call you a slut.

You are not as sexually active, the sexual will call you a prude.

You are gay, the homophobes will call you a sinner, or a fag.  

You are straight, the militant gay will assume you are a “breeder” or are homophobic.

You are bi, people think you don’t exist.  

You are trans, people think you are mentally ill.

You are mentally ill, people think you are faking it, or are evil.

You are evil…well, fuck you then.  No apologies.

You are empathetic, people will claim you are too sensitive.

You are skinny, you’re anorexic. 

You are fat, you’re lazy and ugly.  

You are poor, you must be lazy.

You are rich, your parents must have been rich and you are also lazy.

You drink, you must be an alcoholic.

You don’t drink, you must be a goody-two-shoes.  

You have kids, you must have given up your identity.

You don’t have kids, you must be heartless and hate kids.  

You walk places, you must not be able to afford a car.  

You drive, you must be lazy.

You are a cyclist, you must be an impotent wanna-be Lance Armstrong.  

You don’t ride a bike, you must be lazy.  

You view porn, you must be a pervert.  

You don’t view porn, you must be a prude.  

You do drugs, you must be a bad person.  

You don’t do drugs, what are you, a chicken?

You read, you must be a nerd.

You don’t read, you must be stupid.  

I could go on, but the simple truth is, no matter what your choice is, how you are, or how you choose to live your life; someone is going to decide that it is wrong.  You are damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  The world is going to judge you no matter what, so live your life the way you want to.