Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Optimist and the Pessimist

I write a lot about my good outlook on life.

I am, in general, a happier and more satisfied person than many people I know because I tend to be an optimist. Yet, days like today I have to acknowledge that much of my cheer is related to my use of my rose-colored glasses.

Yes. I admit it. I am one of them.

I am one of those people who refuse to see the truth, who only pays a great deal of attention to what suits me. (Which happens to be, most of the time, only that which will not cause me stress.)

I am, alas, a person who refuses to live in reality. If I cannot do anything about a problem, I ignore it as much as possible. I am admitting this, because today I have some "issues" that refuse to be ignored at the moment, and I am experiencing a high level of "ack". No more happy Dawn... heh. Yeah, well, maybe that's not true either, since I am not crying, yet. I still have hope.

Hope is a good thing ya know? Taxes are my ailment this fine afternoon. As you know, you can't really ignore taxes. Well, you can ... but the consequences can be heavy handed enough to knock the glasses off your face ... rose-colored or otherwise. I may be oblivious, but I am not stupid. While I ignore what I can while I can... I don't leave things to stew that may ruin my life when I finally choose to beam down to planet Earth for a visit.

It's not usually a bad thing, my proclivity towards ignorant bliss. I am careful to what parts of my life I apply it (as in taxes, for example) and I am easily roused from my complacency. (Do something to one of my kids ... watch how fast I care...) I learned to ignore, forget, and let go, through my own experiences.

As a young person I used to make lotsa mountains out of very few molehills. I had the Scarlet O'Hara Syndrome. ("Oh, poor me") Later, as a young adult, I had the misfortune to be part of some very bad experiences, which eventually I will relate sooner or later one-by-one, as they often are the cobwebs you'll find in my "attic". I discovered that crying, worrying, anxiety, and other reactions I had to focusing on the problems or events in my life (or the lives of others around me) led to very few solutions.

What I learned is that I don't have to be miserable ("Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional" ...don't know who said it ... but boy is it true...) and that looking for the good stuff around me is ultimately the better way to go. ("Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? Act the way you want to feel." .)

So ... all that said... I feel better now. I vented. The Tax-Anxiety-Boogyman has left the building. Whew. So ... gonna close this one today with an appropriate joke... hope you enjoy, and appreciate it. :)

The Optimist and the Pessimist

Some Psychiatrists decided to do a study on optimists and pessimists. They found two children; the first who was always looking on the brought side of things, the second who had a talent for finding the negative side every time.

They took the pessimist to a room full of toys and treats. Every toy you can imagine, and more yummy goodies than any child can possibly consume. They ushered him in the room, then shut the door.

They took the optimist to a room full of horse poopand a signgle chair in the center of the room. (yeah, again I am using the nice words) There they left him and shut the door.

After several hours they went to the room where they had left the pessimistic child. Opening the door, they found him quite sullen and sitting quietly. "Why are you not playing with the toys?" They asked. "They are not my toys," the boy replied, "I would probably just get into trouble. Besides, who wants to play with toys you can't keep?" The doctors shook their heads at such a negative attitude.

They then went to the next room, where the optimistic child had been left. When they open the door, what a surprise! The child had the chair in both hands, upside down, and was using it to sling the dung everywhere!"What are you doing?" The doctors cried out in amazement...

The boy looked up, grinning from ear to ear, "I'm digging! With all this horse poop, there's gotta be a pony in here somewhere!"

The moral of my story folks? In the long run, the pessimist may be right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip! ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Digging In

The business I work for is in the process of a geographical move. New office, new warehouse, all the way across town. Last night a friend of mine, Michael (who is a technological genius) came to the new office to give me a hand with some things and mentioned that he coldn't count the number of offices he had seen me in since he met me about six years ago. I hadn't really thought about it, but realized that he was right. I have probably had eight offices and four jobs just in the past six years. Egads.

I know enough about myself to see that I move around alot. I have done so much of my life. I've lived in twelve states, two countries, and nineteen cities. My son pointed out Easter morning that in seven more months we will have tied our longest stint in any one house: three years. Sounds awful, huh? Part of it is from my military days, we moved alot because of the Service. Part of it during my own childhood was from having parents who were divorced and both moved a great deal. Part of it was because of my own nasty divorce, which made it hard to stay anywhere long if I wanted to make ends meet.

For awhile times were very tough.

We don't feel much sorrow at our shallow roots of the past. The ones we have now are planted firmly enough, and we've no intention on moving anywhere, unless we win enough money to buy a ranch or something. It's been hard sometimes. Knowing the people we meet might be far away in a year or two. Trying to hang on to pets and find new homes that will let us keep them. Being in a new town with no support. But for everything we've lost there is another we've gained. Our past made us who we are, and we all know enough (even my kids) to feel like we're lucky to have the experiences.

Moving doesn't frighten us, I think either of my own two boys could go off to school tomorrow and feel unafraid and ready to face any challenge that meets them. We've learned to make friends quickly, learned to let go when we need to, and learned what among of of our possesions we cannot do without. My children have the ability of knowing that if they want anything anywhere they can go get it. Travel isn't a dream for them, it is a reality. And these days, we've chosen to settle. We're part of something bigger... a family, a culture, and a history we're making for ourselves. I think that, for me, traveling will be something I do for vacation and work, but my home will remain here in New Mexico.

Not bad, I think, the life I've lived. :)

Life and the Books I've Lived In

I am a lucky individual.

My life has been a beautiful mix of reality and fiction. I am an avid reader, and by my fourth year of high school I had read most of what the library had to offer. When I read, books cease to be pages with words, and become doorways to experiences that are often so real to me they become like a memory of a real experience.

Through books I have traveled the world, sailed the oceans, seen the vast reaches of space, lived in both abject poverty and incredible riches, felt the glory of magic at my fingertips and made some of my best and most loved friends. I have met such wonderful people: Socrates, Gandalf, Michelangelo, Jesus, Gorbachev, Morgana Le Faye, Anne Frank, Claire Beauchamp and Jamie Fraser, Erwin Rommel, and so many more. If I had never stepped foot outside my doorway I have lived a wonderful life through the books I have been lfortunate enough to read.

Lucky me, however, that my adventures that often began on those pages were painted onto the canvas of the life I wake to every day. I have served in the Navy, traveled most of the United States, visted Spain, Portugal and Mexico; I've lived in Sicily, been snow skiing in Santa Fe and water skiing in the Mediteranean Ocean. I have been a legislative advocate for veterans, and spoke to Legislative committees on their behalf. I went on a three month and fourteen state camping trip with my eighteen month and eight year old sons. I have been friends with great pianists, composers, writers, and politicians ... and met other people who I believe will someday be famous. I have a family that defies any fiction an author can concieve, and they give me more joy than I can put into words.

My every waking day is an adventure.

I will be forty years old in July. I wasted a great many years wishing I could do what I had read about, then I chose to allow what I read about to lead me and empower me to live the life I want to live. Books are a wonderful thing. No movie can compare.

The only thing that comes close to the glory of a good book, is the wonderful delight in living a story of your own.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Good Stuff

It's not tomorrow,
it's still

I was puttering around the internet checking out some of my favorite sites, and decided I wanted to share one of them:

Kaleidoscope Painter

<---------I made this on the Kaleidescope site. :)

Our World is a Kaleidoscope
by Siir Kilkis
Turning a kaleidoscope,
Many wonders are seen.
Myriads of colors connecting,
Enriching one another,
Forming innovative patterns together.
All because diversity brings creativity.
(more of this poem here.)

I frequent a great many websites, probably too many. I absorb a lot of junk, and see a lot of useless information. The good news is that I also find a great many very neato spots. Sometimes it's places that teach me something, or inspire me, or make me laugh. Sometimes, like this little cool site, it's just some little diversion that relaxes me for a few. That sounds unimportant, but believe me... I know the true value of relaxation, and no matter how small and insignificant the catalyst might be, if it helps me unwind and forget the little things, then it is very worthwhile.

Check this neat little site out.

Oh!... and while I am on the topic of letting go of the little things... my very cool ex, Kerry Logan, once had a conversation with me in which he told me there were two rules, and only two rules, in life.

They are as follows:

Rule #1. Don't sweat the small... stuff.
(No he didn't say stuff... but this is a family site.)

Rule #2. Everything is small stuff.
Good rules, wherever you are today,

Kerry, if you ever read this ... thanks for the great lesson.