Friday, May 13, 2011

Ramblings In My Mind Volume V

I read a passage from the Tao recently. The last line simply stated "Give up unnecessary things". Many of the activities that we perform that would fall under the category of "unnecessary things" are part of our personal agendas or the agendas of others. I admit that I sometimes do things that are important to me but most other people would probably care less about them because these activities have no value to them. When I think about this I sometimes wonder why I do these things. On the other hand is there anyone who hasn't had to do something at work at one time or another that they thought was completely stupid and had no apparent reason beyond being part of someone else's agenda? Sometimes I can drive myself crazy doing what are unnecessary things that are probably no more than symptoms of personal OCD. Spending your time doing unnecessary things, sometimes with people who are unnecessary to your life, is a waste of time and effort. The older I get the more appealing I find a simple life and simple living. Sometimes my mantra is "Seek an uncluttered and uncomplicated life". Giving up unnecessary things or activities is a way to simplify your life. We should only do what is essential, good, and enjoyable.

It is better to do nothing than to be busy doing nothing.
-Zen saying

My granddaughter came to my house at 7:30 AM last Saturday. At 9:00 AM the carpet guys showed up to install carpet in two bedrooms. As you can imagine there was total chaos in my house. Thank God that Chloe brought over her collection of "Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse" DVD's. She loves his shows. A few weeks ago I introduced her to the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". Admittedly, Pee Wee Herman is a little difficult to explain to a six year old, especially a very smart six year old. I love my granddaughter very much. She never fails to bring a smile to my face. I love all our conversations and trying to answer all of her questions as she grows up and discovers the world around her. As a 60 year old it is very easy to be cynical and jaded about life. The perspective of a child can bring us back to our own childlike sense of wonder. For example, while out on my back porch we caught a salamander. You would have thought that we made the world's greatest discovery. Whenever my granddaughter is around my old and tired eyes often see the world in a new and fresh way. I have known quite a few spiritual masters in my life but at this time my granddaughter is my greatest teacher. Is it a coincidence that she has the same birthday as the Dalai Lama?

I had biometric testing done on my way into work this morning. I am not in perfect health but overall I was pleased with my numbers. One number that did get my attention is my height. I appear to be shrinking. Of course, I have noticed in my life that old people tend to shrink. I guess we keep shrinking until we completely disappear. My gradual shrinking and eventual total disappearance works well with one of my other goals which is to be invisible. I usually try to be invisible wherever I am. Sometimes when I take a day off to be with myself I might go to the Mall, or a bookstore, or a restaurant. When I do this I feel like I am invisible because no one appears to notice me. However, there are other times when I want to be noticed and I end up feeling like the character in the movie "The Sixth Sense" who doesn't realize until the end of the movie that he's been dead all along and he really is invisible to everyone. Seriously, I am glad my numbers show that my sometimes weak and erratic efforts to practice healthy living and wellness are showing results.

Thursday was my Friday. I'm taking off today to stay home and attempt to put a room back together. It was emptied out last week to prepare for the new carpet. Naturally, everything that came out of the room will not be returning. As I have mentioned before I am trying to simplify my life and get rid of things I no longer want or need. Tomorrow I will be boxing up books that I will never read again. I once read that my personality type likes to collect things. It is true. I have collections large and small that include books, CD's, Gnomes, dinosaurs,, not bongs....and rock and roll memorabilia. I even have a few rocks that I have picked up in various places over the years. Some of these things are actually valuable while others only have sentimental value. What I keep telling my wife, who continually wonders why I keep all this stuff, is that it all represents who I am. If you came into my home and looked at all my personal stuff, you would know a lot about me without ever meeting me. We are our stuff. I know I can't take all my stuff with me when I leave this world but I can enjoy it while I am here and I can also give it away once in a while for others to enjoy. Chloe already has most of my dinosaur collection. She took them home one dinosaur at a time. All she had to do was say, "Paw Paw, can I take this one home"?

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