Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Spiritual Side Of Life

I’ve been trying to deepen my connection with the spiritual side of life. The spiritual side of life for me is not necessarily about going to church or saying your prayers. It’s about being present to reality. Too often I have found myself simply going through the motions of life. I move from task to task and routine to routine in a mindless and robotic way. Too many mornings I have left home with no other goal except to return to my home in the evening. Sooner or later in life you find that it is relatively easy to live your life on auto-pilot. Like airline pilots who over use auto-pilot, you can sometimes feel like you no longer remember how to fly the plane of your own life manually. I am an advocate of contemplative living. Contemplative living, besides being a form of mindfulness, is also a kind of life where you strive to live intentionally. It is a life that is not a blur to you at the end of the day. When you live intentionally, you go through your life fully aware of the moment, fully aware of all your activities, and fully aware of the dynamics of the moment. It is a life where you understand how you are impacting what goes on around you. You are a participant in life and not just a spectator. Intentional living has meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. At the end of the day, you know you were alive and that your life added value to the rest of the world.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Value Of Silence

While I was still home this morning, before I left for work, I was reading something about the value of silence in our lives. Most of us have too much noise in our lives. I received two articles over the weekend about introverts. They both basically said that introverts prefer environments that have minimal stimulation. In other words, introverts would prefer a quiet restaurant over a wild party. Noise, however, can take many forms. My best friend and my worst enemy is music. I’m addicted to music. I love music but I also use it as an escape. When I am at work I listen to music not only because I enjoy it but also to block out all the other noise and distractions around me. However, as one of the monks at Gethsemani once said, “Even Beethoven is noise when played all day”. Many of us have allowed more and more noise into our lives through technology. Today’s cutting edge cell phones bombard us all day with calls, text messages, emails, and Facebook updates. I got a new phone over the weekend and it is already tempting me with its siren song. It is trying to seduce me into being a lot more connected than I need to be. As nice as it is, it will, if I allow it, introduced another level of noise into my life. I will have to use some discipline to not allow this to happen. I don't want to become one of those people who is obsessed with their phone and who feels the need to check it every five minutes or every time it beeps. Silence is healing but most of us are addicted to noise. We are over-stimulated to the point that many of us are either hyper or nervous wrecks. Reduce the noise in your life and you will find a calmness that may have escaped you so far.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Karma And The Law Of Attraction

I believe in karma and something called the “Law of Attraction”. What do these things mean? You often hear people say “what goes around, comes around”. This is the belief that you get what you deserve. If you put positivity and goodness into the world, that’s what will come back to you. Think Mohammed Ali, Mother Teresa, and the Dalai Lama to name a few. If you’re a bad person who does bad things and you enjoy making others unhappy or you enjoy wreaking havoc in their lives, you’ll get yours in the end. Think Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Gadhafi. This is karma. The “Law of Attraction” is the belief that what you think about is what happens to you. If you are always negative and pessimistic, don’t be surprised if nothing ever seems to go your way and that bad things always seem to happen to you. Negative and pessimistic people also seem to worry about everything all the time. On the other hand, if you are positive and optimistic, you will find that things usually go your way. Most of the time I am a positive and optimistic person. Yes, I am an imperfect human being and sometimes I am tired and grumpy. In spite of the occasional down day, most things in life go my way. Although I am not a perfect person, and my life is not perfect, I am very blessed and I have been the recipient of much kindness and many good things in my life. I try to be grateful for all of it, whether it be my granddaughter’s laughter and smile, my Zen moments where I am one with the universe, or maybe for something as simple as a really good sandwich. Let me share a couple of really good quotes that re-enforce what I am saying. Wayne Dyer, who wrote a book about the Tao, says, “Change your thinking and change your life”. Another of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain who said, “I’ve lived through some really terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened”. Put nothing but goodness and love into the world, think positively, and be optimistic and hopeful. I truly believe that if you do these things, your life will change for the better.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thinking About My Health

I’ve got to be honest about something even though I don’t like to complain. I get really tired of having to think about my health all the time. Yes, I know I am older and I am not the man I used to be. I expect to be in some decline. I can accept that even if I am not happy about it. I am a Type II diabetic. I’m not sure how much that is my own fault and how much of it is the genes I inherited. I take five prescriptions a day, I give myself two insulin shots a day, and I also take one aspirin a day for my heart. Once a month I get a B-12 shot. The other night I picked up my wife at her office and we began our evening commute home. We were both very tired and couldn’t wait to get home. My wife suggested that we stop at McDonald’s for a quick meal. Normally I try to avoid McDonald’s but I do eat there sometimes. Whenever I am in there I think the health police are going to bust me, throw me in a dungeon, and send an email to my health insurance company telling them I had a Big Mac. I don’t drink except for the rare import beer. I don’t take or use illegal drugs. I gave up smoking my pipe many years ago even though I loved doing it and I still cannot bear to part with the collection of hand carved pipes that I collected over the years. The closest thing to a vice that I have left is my love of high quality caffeinated coffee. I try to walk as much as I can every day and to avoid as much as possible all the great and wonderful food that co-workers bring into the office. I am not a health nut but I don’t live recklessly either. I just find it exhausting to think about my health every minute of the day and every time I put some food in my mouth. Admittedly, my issues have made me more health conscious and I suppose that’s a good thing. However, it also takes a lot of enjoyment out of life. It would be nice to not have to think about it so much. OK, I feel a little better now having said all of this.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Family Artist

Once I asked my granddaughter what she liked the most at school. She replied, “lunch and play time”. I understand that. My favorite parts of the typical workday are breaks and lunches. Recently she told me that her favorite school work was art. I am not surprised that her favorite subject is art. Many of her Christmas presents were art supplies. My wife and I also bought her a “Potter’s Wheel”. On my last trip to Gatlinburg I took her to a place where they make and sell pottery. She absolutely loved watching the man in the shop as he grabbed a piece of clay, threw it on the potter’s wheel, got his hands all wet, and began to form the bowl he was making. Although the process of making a bowl from clay is a form of work, more often than not the typical potter would consider it a form of play because they love what they do. Too many people do work they do not love and therefore they are rarely happy doing it. There is a saying that “if you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life”. I encourage my granddaughter’s love of art and I would love to see her grow up to be a professional artist. I hope she escapes the prison of doing work just to make money. I hope she develops her skill and her passion grows deeper. If she does this she will always have her Paw Paw in her corner encouraging her. If I ever publish the book that many people keep encouraging me to publish, maybe I can collaborate with Chloe and she can do the art work.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Salt Of The Earth

The older I get the more tolerant I think I've become. This is due in large part to an increased awareness of my own imperfections. If one is honest about one’s own personal weaknesses it is difficult to be judgmental and intolerant of others. I believe that most people are like me in the sense that they’re doing the best they can. Work is only one thing in most people’s lives. People also have family concerns, personal issues, struggles with their feelings and emotions, and worries about their health. They may also struggle on a spiritual level with their faith and beliefs. On top of all these things are the chores of everyday life that one must do to simply live. At age sixty I simply don’t have the energy that I used to have. It is difficult to come to work every day like I am playing in the Super Bowl. Most nights I return home brain dead and fatigued. To be totally honest, I was never a driven, ambitious, dynamo. In a world of pressure cookers, I have always been more of a crock pot. All of these things are on my mind because it is once again time for the annual performance reviews at work. I am personally being judged and evaluated by others and I must also judge and evaluate all the people that report to me. We all like to think we’re superstars but the reality is that most of us aren’t. Most of us are ordinary. Most of us are “salt of the earth” types who keep the world running even if we aren’t always recognized for our efforts. Most of us labor in relative obscurity and do so most of our lives. This does not mean that we are poor performers who have little value. We’re not just bricks in the wall or part of a mindless herd. Personally, I don’t need, or even want, to be in the spotlight. I certainly don’t need to be number one. I’m happy to be part of a team of people cooperating with one another to achieve a goal, whether it’s within my family at home or my family at work. When I do this, I sleep well at night and I am at peace.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Weekend With Chloe

I took this past Friday off from work to get new brakes on my car. It was going to take most of the day so I caught a ride back home after I dropped the car off at the dealer. It’s a wonderful thing to be home alone on a workday. The neighborhood is quiet, I can do anything I want, there is no one to disturb me, and there’s opportunity for world class naps. I am very comfortable spending time with myself. The rest of the weekend was a different matter. Most of the weekend was spent with my granddaughter. Other than myself, she’s the person I most enjoy being with. My wife and I picked her up on Saturday, took her out to lunch, and then headed to what she calls the “joke store”. It’s really Caufield’s Novelty Shop on Main Street. Later in the evening we met her Dad for dinner where he pulled one of his sleight of hand tricks on me. We were supposed to give my granddaughter back to him but somehow she ended up coming back home with my wife and I. We didn’t mind and neither did she. We watched “Mr. Popper’s Penguin’s” and slept in late on Sunday. I see my granddaughter often and when we are together she usually wears me out. As a sixty year old my energy level pales next to hers. However, no matter how much I see her, or how much time I spend with her, I am always a little sad when she leaves. She adds much life to a house where most of the time there’s only two old people who take a lot of naps.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Feelings Are Like The Weather

Imagine a mountain. Every day the mountain experiences some type of weather. Some days are bright and sunny and beautiful. Some days are cloudy and overcast. Occasionally some days are stormy with heavy rain, thunder, and lightening. Other days the mountain gets buried in snow. Our moods and feelings are like the weather. They come and go and change all the time, often on the same day. People have a tendency to think their moods and feelings are who they are. We are not our moods and feelings any more than a mountain is the weather it experiences. The reality is that each of us is the mountain. Sometimes I am in a bad mood and I can’t come up with a reason for feeling that way. Some days I am just in a funk. When I feel like that I try to remind myself about the weather and I try to just wait out my funk, much like I would wait out a storm. Others days, again for no particular reason, I feel happy, life is beautiful, and I am walking on air. On days like that I really try to just enjoy the moment and get lost in it. I don’t wonder why I am happy or if I deserve to be. I just thank the universe. One of my favorite jazz bands is called “Weather Report”. They picked that name because their music, like the weather, is always changing. However you’re feeling today, just acknowledge it, and let it go. If today’s a sunny day, enjoy the warmth on your soul. If it’s a stormy day, just hunker down until it passes. If it’s overcast, be patient. The sun will shine again. If it’s a great day, go swing on a rope like my granddaughter is doing in the picture above.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Being An Introvert

I’ve never kept it a secret that I am an extreme introvert. I love my privacy and solitude. This doesn’t mean I hate people. I like people but as an introvert I find people exhausting at times and my experience is that most people are best enjoyed in small doses. Group activities are often very stressful for me. I don’t apologize for any of this. It’s who I am and it’s the way I am hard wired. As an introvert I am not anti-social. I am just very comfortable with myself and I am happiest in my own little world, a world that is mostly inside of me. There are a lot of other people like me, and some of you are in this group, but we don’t always get noticed. Our quietness sometimes makes others think we are standoffish or mad about something. If introverts are the kind of people that hate to be the center of attention, extroverts are the kind of people that seem to demand attention. Where other people often exhaust me, an extrovert gets all their energy from being around others. In general, extroverts hate to be alone. Introverts tend to be thinkers. That doesn’t mean we are smarter than everyone else although I tend to think we are (smile). Introverts usually think before they talk. Extroverts often talk before they think. I thought about all of this after reading the article on the attached link. The article makes some great points about the typical work environment most of us are in. I hate it when my cube is out in the open, especially in a high traffic area. Whenever possible I try to be in a cube in a corner with as much privacy and solitude as I can find. I am much more productive and a lot happier.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finding Your Original Face

Sometimes I find myself asking the question "How do you know when you have become who you are"? The journey of life is basically a forward journey that goes backwards in order for you to return to your original essence and to become who you really are. We are born pure and innocent and then we acquire our personalities and other defense mechanisms that we use to shield and protect ourselves from life. The second half of our life journey, if we are on the path to enlightenment, is spent attempting to take off these masks and to remove the armor that we have acquired in order to rediscover our purity and innocence. The Buddhists call this "discovering the face we had before we were born". When I look in the mirror, and during moments of introspection, I wonder how far along I am on this journey of re-discovering who I am. What is my true essence? What is my original nature? It is nearly impossible to know this when you are young. In our youth it is far more important for us to fit in, to be like others, and find acceptance from others. We are also too busy building our lives to worry too much about who we are. This is considerably less important when you get older. I am still trying to get from behind the masks I wear and to break through the armor I have created to find the real me. I don't think I completely know who I am yet but I'm pretty sure I know who I'm not.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King's Birthday

I was sleeping deeply on Saturday morning when my granddaughter jumped into my bed at 7:30 AM after her Dad dropped her off on his way to work. At 7:31 AM she said, “Let’s go downstairs and play, Paw Paw”. Wearily, I crawled out of my warm bed and we went downstairs. I made some coffee and we talked about what cousins and aunts and uncles were. Chloe is always interested in family. We played until Granny got out of bed, then we went to McDonald’s for breakfast. Later in the afternoon we went to see Alvin and the Chipmunk’s in “Chipwrecked”. Eventually we met up with Dad who surprised Chloe with a trip to the pet store. In the picture above you can see what they brought home.

Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday. I have always admired Martin Luther King and I believe his “I Have A Dream” speech is one of history’s great and most eloquent speeches. Once on a trip to Washington, D.C. I visited the Lincoln Memorial and I stood on the spot where this speech was delievered. I looked towards the Washington monument, across the reflecting pool, closed my eyes, and tried to imagine that day in 1963 when King gave this speech. I imagined all the people who were there and whose hopes were encouraged. We’ve come a long way since those days but we still have quite a way to go.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Fear Of Not Measuring Up

Once a friend sent me some thoughts about something called the "fear of not measuring up". In a competitive and driven society such as ours, we all suffer from this fear to some degree. There are a million ways for it to manifest itself. It's the fear that you aren't smart enough or aren't pretty enough or aren't successful enough. It's the fear of not being able to "keep up with the Joneses", that you don't drive the right kind of car or don't live in the right neighborhood, that you didn't go to the right school or you're not a supermom and on and on and on. It's the fear of being inadequate. Let's be honest. Some people are smarter, more successful, and better looking than the rest of us. That's called "Life's Not Fair". However, the rest of us are not doomed. I think we all have unlimited potential if we have the drive and initiative to take advantage of the opportunities given us. On the other hand I am someone who believes in the idea of contentment. I always want to be the best possible version of myself but, quite frankly, sometimes I am too tired to be. I have more stuff than many people but much less than many others. I can honestly say that I am very content with my standard of living. I have everything I need to live comfortably and to be happy. At this point in my life I think more about how I can do with less than with always wanting more. I'm not a genius but I am far from stupid. I am happy with who I am and I don't feel inferior to anyone. I am not perfect but I know I am a good person. I don't have to beat everyone else in order to feel like I am successful. It really all boils down to these few questions. Are you happy? Is there love in your life? Are there people and things you care about and other people who care about you? Are your basic needs being met? If yes, what more do you want?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let Us Be Thankful

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die. So let us all be thankful.
-The Buddha

Looking back at 2011, these words of the Buddha probably do a good job of summing up the past year as well as remind us to always be thankful. Of course, every year when we look back we can remember reasons to be happy and reasons to be sad. Every year we experience new births, rebirths, conversions, transformations, and new ways of seeing things. Most of us also experience some type of loss. Relationships can change and sometimes fall apart. People we care about leave our lives or sometimes die. Some of us are better off materially and financially and some of us are worse off. Some of us are in the spring or summer of our lives and others are in the autumn or winter of their lives. Some of us are gathering in the harvest of our lives while others are letting go and simplifying their life. Doors close and windows open. The unfolding of life, year by year, is the great mystery in which we all live. Now we are on the threshold of a new year with new possibilities and, if last year wasn't so great for you, this year can be a year of new hope. A few years ago I saw the Rolling Stones perform at Churchill Downs. Keith Richards, a member of the band and a guy who should have died ten times by now, looked out on the crowd and said, "It's really nice to be here. It's really nice to be anywhere"! I share his sentiments. I'm really happy to still be here and I try to remind myself that these are the good old days and the best days of my life are still ahead of me. Start the rest of your life now by seizing the day and living with a grateful heart.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finding Yourself Along The Way

This week I made my 1000th entry on my personal blog. When I tentatively posted my first “Daily Thoughts” on my blog back in 2006 I had no idea what impact they would have on anyone. Since that time thousands of people from around the world have read them. Over the years I have received some touching emails and interesting comments from complete strangers who connected with something I wrote. People sometimes talk about "finding themselves". It actually happens. When I was about 50 years old I began to have a realization of who I was, why I acted the way I did, and why I felt the way I do. It took a lot of what some call "inner work" to come to this realization. It was a real awakening for me. I would love to tell you that such self-knowledge makes all your problems and issues go away but it doesn't. What it does is give you some knowledge and skill to deal with your dysfunctions and inadequacies as well as help you recognize your gifts as a person. Sometime after this experience of personal enlightenment I began to realize that I had a gift for writing. It was my granddaughter that brought the gift to my awareness. For a number of years I used to share motivational and inspirational quotes with friends and co-workers. After my granddaughter was born I wrote a short story about the first time my wife and I kept her overnight when she was just three weeks old. People loved the story and encouraged me to write more. My real life stories soon included my everyday thoughts, reflections, and musings. The more I wrote the more I was encouraged by others. Much of my life I am around people younger than myself. They are often filled with existential angst about their lives. I encourage them as best I can to walk the path of their life and to remember that “the journey is the destination”. I encourage all of you to do the same. Along the way you will have your own moments of enlightenment where you will find yourself and discover your gifts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Daily Routines

Am I the only one who has created milestones and routines in their work day to facilitate a sense of movement from the beginning of the day to the end of the day? I am not talking about anything as lofty as the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. I’m talking about small stages in the day that help you realize that the hands of the wall clock are moving and time is not frozen in the eternal now. Now, I like my job and I enjoy my co-workers. That being said, I do not mind coming to work every day. However, I also do not mind leaving work every day. I am a creature of habit. When I arrive at work each morning I immediately launch into my morning routine. The first milestone is about 9:00 AM when I have a Diet Coke and some peanut butter crackers at my desk. My second milestone is about 10:00 AM when I go downstairs to the first floor of my building and I walk as many laps as I can during my morning break. The next milestone is lunch. It may be a solitary bowl of soup at my desk or lunch with a friend at a nearby restaurant. The last milestone of the day is in the mid afternoon when I try to once again go downstairs and walk as many laps as I can during my afternoon break. Although I am literally going in circles when I walk, it energizes me and I am more motivated when I return to my desk. Walking also prevents me from feeling too much like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz when he’s been caught in a summer rain and his oil can is out of reach. None of this is complicated or deep but it does help me to alleviate occasional boredom, fatigue, and general restlessness.

Monday, January 09, 2012

My 1000th Post

This entry marks my 1000th post since I began bloggging. I deeply appreciate those who have encouraged me and those who read my thoughts.

Over the weekend my youngest son returned to the seminary and my granddaughter went four wheeling with her Dad, my oldest son. This gave me a free weekend so yesterday I went to the monastery. I got out of bed before dawn and hit the road. I love driving down the highway in the pre-dawn hours. After a while the sun began to rise and it’s blazing orange light shone through the bare trees of the winter landscape. Before arriving at the monastery I stopped for breakfast at the home of my friend, Father Dennis. Later I went to mass with the monks and joined in a pot luck lunch with some of the monks and a few other friends. The Abbey church at Gethsemani is simple but beautiful. While I was there I bathed in the bright light of the sun as it splintered through the stained glass windows, with the sweet aroma of incense wafting through the air, and every space filled with the sounds of their magnificent pipe organ. After Mass I headed across the highway to what’s called the family guesthouse for our meal. As usual, without any pre-planning, there was a magnificent spread of food. I sat next to my friend, 89 year old Brother Frederic. He’s the second oldest monk in the monastery and his mind is very sharp. Conversations with him are always stimulating and enjoyable. You’re not going to slip anything past him. When the day was done I made my solitary drive back home with a heart full of gratitude for a wonderful day.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Shining Like The Sun

I wrote these words exactly one year ago today. I think they bear repeating as we start another new year.

Many people start off a new year by making New Year's resolutions. They usually involve dieting, efforts to stop smoking, or exercising more. More often than not they are attempts to improve ourselves as though we are completely inadequate as we are. One of my favorite writers, the monk Thomas Merton, had an epiphany while standing on the corner of 4th and Mohammed Ali here in Louisville in 1958. As a man who entered the monastery to escape the world, he had a sudden moment of clarity in which he realized that he was just like every other member of the human race and he wondered if people realized that they were all "walking around shining like the sun". As this new year unfolds, instead of thinking that you are inadequate and need improvement, tell yourself that you, too, are "walking around shining like the sun". If you want to make some New Year's resolutions, let them be to utilize your strengths and gifts for the enrichment of those around you. Be who you are and recognize your own potential. Focus on that and don't get hung up on your weaknesses. We all have some inadequacy or dysfunction that we struggle with. Even the great St. Paul lamented his "thorn in the flesh". We are never told what that weakness was but we do know it didn't keep him from doing great things. Nelson Mandela has some great words about how we see ourselves.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, or fabulous"?
-Nelson Mandela

Thursday, January 05, 2012

All Who Wander Are Not Lost

When I think about spirituality these days, I think of myself as a man who has left home and is on a long journey. Often I feel like I am wandering in the desert. However, as Tolkien once said, "All who wander are not lost". Even better is a quote from Daniel Boone who said, "I have never been lost. I will, however, admit to being confused once for about two weeks". I can very much relate to these quotes. I am wandering but I do not feel lost. I will admit to feeling a little confused and disconnected at times. I also feel that much of the traditional spirituality in which I was raised, and which has surrounded me most of my life, doesn’t always work for me at this time in my life. These days my spirituality is daily life, whatever it presents to me. I have come to believe that life itself is the doorway to the sacred. I was raised as a Roman Catholic so I suppose that is my spiritual home. However, the practice of kindness and compassion is my best practical expression of spirituality these days. After all, what is spirituality but putting the Spirit into your reality? I am not a true Buddhist but these days I feel very much at home with Buddhist ways. I love the Dalai Lama and I love my backyard with its six foot high privacy fence, Buddha statue, and wind chimes that sound like temple bells. It has the feel of a Zen garden for me. Of course, I also love the solitude and silence of the monastery I visit with its Christian monastic tradition and tolling abbey bells. I think what it all boils down to for me is a love of all things contemplative. I am no longer sure about the value of dogma and theology but I do very much value the idea and practice of mindfulness, along with the practice of kindness and compassion, as a way to become enlightened. Being mindful, living in peace, showing kindness, and seeing all of life as a gift, is not a bad way to live one's life. It is certainly a positive way to live. So much religion fills one with guilt and low self-worth. I've spent much of my life trying to overcome feelings of guilt and inadequacy. I strive to walk in a more positive light. In the end I think what’s really important is whether or not you lived a loving life and whether or not you were a good person who always tried to do the right thing.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Death Of My Cell Phone

About a week or so ago there was an unexpected death in my family. I woke up one morning to realize that my cell phone had passed away sometime in the night. There was a brief moment of sadness followed by a minor panic attack as I pondered to myself on one of life’s great challenges. How could I possibly leave my home and venture out on the open road without the security of my cell phone? In my anxiety I failed to remember that I have lived most of my life without a cell phone. For over a week now I have once again survived without it. I was never one to be obsessed with my phone. No one ever calls me and I rarely call anyone else. I don’t even like to talk on telephones. I know other people, however, who seem to have a need to stay in 24 hour contact with every single person in their life. Admittedly, I hope I have a cell phone with me when I really need it. That being said, I have felt a sense of freedom by not having one. No one is bothering me. I am not checking my pocket throughout the day to see if I have my phone and I am not worrying about missing one of those once a month calls. Although I initially experienced some anxiety when it died, it’s death has also freed me from some anxiety. I’m probably going to have to wait a few more weeks to get a new phone. The death of a cell phone or other appliance at the height of the Christmas season is not exactly what you would call good timing. Until the timing is better to purchase a new phone I will enjoy not having one.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Ringing In The New Year

Even though I like cold weather and winter landscapes, when the temperature falls into the teens and we have single digit wind chills, it’s too cold even for me. I am not too concerned about today. This being Kentucky, we will be having spring like weather by the end of the work week. I am running a little late this morning. As soon as I got on the Interstate this morning I was quickly trapped in bumper to bumper traffic. A traffic accident delayed my arrival this morning by thirty minutes. I had no idea of the seriousness of the accident so I did the only thing I knew how to do. I prayed for all concerned and I hoped there were no deaths or serious injuries. When I finally got near the accident it appeared to be no more than a fender bender. I hope that’s all it was. My New Year’s Eve was quiet. My granddaughter spent the night as she has every New Year’s Eve of her life. We watched “Herbie Goes Bananas” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”. During the second movie Chloe fell asleep in my lap. When she woke up we baked the “pigs in a blanket” and sausage pinwheels that she and my wife made earlier in the day. We all struggled to stay awake till midnight but we made it. When the ball dropped in Times Square we all blew our noisemakers and then headed for bed. Chloe slept till 11:00 AM the next day. Now we are all back to “normal” and resuming our everyday lives. There’s a certain kind of joy in that, too.