Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's spring somewhere!

Well here we are with another day of warmer temps. It is designed to fool us into thinking spring is here at last. This has been a long month already and it is only half over. Winter activities for retired people have grown a little thin. Some days I drink too much, and some days I think too much. The good days are when I say to hell with everything and watch a movie or two.

I can't get enough of Errol Flynn. Those were the days when heros were heros and they always stood for good and always got the girl in the end. The other day I sat down after lunch and watched Errol in Robin Hood. What a grand tale of good versus bad (Bush ruined the word evil) and loyalty. That was the theme that struck me the most. Robin was loyal to his friends, his country and to himself. He knew he was up against great odds but he also knew he was doing the right thing. So even if it meant death, he remained on his chosen path, loyal to a king who might never come back. And not just loyal to a king, but the king's ideals and what he stood for as a man. We are faced with similar trials every day we wake up whether we go out to work or stay home and tend the fire. We must decide who we are, what we stand for and who will lead us to that place in our hearts that warms us and helps us sleep at night.

Obviously you must first decide who you are as a person. Some are lucky enough to be born with that sense of who we are and what values we hold dear. But others of us think too much maybe or not enough and can't find ourselves without a little direction. I had two huge impacts on my early life that taught me good values but I never seemed to be able to put them all together until I stumbled across a copy of the "Desiderata". No one knows who wrote it and it really does not matter because it rings true as you read the text. It is short, which is good for me, but all encompassing for whatever one might face in life. I kept a copy by my bed for years and read it every day when I woke up. After a while when I was faced with difficulty in my life the words of wisdom from that short text helped me stay on track and be true to myself. The consequences were not as important as my belief that what I was doing was the right thing to do. And I knew it was right because I learned to pay attention to my "gut feelings". At least it was right for me. Everyone has a role in this life, some great and some small, but still important. There will always be people greater than us and less than us. We must learn to treat them equally without hesitation. We must learn to leave judging to God and let our caring heart lead the way.

So if you have a chance to watch a movie, try Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. It is one of his best. It has action, humor, love, compassion, loyalty, and treachery and I guarantee if you watch it with your heart AND your head, you will cry before it is over. I did. I can't wait to watch it again.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

strange day in my head

So today I wake up around 6:20 AM and think, " you should write about your philospohy of life" and then quickly delve into just what exactly that is all about. Before I can sit down and expound on that I get sidetracked on coffee making and CNN. During coffee with my wife I think again about my outlook on life but then get sidetracked on taking care of her 90 yr. old mother who also lives with us and has had a stroke so she needs lots of attention. Later I walk Maggie and think some more, but when I finally get home I sit down and read the paper and start to get melancholy until I'm hungry and feed myself. After lunch my wife goes to the quilt shop and I am finally alone (m-in-law is taking a nap). Now I feel semi blue and totally aimless. I need to gather some wood in and build a fire so I can watch the "big game". My thoughts (as I drink another beer) turn to what makes me happy (not much) and how simple minded people seem to find happiness so much easier. It is a beautiful day finally and some folks are out riding their motorcycle. They must be happy. Some folks are getting ready for the "big game" and they must be happy. I go in and build a fire in the fireplace. I am quite good at this and enjoy my ability to do so but it does not make me happy. I sit down and play skee ball on my ipod and drink a beer. It passes the time but I'm not really happy. I turn on sirious radio and listen to "garage rock" and play skee ball and drink another beer. I'm not happy but I'm feeling motivated enough to come jot down my thoughts. Maybe I'll have another beer and peel shrimp for supper. I know from past experience that staying busy is the best cure for these kind of days. Go Steelers!