Dreamer’s World June 09, 2018 – Missing A Friend, But Realizing Some Brutal Truths

    I was going through some old blog posts from this time last year, and I came across the one from June 05, 2017. This was written the day that Nicola and her son, Connor, left for Scotland. They were going back forever, this was Nicola’s choice because she wanted to be nearer to her family. After my Navy friend, her husband Donald, was killed in an accident while riding his motorcycle, it wasn’t a big surprise that she decided to return home for good.
    Hal and I saw Nicola for the last time a few days before her departure. We met her for dinner, and we made all the obligatory promises to stay in touch once she got settled into her new life in Scotland. There were a few tears as we parted, but we all swore that we would stay in touch. To her credit, she did call me once abaut a week after she arrived, but we haven’t heard from her since. There was never a message giving address and telephone information, and that did cause a little hurt.
    I hadn’t thought about this for quite a while, it was only seeing the blog entry that triggered the memory. I hope that Nicola and Connor are doing so well that they honestly have forgotten to write or call. I don’t have any bad feelings about this, it is just a part of life that stressing over wont help.
    The brutal truth mentioned in the title refers to another aspect of things that I realized today. The contact between us had diminished over their last year in the States and im sure that had something to do with her plans to move back home that she hadn’t told anyone about yet. Once again, the decision was hers to make, and I believe that she made the right choice.
    The reason I bring this up is that I strongly suspect that if she hadn’t moved back, I might well be sitting here thinking why I haven’t heard from her in such a long time even when she would have been less than 50 miles away. People change, friendships change and sometimes they simply fade away.

Dreamer’s World May 03, 2018 – Uncertainty

    This page has been blank all day. Inspiration is not coming easily. Days like this make writing seem more like a job and less like the thing that I love. It is frustrating, to be sure, but it also forces me to find something and then focus on it to get myself going.
    Clearing my mind is easier said than done. With all of the normal events happening around me, it is hard to filter out the noise. Phone calls and emails are constantly demanding my attention. I have to keep my attention on these things because I have to pay the bills, but at the same time, I resent them for intruding on my own writing.
    As I get started, I find myself experiencing a type of out-of-body feeling because I seem to become more detached from the routine. I find myself reaching out to find that grand topic to write about. The one that is screaming for attention is my friend and his wife.
    I wrote something about this yesterday. I have not been able to reach my friend, he is not answering calls or returning texts. Not that I have constantly bombarded him with either of the two, but I know that things must be going badly and that he has enough on his mind without my adding to his burden.
    I said yesterday that I remain somewhat detached from the struggle in order to assist my friend if needed. This is the difficult time with my theory. As Tom Petty sang “The Waiting is the Hardest Part”, and that is very true in a situation like this. I want to know what is happening, but I won’t interject myself into the situation.
    I feel for my friend and his wife. I hope that she isn’t in terrible pain. For all I know, she could have already passed on. I hate to think that way, but it would explain the lack of response. If that is the case, my course of action is still to wait until I hear something before acting.
    Maybe this hesitation and uncertainty is why I had such a block with writing today. Putting the words onto the screen seems to have cured the writer’s block that I felt when I started this post. Writing is therapy for me.

Dreamer’s World May 03, 2018 – Uncertainty

    This page has been blank all day. Inspiration is not coming easily. Days like this make writing seem more like a job and less like the thing that I love. It is frustrating, to be sure, but it also forces me to find something and then focus on it to get myself going.
    Clearing my mind is easier said than done. With all of the normal events happening around me, it is hard to filter out the noise. Phone calls and emails are constantly demanding my attention. I have to keep my attention on these things because I have to pay the bills, but at the same time, I resent them for intruding on my own writing.
    As I get started, I find myself experiencing a type of out-of-body feeling because I seem to become more detached from the routine. I find myself reaching out to find that grand topic to write about. The one that is screaming for attention is my friend and his wife.
    I wrote something about this yesterday. I have not been able to reach my friend, he is not answering calls or returning texts. Not that I have constantly bombarded him with either of the two, but I know that things must be going badly and that he has enough on his mind without my adding to his burden.
    I said yesterday that I remain somewhat detached from the struggle in order to assist my friend if needed. This is the difficult time with my theory. As Tom Petty sang “The Waiting is the Hardest Part”, and that is very true in a situation like this. I want to know what is happening, but I won’t interject myself into the situation.
    I feel for my friend and his wife. I hope that she isn’t in terrible pain. For all I know, she could have already passed on. I hate to think that way, but it would explain the lack of response. If that is the case, my course of action is still to wait until I hear something before acting.
    Maybe this hesitation and uncertainty is why I had such a block with writing today. Putting the words onto the screen seems to have cured the writer’s block that I felt when I started this post. Writing is therapy for me.

Dreamer���s World March 18, 2018 ��� Decision Time

    My mind has been clouded with distractions for the last few months. This often happens when I recognize that there is a big decision coming up. Often I don’t know what that decision will be until later on, and this is the case today.
    I have become too dependent on social media like FaceBook and Twitter. There, I said it. I have been unconsciously struggling with this for some time, and this morning the reason for my malaise finally dawned on me. I have become part of the problem by simply spending my time online re-posting things rather than actually being creative or unique. The temptation to simply reinforce the echo chamber is very strong, and hard to resist.
    I see a clear difference between FaceBook and Twitter. FaceBook is much more of a product that demands interaction, whether it is real communication with someone or not. Twitter is simply a bulleting board for garbage that begs for a response from anyone.
    I have been thinking about the lack of genuine interaction with the people I supposedly know via social media. It is basically non-existent, to be honest. That comes as no surprise to me, but there are people I know in person from the past who fail to interact online and never in person or via the telephone. The sad truth is that these actions, that we are all guilty of, simply indicates the relative importance that we place on real relationships in the digital age.
    FaceBook helped me to reconnect with some old friends I grew up with. We talked on the phone multiple time, and then things slowly drifted back to the point they were at before we reconnected in the first place. This isn’t a criticism of them as people, it also isn’t an absolution of myself for some type of noble behavior, it is just stating facts.
    Without a real, personal, face-to-face relationship to fall back on, social media doesn’t help to reconnect people for very long. I then proceeded to occupy my online time with reposting items I saw that were of interest to me. In doing so, I fell into the same trap that I would have criticized other for. The struggle I mentioned earlier was coming to terms with this, and understanding that I was doing the same thing.
    I am an optimist and a realist. I am not making some grand declaration that I am abandoning FaceBook forever. I simply need time to refocus on my writing and my own creative side for the time being. I am making the decision to stop checking FaceBook multiple times a day to see what people who I have no real contact with are talking about. I will focus instead on genuine interactions with those people who do choose to communicate is some rudimentary form.
    When I started this blog, it was the most important thing in my digital life. It is time to return to that philosophy and listen to myself for a change. My mind feels more at rest now that I have made the decision, so it must be the right one.

Dreamer’s World January 10, 2018 – Riding The Undulating Waves Of Life

   
    I was stuck trying to think of a topic to post about today. I have sworn off the daily routine things as much as possible. I decided to go to the Daily Prompt page on WordPress and found that today’s word is “Undulate.”
    “Undulate” signifies a smooth wavelike motion. Life is seldom like that, it happens more like the waves in a storm, but the concept is sound. I try to surf the waves of life every day to the best of my abilities without falling off the surfboard. The ebbs and flows of life are what keep us moving. If we try to manipulate the undulating waves around us, we will drown due to all of the effort of struggling against the tide.
    I find that it is best to deal with the undulating waves of life as they occur. This morning was a great example of how life works. I traveled to the client’s office for my weekly meeting and was talking to a friend of mine about his holidays. I knew that his wife was very sick. Cancer sucks, there is no other way to put it. He told me that his wife is preparing for hospice care now and that the doctors had given her about 90 days left.
    I debated for a minute about how to respond, and then I realized that any words I could offer would be somewhat meaningless for him. The waves were undulating around me, and I had to be careful how I navigated through them. I told him that I was there to help them if they needed me, an empty phrase that I know he has heard countless times already. He responded with the expected “Thank you,” and I knew that I could proceed with talking to him. I told him that the time they had alreadd\y shared together was a gift and that the time they had remaining was even more valuable. He told me that she was too weak to do all of the things that they wanted to, and I said that he should merely be there as much as possible for her.
    I could see him struggling with his own unique set of undulating circumstances. I call him a friend, but acquaintance would be a correct term. Through the years there have been plans for all of us to get together, but the events took place without notifying me. This behavior proved to me years ago that I was not really on the “friends” list in their lives, and I accepted that gracefully and never questioned it. I never let on about how I had felt, and this wasn’t the time to go into it. I decided to offer to help once again knowing that the offer was not going to be accepted. As emotionless as that sounds, I had successfully navigated another undulating wave.
    As I left to return home, I was glad that I had spoken with him even if it was just the expected things that were said. There could be no other outcome. I feel sad for both of them and wish that there was something I could do. I had to accept that all I can do is to listen.
    I have spent time on the beach, or on a riverbank, listening to the undulating waves. There is a soothing quality to them because they have no evil or malicious intent. The undulating waves are merely there to give us points of reference in our lives. Ride the waves, but try not to disturb them at the same time

Dreamer’s World January 13 2016 – Where Have The Years Gone?

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     Next Wednesday, I reach another birthday. I am not superstitious about these things and I know that age is just a number that we assign to ourselves. I suppose what makes this upcoming birthday different is that as I prepare to turn 52 years old, I am realizing that there is more life behind me than ahead of me. Where has all this time gone?
     I can clearly recall mornings from my childhood. There seems to be a memory for each season. I can smell the grass in the summertime, I can feel the silent cold of the snow that I hoped would keep me from going to school. The memories are so intense I can almost reach out and touch them.
     I remember Mom and Dad always teaching me to think for myself and to question everything. I thank them for that each and every day. I remember the talks around the dinner table that lasted for hours. I remember the difficulties Mom had with her family since she had been adopted as a young girl. Her natural siblings found her later in life. I remember how Mom struggled to put together a family that she never knew. I remember Dad telling me that it was the three of us against the world.
     I remember our town getting a McDonald’s and thinking that we had finally reached the big time. I remember cable tv when it was something that we couldn’t afford, but somehow we never missed.
     I remember playing 2nd base and center field. I can still hear the “ping” of the aluminum bat as I would race around to 2nd base after hitting a double into the right-center field gap. I remember playing right field on e game and backing up an errant throw to first base. I unloaded a bullet to 3rd base that had the runner out by 10 feet.
     I remember listening to songs for the first time. These are the most relevant memories for me. The music never changes. The memories the music evokes varies from time to time, but always in a good way.
     I remember the first kiss, I remember the first date, I remember the first rejection. I remember the first heartbreak that I swore I would never recover from. Silly me, life would prove that was just a warmup for later. I remember playing in a band, I remember being in the marching band, I remember friends that have vanished into the mists of time. I remember Saturday morning cartoons that weren’t designed sold to sell toys. I remember the Road Runner and Wiley Coyote on a 13-inch screen.
     I remember elementary school where it seemed I was always being held back because I was taught so much at home. I was taught to be inquisitive and to never stop learning. I remember thinking that so many kids there we’re just going through the motions and not caring about anything.
     I remember middle school, I remember the school dances. I remember the feeling that I had made some cosmic and karmic advancement from elementary school. I remember finally being allowed to write what I wanted in English class to let my creative side out.
     I remember high school. I remember the nerves when I took my driving test since my Dad had suffered a stroke and was unable to be there with me. I remember parties that I wasn’t supposed to go to, so naturally I went anyway. I remember causing trouble, or what passed as trouble in a small town. I remember school trips with the marching band. I remember the feeling that I was invincible just like everyone else and that life was nothing but roses (watch out for those thorns). I remember dates, I remember long quiet evenings just talking about getting the hell out of our hometown. I remember my Dad passing away when I was 17 and feeling that a void had been created that would never be filled. I remember graduation. It felt like parole had been granted.
     I remember the year before I went away to college. I remember watching so many of my friends dutifully lock themselves into our hometown. I remember their expressions that said they had no choice, that they had not prepared to do anything else. They attempted to comfort themselves with the belief that thus was the best that they could do. I remember the revelation that I was indeed different. I remember knowing that I could not just melt into the town to never surface again as an individual.
     I remember college. I remember the new faces and the new environment. I remember the tears in my Mom’s eyes as she drove away after making sure that I was settled into the dorm my first year. I remember making new friends. I remember being challenged intellectually for what seemed the first time in my life. I remember the college marking band and the football and basketball games that I was able to attend because I was with the band. I remember the Challenger explosion as it happened on CNN in the Student Center. I remember the sense of awe as history unfolded in its terrible glory and older people talked about the JFK assassination, although that happened before I was born. I remember that it taught me that the world goes on regardless of tragedy, and the only real choice we have is to keep moving forward as well.
     I remember when I joined the Navy after college because I wanted to get into a job field that wasn’t open to anyone without military training. I remember the pride my Mom had when she saw me in uniform. I remember seeing parts of the world that the old friends in my hometown could only dream about. I remember good times and bad from the Navy. I remember nearly being married twice (luckily I never got there).
     I remember meeting a friend, Donald Beasley, who would remain a close part of my life. I remember meeting his wife and family years later and feeling like I belonged. We still visit them even though Don was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2014.
     I remember leaving the Navy when my Mom’s health failed her at last. I remember finally finding my soulmate in Hal (person, not the cat) right as I left the Navy. I remember Mom treating Hal as part of our family. I remember us both being there as Mom let our her last breath. I remember saying goodbye to her.
     I remember the struggles after leaving the Navy. I remember how Hal and I have always managed to find a way to get through things together. I remember various jobs, some good, some bad until I landed the right job that I have held for 10 years. I remember the cats that we have had, UK, Muffin, Spartacus, Maxwell, Stevie Nicks, and now Hal (cat).
     I remember all of the cars I have had, the AMC Pacer (don’t laugh), the late 70s Mustang (yuck), the Nissan Sentra hatchback, the Chevy Nova (blah), the Ford Explorer, the Honda Civic EX, the Jeep Cherokee, the Nissan Sentra (nothing but trash), and finally the 2002 Beetle (love it).
     I remember how I feel at this moment. I wonder where have the years gone? 

Dreamer’s World January 31 2015 – Things Change

     It is a constant in life that change happens. Sometimes it is hard to understand why, and at other times the meaning is crystal clear to us. This is especially true when change relates to other people and their relationship to us.
Change is either a reactive or a proactive event in our lives. As we live and learn, experience teaches us whether or not we should take the initiative, or wait for something to happen. There will always be exceptions to this approach, but in the long run, it is the best course of action to take.
When a friend makes the decision, consciously or otherwise, to drop out of your life the best thing to do is to simply let them go. Explanations aren’t required, no justification is necessary. There will never be any peace if both parties aren’t truly interested in working to maintain a friendship. Vanishing from someone’s life is a pretty good indication that one of the parties has already made their decision.
Bitterness and regret won’t help. Just wish then the best in a silent thought, and cut the cord. This is the way that one accepts these types of changes in one’s life. Let the hurt and disappointment go as well, they will only drag you down.
Remember that change can also be a positive thing. When one thing changes in a bad way, there is always the opportunity for a more positive change that you aren’t even aware of yet.