Dreamer’s World June 12, 2018 – Writing Is Life

    Why do I write? This is a question I have asked myself for years. I have always felt a need to write ever since I was a child. Like everyone, this need has gone unfulfilled for long periods of time, and this ends up causing anguish.
    When I was a child, I would go through notebooks with no problem. I could quickly fill one in less than a month. I took a journal with me whenever I could. I wasn’t always writing about things that I saw or experienced, most of the time I was writing about how I felt and how I saw the world. My parents thought this was a wonderful gift. They encouraged me to write as much as I wanted to, and they never complained when I would grab a notebook or two at the store.
    As I grew older, I stopped writing as often as I had in the past. The desire was pushed under the surface as I made my way through the world, but it never left me. It would return from time to time. When I was in the Navy, I would write letters to friends and family that often ran for 5-6 pages. The postal clerk on the ship joked that I should have to pay extra postage because the envelopes were stuffed full. I knew that writing took my mind away from the isolation and drudgery of Navy life at sea.
    I always knew I was different. No one else wrote as I did. I took pride in my own handwriting. I wanted people to be able to read what I wrote instead of a scribble that no one could understand. I didn’t consider myself to be better than anyone else, but I knew that I didn’t fit nicely into their view of the world either. When I left the Navy, I tried to get back to writing on a regular basis, but there were too many distractions in my way. I was trying to erase my loneliness with a flurry of activity, but all that accomplished was to take me away from my love of writing. Perhaps, inwardly, I was afraid of what I would write, what my feelings would look like pouring out onto the printed page. That fear led me down some dark paths. Luckily, I found Hal and my life began to turn around.
              I am 54 years old now. It is hard to believe that I have been with Hal for approximately one-third of my life. Obviously, I am happy with how my life has turned out. That happiness eventually led to me writing once again, and now I feel so free. My concern now is to write on a regular basis. Most of the time, what I write goes into this blog, but there are occasions when I find that I have written something so intensely personal that I cannot send it out to the world. I consider this a fair trade in exchange for my sanity.

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 June 07, 2018 – The Journey To Happiness

    I wrote that Happiness is a Journey. Now the time has come to embark on that journey. I only know where I am going, everyone is different.
    The only advice I can give from this point on is to enjoy the journey. Take your time getting there, stop along the way and smell whatever roses you run across.
    Endure the bad stretches of road and coast along the sections where no extra effort is needed. Take your mental pictures and write about your experience if you choose.
    It is your journey, enjoy it.

Dreamer’s World June 05, 2018 – Happiness Is A Journey

    Yesterday I wrote about Happiness is a choice. Once you have made that choice, then you must determine where you want to go. This is more difficult than it sounds because it involves some serious soul-searching. What is it that makes you really and truly happy?
    For me, the path to happiness has to include my home life with Hal and The Stooges, as well as music. Physical well-being is also a part of this, as well as self-improvement in all of those areas.
    We never start an important journey without knowing where we are going. It is the same with happiness. Knowing what you are heading toward is vital to a successful journey. It allows you to plan what you need to get there, how to progress towards your goals and gives direction toward the destination.
     Of course, the destination for the journey doesn’thave to be and rarely is, a physical location. It is normally a state of mind and well-being that we are trying to achieve. Personally, the biggest decision I made was to wean myself away from social media to focus more on home and music. I only have a Google + account now, besides this blog. Earlier today, I delted my Pinterest and Instagram accounts to complete my purge.
    The way has been prepared. It is time for the journey to begin.

Dreamer’s World June 04, 2018 – Happiness Is A Choice

    As I have made my way through this life, I have learned many valuable lessons. Sometimes I have to remember lessons that I had forgotten about.” One instance of a lesson from my parents was brought back to my attention when I was reading a quote from the late John Lennon, which read
“When I was 5 years old, my Mother told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them that they didn’t understand life.”

Happiness is a choice. It is a choice that we all must make each and every day as we go through our lives. Happiness isn’t something that we earn, it cannot be given to us by others. Happiness is a deeply personal choice that is the most important choice that we can make. There will always be people and circumstances that will push their own agendas onto us. Our Happiness is not their concern at all. We usually give in to the constant pressure to conform and find ourselves further and further away from the happiness that we seek. Eventually, happiness seems unattainable and impossible.
We try to make ourselves believe that we are happy with things and personal pleasures, but the emptiness persists. Deep down inside, we know that something is missing, but we have been so conditioned that we fail to realize what we are missing is happiness.
The world is full of schemes to trick us into believing that we can find happiness by following someone else, by doing what they tell us to do. Sometimes we force ourselves to believe that we have actually found happiness when we really have no clue. The plans that others laid out for us lead to dead ends, or worse, to conforming to something that takes away our freedom without us realizing it.
If we maintain our intellectual freedom, we find that the only way to reach happiness is to strive for that goal. This is the decision I mentioned. It is easy to make, but difficult to make work. The decision goes against every aspect of life that we have been forced to accept as we grow up. This decision can cost us dearly because it involves throwing off so much of the life that we have built, but we realize that the life in question wasn’t the one that we really wanted.
Personal priorities must be re-evaluated. Choices must be reshaped to determine if they are actually helping us along the way to happiness. Sounds impossible, I know, but life is a journey, and we decide which way to go. Happiness is also a journey that often takes us in a different direction than what is expected of us. I am not advocating abandoning everything and taking off on some wild goose chase, I am advocating making a personal decision based on what it is that we really want from life, what will it take to make us happy?
I said that Happiness is a choice, and the first thing about this choice is to decide to embark on a journey. As with any journey, preparations must be made before setting out on the trip. In this case, the first decision to make is where we want to go to find Happiness. That answer is different for each of us, and it requires breaking free of the patterns we have fallen into.
Plan your trip carefully, determine where you want to go to find happiness.

Dreamer’s World June 02, 2018 – Play It Forward

I got my new keyboard after work yesterday. Well, new isn’t the correct term since I got it from Craigslist, but it is new to me.
    I am very happy with the keyboard, but of course, there was a long story attached to it. The seller was a woman with 2 children who is preparing to move. Her husband had gone to their new home as part of his job, so the woman was left with 2 kids and her mother to help her out. She lives in a beautiful home in a very nice area of Northern Virginia. When Hal and I arrived at the seller’s house to pick up the keyboard, stand, and stool, we found that the power supply was missing. The woman said that I would take the items and she would contact me when the power supply was found, and then I could pay her for the items. I tried to pay her at the time, but she refused and said that she would either mail me the power cord and then I could pay her, or if she couldn’t find the power cord, then I could pay her a reduced price.
    Hal and I left with the equipment, but I was not really happy knowing that I had not paid for it yet. As we drove towards home, I asked Hal to call Guitar Center and they indeed had the right power supply for the keyboard. Since we were stranded in rush-hour traffic, I decided that we would grab something to eat when we had the chance and then go to Guitar Center. We finally made it home, the power supply worked, the keyboard sounds great, and things are all OK.
    I received a text from the woman who said that her husband might have inadvertently taken the original power supply with him as part of the first stages of moving. She offered to pay for a replacement power supply in her message. I answered that I had found a power supply, that it worked, and I told her that I would drop by her house this morning with the money for the items. I explained that I preferred to not leave things in an unfinished state, and that I felt guilty about having the keyboard and not having paid for it yet.
    I dropped Hal off at his job this morning and then I went back to the woman’s house. When I handed her the original amount we agreed on, she was floored. At first, she tried to reject the extra money that would have covered the expense of the replacement power supply, but I explained to her that I wanted her to have the original amount, and that she could never have enough cash on hand when planning and making a move. As she was holding her baby, with her Mother watching her, she broke down and cried. I told her that it was not problem, and that at some pint in the future when she saw a chance to do something nice for someone else, that she should remember this and then do something nice for that person. “Play It Forward” is what I told her to do, because good things always generate rewards, even if they are not immediately apparent.

Dreamer’s World June 01, 2018 – Happiness Is Getting Caught Up In Something Fun

    Friday is here at last. After work yesterday, I found a used Yamaha keyboard on Craigslist and made arrangements to purchase it. Since I was waiting for my guitar to come back from the shop yesterday, I wasn’t able to go to get the keyboard and had to make the plan to get it this afternoon once work is over with for the week. It turned out to be for the best because we had some ferocious thunderstorms that rolled through the area yesterday at the time I would have been traveling to get the keyboard anyway. I would not have enjoyed being stuck in DMV traffic at rush hour with blinding rain and lightning.
    The guitar was delivered after the storm had passed, and it works just fine. Hal and I made a short trip out to get cash for today and then we had a quick dinner. The rest of the evening was spent here at home without incident.
    Once I finish with work this afternoon, weather permitting, I will call the keyboard seller and make final arrangements to meet them and pick up the keyboard.
    This is a picture and video of the keyboard that I am getting later today. It is a Yamaha YPG-235. The only drawback is that it is only a 76-key keyboard as opposed to a full 88-key keyboard, but for $200 I am getting the lightly used instrument, a stand and pedal so this is a great deal. I will save several hundred dollars by making this purchase. I can always upgrade at a later time if I choose to.
    Hal and I will be making the trip of about 25 miles to get the keyboard, and then we will probably stop and have dinner somewhere on the way home. A Friday dinner out is something of a routine for us since Hal has to work tomorrow and Sunday. I will have time over the weekend to get familiar with the keyboard as well as practice my guitar playing.
    I am looking forward to this weekend more than most weekends, if only because I will have the chance to surround myself with music and the chance to learn even more for the first time in many years. I know that one of the things I will do is try to locate some songs online that I can learn on the keyboard as well as continue my work on guitar songs I want to play.
    I plan to make music a much more central part of my life, I wasn’t sure that was even possible until recently when I stopped my heave social media usage. I found that I have more time to be myself and not be responding all the time to other people, and it is a liberating feeling.