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.

Dreamer’s World May 31, 2018 – Never Enough Music In My Life

    I have written a lot about learning to play the guitar. It has given me focus on everything in my life and also provided me with tons of enjoyment. The entire process has also made me think more about other aspects of music that I want to either learn or get back into. The most important of these is piano. I played piano for years when I was younger, and now I find myself seriously thinking about purchasing a good keyboard to start playing once again.
    Thankfully, keyboards are much smaller than actual pianos. They do provide more features than a piano would, and they are less expensive. I am subconsciously making certain to save up some money to buy a keyboard in the next few months. I think that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. More music will keep me at home, and that will mean less money being spent when I go out.
    I have been researching keyboards, and there are several for around $500 that interest me. I can pick them up at the local Guitar Center store when I decide to make the purchase. I consider music as an investment because it certainly keeps me active and enthusiastic about things. I have often thought about taking up piano once again, but there was always some reason why I put it off.
    I also began checking Craigslist to find any keyboards for sale, and there are several bargains listed. Of course, bargain is a tricky word to use when shopping on CL, I might contact one of the sellers and try to get a feel if they are legitimate or not.
    A series of phone messages has convinced me that I can deal with one of the Craigslist people. Hal and I will go tomorrow after work to pick up the keyboard and will save over $300 with the deal. I would prefer to have made the deal today, but since I am waiting for a guitar to be ready at the shop, it is best to wait until after work Friday. At least it means that the weekend will be off to a good start for me.
    There can never be too much music in my life!

Dreamer’s World May 31, 2018 – Pushing Through

    The last thing we need is more rain. Guess what is forecast for today and for the next few days? Yep, more rain. This is a constant theme for the weather this spring, long stretches of rainy days broken up by a few beautiful sunny days, and then back to the gloom and rain once again.
    Hal and I went to see the new Star Wars movie last night, and we both enjoyed it very much. Right now, we haven’t made any concrete plans for the next movie we would like to see, but there is no rush about it. The only thing that we didn’t do was have dinner out last night, and that was because of timing since I had to be here this morning ready to conduct my weekly meeting at work, and I always have last-minute changes to the presentation and agenda on Thursday morning before sending out the invitations. I want a clear head for Thursday so things will go smoothly.
    I am eagerly awaiting my next chance to practice guitar after work. One of my guitars has been at the shop for some maintenance and tuning work, and it should be ready sometime today. If it is ready on time, that will be the one I will practice on. I alternate between electric and acoustic guitar, and I want to work on this electric guitar if it is available.
    Once today at work is complete, the week will be nearly over with. After my meeting, I have some research to perform, and that will occupy most of my time tomorrow as well. Regardless of the weather, I am ready for the weekend to get here. Other than taking Hal to and from work, there are no plans right now for the weekend. I expect it will remain that way since there is nothing pressing that needs immediate attention.
    I think that tonight will be a good night to get to bed early. I could use the extra sleep, and I want to be ready for tomorrow and the weekend. That is the plan so far, but things can change, and they usually do.

Dreamer’s World May 30, 2018 – Happiness Is Being Creative

    Once again, I am attempting to start and finish a blog post. I have slipped over the holiday weekend and not been posting things that I actually write myself. I still a posting articles that interest me, and hopefully also interest my readers, but it is time to get back to writing for myself.
    For some reason, I am drawn to the topic that Snoopy And The Gang brought to my attention, and that is being creative. I like some personal flair in my writing, and in my life in general. Creativity is what makes things worth doing in the first place.
    I found out that practicing guitar is something that I really enjoy because I can see the slow progress each day. I know that I am getting better, and that gives me the confidence to keep practicing. My technique is getting better each day, and the callouses are appearing on my fingertips. Although the callouses are tender, I know that they will develop over time and the pain will go away to be replaced by the joy of hearing myself create music.
    Since Hal and I are going to see the new Star Wars movie this evening, I should probably end this post now. I can send it out and feel a sense of accomplishment for the day, and that is something creative that I will have done for today.