Perspective

“With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Max Ehrmann

A powerful message that I found this morning. I’m struggling with the purpose of my life, what I can do to make this a better place. Sadly, I veer towards negativity when I look at the world we live in. I feel powerless to change things, and this upsets me.

I need to practice gratitude daily and stop pouring over the news every day. The information generally upsets me, and that causes stress. I need to refocus my life on positive things and turn away from negativity.

Gratitude is a difficult thing to practice when all I do is criticize something that I can not control. My mindset defeats the very concept of gratitude before I even start. I need to contain my anger and eliminate it, or it will consume me after all.

Making a change like this won’t be easy. A wise saying is that nothing worthwhile is ever easy, so that gives me confidence that I’m on the right track.

Dreams of lost friends

Old Memories

June is Pride month. For all the good things in my life, I had a dream about an old friend who, to the best of my knowledge, stopped communication when I came out to him and his wife.

He stayed in the Navy after I left at the end of my enlistment. After I came out to him, he said all the right things about friendship and not letting my confession change things.

About a year afterward, he and his wife welcomed their first child, a son, into the world. Hal and I bought the baby a present, a hanging mobile for his crib. We drive to my friend’s house to give them the gift. Their cars were there, but they didn’t answer the door. We figured that the new parents were exhausted, so we left the present on their doorstep.

So far, nothing to indicate a problem. However, over the next few weeks, every attempt to contact my friend and his wife met with silence. Voicemails went unanswered until I gave up. The feeling of rejection really hurt.

Without any contact from my friend, Hal and I were left to figure out what happened on our own. We settled on two possible scenarios.

The first scenario was that my friend was working on getting his commission as an officer (I found out he got it through sources years later), so he decided that having a gay couple as friends would negatively impact his career.

The second scenario is the one that really hurts to think about. That is when their son was born that they suddenly became concerned that somehow Hal or I was a threat to their son. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I can’t control what people choose to believe.

In the long run, none of this matters. I hope he and his family are all doing well. I would rather be forgotten than be remembered as a career impediment or a threat to his family. After 20 years, it is time to stop referring to him as my friend.

Hal and I are still together and better than ever. I hope I never dream about that part of my past again. It isn’t worth it.

I’m proud of who I am. I don’t need to spend time worrying about those who don’t care about me.

Meditation

The meditation session today ended with this quote from Jimi Hendrix. He knew what he was talking about. He brought forth such incredible music because he learned to listen to his inner voice.

I’m still getting in tune with my own inner voice. Not the angry one, I’ve listened to that one far too much in the past. I’m searching for that calm inner voice that will lead me to peace and tranquillity in my life and mind.

Is This All There Is??

Is this the best I can hope for?

I’m almost afraid to write this blog post. It is a very sensitive subject for me to discuss here, but I do know that therapy stresses writing to get my feelings out in the open.

My recovery from last fall’s hospital stays has been excellent, according to my doctors. COPD means I’ll never be a runner. I won’t play tennis or basketball anytime soon. Compared with my condition last December, I have made significant progress, but that progress has slowed down almost to the point of not improving anymore at all.

Is my current condition the highest plateau I can reach? Part of me screams “No!” but my rational side says this is probably true. I still get dizzy when I have to bend over for more than a second or two. I feel like I’m running out of breath very quickly. Thankfully, I can use meditation and controlled breathing to stop myself from getting into real trouble.

I am only mortal, as are we all. I recognize that I’m closer to the end than the beginning. I see the world going straight to hell, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Stupid people want to argue, and I don’t have the stamina for that anymore.

If what I feel now is my new apex, I want to spend a lot of time here before I start the inevitable downhill slide. I am currently focused on the quality of my life more than ever before.

I don’t plan on leaving here anytime soon.

Dreamer’s World July 08, 2018 – Enjoying The G.I.F.T.

    Sunday is here. I am still taking the antibiotics for tonsillitis, and my throat feels closer to normal this morning. I just dropped Hal off at work, and now I am back home deciding what to do with the rest of the day, other than taking care of laundry and getting back into the daily writing routine. I am probably taking another day off work tomorrow to make sure that I feel 100% before I go back. Even though I work from home, I don’t need to spend lots of time talking on the phone until my throat is completely healed.
    I was thinking back to last week, other than feeling like shit, and I found something interesting had happened. I wasn’t trying to stay online or write all the time because I wanted to have a real vacation. Even after tonsillitis kicked in, I found that I was simply finding other things to do with my time. I thought of this time away as a gift I had received. That started my mind wondering about things like that, and I realized that I could write an anagram of sorts to describe it.
    G.I.F.T. Stands for Gaining Independence From Technology. This was what I was experiencing through last week. I was spending more time with Hal since I wasn’t at work, and I felt such a sense of peace and calm, even as tonsillitis started wrecking plans that we had. Although I didn’t get any time in with guitar practice, I didn’t feel any sense of guilt about it. The time for just being quiet and living was wonderful. The only way it could have been better would have been NOT to have tonsillitis.
    I have written in the past about breaking away from the tyranny of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. I knew at the time that I was going to be better off as a result, and last week proved it. I wasn’t constantly checking online to see whatever mindless garbage I was missing out on. My news intake has decreased dramatically, but I feel much more informed because I am no longer living within the echo chamber. Looking back, this was a gradual process that has produced positive results for me in my life.
    I wish that I could win the lottery, or break the bank at a casino. Then I could totally divorce myself from the daily rat race that requires me to work and make money that others instantly demand in return. It is a nice dream to have, but I cannot let the seduction lessen my focus on the here and how. I will just enjoy the peace and quiet that I have been basking in and hope that I continue to feel better.

Dreamer’s World June 26, 2018 -Where Have The Years Gone?

    I got word from family yesterday that my cousin came through her surgery with flying colors. She will know the results of the biopsy in a few days, and, at the tender young age of 87, she will stay in the hospital for about a week before going home. I hope that there is good news when the lab results come back, but I am a realist, and I know that cancer attacks people who have never been in high-risk groups such as my cousin. It is an evil and indiscriminate killer.
    Thinking about my cousin having surgery days after turning 87 has me thinking about where time goes once we experience it? I can clearly see in my mind the visits to her when I was a child. She is 33 years older than I am, this is the result of being the offspring of the youngest of my Dad’s clan of 11 kids. It seems that an entire generation skipped when it comes to my cousins. All of them are much older than I am.
    I remember getting to know her, and she was already an adult, teaching at an elementary school. We were never close like most cousins due to the age differential, but we shared a bond because Mom and Dad had helped to raise her in the years long before I was born. In fact, Mom and Dad helped her to attend college at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and get a start on her own life. Therefore, she has always seen me as special because of the kindness that my parents showed to her when she was a little girl and a young woman.
    When my Dad died in 1981, she was there to comfort me, but I could see that she was just as upset as I was. We ended up comforting each other. When Mom died in 2001, she was there once again. She feels like a much closer relative than just a cousin who is 33 years older than I am.
    She has her own children and grandchildren now, and they are all wonderful people who care about her more than I can because they are much closer. It doesn’t diminish the bond that we share. My life took me away from western Kentucky many years ago, and I have done well for myself. I still think about her on a regular basis, and she was so relieved when I called her on her birthday.
    I am relieved that the surgery was successful. I will be waiting to hear from her kids about how things turn out and when she might be going home from the hospital. If she indicates that she wants to see me, I will take time off and travel to visit her, but I don’t want to be a burden on her or her family. Her children are all older than I am, and it has been many years since we last saw each other. This is the generational gap that I mentioned before on full display.
    Cancer is a killer, Time is ruthless. Each will have its way, and there isn’t much we can do to change either of them. I will keep her in my thoughts and get on with my life and hope that I will be as well-remembered when I reach the age of 87.

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 April 27, 2018 – Time

    Friday is here at last. I am still adjusting to the new apartment and working from what amounts to a totally new home office. I am comfortable with the new setup, but I notice that the walls are bare. I need a clock for the desk or for the wall.
    Why does time rule us so cruelly? The need for a clock is just a symptom of the disease that is time management in our daily lives.

Dreamer’s World February 18, 2018 – The Promise Of Spring

    As I spend time with my thoughts on this Sunday afternoon, I noticed the sunlight streaming through the windows. It is so nice and warm, although it is also blinding to the point where I had to close some of the blinds to be able to see properly. I thought about how beautiful things are right now, and then I realized that Spring is just over a month away according to the calendar. I also know that Spring arrives on its schedule.
     As I thought about these things, I grabbed my phone and shot some pictures. The images are timeless, and I am glad that I took them so I can remember them as I write. Some of the pictures are haunting, for lack of a better word. They aren’t scary. Perhaps melancholy is a better term since they signify the passage of time and the change of seasons as another year moved past us all.

Dreamer’s World February 18, 2018 – The Promise Of Spring

    As I spend time with my thoughts on this Sunday afternoon, I noticed the sunlight streaming through the windows. It is so nice and warm, although it is also blinding to the point where I had to close some of the blinds to be able to see properly. I thought about how beautiful things are right now, and then I realized that Spring is just over a month away according to the calendar. I also know that Spring arrives on its schedule.
     As I thought about these things, I grabbed my phone and shot some pictures. The images are timeless, and I am glad that I took them so I can remember them as I write. Some of the pictures are haunting, for lack of a better word. They aren’t scary. Perhaps melancholy is a better term since they signify the passage of time and the change of seasons as another year moved past us all.