About Me

My photo
Los Angeles, CA, United States


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

It's been a busy month and it's been tough to find time to sit down and collect my thoughts and put pen to paper or in this case, keystroke to webpage.  However, I wanted to take time today to reflect on all the good things in life and look at the glass half full and give thanks.

I think it's appropriate to thank those most important in life.  For me, it's God, my wife, my family, and my friends.  Without either of them, life would be diminished greatly and there would be less of purpose to live.

So what am I thankful for (in no particular order):
  1. Health-Thank you Lord for giving me my health.  For 47 years, I'm glad I can still run, swing a golf club, only take a pill a day, and wake up every day to enjoy what life has in store for me. 
  2. Knowledge-Thank you Lord for the gift of knowledge.  I've been blessed with the revelation that learning and teaching are two of the greatest gifts one can experience.
  3. My beautiful wife-Lord, thank You bringing her into my life.  Without her, I'd be less of a man that I am today.  Continue to bless us and her with Your grace.
  4. My family-Blood is thicker than water and it's good to know I can count on them when the chips are down.
  5. My friends-you know who you are-another pillar of support providing counsel but more importantly an outlet to share thoughts and emotions.  I need them and I hope they need me.  As Barbara sings, "People who need people are the most wonderful people in the world."
Life truly isn't (at least for me) all about material things.  It's about living life well.  It's about trying to do the best I can in what I do.  It's about dealing with the daily trials and tribulations and being solution oriented rather than lamenting about the negative.  It's about being a man for others.  Life is about being the best person I can be and my hope is that those I encounter are a little better for it.

It's these things that I give thanks for on this day of Thanksgiving.

Thank you.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cynicism...sometimes I feel like a bitch

Sometimes I catch myself about to criticize a comment and I have to bite my tongue.  You know that old saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  I find myself biting my tongue all the time.  I think it's because I'm a better listener now than I was 2 years ago.  Consequently, I'm able to dissect a comment and process it quickly for sensibility.

For example, we were having a discussion about someone who unfortunately was recently diagnosed with cancer.   I wasn't sure if we were supposed to know considering that illness is quite a sensitive and delicate topic.  The sick person had confided with someone we know on the pros and cons of radiation therapy.  It almost sounded like a patient-doctor confidentiality situation only the person wasn't a doctor.  In any case, one of the group chimes in and says she's going to call the cancer-stricken friend.  I advised that it may be prudent to make sure it's public knowledge or she may be betraying confidentiality which could cause a strain on the relationship.  The reply was "No, it wouldn't.  Believe it or not, we were close and we still are."  That person proceeded to look up the number which wasn't on her cell phone.  She looked in the telephone address book with no luck.  I suggested that possibly it was under her married name of 25 years.  This person didn't even remember her married name.  I couldn't help but think how close was this person-really?

People say all kinds of bs and out of being politically correct or fear of hurting one's feelings, we sit there and smile and accept it.   Some days, I decide that I just don't feel like being pc and just want to be a bitch.  So I just call people on their stuff.  I don't like doing it but there are times when the cup runneth over with all the bs.  I've been painted int the corner and it's time to fight back.  Is that wrong?  I know I can be hurtful but I choose to be an a-hole.  Fortunately, the phase doesn't last long then I go back to my normal self and go about life one day at a time until the bs meter pegs at full and it's time to drain it out.  So to those of you that have experienced my biatch days, my apologies to you.  You just happened to be the straw that broke this camel's back and I fired back.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Celebrate Individuality

When I graduated from college, I was given a Gary Larson coffee cup with the cartoon above.  To this day I cherish that cup and it's been with me throughout that career.  The couple that gave it to me always picked out gifts that had some underlying message.  It was truly a gift where the thought actually counted.  I love this cup/cartoon because it's message is a reminder that in a society of conformity, it's important to break the mold and literally stand out.  It's not standing out for standing out's sake but rather, recognizing and celebrating one's individuality in a world where being brash and speaking one's true feelings is often stifled in a politically correct is the norm.

Last night, I went to get my hair cut (what little is left).  One of the stylists is a cross dresser.  I'm not sure if he's truly transgendered since I've seen this person dressed as a man and a woman.  In any case, I couldn't help but admire this person's courage to go out and literally tell the world, "I just gotta be me."  If he feels like wearing woman's clothes, then all the power to him.  He's got a bigger set of cajones than a lot of people I know.  He's living his life the way he wants to and if it makes him happier and feel better about himself, I'm all for it.

I believe that we're all here and alive not be just part of a mindless crowd jumping on every bandwagon that goes by but to be driving that bandwagon and leading others to celebrate life, enjoy life and to live life.  As much as the media and marketing folks in the world try to figure us out and try to pigeon-hole us into a certain demographic, it's our duty to be mindful that we're not a statistic or one of a crowd but rather, we are individuals with a our own thoughts, our feelings, our memories and experiences and our own decision-makers.

Being honest and having the courage to stand up and be counted and heard is not easy.  Standing out in a crowd is one way to bring a rash of criticism and judgment your way.  But just being you and standing up for what you believe in and for what is right is easier than living with the guilt of not doing nothing at all unless you're one of those mindless people that justify every action or non-action to favor your viewpoint.  We all know those type of sorry ass people who cannot be personally accountable for the actions or lack of action during a crisis and justify why they did what they did until they convince themselves they were right all along.

Hit the pause button when things are going hectic in your life, and bask in your individuality and those around you.  It's amazing how much more there is to see in others when you look at them as a living breathing individual rather than a part of group.  Celebrate and individuality and if necessary, stand up and sing out, "I gotta be me!! Oh, I just gotta be me!!"