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“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
-William Arthur Ward
When I was younger, I believed, like all children, that I was invincible. I played, lived, and existed as if nothing mattered. Just me, the petulant center of my own universe. As the years passed, I learned to love, hate, and feel pain and sadness. I taught myself to become numb to large emotional swings, be them happy or sad. I made myself change. Over the years, people would ask me if I was “happy” because I didn’t react as I “should have” with an outward expression that was typical for the situation. I was happy, but I didn’t show it like other people. My face didn’t glow with happiness. I didn’t exclaim or cheer at Christmas. I was just there. I tried to focus my emotions to remain at “0.” It felt safe. Never tipping my hand or showing excessive emotional responses and trying to remain at “0” protected me and insulated me from pain. The pain of sadness and the pain that remains when happiness diminishes.
In hindsight, I can see that when a kid or adult’s response to a Christmas filled with gifts, family, and all the food they love is more blasé than excited it could be…off putting to most people. So, yeah, my attitude was often seen as “bad” or “unthankful” and it did cause stress and disappointment to the people around me. When I would feel that disappointment with me, it only strengthened my resolve to be as inoculated as I could from feeling it. Putting yourself into a willing form of isolation doesn’t feel like isolation. The walls I built around myself were constantly reinforced and made taller in order to withstand the persistent tide of the things that bring enviable pain. You lose perspective and don’t know how tall and think those walls are becoming until they aren’t keeping things away from you, but keeping you away from things.
Now, I have no choice but to accept that the invincibility I have believed in for so long and the emotional shield of being at “0” have
ultimately been a detriment to my life. At 45, I am breaking down. I am breaking down in an emotionless prison I built over time. No one can tell I am suffering. No one can tell I am not “ok.”
I am no longer able to heal adequately. I have chronic pain every day. I am crumbling emotionally. Coping is a skill I do not have. Deflection and prevention are no longer viable options for me. The forces of life are cresting over my walls and I can not build as fast as I once could.
I am suffering from the delayed onset of change, or its more commonly known term, age. I am aging, but I am unprepared to age. I am not able to accept something that I have attempted to protect myself from, but now have no choice but to literally suffer through each day and watch in imperceptible fear whatever comes over my walls next as it rains down over me. I am just sitting here cowering inside my own fortress of “0” -waiting for what I now see as the inevitable denoument of my existance – nothingness.
“The longest journey begins with a single step.”
It deserves noting that the man who is quoted as saying that also said:
“…the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence.”
It makes me wonder what is really important. Is it the journey or the outcome. Mr. Tsu seems to indicate by these two (out of context) quotes that starting something is more important than the length of the ordeal itself, but in the end the result is all that really matters.
Does one follow the heart and choose a path that will make themselves happy, yet make life more risky for his family or does one keep the status quo which is safe and practical. The first more risky option has the potential to grow, the second is stagnant yet consistent. The illusion of choice….
If only there was some inspiration I could draw on, now that old Tsu is of no help to me:
Thank you Steve. For one second, the millions you made off the back of Chinese sweat shop workers was momentarily forgotten. If Steve could talk to Sun Tsu, I wonder what he would say about his life and the choices he made…
OH WAIT, HERE IT IS!!! Hypothetical Letter from Steve Jobs to Sun Tsu How fortunate…
I am tired and frustrated and unsure about some things.
Hello, It has been 2 years, 2 months, and 4 days since my last confession. I wonder if some of you are still there. In my mind your RSS alert systems just came to life after years of inactivity- not unlike those tape reels in the bottom of a bunker somewhere in an ’80s movie. Silence…a red light begins to blink…a whirring sound…the tape reels spin…a Kenny Loggins song starts…
I think you get it.
So, where have I been for approximately 794 days? Nation building! As some of you know/knew I had a child. What you don’t know is that Sab and I had another child shortly after Macy was born. Her name is Rebecca. She arrived 13 months after Macy.
I have been busy trying to create the next American Women’s Tennis Champion or Greatest Tea Party Hostess (they are interchangeable at this point) and making Rebecca giggle. Its a full time job. The best job. So that’s where I have been. Moving on…
Whats changed over the last 19,056 hours since we last spoke? A few things actually…I will supply a short list. You are welcome.
- Rebecca Was Born
- SOPA Protest – Largest in History of the Internet
- A silent film won 5 Academy awards (Really?)
- “Gangnam Style” becomes the first video to reach one billion views on YouTube
- Lance Armstrong “apologizes,” loses a ba-jillion dollars, and still comes off like a douche bag
- Anonymous hacked Westboro Baptist Church (Yea!)
- Macy decided that she is a “princess”
- Rebecca likes yogurt
I am sure there were more events than those…however, I can not remember them right now.
This I will construct a more lucid post about something asap. In the mean time, I am taking requests for topics. In the comments, suggest a topic…or demand a topic. I will write about it in my usual, hard to follow, grammatically incorrect manner.
Welcome back, me!
Read that. Please read that. You need to read that- and if it does not piss you off – there is no reason to read my blog anymore.
The link above will take you to a list of 100 people who are “creative” when it comes to business. I read this list and recognized a few names and did not recognize many names. I learned about some cool ideas and the people that made them happen. As I made my way through all 100, I realized I had some names to contribute that were deserving of being cited as creative business person. Here are some of my additions:
- Mark Cuban
- Jeff Bezos
- Jim Clark
- Meg Whitman
- Edward Norton
That is the short list. Do you have any you could add? Post in comments…
Just a quick vid of my new little girl either saying “Hello” or “No more Photos.”
Cute either way.
I am pleasantly surprised when I locate something that is so good and comes from an unexpected place. So, in that spirit, I give you…
(Yes, it is written by the movie review guy and NO, It is not a movie review.)
Put up or Shut up
by: Roger Ebert
We already know the numbers. Pew finds that 18% of Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim. A new Newsweek poll, taken after the controversy over the New York mosque, places that figure at 24%. Even if he’s not a Muslim, Newsweek finds, 31 percent think it’s “definitely or probably” true that Obama “sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world.”
When the focus is narrowed to Republicans, a Harris poll finds 57 percent of party members believe he is a Muslim, 22% believe he “wants the terrorists to win,” and 24% believe he is the Antichrist.
These figures sadden me with the depth of thoughtlessness and credulity they imply. A democracy depends on an informed electorate to survive. An alarming number of Americans and a majority of Republicans are misinformed. The man who was swept into office by a decisive majority is now considered by many citizens to be the enemy. Some fundamentalists believe he is the Antichrist named by Jesus in the Bible.
This many Americans did not arrive at such conclusions on their own. They were persuaded by a relentless process of insinuation, strategic silence and cynical misinformation. Most of the leaders in this process have been cautious to avoid actually saying Obama is a Muslim. They speak in coded words and allow the implications to sink in. I recently watched Glenn Beck speaking at great length about Obama’s Muslim father, but you would not have learned from Beck that the father, who Obama met only once, was not a practicing Muslim in any sense.
Rush Limbaugh has told his listeners he can find “no evidence” that Obama is a Christian. In Paul Krugman’s op-ed column in the New York Times on 8/29, Limbaugh is quoted: “Imam Hussein Obama, is probably the best anti-American president we’ve ever had.” Limbaugh obviously doesn’t believe Obama is an imam. How many of his listeners realize that? Is he concerned that his words will be taken seriously?
These opinions have an agenda. They seek to demonize the Obama Presidency and mainstream liberal politics in general. The conservatism they prefer is not the traditional conservatism of such figures as Taft, Nixon, Reagan, Buckley or Goldwater. It is a frightening new radical fringe movement, financed by such as the newly notorious billionaire Koch brothers, whose hatred of government extends even to opposition to tax funding for public schools.
The money behind the movement has been shaken in its boots by the recent exposure of criminal activities in the money markets. Our economy has collapsed and it seemed clear to many Americans that the unregulated greed of Wall Street trading, especially in derivatives, was responsible. These were not investments in industry, the economy or the future. They were investments in a bold Ponzi scheme which defrauded home owners into fronting for a pyramid of worthless loans. Citizens lost their homes, investment houses went bankrupt, but the criminals responsible continued to pay themselves multi-million-dollar bonuses.
From the same column by Krugman: “Wall Street has turned on Mr. Obama with a vengeance: last month Steve Schwarzman, the billionaire chairman of the Blackstone Group, the private equity giant, compared proposals to end tax loopholes for hedge fund managers with the Nazi invasion of Poland.”
Say what? Proposals to end loopholes? Read that again. Our recession and the collapse of the housing and jobs markets squeezed through those loopholes. And if you agree with the Democratic attempts to close them, you are compared to Hitler? Republicans in Washington vote nearly as a block against financial reform. Shouldn’t the implications be clear to an informed electorate?
This process may soon be arriving at a moment of truth. The new issue of Vanity Fair mentions in its profile of Sarah Palin, as a casual aside, that Glenn Beck has booked the Dena’ina Center, the largest venue in Anchorage, for the date of September 11, 2010. What do you think that means? It could mean Beck simply wants to hold a rally in the home state of the woman who shared his podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous speech.
Beck says he chose that date without realizing its significance. But it cannot be a coincidence that he has chosen 9/11. Nor does it take special insight to connect that date with Palin’s many statements about the “Ground Zero Mosque” and the even more pointed “9/11 Mosque.” The association is obvious: “9/11” feeds into “mosque” feeds into “Muslims” feeds into the misperception that Obama is a Muslim. Beck and Palin speak about “taking back America.” The buried message is that they will take it back from Muslims. This is a heartless misuse of the tragedy of 9/11 and its victims.
If Beck had planned to come to Anchorage on another date, it wouldn’t have excited much notice. But any meeting in Alaska on 9/11 without Palin also present will be anticlimactic. It’s too far to go not to feature her. The symbolic date of 9/11 invests this event with the inescapable possibility that he and Palin plan to announce their Presidential candidacy for 2012.
This is their privilege, and is not exactly unexpected. What is inescapable, given the timing, is that their candidacy would benefit from the paranoia already infecting so many Americans about Obama’s fictitious Islamic religion. Palin and Beck have so far both been content to let this process work without specific comment on their part. Their silence is a symptom of a cancer infecting American democracy. Our political immune system has only one antibody, and that is the truth.
The time is here for responsible Americans to put up or shut up. I refer specifically to those who have credibility among the guileless and credulous citizens who have been infected with notions so carefully nurtured. We cannot afford to allow the next election to proceed under a cloud of falsehood and delusion.
We know, because they’ve said so publicly, that George W. Bush, his father and Sen. John McCain do not believe Obama is a Muslim. This is the time — now, not later — for them to repeat that belief in a joint statement. Other prominent Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul also certainly do not believe it. They have a responsibility to make that clear by subscribing to the statement. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh must join, or let their silence indict them. Limbaugh in particular must cease his innuendos and say, flat out, whether he believes the President is a Muslim or not. Yes or no. Does he have evidence, or does he have none? Yes or no.
To do anything less at this troubled time in our history would be a crime against America.