Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Love?

You know what I love? I love being lazy! Yes....absolutely lazy.  Doing nothing of value, self-worth or inspirational at all. I know it sounds detrimental to one's health but I think it is actually very healthy. After all doesn't the doctor tell you to take some time off or take a vacation? That is what being lazy is for me.....a vacation!

It goes back to my Get-Away blog post of no big plans.  If I go on vacation....I am bound to find something to do, see or go or whatever.....never getting the rest that I so desperately desire. A few years ago my wife and took our 20th anniversary to Barbados.  We had never been there before.  The goal was to find a place that we good simply roll out of bed and onto the beach. Some place that didn't have any special architecture nearby that would cause me to run off and sketch. ( I did however sketch the palm tree we sat under during the day and the favorite beach side Tiki bar shack!) We hung out, caught some rays (which never happens because we don't find "catching rays" very beneficial use of time), read a book, (only gets done on plane trips or down time....yeah right...downtime) and relaxed doing nothing......we were lazy.

It did cause me to get a little restless at times.  I felt my body rejecting the this new drug being introduced in my blood stream.  I really felt like I needed to do something, anything, but I resisted the urge and laid back down on the beach cabana. At home, there are times, I just want to sit and watch television ( A true waste of time) but hey, it is relaxing....unwinding...and I don't care what you think I like it. Oh I know I have the mile long list of honey-do items and I could be writing another edition of this blog or my business blog. Or maybe I could even do some exercise.....yeah right....did you say sweat, exertion, fatigue, diet, work?  Not today, please......tomorrow I will being that.

So, laziness is what a body deserves sometime.  I define it as this,  "A moment in time dedicated to the do-nothingness of relaxation extending beyond the normal bounds of vacation into a realm of restful intoxication." Try some my will like it....Sam I am......Peace be still....Peace be still.....

Monday, July 25, 2011

What is it Worth?

Sometimes it runs through my mind all the things that I have done over the last 25 years and I am not entirely sure any of it matters.  There is a value placed on your time by society.  A worth of your accomplishments.  "Were you successful in your life?" & "What have you accomplished through the ages?" I really have to run all of the things through my memory banks to determine what exactly I have done and more importantly was any of it worth it.

Yes, I know, society isn't necessarily the best judgement of character but often it presents a clear picture. More like a mirror.  What is the man in the mirror that is looking back at you? What has that man become? It is something that society puts a value on whether you want it or not.  Your friends from high school, college even your business associates place barometric scale next to you to give, more than likely, a value to you so they can compare themselves to you. The scale is always one that is tainted by the viewers eyesight, regardless of their success or failures.  Our old friends often find themselves judging you more harshly if they have had less of the "prosperous life". Those that have more.....they are compassionate.

Now tell me, what is the true value of your success.  I have one son that has been somewhat slow in school, slow in learning.  He isn't unintelligent by any means.  He is very passionate by nature.  Doesn't mean that he is any less than those around him.  He has chosen to give up all so that he can give to others.  By some peoples standards that might indicate that he has nothing. I beg to differ.  I say that the man who is willing to give up all, more than likely has so much more than us who cling to our pile of stuff. The stuff that withers away and fades into nothing.

The real value of ones life cannot be given a worth by anyone else but the beholder of that life. So that tells us that we are to place a value to ourselves.  We are to judge for ourselves if our life has been worth it or not.  Have we spent time wasting away at some job that is mundane and boring....or have we enjoyed everything around us regardless of the job that employs us? Are we to put more value on our job, family, health, hobbies....where? It is often said that the career makes the man.  Is that true or does the man make for himself a career? Do we form for ourselves a life that is tailored to suit us? A life that fits comfortably....or is it too tight....too loose?

So back to the question.....has my life been worth it? I am not sure I can answer that yet.  I have often tried to put myself in the shoes of "It's a Wonderful Life", George Bailey.  Have I made a difference? What would the world be like without me? I cannot really tell what the story would be like.  Probably not as dramatic as that story. And then there are times when I feel like I have accomplished so much.  A time when I am proud of all the things that are around me.  It is a cycle. A vicious cycle but a cycle none the less. The feeling of worth goes up and down with the mood of encouragement or despair.  In the beginning of a young career, nothing is detrimental...all is prosperous no matter what you have or what you don't have. Nobody can keep a strong ambitious mind down.  It will happen....just wait and see is the demeanor.  Life is roses. Once you have gone through life for a few dozen years the glow of adventure and intrigue is a bit lackluster.  No longer does ambition flow in your veins but rather the world has beat you down to accept the "norm" of life.  These times are more like the thorns in the roses. These are the cycles.  The question remains the same....What is your's worth?

I have collected baseball cards for over 40 years.....okay....I have sit on them for the last 25 years....collected for the first 15 years.  There were cards that I collected that I enjoyed because of the players or the teams that they played for.  There were cards that were in mint that were a little worn around the edges.  Cards that I got straight out of the bubble gum wrapper, while others I paid my hard earned cash for.  Some I traded friends for, while a few I found. Over the years I have had some cards that were worth an enormous amount of money....for a picture on a piece of cardboard. As time went long, the value has dropped.  It could have been the economy, it could have been the player, it could have been the general interest in cards. Regardless, the world's value had changed regarding the worth of that particular card.  Many times, when things got financially tight, I thought of selling the lot of them.  I open up the book of my favorites (and those consider of higher value) and look through my past.  I can remember how I came along each one, where I got them and why I treasured them so much.  There is a card with Roberto Clemente in my folder.  Not a particularly mint condition card, not especially expensive in value, not necessarily my favorite team or player for that matter.  The picture shows the player tossing up a ball a few inches in front and catching it in his hand.  It isn't even an awesome action shot, probably a pre-game snap shot by some bubble gum photographer.  However, that card, with it's worn edges and all, is by far my favorite. I have been asked to sell it, trade or even give it away.  Never could.  It epitomized the essence of what my baseball collecting was all those years ago.  It transports me back to a time when life was simple and choices were easy to make.  The card is me, and to me it is world maybe $20 bucks.

So what is the value of your life......make it priceless....remember the surroundings of each moment in time. That will make it's worth more than any other can possibly place a value on it. No price can compare.  Enjoy my friends.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vacation Ideas #2 - Get Away

The Do-Nothing-Getaway. This vacation idea is just the simple get away from it all trip.  Not a long planned out event but rather a spontaneous short runaway.  Have you ever said to yourself, "I need to get away." or "I need a vacation but don't have time." This is the perfect vacation for you.  Maybe you cannot really even call it a vacation.....just a getaway. Which is perfectly okay.  Sometimes we just need something to catch our breath and give us a chance to continue on with LIFE. I have been feeling like that alot.  I need to get away more often.  What I really need is a vacation but alas, time and money are never around when you need them.

My wife and I a short get-away a few weekends ago.  I had to do some work in a small town in North Carolina so we headed out after work on Friday afternoon, drove the four hours to the jobsite and got a motel.  Nothing fancy. Just clean and comfortable. The next morning we both went and did some field measuring (For those of you that don't know, I am an Architect.  So I had to do some as-builts of an existing site to prepare for the renovations we were planning). After about 3 hours of work, we took off for the outlet malls and did a bit of shopping.  Probably spent more than we should have but it made it nice to splurge a bit on ourselves.  We needed it. That evening we went grabbed a bite to eat at a local Irish Pub, enjoyed some conversation and went to bed early.  Again, nothing special but really a nice relaxing time.  The outlets had some really cools plants growing all over the place so....yes I swiped some for my garden area.....I couldn't help myself.  Cant wait until they root so I can plant them!

All in all it was peaceful.  We drove back Sunday morning and then crashed the rest of the day on the sofa. Unfortunately my daughter messed up both of my televisions so I couldn't even veg out....oh well, that was why we GOT-AWAY.

We really don't have a lot of time this summer so we will probably try and do a few more of these. Another great idea is the Staycation.  I cannot stay home for a week but I don't mind telling everyone that we are gone for the weekend and just hiding out at the house for a few days.  No body knows, no body expects us anywhere, no worries.  Perfect.  We can watch a few movies have some food on the grill and enjoy some peace and quiet.

We will see where our next trip leads us. Stay rested my friends.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Exhausted, Drained, Empty and Worn Out....and it is the first thing in the morning

Have you ever woke up in the morning and felt more tired than you did when you went to bed? Like you are already pooped before the day even begins? What happened to that iconic image of waking up to the sunlight pouring into you room from the nearby windows and you stretch and smile and say "What a wonderful day!". Yeah Right! Me too. Somewhere in the middle of this millennium I lost morning wake up smile.  Usually I wake up because my back hurts and I cannot lay there in bed any longer.  Or...I got to go pee. I am up and usually hear the snap, crackle and pop of my bones....most of them in my neck.....snap, crackle and pop are even a bit soggy these days.

Self motivation is hard to come by these days. It takes a lot more effort to move this sack of potatoes than it did twenty years ago. Things appear a bit more pessimistic than they did back then as well. Now I am not trying to bring anyone down.  Just giving the State of the Union address here and wishing (maybe self-motivating thru these words) to get up and running again. I have enjoyed my sanctuary garden in the back patio but that sometimes wears off its excitement too. "Waking up to Folgers" doesn't always do the eye-opening trick either.  But it does help.

Sometimes, Mavrick....our bit-of-a-pain-cause-I-chew-everything-but-still-so-cute puppy wakes me up standing on my chest licking my face. He brings in one of his chewed-upon toys in wanting to play. Wet paws and all from his morning jont around the backyard. Not sure that helps but you can't help but smile.

I haven't seen the movie yet but I have seen the previews of Captain America.  You know where the skinny weak guy climbs in some hyperbolic chamber and then climbs out a tough muscle bound stud. I need one of those machines! Or even waking up in the morning and feeling like it was Christmas. That would be awesome as well.

Sometimes we get lost along the path of life and loose the JOY in our lives.  Our lives become routine and lacks adventure.  Yes I did say adventure.  I don't have to be a pirate or secret agent to have adventure.  We all need adventure even it is small.  I have bucket list and some of those things are quite adventuresome.  I can't wait to start marking some of them off. Adventure keeps our lives from getting into the doldrums. LIFE itself can take a beating on you and it takes a bit of self-motivation to shake it off and wake up with that smile and say......Good Morning! I really mean it.

So my friends.....Have a Great Day.....and make it an adventure.
Share you adventure...great or small.