12
Jan

Want to Get There

by Pj in Random

On one of my computer screens I have a picture of a road that disappears into tuly fog.

It reminds me of traveling to the mountains. Sometimes, not very often, we became shrouded in tuly fog.  It was thick and clearly dangerous for travelers. My father would slow down and dim the headlights that reflected back at us. Sometimes I thought we should turn off our lights and let the self-illuminated fog light our way. I was taught that we needed to be concerned with what we were going toward, but also what lay behind us as well. The rear red lights would tell others, “we are here.”

Traveling cautiously forward, we became quiet, the radio was turned off, our eyes widened and our ears listened as we concentrated and stared into…nothing.

It was a relief when the fog began to dissipate into wisps and eventually we could see our way again.

January feels like that to me sometimes. The year lays ahead and I anticipate it optimistically. I have a map, a plan, but sometimes…life happens.

No matter how I chart the future and envision the road and gaze into the distance, I cannot know what lies ahead. I nervously glance behind to see if I am alone or is someone careening toward me reminding me of where I’ve been.

I could pull over and watch others and sometimes I do. I acknowledge that I learn a ton watching how others do things. Eventually though I need to be brave and get back on the road. I am not satisfied being a spectator. The purpose of observing was to learn so I could do.  Staying too long risks dependency on what others know and eventually depreciates me.

I could follow someone else closely or travel together and I have. Safety in numbers you know, but eventually they turn or stop or lag.  I have enjoyed the companionship, but eventually I feel angry, frustrated and less than. I get lost.

Tuly Fog ClearingThe fog will clear.  I will see where I need to go and I will see where I have been. A moment of reprieve and of relief. I feel safe to move ahead. The feeling is…light, a little unfamiliar and maybe even awkward, but the way is there, present and possible.

January. Resolutions. Hopes. Dreams. Expectations.

The fog will embrace me again. It always does.

I know it’s about the journey. I know I will doubt my decisions. I will doubt my intentions. I will doubt my abilities, but it won’t matter.  I’ll get as far as I can today one step at a time because…

I really want to get there, wherever my there is.

 

 

 

3
Jan

The List

by Pj in Random

Sometimes I feel the only thing coming out of my mouth are all the negative thoughts  tumbling in my head.

I have to admit those thoughts roll and merge until I don’t even notice the blue of the sky or my eyes that are still able to see it, if I but looked.

I have to consciously list 5 things everyday I am grateful for. Five events that I appreciate.

Some days five is a lot.

  1. Food
  2. Clothes
  3. Home
  4. Employment
  5. Family

Rather vague. There is no intimacy with my life in that list.

  1. The late night run with Ciera to Cheese cake factory to share a Godiva
  2. My after work comfy’s that Wistie shared with me from the Gap.
  3. My patio where I can sit, lay and ponder next to a warm fire.
  4. An assignment that is so incredibly challenging, but feeling a sense of pride and ownership in the effort.
  5. Planning a fondue night with my kids at the end of the month. YUM!

That wasn’t easy, but I felt a spark of joy.

Another day. I can do this.

29
Dec
28
Dec

Broken Wish Bone

by Pj in Family

wishbone_snap_animatedAnother year.
Did you think gone or is here?
I found the wishbone from Thanksgiving in my Christmas put away moment. I held both ends. That way I would win my wish no matter what.
I thought of what to wish for.
Tears came.
I had nothing and not because I believe I have all I need or want.
That was the saddest realization of all.
Today it was a ‘what would be the point’ kind of day.
Another year.
Oh boy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3
Nov

SIRS, A QUESTION IF YOU PLEASE

by Pj in Random

I have a question for President Obama and Governor Romney.

Humpty Dumpty straddled a wall. With pushing and pulling and gnashing of teeth, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. How are you going to put humpty Dumpty back together again?

I could ask you about our economy, Syria, health reform, abortion, religion, outsourcing, and education. And you will have an answer, but your answer won’t matter.

It won’t matter until the chasm that began in 1792 and became clearly established with the election of 1824 is… fixed, filled in, reduced, bridged or leveled.  But that won’t happen.  For the last 220 years both parties used the human condition; loneliness, freedom, mortality, concerns with meaning, the need to belong and fear to lead their particular flock toward their particular agenda.

And what has become true for me is, whoever is elected will face insurmountable obstacles. Yes, insurmountable.

We hear the rhetoric of bi-partisan efforts, crossing over to the other side to work … with the enemy.

The enemy.

But there will be no working with the “enemy”. The opposing party will do everything in their power to decimate the efforts, character, goals, agenda and power of whoever holds office.

Ross Baker, a political scientists at the State University of New Jersey – Rutgers said  a few years ago, “ People, for example, are asking fundamental questions about the role of government, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the vehemence. It’s the personalization. It’s the search for immediate political advantage. It’s the volume and intensity of conflict.”

Now the conflict is louder, meaner and more calculated.

“It’s nice to say let’s be bipartisan. But we’re a partisan nation. We were raised as a partisan nation.” Colin Powell.

So, sirs, back to the question you won’t answer because you can’t. The situation has escalated to the point when Americans literally hate other Americans who have a different political affiliation.  I am reminded of a quote from the movie, The American President,Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” Is it possible to acknowledge a man or a woman with opposing views with any degree of respect and common courtesy? Or does differences quite naturally lead to disregard, disrespect and dispise?

I fear the latter because unfortunately, I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. I’ve experienced it.

I have seen children cry as they wish this election to be done and over. They want the fighting and arguing to stop. I’ve talked with wives who are seriously considering divorce because their husbands have become so embittered toward the “other party” that their life consists of searching the news stations, the media, the internet for any and every story to justify and feed their hate.  I have seen young influential adults jump on the current band wagon, adopting the philosophies of men filled with anger and hate and disregard the teachings of the golden rule; love, tolerance and respect for all human beings.

Washington will not be able to approach a bi-partisan agenda because whoever “the enemy” has become after this election, won’t let them. It’s against their agenda. It’s against what Americans were raised to be, partisan. And I believe you both know that. Deflection works, but it doesn’t answer the question.  How are you going to tear down the road block, that you helped build to get elected, to get us where you said we would go?

The end does not justify the means. We are in stalemate. No one will gain the victory even though someone will win the election. Next week as one party celebrates, the other party will begin their offensive tactics. They will prevent bills, laws or agendas from progressing. They will smile smugly and remind everyone loud and clear.

“We told you so. We knew they would fail”

And when they fail,  that will bring some sort of satisfaction.

“Truth springs from argument amongst friends”. David Hume. What springs from argument amongst enemies?  I believe we know the answer to that question. We live it everyday.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the kings horses and all the kings men could not put humpty dumpty back together again.

A king probably couldn’t, but the President of the United States of America? “Only Americans can hurt America” Dwight D. Eisenhower. And only Americans can fix America.

 

21
Oct

Finally Sailing

by Pj in Family

Bucket list

 

I could lie and say I am doing some research for my current writing project and it is about sailing, but what would be the point. Most of my writing pieces are historically based. I am working on somethings I am kind of excited about…In the mean time…

When did we get so old? We have to force ourselves to take a break and have some fun! Next week-end there better be some serious wind cause I want to FLY! Oh yea.

8
Sep

Men are Stupid and Women are Crazy

by Pj in Random

So the other day one of our favorite attorney’s hung out in the “alley”. He vocally expressed his desire not to work because he had so much work that he couldn’t work. It was in one of our mid-afternoon, how are we going to get through the rest of this stressful day, I know, let’s have a discussion moment. I asked him, “how can we, as women, motivate or inspire men to do … anything.

After the snickers and subtle suggestions, he said “that” is not what motivates men. Now I know this was only one man so don’t get in my face that this was not someone who should or could represent all men. DUH!

I was just asking for his insight. So chill.

What followed was a discussion that got…personal. I won’t go into details.

He said if his wife asked or needed something from him, he responds if she tells him directly and explains why this is important to her.

Really. Hmmm.

After laughing at him he mocked offense and asked, “what? I do. If you guys ask me to do something I do it. “

And the trap closed.

I have an assignment at work that requires the attorney’s to submit to me a blog. I schedule it out so they only have to write one once a month. I send out a calendar and a weekly reminder. I walk down the halls poking my head in their offices and (gasp) smile. They know why I am there and they promise me that they will send me their assignment, but they don’t. I have bribed them with M&M’s and cashews. I post notices on their computer screens. I ask their legal assistants to schedule time for them to do a blog. I accumulated a list of ideas for them to write about. I glare at them, but they don’t care or more accurately, they don’t care about me.

Their lack of doing their assignment prevents me from doing mine and that, to me, is unacceptable.

So as a last resort I ask the “managing attorney” to encourage them to do their assignment.

That works.

And that really pisses me off.

So I squint my eyes at this defenseless trapped creature and ask.

“What about blogging?”

“Well, Pam… “ he goes off on all the work he has to do and that he wants to spend time with his family and he doesn’t see why it is important and maybe if I offered some kind of tangible reward and…

The list of excuses was long. Later in the day I went in his office to see if I had offended him. He said no. He knows women are marginalized, but he also said leaders inspire. OH!. So this is my fault. I lack leadership. Good to know.

As he walked away, the girls in the alley still came up with the same old conclusion.

Men are stupid and women are crazy.

And I still don’t have an answer. Or his blog.

4
Sep

Don’t Tell Me

by Pj in Random

Don’t tell me it is better or will get better or it used to be better because I don’t believe you, any of you. I won’t lay blame or point fingers because that is a huge waste of time and energy. That won’t change what has happened and it won’t change what will happen.

And don’t tell me I’m a white middle class citizen who has not suffered and I don’t know what I am talking about. That would show that you don’t know what you are talking about.

When President Obama says “Forward” he doesn’t sound like a socialist or communist as some are trying to suggest. He sounds, well…stupid. Mr. President, we don’t have a choice. Forward is all we’ve got.

And when Mr. Romney says “Government didn’t build my business, I DID.” I say Really? I don’t think so. You had some unique opportunities provided to you by … your father. your education, and your connections. So don’t patronize me because when you do you imply that I didn’t build my own company and if I did, I didn’t work hard enough or smart enough or long enough. And I did. And I still am.

You both took advantage of your opportunities, you both worked hard and you both achieved success, as you should.

As we all should.

Unfortunately, in my family’s dedication to our individual American dream, we have become the collateral damage of polluted policies and programs that poisoned our opportunities. Down sizing, unaffordable health care and educational opportunities, housing market downturns, the collapse of banks, and the loss of retirement accounts all resulted because policy makers did not anticipate the greed of individuals or did not care.

And as band-aids are carefully and gently applied to the wounds, many are in search of someone to blame for the hemorrhaging of our country. Someone be accountable, someone accept responsibility, because this is NOT my fault. And even if ‘someone’ is brave enough to own it they won’t be able to fix it.

Our divided house has fallen. We are witnesses to that. We, as verbal spectators watched our beloved country become broken, beaten and busted. Our country is separated, divided and fractured at every level. Even the tragic events of 9/11 could not sustain unity for any length of time. What will it take for America to become what we profess it to be, a united people, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and justice for all? What will it take?

United citizens who are considerate and respectful of one another.

This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are. Plato

If we want it to be different, if we want it to get better, then we have to be different and we have to be better.

This is our opportunity. It won’t change what has happened, but it could change what can happen.

3
Sep

Should Know Better

by Pj in Random

Once, when I attended a basketball game (Dublan style) the refs clearly favored the opposing team. Booing and yelling ensued. A wise man (Carl Call) was clearly dismayed by such bad behavior by those who should know better. He expressed his displeasure to those sitting around him. I thought he was being overly zealous so I joined in and yelled insults at the refs too. Such a rebel!

No, actually I chose to follow the louder, bigger crowd. Carl Call was right. It was bad form then and it remains bad form today.

Belittling, booing, mocking and posting derogatory comments shows a lack of respect to the individual, group, institution and oneself. Some may not know better, but hopefully most still do.

Regardless of what religious, social or political affiliation I belong to or you belong to, I hear that high road is still less traveled, more lonely and less polluted by travelers’ noise and litter.

I don’t know which candidates I am voting for this time. My mind is not made up. I am trying really hard to ignore the booing and bad mouthing from the peanut gallery. It is difficult because I want to understand and the best way to learn is to listen.

I have not seen or heard a true and open dialogue among my contemporaries or anyone for that matter. I know that the rehearsed debates are coming, but when did the game begin? Was there the respectful coin toss and the hope that the best team wins. Did I miss that? I hate to use the global everyone, but in this case I feel it applies. Naturally, everyone is convinced his or her team should win. Unfortunately, most in the crowd don’t even know how the game is played they just cheer for the home team while bonding with their fellow tailgaters in the cheap seats. Their children sit among them absorbing the hate and ridicule for the opposing team. They learn quick and fast to belong to this team you are allowed to hate and demean, in fact it is mandatory. Another generation poisoned.

I admit I don’t know the issues as well as I want to know them and honestly, I understand them even less. I certainly don’t know the players at all, but I want to know what is real. Unfortunately, I don’t like contention. What I require is a safe place among peers where we discuss the issues civilly. A place where ideas and solutions are explored. A place where I am not compelled to defend positions I have not committed to because I don’t know all the facts and I am pretty confident no one does. A place where I am not attacked for trying to understand before I seek to be understood. A place where questions are not answered with arrogance and hypocrisy.

In the end one team will win. Once upon a time the teams would congratulate each other on a game well played. Both teams left the field with mutual respect for the efforts displayed. Not anymore.

Today, the opposing team continues to play the game off the field. Blocking, fouling, jostling for position, stealing the ball and the rants from their cheerleaders feed the frenzy.

What was once bad form is now accepted and embraced.

Since, apparently the game clock keeps adding time, no one wins, which means we all lose.

Go team, go.

22
Jul

Amazing videography!

by Pj in Family

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgovv8jWETM]

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