Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Philosopher Muses

Haven't posted much lately. Maybe you've noticed. Maybe you haven't. I've lurked a bit on other sites but that's been scarce, too. I'm feeling a little drained and borderline burnt out these days. Trying to keep too many candles lit at once can require more fuel than a person has. Then the wax all runs together. A bunch of pathetic small flames seems a poor way to light a room. Better to have just a few bright flames. A lesson I can never seem to internalize.

Had a birthday last month. That and other circumstances conspired to give me pause for a while. Been on the road a lot. Plenty of time to think. Maybe too much. I've never really had a mid-life crisis. Lately I can understand the feelings associated with one. What have I accomplished? What's important these days? Do I have anything worthwhile left to say? Questions that spin through one's head like laundry in the spin cycle. For what it's worth, here's a few musings. Food for thought or not. The Warrior has temporarily turned into the Philosopher.

Enjoy Today

One has to plan for tomorrow and the days that follow. Goals and ambitions are important, certainly. We need that guiding beacon to set our course by. The trick is to remember to enjoy Today. Don't make the mistake of letting this one go by thinking there will be time later to enjoy. Plans can get changed for us.

I'm teaching Ryan to roar. Disney's movie "The Jungle Book" has been a favorite among our family. Sometimes Katie calls me Baloo the Bear. Not sure if it's a compliment or not! We call Ryan "Man Cub". Grandpa Baloo is teaching Man Cub to do a "big bear growl". Here he is in the middle of one.

Interesting how one day we can be in the middle of a full roar. Suddenly we find ourselves more like this.

One minute we can be at full throttle. The next minute we're wondering "what the heck just happened here?" Just that fast something happens that changes our life for days, weeks, or forever. Carpe diem.

Take time out

There are a lot of demands on our time. Most of them are important things that deserve our attention. So we keep going like some sort of demented Energizer Bunny. Do you ever feel like this, though?

I have, lately. I just don't want to hear any more. My batteries desperately need re-charging. That's one of the reasons I backed away from blogging for a bit. Something has to give somewhere. We all need a little more of this kind of thing.

I think we lose our effectiveness without sufficient time for self-restoration. It might seem selfish to insist on some time for ourselves. On the other hand, is it fair to others to give them our half-hearted attention? Our intentions are good but if sub-standard is all we can muster we're robbing them, so to speak. Think of down time as an investment in others, if it helps put things into perspective. Now I just have to convince myself of that.

Did you notice two helmets in the photo? That brings me to the next thought.

Value friends

Pretty much everyone has friends. Even if they have to buy them! Seriously, though, as I talk with people I find a common theme emerge. People express how they value friendships. What's missing is letting their friends know that. It's really important to let others know how much we value their friendship. Nobody should be left wondering.

I've been there. I know how I feel about somebody. Sometimes I've been left wondering how they really feel.

Katie and I have always been best friends. I've been truly blessed by her support over the last few weeks. Tomorrow is our 33rd anniversary. Let the record show that the defendent remembered!

What next?

That is sometimes a useful question to ask. I watched a Dock Dog competition for a while. It was being filmed for ESPN as it happened. By pointing the camera lense between the heads of other onlookers, I managed to get a few shots of my own. Check out this one.

This is the high jump competition. The dogs leap off the end of an astroturf covered dock and try to grab the decoy. Using the burst mode of the camera I've captured the moment of triumph.

Like the dogs, I tend to reach ever higher. I'm one of those people who always seem to need a carrot hanging just out of reach. Once I grab that one it's on to the next one. When there are no more carrots I get bored. Typical over achiever. I've actually mastered a lot of things and risen to a pretty high level in many. Then comes the question.

What next?

I could have cloned out the ESPN camera but didn't want to work that hard. The dog is headed ass first for the water. He'll have to swim over to the ramp and climb out. Soaking wet. Then somebody is going to take away his prize. Next time the decoy will be higher yet. During the time I watched I never saw a dog refuse to go for it. Despite the fact that stretching out on the dock and enjoying the afternoon sun might be more enjoyable. Maybe the conquest is its own reward.

Works that way for me. Ego plays a role. Big surprise, isn't it? Self development and realization play a role. After you work your ass off to achieve a new skill set guess what happens?

More is expected of you. I find the more skills I acquire the more I end up working because I can do more. More, more, more. Not always a word I want to hear.

We babysit Ryan during the week. Every morning at 6:30 my daughter drops him off. I'm usually still home so I get to see her every day. A hug from your daughter is a great way to start the day. Sometimes Ryan is still here when I get home. He waves his arms, all excited to see me. Then he usually wants me to hold him. That recognition is starting to mean a whole lot more to me than anything I've achieved secularly.

Accomplishments are great. Self improvement is important. I'm not saying we shouldn't strive for those kinds of things. Still, though, balance is needed. It can be hard to achieve.

Yes, it's pretty cool to be a Legend. It's even better being a hero to your kids!

Catch you later.

Miles and smiles,



cpa3485 said...

Great Post! I'm thinking Ryan is still a bit young to have helmet hair, LOL.
I'm also sensing that you are a very proud Grandpa.


Dean W said...

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Dave said...

And congrats or is it condolences to Katie
For putting up with Dan for 33 years ;) : )

Oh and poppa bear its the the bear necessity's that count. ;)

Old F

Lucky said...

Time outs are good, and sometimes one just has to stop, look around, and ask "am I going in the right direction?"

bluekat said...

A Grandchild. A ride 2-up. Hugs from a daughter...I'd say you found the important things. Happy birthday , and a blessed, happy anniversary to you and Katie. 33 years is awesome - congratulations.

Mike said...

Happy anniversary to you both Dan.

Troubadour said...

Happy belated birthday Dan and a happy anniversary to the both of you. Katie must be a very tolerant person to survive 33 years with you, she deserves the title of Ironmom. I only razz you cause that's what friends do. It is good to know you and an honor.
It looks like you have everything in perspective, enjoy the ride Baloo.

Mike said...

By the way those are really nice photos of Ryan. I like the expressions you captured and the lighting is perfect.

Anonymous said...

No specific comment except you're a hero in the eyes of many who read your blog.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad (Dan):

I'm inclined to agree that there is no better way to start a day, nor to end one, than with a hug from your daughter.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

irondad said...

Thanks so much to everyone for their well wishes and good thoughts. I'm truly honored!

Take care,