Ironic Thursday

Irony generally means a sarcastic turn of events. This morning while Googling it, an article popped up referring to it as the most misused word in the English Language. It could be. I’m using it correctly, I believe.

Scrolling through Facebook posts this morning, I saw a meme stating this is National Grumpy Person’s Day. So noted, I find that funny. After getting ready for the day, I saw today’s meditation in my Days of Healing, Days of Joy book from Hazelden Meditations. It was truly ironic.

Today, October 15’s meditation is: “Be patient with all things, but first of all with yourself.” I can only guess, but I believe most grumpy people are impatient with everything. Themselves, the coffee pot, the kids, the wife, the car, the co-workers, the check out clerk at the grocery, and especially with all inanimate objects.

We have reached the sad point in society that believes fast is best. It’s all around us. Instant Pots to cook meals fast. No more smelling the roast cooking all Sunday afternoon. It can be done in 30 minutes of less. So much for anticipation. If you are of a certain age, you will remember the Hunt’s Ketchup (or Catsup) commercial with Carly Simon singing her hit song, “Anticipation,” as someone is waiting, waiting, waiting, for the product to finally pour out of the bottle. Worth waiting for.

I think there are a lot of things still well worth waiting for. It still takes 9 months for a baby to grow and be born. It is a short 18 years for a child to complete their basic education. We teach kids more now than ever before, yet our ability to compete has slowed and even fallen. We don’t all learn at the same rate.

I think some of us are simply late bloomers. I believe I am. I was painfully shy through school and high school. Very low self esteem. I grew out of it and into confidence, and a much improved sense of self. It took me until I was 30 years old, but I got there. We all can use some encouragement. Receive it graciously and return it abundantly.

I remember when computers first came to the office. We had “dumb terminals,” at our desks to code programs in COBOL. Usually, the data that served as input to the program was batch processed after business hours, and put through inventory programs, billing programs, invoicing programs, and others. A wide range of activity. We wrote programs to produce reports printed on green bar paper, that was fed through the printer with tractor-feed wheels that held the paper in place.

Early in the 90s, the old timers told us stories about how slow the system was on the mainframe. You could press enter, go walk a mile outside, come back, and the egg-timer icon was still showing. They were very slow. The battle began with processors. We purchased desktop computers for our homes in order to work more, and dial up was invented. Very slow, unstable, and aggravating. More development led to faster processors. Now, we all carry around our phones, with more processing power than the mainframe computers every had. And we process in milliseconds. Good? Or Bad?

Good for getting your work done. Not good inasmuch as we are trapped in an instantaneous mindset. We get impatient in traffic. We are impatient in retail stores (when we choose to go). We are impatient with our kids because they don’t act like mini adults. Truth is, they can’t nor should they. They are kids. Please don’t rush them.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Rushing. It’s what causes us to be impatient and often rude to others. Berating a waitress is not kind at all. She may have a sick child to care for and get little sleep. Maybe her feet hurt after her long day. Think outside of yourself. You have to slow down to do that.

I feel sad for little kids who have the parents saying, “Hurry. Hurry.” Sometimes, Mom and/or Dad have wasted time or not used it well, and they have to hurry the kids along since they’re later. It’s not the kids’ fault. Don’t make them pay for your bad habit.

You may disagree with me, but I believe all great things take time. A Butterfly spends time in it’s cocoon and emerges grown and beautiful. Personal growth is slow, two steps up and one step back. Progress is slow, but so worth it. Changing habits is timely, evident by the number of people in America who yo-yo diet. Lose weight too fast, you’ll gain it back and then some. Fads don’t work. Quick fixes fail nine out of ten times. Maybe ten out of ten times.

Waiting is worth it. I’m patient, and I think it’s a good quality to have. My dad was more patient when dealing with life than my mom is. She is generally an impatient person, and used to carrying on instead of carrying out things. She does finish things, but it’s also quite a narrative that goes with it. It’s her unique feature, her habit, part of her personality. Dad just simply did with no fanfare.

Practice Patience today. We have our meetings at the Post and Auxiliary tonight. It should be good, with a speaker from Moving Veterans Forward. Folks seem to be pretty eager to meet Ron Hernandez and help our local veterans. It’s good stuff happening right now. There, but by the grace of God, go I. Thank you for reading. I appreciate it and hope to see you tomorrow. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Patient.

Winning Wednesday

My world was restored yesterday. We picked up Addison after school. It’s been a quarter of the year since we last did, since she ran Cross Country during that time, and it’s after school. She placed quite well for being a first timer. She is in incredible physical condition due to about twelve years of dance. She is probably more fit than many football players are. Gosh, I love that young lady. She’s smart, kind, thoughtful, funny, and beautiful.

What Toby Mac Writes, I Live! How Does He Know Me? He Knows LIFE. In That, He Knows Me.

My writing was productive yesterday. I fleshed out at least three scenes for the second chapter. The scenes are important to the story, they help with character definition and telling important history. The feat for the writer is to keep out anything that doesn’t further the story, that isn’t important, and isn’t pertinent. You don’t need to know how mean Katie’s kindergarten teacher was about nap time in 1957. Maybe the teacher didn’t help Katie’s fears, you just don’t need that bit of trivia in the story.

By writing an outline, I know where the story is going. Sometimes while writing, the story decides on it’s own to take a twist you hadn’t planned. And if it fits with the scene, it’s great. If not, you write the notes out to add in an appropriate place or simply put it on the shelf for another story. That can happen. This is certainly better than wandering around, clueless. Unless you’re a person who can do that, become clueful, then write a NYT bestseller! They do exist. My thought is they have more structure to their writing than they care to admit.

I just searched my free photo library for “words.” Sad to say, I had to page down four times to get to something other than “Black Friday” sayings. Isn’t that sad? I seldom care about Black Friday, even less this year, whatever date is is. If there were a time to make heartfelt gifts, homemade creations, works of our art for our family, it’s right now, during this Pandemic.

A special drawing from a grandchild, a photograph by an amateur neighbor kid, a baked goody from a car pool family can all lighten a heart during these times. We used to make time for these things every holiday season. I love when someone takes the time. They don’t have to. But they do. And that’s why it’s special. Make time for someone today. Before you can’t anymore.

I’m having another good writing opportunity today. The dogs are asleep for awhile, and I have on music I haven’t heard in awhile. Dayna Jones is another musician from South Dakota. She has a lovely, strong voice. Her lyrics are so telling. Maybe that’s why I enjoy music so much, and always hear the lyrics. It is storytelling at it’s finest. Putting impactful words to music. How much better can it get? Check Dayna Jones out wherever you secure your music. She even has CD’s for old folks like us!

Dayna Jones, Leaves. Get It Today!

As part of my research, I’m going to read “From Generation to Generation,” it is a memoir and a workbook in one. “Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling” takes us to a second generation Holocaust Survivor. Serious traumas can be passed generation to generation even though the events are unspoken. Types of behavior reflect that trauma, and are passed, unknowingly, to the next and subsequent generations.

Of course, the Holocaust is an extreme, terrible event to survive. My traumas and your traumas will not be so dramatic. Ours are lesser, yet they are extreme, terrible events to our grandparents, parents, us, and our children. Do not minimize your trauma. Do not ignore it. It affects you. And your children.

Illness and addiction affect many generations in families. Coping behaviors become something to survive in and of themselves. It is amazing how the human mind protects itself, and the body that goes with it. Flight of Fight. Adrenaline Rushes. Amnesia of traumatic events. Thank God for creating us as He did. We’d never make it without these safety features.

That said, lingering below the hard, crusty surface of any Veteran I know, there are war stories too terrible for them to repeat out loud. There are things a regular person back home could not think of doing. Those same things are what we expect of our combat veterans and others. Male or female. Young and Older. It happens to everyone in some way. Self medicating is not the answer. Help is available, and it can stay off your record. Contact Moving Veterans Forward for a conversation that can save your life. 1-402-301-6300.

It’s time for me to switch the thinking and expand on my scenes to make the chapter I’m working on. Sam Tyler, Book Coach, you’re making my life easier. I’m hoping yours gets easier with this work I’m doing. Lol. I appreciate what you’ve taught me.

Thanks to all of you for your time. I appreciate it and plan to see you all tomorrow! It’s going to be a windy day today, so it’s a good day to write. Be safe out there. Be calm out there. Be courteous out there. We’ll get through this. I know we will. You will, too. Hang on. Hang in.