Random Thoughts on a Monday 

Yesterday and tomorrow are days off (technically tomorrow isn’t off as I’m going in for a test).  I’ve managed to do half my laundry, eat lots, and even get a nap in!!  My next shift starts in about 4 hours providing they don’t call to beg I go in early.

In early, hmmmm Apparently I am good at what I do as I’m on the short list of the first people called for extra time. Even with two days off this week my schedule will give me 60 hours and that’s not taking account for the morning “can you come in now??” calls I receive every day.

While the job I am working is crap and I don’t expect to be there soon I still take pride in it.

Being able to play a cornerstone role has given me………..

Matter of fact I think the experience was needed!!  Lately I’ve felt pretty useless being able to play a cornerstone role has given me some of my old drive back.  I’ve also begun to learn patience and understanding with others. I never thought that such a simple and crap job would have much result.

Thank god I have other irons in the fire as surviving on this job alone would surely be a stress filled life.  And yet people do it!!  For whatever reason, I’ve met plenty that are well qualified and smart but just can’t seem to land the job for whatever reason.

I suppose it’s a blessing I know my reason?!  Today I will do my shift and do the best I can and I will attempt to keep my thoughts of the past and future at bay, a simple sideline as to who I am presently.

Again take pride in all you do, the best legacy is that you always worked hard and took pride in that

~J

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Of overtime and Work Ethics 

Sleep, shower, cook, eat, work, cook, eat, sleep – rinse and repeat.  This pay period is going to go a long way in easing some of my financial stress at least.  We’re incredibly busy and they opened the gates for overtime for pretty much as many hours as I decide I want to work!

And so if there’s a shift I have taken it, it’s been 10-14 hour days since Tuesday and I’m scheduled through the weekend and Monday I will most likely grab shifts for the rest of the week this weekend.  Sure I’m a bit tired and I need to get some time for homework but I’m grabbing the hours while I can.

I’m taking Tuesday off to do laundry and general homework not to mention catch up on sleep and some self care.  All told however I really don’t mind these long hours, keeps me out of trouble. Yesterday was supposed to be a short day (8 hours) with me scheduled to start at 3 the morning felt like I had a day off!!

Well, until they called me at 9:30 to see if I could go in “as soon as possible”.  Today?? 11-7 but of course all day yesterday they kept asking and hoping I would go in closer to 8 this morning, I might but I’m not sure yet.  It’s 5:30 and I’m not able to get back to sleep so perhaps after I’ve read my beloved paper I’ll meander in.

With my life being so bumpy the last few years its been a while since I’ve “been great” at something and honestly I’m enjoying that feeling again.  Granted it is a crap job, minimum wage in a call center a temporary solution for immediate need but I still have pride in my work again.  I’ve been top closer every day this week and by a good margin at that getting me pretty much a golden ticket to work whenever and however I want.  

They simply leave me alone to rock my phone and I enjoy that, I feel sorry for the other poor saps who line the isles with coaches constantly walking up and down looking over shoulders giving corrections and cutting those that are having a bad day.  I think that it would drive me mad!  The conversations in the break room are all the same “they won’t give me hours, I’m not making any money!! Waaaah”.

Simple bit of advice guyzos, maybe if you worked the dialer on a consistent basis instead of reading and coloring waiting for the dialed to work you, you might just get more accomplished.  I don’t like to sit and wait for my next call, I drop the dialer into manual mode and slam calls 100% of the time I’m at that desk.  It’s a numbers game, if I can fire off 1500 calls in a shift I’m going to close some surveys, even with bad data full of disconnected numbers.

I digress, it seems work ethic is lost on the generations after mine (I’ve been feeling a tad old lately realizing generation X hasn’t been a thing for a long while now).  The good majority of my coworkers are young kids and those that are older are there because much like me hard on luck.  News flash, your going to continue to be hard on your luck as long as you prioritize getting stoned above getting ahead!  Just because pots legal here doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to smoke up before your shift at during break!  It slows you down and kills productivity, don’t space out and then bitch when you get cut!! Thicken your skin, suck it up, and do your job!

I suppose this has turned complete rant this morning, hah!  I honestly am feeling much better about myself today though.  Being able to take pride in my work again regardless of how menial that work may be.  And knowing it won’t always be this call center.

In the coming days I meet with an old friend to talk about going back to the tech industry.  This decision I did not take lightly as there is a risk I burn out and go off the rails again, I debated with myself for weeks over the possibilities and deliberately chose this particular friend to work for to protect myself and have no interest in a high level position, I’ve simply outgrown the complex rat race life.

And so, for today I will have the breakfast I am currently cooking, read my paper, call my friend, and I think I will go in at 11.

No matter what you do, take pride in it as it makes the work easier!

~J

What I Don’t Know

Sometimes what I don’t know is a better reason for action.

This is somewhat of a two part thought so bear with me, I’ve often found four words to be incredibly frustrating to me when I either hear them or say them myself.

I Don’t Know How…….

What is this?  In the context of hearing them being frustrating I find it often simply means “I don’t want to” or “I don’t know how and I don’t care to learn”.  It seems often to be a quick and simple cop out or way of avoiding an unfavorable task.  Sometimes, this can simply be a quick and easy way of avoiding something out of fear or anxiety surrounding the possibility of failure.

A quick and dirty yet incredibly effective tactic in avoidance that often results in success.  I would classify this as “efficient” but, what has someone efficiently accomplished?  I would be a liar to say I myself haven’t used this wonderful tactic in my lifespan and it seems so efficient that I could not even remember when.  It is when a person uses this tactic on a constant basis with intention and awareness of it’s efficacy that I begin to gnash my teeth.

The idea that I could shrug off responsibility or opportunity for personal growth with four simple words is baffling to me sometimes.  There is that whole hubbub about four letter words, how about the four word phrase?  I simply cannot understand what propels someone to be content in stagnation and I do understand that to state this is quite hypocritical of me for reasons that I will get into some other time.

Let me give you some back story real quick, I managed to build a very successful career as well as become prominent in what I will call a more academic community both without any formal training, qualifications, or initial “knowing how to”.  I accomplished this through opening myself to learning, general curiosity, the will to progress, and yes a lot of hard work and sleepless nights.  I struggled and scrambled, dealt with condescension, accepted and examined a lot of criticism, and a lot of failure.  I took risks and learned how to talk to people well above my level and more importantly to listen to those people even if I disagreed.

I did this through action

I would have had a much easier time simply being content to sit and play video games, watch television, sleep, or just sit on the couch eating chips and staring at the wall; all the time making big plans on what I was going to be or do in my head.  Instead I took action reading and networking, going out of my way to network with people and get my hands on whatever tools I could to learn by myself.  I have taught myself a broad range of things from information technology to microbiology and even cooking.  I did this through action.

I’ve also managed to destroy much of this over time but again, more on this in future posts.  The point is had I said “I don’t know how to” and left it at that I don’t think my life would be so fulfilling, I have met many amazing people on my journey and experienced so many things that a lot of people out there may never get the chance to, and for that I am grateful all by avoiding those four words and using action.  Imagine for a minute if as babies and toddlers we were to use this cop out to avoid learning things such as how to eat, talk, use the restroom, walk, etc. I do not think we would get very far.  And if the forefathers of invention such as Tesla, Edison, Newton, Aristotle, and so on, had they used these words as a cop out instead of a reason for exploration I would not be typing this now.

This of course brings me to explore the second part of this thought, the use of “I don’t know how to” as a means of inciting curiosity and solution finding.  My opinion here is that this exhibits itself more internally as a thought rather than externally as a statement.  That is to say it occurs when someone sees a rough goal or vision to reach and realizes that at present there is no knowledge of how to get there.  When this opportunity appears the miracle can happen should that person decide to take action.

Having typed that thought out and analyzing it further I now wonder if I should have even used that fork in the road in this post.  The initial part of the post was meant to explore my frustration of “I don’t know how to” as a cop out or excuse, this second part I believe has more to do with a much longer string of words “I don’t know how to but, I think”.  The simple addition of three words changes the dynamic a full 180 degrees don’t you think?

I always hated bullshit affirmations such as “Thomas Edison said I found 2000 ways not to make a light bulb I only needed to find one way to make it work”, seriously??  First off every time I see the quote the number is different, secondly I’m not Thomas Edison but what does this say for my own mentality?  Am I really open to failure or should I brush them off as simply finding ways that don’t work?  I not only value but thrive on learning if I look at failure as a means to learn in this manner then I should seek failure should I not?  I think we should take every opportunity to learn from failure but place our energy into seeking knowledge through success.

In any case, of the myriad of thoughts whipping through my head I decided to reach out and grab one and you got what I grabbed.  Whether through success or failure, action or complacency, I hope at the end of my days I can look back at a fulfilling life.

~J

 

Forward Momentum

I still have plenty of fight left maybe it’s time to dream again.

Life continues…… Despite me taking my day of self reflection and avoidance of people the world does not stop just because I did for a day. In all honestly things are not that bad this morning! I could go on about all the things I don’t have or the faults that I do have but that really gets me nowhere at all. Today I think I will work to spend every minute of my time just a little more wisely.

I’m slightly annoyed and incredibly tired of trying to pick up a shift or two here or there and payday doesn’t come soon enough. Reality is, I’ve got it pretty good my kitchen is stocked and I live in a decent neighborhood. Things could be much worse so there is no sense in dwelling on any of that. After all we create our own situations is this not true? So it’s time to spend today shifting focus from past and present to the near future. We don’t naturally walk backwards it’s just not in our biology so why is it that I spent so much time trying to make that work?

Odd when I think about it, with all this self reflection I suppose I do risk dropping back into a depression again. Of course if I choose to bottle it up and ignore it how can I ever progress past this dangerous ledge that I seem to keep skirting? Nope, I don’t think I want to do that anymore so off we go! In the absence of a shift this morning I have a little bit of time to sit with a cup of good coffee and my thoughts over breakfast. The one meal I rarely miss is breakfast, it’s become the cornerstone of my mornings whether I can sleep or not.

So today (after breakfast of course) I will hit it hard looking for a more stable career track. I will make some calls, send some emails, fire off some resumes, and somewhere in that mess I will sit down and put together a nice list of goals and values for the next 3 months or so. Thinking too far ahead is dangerous for me, thinking too far behind buys me nothing. I’ve got to stay within a nice small window for now until I can achieve some stability. Best to keep thinking but not think too much!

I much too often wonder what life would be like today had I chosen a different track long ago? Would I be successful? What is the definition of success for me? Yes I think too much. Continuing this thought (and there I go thinking again), perhaps something I lost along the way was the ability to dream. I lost the ability to look forward and feel the wonders of excitement about the future again and have real actual goals. This is today’s task for me and I hope it keeps my direction properly aimed.

Momentum is an interesting word, a near nebulous term I think much like the word “mechanism”. Words have interested me lately as I read other bloggers and tap into some of my older books as I have unpacked them. I am currently focused on a passage from Dante’s Divine Comedy, Purgatorio (Purgatory) 25th canto line 4 “Therefore, like one who will not stop but moves along his path, no matter what he sees, if he is goaded by necessity….”.

I’m a huge fan of Dante’s works, in particular Vita Nuova (The New Life). It’s quite interesting that the opening of the 25th canto of purgatory is the start of the ascent from the 6th terrace to the 7th (Gluttony to Lust) I suppose in a way our dreams and hopes for the future could be easily connected to them both. I will re-read this canto today I think, if not for anything than to have consumed something resembling art today. I have 3 translations of this wonderful book and much like I do with the Hawaiian creation chant the Kumulipo, I will enjoy comparing the translations today.

And so this post is getting a little bit too long now, I have in fact defined two very short term goals while typing this though. I will finish breakfast, pull a few books from the shelf, and enjoy something I haven’t done in a long while. I will spend a short time comparing old writings and let myself get lost for a half hour or so in deep thought. I will then be off to action today, no more walking backwards.

Time to dream again,

~J

Promoted Before I Have the Job?

I guess stranger things have happened, crossing fingers!

I need a job, any job regardless of my technical background.  Not only do I need the income but I also need something to do I don’t like to sit, I need to be doing!  Last Thursday I applied for a customer service position with a local company, lo and behold human resources for this company called me Friday morning with an interesting twist.

 I don’t even have the job yet?!

The call came in while we were shopping which made it slightly awkward but I can roll with the punches.  Let me find an empty flat space here and whip out my trusty notebook and pen.  I always carry a notebook and pen, this is one of the reasons why!  Anyhow time for the twist, I effectively got promoted for a job I don’t even have yet!  The woman stated “I know you applied for customer service but based on your resume I would like to bring you in to interview for Business Development Manager”.

Wait, what??  Okay, I’m game lets do this!  We had about a 15 minute conversation during which time another shopper asked me if I worked at the place we were shopping at.  I get that a lot, maybe it’s the fact that I like to dress nice?  In any case she mentioned that they needed to fill the position fast and we set up an interview for Monday morning (today coincidentally).

So off to the races, another interview.  I must say shot gunning applications and doing constant interviews with either no word back or “your overqualified” is getting extremely old.  Something has to give, maybe this one will be it?  I can not exactly say I am excited about marketing and business development but having done the entrepreneur thing it’s not exactly uncharted territory for me.  And let’s face it, despite the fact that I hate people I will approach and talk to anyone.

So, wish me luck!  I’m going into this with a positive mindset and the idea that I can do whatever they need without much struggle.  Effort yes, struggle no!

Attitude wanted, inquire within,

~Joe

We Didn’t Really Sluff Off, Oh Noes!

A Saturday Sluffing Off Part Two

Well, we didn’t really manage to meet our goal of “sluffing off” today. Today we planted an entire planter box all the while with me zapping paper wasps out of the sky with my trusty can of flying insect spray (cover fire). We managed to get the job1-IMG_6393 done and done fairly well in my opinion, even though it was quite a bit of work churning the soil around and moving this and that around.

Then of course we got to the flower pots…. Originally, we were looking at doing about 3 which turned into 8!! And another trip for more flowers as well as some wasp traps which I set and hung. Aaaaand some general cleanup of the houseplants…. Aaaaaand a few other cleanups here and there, hose hookups…. Yaaaadaaa yaaaadaaa yaaaadaaa.

Hah, and it’s not even 4:30! I’m going to start my rice for stir fry soon but I figured I would share some photo’s I took just a few moments ago 1-IMG_6371for no other reason than I could and I was losing my light.

Go big or well, don’t!

~Joe

 

The Positive Benefits of Creation

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One of the authors hobbies, Gummy art.

Why not take action to improve yourself?

Creating something, whether baking a cake or building a table, even snapping together a Lego set or creating a blog entry can become an incredibly cathartic process of not just focus and self-reflection but also discovery of one’s own capabilities. Often it can also serve as a distraction or outlet from a myriad of problems we encounter through life be it anger, depression, addiction (urges and cravings), and of course boredom.

Smart Recovery © calls this a form of VACI or Vitally Absorbing Creative Interest and it is recommended in point 4 of the program “Living a Balance Life”. While it is very true that engaging in a hobby or activity (which can be anything ranging from hiking to simply meditating) is not just beneficial but in many cases required to achieving life balance; I would like to suggest that activities that produce some sort of output can be useful in all stages of life (or to frame within SMART© Point 2 “Coping With Urges” and Point 3 “Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors”). In the interest of not seeming to focused on one single program I will also point out that many 12 step sponsors will recommend a sponsee perform a task when called about an urge or craving.

This translates farther than addiction though; often with scenarios of high anxiety, depression, even avoiding or reducing the extent of dementia, or Alzheimer’s symptoms. The positive effects of a hobby are far reaching in that it exercises the mind, helps to achieve focus, generates a sense of accomplishment and, in the case of creating something it can also produce income or a gift for someone else.

Recently my personal experience has been that when I have an urge come on I can manage it very quickly and easily by engaging in one of my favorite “creational” hobbies, cooking. Often by the time I assemble all the necessary pots and pans and utensils and whatever ingredients I will need the urge has disappeared. Sometimes instead of cooking I will start a wood working project or fiddle with any manner of craft from stained glass, building a camp stove out of a coffee can, photography, and yes even this blog.

The articles for this blog is not only a very good example of a creational hobby but also in my opinion a very timely and excellent demonstration of how effective such things can be on changing overall attitude and improving well-being. I started this blog approximately three days ago, this is the fourth day and I have already noticed a major shift in my overall attitude to the positive. I find it easier to engage in conversations with a much more upbeat and relaxed tone, and shrug off comments that I would ordinarily respond to with argument or insult. I haven’t had an urge or even so much as a slight craving in the last two days, and my sleep has been better than I can ever remember throughout my adult life.

Here where I am at in Colorado, I impatiently await the days I can go out with my cameras and snap pictures of whatever strikes me in hopes for those few great shots that I may print and frame as gifts for friends and family. I cook a meal once a week for my much younger cousin who is living on his own for the first time a few blocks away. These creational hobbies not only provide me joy and absorb time that I might have normally spent looming in depression, but they also bring along a secondary feel good when I do something for someone else just because.

I invite anybody reading this to take a good look at what creational hobbies might become a useful tool in adjusting attitude and lifestyle to a more positive and productive meaning.

Happy creating,

~Joe

Cleaning House

Realizing How Much Baggage I Carry

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Sometimes it’s good to take out the trash!

Like most people during a transitional period I have been recently going through my possessions, boxes and tubs of things I have pack ratted away over a period of time. Granted not all of my stuff is with me and is stored at another location and I must wait to go through that, I am still able to go through what I do have with me. I started this process on a whim as something to pass the days as I wait to hear back from potential employers and it’s becoming an incredible experience thus far.

I’ve always had two habits when it comes to “stuff”:

  1. I collect it
  2. I randomly jam it in tubs and boxes and forget about it

 

 

Sometimes I’ll need something and start going through tub after tub looking for what I needed (often never finding it) and pulling out other trinkets and baubles along the way to mess with “later”. This cycle results in things lying around in stacks until eventually I shift it to…. You guessed it another tub, hah!!! Going through every so often and actually discarding items that I do not, and will not ever need is one thing. Going through and realizing that the cost of keeping something around that I may need sometime in the distant future is a whole new ballgame altogether!

our emotional well-being is often impacted negatively by clutter, disorganization, confusion, and the sense of being overwhelmed when trying to clean up

I suppose I should explain what I am intending to relay when I mention the word cost; from my experience in various warehouse and business settings I have come to learn that inventory has costs that are not directly tied to the purchase price of an item. These costs are the time to move items from one shelf to another, the time spent finding an item, and of course the cost of space where the item resides. Add to those an emotional cost that is often connected to the negative aspects of clutter and disorganization as it relates to personal possessions. Quite simply, our emotional well-being is often impacted negatively by clutter, disorganization, confusion, and the sense of being overwhelmed when trying to clean up.

Initially I had no idea where to start, the first tub had me pulling things out willy-nilly thinking “wow I forgot about this!!” and slipping into my cycle of pulling things out only to create more clutter and disorganization. Eventually I started looking at the items I had spread out over the floor; I stood up and grabbed a trash bag. Quietly and thoughtfully taking each item and focusing my thoughts on the cost of each item and how important it really was to me. As I began judging each item carefully and deciding whether to keep it, throw it away, or give it away things slowly began to change for me emotionally.

I began to feel a strange freedom from a lot of possessions that ordinarily I would never part with. I began to feel more at peace in my surroundings and lighter overall. The idea that when I am done I will know what I have and where it is has overcome my annoyance with how time consuming and tedious this process has become in comparison to my original “tub stuffing” method.   I will wholeheartedly admit however, I had to force myself the first few hours to think slowly and carefully about each item and what to do with it and this was no easy task at first.

I’ve found an amazing goldmine of items (some still sealed in the box!) that I will be in need of in a couple of months when I make my move to a new home. I also managed to consolidate and empty two tubs within just half a day! Two tubs!! Overall I haven’t put much of a dent in all of the stuff I have collected throughout my adult life but I have made a good dent in the possessions that I have with me during this transition. I have also found a number of items I didn’t realize I had that I will need soon thus avoiding additional unnecessary cost, and of course a few items of great emotional value to put in my little treasure boxes (I use cigar boxes for my treasures).

I feel featherweight right now emotionally, light and agile, no longer encumbered

Today’s start was a good one and I hope to keep the momentum, I didn’t think it would feel so good and expected it to be more of a tedious task that I would drop only an hour or so in. I’m actually excited to go and get a few more tubs and continue the process, it’s been rewarding knowing I can let go of a lot of things I no longer need to drag around. Almost like dumping emotional baggage at times! I feel featherweight right now emotionally, light and agile, no longer encumbered by so much stuff.

Chang Tsu once told of a story about a deaf, mute man whom many went to see to learn. (I’m going to paraphrase this as I do not remember the actual text) The student was confused as to how such a man could be so sought a teacher to which Chang Tsu replied “heaven and earth could collapse and he will not be moved, to this man losing his speech and awareness of trivial external things is like throwing away so much dirt”. I used to try and wrap my head around this thought and now I think I might have a little bit more understanding.

It’s invigorating to realize that I can part with things I no longer need or want, and to know that if I need or want something I still have the ability to put in the efforts to achieve should I simply decide to. Today was a good day!

Happy housecleaning,

~Joe

Dust Yourself Off and Go For

Where do you see yourself in five years?

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The author, 22 years ago

I simply want to enjoy what I do and who I work with

This question was asked of me during a job interview today for a job that I could be considered well overqualified for in a different sector than I have been in during the bulk of my working life. A long while ago I realized that if I did not change my career, I would most likely never be generally happy. While my first choice was culinary arts, the environment at entry level would grant me a level of exposure to alcohol cravings that I do not feel I am ready for presently. I decided to stretch and focus on the employer’s environment rather than actual career track as I am certain I can learn anything I wish to should I make the decision to put the effort in. To put it in a one liner “I simply want to enjoy what I do and who I work with”.

This is bound to be a decision that will have far reaching effects, a lower wage translating to a change in lifestyle as the most obvious. What of a lower wage? Perhaps a lot of my prior excessive spending (and yes alcoholism and depression) is a symptom of a much more sinister problem? If I am incredibly unhappy with what I do and no longer wish to do it, what good does it do me to make more money that is bound to get spent in other areas simply to seek some form of satisfaction with life? If I can achieve satisfaction through my work and seek positivity and joy through those I surround myself with there may not be a financial issue at all!

This interview rates as perhaps the best interview I have ever experienced in my life as I met with the owner, and each and every employee (including the company dog!). The environment appears incredibly dynamic with employees that are very close and tight knit, supporting each other and generally enjoying life. The tasks for the position are diverse as the company is small employee wise (only a handful) and in environments like that people generally have to wear many hats dependent on what the workload is at any particular time. As an ADHD adult with a touch of OCD and a consistent thirst for knowledge , this interview has done nothing but change my thought from “I need a job” to “I ABSOLUTELY NEED THIS job”

Naturally, after reviewing my resume and seeing 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field to include several years running my own corporation which I eventually sold the President hit me with the zinger: “Where do you satta-boyee yourself in five years?” oooh boy. I’m usually very quick in thinking and responding to most questions and having interviewed others myself many times through the years, I generally know what to expect during an interview whether it’s a panel or one on one. I had to think at this point as I had come to the conclusion that bombing this interview was not an option. “Truth be told sir, I just want to be able to make a living wage and wake up every morning excited to go to work; I want an environment where I can learn new things and surround myself with dynamic people whom I enjoy being around”. Not sure if I aced that answer but a few of the other team members were smiling and nodding.

 

Yes, I think I have answered that question well! Reality strikes that perhaps I answered that question more for myself to solidify what it is I really want out of my life for the next construction of myself. I have been musing over that question for years now and I can honestly say as I write this that I am content, albeit incredibly excited about my decision. I no longer care about monetary wealth, don’t get me wrong there are benefits to having a few extra greenbacks and I do have debts that I will be struggling to pay off.

The fact remains that so long as I am able to maintain my happiness and positivity, I have plenty of options to increase my income through a second job or continuing to consult in the IT sector. Coincidentally, one of the other questions asked was “One of the reasons we were very interested in you is your networking knowledge, we have some network issues. If we were to ask you to help in that area would you feel that it would be beneath you?” uhm, not at all sir I would absolutely love to help!

I’m flat broke…. and I couldn’t be happier

So my dear handful of readers I will keep you updated on how it goes. Upon getting home I immediately sent a follow up email which received a good response so I am of high spirits!! I’m flat broke, with little entertainment options where I currently am living (no TV or internet save my phone as a hot spot), and I couldn’t be happier!!! I have food in my belly, a warm place to sleep, an amazing opportunity on the horizon, and even a blog that I can use to sound off in a positive manner.

Time to make the doughnuts,

~Joe

 

The Value of Self Determination

Accomplishments despite contrary influence

Authors note: Today is Saturday, I have decided to try and make Saturday a two post day (because it’s my blog and I can!).  Be sure and scroll down to read todays other post “Coping with Societal Negativity” and of course input is always welcome! ~J

So interestingly, the last two days have given themselves up to a very excellent stream of positive consciousness for me as well as an awareness of how strong people can be. I have two stories to relay in this article, both popping up over the last couple of days and both I have found to be quite inspirational to me. The first story had me in such a good mood I can only classify it as an emotional high even though the achievement in the story had absolutely no impact on me directly. The second story while, not actually so much of a “feel good” tale illustrates a long-term determination to succeed and how our failures might assist us over the long term. So, let’s dig in:

Story one comes from a member of my favorite HipChat group (I have mentioned them in prior posts) A Farewell to Recovery. I will note that any stories that I relay in my articles are done with permission and unless requested otherwise I keep the person anonymous.

Our subject recently had a very big announcement, the achievement of a GED or General Education Diploma which is an alternative to a high school diploma here in the United States. You might think “well what’s so special about that many people have GED’s or high school diploma’s, heck that Joe guy has his GED”. What makes this story so positively refreshing to me is that this person was told throughout life that it could never be done! In fact, some of the exact words were harsh enough to include the term “retarded”. Imagine going through your early life being told what you can’t do at every turn and not hearing much about what you can accomplish.

Over the course of about a year and a half this person exhibited the drive and perseverance that most people rarely tap. A fundamentally raw persistence to accomplish what according to the surrounding environment could not be done. What I find even more inspirational about this is that a year and a half is not a particularly long time to study for a GED. Add to that the continuing conversations about the next steps, aspirations to possibly become a Veterinarian Technician or possibly something else. Someone who had nothing but “bound to fail” reinforced over and over, and now quite successfully on a forward track that many “normal” people lack the stones to achieve. This story made my day, and inspired me to work just a little harder on my aspirations as well, thank you for that!

wow must be some socks!

Story two is a little bit different and close to home it involves a family member, my mother who is an avid weaver (don’t ask). She apparently has a “sock machine” which is some strange loom used for weaving circular deal for knitting socks (again don’t ask) which from our conversations is incredibly difficult to use. I had a conversation with her very recently about a pair of socks she was trying to make, in her words she calls them her “F***ety F*** F*** socks” wow must be some socks!

In my mind, mistakes are nothing more than learning opportunities that begin with a negative consequence.

She has been trying to make this pair of socks for what I think is several weeks now (just go buy socks!) at one point having finished the pair but not being happy with them taking the pair apart back to yarn and starting over. Something happens here or there with the loom…. Tear down and start over…. Full moon…. Tear down and start over. At the time of this article posting, the socks are not complete and I’m willing to bet are either in a state of tear down or a state of start over. The endgame is decided in this case, there will be socks! While the idea of toiling so much for a simple pair of socks might not be a positive thought, the side effects are of a very positive nature. With the continued use of the machine, and the continued identification and fixing of mistakes my mother has been able to better master the use of her beloved sock machine! In my mind, mistakes are nothing more than learning opportunities that begin with a negative consequence. (you can quote that).

May your feet stay warm,

~Joe