Not Cease from Exploration

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spectating

This blogging stuff can be mighty time consuming.  It seems even more time consuming when I have a lot of other things going on all at the same time.  Things like...

...two daughters getting ready to go college shortly (one for the first time)
...big changes at work
...actual fellow human interaction time

Of course it doesn't help that I'm doing some substitute blogger work for a certain European traveler and son of Mary (this guy)...but I am not going to complain, not one bit.  With every ounce of sincerity I can muster I will state for the record that, while not every day is great, it's good to be alive.  No, scratch that one; I'll say that it is a blessing to be alive.

Speaking of blessings, I've been pondering some things lately, which I realize (for those that know me) isn't much of a revelation.  In fact I ponder "stuff" all the time.  About 5% of it all makes it here, but once in a while I do try and consolidate my thoughts into something at least quasi-cohesive.  This is one of those times and here is one of those thoughts:

Life is meant to be lived, not spectated.  

I know, I know, that sounds trite at best, stupid at worst, but it does have the benefit of being simple.  I like simple by the way.  Simple has become something of a passion for me of late.  Anyway, for years I was pretty much a spectator at life.  I watched.  I lived an oh so Walter Mitty kind of existence.  I would poke my toe into the water of life, but I pretty much pulled it back as soon as the water felt just a tad bit cold.  I know there were reasons for this kind of behavior, but after a while the reasons almost morph into nothingness...they become a kind of bland wallpaper in a self imposed room that you never leave.

Leaving the room.

It seems to me that in a self-imposed room some folks become mighty comfortable.  I know people like that.  Hell, I was someone like that.  It's comforting to know that you can look out the window, see the world, ponder all that you would do, but yet never actually leave the safety of the room.  So what makes you leave? In my case I suppose there were many things that egged me along towards change.  Perspective is a mighty powerful thing, and with time I see that some of those motivating factors appear now to be far different than they appeared then.  That's okay by the way, because sometimes (but not all the time) the ends do in fact justify the means.

Further blessings.

In the "further blessings" department I have always had people around me who have believed far more in me than I have ever overtly believed in myself.  That's powerful stuff, but note the word "overtly".  In point of fact I'm not quite the low self-confidence type as it would appear; much of that kind of behavior is something of a combination defensive mechanism (let'm low ball your abilities then you can steam-roll them when they least expect it) and just the way I was raised.  To the latter I'll confess to a Catholic upbringing that emphasized guilt over just about any and every feeling imaginable.  Hell, I think self-confidence alone was reason enough for 4 Our Fathers after Confession. Regardless and despite various factors, I seem to have had the change in me, all be it buried under a few feet of mental debris.  Yet another blessing. 

So where does all this rambling lead?  I'm not sure.  Sometimes, at least for me, it really is a kind of mental vomit...I just need to get some stuff out.  It may not be pretty, it may smell mighty bad, but sometimes you just have to spew.  And spew I have.  I'll note though that this spew has had its purpose, namely sharing in the gospel of change.  If you are locked into an existence that doesn't make sense, one that seems to lock you in a mental room, then just know that it is in fact possible to leave.  For the record "possible" doesn't mean "easy", but then actually "doing"  is always far more difficult than  "spectating" anyway.

In the end, we will all look back and wonder just what did we do with all of this life stuff with which we have been given.  I say live.

With apologies (and a nod) to Katharine Hamnett.

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