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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Treading While Whispers Become Shouts

Friday Evening, September 9th
I'm sitting here, basically treading water, and I'm not sure why.  Now in theory, this just shouldn't be, as I'm physically doing well, including wonderful little gems such as... last check-up yielded a blood pressure of 120/72
...I'm power-walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes now 5 days as week...on an incline...for an average speed of 4mph (but getting up to 5mph for a stretch)
...I'm still losing weight
...I've dramatically moderated my caffeine intake

I'm married to a wonderful woman who literally saved my life and that I love dearly.

My daughters are all doing what they love, living more or less independently.

I'm closing in on my last two graduate classes.

I'm doing some things I enjoy, such as continuing to write this blog.

While not necessarily religious, I have been working on being more Spiritual.

So, why the treading water?

Well, thinking about the listing above, something is missing.

Should I even be writing this?  In point of fact I'm going to stop writing this now and abide by a time honored rule of people who write (as opposed to "writers", as I'm not at that level):  I'm going to put this down and come back to it later.

* * * * * *
Sunday, September 11th
It's not lost on me that today is the 15th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  As  the John Lennon song (#9 Dream) goes, "So, long ago, was it in a dream, was it just a dream?".  Sadly though, it wasn't a dream.  God bless all those who have been impacted by those horrible events.

Back to Friday's thoughts.

* * * * * *

I spent much of yesterday doing two things:

1) Tearing down a coal bin that we are no longer using.
2) Thinking.

I've always found that physical labor helps me quite a bit when I'm perplexed and/or feeling like I am in a rut.  Yesterday was no exception.  Unfortunately, in my professional life the tasks at hand seldom to never allow for the combination of sweat and pondering.  Well, if they do, Security is called and you're taken to a hospital, lest a caring co-worker thinks you are having a heart-attack.

I think part of the challenge for me, at least in my professional life, is that there is always something going on around me, which creates so much mental data to process.  The result is that I get caught up in a kind of mental vortex, where mental whispers become mental shouts and the definitely benign can become the seemingly malignant.  I can lose perspective easily.  Rarely to never though is this ever apparent, as I try hard to always be the consummate professional in the office.

For the record, is it "career suicide" to admit the above?  On one hand, maybe it is.  On the other?  What I say may in fact be what others feel as my crime...if you want to call it giving voice to reality and being honest.  Anyone who wants to criticize me for being honest can do so.  Bring it on.

Anyway, in pondering these things while using a Craftsman 8 amp reciprocating saw...for which I burned through two wood cutting blades...I began thinking about two books I've read by Nadia Bolz-Weber.  I'm not going to bore anyone, least of all myself, with a book report, but here's a central point, of sorts:  I think that God speaks to us not in the "big" ways that Hollywood or tele-evangelists portray, but rather in the quiet moments and odd circumstances we find ourselves in as we go about life.  We're given these opportunities in life to experience the lesson we're always being taught...or on the other hand...we drown after failing to see that we need only pick our heads up out of the water.

Part of it, for me, is ego.  I think, in my recent challenges, I'm being taught to not allow myself to get caught up in mindless mental swirling about how and where I might stack up on some imaginary listing that likely exists nowhere else but inside my head.  I'm being taught it's okay to stand up and be counted, but it better be something actually worth the accounting.  Better yet and better still, maybe it's more important to think about just why an ego might be bruised in the first place, rather than a simple and mindless gut-reaction attempt to defend myself.  Sometimes defending yourself is the worst thing to do, as it only lends credence to an otherwise imaginary foe.

I'm not declaring any kind of victory or even deep insight.  I very well may, in fact, might start the work-week tomorrow and almost immediately be back to square one, fighting to stay out of a mental vortex that I've mostly created for myself.  What I am declaring though is an attempt to listen for those quiet moments and see the odd circumstances as opportunities given to me to grow, not as challenges to an ego that doesn't exactly and hasn't historically served me very well.  I plan on picking my head up before I drown.

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