It's Ash Wednesday. Time to spot the good(ish) Catholics. While I'm not Catholic, I do give up something(s) for Lent. They say you shouldn't give up things that meet a selfish need, and I can see where they're coming from, but usually what you would give up for that selfish need is something that's hard to give up. In the past I've given up a few things that, while may have been to help me meet a personal goal, it truly was a test of my will to give it up in this symbolic time. Such trials included giving up:
- Chocolate - the first year I ever got carrot cake for my birthday
- Emotional outbursts (yeah... that was a LOOONG ass 40 days)
- McDonald's - not so hard now, but back in SC where I had a car... torture!
But this year I'm giving up something physical (something you can touch) and something non-physical (something you can't touch) Chocolate (again) and excuses to get up and work out. You can see the "selfish need" in there and how I may be using Lent as a means to do what my will power usually cannot. But that's me and how I roll.
From my heaviest weight of 350 I've lost over 100 pounds. People ask me how I did it and if I think they can handle the answer (aka, won't tag me as a psycho) I'll tell, but I may preface it with "but this isn't for you". How did I? Shame. Guilt. When I was going to eat this bad thing, or laze away that day, I'd remind myself what I looked like and blah blah blah... getting away from the point of the Lent post. What I'm getting at is, if I'm doing alone with only my internal voice to keep me back, it may or may not work. But if my internal voice has Lent and God behind it scratching his index fingers at me like he's starting a fire... then you can bet chocolate won't pass these lips and I'll be pulling myself out of bed early (like today) for at least the next 40 days. :)
An Idle Mind
Anyone who knows me well can testify that my train of thought is usually surrounded by those little switches that will change tracks repeatedly. Not to say I can't concentrate, but it's like playing 6 degrees of separation with thought topics. We're talking about Lent, and in just a few track changes I'll come up with the time I was nearly charged by a rutting moose in Banff, Canada.
Anyway, if I'm on my morning commute, I'm usually nose deep in a book and don't notice what's going on around me. If for some reason I didn't notice that I was nearly done with a book (which can happen when a book has like 50 blank white pages at the back... what's up with that? Call Al Gore!) I'll spend part of the commute with nothing to do but look out blankly at the scenery passing and having the train of thought express jumping tracks left and right.
Have you ever seen that Robert Downey, Jr. movie Heart and Souls? (told you... keep up with me)
If you haven't, you should. It's a cute movie and I love Alfre Woodard. The premise is that 4 people. (Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgewick, Charles Grodin, and Tom Sizemore) are killed in a bus wreck before their time. Their souls are "attached" to a newborn child who's born at the same time they die. They're attached to him so that they can use him in completing what would have made their life complete had they not died. Unfortunately they didn't get the memo from Heaven about this reason so they exist in a 10 foot radius around this child as he grows up. Soon they realize that they're being there is causing the kid to look bonkers to his parents and society and decide to disappear on him (as childhood imaginary friends are wont to do). The kid grows up into an ass played by Robert Downey, Jr., the ghosts get wind of what they're supposed to do and the hilarity ensues. Good movie, available at Netflix, go get it.
Anyway, all of this to say... during these times where I'm sitting on the bus with nothing to do, sometimes this movie pops in my head and as I look around I wonder if I'd get along with my fellow bus riders if the same were to happen to us. This morning, since I was so early, there were only a small handful of people on the bus with me. Everyone seemed perfectly normal... except for one guy. He just had that look that makes you say... freakshow. Anyway, once he got off the bus I thought "OK, we can wreck now... he's not a concern for post-death-10 ft radius existence"
Work & Obama
I'm really tired of this economy. Who isn't? I watched the Obama speech in it's entirety last night. While I've worked for political causes before, I've never considered myself a political person. Last night was the first presidential speech I've EVER watched. For the past eight years I just couldn't stand listening to the man's voice much less what utter bullshit (or udder bullshit hee hee) he was spewing. In one speech, however, the eloquence and presence of Obama outshone the idiocy of the last 8 years.
What I want now is a bail out plan for conferences and my contracts that were signed during better times that I'm having to shuck-n-jive my way through negotiations on because I know my government employee members/attendees will not be able to attend.
"We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”WOOHOO! That's GREAT! Now, can we do that by the end of March so my big conference in April won't tank?