Stop Swearing!

A red stop sign with the word swearing underneath it.

😊  It has been said that we never grow old emotionally; our bodies change, but our emotional needs do not.  I’m not so sure that I agree with that statement.  I believe my emotional needs have changed over the years.  I think that as a younger man, I needed more, and deeper, support than I do now.  It is my belief that back then I had confidence issues that have since fallen by the wayside.  The many lessons life has taught me have instilled that confidence.  Yes, I still need the love that is given to me by my family & friends and would certainly be a sad guy if, suddenly, that love was gone.  But I could continue to function as a productive part of our society.  W.B Yeats said, “It is so many years before one can believe enough in what one feels even to know what the feeling is.†   I’m hitchin’ my horse to that tree.

😊 Several weeks ago (early January) we received about 5†of snow and the temps were in single digits at night.  This is very unusual for our spot on this wonderful planet.  I get cold when the temp drops to 25°, so you can imagine the look on my face the morning my desktop weather station informed me that it was 4° outside.  I patiently waited until the afternoon sun melted some of the snow, and then I trudged out to the shed and attempted to “fire-up†my lawn tractor (Big Red).  It has a plow blade attached on the front and is the perfect machine for moving around snow.  I placed the key in the ignition and turned the switch but nothing happened, not even a grunt.  I get my trusty battery charger and assure myself that within a couple of hours Big Red and I will be stacking up snow as high as Mount Everest!  Two hours later, I return to “crank’er up†but still no life can be found in that darn thing.  Off I go to the local O’Reilly’s Auto shop to buy a new battery.  The guy checks it and confirms my suspicion; the battery is comatose.  To the battery’s credit, it did last me 6½ years, which is highly unusual (normally two years).  I got home with the spanking-new power source, hooked it up to Big Red, and sat down in the tractor seat, prepared to move some snow.  As cold as it was, I was a little apprehensive.  As I turned the key, it sprang to life, letting me know it was ready to do my bidding.  By nightfall, our driveway and the road in front of our home were absent 95% of the snow that was there before I started.  I fell short of the Mt. Everest thing, but I have to admit that a good day’s work bodes well for a good night of sleep.    Albert Camus said, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me, there lay an invincible summer.”  I think that probably applies to all of us, especially when winter winds swoop down, blows snow everywhere, and then dares us to step out of the house for more than a few moments.

😊 “Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.” – Denis Diderot

I’m not so sure that I agree with ol’ Denis!  I have been putting things in order all my life and I think, to most of us, it’s a natural process.  I worked with a guy for many years and, unexpectedly, he invited me to his home one day to see if I could resolve a problem he was having with an electronic device.  In short order, I resolved the problem, and then he walked me out to his garage to show me his workshop.  My jaws dropped!  Every single item in his workshop was clean, in its assigned place and faced toward the center of the room.  I could only imagine the hours it took to organize everything and the discipline necessary to clean and place each item back in the proper place after each use.  I worked with him all those years and was unaware of how organized he was.  My friend passed away a while back, but he left a lasting impression of what “organized†really looks like.  It did not involve getting other people under his control.

😊   I decided a couple of weeks ago to do a major cleanup around my desktop & PC area.  I do this about every five years so I can remove things that have accumulated all around me.  I placed things in a big box, destined to be stored in the attic, with the understanding that if I haven’t retrieved them in a year, off they go to the thrift store.  I cannot remember retrieving anything in the attic from past cleaning efforts.   I always enjoy the new look of my work area after it has been cleaned and rearranged.  I don’t understand why I wait so long to accomplish that task since I enjoy the results so much.  I guess it’s kinda like visiting with people you enjoy being around, but you only do it every once in awhile.  I’ve come to believe that friendships are the fuel for a pleasant life, that without good friends, you may as well be a rudderless boat, adrift on rough seas.  Psychiatrists label those people as your support group.    As expressed above, I have always had people in my life that gave me support when things weren’t going so well, but I have never actually placed a label on them.   I’m not so sure a label needs to be attached.  If we do that, then we’ll need a lot of labels, and I think that’s not good.   “The hardest thing for me is the sense of impermanence.  All passes; nothing returns.† …. Ellen Glasgow.  Yup, I’m thinking she’s right!

😊 Doctors are now saying that the best way to lose weight is only to eat between the hours of 8am – 4pm. They say you don’t need to worry so much about the calories, fat grams, carbohydrates, etc., just eat what you want between those hours within reason. If you look at that regimen closely, you’ll realize that after 4 pm you do not eat again until 16 hours have passed. I’m not so sure I could do that, but I do think it would be worth trying. Maybe I should only follow that schedule Monday through Friday and take a break on the weekends? The theory is that my body will burn the food I eat during the day, and during the night take fuel from my fat cells (which are amply present). Anyway, I think it’s worth considering since my other efforts haven’t been very productive. My first effort has to be convincing my wife to prepare dinner earlier. That’s gonna be a hard sell since it interrupts the whole afternoon.

😊I read an article recently that asked the question, “What is your favorite curse word.† I stopped “cussing†many years ago when my two children were less than 5 years old.  At the time, I was in my mid-twenties and the shop I worked in was an all male shop.  Everyone there cursed endlessly, so I picked up the habit to fit in.  I figured I would “cuss†at work and not at home around my children.  It didn’t take me long to find out that wasn’t working too well.  My son was old enough to know he wasn’t allowed to say those words but my daughter wasn’t, so one day she calmly said the “S†word.  I was horrified!  It was at that moment I decided to stop, and I think I have been mostly successful.  Still, if I hit my finger with a hammer, or get hurt in some other manner, the “S†word flings itself into the air for everyone to hear.  I guess that means it is my favorite curse word.  Sadly, I doubt I’ll ever be able to keep it from coming blasting its way past my lips whenever I’m in extreme agony.  Pablo Picasso said, “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”   I am working on it.

I hope this missive finds your life in order and that you are receiving the love and kindness you deserve.  ….Tommy