Resurrection Day Reflections – Part 4

As I wrap up this final Pomodoro writing session of the day, I find myself reflecting on my Resurrection Day Reflections.

From Bible Study to thoughts/emotions dug up through the purging process to self-reliance and sustainability…

I have run the gamut of reflection today, which is my introspective objective I suppose.  One of the highlights of my afternoon was the conversation with my grandfather.  Moreover, it appears as though I will be writing a letter to my little brother sometime soon.  His mom gave me the go ahead and mentioned that the little dude is super stoked!  It’s nice to be a role model for a child.  Planning on moving back to Ohio gives me some reservations on committing to Big Brothers while I’m here, but at least I can contribute as a pen pal.

The move back to Ohio is on the forefront of my mind.  After leaving Ohio to move to California almost two years ago, I find myself returning (or at least planning on it).  In each place I’ve lived, I’ve been able to squeek out about three years before I am “called” back to Ohio.  This time around is no different.  My reasons for being in California have changed over the years.  Life’s transitions have assisted me with determining where it is that I want to be.  Ohio and North Carolina are a closely tied, with family giving Ohio the edge.

How I miss North Carolina, though.  Perhaps someday, I’ll return…who knows.  After almost 15 years of a gypsy-like, nomadic, wayfaring lifestyle, I feel like Ohio is the place where I want to settle and call home.  I want to help my parents grow and manage the farm they are creating. I would like to return to the nursery business and work with plants again.  I dream of  living simply.  In my dreams, I wonder if I’ll live alone.  There are few that seem to share the same value system that is an integral part of my being.

Only time will tell what will happen, and if I have my way – I’ll be sharing it here with whoever has the mental fortitude to plow through the lines of trash that I write.  Enough with the self-deprecating humor.  Perhaps there is some value in the things that I write, but I’ll never understand what it is.  I only hope that my words inspire someone to reach for something beyond their grasp and achieve something they thought they never could.

I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions.  I believe New Year’s Resolutions are bullshit promises that we make to ourselves because we are too damned lazy and complacent to follow through on these things throughout the year.  We make a list and as we check these things off our list, we pat ourselves on the back and place ourselves on a pedestal.  Well, maybe not.  I’ll try and lay off on the sarcasm and cynicism as well.  Sometimes it’s too much for some people.  Wah.

While I’m not much for new year’s resolutions, this has been a good year for goal setting.  Towards the end of 2013, I found myself training for and completing a half-marathon.  I never really set out to become a runner, but a friend and hiking of partner was training for and running half-marathons.  She suggested that I should try and run a half marathon.  I balked at the idea first, but based on the amount of hiking I was doing and some hikes we had done together, she thought the training would be easy for me.  It turns out she was correct.  I followed her advice and training plans and we ran the Temecula Half Marathon in the beautiful wine country of the Temecula Valley in Riverside County.

 

After a successful run, we began talking and decided that since the half marathon was a pretty easy goal to achieve based on the training plan she put together for us, I suggested we simply continue the training process with the goal of running a full marathon.  She agreed and we continued training.   We discussed several different marathons we could train for, finally deciding on running the San Luis Obispo Marathon on April 6.

The buzzer has buzzed, indicating it is time for me to wrap up my writing.  With one week remaining until another goal is scratched off the list, my ultimate goal for 2013 is to move back to Ohio by the holidays.  In the meantime, I’ll be working on additional adventures in Joshua Tree National Park, Redwood National Park, Sequoya and Kings Canyon and Mt. Whitney among other places.  For the duration of the time I have here in California, I’m going to make the best of it.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Resurrection Day Reflections – Part 1

Today is Easter.

I opted out of attending church today.

There are many out there, friends and family alike that scorn me.  They sit and pass judgement about how I’m a bad Christian for not attending church on the most important day of the year.  Quite frankly, I don’t give a damn about you or your opinion.  Concern of other people’s opinion of me is becoming less and less of anything that I feel is appropriate to expend energy upon.

I have spent much too long of my life worrying about what other people may think about my behaviors, actions and words.  While I don’t believe myself to be outwardly provocative in every thought and deed – often times it seems to be in my nature to do so.  With that said, there are people that more and more see what I do and hear what I say and think it extreme.

Much of what is perceived to be extreme, simply is not.  It is a particular person’s perspective.  It is their thoughts and description that they make as they see it through their own individual lens of bias.  We are all biased and pass judgement upon others.  It is human nature to do so…it is good practice to try and not do this – but to simply not acknowledge this is sheer ignorance.
The point that I am trying to make is that many people quickly pass judgement on a particular situation without looking “beyond” and gathering more data.  There are many people that simply write off Christianity, laughing about people that believe The Bible to be the word of God.  There are many people that write off Jesus Christ being the son of God…let alone being resurrected from the dead.
Are you one of these people that has fallen victim to thought processes like this?  I say “fallen victim” because it is natural to think this.  Society conditions us to think this way.  However, that is another discussion for another time.  I have but one question for the people who have “fallen victim” to the questions above:
  1. Have you ever read and studied The Bible?

People that have not read and studied the bible are simply not qualified to have an opinion on the matter as to whether they believe the bible to be the Word of God.  It is as simple as this.  If you don’t agree with the previous statement, I suggest you stop reading and re-evaluate that statement.  Better yet, allow me to repeat:

People that have not read and studied the bible are simply not qualified to have an opinion on the matter as to whether they believe the bible to be the Word of God.

When I made the comment “society conditions us to think this way,” I meant that our public school systems facilitate an environment that grooms students to be rewarded for accurately regurgitating the information they are presented.  Children who question the system and/or have a different and individual system of learning are often labeled “problem children.”  Many times and more frequently these days, these children are labeled “ADHD.”  Far too often, we are quick to rely on pharmaceuticals as a “corrective measure” for the problematic behavior.  But I digress…

Today I opted out of church and will spend the time that I would spend dressing, driving and attending church writing a series of reflections, appropriately titled “Resurrection Day Reflections.”  I reckon I’ll spend a couple hours writing today, which often times can be a serious time of reflection for me.  I believe this deliberately meditative action would suffice and that the Lord himself could grant me “a pass” on this one.  Disagree?  Then pray for my tortured soul, for I sin worse than you.

I just figured this would be good…and I can avoid the masses at church (pun totally intended).  All the Christmas / Easter Christians will be out in full force to ensure that they get good and right with God until Christmas again.   I’ll be back visiting different churches beginning next Sunday.  Moreover, I’ll be back reading and studying the Bible each Wednesday with Dr. Bill Creasy as he hosts his Logos Bible Study course on Wednesday nights at a local church.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.

Resurrection Day Reflections – Part 2

Last post I wrote about reading the Bible before passing judgement upon it…

Lately, I’ve been reading the bible, among other things.  I’ve spent the past 8 months off of facebook, and accordingly engaged in lots of activities.  In it’s place, so to speak, I spent additional time writing and maintaining this stupid blog.  This past week, I decided to join facebook again.  It was set up so I could pick up right where I left off.  In the land of facebook, it is like nothing happened.  It will likely become a topic of debate again soon for me.

This morning, I began going through my stuff.  With an upcoming backpacking trip and a big day trip to summit Mt Whitney planned for July and ultimately a move back east to Ohio…I spent this morning performing a purge of stuff on my bookshelves and in my closet.  It’s time to thoroughly evaluate my possessions.  It either gets tossed or will be packed in a rubbermaid tote and shipped to Medina, OH.  My parents are being kind enough to stash my stuff as I ship it back.

In going through this stuff, it brought up a wealth of emotions and memories.  The folder that contained all of my Operation Bigs material was in the first handful of stuff I grabbed.   Big Brothers and Big Sisters was an experience that changed my life for the better.  Back in January, my little’s stepfather got orders to transfer up into Riverside or San Bernardino County somewhere.  My 12 month obligation was up in February and I was likely to leave the program anyways for various reasons.  His stepfather’s reassignment just fast forwarded the process by a month or so.

That time spent as a Big Brother was very good for me.  I believe my little got alot out of it as well.  At least that was what his parents and Big Brother coordinator communicated to me.  We quickly lost touch after the move, but today I sent his mother a text message to wish her, her son (my little) and their family well this Easter holiday.   If she even responds, I may consider asking her if she would consider asking her son if he might be interested in being pen pals or something.

In the past, she has been challenging to communicate with in any way, but text seems to be her preferred method of communication – so we’ll see what happens.  I can only imagine what it must be like to be a military wife.  Wow.  Much respect goes to the soldiers and their families doing what they do.  This is no time to put a political spin on this.  The reality is that troops and their families get shipped around from state to state and country to country.

Often times, these conditions are tough on families and subsequently tough on the kids.  Being a part of a program like this and trying to have a positive impact on just one of these kids was incredibly rewarding on so many different levels.  Once settled in Ohio, I would like to be a part of this again in order to give back.  One can only complain so much about the decline of society these days – it is important to take action and do something about it.  We must be the change we wish to see.

Anyways, this is merely one of the thoughts echoing throughout my head on this Easter Sunday.  I look forward to writing and sharing more of these Resurrection Day Reflections throughout the next hour or so.  Writing is good medicine and is a lost art.  For me, it is one of the most effective ways of communicating a message to someone.  The only other way is a personal interaction, face-to-face.  If that is not possible, a hand written letter is the best supplement to a good phone conversation.  Written letters are also a lost art.  Think about the last time you wrote someone a letter…it’s been too long, hasn’t it.  Change that today.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.

Resurrection Day Reflections – Part 3

When I write, I do so utilizing a method of time management called The Pomodoro Technique.  If time management, GTD and organization is your thing then check out The Pomodoro Technique.  You can totally nerd out.  You’re welcome.

During the pomodoro itself, I write for 25 minutes, uninterrupted.  My phone goes in “airplane” mode and either Soma FM or SimplyNoise will play in the background.  Check that shit out.  I’m not going to waste time providing links at this time.  If I was writing a “serious” post, I would.  I don’t know what else to call these things other than “Nonsense Writings.”

At any rate, during my quick five minute break, my father sent me a photo:

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While seemingly insignificant, this is a photo of an old compost bin that he built for me almost 10 years ago.  At that time, I was living with them back at home in Bay Village, OH working at Cahoon Nursery and Garden Center.  At that time, I had moved back from Colorado and was planning the next move to North Carolina.  My interest was heavy in gardening, homesteading and self sufficiency.

During those years, my father also built many raised beds.  We began growing more and more food as the size of our gardens increased.  After my brother and sister grew up and attended college, they got wise and sold the house in Bay Village and moved out to Medina County.  They made many a sacrifice to keep us settled in Bay Village growing up, but for various reasons (including but not limited to the tax rate) they decided to purchase 20 acres in Medina County.

At that time, I had moved to North Carolina.  My interest in self-sustainability and self-reliance continued to grow, as did my perspective on the socio-political structure and history of our nation and the world.  Over the past 10 years since this photo was taken, my father still uses the compost bin that he built for me 10 years ago as we both began to learn about gardening, homesteading and self sufficiency.

Seeing this photo today “resurrected” some memories of my past.  It got me thinking about where I’ve been, where I am and where I am going.  Currently, I am in Southern California.  Specifically, I am in San Marcos,  “a suburb of San Diego in the North County section of San Diego CountyCalifornia.”  Thanks Wikipedia!  I have been here for almost 2 years already.  This photo makes me realize about how time flies, as well.  Life is amazing and simply incredible.

Where has the past 10 years gone?  If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced a tremendous amount of transition over the past 10 years.  Are you the person you dreamed yourself to be when you were a teenager?  What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror?  Are you the type of person that even thinks about these questions?  If you’re reading these words, right now, I suspect that you do think about these questions.  You likely ask other questions as well.

It concerns me that many people do not think about these questions.  It concerns me that society today is consumed with television, video games and facebook.  I am concerned about a shallow and ignorant society that is too apathetic to engage.  It is much easier to submit to the propaganda that surrounds us.  It is challenging to step beyond that and face the reality that is.  It is challenging to look beyond the systems that “educated” us, lest we fear we might learn what contradicts that which we have been taught.

However, in the midst of my concerns, I realize that there is only so much I can do.  My thoughts and deeds are the only thing I truly have control over.  While I may have these concerns, complaining about them does very little.  It is action that we take that is the first step in finding and creating the solutions.  Complaining does nothing, but sometimes it is helpful to vent out some of this in the form of ranting.  Be advised that ranting is not advised in most situations, especially public.   Be mindful of who you rant to as the majority of people, including your loved ones may simply not have the mental fortitude to deal with conversation on the level you’d like to engage.  When the teacher is ready, the student appears…or something like that.

Pomodoro Up.

Stay tuned.

How I loathe writing and reality – Part I

Writing.

It is a blessing and a curse.  Writing is never something I’ve been good at, but then again…how does one measure the success of their writing?  Do countless notebooks that have since been thrown away count?  Does a trashy blog that no one gives a damn about count?  What in the hell does any of this matter?  I don’t know.  The subsequent pomodoros spent writing this Friday night can only tell.

Writing is a blessing and a curse.  Every time I have something on my mind that I need to reflect on, I write.  Often times, I make a quick post to follow up on later, during “designated writing times.”  However, these “designated writing times” seem to happen less frequently than I’d like, especially with the weather becoming nicer.  Ha!  I live in San Diego…many of you will say as you rightfully chide.  Weather aside, I’d like to think that I would make time for them to write, but lately – I seem to be failing in that category of things-to-do.

Tonight is different.  I have much on my mind and am fueling my thoughts with Maker’s Mark bourbon.  Wonderful.  What will likely follow is several pomodoros of nonsense with a side of lunacy and thrills for you readers.  Welcome to some insight on what will be my tortured soul revealed through the lens of inebriation – where our true colors really shine.  After another sip of incredibly strong drinks…please venture down the rabbit hole with me.

How far will you journey with me?

While I think that no one reads the trash I write, this fantastic WordPress dashboard allows me to view statistics and all this other crap about my blog.  This is really nice information, but since this particular blog serves no other purpose than a creative outlet for me to expand my overactive mind into…I rarely look at these statistics.  However, much like facebook or other social networking avenues – I do receive notifications when someone “likes” a blog post I have written.  I suppose my point is that people actually do read some of the horseshit that I spew out through my keyboard.  I pity their souls for wasting their precious time reading this trash.  There is much better material to read.  Go out there and read some of it.  More of what I like to read later…

As previously mentioned, tonight is different.  I began writing about my bourbon fueled thoughts and the fact that no one reads this.  However, the reality is that people do read this.  Sometimes, I hope certain people are reading this.  Sometimes, I hope they are not.  When I get extremely introspective like this, my writings become intentionally vague…as this is a public blog post and I sincerely do not want to offend or hurt anyone that may be the subject of the very things that are generating what is behind the very words that you read here and now.

With that said, this writing business helps me get out what I cannot in any other way.  More often than not, I can communicate my thoughts clearly and effectively to those I am communicating with.  While this is a good thing, it often confuses people.  More and more, people are becoming dumbed-down by reality television programming and everything else related but not limited to the media.

Some people think the manner in which I talk, write, communicate and/or ultimately express myself is offensive.  I sincerely believe people that think this way are idiots.  There is very little that I say that is truly offensive.   I like to believe that I point out facts and comment on reality.  I think independently and believe what I believe to be facts, only after doing my own research.  Too many people have become conditioned to become “parrots” – only repeating rhetoric and material that they have been conditioned to believe.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.

How I loathe writing and reality – Part II

As one pomodoro ends and another begins after the break, I left off writing about the fact that some people think the manner in which I talk, write, communicate and/or ultimately express myself is offensive.  I sincerely believe people that think this way are idiots.  There is very little that I say that is truly offensive.   I like to believe that I point out facts and comment on reality.  I think independently and believe what I believe to be facts, only afterdoing my own research.  Too many people have become conditioned to become “parrots” – only repeating rhetoric and material that they have been conditioned to believe.

There is a war on for your mind”

I am even more aware of this than I was less than ten minutes ago. One of the roommates in the house are watching television with a friend, some modern television show about Roman times. As I pass by the 60″ television and listen to the programming whilst pouring myself a drink, I hear the characters refer to “the republic.” I wonder if the word “republic” means to them as they watch the programming…alas, I digress.

Regardless, I write these words and there are some people that read them. I’d like to think that the ones I am writing about are reading this.  You know who you are.  However, this trash is intentionally vague during writings of this nature to “protect the innocent” and all that shit.  I primarily write for reflection. Tonight, I will likely be psycho-analyzing myself as I recount on the nature of the experiences leading up to the reasons behind taking the time to mentally throw up all of this within a lengthy blog post.

We’ll see how long I can keep this up.  The reality is that even in my mopey and depressed reality – it’s getting late and I’m still in training for the marathon, meaning I have to get up early in the morning for an easy run.  We are winding down with the marathon in just a few weeks!  Again, I digress.

At any rate, there are times where reality hits us in the face.   I mean hits us in the face.  This isn’t a high school bitch slap to your buddy – this is more like a 2 x 4.  There isn’t actual physical pain associated with this – it’s different.  I’ll do my best to share this experience with you.  While not a betting man, I’m willing to bet that you’ll identify with much that I’m sharing here…so here we go.

I’m sure there has been a time where someone has been important to you.  Friend, family, lover…someone.  You loved that person.  Perhaps you never told that person you loved them.   Perhaps you did.  For the purposes of this story, it should be mentioned that for those of you that tell us you love us – thank you.  It makes us feel good.  While we may not return the words of love, know in your hearts that I truly love you as well.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.

How I loathe writing and reality – Part III

Last pomodoro ended with me writing about people that are important in our lives.  Friend, family, lover, role model…someone.  “You loved that person.  Perhaps you never told that person you loved them.   Perhaps you did.  For the purposes of this story, it should be mentioned that for those of you that tell us you love us – thank you.  It makes us feel good.  While we may not return the words of love, know in your hearts that I truly love you as well.”

Those words I wrote and at the time, I was also planning on touching on how reality hits us in the face and in this case, it hit me as a result of a relationship with someone close to me.  This person had been a pretty significant part of my life for a fair amount of time.  I dated her for a period of time.  She holds a special place in my heart like no one else.  After a period of time passing with little to no correspondence, we have been communicating again.

Without going into detail about what exactly took place, perhaps you can relate to an analogy.  Have you ever heard a friend and/or co-worker describe a person to you and/or tell stories about that person?  As you hear these stories, your mind creates an image of what that person might look like in person.  Sometimes, when we finally have the opportunity to meet the person we have created in our minds, the reality of the person is much different than the reality we created in our minds.

I suspect you are wondering where I’m going with this.  Quite frankly, I’m wondering the same thing myself.  Ignorance is bliss.

Sometimes, these people that come into your life are far away.  You may meet up with them over the holidays or you may have correspondence with them via email.  Perhaps texting is your preferred method of communication.   Facebook?  Pick your poison…  Whatever the method of communication with this person…there is distance between you.  It is significant amount of distance.  Rather than write about the potential for comparison, I’ll continue.

There had been correspondence with this person and I began thinking about the future.  Being in my mid-thirties, I’m seeing many friends married and/or in committed relationships.  Many of those have kids and are raising a family.  I find myself re-evaluating my entire life at 34-35 years of age for a number of different reasons, including but not limited to having a family.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.  You can call that reason Synchronicity, Tao, God, The Universe, Karma, whatever…

I am constantly re-evaluting my life and the people in it.  Often times I find myself communicating with people that are far away.  It is very challenging to maintain a long distance relationship with anyone on an intimate level.  Friends and family are relatively easy to maintain from a distance.  Sure, you may feel homesick at times and at times it may be feel unbearable.  The times that you re-unite with these people are wonderful.  For those of you that find yourself re-evaluting life, you may think back to situations where you spent time corresponding with some of these people in your past.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.