I am NOT a Fairweather Fan!

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Image by encosion via Flickr

I never really played sports growing up.  It certainly saved my parents any expense that would have been incurred by doing so.  And coming from a big family, that wouldn’t have been the wisest move.  But I watched a lot of sports growing up, and in Flagstaff that meant the Dodgers and Cowboys, and later the Suns (our first real team).  These days there are also the Coyotes, Diamondbacks and the Cardinals.

Fast forward to today.  The Cardinals haven’t played great this season, and today wasn’t an exception.  They came back to win, I noticed, when checking the Internet.  But late in the third quarter, I got up and left.  They weren’t playing well, and I just couldn’t watch any longer.

I’m like that these days.  All the other things going on my life take precedence.  And mostly that’s a good thing.  The economy isn’t great.  I was laid off of work.  I’m trying to get back in shape.  I’m trying to rein in my life and my future.

So I am NOT a fairweather fan.  I refuse to let millionaire football players alter my life in any ways I deem significant.

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Running, Lazy, Love-to-Eat Fool

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I’m 43 years old, I’m healthier and happier than I have been than at any other time in my life, but I still have work to do in my effort to make my life simpler. OK, so maybe I’m a little Monk-ish, without really the germophobia. But I’m trying to lose about twenty more pounds, and they are the most challenging twenty pounds of my life. For various reasons. After I became seriously out of shape (approximately forty pounds overweight), I started eating better and running.  I pretty quickly lost about thirty pounds, over about the next couple of years, I put about ten of it back on.  I know part of the weight is a change from fat to muscle.  But I’m also a little lazy.  I still do work out about 4-5 days a week, but it takes every effort to get myself to do it.  My Monk-ish traits often get me out of the door.  If I get my bag ready the night before, then I cannot tell myself no.  Once at the gym, I try to convince myself that I don’t feel well enough to run what I am scheduled to run that day.  Usually the endorphins fix that problem.  So I end up running my quota most weeks.  Life happens sometimes, and so I don’t always.  The problem I guess I ultimately have is that I love to eat.  And often I am not as discriminating as I should be.  Sometimes I’m just plain tired, and I will eat the quickest, easiest thing possible, if not the healthiest.  So I’m determined to get the chaos out of my daily consumption.  I don’t consider myself a control freak, per se.  I don’t try to control other people.  But I have to have some control over my life.  So I feel I need to have a little more control over my eating habits.  Wish me luck.

Lamenting the End of Summer

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In Flagstaff, you can count on distinct seasons.  Sure, we have only had about a handful of substantial snowfall winters in about the past score of years.  But usually it is still fairly cold.  I guess you kind of can’t help it, since the sun is only out and about for so long each day.  Spring doesn’t so much come in each year with warmer temperatures as it does with all the wind.  When the earth starts tilting more quickly on its way toward the solstice, I guess that is its consequence.  But the crocus and daffodil and tulips reappear, along with the crabapple and cherry blossoms.  Even though the last frost is in mid June, we have a decent growing season, if you want it to be; if you plan a little.  First frost averages right around the autumnal equinox.  It used to be that almost without fail, turning the page on the calendar to October really signalled fall.  Now that’s usually a bit later as well.  Global Warming, perhaps.  Or not.  I don’t make the planet spin, nor do I regulate its chemistry in its totality.  I’m just here as an observer; and hopefully an inspiration to some.  As the seasons here in Flagstaff inspire me.  I know it’s a little early for summer to end, but I’m lamenting its end because summer signals the shift in wind patterns which brings in the “Monsoon.”  August is typically the wettest month on average, and we do some years continue to receive rain into September, but since we are at August 19th, our rainy season is quite possibly about to finish.  And then there is usually a little indian summer before fall returns.  But when fall returns, I will be happy for it to arrive, and then sad to see it end.  But that’s life.  I think I appreciate more all that is good during those moments when I am sad, and remember what is important and inspirational.

You Are My Friend

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Technology has allowed us to keep in touch with people as never before.  Family are now only a few keystrokes away on Facebook and other social networking sites.  Cell phones allow us to have conversations with our loved ones at virtually any moment.  Remember when you needed a longer cord on your landline just to have a little privacy or to allow you multitask while having a conversation?  But has the globalization really made us closer?  Has it made us appreciate those loved ones any more?  I think in some cases it has.  It depends on your approach to your technological self.  But I think while it has made us more socially available and perhaps even more socially approachable, it has spread us out so thin that we can have thousands of friends and not really any at all.  Not I.  I am acquainted with many people, some of which I may even remember a name after many years of not seeing each other, but my circle of friends is small.  Frankly, I just don’t have all the time in the world to have hundreds of friends.  I barely feel I can manage to keep my house clean, and cook, and sleep, and work.  A dictionary definition of friend is a person whom you know well and regard with affection and trust.  There have never been more than a handful of people that fit that definition for me.  I think that’s true for everybody.  I fear technology is making it so that more and more people have fewer and fewer people who fit that definition.  This saddens me.  I wish to start at least one person to look at their relationships with the purpose of making each and every one fruitful, and thus inspiring others by example.

Male Chauvenism is Alive and Well YUK!

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No, I’m not male bashing.  Somewhere back in the early days of humankind, by most religious reckoning, men were generally bigger and stronger than women, and so took on the role of protector.  Probably in great part because women were bearing and nursing children.  I’m okay with man as protector.  How did we get from man as protector to man as force?  Would we have nearly as much conflict in the world otherwise?  There are things equally wrong, and right, within any group of people.  There are bad people in every group, male/female, black/white, politicians/constituents, etc.  There are amazing fathers who find great pleasure in caring for their families.  So why am I saying this?  Mostly because I see it everywhere I go, in some measure.  I was prompted by somebody I know telling me a soap-opera-ish story about having been told by his boss that he had to purchase scrubs for use in his job.  He was told that the scrubs were in the women’s section, and he was [light-heartedly] offended that he had to shop the women’s section.  He proceeded to tell me how comfortable it was to wear scrubs.  To me, that attitude is too close to typical behavior for men; perhaps instead it is typical for any group or person that has accumulated a little or a lot of authority over somebody.  But I believe that is still primarily a male-held position.  Domestic violence, if it could truly be documented, would probably bear out my assumption.  I read a snippet somewhere about the number of cases attributed to women.  Fair enough.  I wonder how many of those were instigated somehow by men.  Even if it were none, I imagine the numbers would still prove me correct.  But I’m not trying to be proven correct.  I want us all to get along (yup, Rodney King said that), and I’m wandering around in my mind [as the world’s chaos runs into it] about how that can happen.  I think it happens by staying in contact with people and discussing everything that we have in common, which is practically everything, so that people are aware and empowered to make it happen.  Which is now why I am blogging and hoping, slowly, to make contact with other bloggers.  I hope also that the sum of our blogs will be fruitful.

Life is Good

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When the chaos is in the background, and you don’t feel that most of your steps are moving you backward, and when your circle of friends and family is manageable, then life is good. Every day is a blessing if your attitude is good, and you aren’t trying to live in every circle.  And when the chaos is in the background, life seems simpler. Nothing seems end-of-the-world important.

Prejudice

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You know, we are born and start learning right away.  Amazingly better, I suspect, than any of us can imagine.  We obviously recognize facial expressions and familiar faces and learn some of their names.  We learn about our needs, even if we are unable to directly fulfill them or tend to them.  We start to learn what objects are and how to verbalize them, along with familiar faces’ names.  We learn that words are powerful.  And that emotions are equally powerful.  What I think many don’t realize is that their combination, colored by a powerful influence, can create extreme prejudice.  We need the labels to describe things, and in describing people, but the prejudice can make a bloody muddy mess of them all.  After we are grown and our beliefs are more or less set, too many in the world see things only in something close to black and white.  Either you are female or male, white or black, gay or straight, Republican or Democrat (or Left or Right, or Conservative or Liberal; I don’t know which is preferred these days).  Ultimately we are all flesh and bone, with the same capability to love and hate.  I want people to look at me and not think, “oh *&%#, he’s male, or he’s Democrat (which I’m not actually, but I was as a disillusioned twenty-something), or that I’m balding, etc.  I want people to look at me and think, “what a wonderful, compassionate human being.”  I told the only person I ever argue with that I wouldn’t waste my time arguing if I didn’t care deeply.  I don’t waste my time arguing with people who are intent on being unhappy and perhaps-subconsciously trying to make me unhappy as well.  Every person I meet starts out being a beacon of perfection.  Where they go from there has a lot to do with her or him.

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