Time

Time

I’m watching the movie Lucy – Morgan Freeman has the best voice. There are two concepts that I find intriguing in this movie. Time and Predator-Prey relationships. I’m going to focus on Time in this particular blog. I’ll get to predator-prey another day.

When we are young it feels like time is endless. It takes forever, we feel, before we’re old enough to wear make-up, stay home without a babysitter, date, drive, or not have a curfew. I’m sure I missed some milestones, but I hit the big ones. Wait…I left off drinking but that really varies in age.

I just celebrated a birthday, and I’m telling you time is flying by at a rapid rate. You think you’ll have time for everything even the things you put off in life. You don’t! Children grow up so fast that I want to make sure I don’t regret not spending enough quality time with my son. Same for friendships – there are some I don’t see for periods of time, but when we do have an opportunity to get together you would never guess we’d spent a day apart.

Back to the discussion of Time – One book I find fascinating and I’ll tell you now it’s not a quick read. It’s definitely one of those you sit and ponder on is Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. Back in the my teacher days and specifically when I taught Physics this was one of the books I assigned. Nerds-R-Us right here!

[Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly.] In the book it goes on to say that for the most part the people don’t even realize they are reliving their lives over and over. That would completely suck!  There are parts I would rather not repeat on a regular basis. As the book states ‘precisely, endlessly’….that makes me cringe thinking about it. If I had an option I’d rather it be a do-over not a repeat. On the other hand I would miss out on some pretty spectacular things. If you imagine changing one aspect of your life how does that ripple through the rest. I’ll take what I’ve got and live with it because there have been some amazing moments.

For us time isn’t circular but when you think about your past are there parts that keep repeating themselves. If so, is it worth repeating? Reflecting on our own history and having a goal or direction you would like to see your life is important. It doesn’t have to be a five year plan maybe you start with 6 months or a year. Stretch it out as you see success or determine that adjustments need to be made. I think goals are important. I create a list for myself that has personal, professional, financial and anything else I think needs a plan. Serious planner right here….I didn’t start off like that it was something I had to develop. Really anyone can grow this skill.

[Imagine a world in which there is no time. Only images.] I like taking pictures but they are one dimension compared to real life that is multidimensional. No day or night just an image of a moment in time. Seems kind of limiting. Think of how much you would miss out on. Things happen in an instant that you can never capture only experience. An image would never do it justice. I like looking at pictures, but I would never want that to be my existence.

This does make me think of the times that I’ve taken photos with me to visit my grandmother at the nursing home. She has Alzheimer’s. My thought at the time was that the pictures would help her to possibly remember the event or trigger the memory of the person, but isn’t that the same as this description in the book. Only living via images. My grandmother is more than images. She may have this horrible disease but she is a blessing to those around her. She’s a vibrant human being with memories, life experiences, hope and dreams that are trapped in her mind.  I stopped bringing the photos because it confused her and I’d rather be in the moment with her. Maybe that moment includes talking about her babydoll or talking about God. That’s okay with me because we are having a conversation and spending that time together.

My point is live life to the fullest and be in the moment, so you don’t miss the good stuff.

-G.

*Image credit: http://www.themindtrap.com/img/rooms/time-machine-5.jpg

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Gettin’ on a jet plane

Gettin’ on a jet plane

When I’m traveling it’s normally uneventful, which is totally acceptable. I normally people watch in airports because there is always something to see. Humans are fascinating that’s why it’s so fun watching! 

I’ve seen some interesting choices for clothing, behavior that is questionable, I’ve met some unique folks, and I’ve seen ONE celebrity. There have been conversations about religion, hunting alligators, insurance…not real exciting, buying timeshares, and most recently about retired life. 

Let me tell you about my last flight – I got on the plane from Springfield, MO to Atlanta, GA. My seat partner (Tom) was an 83 year old gentleman that had to be the biggest flirt I’ve ever met. He was a character! Before you start singing gold digger his wife was across the aisle telling him I might not want to talk with him. He kept telling her ‘she’s talking to me’. I guess that was the go ahead that he could continue conversing. It sounded a bit like a kid asking mom for a special treat. In this case I was the treat. Sounds a bit wrong now that I think about it, but it was seriously amusing! She has got to be a saint. She also put ear plugs in and read a book the entire time. Tom would swear she reads 400 a year. She’s ahead of me only because she’s retired…oh the life.

Our conversation included discussion about retirement, politics, love, marriage, kids and grandkids, vacation spots, boating and coaching football. He really does coach football and told me that he wasn’t a role model. He thinks that is the parents job. I agree that parents should be the role model, but I darn sure expect my son’s soccer coach to be setting a good example as well. That whole thing about it takes a village to raise a child is true and if one of the villagers isn’t cooperating then you need to get on board before there’s a stake burning.

Tom being the flirt he is offered to show me a good time for about 20 minutes. I told him I would have to check off my bucketlist having a well seasoned gent flirt with me. I also told him I’d have to decline his offer….OMG. He did laugh about checking off the bucketlist, which lead to a discussion about the movie ‘Bucketlist’. One of his favorites.

He told me his younger looks were due to drinking daily. He stopped smoking at 50. He’s a real rascal obviously. This is why he’s not a role model and the villagers would be after him like Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s book.

Normally my seat mates keep to themselves so no conversation. It was a treat to chat with Tom. Do I always want to talk? No…lots of times I’m just like everyone else and keep to myself. My attitude is not necessarily unfriendly….might call it disinterested. Just moving along in the travel process. No one wants to be that annoying person on the plane – at least I don’t. 

I moved outside my comfort zone for whatever reason and I’m glad I did. I got to meet two fascinating people that have lead and continue to lead an interesting life in their retirement. 

My hope is that I live life, not sit on the sidelines waiting on life. ☺ I think I’m doing pretty good after a few false starts.

-G.

Blackhat

Blackhat

A few days ago I was watching the movie Blackhat and the villian in this movie thinks he’s pretty clever. I’m sure mostly because he’s a hacker, which means he’s anonymous and his actions are clandestine. I don’t know any hackers, but I do know some people that thought they were so clever they wouldn’t ever be caught in their own web of deceit. Oh the tangeled webs they weave. It’s when they’re wrapped up so tight like Frodo, the hobbit, in Lord of the Rings that it gets really entertaining.

I’m an observer of human nature….love people watching. Put me in an airport, an amusement park or Wal-Mart and I’ll be happy as a clam watching what’s going on around me. I also like watching movies or reading books where there is intrigue and figuring it out well in advance. Take Game of Thrones for example – I had a theory that’s pretty much on the money right away as I started reading the books. George RR Martin is a good story teller, and I like to connect the dots in his story. That’s what I do in life as well. Things that seem like they don’t go together or happen in an unusal way, well it might be they really do connect. I like figuring it out.

Anyone love strategy games? If it’s on an xbox I’ll probably die right away. Just not that coordinated when it comes to gaming systems, but a board game where you can put time and thought into it totally different scenerio. Settler’s of Catan is one of my favorites. I think my nerd rankings have shot up with this blog.

Okay back to Blackhat – the villian is also an opportunist. When you’re down they take the most advantage. Well that’s what he thought before he ended up dead. That happens to us in real life as well. People that are opportunist will look for that moment you are weak, down, not aware of deceit, and they strike. Striking with only themselves in mind. There is no thought to your well being or those around you. How do you protect yourself from that? Because staying vigilant all they time isn’t possible. I don’t really know the answer to that question. I would like to assume positive intent until I know that to be untrue. When I start seeing certain tendencies popping up in the other person, then my connect the dots behavior goes into overdrive. I don’t believe in coincidence. There is a purpose or design for everything. It’s possible that due to my life experiences I just happen to be on the lookout for it.

We all have experiences that can overshadow our lives, but it’s how we react to those situations as they arise that determine whether or not we overcome them. It’s okay to be disappointed, let down and know you’ve been lied to but we have the ability to decide if we are going to be the victim. Or stand up and say where did I have some accountability, where can I take some ownership of what happened, what blinders do I need to rip off so that I can be more successful as I continue in my life.

Life isn’t easy or perfect but we can find joy even in the hardship. It’s all about our perspective. Are you facing the future or trying to linger in the past?

-G.

*Photo credit: https://www.wired.com/2016/04/hacker-lexicon-white-hat-gray-hat-black-hat-hackers/

The Journey Class

The Journey Class

Not quite five years ago I found myself in The Journey Class. It had been years since I’d stepped foot in a Sunday School classroom. It had been long enough that I couldn’t recall anyway. They were a mixture of all ages from college level up to 50’s. Being right at 40 I wasn’t feeling like I was too old or too young. Kind of like goldilocks finding just the right porridge – I had found it in the class and the church.

The Journey class turned into more than just a Sunday gathering. They are also my pew crew, family, and friends. I couldn’t imagine how empty my life would’ve been these last several years without their love and support. We see each other through trials and tribulations. It was my pew crew that held me every Sunday during church service as I learned a new way to live. They fussed, worried and prayed for me, which I can’t thank them enough. I wasn’t  expecting to have an empty nest so soon but I did. It was tough to find my center and know where to go with my life…my world was a bit messed up. In the end I’ve survived that change in my life. It took the pew crew and being voluntold. 

Voluntold….I know some are thinking wth! Crew was needed for the hot air balloon festival in our town and my cousin needed more volunteers. I agreed and I had no idea what to expect – but what happened was amazing. My pilots were both Aggies and if you know anything about Texas A&M we Aggies tend to stick together. We were fast friends and I had a fabulous time. During our weekend of ballooning we talked about the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM. It was on my bucket list! My pilots encouraged me to come out and crew there as well, so I took them up on the offer. 

That was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself. I made the long haul out there in my vehicle by myself. The music options are terrible and the views across Texas are nothing to write home about. It’s flat! The great thing was the thinking time. I was able to consider what direction I wanted to take my life. Make decisions about my future personally and professionally. To take some deep breaths and just know that God had all these worries, doubts and concerns all taken care of for me. I could just let go of the stress! Amazing idea I know. 

I’m about to make this trek again. This time because I love ballooning. New Mexico is spectacular and I’ll be able to see people that I met last year, my pilots and friends. It’s because of The Journey class that I find myself taking a new journey in life.

I love that we get to see all the amazing and wonderful things God is doing in our lives. Our class shares in joys, concerns and God sightings. If you aren’t sure what a God sighting is well it can be almost anything but today’s example: no traffic at my normally busy stop sign, where I have no view of oncoming traffic and I’m on an incline. It was a blessing!

I’m just so thankful for my class aka pew crew, and the opportunity I have to spend the weekend ballooning with all of them. Our Sunday School fellowship is community service this weekend. They are amazing people and I love them!

-G.