xangst

visions from a treadmill

August 20, 2019

encouragement

what is needed every day in life? you need food, water, shelter and encouragement. how about encouragement? what is encouragement? who needs encouragement? the answer – it is one of the most important things that you need in life on a continuing basis. how different is your life if someone gives you encouragement every day or every few days or even every week – all of these scenarios create a huge difference in someone’s life. it is not something that you think about all the time. it is not something tangible that you can hold or see. it is something that you can hear. we all have insecurities even if we don’t verbalize them all the time. our job is to push back these insecurities and move forward to make progress and reach our goals. many times you can just do it on your own because you start to have experience and you just push through based on what you have done in the past. but, when you tell someone about a problem that you are having or a doubt that you have about doing something – how wonderful it is when someone tells you back – “don’t worry, you can do it – you will be ok” you know that deep down you can probably do it without hearing these words, but when you do hear these words, especially when you are looking for encouragement – it is a game changer and it keeps you going and it keeps you pushing for what you need to make things happen and keep things on track in your life. so what you can do is find that person that you see or talk to all the time and you can ask them for encouragement. make sure that it is someone that is true and honest – someone that always tells you the truth. this is the person that will help get you through life – no matter how strong and organized we seem on the surface – we all need encouragement all the time. you can give encouragement back as well – you need to help others too. next time you need encouragement – ask for it and next time someone asks you for encouragement – give it.

July 15, 2019

teens

as kids enter teens – you quickly start to see the attitude changes and the opportunity for parent/teen conflicts goes up 1000%. you are appalled by their behavior towards you – so you lash out at them – you yell more – you might even call them names without thinking. it happens fast and before you know it – you have acted rough towards them and you feel regretful immediately. you need to apologize to them quickly and keep telling them to care more for others, especially family. as you have heard forever – these are the trying times until they get older and start being nice again. you just need to take it slower – recognize that you are over-reacting – and be more patient. bite your tongue and don’t lash out as much – it will help avoid bad memories in the future.

July 12, 2019

insecurity is good

when you see people that seem so cool and calm on the surface, you wonder – how can they do that? one theory is that they are actually insecure beneath it all and don’t feel they have the right to be arrogant or obnoxious. this is a good thing. the feeling of insecurity can act as a protective blanket against yourself and the world. you feel insecure and so you don’t go into the world like you own it – you are more humble and kind and cautious. you still have fun, you still get wild, you still express yourself – but you don’t do it in a bad way. yes, this can prevent you from reaching your fullest potential because in order to do that sometimes you need to be an ass – you need to think you are the shit – you need to walk without a care of others – you need to shed your insecurities to grab the brass ring. but on the whole – having insecure feelings can keep you grounded and guessing – and thus keep you as a calm, caring person on the outside. yes, this is an unkind way to present the good image – a negative force on the inside producing a positive effect on the outside – the interior mindset setting the stage for the exterior appearance. it proves that we all need something to fear to keep us on the right path. in this respect, insecurity is useful and good – it makes you a better person in the eyes of the world – but it doesn’t help your peace of mind. there is always a price. if you see a jack-ass coming down the street, then you know he needs to be more insecure to help create a balance – as the jack-ass attitude will get you in more trouble than an insecure mind. interesting dynamic.

June 28, 2019

articulation

this is a problem that everyone has from time to time. our minds have the ability to go deep into complex thought, which is natural for the human brain. the brain allows us to wander down very complex paths of thought – but as we go down that path, we also try to explain each part of the concept that we are formulating – so that the exercise is not wasted – and can actually be used to help us understand these complex thoughts. the problem is the further we take the idea and the further we do down the path of thinking – we also start to lose our ability to articulate these thoughts in a understandable and meaningful way. basically, our minds go deeper than what we can fully comprehend sometimes – or even though we may comprehend the idea or thought – we have a hard time explaining these deeper thoughts (case in point right now – with me trying to explain this concept in writing). however, it is good to think deeper – and it is a must to keep pushing the boundaries of our minds especially when looking at all of the key questions of life. so, we should think deeper and we should try our best to articulate those thoughts to ourselves and to others because any progress or new realization is worth it. however, we need to invent a way to help us articulate our thoughts better. if not already being done on a higher level to solve large problems – we also need to bring this assistance to the masses

June 19, 2019

the talk

not including the “no premarital sex” path followed by some and just focusing on “the talk” that you give your teenagers – this is how it should go:

you want to be very clear and very blunt – and you want to definitely give it to them by 16 – when they start more serious dating. we all know what teens are capable of regardless of what they tell you. you want to tell them that things can happen and they need to be prepared – and they need to tell their parents the truth – to a certain extent – so everyone is on the same page and no mistakes are made. there comes a time when you realize time is going fast with your kids, especially when they hit 16 and approach 18. you have to give up the long held belief that nothing will happen until they are 18 and legally adults. things will happen before then and as they get closer and closer to 18, there is less and less you can do about it. so instead, be straight with them about the perils they could face and even advise them to take precautionary measures. reality is reality and it is what it is – no time to dance around the subject – get to the point and make an impact with your words.

May 30, 2019

familiarity

it does breed contempt – no doubt about it. this is another part of human nature that you cannot control. it is in all of us. even the people closest to us like family – we do not like everything about them – we can’t because no one is perfect and no one can meet every expectation you have. you like every part about them, but there is always one habit or behavior you dislike. the longer you know someone – the longer you are around someone – you will eventually find something that you do not like about them. this is not a bad thing – this is human nature and the “endless” march of time coming together. it is inevitable that this will occur. your best friend for 50 years – there is something you do not like about them. your spouse of 50 years – something that gets to you. your parents – eventually they get on your nerves – and you breed some contempt. as long as we know this is part of human nature – just like hate, love, war, jealousy, greed, kindness, etc – then we know it is a natural thing that is a part of who we are. it is ok if this happens but try to keep it in check or you might find yourself alone one day. just another thing we have to manage as we try to keep our grip and keep our place in society.

May 17, 2019

this world

this world we live in is amazing. this time we live in is amazing. yes – over population is occurring at a faster rate than any time in history and yes – we are speeding up the process of destroying the planet – and these are not good trends. but right now at this moment in time – if we look around – we see a world that is amazing – we see a world that is alive – we see a world that is primitive and modern at the same time – and definitely more primitive if we are looking back at this time 1000 years from now. when future generations look back at this time – they will still see a garden of eden – they will see abundant nature – they will see us roaming around a beautiful world filled with sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, wild animals, wild forests, open plains, remote mountains, islands, valleys. they will be envious of the world we lived in because their world will be completely different. it might be man made or resemble some aspect of our time and our world – but it will not be our time and it will not be our world. this is the time to be alive, to do things with our hands, to walk among true nature, to look into the sky, to see the clouds, to hear the birds, to touch the rivers and oceans. this world that seems modern is in fact still in a pure and true primitive state which keeps us close to nature – the original nature of this world. we should relish this moment, this time, this world – which will be around for our lifetime and for the next few generations. the world as a changed place in the future is inevitable – we can make adjustments, we can help slow progress and destruction – but in the end, it will never be this good again – to live in a natural, beautiful, alive world. don’t dwell too much on the daily problems of life and enjoy this world as much as you can.

May 16, 2019

when it goes

when you see the mind start to go – it is a sad and terrible thing – especially in a parent. they can still talk to you and conversations are easy – but the confusion starts and the memory loss kicks in. though you can converse, there is not much detail anymore – general answers only. they can still eat, shower, read, clean up, dress – all the usual things in the normal way. but you do see the mind go a bit – repeating questions, repeating observations. you start to realize that things will never be the same. they can’t be alone anymore, they can’t remember to do the key things of each day – they can’t remember to eat or take their medicine – so even if they can do all the other things – if you don’t eat or take your meds – that is a problem – and it requires people to be there and to help get these things done to survive. as the child of the parent that is starting down this no-return path – you start to think about how will you set up the next stage for your parent – how do you make all the decisions – where will they live, how will they live – in a home or at home with the family. how much money is there to make these changes happen – to transition into this unfortunate phase. it happened quite fast – 6 months ago there was some forgetfulness – no biggie at the time – comes with older age – could last for years – but then in a flash – getting lost while driving the usual route, wandering down the street a bit, not getting dressed entirely – unusual things happening – and next thing you know, they are staying in your guest room and going home does not seem like a clear option anymore. you have to face it because they can’t face it anymore – their mind is in the last battle – trying to keep things normal but also knowing something is wrong which they can’t explain because it is their own mind that is confused – it is a never ending loop of confusion and the eyes are not as engaged as before – there is now a distance to them – brought on by this unseen confusion. you start to realize that when you talk with them, it won’t be remembered so you are really talking to yourself but it gives you comfort to hear them agree with you even though they don’t understand anymore. when you see the mind start to go, you realize that there is change coming – for them and for you

May 1, 2019

Cel

He was a generous man
He was a kind and caring man
He was a loyal man to his friends and family
He was a calm man
He was a thinking man
He was a very wise man
He took care of his family through and through – they had no needs or wants for Cel provided for everything
Cel was a very responsible man
He was a determined man
He was a man on a mission
He was a very accomplished man
He knew how to act in every situation
Friends and family looked up to him – and looked to him for guidance – for the right thing to do
Cel was an honest man and he didn’t need to say much to make you understand what he was thinking
He was a teacher as well – helping people along
If he had your back – you felt safe – he protected us all
He has taught us all lessons – we all have stories of how we learned from Cel

Cel is a man that will not be forgotten
He is a man that will be revered
We are all grateful to have Cel in our lives
Thank you Cel for everything you have done for us
We were lucky to have you

April 10, 2019

last day…(of your 40s)

what can you say about your 40s – except wow and shit. so much happens during the 40s decade. if you have a family – you are in the thick of it – kids grow up, expenses go higher, tensions develop, fighting, yelling, laughs and tears – all bundled into 10 key years of life – right in the middle of your journey. you are forced to finally grow up – you’re not the kid anymore – not the young one. you have more responsibility, more pressure, more decisions, more people dying, more health issues, parents on the way out. you have good times too – exploring more places with friends and family – you re-connect with old friends and lose some as well. you stop saying “yes” all the time and you stop trying to be the life of the party or trying to go to every party – it doesn’t matter as much as before – it never really did, but it takes awhile to figure that out (sometime in the 40s) – on the career side – your try to make more money because you have to (saving for college, cars and braces ain’t cheap) – you try to make good moves from job to job – this is supposed to be your prime – so pressure is on to get all you can out of your job/career – more ups and downs. on the health side – you need to work harder at staying fit – you take up more activities – running, tennis, golf, etc – and you actually find that you feel better than the 30s and 20s – less booze, better eating and more exercise – this trend of the 40s does help you feel better than before. then the inevitable getting closer to death thing seems much more present – you look back and say “50 years, really?” – it must be true since we lived in the last century – back before cell phones, internet, cable and seat belts?!?! – and when you look ahead, you say – “oh shit” – time is running out – only 10-20 years of work left (if you are lucky) – and then a brief retirement, then break-down of body/mind – burden to kids, then death – sounds fun! – but no need to be too negative at 49.99999 – half will say your still young and half won’t even pay attention to you (except your own kids/family because they have to) – anyway – it was the hardest decade yet – hope it gets easier (not)