Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Best All-Terrain Vehicle...A Rental Car

Year’s ago someone told me that the best all-terrain vehicle is a rental car. As long as you buy the insurance you can do just about anything to it and the company won’t say a word…all you have to do is get it back to the lot. I can tell you that I’ve had some wonderfully wild times in rental cars.

Yesterday I drove a friend’s car to pick her and her traveling companion up at the airport. This is not a rental car. I was verrrry careful. This ride is a beautiful, luxurious Cadillac with all the bells and whistles. I felt like Mathew Mcgonniha…mmm…Mackgoonona….dang…Matthew McGonigay….forget it. The movie star who does the Cadillac commercials.

Anyway, my friend has the feature that allows you to see  what’s behind you when you look in the rear-view mirror. Yes, I know that’s what’s supposed to happen when you look in the rear-view mirror, but I’m talking about the feature that has a camera showing you what’s back there and as you turn it almost shows you what’s around the corner. Once you get used to it, it’s pretty cool.

I started thinking about: What if we had something like that in life? And then it hit me. We do. It’s called a memory.

Yeah, we can look back and, with 20/20 hindsight, we can see what we should have done to keep from hitting that fire hydrant…BUT WE CAN’T GO BACK INTO THE PAST AND NOT HIT THE FIRE HYDRANT!

So, what good is memory in that sense? Well, if I park near a fire hydrant in the future I’ll do a better job of remembering that it’s there when I start backing up. But, I shouldn’t keep beating myself up because I once (or a couple of times) hit a fire hydrant.

Memory is a good thing if you’re remembering the steps it takes to correct a document you’re writing; or what that warm, smooth, soft, bit of skin felt like when you were snuggled up on a cold December morning; or SPANKING DUKE LIKE THEY’RE A SQUAWLING 3-YEAR OLD AT WALMART!!!…mmm…sorry, got a little out there on that one…

…but, you get my drift.

Memory does not serve me/you/us if it’s a prison guard smacking you every time a certain thought comes up. Park the thought. Put it aside. Store it in a dark place, pull it out once a year just to acknowledge it and then put it back. 

Cut yourself some slack. Whatever you did in the past does not define you.

Unless, you did it with a rental car….but then, I think the statute of limitations on that one is over and done.

(share this with someone who has a selective memory about the bad stuff)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Reading through the obits/info about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away Saturday at 79, a couple of basic observations keep forming: First, nice guy. Interesting, although argumentative; obviously loved his family and friends; the type of guy you want on your side. Second, his originalist/textualist thinking was probably not what you want on the other side if you are saying, “Society changes and there are some things about it that might be different than they were 250 years ago; some things the Founding Fathers didn’t anticipate/didn’t experience.”

The best line of thought, though, was in The Washington Post. They noted that Scalia’s conservative opinions made progressives toughen up their own arguments; made them better/smarter/more persuasive. The paper quoted Proverbs 27:17, “ Iron sharpens iron.”

If you believe that life keeps sending you lessons until you get the lesson you’ll understand why I keep getting the message that there’s an opposite side to tough times. Obviously, it’s a lesson I need to learn.

If you’re trying to actually live life, with live being an active verb, there are going to be situations that aren’t blue birds and lemonade. The questions to keep holding in your mind are, “What can I learn from this? What do I want and how can I take these lessons and get closer to the life I want to live?”

Maybe we all need a Justice Scalia in our lives. Someone who, while they may not always be a smiling face, we can learn lessons from them. And, whether we like it or not, aren’t those the folks we appreciate all along the journey?

Thank you, Your Honor.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The King of Wishful Thinking

Hang with me on this one. 

How’s your day going? Here, it’s cold as beejesus and going to get colder. I’ve been outside in 27-degree weather getting a car with a dead battery started so I can go buy another one...battery...not car.

Like you, I’ve got a variety of opportunities, worries, hopes, and dreads flying around in my head.

So, I’m sitting here working, writing a variety of things, and trying to solve problems.

But,  I’m listening to tunes in the background and I can hear something like the Zac Brown Band doing, “Keep Me In Mind,” and all of a sudden the world seems warmer, thoughts seem more positive, and I’ve got this feeling that I can handle it all…or, at least, I can put it in the proper perspective.

I’m betting some of y’all have got an issue that is gnawing at your shorts right now…in fact, mine are looking kinda ragged…soooooo, go to, punch in a song that does it for you and sit back for a couple of minutes. 

Obviously, it doesn’t mean your problem disappears, but I’m promising you it’ll seem a little smaller, a little more realistic, a little…well…dang!….I’ve got the 80s group, Go West, getting ready to crank up, “The King of Wishful Thinking,” so you’ll have to excuse me.