On Priorities

I am writing this blog post because I made a choice a while back to write more, in general but also specifically on this blog. Afterwards, I will write up a lesson plan for my classes in order to be better prepared for tomorrow because it is my job. I mean, technically it is what I get paid to do. Once that is finished, I will attempt to get my lazy ass to work out, shower, and have a meal since apparently you are supposed to eat more than once in a day. If time and energy permits, I will, hopefully, be able to finally play Destiny for a bit. 

I would much rather skip all the steps before it and go play Destiny for as long as my body and mind can hold out. While this is most likely what I would have done just a year or two ago, it is no longer a plausible situation. I now have a full time job that requires certain responsibilities. I also realized that I have to try to maintain some semblance of a working body and mind which require things like upkeep and sleep.

Beyond this there are also goals and endgames that I want to accomplish and just like everyone else I only have 24 hours in the day. Since I am limited in time and resources, I have to pick and choose what I can and cannot do. Of course, this means that some of my preferred hobbies and pastimes take a back seat to more important or necessary functions. I suppose this is what happens as we grow and mature. We realize what matters to us and attempt to put our energy into those things because we want to excel in them.

Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec, said it best, “Sometimes you gotta work a little, so you can ball a lot.” And really isn’t that what we all are trying to accomplish?

Reading the Signs…

“You remind me of the man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town, and that the all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, “I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.” The waters rose up. A guy in a rowboat came along and he shouted, “Hey, hey you, you in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.” But the man shouted back, “I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.” A helicopter was hovering overhead and a guy with a megaphone shouted, “Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety.” But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety. Well… the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter he demanded an audience with God. “Lord,” he said, “I’m a religious man, I pray, I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?” God said, “I sent you a radio report, a helicopter and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?””

Father Thomas Cavanaugh talking to President Josiah Bartlett in The West Wing S1E14 “Take This Sabbath Day”

 Something you should probably know about me; I am a huge Aaron Sorkin fan. Sports Night, West Wing, Newsroom, even Studio 60; I have seen each and every one multiple times. Is his work perfect? No, but no piece of art is without criticism and I tend to look at Sorkin’s with a more positive eye, especially West Wing. The preceding quote has been in my head for awhile after a few friends had a ‘quote off’ of season one. An example of the many time wasting word games my friends and I play, to an obsessive degree.

Sorkin claims to be an atheist, at other times an agnostic at most, and I have no reason to disbelieve him. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, he has always included some degree of faith and religion into his programming, both to mock and to demonstrate a sense of respect and dignity. Now, before you exit from this post, this is not meant to begin a discussion about faith or religion or the role of either. Not saying those posts might not come late, but this is not it.

To me the quote above could have God replaced with Buddha, Allah, fate, life, Cthulu, the Easter bunny, or merely the universe for all I care. (Quick trip outside to make sure no one is trying to smite me…all clear). Honestly, it is not about placing one’s faith or life in specifically God’s hands but in looking for the signs to take action. I vehemently believe that there is some sort of code or pattern that makes the universe function. Even amidst the chaos and uncertainty, there are some underlying elements that we can see and observe and use to guide us. Not sure how accurate this belief is, but I am sure I could find some reputable scientists and theorists to back me up.

If we are willing to listen, observe, and act upon the signals and signs we see, I think we would be more fulfilled and less regretful. Will events and actions always work out in our favor? No, not at all. Sometimes the cute girl in the corner is smiling because she is remembering something funny and has nothing to do with you. Sometimes taking that risky dream job will end with you fired and on the market again a year later. Nonetheless, even with those instances you will have done something and learned from the experience without ever having to think about what could have been. This seems like a better way to have a life, or is it just me?

Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where I do not fully practice what I preach, but I am working on it and, with a little effort it, soon it will stop simply being words.

A Life Worth Remembering

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Rather poetic considering that Mr. Franklin managed to both with his time on Earth. I don’t know if I fully agree with his sentiment as few will probably ever manage to achieve such a high status. However, I do not believe those lives are not worth remembering. I know what Ben was trying to say, but even a life not necessarily written down in the great annals and books of history will still have some impact that will be known and remembered after their life is done even if just by a close few. Still, I wonder how much this fear of “mortality” drives individuals particularly those in the creative and inventive fields?  Why are we afraid of being forgotten by the world?

Without being too self-centered, I have always dreamed of seeing my name on a book and having it read at least a few individuals. I don’t think that is because of any desire to be immortal, but maybe I am not fully aware of my own motivations. Either way, Mr, Franklin’s words still carry some truth. After all, only greatness, both good and bad, seem to inspire songs and stories, so perhaps the pursuit of it is not so bad as long as it is somewhat tempered (in my opinion). Something to consider as we live our lives and go after our dreams…

The Sentry Gathers…

The Dream Life

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I am sure you have probably seen this image making the rounds and with good reason. I, for one, have always found inspiration in Calvin and Hobbes and its simple and poignant view of the world.  Frankly, I know that Watterson’s words are hard, perhaps impossible, to live by but at the same time it serves as something to aspire to. His life serves as inspiration. A man who left his mark with only the goal of entertaining and philosophizing a bit. I hope to one day be able to follow in his footsteps. It won’t be easy and it will be a daily struggle, but I know I will be the better for it.

Thanks for the advice, memories, and companionship, Calvin and Hobbes. Thank you, Mr. Watterson, for being brave enough to put your voice out into the world.

The Sentry Gathers…