Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year's Resolutions: If They Weren't Cliche, No One Would Do It

This year is going to be a good test of my self discipline. Forget new years resolutions and there implications with cliche and loftiness, this year's fate was decided in November, and perhaps even before that. I signed up for a number of college courses, seeing that I needed to catch up to college level courses for one, and move on with my life for two. The busy next couple of months will be a testament to disciplines that I both learned in the Army and am willing to learn now. Among the 24 total units to be taking from now till June, I also have baseball, a part-time job and a girlfriend who lives some two hours plus away, if you're hitting traffic at the right time. 

On top of the grueling school and baseball schedule, and next to the part-time job and long distance relationship is another set of self-discipline factors that will make this year interesting. I feel comfortable, at least for the moment in knowing that I'm poised in such a busy time to achieve goals that I have never really been able to accomplish. The first of which is one that I'm sad to admit, but one that I truly feel I can conquer. That is to follow a budget, near precisely. This has never been an issue for the past six years, as my income was often considered a disposable one. I would take money off the top for savings/retirement, whilst simply not worrying about the rest of the income and how much booze it could be spent on. Ah, military welfare how I miss you so.

The second thing, which was somewhat accomplished last year, was to not eat fast food. This of course has some caveats, In-n-Out Burger, Chipotle and Subway shouldn't count, and perhaps El Pollo Loco as well. This falls in line with the fact that I simply want to eat better all the time. I did a fairly decent job this past year with this sort of thing, but cutting out soda pop and lots of beer is going to be a focus amongst not giving into late night snacks at Jack in the Box or Taco Bell, only to feel like crap the next day, or directly after eating such garbage. 

The next things that I am going to accomplish this year is more or less one of those painted canvas signs every girl thinks is the cutest thing, as a sort of stream of consciousness on how to live one's life. These are not the main focus, but will be a concern of mine throughout the time when my ideals will still be in line with this form of thought. Though these sayings are vague in ways, they also should be considered more of a guideline than a rule, and a rule to guideline.

Wherever you are, be there with the one's you love, and connect with them not through a screen, but around campfires and dinner tables. Start your days watching the sunrise and end it in well after it falls. Create memories that cannot be measured in time or space but by loves seamless artistry. Find your passions and pursue them through there ends and yours. Become more curious and skillful at the simplest pleasures of life; reading, cooking and cuddling. Practice goodwill and generosity towards others. Find patience in mistakes, yours or someone else's. Find perspectives you can only find with an open mind, and don't get tangled in the stubbornness of others. Lead a life that is worth living and never stop once you have.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Wealthy Live To Have Lived

Wealth I discovered, was in that moment. The sun was placing his glaze upon me as if he were a renowned chef flaming his creme brulee. I glistened in the profound happiness of the moment. It could've been prescribed in a painting at the Louvre, or the Christmas card you receive from your dearest Grandma. Clarity was oddly catalyzed by that luster of neither time nor space, but the clouds of heaven that gleamed upon the jump and joy of all which I found in that incredible affair. With this amazing situation at hand, I could not have allowed for it to sink in, until much later. This moment, the touch of it, is not one that most people will ever have the opportunity to experience. The wealth that was discovered therein was beyond any that gold, silver or diamonds could attain. No, this was wealth which could only be forged in the foundry of brotherhood using the ore of common experience with courageous actions in dire straights. 

Chaos had seen it's time, and it's time had been short. From out of nowhere came nothing, followed by everything. I was calmed by the need now and know how of the situation, always practiced, but never played. Nerves settling against the hard cold steel, the muscle tissues reacted. This was not the first time I had this sort of production, but certainly the first time I was responsible for the decisions that must be made. Adversities choke hold, with its easing knee pressing harder into the diaphragm, left the air barely reachable within the grasps of the mouth. Those sounds heard in such a moment are ones you will never forget. They ascend upon you like unseeable screeching eagles. Their shrieking pop is pure malice, staggering one in a way and exciting you in another. This finger painting, the mixing and matching of erratic colors, an uncontrollable fiasco, is suddenly given structure. Action as it were, a cure of this illness.

That hour, the same that it takes to boil an egg, was over. The years of brushing one's teeth, riding your bike, and taking out the trash has all been reprogrammed in that moment. You can never go back to that innocence, no matter want nor try. That pounding in the fires of the foundry, the wealth into the steel, is a look left. Then right. Everything that was done in that instant, beyond a shadow of a doubt, was done for that which stands on that left and right. They're called Brothers, but they go beyond flesh and blood. These men, those who've branded my life with their great deeds, are those who would put themselves at your side in the most uncertain of times. Times that stretch far beyond the touch of family, of friends, and even god. This is beyond privilege indeed, having known such men in my life. Having looked upon my left side to see them standing proud to have laid it all on the line for one another. Peering then to my right side, vastly humbled and beyond inspired to see them facing fears that would break most men. It is in this strength of camaraderie that I find a wealth that is beyond that of which I could ever have imagined. To have known these men, to know them today in this short time of mine, is in all consideration, to have lived the wealthiest of lives. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Adjusting, the Green of Fall, the Loves of Life

It's a normal fall day, at least for this part of the country. It's dreary, there's damp air that cuts through your light jacket, and there's that whispering autumn breeze that tickles every part of exposed neck with a curious feather touch. It's not what you think though. The trees stand tall, excited for the first water they've seen in months. No summer showers around here, and instead of the normal dead which the name fall implies, there is a strange green in what should be reds, yellow, browns and deads. This fall, not the same as those I've grown accustomed too, they speak California in their disregard for my fondness of the season.

It's been nearly a year since I've returned to this state. It's often confusing to me why exactly I am here. The weather, while magnificent, is often overshadowed by the rush rush and impoliteness of a too full street, market... civilization. A lot has happened over the course of this year. I miss plenty of my once was life, but don't wish to be back in it. This state changes you as much as any other state does. It's been a year of me, for the first time in a long time. I'm the main character again in this production of life. Strange, almost unwanted at times.

I hate disappointing people. This causes conflict with the above regalia since decisions that place one's own needs before others often are unwanted and disappointing. I started school. And baseball. And a relationship. All commitments that I feel the need, the urgency to fulfill. Where all of these are for my own gain, to some end, they are all contradictory in some respects. Baseball is a great deal of time out of my schedule. Five, even six, days a week and I'm often feeling too old to be back on that grind, but it's what I've wanted to do since forever ago. It interferes with these other two things. I could easily do more school work if I didn't have such a time commitment, and to my lovely girlfriend I often can't spend time that I otherwise could. This creates a dilemma in my life, but one I don't really need to solve. There is no solution, no path that I wish to take. I want to play baseball for many reasons, along with share my life with someone, and graduate from school.

The solution is impeccable time management. Juggling of life's responsibilities, this qaugmire continues to be the despair of us all. My expectations are like the fall at this point. I've grown accustomed to the way things were and the way they're supposed to be, forgetting that they aren't and I'm not. It's an important lesson to remember, and I'm glad that today, this brisk autumn sleeper decided to stumble out of bed and pour itself a large cup of java.