Tag Archives: deep thoughts

Fifteen Minutes

It seems like people say things were so much better in the past, which is probably why “the good ‘ol days” are often referenced more than “right now is probably as good as it’s going to get.”

But the truth is that in life, there will be a moment when you’re at your best. 

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You might not realize that it’s “that time” when it happens because you’re too busy planning out an uncertain future, or maybe everything will seem perfect and you’ll embrace every second of the ride. Maybe it was last year, maybe it will come tomorrow.

Either way, it will eventually end, and probably too soon.

The truth is reaching the apex of whatever it is you’ve set out to achieve—physically or mentally—can’t be maintained forever. Those moments of absolute, unadulterated happiness or physical perfection are awesome when they happen, but if every day was filled with an overabundance of emotion, it would be exhausting.

So we want to hold on to those moments. We take pictures, we blog about them, we store them away in our memory banks and cash them in during times when we fear we might never feel that great again.

Why?

Because most often there’s that voice in the back of your mind that wonders if that moment has passed, if you’ve reached a point of greatness that won’t return again.

If you write or you’re an artist, you worry about writer’s block or a drought in creativity. Every gap not filled with satisfactory production can be viewed as the first drop of decline, as a subtle hint that maybe the last thing you wrote will be the last good thing you will ever write again.

Dramatic? Most certainly.

True? Most often.

The reality is that there has to be an eventual letdown—the post-wedding honeymoon bliss before reality, the post-race runner’s high before the “what’s next?” phase. Those are expected. But if you don’t know you’re in the middle of “it,” can you enjoy it as much as you should?

Although it’s not about “fame” but rather about personal bests, I have certainly enjoyed my very small 15 minutes of “pseudo fame” with the book.  While there are many times I turn a good thing into stress, for the most part, I’ve let myself enjoy it.

And while I highly doubt that a rose in mid-bloom thinks about whether or not it’s reached it’s finest hour or stresses over the dropping of each petal, I’m most certainly not a rose. I can’t help but hear that clock ticking in the background as the seconds of my 15 minutes dwindle down.

I’m left wondering if this is all there is, if I will ever sell another copy, if I’m stuck doing what I’m stuck doing right now forever. I want something “else” to happen, but what? How?

I don’t know.

All I do know is that some people peak early. Some people peak late.  There are fantastic debuts and remarkable comebacks. But whether you’re famous, an athlete, a waitress or a humble writer such as myself, you’re only at the top once.

Knowing this—and being aware that you might not know just when that is—can  motivate you to keep reaching and working for that feeling again, hopefully taking time to enjoy the ride the whole time. Doubt should not serve as a barrier to creativity or progress.

At least that’s what I’m trying to hear myself say above the ticking of that clock and pounding of self-doubt that I’m trying to mute out.

At any rate, the next post with be lighter, but lately, this was on my mind. And since I’m rambling and there’s no graceful way to end this, I’ll share a wise quote from writer Michael Ames that pretty much sums it up:

“Regardless of where we currently lie in our respective timelines, the choice is the same: you can howl at the moon over the years that have come and gone, you can be a tomato and shrivel up and die, or you can move on, buoyed by the knowledge that your best work lives on without you, and there’s still so much more to do.”

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Quote me on it

I’m a big quote person. I love quotes.

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This is one in particular that I keep forcing myself to come back to for a couple of reasons, the obvious one being that I tend to keep past actions/feelings/discomfort in the back of my mind. There are times I  hold onto them far too long, almost by force of habit.

While I’m getting much better at this, I still have a tendency to act impulsively when I get uncomfortable—physically or mentally. I will obsess over what led up to that point, how I can prevent it from happening again, how I can make it go away right that second. These are the times when I need to take a deep breath, let it go—whatever “it” is— and take the next positive step forward.

Easier said than done, I know. But Emerson was really onto something.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.”

It’s actually the last part of this that speaks to me quite a bit.

Have I done everything I could have/should have done? If the answer is yes, then there should be no guilt or regret when I lay my head down at night. All of those feelings are unnecessary self-judgments, and as long as I do what I know I can do—for myself and for others—then there’s no reason to look back and feel regret.

“Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.”

Well, that’s an understatement.

Not a day goes by that I don’t feel like I should have zigged when I zagged at least once. When  anxiety or uncertainty creep in, I have a tendency to default to my unhealthy coping mechanisms and fall back on those for relief. Although it feels right at the moment, I often look back and regret that I didn’t do what I could have/should have done.   

But I also have to leave that behind and not obsess over things I can’t change—food/exercise choices, something said, a blog post with no response, work stuff.

Forget it, learn from it and move on.

“Tomorrow is a new day.”

This really isn’t related to anything, but I think that’s why I love breakfast so much. It’s a brand new day and a new chance to start over. This doesn’t explain why I could eat breakfast food all day, but I do like the prospect of starting things new. Now I’m rambling. And I want oatmeal.

“You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

I’m not always happy, especially when taken out of my normal routine, but it’s up to me to deal with whatever situation I am faced with.

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Uncle June and I are going on another business trip (this Thursday until Monday) and I would be lying if I said that I was excited about going. It’s the same trip we’ve done the past couple of years and it’s a really big deal with a really big amount of work.

And wherever I go, there I am. 

My issues get packed along with the Lysol, but I will try and remember the quote. I’m going to forget my past experiences and not use them as a springboard for any assumptions going in. Just because I tend to self-destruct and restrict a bit on trips doesn’t mean I have to do it this time.

Because let’s face it—more often than not, situations are less than ideal, not just with work but with life. I only make things worse when I allow myself to be “encumbered by my own nonsense.”

Side note: nonsense should be used more often. I kind of like it.

So I will finish today and not worry about the things I can’t change. If I screwed up, I can try again tomorrow. If other people screwed up, I can figure out a way to make the most of it, if only for my own sanity.

And if things still suck, I can finish the day and be done with it.

Then blog about it later.

Do you have a favorite quote? This is my most recent one, but I have a million that I like and I find more all the time.

I know I’ve asked this before, but do you like traveling?  Favorite/least favorite parts?

The secret’s out-I pose with produce

This isn’t a big deal to anyone but me, but I actually posted a link to my last post on Facebook. Why is that weird? Because I hadn’t shared my blog with anyone in “real” life—even my mom.

Good lord, the woman took pictures of me dressed as a hippie and posing with asparagus and avocados in my living room without even asking me what the heck it was for. I told her in general terms, but haven’t showed her the finished product because my blog was on there.

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There were a couple reasons I kept the blog to myself for the most part, one of them selfishly being that I kind of liked having some place to go where I could vent without pissing off anyone that I had to face the next day after they read too much into something.

Another reason was that as much as I embrace myself in all my “issued” glory, I guess there’s a small part of me that’s still not OK with sharing where I’ve been or am trying to go. That’s ridiculous, as what makes me who I am is where I’ve been and how I’ve used it to strengthen my character. I am and always will be a work in progress.

However, the fact is that I hate the labels and don’t want anyone to think anything less of me for reading about my issues. I feel like a label and the fact I’m so thin is an external reflection of a weak internal state, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In other words, that self-consciousness is also ridiculous.

But lets be honest. It’s hard to admit that you have vulnerabilities and struggles, especially to those you interact with on a daily basis. But if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from the blogging community the past year, it’s that the best relationships come from complete honesty and vulnerability. These people know all my crap and like me anyway. Those are the only kind of people I would like to have in my life on a personal level.

So while I’m not vain enough to think that any of my Facebook friends/family will take an interest in my occasional ramblings, for me, it’s kind of nice to just put my issues out there and be honest.

It’s not that I was ever dishonest about anything, but this breaks down one of the many walls in my fortress force field of fickleness.

Anyway, if they choose, I want people to know me as I am and not how I think I should be. So if you’re new here, I indexed some of the highlights according to category one afternoon when I was bored. Whenever I get the urge, I write about food. I write about random observances. I write about serious things and then might follow it up by writing about cleaning the house naked .

Because despite my various degrees of awesomeness, I do have issues—we all do. But there is also a hell of a lot more to me than that and sometimes I have really cool stuff to say.

And, well, I pose with produce.

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We will return to our regularly unscheduled ramblings in the next post. You’ve been warned.