It Is What It Is

14692471997_aa360acf66_mI’ve been stressed lately.

Very stressed!

In fact, I’ve been running in panic mode and it’s taking it’s toll on me.2059225092_5287415008_m

What’s going on? Well, I’ve been out of work for about five months now.  As you can imagine that has put a real crimp in the cash flow pipeline.  Yes, I’m getting unemployment and yes, I’m actively looking for work and trying to make things happen.  Despite all that, it is no walk in the park being unemployed; it wreaks havoc with your finances and, more importantly, your psychological state and self-confidence.  Being out of work really chisels away at your feelings of self-worth and, sometimes, self-respect.  I sometimes feel like I’m not contributing.  That’s torture for a guy.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of crap and hasn’t experienced the unemployment doldrums.  Well things just got tighter financially and that put me in a tailspin.

I was very frustrated and, honestly, pissed at God.  I felt that I should be further along after 8 years of recovery.  I should have more money in the bank. I should be driving a better car than the one I am currently driving – at least one that is a model year within this millennium! My career should be cruising right along by now.  Instead, I find my self pinching pennies, shopping the dented can aisle, worrying when my car is going to crap out and the like.  It seemed like I was sliding backwards.  Hell, at this point, being stuck in the mud was looking pretty darn appealing. 100761143_226e540b49_m

Quite the pity party, huh!

Yesterday my lovely wife pointed out that I’ve been miserable and it’s making life a bit difficult in the family.  She reminds me of some of the good things that have happened in the past five months: finalizing the adoption of Kris; helping out with Peter while she recuperated from a broken arm; helping Kris adjust to life at home and at school; having the time to help Dad adjust to life as a widower.  She also reminded me that this is not forever.  Smart woman. (Thanks sweetie for the perspective check.)

Then this morning I read two pearls of wisdom that solidified my improving perspective.  One was an email and the other was a blog post.

“Acceptance is kind of like ending a longstanding argument you’ve been having with the Universe.” I took a deep breath, exhaled and said to myself “It is what it is and this too shall pass.”

“Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver.  My answer: pretty much anything I’d like.

It just might take a little longer than I expected.

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Gravity

There has been this myth circulating on the web lately.  The supposed planetary alignment was supposed to interrupt the Earth’s gravitational strength for a brief period of time leaving us weightless for a few moments.  That was supposed to happen today.

Aside from my waking up with a little spring in my step there was no appreciable decline in gravity that I could detect.  No floating down the stairs to get my coffee. Nothing unusual.

But this gravity thing got me thinking.  What is gravity?  The dictionary gives it a definition of seriousness as well as the force generated by objects that pulls other objects toward its center.  But what does gravity have to do with Earth being so hospitable to life here?  What would happen if we had less gravity or moved our orbit to that of Mars?

Apparently if Earth’s gravity were more that of the moon the Earth would have difficulty holding onto its atmosphere.  The oceans would release its own gases through evaporation in an attempt to replenish the atmosphere but they too would drift off into space.  Eventually the oceans would dry up and life would perish.

If we kept the gravity the same but moved Earth to Mars’ orbit we’d have less energy derived from the sun and enter into an ice age unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.  The oceans would freeze up to their greatest depths.  No moisture would escape to the atmosphere and life would perish.

Pretty tenuous an existence.  Minor changes to our gravity or our orbit would have catastrophic affects on life as we know it.  No one would be here to write blogs or read them.

It also got me thinking how we can keep grounded in our lives.  How do we walk the tightrope between being realistic and practical and building castles in the sky, as Thoreau encourages us to do? How do you shoot for the stars and not get so wrapped up in dreaming that you miss the beauty here on Earth?

I think that’s a struggle we all deal with.  At least I struggle with it – balancing responsibilities with hopes and dreams.  I think we reach that goal periodically in life.  Those moments truly exhibit heaven on earth.

I will end here with two performances that seem to strike that balance.  Enjoy.

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