Skip to main content

Challenge Me

The day-to-day grind of being a human being is challenging for us all. Some of us, who care about others, even those non-human creatures, more than ourselves, feel a burden. Ironically, that burden or challenge creates a lull. What we choose to do to relax says more about us than what we do when we stress or strive. I sincerely believe that.

I do not judge anyone on the work they do or how they live their lives, as long as they fall in between my own definition of decency. I do not believe my definition is any different or holds others to a higher standard but I'm sure I'm wrong. By simply writing it, or saying it aloud, I'm probably disproving it. I do however judge people by how they spend their supposed downtime. As I wrote in a previous post, I do reflect upon my actions quite a bit, and it has recently occurred to me that this is not the norm. Most fall into some mindless chatter or silly distraction, and that is fine, but does it make you the person you want to be, which in turn may make someone else a better person? I could be wrong, but I strongly doubt watching sitcoms betters anyone. This is not to say watching sitcoms is a bad thing or should be ignored. It's confusing; I grant you that.

If money were no object I'd go back to school and simply take classes that interest me and mock the idea that learning has an end. If I craved Mexican food, I'd turn off the laptop and drive to Mexico. If I wanted to understand why sharks come to Cape Cod every summer, I'd drive to Cape Cod and ask. I'd do a lot of personal, maybe even selfish things, but most of all, I'd ask people what would make them happier. 

Recently, I have realized that there is this misconception that childhood was easier. That because we lacked responsibility we could be carefree, and the lack of responsibility made life enjoyable. I beg to differ. Childhood is a day in/day out school. We're told "No," more during childhood than in adulthood and constantly being reminded of right and wrong. We also must follow these commands, whereas when we're adults, we can pick and choose which social behaviors we find pleasing and abhorrent. Our childhood is what our adult selves call "political correctness,' which based on most of those I know, isn't something they value. No, what made us happy in childhood was the fact that we, without any true intent, did for others without thinking. Our imaginations ran wild, but we included everyone, regardless of whether or not they were the cop or robber, the cowboy or Indian, or the princess or the witch. Everyone played a role and we grew together. When we were done, we went and told our parent(s) of our adventures and they smiled. That confirmation is lost in adulthood, aside from that which we receive in the eyes of a child. 

One of the hindrances of today's world is that most of our interaction is impersonal, and I strongly feel we're passing this down to our children, who need interpersonal connections. Texts, Facetime, Social Media, and even the games we see on TV, computers, and in schools, are all geared towards the self, forgetting that most children benefit from groups, as do adults. It's why I've tried, without coming off as odd or self-righteous to engage more people, which is why the title of this post is "Challenge Me." I feel as though I've mastered the challenge of my relaxation time, and my mind is always whirling about, learning or experiencing something new. But I worry about my shared time. That I'm not being challenged, because people don't really strive to be that smiling child again. I know I'm not, so maybe I'm challenging others. 


Popular posts from this blog

11 Rules of Life - Bill Gates?

I read this on Facebook this morning.  A friend had posted it and said that every child should have to receive this. I of course read it and started to think.  I immediately wondered who really wrote this, as I rarely see things like this attributed to the proper person.  I immediately found it was written by Conservative Charles J. Sykes when he wrote a book about how America is dumbing down our youth.  I read it twice and started to wonder how true it was.  Below is a link to the actual picture I saw.

So let's look at each of the rules and analyze them.

Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it! - Life is not fair in that we are not all afforded the same opportunities based on race, creed, color, socio-economic background, but in general, those who are afforded the same opportunities to succeed are very often rewarded for their individual efforts.  Sure there may be underlying circumstances, but hard work is proven to pay more often than not and those who strive for success, migh…

Out Of Options

Two winters ago, I was in a bad place. Physically, financially, but especially emotionally. Life, which has rarely been anything I could view as fair, had really begun to weigh me down. I was living in a motel room, paid for by my brother while awaiting a move to another state. A little late research revealed my soon-to-be new home was a bit of a nightmare. Think of Melrose Place with meth and hookers. The idea of flying halfway across the country with my cat, Swag, and less than $200 in my pocket was scary. Leaving everything I knew wasn't what scared me, it was knowing deep in my heart, I'd never return. 
It's always easy to put off keeping up with people when you're close, but as I've learned over the last four years, distance tests friendships, even those we view as true. One can't imagine the alienation of being broke, physically unable to walk, and having to rely on a motel staff's daily pleasantries to remind yourself you're alive. At times I que…

In Memoriam

For Shane

Yesterday, I sat in the library, thinking of you. As I pored over vegan recipes, tales of medieval monks, and descriptive biography of Yasujiro Ozu, I thought about you more. Who else could I call and discuss all three? Who else would be able to add insight to my last meal, movie, and chapter? I was tempted to walk, arrive work sweaty, but feeling accomplished, but a bump in the rode arose and I found myself driving. You'd have scoffed, claimed I took the easy way or accused me of always avoiding the circuitous route, in favor of ease. I'd agree, then buy you a beer.

Last night, I thought about us twenty-five years ago, maybe more. Rows of six dimes stacked on the bar. Cold Schaefer puckering our lips. Commenting on the old-timers, of which I am now one. You're not here to share those moments, that repartee or the serious moments we often shared. With every meal, movie and mountain life throws at me, I miss you more. There were years where we only spoke once. Thi…