Sunday, January 13, 2013

Slow it on Down

The weekend is half over. I've been having this passive-aggressive tussle with the management at work lately, about taking time off without pay. I'm for it and they are against it. I try my best not to take time off when they are short-staffed, or during the busiest times, but otherwise what is the harm? Oh well, this subject and the overall subject of work dissatisfaction in general is a dead horse, and I don't have a baseball bat handy at the moment, so I'm done beating that.

I'd love to just be able to stretch time out. The bad days seem to do on forever, but those mornings when I get to sleep in with my honey seem to be over in a heartbeat. Those are the moments I want to somehow make more elastic and stretch those good times out for much longer periods of our lives. Who doesn't want more of the good, and less of the bad, right?

When I manage to show up every day and stay the entire day, I work a 40 hour week at the bookstore. The parenting schedule I worked out with Jen gives me Justin after school on Friday until 4pm on Sunday afternoon. It's nice to have him every weekend, but I'd love to be able to see him more often during this short life of mine. My wife also works full-time, although she is a salaried director. Lately, she has been in there more longer than a 40 hour week.

Work gets in the way of so much that is good and vital: time with my son; time to sit and read the books in my library; time to make love to my wife/best friend/compatriot/chum and fellow book addict. I think that I'm feeling so much of this frustration with work, because I'm 51 now (or as I would say "50") and as I get older I have less patience for bullshit and stupidity. Having lived as long as I have -- and finally having found a partner with whom I feel about as close as one can to true love -- I have begun to feel as if I finally have some of my priorities in order.

I have two favorite quotes that come to mind often. They are both from films that I really enjoyed. The first line is repeated often by Chief Dan George in the 1970's classic "Little Big Man," who played Old Lodge Skins: "Today is a good day to die."

The second quote if from the 1980 Australian film "Breaker Morant," and it is spoken by Harry Morant: "Live every day as if it were going to be your last; for one day you're sure to be right."

I have also absorbed some eastern philosophy over the years, and I try to cherish each moment the best I can, as a fragile angst-ridden human being, with high blood pressure and a climbing cholesterol count (the "bad kind.") I don't have enough self-discipline to meditate twice a day for two twenty minute sessions. If I had that kind of discipline I'd probably live to a ripe old age of 101. I'd be the old man practicing t'ai chi ch'uan in the park on Sunday mornings, or monitoring classes at UW for even more self-growth. If I had that kind of self-discipline that I never would have quit playing piano. I would have driven myself to go to college and find a career in something I loved, like film or archeology rather than enlisting in the air force at age seventeen on a whim (or nearly so.)

The most recent neurological findings are suggesting that human beings lack true free will. We only have the psychological impression that our actions are chosen of our own free will. Courts of law treat criminals as if they have free will, and can therefore choose not to lead a life of crime. But more it more it has been proven (Google the data if you're interested) that our lives are predetermined by our genetics, our environment, and our own brains shaped by thousands of years of evolution.
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Well, another rambling blog post that may have been better suited to my journal, but blogs are what people tend to use a journals these days, aren't they? People voluntarily lead such public lives with their blogs and their Facebook accounts. I still fantasize about escaping from society and living in a cabin in the woods; or an Airstream trailer in the southwest, depending on fantasy. These dreams are relegated to old man musings now, because I've grown too old to realistically think about living off the grid anymore. As I age, I begin to depend on society more and more, and that only increases my angst.

Ruminating and rambling on seem to be my predominant modes tonight. But the digital clock over in the right hand corner of the screen reads 2:06. It's probably time to start to consider joining my sweetie under the heated blanket.

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