Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Random Thoughts

One of the perks of retirement is the time to sit and contemplate the many events of life.

Right now my old team from work is heading to work while I'm sitting on the deck as a light rain passes, enjoying a good Dominican cigar, and writing on my Chromebook.

Yesterday afternoon I spoke briefly with a man that will be retiring at the end of the year. Although he has been talking about it for a while, many of his coworkers doubt that he will actually do it. He will be 70 when he retires.
I don't know his situation, but I do know that you seldom hear of people that wished they worked more in their life. Since he seemed pretty set on following through with his decision, it was easy for me to encourage him to do it! Almost six months into my freedom from work and I haven't regretted it for a single minute.

The brief rain shower will keep me from mowing the lawn today (rats!). There is work to be done inside but that can happen after I finish my cigar (it's a good cigar and will take about an hour or more to finish). No worries. I have the time.
Besides, it's not like I'm not doing anything -- the washer and dryer are both in mid-cycle as I type.

Last weekend I was privileged to officiate the wedding of a good friend's son. It still amazes me to know that there are people that hold our friendship is such high regard that they would ask me to be a part of such am important day. When I think back over the time that we have known each other, I can't think of anything that I might have said or done to have earned his respect and friendship.

I have said before that I have very few real friends. I know the qualities that I look for in such relationships. I don't know that I am one that often exhibits those same characteristics. I am fortunate that most people have never seen the "ugly John" that lurks just below the surface of the man they see.
"Ugly John" shapes many of my ideas and thoughts on life, but I have learned to keep him under control ... most of the time. But because I know he is there, it still surprises me that there are people that genuinely like and respect me.

I suppose that we all have that side that is seldom seen. Some people are transparent enough that they don't seem to mind if their ugliness always shows through. Personally, I'm ashamed of my ugly side and wish that he didn't exist at all.
And yet, I wonder how strong I would be without him.

I suppose it is a little weird to think of my dark side as another person. Maybe it's a mechanism for absolving myself of the responsibility of the things done by "ugly John" and maintaining the good guy image that I really want people to see.
From somewhere in the past I remember a story of a Native American teaching where a grandfather tells his grandson that within each of us are the spirits of two great wolves that are in constant battle with each other. One is good and one is evil. The boy asks his grandfather which one wins and the wise old man responds, "The one that you feed."

Feed the good one in you.
Avoid the negative.
Avoid criticism.
Avoid hate.

Be positive.
Be kind.

John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

The un-mean wolf needs support and encouragement. Enjoy your cigar and reprive from mowing!

Mike said...

"and I haven't regretted it for a single minute"