Posted tagged ‘acceptance’

Easter. Passover. Pandemic

April 13, 2020

20200413_005227It is Sunday morning. Easter Sunday Morning.  Easter hasn’t meant much to me personally since I gave up Christianity years, although I will occasionally indulge in a dark chocolate coconut egg or a few licorice jelly beans.  I used to like Peeps, too, but they are too sweet for me these days.  It is also the middle of Passover, which I have more or less celebrated since I married my wife, Muri.  In our house that has meant a nice dinner in lieu of the Passover Seder with which many Jews mark the beginning of the holiday, followed by a week following (more or less, in my case) the dietary restrictions.   Just in case you’ve lived on another planet … or in Utah, where Jews are hard to find … that means only unleavened bread (matzo) and no legumes or grains.  I have never really adopted Judaism even though in many ways it lands closer to my spiritual inclinations.  This year we attended a Seder with the family of some dear friends online using Zoom.  It was good to see the faces of friends in the midst of the Pandemic.  Zoom has become a lifeline for many people as we (more or less) shelter-in-place while experts and politicians scramble to save us, the economy and themselves.  I’m sad to say it is not one of the finest moments of our country.   I remember after 9-11, for an amazing few weeks we stood together, cried together, and prayed together, even though we lapsed back into partisanship after that.  There’s been no such coming together against COVID-19. (more…)

Almost Seventy-Two

May 6, 2016

curmudgeonFive or six years ago, my wife Muri and I were at a Neil Diamond concert at (where else?) the Greek Theater.  At the intermission, a man sitting nearby struck up a conversation with me.  Ever since I passed fifty years old, I’ve kidded with Muri that I must have a sign on my head that says Old People Talk to Me.   Maybe that’s why I find myself talking to myself so much these days.  But on to the point of this post.  My fellow Neil Diamond fan asked me how old I was and when I responded, he told me that he was seventy-five and that the road from sixty-five to seventy-five was a difficult one.  I have no idea why he felt the need to share this with me.  He looked pretty good for seventy-five and my Inner Curmudgeon was convinced he was fishing for a compliment. Neither of us were about to give it to him. (more…)

On Acceptance

January 5, 2014

park sunriseLife is Good.    My Inner Curmudgeon hates that crap but my Inner Curmudgeon is a black and white thinker.  He sees Life is Good and thinks Always Good.  He may ask, What world are you watching?  Over the years, I’ve learned to be less literal than my Inner Curmudgeon would like me to be.  I can see Life is Good and subconsciously insert Usually.  Or Mostly.  Or Sometimes.  Which depends upon what is going on in my life at the moment, as well as on my attitude, whether I am being Bud Light or Bud Dark.  But my Inner Curmudgeon and I agree on one thing (many, actually) – sometimes, Life Sucks.   We have to do things that we dread doing.  We lose loved ones or friends.  Hopefully, it’s just the end of a relationship but sometimes it’s worse.  We endure financial travails or illness.  Nope.  Life isn’t always good.  My longest standing reader, Terri of These Are Days, recently wrote a post about worrying about her grown children, even though they are not in her care anymore.  A girl near the age of her children was killed in an auto accident, which set her to worrying about her children’s travels by automobile.  It’s natural, most of her commenters said.  What Moms do.  Believe me, I know.  Dads, too.  My kids have quite a few years on Terri’s but they’ve made choices that would make my hair stand on end … if I had any.  I have been letting worry over my kids … and actions I need to take … darken my still young 2014, too.   I’ve been Bud Dark. (more…)

Open Eyes

November 4, 2012

Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand
I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can
Jackson Browne, Doctor My Eyes

I’ve always liked this song, and not just because it’s by one of my favorite singer-songwriters or because of its driving beat but because it is about a man trying to deal with the realities of life with his eyes open.  While I love Satchmo’s rendition of Wonderful World and when I need my spirit lifted, I may put on Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole’s version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Doctor My Eyes comes closer to who I am.   When people tell me that if I Let Go and Let God, everything will get better, I usually just nod politely unless it’s my turn to share, in which I may express my opinion that life is often difficult, even with God in charge.  It’s earned me the nickname of Bud Dark. (more…)

Knees

April 12, 2012

About twenty-five years ago,  I was nine miles into a twenty mile training run along the Santa Ana River trail.   I was on the dirt road that runs parallel to the asphalt bike trail, just reaching that runner’s high that comes after an hour of running.  It was a beautiful spring day and I was minding my own business, getting ready for the L.A. Marathon.   As an older gentleman sped by on an obviously expensive racing bike … in full cycling togs … he shouted, Hey!   That will ruin your knees, you know.   I probably flipped him off.   I thought of the old guy Tuesday morning when I woke with pain on my right knee cap.  It wasn’t too bad walking or going upstairs but coming downstairs was a real hobble.   If you’ve lived in a two story house, have you noticed how often the things you want and you aren’t on the same floor?  Well, it happens more as you age.  Today, my knee is feeling a little better.   At sixty-seven, knee pains come and go.  Maybe the old guy was right. (more…)

Understanding Relationships (??)

July 2, 2011

Now here comes the big ones. Relationships! We all got ’em, we
all want ’em. What do we do with ’em?Jimmy Buffet in Fruitcakes

In relationships, regardless of their nature, there comes a moment when you understand that there are some things you will never understand. When you are standing in that moment, just be all right with itIyanla Vanzant, preface to July in Until Today!

You know that when both Jimmy Buffett and Iyanla Vanzant have something to say on a subject, it’s a matter of importance to all of us. In this case, Jimmy asks the questions, Iyanla (one tongue-twister of a name) has an answer.  A good one, by the way. (more…)

Integration

December 9, 2010

When I was in high school, my best subjects were the sciences … biology, chemistry and physics came easy.  Second was English and math was a weak third, perhaps due to a lack of effort.   We won’t talk about history, which I hated.   When I went to Stevens Institute of Technology as a freshman and roomed with my friend Charlie, one of the top math students from high school, an interesting thing happened.   Along came calculus and specifically the mathematical operation known as Integration.   For some reason, I understood it and Charlie didn’t.   That was the beginning of a successful career in the more theoretical aspects of engineering.    In (more…)

Teachable Moments

November 18, 2010

When I was in my forties, a manager several levels above me instituted a program called New Age Thinking for all the employees in his laboratory. The seminars he sponsored featured relaxation and meditation techniques, visualization, affirmations, and self-realization.   I clearly recall my reaction when asked if I wanted to attend the voluntary seminars … I like the way I think just fine, thank you.  Twenty something years later, some of these techniques are part of my day-to-day disciplines but smack dab in the middle of my arrogant forties, I wasn’t teachable.   I didn’t know I wasn’t teachable … in fact, as far back as I can remember, I believed that we are here to learn from every experience.  But my preconceived notions and insecurities … usually manifesting themselves as arrogance … kept me from doing so.  I needed some Teachable Moments, which life was only too willing to provide. (more…)