Posted tagged ‘helping others’


May 3, 2015

After my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting, someone came by to help me put away the coffee supplies.  It is not a hard job and I know that if someone comes by to help, they probably want to talk.   There is a lot going on in his life, and he wants to learn not to let those things bother him so much.   He’s heard me share in meetings and he thinks I can help him be more positive.  He wants me to sponsor him.  When I asked my first sponsor to work with me, he didn’t say Yes immediately.  He said, Let’s have dinner together and talk about how I do this and what you expect.  If you still want me to sponsor you then I will.   I did and he did for 16 years.   That is precisely what I said to my Thursday Night friend.

Getting By

April 26, 2015

park sunriseI belong to a spiritual community.  Unlike most spiritual communities, it does not require me to believe in anything, even something as fundamental to most spiritual communities as a Higher Power.  That has been a good thing for me because it has been the pressure to believe things contrary to my experience that has led me to keep religions at arms length, even as I pick and choose from their spiritual concepts.  One of the spiritual concepts of my spiritual community is Take what you like and leave the rest.  Imagine that.  But  being able show up and participate believing whatever I want doesn’t mean there aren’t orthodoxies, notions that are largely accepted and commonly shared at meetings.   When I came in as an agnostic/atheist, the continual use of the slogan, Let go and let God, drove me crazy.   I’d ask myself, Let God what? since many seemed to be saying that the act itself solved problems, phrased as God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.   Now, I say it myself as means of accepting whatever outcome occurs.

Easter in The Park

April 20, 2014

easter parkEaster weekend is my least favorite park weekend.   It gets so busy on Sunday that the rangers usually end up closing the gate to further traffic.  People keep coming, though, by dropping off their stuff and families roadside, then parking in the surrounding neighborhoods, which makes me wonder where the neighbors’ Easter company parks.  It’s so busy on Sunday that many families have their picnics on Saturday.   Even though it says Yorba Regional County Park on the sign at the entrance, I tend to regard it as My Park.  I get annoyed when it is crowded and noisy, and REALLY annoyed when people make a mess of it.   The day after Easter, the park is littered with Easter debris, cellophane basket-grass, candy wrappers, and plastic eggs.  I usually don’t go the day after Easter.  But I hadn’t been to My Park all week, so I braved it yesterday. (more…)

Stubborn or Obsessed

April 3, 2014

badgeIn my heart of hearts, I knew that putting that WordPress Postaday 2014 badge in the corner of my page was a mistake.  At the time, my life was in an ebb and I had time to spare.  But by the sometimes fine age of 69, I knew … the ebbs never last.  Life is always in session, sometimes leisurely sometimes not.  For at least three weeks now, my days have been over-filled with new business, taxes, travel planning and a variety of activities.  I’m rebuilding a computer for a friend of my son’s.  I’m the literature guy for my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting.  I am one busy old guy.  Quality problems, my friend Truck would tell me and he’d be right.  Nonetheless, it’s hard to keep up with that damn badge.  Of course, it’s not the badge … it can easily be deleted with a trip to my WordPress Dashboard.  It’s me.  I’m either Stubborn or Obsessed when it comes to Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog, so I’m trying to keep up.  When I overdo like this, something always falls by the wayside.  For a month, it’s been the form of journaling that Julia Cameron calls Morning Pages in The Artist’s Way.  It has been an important part my life for over twenty years, a way to center myself at the start of each day.   Yesterday, during my weekly meeting with my sponsor, he told me that in his opinion, I should get back to doing it.  Shit.  But he’s right.  I’ll try.  So you may see a few posts like yesterday’s for a while, photo essays.  In case you missed it, the subject was Blue and it included several photos, a Van Gogh painting and several songs on the theme.  I may do colors on Wednesdays for a while.  Then maybe we’ll start flavors.  But for now, the badge stays. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 2/10/2014

February 10, 2014

20140210_135815_resizedI have been known to be a cornball romantic.  In college, when I was dating my now-wife, Muri, my dormitory cork-board was pinned with mementos of our dates … ticket stubs and programs and photos.  I was poking though some boxes in the garage recently and there they were, stuffed into a manila envelope, evidence of good times long past.  My office, far from having that professional engineer look, is littered (a term Muri would readily agree with) with remembrances of places we’ve been, shells and rocks and tchotchke-shop souveniers, along with some items that belonged to my Mom and Dad.  There’s even a brochure from our honeymoon in Bermuda in 1968. (more…)

Starting a WordPress Blog – 2

January 9, 2014

wordpressThis is the second post on how to start a WordPress blog on In Starting a WordPress Blog – 1, I discussed some blogging basics and definitions.  Here, we take your working Blog Name and Tagline (if you want one) and start the process of building a blog.  To get your blog started, go to and click on the Get Started button.  While you’re there you can watch a short video on WordPress and browse some other WordPress blogs.  Once you’ve selected Get Started, you will be asked for an email (where the activation email will be sent – be sure to push the confirm link in the email), a password and a blogaddress for your blog, which will be  It’s nice to pick a blog address related to the name you’ll eventually use for your blog but since there are already hundreds of thousands of WordPress blogs, you may not be able to get the address you want.  There are two optional blog plans, Premium and Business but stick with Free to start.   Click the Create Blog button at the bottom of the page and you are on your way.  You will receive a verification email at the address you entered above.  On the next screen, you enter your blog’s name and a tagline (which is optional).   Mine is Older Eyes and my tagline is Reflections from an Older Perspective.  You can always change these later.  If you want email reminders to post, you can select how often here. (more…)

Starting a WordPress Blog – 1

January 8, 2014

wordpressA friend of mine recently retired and both she and her husband are considering starting blogs.   I told her a while back I’d write a post on my experience in starting a blog. It will turn out to be several posts of which this is the first.  I’ve only blogged on WordPress, hence the title.   To be a little more specific, I’ve mostly blogged on, which is the easiest way to go if you don’t mind a few restrictions, such as use of advertising or complete freedom in modifying themes.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  There are other blogging platforms that may be wonderful but WordPress has been my home for 4 years and I like it.  As the leader to the website says, Start a WordPress blog or create a free website in seconds. Choose from over 200 free, customizable themes. Free support from awesome humans.  It probably says a lot that I’ve never had to deal with their awesome humans because their online support and support forum usually answers any question I have.  And you read correctly, it is absolutely free until you want to add certain features to your blog (which you probably will if you stay with it) and even then, costs are very reasonable.  The truth is that what you can have is seconds is a domain for your blog (its web address), along with a name and a theme, which you can think of as the shell in which your posts will appear online.  Having a living, breathing blog will take somewhat longer. (more…)

The Art of Listening

June 22, 2013

This week a friend emailed me a link to a video, It’s Not About the Nail.   It is not only funny but it says everything that Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus says in two humorous minutes.

What I like about this video is that it also shows how the particular ways men and women approach problems causes both sexes to forget to listen.  He doesn’t listen to her feelings or her needs and she doesn’t listen to a solution (in this case, a good one). (more…)

What Can I Say?

June 19, 2013

whatcan i sayLast night, the topic at my Tuesday Night Men’s Meeting was transitions.   I’m usually a stickler for staying on topic but I was taught that sometimes, you just have to talk about what’s hurting.  My Thursday meeting even has what we call a Hurting Section before a topic is chosen.  At any rate, I shared that my brother is in critical condition in a hospital in Mentor, Ohio … and a few details about what’s going on.  After the meeting, someone talked to me about a similar situation and how it helped him to remember that no situation is inherently good or bad, it just is what it is.  I want to be gentle here because I know that this man’s intentions were good.  It is a standard 12-Step approach to problems not to personalize what’s going on and to realize that good can spring from apparently bad events, but did he really think I’d consider my brother’s illness neutral?   I once walked into my Thursday meeting after taking my wife, Muri, to the hospital with a pulmonary embolism and, naturally I shared about my fears in the Hurting Section. (more…)

Busy. Useful.

February 2, 2013

usefulA week ago, my morning email in-basket included a note from my friend, Ron.  Are you available for lunch today?  Innocuous for most people, not for Ron.  Ron is not a man of few words … he is legendary around here for his long voice mails … so, I knew, something was wrong.   I rearranged my afternoon plans with Muri and set a time to meet him at the local Chipotle for lunch.  Ron is a managing partner of a small engineering company, one even smaller than mine.  They had just lost a substantial job that they were counting on, which meant they might have to let people go.  But that wasn’t what he wanted to talk about.  I know I’m over-reacting, he told me over soft chicken tacos, but I was worrying about having to change jobs.  Then it hit me – what if I have to retire?  What will I do?  So much of my self-worth is tied up in being the provider.  Ron didn’t know it (until I told him) that he’d come to a moment that most of us reach when it’s time to stop working.  We wonder: How will I stay Busy?  How will I feel Useful? (more…)