April 18th, 2004

charlie 2012 beige

Random Thoughts...

No, I never posted my rather lengthy entry about our current 'family woes.' To be honest, I'm not that great at posting less 'upbeat' matters online. LOL.

I suppose one of the main reasons is that regardless of how difficult things in life might be, Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I simply don't wallow in that 'unhappy' place. (Not for an hour--and certainly not for an entire day! ROFL. Life is way too short...)

It's not that we don't have life problems. It's not that we haven't had some very hard times in our lives--or that we don't have some hard times now.

We just have a philosophy about life, I suppose, that keeps us in a far more 'happy' place. Our glasses have always been half full--even in some very negative periods of our lives.

Our background is bascially lower-middle-class. Read poor. We never felt poor, really. That, too, is often a state of mind, I find. If you believe you're poor you're probably more poor than others who have less than you do. LOL.

Trust me, my cousin who has spent the last several years moving from bad motel to bad motel to one room in a bad house, has never thought of herself as 'poor.' She's been bad off enough in that time to spend a day or two in shelters, as well. But she doesn't ask for handouts and doesn't complain. She amazes me.

But it's attitude. It really is.

Don't get me wrong. Marilyn and I have a lot in our lives now. We have a nice home. We have a lot of 'things' (more than we need, I'm sure). We were able to afford to put in a sprinkler system, for example, which still seems pretty unbelievable to me. LOL.

Our car is old, but paid off. It's got a dent in one side, but it's still very nice, regardless. The interior is close to perfect. The paint and trim are still good. Old is a relative term, besides. It's a '97 Honda Accord. That probably doesn't qualify as an 'old' car by many standards. LOL.

Marilyn works hard doing her job. Very hard. It's long hours and very stressful work. She's paid well, certainly, though I recently ranted a bit when I heard the superintendent of schools gets a salary of $200,000 a year--that with bonuses is $300,000. Trust me when I say the superintendent doesn't work a jot harder than Marilyn does. Nor is there more 'responsibility.' Or, frankly, accountability! (Being up at the top of the Rose Fest. is a pretty big deal in this city. LOL.)

Of course, I could go back to my post that I never put here about sister Sue. She made more than $100,000 a year by the end of her career and she's about to declare bankruptcy. So what does that tell us?

Life's about more than the money we earn and spend, after all. It had better be! Few of us will ever have that much money to toss around. (And even now while Marilyn and I spend rather freely, we realize the time may come when we're back to being poor again. LOL. After all, the future's uncertain. There is no job security. And so on...)

Cousin Linda is great at doing what few people are able to do, by the way. She lives in the now. She doesn't dwell all that much in the past, and rarely talks about the future.

It could be that there's too much that's painful about the past for her to go there.

Or that the future looms as a scary thing.

I don't know. She's had two of her children die before her. One of a terrible disease and the other was struck and killed on a highway. Imagine it. How hard must it have been for her to hear that?

I'm glad that Marilyn and I are able to pretty much live in the 'now' as well. I suppose we give more thought to our futures than Linda does. But we don't live for that 'when' that seems to drive so many. 'When' I've got the time. 'When' I've got the money. 'When' I'm in better health (better shape, a better frame of mind).

We're also lucky to have a circle of friends (both on and off line) who have very positive outlooks on life, as well.

One of my best friends has a mother who has been basically dying of cancer for the past three (plus) years. Her mother (Dorothy) doesn't dwell on her illness at all. If you were to meet her it's unlikely you'd even know she has cancer. She does most of what she did before she got cancer and turns the subject back to you when asked about her health... She's only ONE of many similiar examples!

I've got a lot of other friends dealing with equally difficult things. We all do. But I'm impressed by how many of these people deal with the bad things in life so graciously.

Most (though certainly not all) of my friends show incredible courage in the face of hard knocks. Sometimes it's big things (like preparing to die from cancer)--but often it's how they deal with the little things that stands out.

Life has some wonderful highs. But we tend to let the little disappointments and the pettiness of life get us down.

I don't like to waste my own time that way. Neither does Marilyn.

We see our niece and nephew pissing away their young lives (both are in their early 30's) by being self-centered and selfish. By letting the negative aspects of life direct what they do. By wallowing in negativity.

It disgusts me. But more than that, I feel sorry for them. Life is exciting even when it might seem mundane. There are delights to be found in the hard days. You don't have to WAIT to appreciate who you are or what you have to offer the world...

Well, that's more deep than I'd intended to be. LOL. But such are the thoughts that sometimes creep up on me late on a Sunday night...
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