Friday, August 26, 2011

Not Knowing

"You Don't Want To Know!"

Most of us have heard that statement when we've asked a sensitive question. I used to be impressed by the seeming concern of the person that wanted to save me from an unknown consequence of knowing the answer. They selflessly shielded me from awful, terrible, unspeakable disaster. "If I tell you I'll have to kill you." Is a similar term but is most often used in jest for some laughable situation. I'm beginning to think maybe both terms are just a laughable.

Something strange happens to someone and they die, "What happened?" we ask. "You don't want to know!"

Someone tells a tale of an encounter with aliens. "What did they look like?" we ask. "You don't want to Know!"

Our car breaks down, "How much will it cost to fix it?" we ask. "You don't want to know!"

Your teenage child returns home at 4am. "Where have you been?" we ask. "You really don't want to know!"

Politicians talk about sacrifice. "How much sacrifice?" We ask. Again, "You really, really don't want to know!"

Kind of reminds me of another old adage that I found not to be accurate. "What you don't know can't hurt you." Yeah, right! Where is this little conversation taking us?

"You Don't Want To Know!"....................Joe

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dieting and losing my pants

When was the last time you were on a diet to lose weight? Exhillerating and frustrating at the same time isn't it? It's such a shame. Food brings us sustenance, energy, and that wonderful feeling when you've eaten and savored something special. On the other hand food, in excess fattens us up for hibernation. We, as human beings don't find a cave in the Fall and sleep for the next 6 months or so. Without proper exercise we just keep adding on the pounds and slowing down. So, we take a long hard look at ourselves once in a while, step on the scale and act surprised when it reads, "Overload!" That's usually the day we start our diet isn't it?

Reality TV shows us people that darn near kill themselves losing weight. In truth, much of what those people go through is extremely hazardous and I'm surprised more of the contestants haven't wound up in a hospital or worse. Also, most of us aren't willing or able to give up our lives for the time required to go through all that punishment to win the money, are we? We are left to find our own way of losing weight safely. Diets usually work for the short term but we often wind up gaining the lost weight back and adding on a few extra pounds for good measure. The, "Yo-Yo" affect, it's called. I've been there and done that many times. It was disheartening to say the least. A year ago I decided I'd set upon my last diet. I wasn't seriously overweight but way heavier than I wanted to be and I could feel how it slowed me down. I decided I'd change my lifestyle as much as the food I ate. "Portion control." It's called. The main exercise requirem,ent is pushing back from the dinner table with both hands after eating a reasonable portion. The key idea being, whether I was still hungry or not. Since last November when I started this life plan, "Once and for all" I'm almost halfway to my goal. As successful as I could have expected. Hurrah! The upside, more energy, I feel better and I don't sleep as much. The first down side, I had to get used to walking around hungry on a regular basis. The second downside, my pants keep falling down. I sometimes look just like a hip hop teenager wannabe. I can get used to the hunger thing all right but this pants falling down has got to go sometime real soon. I feel like an idiot. Here's hoping I reach that step before I get arrested or asked to join a gang..........................Joe

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Helping someone else, the cost

An old friend visited with me yesterday. Hadn't seen him in over a year. He's doing fine, he says. Just the normal chit chat between a coupla guys. A joke or two, some stuff about his job and grouchy boss, his car getting fixed and a new love in his life with a woman he met through another acquaintance. Normal and very low key, almost boring but reason to enjoy his visit. Only two years ago he was on the edge and in serious danger of committing suicide. I spent a great deal of time with him to help in any way I could to prevent that from happening. Days without sleep, late night calls and trips to the counselor or psychologist, hours of simply listening and watching the pain he was carrying. I'm thinking it worked, he's not dead and is getting on with life. I am happy and thankful for him and his family. I am also happy and thankful for myself but for other reasons. After such a long time of intense concentration on him and keeping him alive certain parts of me are totally exhausted still, even after a year. I am pleased I could help, I have no regrets. But the situation took a toll on my life too. All of my energy was spent on his problem and search for his solutions for a long, long time. I neglected family, friends, profession and self to make time to be there for him. An excellent outcome to be sure but I have had to work hard ever since to get back to a reasonable order in my personal life. Truthfully it seems just as hard as watching over him. It reminds me of another thing we do in life as we age. Raising children requires 24 hour responsibility. Then they (are supposed to) go out on their own independently. When they do develop a life of their own we are plunged into the empty nest thing. Some of us really excel in the freedom. Some of us are lost. I assure you I have not become lost in my freedom from his problems. I'm having fun and planning and preparing for my bike trip around Lake Michigan and doing what we feel is normal. I am also still working hard at remembering just how to do anything for myself though without first thinking how it will affect him. It's sometimes a bit strange, an exhilarating but almost guilty feeling for not having some sort of serious problem of my own. Strange indeed almost like I wish him the best and he's still my friend but don't want him to visit too much.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why blog?

Why do I blog? Why do other people blog? What with Face Book and Twitter and the other means of social networking blogging, it seems is losing it's purpose I am told. First of all, I do not use Face Book or Twitter. I'm not a politician or other celebrity so who in the world would want to know what I am doing at any given moment? I don't speak particularly eloquently, colorful or overly humorous either. I simply write for the sake of writing so my skills will improve as I write my next book under the advice of my writing coach. "Keep that pathos going!" He says. I'm happy to do it.

Last weekend I had the honor of joining two very interesting guys on an auto talk show. The two of them seem to know just about everything anyone needs to know about the worlds of automobiles. I was there to add a few things about vehicle cosmetics and perhaps add a touch of variety. After the show I walked onto the sidewalk to reach my car and a bicycle rider going by said, "Hey Joe, I liked what you put on your blog last week about a trust spray." And continued speeding by along with about 7 other bikers. Apparently she was participating in a national bike race that was going on in the streets of downtown Grand Rapids. How she knew it was me is beyond me and that she took a second to comment took me completely by surprise. I enjoyed the moment. I guess I blog for others enjoyment too......................Joe
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