Sunday, July 14, 2024

Fish in a Tree

I've noted the quote several times, so this will just be a chorus harmony.

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

It is falsely attributed to Einstein, but who cares who actually said it.  It's true.

For most of my life, I have been criticized or condemned for being am independent minded person.  I've often said that TRUTH is the real god, and all deities must bow to it.  I approach the world in a factual and logical fashion like spock from Star Trek.  It is or it isn't.   It is that it is, and it isn't that it isn't.  I'm mature enough to recognize that fiction can also be truth... a false message can have true effect.  However, ultimately, even gods are judged by their participation in human life or absence, thereof.

Being this kind of INFJ person can be difficult.  Most love to ascribe to political parties or religious sects, so when I point out logical problems, it tends to isolate me from them.  So... you could assume I was broken... defective.  However, as it turns out, those qualities are ideal for an auditor... my new job.  Indeed, you could accurately compare the devil to being God's auditor, or humans that dared to question him like Abraham or others.  My experience is that God likes to be challenged, and it's one more log on the fire that Lucifer never actually "fell" but is serving the purpose for which he was created and given access to God's wisdom... to challenge not only God's actions but that of his followers which DEFINITELY needs challenging.

Most are not mature enough to receive that, but I will leave you with this and a quote.  Be yourself.  Don't judge yourself by others.  They have a different story.  You can't understand theirs, and they won't understand yours.  Be the best you that you can be.

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Stephen Covey

Labor Pains

I've used this labor analogy several times over the years, but it's worth repeating.  When you set out to increase yourself or better yourself, you will be met with an opposing force.  In Serendipity, a character quotes Epictetus saying, "If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid."  That's generally how it goes, and many will reject you for being so selfish to think about yourself.  But, there will be other more spiritual opposition that you will face.

Witches believe in the balance of the spiritual, long before Star Wars invented Jedis.  That's why you always see sacrifice before good in their spells.  Even the very good show Once Upon a Time repeatedly said that magic comes "with a cost" and good things came with negative ones.  It's why witches are so quick to suggest putting away anger rather than using magic to harm someone.  I think there's room for it, if it is more defensive, but that's what they believe, despite the stereotype that they want to curse you and eat your children.

But, it's true that seeking more comes after struggle.  A child is born after many months of pains that cumulate into a very intense struggle, right before you see the child born into the world.  Women parents understand that struggle is a part of gaining, because they lived it with a child.  Single men and women understand it from having to work for money or exercise for fitness.  If you want good, be prepared for evil.  The two always go together, and anyone that wants to skip the evil will lack the good.  

I'll end with a quote before I go exercise before a half day of work on Sunday as I increase myself by my various forms of labor.  I wish you all effective use of your struggling, today as well.

"You never plow a field by turning it over in your mind." Irish Proverb 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Determination and Outcomes

I got good employment news, yesterday, but I didn't and don't want to do a post out of ego flattery or speaking down to anyone.  This whole blog, I speak to peers... equals.  The concepts and challenges I face and overcome are the same types everyone faces, and I always write with hope that it benefits others.  So, I wanted to think about how I wanted to write, after getting a job that starts in a month, tentatively, that will literally almost double my income.  As I contemplated it, I realized this story is full of lessons that are good for everyone, so that's how I'll present it.

This whole journey began when I was face down for 3 weeks following my 2nd major eye surgery.. 5th or 6th in total of eye procedures.  My budget was stretched out, and I was stressed out.. a feeling that still hasn't gone fully away but is much more manageable and motivating.  I remember laying there thinking.... you are smart... you solve other people's problems all the time.  What would happen if you applied your logical mind to solving and bettering your OWN situation?

And, so... I began doing exactly that.  I analyzed my living situation and determined it to be living far above my financial means without benefits of doing so.  I determined that it was unfair to myself to have an MBA and accounting experience and to be living at an income level that barely was over expenses.  I knew that my experience could mean something to apply to a past employer, especially as I had built more experience on it, so I began the process of taking steps to apply for the job... for Tulsa and the Midwest long before I had a functioning plan to get me, here.  But... I knew that less people would be applying for Oklahoma than Florida, raising my chances.. a good estimation as it turned out.  I also knew that the income on Oklahoma lesser expenses would mean more net to save or spend.  All this would be true if it was a regular accounting job, too.. not government.  So, regardless of the outcome of an application I put in for this job 5 months ago, I did the move as part of the process of solving not only my income and career issues but getting me close to family, again.  As it turned out, all of that would bloom, perfectly.  But... it wasn't from someone having pity on me or from an unexpected miracle or luck.  The entire journey began with discontent, grew with determination, and found fruition with day in day out actions to bring it about. 

I'm worthy of the job from my experience, education, and skill ...and  they will be blessed to have my sharp independent and analytical mind.  But, for years and years, I didn't apply myself to seek more.  As years passed, that became not feeling WORTH more and feel I had to compromise and take lesser jobs that only buried me, more.  So, another life lesson is.. don't undercut your own future by doubt. 

I have a collection of inspirational quotes I keep in a binder, and I came across them, today, as I was getting transcripts and more for employer forms.  I think a good way to end this is to give several of them...

Benjamin Franklin...

"There are no gains without pains."

"..the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor office will enable us to pay our taxes."

"Progress always involves risk; you can't steal second and keep your foot on first." Frederick Wilcox

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short but in setting our aim too low and achieving the mark." Michaelangelo 

"Be courageous. Have faith.  Go forward." Thomas Edison 

"Our doubts are traitors and make us miss the good we oft might win by failing to attempt." Shakespeare 

There's a lot more quotes... but that's enough for tonight.. I'll add more to future ones.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

It's Magical

People want something that's special.  They want something that works and makes them happy, even with the fact that they must work at it to get and maintain it, too.  But, not everything that you work hard at will work.  Sometimes, it's a clash of needs vs abilities.  Or, it's a clash of personality or interests or more.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you work it won't work for you.

In order for something to be special, it means other things don't work.  It is the failures that make the success worthy.  In order for something to fail, it must cause discomfort or discontent or pain.  So, the only way you get to special is through failures, discomfort and pain.  It doesn't feel good, but it is planting seeds of joy for when it does work.  I don't have all my works path figured out, but I'm working on a path towards it.  I already have more peace to be moving forward from the failed past, but I know there's likely more failures ahead, as well.  But...that is what will make it more magical when I DO find harmony.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Illusion

I'll lead by giving a link here to a magic performance on a talent show from the internet, where the woman changes clothes in seconds and incorporates magic moves and tricks along the way.  Of course she got all yes votes from the judges.  Why?  We like illusion.  We are more fascinated by illusion than if someone just did something we understand in front of us.  There is a reason people are interested in fantasy movies and shows much more than human life, and the human life shows and movies have none of the mundane elements of our lives like paying bills, watching TV, or more.  No... they have to have people with perfect skin complexion and thin bodies, even though we never see them do skincare or exercise.

Indeed, we incorporate illusion into our own lives.  I used to oppose it and want things and people to be real... but... did I?  Do we?  Would you prefer your first date was with someone that didn't dress well, was sweaty from the day, didn't wear makeup, talked about their financial struggles or family drama that fills their days at times?  No... we expect them to put effort into an illusion, and we judge them on how well that illusion appears.  Then, later, people will start to critique the illusion and feel deceived, despite the fact that they were deceiving,  as well.

I read an article many years ago, and I'm sure it has only become more true.  It said that well over half (I think it was more like 2/3) of those living middle class lives were actually in debt up to their eyeballs and barely hanging on to stay afloat.  They had credit card, car, house, and other loans.  They wore outfits they would return.  They wore jewelry they rented.  Almost all parts of their image was false by actual analysis of their income to debt ratio.  But.... the image DID exist.  The image of others did exist.  Whether or not it was true, they WERE presenting it with others that were presenting it.  To me, the only real problem in the illusion is when they judge others for not appearing so well off.

I am not saying you should not try to elevate yourself.  You should.. I have, do, and will.  But INFJ me has not been willing to present myself to others until I had finished perfecting myself.  And, I notice my flaws much more than others ever would.  I still have a lot of growth and improvement to do, but I should not feel bad to be feeling like an imposter in a land where being an imposter is the norm.  Sometimes, people care less if you are true and more how you make them feel.... that's something very new to me to realize, and I have work to do to adopt it, fully.

So, if there's one thing I'd have you take away from this, it is this.  You are more than you are at present in fact, so do not let the facts keep you from being an illusion to present an accurate depiction of your heart, goals, and personality.  Likely, that's what they want to see, anyways.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Value

"You get a wonderful view from the point of no return." Making Money 

This will be a pretty long post, but. as I sit listening to the wonderful rumble of thunder on a half day off, it is a good way to fill the time.  I've been reading Making Money by Terry Pratchett this week.  Well.. I began reading it in May in Florida from the library there, but I had to return it without the time to get far into it.  However, it kept nagging at the back of my brain that I needed to finish it.  So, I checked out the audiobook and finished it, this week.  Off and ok, I've shared some quotes on social media, but this will be things not shared or shared incompletely.  It solves several personal misalignments and.. I think  .. is good for everyone to consider.


"What is the value of a gold coin,  compared to the dexterity of the hand that holds it?" Making Money

There is a lot of discussion among characters in the book about the value of... well... value.  At one point, the trickster hired to build the bank explains that a sack of potatoes is more valuable to someone on an island that is hungry than a bag of gold.  He sets out to explain and to create a system of paper currency, based on the government and not the gold in a vault.  He explains you don't need the gold, if others accepted dollars as value without it.

This leads to a series of assumptions and concepts that challenges a whole series of my own foundational concepts.. a challenge, as it seems... needed challenging.  

I'm someone that my core is based on fact and truth, and that remains the case.  But, even before resuming this book, I acknowledged in a post in recent weeks that SENTIMENT adds value to something that is not present in the bare bones of fact.  A neighborhood is meaningful to one person for different reasons, while it is just old buildings, streets, people.  That is true... even if in absolute provable fact, it is not.

A lot has happened in the course of my life over the last years to change me and what I believed was important to be happy.  I've lost jobs, a marriage, family, and many assets along the way.  In a very systematic way, things of personal value was stripped away from me, and I gradually... kicking and screaming along the way.. learned that happiness could exist in simplicity without all those things... and that I could rebuild my life in a different way, much like hanged Albert Spangler becoming the respected Moist that saved the post office and later the bank.  It wasn't the facts of his experience or the presence of wealth that did so.  It was the understanding that value is something you could create... become... if you had the confidence to do so.

"Indeed..a copy of something that does not exist.  One can only assume it is authentic in every respect." Making Money 

Here's where some of my perceptions changed.  I've for a very long time hated fake people and attempts of people to change their appearance and become more attractive.  It's not just others.  For a very long time, I wore glasses, after wearing contacts to once be a model and to attract people in dating and such.  I wanted them to love me for me and not appearance.  If that sounds very recent, it's been a recent opinion, as well.  But... it's wrong.

Fact is (there's a truth to it)... people like illusion.  They want to be seen a certain wah, and others want to see them that way.  Dating apps... and people just in clubs.. are full of those presenting the best image lf themselves... employed well, pretty, strong, wealthy, sexual, empathetic, and much more.  There's some truth to it, but it's a mask.  Then, people get to know someone and see they are really less iconic or attractive, when the mask comes off in real life.  Problems arise as people feel deceived or like they didn't know the flaws as well as the good parts, even as they hid so much of themselves, as well.  But... why should that change things?  Perception... as the book teaches.. is reality.  If people want to continue to get willingly deceived, it can be a very happy life.  It doesn't help when the deceivers stop making an effort to maintain the illusion, though.

"I know you're not a man to be influenced by money, but the raise might be worth considering by a man contemplating a change in his domestic arrangements." Making Money 

I accept some blame in this regard.  Sometimes.. often.. situations made it difficult to maintain the illusion, and sometimes I did it out of unrequited gestures.  I gave up a house and a job to assist a romantic interest.. only to lose material attractiveness.  I moved to Florida to be near my child, only to have to work so hard I had less time with the child and less gifts for them, as well.  Had I kept my house, my job, and stayed in a less expensive environment so that I had more money, my entire life that followed would have been easier and more accepted and admired by others.

Image... is... value.  Perception is value.  When you remove the perception of value, you remove value itself.  Despite my railing against wealth...and I still DO dislike the accumulation that takes from others.. the existence of wealth and success.. or the perception of it.. MUST exist to give others the drive to improve themselves.  The greed of wanting more is the backbone of giving life meaning.. whether that be wealth or more... friends, likes, sex... whatever.  In the Great and Powerful Oz movie, we learned the illusion of a great wizard gave people hope to want to be better, and my own criticism of religion is rebuffed by the understanding that that illusion.. like any other in society like Santa Claus or sports or porn or more.. can give people meaning to rise and enjoy their otherwise... barebone factually mundane lives.  It's like people attacking the trans people or gay and lesbian... why rob them of reason to live?  Indeed, in one episode of Sandman, a man with power removes illusion and dreams from a cafĂ©, and the end of that episode is everyone dead.  Dreams... are empowering illusions.

So... my life is not over.  It has just changed.  I can rebuild, but to take a lesson from Moist that means putting on a better show... BECOMING and projecting value, and that show will invariably lead to a much happier life.






Friday, July 5, 2024

Dark Character Lines

I'll lead this off with a quote from Making Money from Terry Pratchett I'm consuming this week...

"'What have you done to that man?' said Moist.

'I have made him a well-balanthed perthonality, no longer bethet with ancthietieth, fearth and the demonth of paranoia,' said Igor.

Moist glanced at Igor's workbench, a brave thing to do by any standards. On it was a jar with something indistinct floating in it. Moist looked closer, another minor act of heroism when you were in an Igor-rich environment.

It was not a happy turnip. It was blotchy. It was bouncing gently from one side of the jar to another, occasionally turning over. 'I see,' said Moist. 'But it would appear, regrettably, that by giving our friend the relaxed and hopeful attitude to life of, not to put too fine a point on it, a turnip, you have also given him the artistic abilities of, and I have no hesitation in using the term again, a turnip.'

'But he ith much happier in himthelf,' said Igor.

'Granted, but how much of himself is, and I really don't wish to keep repeating myself here, of a root-vegetable-like nature?'

Igor considered this for some time. 'Ath a medical man, thur,' he said, 'I mutht conthider what ith betht for the pathient. At the moment he ith happy and content and hath no careth in the world. Why would he give up all thith for a mere fathility with a penthil?'

Moist was aware of an insistent bonk-bonk. It was the turnip banging itself against the side of the jar. 'That is an interesting and philosophical point,' he said, once again looking at Clamp's happy yet somewhat unfocused expression. 'But it seems to me that all those nasty little details were what made him, well, him.' The frantic banging of the vegetable grew louder. Igor and Moist stared from the jar to the eerily smiling man." (Emphasis bold added)

Continuing the point of darkness discussion, it reminds me of things like The Lego Movie song at the beginning Everything is Awesome where they just ignore the bad things to focus.. rather delusionally on a perceived good that ignores real problems.  You see that in lots of other shows and movies, like Brave New World where the society takes positive pills when they feel bad and as such are easily controlled by those in power.

I get it.  Sometimes, life sucks and blocking all that out for a short time from distraction or alcohol or such is therapeutic.  But, it can also keep you from addressing real problems.  Indeed, a mark of an alcoholic is someone so drawn into the Lotus plant like sooth of pleasure that they fail to do things necessary to pay bills or live.

Darkness gives us character... like the dark lines of a sketch gives us distinction.  Often, it's more the dark periods of our lives that give us depth and capacity than periods of ease.  Take away the struggle, and you erase large parts of yourself.

As Eminem sings in Higher, it is those dark times that drive us forward to grow, and I know in my own life it is the struggles of late that give me a purpose in a challenge to overcome and elevate to become the best version of my future I can be.


Thursday, July 4, 2024

Double Down

I've now won 5 times in the last two weeks in lottery scratch offs and drawings..  all low amounts and might have broke even with what I put into it.  But... it has raised my hope level about my life.  Suddenly, I'm not this cursed person that can't receive any good... which heretofore had a lot of experience level foundation to assume.  It IS possible to have good experiences...IF I am willing to keep buying the tickets or taking the risks.

It reminds me of a couple things I've noted in the past.  In baseball, the best batting averages are above .300... that means that less than a third of the time they get to the plate, they will actually get a hit.  They fail twice as many times as they succeed. With lotto that will typically be even less, even for small amounts.

There is a phrase attributed to Einstein by many but without much evidence... still it's a good quote to consider..

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

I included it in this post, because we feel we are failing a lot of time, because we are trying to become the wrong thing.  You can feel very u lucky or ugly or a failure or more IF you are trying to be what you are not.  But... you can at the sake time be a VERY good expression of yourself.  For a little while now, I've understood that.  Some... didn't get me or appreciate me.  That wasn't a fault of me, so much as just evidence they were not right for me.  You might not be unlucky .. just trying to be what you're not equipped to be.

I am on a mission to discover what I like, apart from what others like me to be.  And, eventually,  that will lead to those that like that person.  But, for now, I'm content to just double down on being me, and I welcome the rewards that come from just being willing to let that person exist fully.  I think it's the best outcome, wherever that leads,  that I can have.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Clensing the Palate

There is a phrase that is used by food and wine tasters that is "clense the palate" and means something you do to erase the prior taste on your tongue to try something new without influence of the last one.  It's something that would be nice if we could apply it to other areas of our lives.  I'm working on it, even though some consider that rude... they think you should continue to bring that bitter taste into every new flavor, which just destroys the experience.

Over the last several months, I've been adopting a more logical and realistic approach to life.  It's helped me adjust to situations beyond my control, even when things seemed set to cause me harm.  For example, I knew that it was not healthy for me to be living alone in a state with no relatives and literally having no social contacts for months.  My eye surgery recovery times for most of 7 months showed me that, pretty clearly.  So, I began my exit back to my prior home of familiarity near relatives.... and...

... I got hit from a car, totalling my car at the time and plunging me into rent risk and making moving near impossible til I fought for myself to the insurance of the company that hit me.

... my back hurt from the car wreck, making my driving difficult but with pain meds I've made it through.

... I had my radiator just break on my way to Oklahoma, but I put water in it along the way to get there and went down to weekly rent to pay to fix it.

... my child that my ex had already illegally blocked me from seeing simply because she didn't consider me a good influence on them.. because I supported their trans life and wasn't a good enough Christian.. either wrote a very harmful letter in the name of my child or told my child things to say to send to me after I had paid to give an expensive gift to them and sent it to me the day before father's day, cutting off communication for me to even respond.. in stark contrast to the positive chats we had been having for years.  But, I didn't let it destroy me.

... and just when I got close to paying monthly rent the last problem with my car that I knew was coming ever since I got stuck in sand in Florida broke down but I got that fixed with help of family and stretching bills.

... and finally I paid my lights cam ticket from Florida, so that's done.

I could go back further for my trials from Florida and that ex, but you get the point... and obviously confirming the absolute divine right of exiting that bad romance, many years ago.  But, even in my recounting it, you can see the need to clense my palate to be able to start, anew.

Like I said, I'm working on it.  That ticket is paid. I'm a thousand miles away from that ex.  I'm paying many hundreds less than I was when living in Florida, monthly, with almost no reduction in my income.  Indeed, a few days ago, I began a new car insurance policy that will be 90 dollars cheaper, monthly, and the first payment isn't til end of month, saving me a month's payment to help offset some repair bills.  Indeed, at this point in time, I'm paying in total about 600 less all costs considered than I was this time last year in Florida, per month.. and that will become over 700 when I go on monthly in about a month...a total of about 800 less than bills in all... BEFORE I get am accounting job for more.  So, there's much more joy to be looking forward than back.

I have reached the plateau upon which to stand and climb, and the only reason to look back is to notice how far I've come.  Otherwise, I need to clense my palate, learn the lessons of who has and has not been there for me.. what worked and what has not, and otherwise, keep my gaze forward and climb.