Ahoy! (Rude Awakening Dead Ahead)*

“All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope.” -Alexandre Dumas

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand to do violence on their behalf.” -George Orwell

I was sitting on a public pier yesterday evening. The sun was setting and I was immersed in, “Stranger Than We Can Imagine” by John Higgs (one of the more interesting books that I’ve come across in the past five years or so). I had run a half marathon for the first time that morning (on a whim, for Memorial Day in some respects, and finished in under two hours no less), and had finished “The Count of Monte Cristo” that afternoon. I was feeling as if those would suffice for new experiences for the day. That was not to be the case.

I saw a small, center console craft approaching from a distance. At first glance, I thought I saw a bespectacled Huckleberry Finn at the helm, accompanied by a slightly overweight Tom Sawyer, Daisy Buchanan, two of the lost boys from Peter Pan, and Goldilocks (no “bears” though…paaa). Knowing that my imagination must be running wild, I returned to my book. The boat, appearing overloaded (likely with ego, avoidant tendencies, and karma more so than weight…), continued to head straight toward me.

I looked up again when it was approximately twenty yards away. This time, my imagination failed to veil the truth. I saw only a glimpse of those onboard. But, I did manage to magnificently capture a look of utter shock and disbelief, in all its abhorrent glory, from behind those spectacles. I have to admit that it was oddly satisfying. The surprised captain regained his composure and quickly turned the vessel about. Upon doing so, he managed to not only throw up an awkward peace sign, but also to blow me a kiss…yet could not manage to quarter the oncoming waves which he had lost sight of (also satisfying…apart from the concern for my son’s noodle being shaken about due to the helmsman’s obvious discomfort, unnecessary abrasiveness, and poor seamanship).

In yet another uncanny twist of fate, the actual crew aboard that center console was scarcely more believable to my eyes than the crew that I had first imagined. Aboard that small boat was my affair partner, my third son, her husband and two children, and one of their friends. Like two magnets that continue to circle each other in a perpetual dance of repulsion and attraction, I have once again crossed paths with my third son and his mother. I doubt that these run-ins will continue (especially at this almost monthly frequency), but for now, they seem fitting. If nothing else, they serve as a reminder of the words of Carl Jung, “…what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.”

There is a sort of hilarity to this encounter (and all of those previous to this). The odds alone make it comical, the nature of the run-in (by sea) makes it even funnier. But, despite my best effort to make light of this chance run-in, it is still a topic that carries with it a heavy burden. Although I am extremely saddened by my inability to be involved with my son’s life by the choice of others, I pity their family in many ways.

I can only imagine working so hard to paint over and run from what you believe to be the cause of a troubled past and relationship (riddled with blatant untruthfulness, hundreds of instances of sexual and emotional misconduct, and a severe and obvious disregard for morality and social norms […only one side of the same coin in their eyes at that]) in order to keep your family together…only for it to be shoved in your face unexpectedly like the head of Medusa. I am unapologetic for minding my own business and reading on a public pier, but I am sorry that my presence disrupted what was likely a very pleasant start to Memorial Day Weekend. I also must give them an exorbitant amount of credit for attempting to live as if the past does not exist, while it cries for its mother on a daily basis. The past is with them to stay (for at least the next 17 and a half years I assume), and I really do wish them well.

What you resist, persists. I believed that I had accepted my lot in this relatively fresh set of circumstances. The universe/god/fate…whatever you wish/prefer to call it…has deemed this matter to be unfinished. There is resistance to the inevitable (although I am unsure of what that actually is) from one or both parties involved…only time will tell though I suppose. Perhaps it is on my end, and it is just unbeknownst to me. Maybe I have effectively fooled myself into thinking that full acceptance and detachment have been achieved. But, if this was the case, would I still be writing about my son?…would I still be running into him and his mother? Maybe, like any other facet of life (and life in general)…this set of circumstances must play itself out to the very end. Only time will tell, and I suppose that I am more than a little curious about how all of this will play out.

On a more important note, on this Memorial Day Weekend, as you indulge in and enjoy (or avoid) hotdogs (hot dogs?…hotshots?), alcohol, fireworks, family gatherings, time off from work, and trips out of town…do yourself a favor and if nothing else, remind yourself of the comfortable life that you have been afforded. Few of us have been away from family and friends (and in harm’s way no less) for months at a time. Few of us have seen our brothers and/or those closest to us…shot, stabbed, blown to bits, drowned…frozen, starved, and/or exhausted to death. Most of us live an extremely comfortable life, and whether or not this mode of existence has been threatened by an outside force in recent times (or reinforced by the perpetuation of the interests of the military-industrial complex…depending on your perspective), remember that those who have served and/or perished, did so for the sake of the idea, belief, and actualization/continuation of the mode of life that we enjoy on a daily basis.

P.S. Sending love and good vibes to anyone who wants/needs them as always.

P.P.S. “Quit playin’ with your dinghy…”- Tommyboy

A Sight Unseen

“To generations of the willfully blind, true beauty can remain unseen in plain sight, but beauty sooner or later asserts itself- always, always, always- and is at last recognized, because there is so damn little of it.” -Dean Koontz (interesting author indeed)

I left a playdate with my two sons today, and drove a few miles to read “Ideas and Opinions” by Einstein at a waterfront park (as I have been doing recently… although infrequently). Instead of being able to relax and unwind on the bench which faces a calm estuary where I typically sit, I had to slow to a stop before I could even park. I couldn’t help but stare for a moment at a sight that I had never seen before. I saw my third son for the first time today.

It wasn’t exactly how I expected to see him for the first time (if you could even call it that). I didn’t get to look into his eyes, and I wasn’t able to hold him in my arms. I saw him from around 50 yards away, as my affair partner’s husband bounced him on his knee. He’s likely soon to be five months old, and this is the first time that I’ve seen him. I only saw him for a few seconds, and from a distance at which I couldn’t make out his features.

Her husband gave an obnoxious wave with his arm fully extended overhead (that I didn’t return) and then turned Thomas away from me as if I “wasn’t allowed” to look at my own son…even from a distance. I turned my car around, left the parking lot, and gave a friendly double-honk as I drove away. My affair partner never budged (her back was already towards me), and I no longer expect her to act as if I exist…because in her world, I can’t; I am only some sort of a mistake from the past, and a haunting and pervasive entity that I assume they wish could be forgotten.

It makes me really sad. Based on the complete lack of communication on their part, and how I am treated when our paths randomly cross, they are still living by an outdated and illegitimate narrative (no pun intended). I can only assume that though, of course. I’m not unstable or dangerous in any way. I am more a pacifist now than I have ever been if anything, and wouldn’t hurt anyone (other than in necessary defense), let alone my own sons.

I see my other sons as I please (daily), and I am trusted with their care and well-being without any form of supervision whatsoever. My older son (5) spends the night whenever he wants, and the younger (2) would as well if he was weaned. I have a really good job with USDA, and I’m honestly mentally and physically healthier than I have been since 2010 at the Naval Academy (I can run a 6:05 mile, and an 1130 rating in chess [blitz] puts me in the top 15% globally…not bragging by any means, but I’m not sure how else to quantify overall health) . All of that has been true for nearly 8 months now. I wish things were different in so many ways, but I guess they just aren’t meant to be right now.

As much as it pains me to say it, I understand if I can’t be involved because of the damage that it would cause to their marriage, and the upheaval it would potentially cause for Thomas and their family. I just wish that I wasn’t still being villainized as unsafe, or unstable, or unfit to see my son. It’s not true and it’s super unfair at best. But all is fair in love and war, and who ever said that life was fair?

Being unable to be involved with my son’s life because of this, is a very difficult pill to swallow…and it took me a long time to do so, but I did. It doesn’t make it any easier, and it makes me extremely sad sometimes, but ultimately I want what’s best for him. And right now, all that matters is that he’s happy and healthy I suppose. I have never met my son. I have never seen him up close or held him, and I’m not sure if I ever will…but I still miss him as if I had. I know he’s there, and I still love him as my own flesh and blood, and I always will…no matter what happens. It kills me to type that out. My heart clenches and nausea hits me in waves. But, life goes on…right? Right…sigh. Sending love and good vibes to anyone that wants/needs them as always.

P.S. “I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.” “You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”“And when you’re in a Slump you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”“The Waiting Place…for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or the waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting. Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for the wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.”“Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.”“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”“But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak.” “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”“OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”“Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.”- an assortment of quotes from “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. Make of it whatever you wish…I know I did.

A Small Reversion

“The wisdom of the Moon is greater than the wisdom of the Earth because the Moon sees the universe better than the Earth can see it.” Mehmet Murat Ildan

We had an odd heatwave recently that lasted several days. Everything appeared to sprout, blossom, and bloom almost overnight. The backdrop of the mostly rural area in which I live has begun to turn a vibrant green. A full moon seems to have brought the frogs and crickets back to life, and their chorus has started to fill the evening air. I say this, and today’s high on this mostly cloudy day…will be 53 degrees lol. It’s strange how small changes can make such a big difference (in more ways than just the weather of course), and reversions can awaken us to a greater appreciation of what was. Anyway, I’m looking forward to consistently warm weather and the continuation of a beautiful spring. Sending love and good vibes to anyone who wants/needs them as always.

P.S. I hope you caught the full moon. It seems that Earth would be lonely without it sometimes.

Beginning to Expect the Unexpected…

“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” -Oscar Wilde

As I drove home this evening, an unexpected thunderstorm moved slowly through the area. A light rain fell as lightning leapt across the sky and thunder rumbled in tandem. My day had gone fairly well…the weather couldn’t have been better and I had spent quality time with loved ones. I was lost in a daydream, and watching lightning flash through the dark clouds…when my phone rang.

The name that came across the screen was one that I had not seen since last June. I wasn’t exactly excited to speak to them, and I was close to ignoring their call. But, I was too curious to resist, and I turned the music down. I hesitated once more, and thought that it could have been a butt-dial. I began to feel slightly nauseous and my phone blurred with the background for a moment. I refocused on the winding road and took a deep breath. As I glanced back at my phone, the name seemed to jump at me from the screen. I couldn’t take it anymore. I took one more deep breath, and answered.

“Hello…?” said a familiar yet quivering voice on the other end. “Hi…are you okay?”…there was a long pause. My stomach began to knot, and my shoulders began to tense. What was said next made my head spin. My hand began to shake and I nearly dropped my phone. I slowed almost to a crawl, and was snapped out of my stupor by an angry honk behind me. I pulled off to the side of the road and stared at a cluster of tall pines illuminated by my headlights…oblivious to any other sights around me. There seemed to be a loud hum in my ears…as if at any moment, a tremendous popping noise would blow out my eardrums.

“Did you hear me?…you have another son.” I couldn’t speak. I could scarcely breathe. “…He was born yesterday.” …A strange sensation of deja vu began to crawl across my body. I felt as if my skeleton might try to leap out of its casing. I didn’t know what to say. I could only mutter a few questions and tell her that I was so happy that it went well. A painfully awkward silence followed. My mind filled in the blank space with my best effort at mental calculus in terms of how this new information would fit into my current circumstances, or if it would have to at all.

The naval officer who I had seen following my separation (and impending divorce…and dissolution of my affair) has given birth to a son. She is adamant that it is mine, and I guess only time will tell. I will be taking a paternity test this week, and if it turns out to be mine, I will now have four sons from three different women. She is requesting my support with raising him, and I guess I will have to figure out how I will juggle this new addition with my current circumstances Life is a strange and wild ride, and I guess I will hold on and see how it goes. Wish me luck. Still sending love and good vibes to anyone that wants/needs them.

P.S. April Fools’…lol I know at least one person fell for this. Which makes it worthwhile. But whooo knows, maybe I actually will get a call like this someday ; ) never knowww.

That’s Odd(s) (Paaa)*

“Synchronicity: A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.”

-Carl Jung

Over 115,000 people live in the small county in Maryland where I currently reside (St. Mary’s). I randomly crossed paths with nearly a dozen acquaintances (and much more than an “acquaintance” in at least one instance) over the course of approximately 24 hours this past weekend. I’m not great at math, but I know that the odds of this happening are pretty slim. It’s always strange to me when I encounter people that I was recently thinking about (or vice versa…as was noted by a friend’s mother on Saturday), or whom I have not seen in many years. They seem to pop out of the ether and into my conscious field…like the merging of a dream with reality (even though life is but a dream…or is it a dream within a dream…or a dream within a nightmare within a dream?…I can no longer remember…I must be dreaming indeed).

On Saturday morning, I decided to take my four year old son to the Naval air museum nearby. And out of the thousands of cars in the area, my affair partner and her husband ended up directly behind me, and almost next to me in the turn lane at the light. It was a strange encounter. Firstly, she and I had crossed paths in the same area about a month prior (and she had proceeded to treat me like a friend from high school that she didn’t want to run into lol). Secondly, her husband tried to aggressively stare me down…from a minivan…wearing spectacles (which was not only awkward, but kinda funny…so I gave them a friendly wave as they passed…it was not reciprocated lol).

The strangest thing though, was the contrast between their demeanors. He seemed to be full of hatred, resentment, and anger (which he surely still holds for her…unless he blames me solely for the affair [wouldn’t be surprised]…even though I by no means put a gun to her head…but thus is life). She seemed to be steeping in guilt, shame, and worry (or she had her head down while scrolling and/or knitting and was completely unaware…whooo knows). I didn’t exactly feel great after witnessing their reaction to encountering me unexpectedly. Then again, my affair partner and I’s young son was likely in the back seat…no wonder the situation felt so charged…and no wonder they both had such strong emotional reactions. It’s odd to me though…I understand that I’m a reminder of the past…but what about our child that they see every day? He doesn’t remind them of me? He must, but I guess they deem him innocent and they live as if he is their own…I don’t know…and I’m not sure how that’s possible/how they do it …and I guess I never will.

Imagine riding along with your significant other, and unexpectedly finding yourself behind a car driven by the father of the child in your back seat. Think of pulling alongside someone who is not only the child’s biological father, but the person you have also actively ensured has zero access to his son (how would you like to be unable/actively prevented from seeing or holding your child?…); the person you’ve prevented from seeing or holding his own flesh and blood…for months on end…and likely for many more to come. Imagine building your reasoning for prevention of access upon faulty and outdated rationale (that is no longer valid and holds no merit…other than being petrified of your spouse falling in love again)…and never once reaching out to see if some form of involvement or incorporation would be possible (as well as cutting all communication months before the birth). I would probably keep my head down and stare at my lap in avoidant embarrassment too…or stare at him in an effort to intimidate him, and let him know that his son his mine now (or something weird like that lol). Actually, I wouldn’t do either of those things.

I don’t know. The entire scenario was bizarre…even aside from the odds of the encounter to begin with. It’s almost like they’ve legally/lawfully “kidnapped” my son/prevented me from seeing him…and one of them feels bad about it (and knows it’s fucked up and can put herself in my shoes/can understand what it would be like to never see/hold our son who she spends time with every day), and the other one wants to rub it in my face (“Thomas is my son…not a trophy for some ‘fuckboy’ ” lol…bold words [and blatantly false…but whatever you need to tell yourself I guess] from a guy who gets absolutely shithoused every chance he gets…the truth always stings like a paper cut). Semi-joking aside…in reality, I have no idea how either of them feels, or what they think, or how complicated or difficult things have been to navigate since our affair ended (or since our son’s birth). I do know that I have not been communicated with whatsoever, and they’ve made their intentions perfectly clear.

Honestly, as badly as I wish that things could be different in some ways, I hope they have everything they wanted and more…I hope that things go smoothly and easily for them…and I hope that our son is/stays happy and healthy. And I guess that’s really all that matters. I’ve been “the sacrifice” (all things stay in place except for me…I don’t have a say about anything pertaining to our son…and get zero communication…it’s like our son has been put in my place in some far less [I hope] disruptive/antagonistic way…and so it goes) for over a year now…and I guess that’s just how the cookie crumbles…there’s nothing more that I can do other than to make sure that I am ready for if/when my son wants to meet me. I’m just going to continue to focus on myself and my family. It seems to be working, and I’m excited for what the future holds. Life is strange…and it will never be the same…but it goes on. Sending love and good vibes to anyone that wants/needs them as always.

P.S. There really is no such thing as coincidence…if you pay very close attention, you’ll see why. Orrr at least you’ll notice that every moment is an opportunity to learn, and in turn, transform yourself and your future. In other words, you are presented with what/who you need…when and where you need it/them. What you take away (or don’t) is entirely up to you. Godspeed…and good luck.

P.P.S. Steer clear of hotdogs…hot dogs? (…hotshots? for sure hotshots lol) Both? (all three?) Lol Catch you on the flip side.


“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”
― Stephen Hawking

I bought the puzzle game “Perfection” for my oldest son (4) recently. Within an hour he had lost one of the pieces (there are 25). Lol. Fitting. Thus is life. The game itself isn’t complicated, but the timer (and the board popping up when the timer ends) is what makes it interesting of course. This may be a stretch, but in some ways, the game can be a fitting metaphor for life in general.

You start out with a somewhat straightforward task…fit all of the pieces into their respective slot before time runs out to reach…dun dun dun “Perfection.” Even as an adult (maybe not the brightest light in the harbor), it was fun to race against the clock. After struggling to finish with one hand, I switched to the two-hand method…which was clearly more effective (paaa). What also became more apparent with more rounds, was that the more you focus on the timer, the less likely you are to finish. If you use both hands and focus on the pieces, the game becomes relatively easy.

Life clearly isn’t as simple as this game. But, to some degree, as long as you focus on the day-to day, keep an end-goal (or multiple) in mind, and work diligently towards them (without worrying about the clock), life can be pretty simple…and those goals end up being reached fairly “easily.” We end up making life more complicated than it needs to be. It becomes a self-induced habit of constructed chaos.

We worry about the time we have left, or the time that has already passed. We look for pieces that are no longer there, or that are already in place. We get bored with the game, and look for ways to make it more interesting (not always a bad thing). Sometimes, we get burnt out and don’t feel like playing the game anymore, and we need to take a step back…we need to rest and reset, and maybe take a different approach. Rarely, the game misfires, and the board pops and flings all of your set pieces out of place unexpectedly…and you have to start over.

You can’t jam pieces in where they don’t fit/it is blatantly obvious if you put them in the wrong spot. If the timer/board could stop/pop at any moment, that would make it much more realistic/relatable to life. But, I guess you could always set the timer for however long you please, and stop playing for good if you chose to. I guess, overall, the game is a pretty good metaphor for life (albeit entirely oversimplified). Thus is life indeed. Sending love and good vibes to anyone who wants/needs them as always. Enjoy your weekend…I hope it’s “perfect.” ; )

Springing into Spring (Paaa…how original/clever)

“Don’t wait for somebody to bring you flowers. Plant your own flowers and decorate your own soul.”- Luther Burbank

Flowers are blooming. Trees are blossoming. The ospreys have returned. Lacrosse and baseball practices have begun. Spring is here, and I’m excited for a new season. I’m still adjusting to “daylight saving time” (apparently daylight savings time is incorrect and I’ve been saying it wrong my entire life…lol), but the extra sunlight in the evening has been enjoyable so far.

I’m looking forward to new adventures, a few planned trips, and more time outdoors with my young sons. This time of year has been precarious for me at several junctures of my life, and I am being vigilant about taking the proper steps and care of myself to ensure that it goes smoothly this time around. So much has changed since this time last year…it’s hard to believe that it has only been a year…”only.” And what a year it has been, I must admit. But overall, I came out on the other side with a master’s degree from Villanova, a significant raise from USDA, and growth and stability in nearly every area of my life…and most importantly, with my family.

My eldest son will be turning five in about a month (what a blur his life seems at times when I pause to reflect). My second son will be turning two in less than two weeks. I am also the biological father of a third son that was conceived around this time last year. I no longer have contact with his mother (we crossed paths once about a month ago while she was with our son I think…and she gave me a brief half-smile and a finger wave from her car…not even a “hello” or “how’s it going?”…and drove away…and to be honest it crushed me…but I guess that’s what was meant to be…I haven’t seen or spoken to her in over five months otherwise), and I haven’t seen or held our son yet…and I’m not sure if I ever will. He’s probably around three months old now. At this point, I don’t think I’ll hold my breath for the next 18 years or so. It kills me sometimes…but I’m doing my best to focus on myself, my family, and what’s in my control.

It’s odd, because it’s not the cold, stormy, and gloomy days that make me think about him and his mother and the situation more…it’s the nice and sunny days. I guess my mind is more active and wanders more, and I think about how pleasant it would be if the scenario had played out differently (in a multiplicity of ways) …that if nothing else…my sons would be able to see and “meet” their half brother…let alone the same for me…on a beautiful spring day. Maybe one day they’ll be able to play together like siblings…and maybe they won’t. That’s not meant to be right now. I’m sure she and her family are doing what they think is best for them and for our son…I trust that he is well taken care of, that they are happy, peaceful, and content…and I guess that’s all that matters right now…and I really do hope that it stays that way for them (or becomes that way if it’s not for whatever reason). Que Sera, Sera is the name of the game for the situation with my third son though I suppose…that’s pretty much the only option that seems fitting/helpful right now. Thus is life though, right?…right?*sigh* lol.

My oldest son will be attending the same small, private school for kindergarten this coming fall that my three brothers and I attended for K-8. He will also be playing organized soccer for the first time this April and May, and likely attending a few sports camps this summer. I must admit that it feels really good to finally be in a position to comfortably provide for my family’s wants and needs. It also feels really good to be on the same page (and honestly closer than I’ve ever been) with my former wife, and to teamwork and communicate effectively in regard to raising our sons and about life in general…despite all that has happened between us. Overall, life is going well in so many ways, and I’m going to continue to build momentum for a better future for my loved ones and myself.

The rapid changes and the deluge of beauty of spring are bringing me a renewed energy, sense of purpose, and hope for the future. All is well, and I trust that it will continue to be so. There is no such thing as coincidence. Everything happens for a reason. Your life, and everyone in it, are merely a reflection of you and an opportunity to learn and grow…or not. Orrr…coincidentally, there is no reason for things happening, and yeah…you get where I’m going with this, so I’ll save you and myself the trouble. Whooo knows? I do know that in this present moment, I feel calm, confident, and optimistic. If nothing else, that’s a good start for a better tomorrow. Sending love and good vibes to anyone that wants/needs them as always…and hoping that spring is an enjoyable season for you and yours.

In Like…Out Like…

“That was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake, every word, all of it.” -Joan Didion

(Joan was about five years ahead of me in this regard (and many others)…buttt she was a smart cookie, so I’ll cut myself some slack)

And just like that, February is over. Around 17% of 2023 has passed already (#maf). I’ll be 34 in a few days (completing my 34th trip/starting my 35th). I have read the first sentence of this paragraph several times, and it is fairly difficult to believe that the past two months have disappeared. After nearly sounding out the second sentence repeatedly…I am…almost in disbelief…almost.

I have had so many incredible times and experiences (and some horrible ones), met so many amazing people (and many that I wish I hadn’t), been gifted with so many opportunities (some that I seized, and some that I squandered), and I am immensely grateful for each and every one of them (both the good and the bad). As I walk down memory lane, through the spring and early summer of my life, I can’t help but smile…and also cry. All that has happened, has happened as it should (relatively speaking…it’s all relative though…right?…or is this a logical/philosophical cop out?).

I am the exact person that I am supposed to be in this moment. Fundamentally, I must/have to be. There is no other version of myself (at least that I am aware of/conscious of…although theoretically there could be infinite versions of “me” playing themselves out simultaneously for all eternity […”life” in simple terms?]…among many other theoretical possibilities…and no, I don’t care if this is a cop out/flight from the other theoretical possibility…that this is the only life that I have to live, and I truly am nothing more than a lump of conscious biomass that has sprung from a goldilocks scenario on a watery rock near a star among billions of other stars in a galaxy among billions of other galaxies…and my conscious spark will eventually be snuffed out for all eternity [and hasn’t been already by mere chance] as my body returns to the cosmic soup from whence it came…never to return again). Before I continue down this theoretical/philosophical wormhole…I am going to return to the present.

I am alive. I have made it through the gauntlet of life thus far (although I have certainly been beaten and battered and have had some close shaves), and to a certain degree, that’s all that matters. Overall, my family and myself are in good health, and our necessities (and then some) are well taken care of…and will be for the foreseeable future. Those two cornerstones alone are enough for me to be extremely grateful for my lot in life. They are a solid foundation to build upon, and they allow me to nurture future plans and cultivate motivation and hope for a better tomorrow.

Each and every day that I am able to open my eyes (peace’ing out if I go blind…scout’s honor) and roll out of bed and enjoy life, is the greatest gift imaginable (literally). Each and every day is a gift that evokes a sensation of indebtedness to those that have come before me…that have paved the way through innumerable trials and hardships over the course of millennia (theoretically…and highly debatable lol) to allow me to enjoy the comfortable life that I am experiencing now. I do my best to respect each day and each moment as if it could be my last (without being sullen, sordid, or morbid of course…although I sometimes fail), and remind myself that the trials and hardships that I am experiencing now, must be faced for not only my loved ones, but for future generations of my kin (and others) as well.

Life is a wild ride of twists and turns, ups and downs, and sometimes the cart leaves the tracks, and you must hold on for…well, dear life. I suppose we’re always holding onto it to some degree though (and sometimes we forget that we are on the ride at all…and we are just along for it…which may very well be the fundamental “Truth” of the matter to begin with). We do our best to enjoy the time that we are allotted, and attempt to “make the most of it”…through every avenue that seems to suffice. We align ourselves with the people, places, and things that best suit our intended/desired experience (or is it vice versa?…or a combination of the two?), and essentially hope for the best.

Anyway, aside from this existential/philosophical/theoretical rant that ended up back where it started…I just wanted to remind you of this; that the grains of sand in our hourglass are always falling…and they are falling fast..and you never know how many grains are left…and which one may be your last. Enjoy each and every moment (whether “good” or “bad”) to the fullest, by remaining as present as possible. Take it all in…observe, sense, feel, digest, and learn…as best as you can…and then release…and repeat…ad infinitum. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, and each and every day that I am allotted on this upcoming trip around the sun. Sending love and good vibes to anyone that wants/needs them as always…and hoping you experience fair winds and following seas on this journey called “life.”

Sigh…Life Thoughts

“Keep looking up…that’s the secret of life.” – Snoopy

Life can seem cruel. It’s as if things must be painful at times. For whatever reason(s), things must happen a certain way. We may not fully grasp why, and things may not happen as we would like them to, but ultimately, much of life is out of our control. We are left sitting with difficult circumstances, discomfort, painful moments, and uncertainty. There are times where the only option is to accept the hand that has been dealt, dry our tears, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and continue to fight the good fight. Throughout much of life, we must accept predicaments as they are, put forth our best effort to change them as we can, and sometimes accept that there is nothing that can be done. Sometimes we must trust that whatever is happening…no matter how confusing, painful, or stressful…is for the greatest good of all parties involved.

Some may view this as naive, or merely as wishful thinking. However, think of how quickly you could be sucked down into a spiral of negativity if you chose to view things in the opposite light…where everyone and everything seemed to be allied against you, and nothing seemed to go your way…eventually, it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. How hopelessly lost you would feel, and what a complete hell life would be. But, for as cruel as life can seem, it can be as equally beautiful, benevolent, and joyous. We cannot have pleasure without pain. We cannot fully experience love without heartbreak. We must have both the good and the bad in order to live a full life. We will certainly experience our fair share of both sides (and everywhere in between) of this spectrum (that is more circular and all-encompassing than it is linear with extremes) whether we want to or not. The key (at least for me), is to stay present, remain fluid, and realize that each fleeting moment of life will happen only once, and to remember that nothing, no matter how “good” or how “bad”…lasts forever.

If nothing else, spring is on the way, and Mother Nature will be putting on an awe-inspiring display. Enjoy the warm weather and the spring rains. Enjoy the gentle breezes and the lightning/thunderclaps. Enjoy the flora and fauna coming back to life, as well as the creepy crawlies that will be doing the same. Enjoy all of it…each and every day. Handle whatever life sends your way this spring, with a smile and a kind heart…and soak up the whole experience. Because, this spring too, shall pass…and will eventually become a distant memory. Sending love and good vibes to anyone who wants/needs them as always…and wishing everyone well.

Bread and Circuses

“… Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.” -Juvenal 100 A.D.

Did any of you guys crush food (probably chicken wings), chug alcohol (probably light beer), and watch the superbowl (two teams you likely have no affiliation with/”for the ads”aka the enjoyment and concession of being stuck in a loop of media-driven consumption that perpetuates buying things you don’t need and filling your brain with drivel) tonight? Me fucking neither lol. To each their own I suppose, but I must admit that I’m content with sidestepping the whole ordeal. If this makes me seem anti-social/misanthropic…so be it…because to some degree, I am.

It seems to be a better option than blissful ignorance and/or fulfilling the need for belonging (to the masses/keeping up with the Jones’). Not trying to deter or shoot down anyone having a good time with friends and family…I guess it’s just not for me, and likely never will be. Oh well. About 30 million Americans watched the State of the Union address…well over 100 million Americans will watch the game tonight (208 million watched last year’s game). I guess I just can’t wrap my mind around what society has become/where it is headed…until I remind myself of the quote above (that is as true today as it was nearly 2,000 years ago). I wish people would take a second (or two or ten) to stop and look around…or maybe they have, and just don’t mind? I’m sorry if this came off as negative. I hate to be judgmental. But the same people stupefying themselves for 4-12 hours today for a game, will be the same people complaining about the state of the union (no matter what the actual state may be) for much of their lives. *Sigh* haha. And with that, I’ll end my rant. Sending love and good vibes to anyone that wants/need them as always.

P.S. “The evil was not in bread and circuses, per se, but in the willingness of the people to sell their rights as free men for full bellies and the excitement of the games which would serve to distract them from the other human hungers which bread and circuses can never appease.” – Cicero

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