A friend called and asked Jan and I out to dinner. It was fun. Jan and I have not seen them in a long time.
Jean and Mike! We went to a Mexican restaurant locally (like where else would we go? oh, just thought we’d pop off in a commercial jet and wing our way to California…God help us…and get Mexican fast food) where we had eaten before. Personally I think it is all made up and kept in the fridge (a lot of restaurants do that) and just pop it in the micro when someone comes along and orders it. Anyway, it was good. I brought home my leftovers in a foam type package and we left it on the table inside the front door. Bet you are wondering where it is tonight and no I didn’t eat it.
Anyway, it was a surprise and welcome one but I am a bit of an anti-social person and I hate crowds and I always feel uncomfortable in such situations. (This morning I met with a group of fellow vets and they sang happy birthday to me. Yep. Pure torture.) On the one hand I want and welcome the attention and on the other it is like telling me that I just walked through a patch of poison ivy. I think that is part of my self-destructive nature like forgetting it was my month to buy donuts for my vet group because it was my birthday month…..hey, why doesn’t the group by the donuts for the person having the birthday and not the reverse.
I would think that is the way it should be, but I guess it all works out in the end. One of the vets there this morning was in a unit in Vietnam that suffered the most casualties of the war. In one engagement they had over 300 casualties. I find it amazing to be in the company of such men as he.
In other interesting news facts, I came across a veterans art studio in St. Petersburg. They are doing an open house on September 16. There is to be a band there, other artists, and me. I’ve been invited to do a book signing. So now the mad rush is on to complete and print the first of two books in a series regarding a true crime event. I managed to get a cover done for the book. It only took me three days. I only lost 12 versions of the artwork to the monster hiding in my computer that probably ate the damn things. When I reported my problems to the software manager/owner/developer I was informed that no one ever from the time that God made Adam had ever reported having any difficulty with their software. I guess, in a way, that was a polite way of being told, “you’re stupid.”
Yesterday was my birthday. It was not a significant day for me. Nothing stood out. There was no “wow” factor. For me it was just another day. But for my wife, and my friends, it held a different meaning. Oddly no one actually asked me how old I am. Perhaps that was out of politeness. Perhaps, like me, they recognize that in life everything is moving forward. So on the day before yesterday I was one day shy of being fully the age I reportedly became at the hour and minute of my birth so many years before. Then, I have to say that today I am the age I was yesterday plus one day. I find that atrociously simple and yet complex in a mutually beneficial manner. It occurs to me that we begin the countdown on life when the baby is reported to have exited the mother’s womb. The record will continue until, quite simply, we die. It’s how we count the days and years. I suppose in some small way it all makes sense. I mean, it’s absolutely necessary that it makes sense for some. I don’t know if I fall within those ranks. I might. But I seriously don’t know.
What I do know is that advancing to another age, a plateau in life, is something we cannot prevent. I find it curious to have friends who lament the passing of the years. I’m not so concerned about the years as I am the activities that occurred within those years. I’m sure that we all have moments where we examine ourselves and in many cases are not happy about what we find there. At least that is how it is with me.
I have determined that over the course of my life I have been very self-destructive at times. Perhaps I was programmed that way by the very people who should have been supporting me and telling me that I could achieve all that I want in this life by working hard. Instead I recall being an 11-year-old child riding in my parents car with my father driving and we passed an area made up of beautiful homes that had smaller, yet still opulent, side homes for guests or for family members. I can recall saying to them that one day I would be successful and I would own one of those homes and the building that was a smaller house would become their home and it would be paid for totally by me. Instead of a simple positive response from both my parents, one so desperately needed, the response was, “Sure. Your brothers said the same thing and neither one of them have accomplished that goal, so neither will you.”
So I truly believe that the programming was attached during that short conversation in which I, as a small child, reached out to the very people who should have been encouraging me, and found instead a belief that I was bound to fail. And, I believe, that I like so many others in the similar situations are doing everything we can to make certain that our parents were wrong and yet the programming, in many cases, was so strong we fail before we begin.
So my hat is off to those who try and fail and yet still fight the false images fed to them as children. Perhaps we are all winners in the end.