18 April 2010

Another PSA From Mother Nature

I'm on the treadmill this morning and the top story on the Today show is all about the volcano eruption in Iceland.

A significant portion of Europe has completely shut down to the insanely enormous plume of ash and smoke that hovers over much of that continent...

Thousands of travelers are stranded at airports...

As expected, the human-interest producers at the Today show look to capitalize on the natural-disaster-connection angle. Part of this morning's segment included information about the last year's earthquakes – there are a significant number of 8.0+ earthquakes that rocked planet Earth recently. Add that to the last five years’ worth of natural disasters: tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, mudslides, floods, volcanoes – it appears, surmised the beautifully coiffed host, that Mother Nature is sending us a message.

Well, yes, DoubleBreastedBusinessPantSuit Lady, she is. Are you just now tuning in? Are you really that clueless that you have to ask the question?

Over the roar of all our medical and technological advances, she is definitely trying to tell us something. First of all, she’s reminding us that she’s in charge of the planet, not us. Ultimately, we humans are the mortal ones, and for all our bravado and condescension, we should remember that in the blink of an eye, our lives are gone. Who else but Mother Nature can annihilate hundreds of thousands of people in one go? And we pay good money to people who predict the weather? Ha!

Second, I think Mother Earth is trying to tell us that there are way too many people on this planet. People have too many kids, they take up too much space, and they make vaccines and whatnot that prolong people’s natural lifespan. Frankly, maybe she’s trying to clear some room out for the rest of us.

I will stop my train of thought here for fear of being considered callous, heartless, cruel…not that I really fear it, but still…

And for all my own uppity pretentiousness, I can advocate no reasonable solution for this natural disaster dilemma. We certainly can’t stop them from happening, and so I don’t think there is any purpose in squandering valuable energy and thought on worrying about things like tectonic plates or dormant volcanoes. A change in mindset, though, might be in order: remember that our time here is very limited (when you think about how long rocks, trees, rivers, etc. have been around). We should all pick four or five things that REALLY matter and work on building happiness and contentment within those things. Forget what the bitter hearts or Hollywood or Cosmo or even the government (at times) tell you what’s important.

Lest I spread confusion on this point, let me clarify. Do what makes you happy – yes. Focus on what’s important to you – yes. Use this as an excuse to build a meth lab or neglect your children or become selfish – NO.

15 April 2010

Seven Days of Craziness Makes One Weak

You've all heard of Sir Isaac Newton, I'm sure, and can quote, verbatim, his first law of motion...

Neither can I. I had to Google it. But, it's okay, I can now Google in a box, with a fox, while eating lox. It's all good.

Anyway, the law reads as thus:

Objects that are in motion will remain in motion until an outside force is applied upon it.

Ol' Newton probably was talking about billiard balls and miniscule quarks when he devised this law...but nevertheless, the principle rings true today.

Things around here got underway Monday with play practice. It's a new season for Oskaloosa Community Theater, and yours truly is directing the first show! Before that, however, I participated/witnessed a very interesting (not totally in a good way) Board meeting.

Since that night, life has been a frantic cycle of exercise, work, school, taxicab, soccer, and play practice. Isaac knows what I'm talking about...I am constantly in motion until an outside force is exerted upon me...usually in the form of sleep. It's no wonder this week has flown by. Oh yeah, Elliot fractured his little boy hand, and is in a cast (the first time ever for ANY of our children).

Our positivity experiment took a backseat for sure this week. Last night, though, we seemed to regroup a little and refocus. Today's task was to speak/act in ways that built/created/developed.

For example, instead of berating a child (or spouse) for something not done this morning, spend the energy instead looking forward. Focus on the next time...the next morning, etc.

This hypothesis was tested today when Brent became highly irritated at a Facebook post of mine...and this post triggered thoughts of past annoyances/aggravations for him. It seems now he has gotten over it, and we are continuing forward.

What's terribly interesting is applying Newton's first law to the idiosyncrasies of the human heart. It is very easy to fall into a pattern of remembering and getting bogged down by the past...because after all, science says it's natural for objects (even homo sapiens) to do so. The trick is to consciously make our minds change direction - the external force is a lot harder for the mind to come by than a set of billiard balls.

For sure.