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My small epiphany... - The Rancho Commons — LiveJournal
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
My small epiphany...
This post has been stewing awhile. My knees are all skinned from falling off the treadmill of life again. It just goes too fast for a big guy like me. So, I'm posting blind here, not stopping to read and try to catch up for the several days I'm behind on all of y'all. I've only been catching highlights. Still, I've probably managed to read 75% of my small friends list. Maybe. However, if I stop to read now, like I usually do, I'll burn up all the time I might have had to post before I sleep. But I digress.

It is peculiar but pleasing to me that some of the most profound insights to life that I've learned are demonstrated in some very strange places. I think of Luke Skywalker telling Yoda he would try to raise his fighter from the swamp using only his mind and the Force. Yoda responded "No! Do, or do not. There is no try." Because even if you try mightily and fail, though you've done your best, you have "done not" - the same as if there was no try. It's kind of like the old saying, "What's second place? First LOSER!!" Of course, we pad these harsh realities for our children. As long as you do your best you can be proud. Yeah, but then there's that whompin' sting when you lose and you learn pretty quickly... proud of what? Ouch. There is no try. I'm afraid this is coming across as cynical and it really isn't to me. There is a freedom of sorts, knowing that not accomplishing something is nothing short of failure. It can give you more drive and determination going into something to think this way. I think telling children otherwise encourages mediocrity. Don't ask me how I know this.

My next movie wisdom is even less prestigious than a fictional movie about space. There is a scene in the Disney movie "The Lion King," which is an excellent cartoon by my standards, in which the spirit of Mufasa is speaking to his son Simba about his role in life. He tells him, "Look inside yourself Simba, you are more than what you have become." It was this line that came to me the other day, as I was leaving work one morning after a particularly discouraging night. Both of my patients lost ground, and I particularly identified with the husband of one. I felt awful that she had regressed despite my best efforts. As I was walking, watching the floor in front of me, these three words popped into my head.

More than this.

These words mean so much to me on many, many levels. They instantly have become my mantra.

I expect more than this from myself.
It takes more than this for me to be truly happy.
I must do more than this to feel better physically, and about myself in general.
When I have bad feelings after work, I remember that my life is much more than this.
No matter how big the "problem," the love of my family means more than this.
When I look at my paycheck, I remember that what I do for people means so much more than this. (Read that one again. This probably means you, too.)
When I want to sit and do nothing, I have to remember that my responsibilities are more than this.

I don't know. It isn't much just to type it out, I guess. But this is very profound to me. It is important and fundamental. It is more than just a catchy three word phrase I can repeat under my breath when things are tough. It IS more than this. The sum of the meaning far exceeds the words themselves.

(Yep, still stuck all over that Iron and Wine music.)

Current Music: "Naked As We Came" by Iron and Wine

8 aspirations -{}- aspire with me
posteverything From: posteverything Date: May 14th, 2005 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
While I understand that, of course, you are the head of the household with people depending on you to get out there and (as we say around here) "git-r-done", I'm also reading this mantra of yours and I have to wonder if that is the reason why men don't live as long as women. Why you hear all the time about guys in their 40s and 50s having heart attacks. Sure, there is pressure, and we wouldn't be complete without that pressure..but sometimes I think we're guilty of assuming too much of it (if this makes any sense).

And, dude..you never read my LJ anymore. It doesn't matter, though.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: May 17th, 2005 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sure, there is pressure, and we wouldn't be complete without that pressure..but sometimes I think we're guilty of assuming too much of it (if this makes any sense).

I don't know, Jay. If you knew me IRL, you would think me to be one of the most laid back people you've met, I think. It takes a lot to get me riled up, so to speak. So, I'm not one of those people with real high personal expectations -- I'm not "high strung" as I call it. However, we are often obliged to pick up the proverbial yoke and pull our own weight, or to walk away from it. Though the temptation to do the latter can become really strong at times, it becomes much less feasible when you have other people along for the ride. That is when I feel "stressed"... when I want to do less, but I have to do more because I have others relying on me.

And, dude..you never read my LJ anymore. It doesn't matter, though.

Dude! I totally read everything! But, I have not been commenting, and that is not cool. It does matter. I don't know how on earth you find the time to read, comment, and reply to your friends list. My list is only a fraction of that size and I find myself not having the time to be on LJ nearly as much as I would like to. Some of my friends do most of their LJing from work, but even if I had time to do that, I wouldn't feel right doing it. So, I have to squeeze it in with all my other home obligations and I battle myself, actually, to spend less time doing this than I would like.

I say all of that not to give an excuse, but to apologize because I know what it is like to put stuff out there that you think is primo only to have people who are important to you remain silent. In fact, I would know even more about this were it not for your frequent and generous comments and replies. Sorry, man. I messed up. Really.
posteverything From: posteverything Date: May 20th, 2005 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
when I want to do less, but I have to do more because I have others relying on me.

I know what you're saying here, and I'm also not saying that the "over-stressed/over-worked" persona is you, at least not all the time. Take the men out there who probably work harder at home during the weekends than they do at their own job during the week, for instance. Most of them say it's relaxing for them..but I'm not so sure, myself. I wonder if it's just that they've been deluded, over years and years, that they just have to be that way. I'm sure you've probably seen firsthand people out there (typically men) who die more-or-less just after retirement. What's that all about..you know?

As for my LJ..Bruce..I was only joshing you about that (I do that a lot around here). After getting over 100, sometimes over 200 comments per entry, it really doesn't matter anymore. Besides, I haven't even posted in two weeks and I don't plan on doing so in the near future..mostly because I'm trying to establish myself in places I haven't been able to establish myself before, and the stuff I've been writing way exceeds the 50,000 character limit that LJ caps on posts.

All that said, I don't do a great job on commenting/reading my friends list, either. :)
tinamarie From: tinamarie Date: May 14th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
*profound* My thoughts exactly. I'm having a meltdown day today and you summed it up so well. Now I know why. Thank you.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: May 17th, 2005 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
No meltdowns! ;-)

Too late.
bd1 From: bd1 Date: May 16th, 2005 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Very true. More than this. I like that.

I always liked the lines: "Do, or do not. There is no try." They stuck with me too but not in terms of doing your best or winning & losing. For me, it has a simpler meaning. It's something like the Nike commercial. "Just do it."
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: May 17th, 2005 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
For me, it has a simpler meaning. It's something like the Nike commercial. "Just do it."

Yes. Exactly. What I was trying (and failing) to get through was that we too often approach difficult or unpleasant tasks with a big sigh and an "I'll tryyyy" attitude, instead of a "Just do it" attitude. Because we really don't want to do something that has to be done, we approach it with an attitude of... almost failure? And often we end up having to redo something or do it for much longer than if we dug in with a "Just do it" aggressiveness and kicked its rear end.

In this context (above) "There is no try." Thanks for helping me realign this thought. Even though the post had been "stewing" for awhile, I wasn't able to bring it out like I wanted. I'm still not satisfied with it, but I have to chew on that one a bit longer. Mainly, I wanted to get it down, sort of like a bookmark, so I wouldn't lose my place, or the thought.
curious_corax From: curious_corax Date: May 18th, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
   I admit that I sometimes have trouble balancing all my duties. It becomes most difficult when I or one of my kids is sick. I slip more often than I would like. Sometimes I just don't want to (paste activity here)
   A tough obstacle is J coming home after a rough and/or frustrating day. Sometimes, when I have had a good day, and feel I have gotten a lot done, she will have trouble, upon homecoming, restraining her negativity. This can adversely affect me.
   The key for me is to talk about it, to be honest, unaccusatory, and understanding. Doesn't mean it's easy though.
   I believe you are more than you think you are.
8 aspirations -{}- aspire with me