Month: November 2011

A Day in the Life (part two)


A Day in the Life (part two)
Like I said in my previous blog I like to do a lot of self education and reading on my own. One of the books I have been studying lately is The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill. Mr. Hill is better known for his motivational classic, Think and Grow Rich. I didn’t hear about The Law of Success until this year. I actually prefer the Law of Success to Think and Grow Rich. The Law of Success goes into much greater detail about what is required for success in life. I think that they should have taught us this sort of course in high school. Lately, I have been reading and listening to audio books and sermons that deal with positive thinking. I find that it is all too easy to get negative in the world we live in. I have never found that negative thinking has worked very well for me so I may as well give positive thinking a try.
On a totally different note I heard the sentence that was given to Dr. Conrad Murray today. I think that the judge made a very wise decision in this case.
This week I have been listening to a lot of music from the 1960s and 1970s. It never ceases to amaze me how much talent and creativity that was present in these decades. Some of the artists that I have been listening to our Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Rod Stewart. Although these artists are all very different they have all left the legacy of great music be

A Day in the Life


A Day in the Life
As I went to bed very early last night I managed to get up early in the morning. After my morning coffee and breakfast it was time to take my two dogs for their daily run out at the dog park. If I could I would run with them but right now all I am capable of is walking around the dog park. All the same this amounts to roughly 40 min. of exercise for me and my dogs. The dogs also seem to enjoy the car ride. I like to take my dogs first thing in the morning whenever possible. This seems to take the edge off their excess of energy for at least part of the day. In other words my dogs are less likely to act out if they have had their morning exercise. This tends to make life a lot easier for my wife and me. It was a bit on the chilly side today but I was glad there was snow instead of mud on the trail. Last week the weather was a little warmer and this turned the ground to mud. I would much rather walk on frozen ground than slide around in the mud. There is something about a snowy winter day and being out with your dogs which is very invigorating. Another way of putting this would be to say it is good for the soul.
Although I enjoy taking my dogs to the dog park I usually have to take it easy for a while when I get home. As my wife needed the car for the afternoon I was called into duty to do today’s shopping. I actually don’t mind grocery shopping because it gives me a chance to buy the things that I like. Of course most of these things are not good for me. The only negative part of going grocery shopping is unloading the car after you leave the store.. This is okay if you can park right in front of your house but if you have to park about half a block away or more this is not so much fun. Today was one of those days when parking was not readily available and I had a 33 pound bag of dog food to carry on my shoulder. There is not too much I would not do for my dogs.
I spend a lot of my time trying to educate myself. It would probably be more profitable if I spent more of my time fixing things around the house. Unfortunately, I do not have the money, know-how or the inclination to fix things. I would rather read and study. Talking about studying I have returned to reading my Bible after a prolonged period of time. There were many months where I could not even look at the Bible, never mind pick it up and read it. I have a pattern of going through seasons like this. This frustrates my wife no end but she is always happier when I’m in a more spiritual season of my life. I told her not to give me any credit for it was all God’s doing. Anyway, I was reading from the book of Ezekiel today. Ezekiel is not an easy book to read as it is full of poetic imagery and metaphor. I find that I have to read passages from this book over and over and very slowly try to visualize what the writer is describing. Some people have even claimed to find flying saucer imagery in certain passages of Ezekiel. I now know how this is possible. (to be continued).

Criticism


Criticism
One of the hardest things in life for me is to have someone criticize me. The truth is I would rather someone punched me in the face than to criticize me. This is a defect of character that I’ve had to work on all of my life. It really bothers me that people can hurt me so much by what they say to me. I actually feel worse about my reaction to the criticism than to the criticism itself. I often wonder why it hurts me so much. Why does it often get such a reaction out of me? Am I that insecure? These are questions that I have often asked myself over the years.
The reason is not that I think I am perfect, far from it. I am only too cognizant of my defects of character. I guess I just don’t like anyone else pointing them out to me. I know that I am not the only one. There are others that suffer the same condition, a very negative reaction to personal criticism. I think if I had one wish in the world it would be that from this day forward anyone could criticize me severely and it would not bother me a bit. I often tell myself that I really don’t care what others think about me. While on an intellectual level this may be true it is certainly not true in the emotional realm. It’s funny how there is such a disconnect between the intellect and the emotions. One’s intellect can know all the right answers but their emotions will not accept them. This is always been a great frustration to me.
I have met a select few people in my life that know how to handle me. These gifted people know how to convey to be how much they love me and respect me. When I can receive this from them their criticism towards me is much easier to take. Unfortunately, I must learn to live with a whole world of people that are unable or unwilling to do this. Therefore, the ultimate responsibility still rests with me. Hopefully, one day I will teach my emotions to do what my intellect already knows.

Stream of Consciousness


Stream of Consciousness
I still remember the phrase, stream of consciousness from studying The Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce. This term describes my life about as close as anything else. In other words it appears to be a series of random activities. When I think about it there is some method to my madness. There are some goals that I want to accomplish. For example, I want to lose weight and get into better physical condition. Therefore, I try to work out at the gym every day and take my dogs for a walk in the dog park as part of my daily routine. I would love to tell you that this physical activity has resulted in a massive loss of weight. Truth is I haven’t lost any weight but I would probably gain more if I wasn’t doing all the physical activity that I am doing now. Hopefully, the aerobic exercise is keeping my heart good shape.
I am a retired teacher who has always valued learning. I’m a firm believer in continuous learning. I am always looking for ways to educate myself. Yesterday my wife bought me some computer Bible software. This software is actually very cool as it has commentaries, maps and all sorts of facts about the Bible in one package. I go through periods of time in my life when I’m interested in reading the Bible and times when I barely go near it. I am presently going through season when I am studying from it once again. My favorite books in the Bible are Job, Psalms, Romans and Ecclesiastes. I also enjoy the imagery in the book of Ezekiel. I would never describe myself as being a good Christian. I simply have too many weaknesses of the flesh. I tried to correct some of my defects of character but I am usually left frustrated by my lack of progress.
Lately, I have been listening to podcasts by Joel Osteen. What I like about Joel’s messages is that they are very positive and encouraging in nature. Too many times I have attended church services where I have felt worse about myself coming out than I was going in. Fortunately, I do not feel this way after listening to Joel Osteen sermon’s.

Depression in the Workplace


Depression at the Workplace
Whether you work for a large firm or a small company you will sooner or later run into an employee or coworker that suffers from depression. You start noticing there is something wrong with the employee who was up until recently one of your best workers. If you work with this person you will notice that they have changed. Your coworker may appear to be more moody. They may have been the one who told jokes at coffee time .They seem to have a lot of enthusiasm for their job. Now they may not even show up for coffee break. They night stay in the bathroom or go outside for smoke. You may notice a sadness in their eyes. Where previously they seem to get enormous amounts of things done in a day they now have difficulty just getting through their basic routines. They seem to have really slowed down. The employee may now be calling in sick more often. The employee may see more irritable and start to lose their temper quickly.
These are all signs of an employee or coworker who may suffer from depression. Depression is a disease and employers and coworkers need to be educated about it. There are some illnesses that may percent with the same symptoms. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome may also be playing havoc with this employee. Both of these conditions will seriously slow an employee down. Unfortunately, what often happens is that this employee is either disciplined or fired. The employer may have great reservations about firing them. The employee does not understand the inconsistencies in their workout. At certain times of the year their productivity may be beyond the employers expectations. During certain periods of time the employee’s work may not meet the minimum standards of the job. These are the times in which a termination usually occurs. This is a tragedy.
If the employer and coworkers were better educated about the disease of the depression they may have been able to help this worker during the rough times. Often employees who suffer from depression show unusual creativity when they are feeling well. Both the supervisor and the employees coworkers need to recognize the symptoms of depression. They are then in a much better position to help their suffering coworker.
What can I supervisor or coworker do for an employee who is suffering from depression. One thing that they need to do is to gain the trust of the depressed worker. If the depressed worker feels that they are in danger of getting fired their symptoms will only get worse. The depressed employee needs someone who is going to cut them some slack during the times of they do not feel well. The effected employee may require more breaks. They may be they need to be given time extensions on their workloads. These can be adjusted when the worker returns to health. At times the depressed worker may need a friend at work. At other times they may need to spend some time alone. Most of all the depressed employee should not be made to feel that they are a second class citizen on the job.

Theo, Sheldon and Graham James


Penn State Scandal (Afterthought)
In Canada we are not unfamiliar with what has happened in the Penn State Scandal. We had a good taste of this several years ago with the Graham James scandal. During his time as a hockey coach Graham James was alleged to have sexually abused young boys who he coached. Two retired NHL players, Theo Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy have gone public with their stories. This case has also had a devastating effect upon its victims. The only positive thing to come out of this is that Fleury and Kennedy have exposed what has been going on and have encouraged other young people to come forward if a similar abuse has happened to them.

Joe Paterno’s Statement


Joe Paterno Is Disappointed
I just read that Joe Paterno is disappointed in the decision made by the Penn State board. Joe sounds like he doesn’t believe he should have been fired. No matter what good Joe Paterno did as a football coach will never make up for the harm that he helped cover up. If Joe had gone to the police right away possibly several other youth would not have been abused. Yes, the university officials are just as much to blame. The university administration, Joe Paterno, and Mike McCreary are all culpable in this case. And what about the students who rioted when they heard that Joe Paterno was fired? Has common sense gone out the window in the name of football? It sounds like Penn State put on higher priority on trying to preserve its reputation. Did anyone at the university think about the victims?