I need to restructure my life, to concentrate on my goals and dreams. I need to work on cutting out all the cruft and create a better faster more streamlined me.
There isn’t enough time in one human life to do even half the things I want to do, so I have to throw out the old and choose carefully the direction I want to go. There is no room for mediocrity.
I stand here at the crossroads.
Before me are a myriad of roads leading off in all directions, but there is no way to choose more than one. I must take my pick, and then stick with that decision for good or ill. I hate having to choose when it means that I limit my options from that point forward, I don't like to be bound to an idea without escape, to be trapped into a narrow path.
There is no way to continue like this, a decision must be made. Whatever path I choose will dictate the rest of the choices I make from here on out.
Do I take the gamble and wager it all? Or play it safe and risk very little?
Eventually the things you own begin to own you.
I have far too many things in my life. I have too many obligations, too many items that require maintenance, too many expenses, too many dreams, ideas, and plans. All these things pile up and take away the one precious resource that I do not have an excess of: time.
Time slips away at a rapid rate and there is nothing in this world that can stop its inexorable tic-tock into oblivion. I am over 30 now and feel like I am on the top of the bell-curve of life, and rapidly reaching the drop-off point. I have this obsession with clearing away the dross and opening up a pathway towards a clean zen-like existence. I want to maximize the good parts of my life and minimize the machine-like drudgery in my day-to-day existence.
Today I went on a day-hike on the Morrison Run Trail, here in the Allegheny National Forest, and it was truly glorious to get out and spend time in the woods. That is what I want to do more of. I want to spend more time experiencing life, not spending my days scrabbling around trying to fix and repair the meaningless material things.
I spend most of my days doing just that. Fixing this or that, or just keeping my head down and trying to get through. I am better than that, and want to keep my head about the proverbial waters, and keep heading towards a better existence.
Life is all about balance. Between pleasure and duty; between desires and reality.
I can’t seem to find a good mix between my Maker side, and my Minimalist side.
On the one side is my obsession with creating things, fixing broken stuff, and modifying and generally tinkering constantly with electronics, bikes, cars, you name it. This makes a huge pile of parts, pieces, bits, odds and ends.
On the other side is the rest of my personality which is driven to simplify, refine, purge and clarify. I don’t like stuff lying about unorganized, and I also resent the time I have to spend thinking about the detritus of my life. I see those pictures of the minimalist rooms with everything perfectly aligned and nothing out of place and I am frustrated at my own lack of zen.
A few times a year I set out to just drop anything unnecessary, and get rid of all this clutter in my mind and also in my house, but each time I go through the boxes of parts that I keep organized, I feel torn.
Why can’t I be single faceted?
Why is it that nearly everyone expects, and wants a career that is dependent on others? A larger entity than ourselves seems to offer stability and control, we don't feel like we are all alone on the seas of change, we are anchored to something larger and greater, and that gives strength to our small petty lives. A career is something like that, it is a system of climbing up through the ranks of others who are doing just the same, and who are fighting you for a chance to be where you want to be.
I have always looked at the idea of a career with apprehension and suspicion. It seems to be only a gilded coffin to climb into and then pull down the lid, and nail it closed with your own hands. The idea of staying inside the same system year after year, and moment after moment is so limiting and degrading. I want my horizons open and the skies clear of clouds. I like to keep my bags packed and always be ready for the next challenge. After about 5 years of doing the same thing, and being the same place, I start to get itchy feet and want to head out and start new.
Several years ago, I worked in maintenance at a manufacturing plant, and there were several people who worked on the production lines who had been there for 20 years doing the same job. That would be torture for me. The complete end to everything I am. I would shrivel up and die if i didn't have variety in my life. I can simply not imagine a life that is unchanging like that. How can one possibly cope?
I remember that they were nice guys, but their who life revolved around going home and cracking open a beer in-front of the TV. How is it possible to live like that?
I want to send my daughter to a good school. What parent doesn’t want that for their kid? I want her to learn the skills she needs to survive in this damn mess we call a society. What I don’t want is to send her away to be indoctrinated into a narrow-minded view of the world. I don’t want to send her to the Warren PA public school system because I have seen what comes out of that school system and I don’t want that for my daughter. I don’t want the influences of the kids she will be around, and I don’t want the constant undermining of our parenting. I don’t want her to be indoctrinated into secular humanism or any of the other narrow mindsets of modern public schools. I don’t want her to come to see the state as the solution to all the problems in the world, I don’t want her to lose sight of who she is, or to be bullied into submission. I want her to learn critical thinking.
So the obvious choice from there is to send her to a private school, but the options around here are very limited. I want a school to focus on academics, critical thinking, and history. Once she learns to read well, the rest will naturally flow from there. I learned nearly everything I know simply from reading books and observing life, I have no reason to believe that she won’t be the same. So I want a school who will allow her to come to conclusions based on facts, who won’t be a harmful influence to the upbringing of her parents. This seems impossible here.
I most want her to attend a Montessori school, I believe that she would do well in that setting since she is a naturally very bright kid, and she takes to things with excitement. She does have trouble following tasks through to completion, but the environment that would foster her creativity is what would do her the most good. Trouble is, that there are no Montessori schools near this horrible little town of Warren PA.
There are only a few choices around here for private education, and most are nearly as dismal as the public schools. We will probably end up putting her in Lighthouse Baptist Academy in Jamestown NY. I am not thrilled at that prospect since it is just another form of indoctrination that we will have to overcome, but my wife attended there, and we do have some friends and contacts who send their kids there, so it won’t be all bad, I do think that they will give a strong early start to her education, and since we won’t be living here long-term I can allow it for the time being, but I want so much more for her. She is such a bright little kid that it would be a cruel shame for us to continue to live in this cesspool of a town and settle for a redneck education. I will not stand by and let it happen.
Poetry is not something that simply spills from the mind unbidden.
No, Poetry is an essence that travels from one being to the next; it is shared by ingestion of life.
A life absent from the poetic expressions found in the trees, the fall colors, the simple poetry of life will never give birth to anything more than a crusty paper of a lie.
One who lives on a steady diet of hard truth, dipped deep in the stone well of natural poetry will become suffused with the stuff until it weeps from the very pores, and spills dark ink upon the page already stained with tears.
‘Lucidity’ is an absolute clarity and understanding. As if all the shadows have been cleared away, and all that remains are hard truths. In average existence, our minds are busy with the details and routines of everyday life; we often exist almost as machines. As if the conscious mind stays just behind the present, and reacts on delay.
I used to work cutting tires for a disposal service; the job was repetitive in the extreme. Pick up a tire, throw it on the table, pull the lever for the ram, reverse the ram, rotate the tire 1/3rd turn, and repeat, throw the cut piece and then rotate again, cut and throw. Then repeat the same process once again. In the mornings I would see my huge pile of tires to cut and it would seem an impossible task because my mind was too aware of time and of my own existence. But after the first 10 minutes I would begin to lose the present and become more detached from what I was doing. Time would then begin to move much more quickly and aside from interludes of clarity (or lucidity) I was just as unthinking as the machine I worked with.
Much as sleep is an existence where the conscious mind loses it’s grip and in effect dies to time for a while, only to be re-joined again upon waking, so it was for me in working that repetitive job. All those hours were lost never to come again. And what did I gain for them? Nothing but a few dollars spent on bills and items long lost to memory.
So I ask you, how many of your waking hours do you spend in lucidity? How much of your life have you really lived, not just existed?
Think back on your life, what are the moments that stand out? The seconds or hours that have defined your life?
Live in Lucidity
Originally posted to ezrahilyer.com