I'll Come Running (To Tie Your Shoes) by Brian Eno

What a ridiculously cute title for a love song. I don't have a super-long (yes, I know, I have an issue) post for this one. I discovered this song through NPR & Bob Boilen. If you haven't listened to All Songs Consided, for what are you waiting?

I hope you enjoy.

Anyone who knows me knows a few central facts:

I believe that happiness is a choice we make.
I believe that love is something to give freely.
I believe that trust is huge.
And I believe that a good cup of coffee can cure many of life's issues.

But, in this segment I am hoping to tackle one of those points and maybe touch on the others.

Happiness: A Matter of Choice

One of my least favorite phrases that I hear people say is: "[This] makes me unhappy," closely followed by "[This] makes me happy." I think of these people as the same people who believe that luck plays a central role in their life. I don't know about you but, I don't flip a coin or role a die EVERY time that I need to make a decision. Nor do I wait for things to unfold to start my actions (granted this some times get me in to unanticipated trouble, but that is another post entirely).

If something truly made you happy, wouldn't you always be happy? You would find the stimulus that caused your involuntary happiness and harness it. No need for puppies, flowers, a song, a smile, a hug, a kiss, a laugh, or affection. All you would need is bottled "Happy" & I don't mean: Happy. The Clinique people would love if that was the case & honestly, I think that may be easier.

Happiness is so hard for some because it is a choice. Well, partly. Research has shown that happiness is 50% genetic, About 10% to 15% is a result of various measurable variables, such as socioeconomic status, marital status, health, income, and others. The remaining 40% results from actions that individuals deliberately engage in for the purpose of becoming happier. However, these actions may vary between persons (www.wikipedia.com). So, some people are predisposed to being less happy than others. But, at that same time, they also have a choice in increasing their happiness based on the control they have from actions in which they "deliberately engage."

Leo Tolstoy said: "If you want to be happy. Be." This has been a main component of my life and my life choices for the last decade or so. I stumbled across this quote on a day back then that I just needed to see that and as I am prone to do, I thought about it. I said, "Lonnie (because that is what I call myself), why are you unhappy?" And I put together a list of things that were "making" me unhappy and realized that all them came down to choice. Examples:

Your boyfriend cheats on you. Do you choose to be unhappy & stay with said boyfriend? Or do you choose to cut your loses, realize that this person is toxic to your life and move on to better happiness?

You are greatly in debt. Do you choose to be unhappy, cry about the unfairness of Capitalism & hope that something will miraculously change to make this situation better. Or do you choose to change your spending habits, take on an additional job, and set goals to eliminate the debt and be more happy.

Notice that the subject of both examples are derived from choices that have already been made. You decided what person to date & you decided on what to spend your money and how much. You make tons of decisions everyday and to say that something that happened effects you in anyway without taking ownership of those feelings is not fair. Not fair to you and not fair to who or what you assign the blame.

Is being happy easy? No, it takes work. It takes recognition of how your react to situations. It takes courage to get rid of things that are causing you to react unhappily. It takes trust in your friends to not bring you situations that are not ones that you want. But, overall, it takes a decision making and analysis of your emotions.

Think about it sometime when you are unhappy. Think about what is at the root of your unhappiness. Is it something that you can: 1) Eliminate, 2) Get over, 3) Unnecessary or 4) None of the above. Yes, there are circumstances that are not pleasant that happen to us all that we cannot eliminate or get over and are quite necessary. These are the times that we must focus on the necessity and there you will find something to be happy about. If you are suffering for a purpose, typically that pursuit will be for something that ultimately yields something that is positive.

Okay, now I am starting to get distracted, damn coffee shops. :-p But, remember, your life is under your control and happiness is a choice.

Some Arguments Are Not Worth the Time.

An economical approach to arguments, has made me better at recognizing times when it is best to either end an existing argument or when not to argue at all. There are some people that are so head strong that they stop listening to what you are presenting and claim it as invalid. They turn the argument to a fight and the healthy medium that you may have been aiming for is thrown entirely out the window. Fighting is futile, winning accomplishes very little if anything. Compromising on an idea, yields the best results for all parties.

But regardless, when presented with a wall, pushing against it is futile. It is not going to budge by being pushed. You need a wrecking ball and that is not a constructive thing to use if the owner of the wall is not willing to have it torn down. So, the correct approach at that moment is to cut the line and move on.

There are some arguments that are just not worth the cost. And in fact having them sometimes creates more cost: friendships, relationships, etc. But, of course, if that is all it takes to deteriorate a relationship that you have created; how stable was that relationship at the start.

Okay, now I am rambling. The point: I will not be trapped into fighting when I sought to argue & I will not argue when I am certain that it will lead to a fight or an impasse.

Forceful at Best

Sometimes I just have to sit down and force myself to write about things. To write about the its, the yous and the thous in my life. To write about the places to which my mind has escaped for a time. To write something, anything that seems to resonate with something that sounds of feeling and doesn't feel contrived.

But, there are those days that nothing wants to come out. The days when everything wants to stay hidden away from the world. The days when I feel like everything that I am writing is meaningless and tiresome. The days that I think that you may read this post and say: "He's lost his mind", "He needs to not talk about me so much", "He has no clue what is going on around him."

That was were I was. I couldn't make sense of a lot of things. Typically this causes great strife within me. Surprisingly, this time, it was not like that. This time I was in good spirits, just with nothing of great importance to contribute. Then came today...or rather yesterday.

I realized that I had learned something in the last few weeks...well, 2 things to be precise:

1) To not take anything personally.
2) To not make assumptions.

I have my aunt to thank for this...because, she gave me the book from which I learned these things for my 30th birthday. Yes, and I just got around to reading it. But, she never hounded me to do so. Like most things, she realized that I would get to it in my own time and that it would most likely be when I needed it most.

I used to take EVERYTHING personally. It made me really receptive to other people's images of who I was. Then, I realized (and actually thought about it recently) that I am the one who's opinion matters on all things that concern me directly. The gossip doesn't matter. The compliments do not matter. The criticism does not matter. It all only effects me to the level that I can feel these words.

This is not to say that compliments are not good or that criticism is not needed. It is to say that these are things to not take personally. This means that you should not take these words as a reason to change. If I am paid a compliment, it does not mean that the compliment is not valid on other days and that I should only look or act the way that I was looking or acting at that very moment. Criticism should not be taken as a personal attack because it is like a compliment and is a reflection of the other person's feelings about a situation and not about you...entirely. This is not to say that it is alright to do poorly unto others and not feel badly about it. It simply stated means that if it is something you know is an issue with yourself...fix it. Otherwise, realize that it was one situation and it is another person's feelings not yours.

Assumptions. There is a reason for the statement that "To assume is to make an ass out of you and me." We as people assume a lot and this is something with which I will struggle. I am a poker player, so a portion of that is building assumptions based around pattern recognition. But, in life, if we start to assume that we know the situation, we need to stop where we are going with it and have the courage to ask questions. Conversation is the greatest way to squash the assumptions. Most problems in this world are based around assumptions. People get married assuming that their principle of marriage is the same as their chosen partner's views on marriage. Only later to find that they do not have the same values assigned to that agreement.

I can look back at most of my blogs about "problems" and realize that a majority of them are based around my assumptions. Either, because I thought to much into a situation without seeking outside guidance or because I had no idea where things were at that given moment for someone else involved. So, don't be surprised, if I start asking more detailed questions of you.

But these are just my thoughts on the matter & it feels good to be back.


Bad Knowledgemonger!

I have been slacking so much this week on the blog writing and on school work as well. My mind has already checked in for Spring Break, which doesn't start until Monday. I need someone to slap me in the face and say: "Pull it together." I need to stop cruising along and get some of this stuff done already.

Anyhow, a brief synopsis of the week goes as follows:

Monday: Nothing happened, it remained dark, oh and there was the snow. Yeah, so I stayed in and stayed warm in my PJs.

Tuesday: I went to the bar meeting and got pulled into the office by 2 of the owners...dun dun dun. Who then asked me to take on a project for them and that we would talk further on the matter once it was ready to be worked on. Yay! So, apparently I am doing some things right. Went to dinner and out afterward. It is tough to go out to a place where you really need to have a drink to make some of the people tolerable when you are not drinking.

Wednesday: Got my hair did at 2:30 PM. Decided to eat before leaving the D.C., so I went to Logan Tavern. Boarded my train at 5 PM and came back to Manassas, where I showered again and shaved, etc. Went out with the roommate to karaoke. I had a good time, she and Portland girl had a great time. "Stop apologizing" :-)

So, here I am on Thursday, not much has changed and I don't know where I am on a lot of things. Sorting can be so tedious.

An hour and a half behind

So, yes, I am a little behind in posting today...I mean yesterday. But, here I am anyway. My mind is swimming a bit. I am trying to sort a few things out in my life. Nothing too major, just trying to gain clarity...as always. Wanting more knowledge is like a disease, I never seem to have enough, especially when it comes to people. People are so unique in the combination of ideas, experiences, etc. I am always intrigued. This sometimes gets me into trouble as I take interest into the wrong characters. I am finding it hard to write tonight, as my sinuses are wrecking havoc with my head. So, I will start earlier tomorrow...errr, today and hope for the best.


"We should do CRACK every week!" -Tony W.

Last night at work we had instead of our normal drag show, we had Crack: Journey to Uranus! This approximately annual show that is hosted by Summer Camp was quite the crowd grabber. It was a great night to be at TOWN from both sides of the bar. After the show, DJ Wayne G from Heaven in London spun upstairs. Great Crowd! Great Show! Great DJs!

If you missed it, check for some of the YouTube videos that are bound to show up. Or make it the next time :-)

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