Thoughts From the Bench

May 31, 2018

It’s hard when you are divorced. You’ve lost a lot of the mutual friends you once had. When someone dies, who was once a mutual friend, you feel sad but feel like an outsider unable to say you are sorry to the surviving spouse. And that death becomes a reminder of what once tied you to that person who has passed as well. Not sure this is a Facebook topic. I know we are supposed to be up and happy so people think everything is always okay. Smiling, happy. Smiling. Ever smiling. Sometimes we are smiling so much we forget to be real once in a while. Today I’m feeling a bit sad and very real. Tomorrow is another day said Scarlett O’Hara. I’ll think about it tomorrow.

May, 2018

I was out in the woods yesterday and it reminds me how much I love being out there. I was not a person in my younger days who liked the woods or the outdoors.  The idea of snakes, wild pigs, and coyotes would have scared me to death.  Things change.  I love being outdoors exploring.  There is so much beauty there that you can’t experience in front of a TV, computer screen, or on a smartphone.  I’ve learned to kayak in the last year as well. I know I can do a lot better with my skills but it’s coming. Being on the water is a lot like hiking only in a boat.  It still doesn’t top hiking for me. Both have their risks and safety should always be of concern on the land and water. Abundant bird life and the challenges of the water bring me joy.  I used to wish more people wanted to hike but I’m not so sure now. Lots of places that were much more enjoyable are becoming more and more crowded. I search out places that are less known so we can experience nature with fewer people in tow.  Maybe that’s selfish but I really don’t like hiking with crowds. Sometimes it just can’t be helped though.  Wishing you happy hiking!

February, 2018

I did sit on the bench yesterday in the sunshine looking at “my tree” and just enjoying being alive. I didn’t have a lot of thoughts going on in my head at the time but later I met up with some friends for dinner and the topic of mortality came up under various guises. It really got me thinking last night afterwards that as we get older that is something we are going to have to face. I’m inclined not to want to face it but it’s inescapable. That being said, I was thinking about something said to me. I think the flip side to thinking about what disease or accident is going to take us is to think of how we are going to live our days going forward and how we can make them meaningful. None of us know when our last day is going to be but we can choose to be joyful. We can choose to be as active as our bodies will allow. We can choose to embrace life, respect death, and honor the people we love and care for and give them the space to be as they are without judging them. As someone at work reminded me, I should just be glad to get old. Lots of people we know have not gotten that opportunity. I know this to be true! 

January, 2018

I have a lot of friends I don’t always agree with. Does it matter? No one is going to agree with you on everything. If they did, life would be boring. Friends are people who treat you with respect and kindness, who listen to your woes, and who love you anyway even when they think you are way out there. Someone doesn’t have to be like you to be your friend and you don’t have to be like them. Don’t let stuff you can’t fix or change kill a friendship. Don’t let political differences kill a friendship. It’s okay to disagree. There will be something else to take its place tomorrow. The older we get the harder it is to find a good friend. Cherish the ones you have. ’nuff said.

December, 2017

I was thinking tonight (and not even sitting on a bench right now) that it is easy to give up instead of fight. We all have private burdens: poor health, job loss, addiction, low self esteem, insecurity, family issues etc. And sometimes dark moments hit us, and we start feeling sorry for ourselves and we start to think that it is just easier to give up and accept things as they are. But it’s my opinion that fighting whatever ‘it’ is and trying to make things better somehow is the better choice, at least for me. I hope as we are coming up to another year that if you are suffering that you too will make it your new year’s resolution to choose to stand up and fight whatever it is that you are dealing with. I still continue to believe that “Kaizen” (small steps) can lead to big changes.

November, 2017

Life sends us all difficulties and challenges to face. It may take us a little while to work through them but we just have to pick ourselves up and keeping moving on. We can’t let one bad experience define who we are. Sometimes we just need to redefine ourselves and move in another direction. Some of you have known me a long time and know what I’m talking about. I’ve had my share as I know you have. Believe in yourselves. Believe that good things are coming. Enjoy your life and be present in the moment. Hope…and then move forward one step at a time.

October, 2017

I was sitting on a bench in front of my building today and started watching a worm struggling on the pavers. I had an odd thought about the life of worms and how a worm’s life is just as important to him as mine is to me. I decided to get that little worm off the pavers and into the dirt. Not sure it saved its life but maybe. There is something about sitting on benches. I should probably stay off them


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