Thursday, March 11, 2010

Self Meditation

This morning I helped load Teri's bags into the back of Kathy's Prius for their road trip to Southern California. Kathy will be attending the Trust Birth Conference over the weekend, while Teri spends some time at the beach soaking up the sun and breathing in the ocean air. They've been planning this trip for a few weeks and there were a couple times where it looked like things weren't going to come together to allow it to happen. Finances are always tight in the Read household late February so we weren't sure we would be able to swing it. On the 5th of March I received my paycheck and was astonished to find that an extra amount had been deposited. Turns out that the company paid out performance bonuses to all employees. The amazing thing is that the amount (after taxes) was exactly the amount we were short to be able to afford this trip. Teri and I took it as a sign that the trip was meant to be.

Last night Teri turned to me and said, "thank you for letting me go on this trip". I simply replied you don't need to thank me. I can't imagine preventing someone you love from going on a trip of self-renewal. The Ocean calls to Teri on a soul level and I would never place my selfish desires to have her near me over her need to be recharged.

This finally brings me to the purpose of this post. Self Meditation comes in many flavors to different people. If I may be so bold as to speak for Teri, it comes in the form of spending time on the beach, being surrounded by the salty air, soaking in the sun and listening to the waves crashing in on the sandy beach. For me it comes in a couple ways, playing video games is my most common outlet for disconnecting from the world, but that's only because it's easy and convenient. The important thing I need to remember is to reconnect when I'm done. :)

In our modern world, disconnecting from day to day life and tasks is frowned upon. We as a society are constantly on the go and don't stop till our head hits the pillow much later at night than it should. I like to think of our need to meditate much like a car battery needs regular charging to prolong its life. If you let your car sit unused for weeks or months on end, the battery will die from a slow drain from various electrical draws. The longer it stays dead the longer it takes charge it back up. If we as a people could take the time to regularly charge up our batteries, we wouldn't have nearly as many health issues as a whole. Taking short little breaks now and then to do something for yourself is not selfish. By doing small things such as spending some personal quiet time, reading a book, taking a hike, playing a video game, painting, drawing, etc., we allow ourselves to disconnect from day to day pressures that over time degrade our personal health. This pause allows us to reengage our tasks with renewed energy and purpose.

Take some time today to think about what it is that you find relaxing and enjoyable, then find some time to do it! It doesn't have to be a big planned ordeal, just do it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hey Brother, can you spare a dime.... err, nevermind.


So, last night I was on my way to go pick up some dinner for the family. I had been driving for 15 miles with the low fuel light glowing amber on the dashboard when I finally made it to my preferred gas station. With relief that I had stared down the warning light and won, I got out of my car to spend money that I don't have. I chose this gas station since it allows me to write a check for the fuel after I have pumped it. As you all know, a gas station that allows you to pay AFTER you have pumped is a rare thing these days... not to mention one that lets you write a check for it to boot! I'm writing a check for the gas because my checking account is currently tapped and I'm 2 days away from Payday. This particular location always takes 2-3 days to process my checks so I know I'm most likely going to avoid any check overdraft fees from my bank, and I finally get to put some gas in my fuel starved car.

Anyway, as I'm selecting the fuel grade and releasing the lid from my gas tank I'm approached by a man carrying a Gas can. We've all been approached by people asking for money... at intersections, in front of stores, mall parking lots, and of cours the gas station. The following is our conversation. Of course since this is my blog I get to take liberties and make it much more interesting.

{enter stage right, man carrying gas can}
Gas Can Man - "Hey, this is real embarrasing, but do you have a few dollars you could give me so I can buy some gas? Mar car is over there {gestures behind him vaguely} and is out of gas."

David {with a wary look} - "Um, no. I don't have any cash on me, I'm paying for my gas with a check. But tell you what... I'll just go ahead and fill your gas can as I fill up my tank. How's that sound?"

Gas Can Man - "Ummm" ..... "yeah" ..... {Gas Can Man, now stands there looking at David with a perplexed look on his face for what seems to be an eternity. His face twists through several expressions like an over confident chess player who just found himself on the recieving end of a check-mate}

Gas Can Man - "So, do you have any money... any money at all you can give to fill my gas can?"

David {a little bit cocky at this point} - "No, Like I said to you just a minute ago, I have NO cash on me, but I will fill your gas can for you right here, right now and you will be good to go. I'll just pay for it with my check that I'm going to write." {feeling supremely pleased with himself for decimating the Gas Can Man's con, continues on} "So, how's that sound to you?"

Gas Can Man - "Umm"...... "Nah, that's Ok." {looking for a way to exit gracefully when there is no way on earth that can be achieved}

Gas Can Man - {Shuffles over to the person two pumps away with his trusty begging prop in hand. He opens his mouth to try again with a renewed determination to work his con, but ...}

Man #2 - "NO!"

Man #2 - {having been there the whole time watching the interaction between David and Gas Can Man, Man #2 shakes his head in disbelief at David}

Gas Can Man - {slinks off to his "car on empty" across the parking lot and awaits for the stage to reset with fresh actors for the next scene of his play.}

I mean REALLY!!! If you are going to attempt this con, please rehearse possible answer scenarios in advance. I think the Gas Can Scam can work and is actually a great way to scam some money from people. I know I have fallen for it in the past. I generally am a trusting person... one who likes to believe in the best in people and not assume the worst. I know there are many others out there in the world like me and will usually help another fellow human being when they are in a pinch.

With that said, if you are going to use the Gas Can as a prop for your begging enterprises, you may want to consider working that ploy a bit further away from a working gas station.... you may just get the gas you were "begging" for instead of the cash you were scheming after!

I think the Gas Can Scam can work wondrously in front of a convenience store, street corner devoid of gas stations, mall parking lot.... but NOT at a gas station. Much the same way the "I have hungry kids, do you have some money I can have" ploy doesn't work in front of a grocery store, you must consider your surrounding when attempting to defraud your fellow human beings of their cash.

In reflection I know that from this point on, when approached by someone on the street for a few bucks for gas, or bus fare, or to buy some food; I know I'm going to remember the Gas Can Man and very well may reject their pleas for help. I hope I don't become so jaded as to never help my fellow man, but at least I have gained some wisdom.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where does does this lead?

I've had an itch to create a blog for some time now. My wife has been blogging our family events for the last couple years and I'm amazed at the volume and quality of content she puts out. I think this blog will be a more personal blathering of my internal thoughts and workings.

I suppose there is supposed to be some grand statement or paragraph outlining where this all heading, but as the heading of my blog suggests... I have no freaking idea! I'm just joining the masses of people putting their inner workings out there for public review. So, check back now and then if you like.... maybe someday I'll have something insightful, intriguing, or at the very least entertaining to read.

Perhaps my next post will be a gem.... but most likely not.