Posts Tagged ‘Appreciation’

 

I live a life I don’t deserve. It’s beautiful even when it’s not. There seems to be an endless amount of good constantly finding its way into my life and I’ve learned not to question it. I don’t need to know why they’re present to appreciate them. I do, however, make habit of discarding them just as often as they come. Why would anyone do that? Maybe the disadvantage is the delight.

Most people struggle to find happiness or even gain a grasp on what happiness means. It’s subjective so there is no right or wrong answer, just a feeling. I’ve been handed that feeling on a silver platter. Not sure how or why, but I’m always aware of the what, when and who. The whats seem to stick around the longest, the whos never do. That brings me to my disadvantage, a strange juxtaposition I’m not sure I want to question, but will anyway because that’s what I do. (These disordered thoughts are basically a jumbled conversation in my head spread out in some sort of uniform on…paper/screen. I talk to myself. The words reply.) My disadvantage: my life is too good. There, I said it. I don’t mean that to sound pompous and shitty. No. What I mean is that because my life is so great and because there’s a constant stream of beauty in it, I become reliant on it and take advantage without appreciating what my life actually consists of. I expect it to always be good, and it always is. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, my lack of appreciation for everything that comes my way is. I trade in dream cars for newer and faster dream cars. I trade six figure employment for higher six figure employment. I discard Armani shirts for Tom Ford suits. I replace perfect girlfriends with…other…perfect…girlfriends. And there’s my plateau. Humans. My want for something bigger and better and newer doesn’t affect possessions because they’re inanimate – they have no feeling, they don’t care what I do with them or how soon I replace them or how much attention I pay them. Humans, though, notice. They’re animate and filled with emotion and feeling and heart and soul. I love the fuck out of the human condition, but I also love that I am confident and comfortable in my own happiness. There again lays the juxtaposition – a delightful disadvantage, it seems.

What all of this rambling really means is that my life is absolutely amazing and I know at the end of each day it will continue. I’m not a billionaire. I’m not a model. I’m not a humanitarian. I’m just happy. But that ‘happiness’ is starting to deteriorate the sum of its parts. I’m not saying I’d like to be unhappy. That’d be stupid. I’m saying I love 18 year old MaCallan scotch in a Seahawk’s whiskey glass. I’m saying I let a lot of beautiful parts of my life go because I think I’ll still be happy afterward. I’m saying I push out amazing people because I know there are other amazing people to keep my life balanced. Consider Newton’s cradle: one ball hits another which sets the ball at the opposite end in motion, and the back and forth continues, equaling each other’s force, continuing in harmony. That’s my life. Picture it. That’s fucking boring. No change. Never out of line. Never off track. If one ball is removed, what happens? I wouldn’t know, I just replace them. But the replacements are lacking. They’re empty. They fill the void in the pendulum, but my heart is not a pendulum. The culmination of these beautiful messes impacts only the heart, the body remains the same.

 

Quit searching wiktionaries and online thesauruses. Stop pretending you’re reading this because of the title. No one knows what it means. Except the author, because he’s absolutely fucking brilliant, and modest.

A haiku is ephemeral beauty in brevity. A fatty cheeseburger is ephemeral brevity. A one-sided vinyl record is ephemeral brevity. Your attention span is, in some way, ephemeral brevity.

These two words simultaneously breached the bow of my frontal lobe earlier today, furiously, inspiring this mess of words. It’s odd to me that life itself is a death sentence. We all live, we all die. It’s the inevitable and there’s no way to stop it. Ever. Not even if you smell really, really great. Or have great taste in cardigan sweaters. It’ll continue for a certain, unknown period of time, and it’ll eventually stop. Sometimes it gives you clues beforehand that your journey might be coming to a close soon. And sometimes it gives no warning and that’s it. Done. You’re out. And what’s left? Everything. Every fucking thing. It’s never the end.

Each of our journeys are short in the grand scheme of things. But the things we create are what’s left behind for others, for eternity. So though life is in and of itself, ephemeral for each of us, it really isn’t. It lasts forever. In dreams. In words. In lyrics. In writings. In poems. In movies. In pictures. In memories. In candy bars. What?

I was sitting on my floor tonight going through all of my records – I have an unhealthy amount, and I love them more than I love you. Some of these artists astonish me every single time I listen to them. I’ve listened to each a couple hundred times over, but the amazement is always true. A lot of these artists like Louis Armstrong, Gloria Lynne and Smilin’ Joe left their marks behind decades ago, but they’re still here and now, though they are physically not. Sometimes I want to be angry about the human condition. My grandma passed away recently. She was no ordinary woman. She was the end-all, be-all of amazing women. She was in a league of her own and she was my everything. I was mad, I’m not sure who I was mad at, but I was mad that she left. Anger aside, I’m left with a bazillion memories of her that stay with me forever…or until I’m gone, which is the point of this I suppose. Life is ephemeral. And everything we do in our time here is done with some sort of brevity. So though loved ones and amazingly talented people pass every day, it is the things they left behind that give me some sort of ironic appreciation for the ephemeral brevity that is life. It is to be cherished. So do it. Right now. Get the fuck out of here and go appreciate something!

Today’s Mother’s Day. Hundreds of thousands of you have rushed to online stores and flower shops to find last minute gifts for your mothers, not because you forgot about them, but because life has required attention elsewhere prior. That’s not just a lame excuse, right?

Jkthatsalameexcuse.

This isn’t a common occurrence with JUST Mother’s Day, it’s most holidays. And not for everyone; some of you have gifts and cards and parties planned weeks and months before the given holiday. Fuck you, you make the rest of us look bad. But seriously, Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that shouldn’t be coerced. I can appreciate that there is one day a year that is solely dedicated to mothers…just mothers. But I also feel that the role of motherhood is one that requires constant and sporadic appreciation. For those of you who are mothers reading this, you know what I’m talking about. Pat yourselves on the back. It’s ok, no one’s going to call you egoists today. Tomorrow, maybe. And for those of you reading this who are NOT mothers, you have absolutely no idea what they go through. I’m a male, so I obviously don’t either. But I was given a pretty good example of what mothers should be, for the entirety of my life. So though I have never birthed a child through my naughtybits, or raised and pretended to like the most obnoxious living organism ever created until it reached eighteen years old, or had to clean up puke and vomit from….fill in the blank, or had to wake up at 4 in the morning to drive screaming and yelling kids to hockey practice in the middle of winter with a temperature of -10, or cook, clean and slave for an ungrateful family of idiots and whiners, or had to maintain the most demanding social job, an actual career, and still find time for myself to make sure my hair hadn’t completely fallen out…I have seen all of this firsthand and can tell you that the hell that they go through deserves far more than one day of coerced appreciation. Don’t just thank them. Don’t just hug them. Don’t just tell them you love them. Don’t just stop by for dinner to catch up. SHOW them, appreciate them, adore them, and give back to them half of what they’ve given you. Make them feel your love and appreciation. Write them random letters or emails to remind them that you appreciate the amount of wrinkles they’ve acquired due to you and your annoyances. Or, write a blog in hopes of them reading it and understanding that though you’ve failed at being as great of a son or daughter as they have been a mom, you always have the intent to show or tell them all of the aforementioned, and that you’re going to stop failing at it.

No more being ambiguous. My mom is better than yours, and though you can’t see my face as it’s glued to this laptop screen, I am sticking my tongue out at you. All of you. I’m sure your moms are great, but mine exemplifies all that is motherhood.

My family wasn’t well-off when I was growing up. My mom worked retail and eventually started her own daycare and school, while my dad was at the hospital and traveling on-call constantly. Though their schedules were intensely demanding, they still made time for my sister and I. Always. No matter what. Never a single excuse. And when I was young, about 4-6 or 7ish, I would go downtown with my dad or grandma to pick my mom up from JC Pennys, and she would always show Aimee, my sister, and I off to her co-workers or random shoppers. Though I was young, it made me feel like the world’s greatest kid. Mom’s should feel that, constantly. Anyway, even after working a long and exhausting day, she would still get off work and take me shopping with her. I loved it. And today, I’m a shopaholic and I can’t help it. My bills are always paid and I have plenty of excess, but a lot of my income goes to…shopping. I realized recently that it’s not only because I love clothes and neato stuff in general, but also because it’s something I’ve acquired from my mom, and I want as much of her character in me as is humanly possible. That might just be a ridiculous excuse to continue to spend stupid amounts of money shopping, but it does keep a part of my mom with me always, even though I’m now in Arizona and she’s 1,385 miles away in Washington.

Anyway, ramble, ramble, ramble…I get sidetracked easily, especially when shopping is mentioned. The point is that my mom has suffered through a lot…more than I can put into a single blog, unless the two of you reading this want to spend the next three months discussing all of my mother’s conquerings. Long story short, she’s had cancer, had surgery to remove it, had it again, had more surgeries, and has had medical problems for the past 15 years. All the while, in pain far worse than most can understand, she’s managed to keep my extended family together, keep up my grandparent’s household as she is their caretaker. She cooks and cleans and taxis my grandparents to and from hospital appointments, educates and teaches my youngest sister, Michaela, who’s a straight A 4.0 student, while participating in tennis, volleyball, basketball and orchestra. Where do you think Michaela gets that from? She exemplifies all that is my mother. Though my sister Aimee and I have done well for ourselves, all things considered, Michaela has had the benefit of my mom’s complete attention and devotion toward her schooling and extracurricular activities. Most people, mom’s and the like, are not awake for as many hours a day as my mom is working, mending and persevering through her rigorous demands. My mom is Super Woman. Step aside, Lynda Carter.

If any of you are still reading with me, thanks. Like I said, I could keep you here hours more telling you about how amazing MY mother is. But instead, I’m going to call her and tell her, not you. You should all do the same. Not just today on Mother’s Day, but anytime she crosses your mind. Life’s all about the little details.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom.

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