Sunday, August 31, 2008

Which Way Do I Go? Which Way Do I Go?

Things have been crazy lately! I am feeling like there is not enough time to get everything done for everyone I am accountable to. Then there are the "few" things I put on my own plate. YIKES!

This was another bad week sprinkled with a little goodness. I much prefer a good week sprinkled with a little badness.

There were two more deaths in the neighborhood. I cannot tell you how many times lately that I have said or spoken the words, "Don't drink the water on that street!" First, there was the untimely death of a neighbor who had a brain aneurysm. He was on the road when it happened, so you know the scene and what followed was nothing short of horrific for the family to get through. So the wake and funeral was Thursday/Friday.

We then got word that our other neighbor passed away. It did not seem right. His wife just passed away a few weeks ago. But that family is now dealing with losing both their parents within 30 days. How sad. This wake and funeral was Friday/Saturday.

When I went into work on Thursday, I was a bit tired from all the emotion and thoughts these deaths evoke in me. It makes me relive things I have been through, it makes me think that when Johnny died, that could have been my brother, who is the same age as he. etc. You know how this goes. Anyway, my co-worker commented on how quiet I was. I told her that I was simply reflecting on things and that it has been a long few weeks for me. I quickly told her what occurred on the street. She didn't know what to say as she has been going through her own ordeal with her family of recent. It was a quiet day.

On Friday, I was the only one available to go to a City meeting for a grant award. I had to miss the funeral. Sadly, I had missed his wife's funeral due to work as well. Uggh! But, I have to keep things going, and I did try to get my co-worker to go, but she had a day off scheduled. So, I do my duty and go with all the brilliance I can muster. The meeting was not what it was supposed to be, and soon, everyone in the room knew it. It was kinda comical. But not as comical as what happened to me.

During the middle of the conference call, I had to go to the bathroom. Not just a slight urge, but the "Oh My God, I have urine building behind my eyeballs" feeling. I eyed a bathroom not far from where I was sitting. I kept spying it, I was moving in my seat, and of course I did not sit in the back of the room, I sat in the front, next to the grant writer, the superintendent, etc. Uggh! So I realize that I have to get up and go over to the bathroom. Now the room is extremely silent. As I open the door, the knob makes a cricketty noise. Then I open the bathroom stall door, and it creaked so loudly, I was embarrassed. Damn old buildings..doesn't anyone know of WD-40 anymore? Uggh! It was funny, and I was soooo relieved. LOL!

So as there is so much to do lately, and most of it not of the positive kind, how do I keep my head from splitting in two? It is not easy, but here are my remedies:

1. Be Honest. Know your comfort zone.
Have faith in people that when you are feeling badly, they will understand. You do not have to get into the depth of your feelings or emotion, but you can express your feelings so the point gets across so that it can be discussed. No one wants you to be unhappy, and if they cannot take your view into consideration, or there is a lack of respect, then you have to rethink if you are in the right place with the right people. And sometimes, the people you are being honest with can assist you, give you a new thought process, or even share their own experience. And it can really help support your goals...and theirs. Create a "win/win" situation if you can.

2. Find the humor.
The bathroom experience was unfortunate, but funny nonetheless. When Mother Nature calls...! I also surrounded myself with people who are fun. This is sometimes hard to come by in my world, but I have a few people that I can be "me" around, without judgement, so I called upon those people.

3. Make the Difference.
I did go to the wakes, and within those walls, found my way to make a difference by use of my words. One of the things I said to one of the brothers was repeated to me by my own mother when she was recapping to me how the funeral went. Your words do matter; and what you say and how you say it matters. People in mourning may actually repeat them, so if you have something to offer, make sure it Makes the Difference.

4. Keep Moving.
I was not happy that I could not be at the funerals, but I also have a job to do. While the City meeting was not of substance, someone from my agency needed to be there. I was in a great seating position, and even got a comment from a City person at the end stating that she would try and help me with my initiative in October, and she did not see a problem with it at that point. So, Yippee for keeping moving!

5. Take Lunch.
Sometimes I work through lunch, or eat while working, or stay late. On these days, despite the overwhelming feeling, take lunch. And take someone who is positive, or in the same circumstance. Talk about it. Seek remedies for each other, give perspective, or just laugh. On this day, I took my friend and we laughed a lot. We both needed it, and when I went back to work, I was much more focused and ready to handle things.

6. Make a List.
as I get older, a list is becoming more important. Take it as you can. When i know how much time I have, IO can review the list and do several small things. Doing the small things first always seems to help me feel like I have accomplished something, which gives me better drive for the other projects on the list. Try it, it is amazing. Use a pad of paper or use your e-mail programs "To Do" List feature.

7. Compliment Someone.
Nothing makes you feel better than complimenting people. If you see someone having a bad day, compliment them. It interrupts their stride of negativity and infuses a bit of optimism. So when I see someone struggling, which is not hard to see these days, take the quick moment to help, or to add something positive to their day. It is not hard to say something positive to someone you work with each day.

So go forth and be positive and make the difference to keep the split personality at bay. Better days are coming. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School 2008

First Day of School

My daughter began her Freshman year in high school today. You would think that I would be used to the preparation and mayhem by now, but each year there is this little feeling in the pit of my stomach. This feeling makes you realize that life is going faster than you think, that your child is growing before your eyes, but at this moment, you can actually see it occur.

Each year, I take a picture of my daughter before she leaves the house for her First Day of School. She may think it is silly, but it is something i look forward to each year. In many ways, it is all I have left of her youth. She puts up with me, God Love her!

I love this girl so much that it hurts. I hope for her, I wish for her, and I am watching her become a fine, young woman. I am proud of her.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I was surprised to get a few comments from people saying they had come to "The Pez Man Speaks..." and there was nothing; and for a long time. Well, truth be told, I have been a bit preoccupied with my own reflections; my own "internal mechanism." I have literally been in "shut down mode," but trying to act like I am really "Full steam ahead." It has not been fun nor pretty.

My emotions have been so flippant. Coming off my thoughts of "enchantment," this has been a hard time. I have been facing some inner demons or sorts, as well as life changes. I have had to face these happenings and still maintain my current coping skills. It has not been fun nor pretty.

A long time neighbor passed away suddenly. When I went to the evening wake, my good friend was showing me how good her mother looked. I went along with it because it was certainly awkward. But when she began to shake the coffin just enough to see things moving around, I grabbed her hand and told her to please stop. She said that her mother looked so good that she just wanted her to wake up. My friend broke down, I hugged her, and I am still not over that moment. She cried into my shoulder, and I gave her my best words of comfort. But there are no words to describe the grief I absorbed from my friend in that hug.

And today, I found that another neighbor, who is just a bit older than me in age, died today. He passed suddenly as well. I got the call from a neighbor, who said they could not locate my mother to tell her. I got the job of calling her on her cell phone to give her the news. When I told her, the phone got quiet and she said, "You know he is not much older than you, Ron, he is the exact age as your brother. This is just awful."

Did I mention that life has not been fun or pretty lately?

So reflecting in the moment is what I am doing. I have been fighting on some private security issues within myself concerning work, and the first break came today when a voice told me that I was "off the hook." I wanted to cry, but all I could mutter was "ok." I then changed the subject on a current work issue, but those words were a huge relief. But I am not really "off the hook."

The dominoes have already fallen, and now I have to work to replace them. I have been ill over this, and my body has suffered. When I am full of anxiety, my body has real reactions. But two things stick out in my head as I reflect. One, I think God put a co-worker near me when I had to face what began the anxiety. This co-worker understood, and empathized, and "talked me down from the edge," if you will allow me the drama of those words. I certainly was not myself at that moment, but I tried to remain calm and professional. I did not do so well with the professionalism, but my co-worker made me feel "real." Two, the words of another co-worker ring in my head, even though I know I should not take anything serious into it. "Ron, do you think maybe you should go see your doctor and get some medication? Maybe you should be on medication with how you feel. It would be alright, you know." I reflect on this with a single word, "Wow!" I have been actually struggling with myself over this. Should I? Is she right? Blah blah blah.

In my life, I have always worked hard to be "real." It has not been easy, and I have reached an honesty that I feel many NEVER achieve. I have gone through trials and tribulations, that many just push aside. I have helped others to help me learn more about people, life, our society. I have tried to always look in another direction instead of just straight ahead. I have always tried to increase my own personal development, organization, and respect; all without medication. I have become "me" without prozac, valium, or any other medication. And I share all my knowledge with those who want to listen. Not to out-shine or over power, but to share and share and share.

So I have some issues. Who doesn't. But should I be punished for them, or put on medication for them? Maybe. But in the end, I was real. Real with my emotions, real with my thoughts, and real with words.

So as I reflect on life these days, I am tired, but I have learned the following:

1. Be Real because today could be your last day on this earth.
2. Tell people who help you "Thanks" or "thanks for being you."
3. If you have an issue, it is yours. Own it. Learn from it. Do your best.
4. Be professional no matter what! And if you falter, apologize.
5. Wake up each morning knowing that you have gifts; share them.
6. Keep moving despite the pain, the anxiety, or the pressure. Sitting down keeps you down. Just keep on keepin' on!
7. Keep reflecting because it helps you learn and heal.

AND THE BIGGEST THING I HAVE LEARNED: Life is a mirror, and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.

I will try to write more, promise.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I keep coming back to how we have lost our feeling of being enchanted.

Have you ever been in Love with a person or a place? Then this is being enchanted. It is like a spell that is cast over you and nothing is greaterthan that feeling of Love. Your heart races, and it is enchantment that allows you to feel your soul. No other part of your life feels like this special love; you know and believe in the magic of this Love.

When you were young, did you ever go to a special vacation spot or place that seemed like the most gorgeous place on earth? You could lay on the ground and take in the scenery and know you were in a place you love, where you felt safe and exhilirated. That is enchantment.

When we were children, enchantment was all around us. Our parents allowed us this enchantment because it is the fabric of child innocence. Remember when it was Christmas time? You were so enchanted with the thought of presents delivered from a bearded man that came from the cold Arctic area of the world. The excitement that would be in your heart and soul, it would keep you awake, it was magic.

And how silly of us as children to think that a bunny hopped to our house on Easter Day and left us painted eggs and candy in baskets with fake grass. That is enchantment.

As we get older, this enchantment diminishes, and maybe it is because the fantasy turns to emotional reasoning. I think we all need to retain some enchantment in our lives. If you have a special place, visit it, and smell the scent of the roses there. Take in the feeling you get, and discover more about your own internal soul that is fueled by this enchantment.

Please don't ignore enchantment as you get older, embrace it and feel your soul being moved. Don't be afraid to enjoy life, don't be afraid to be silly, or to be YOU.

Do you even recognize the areas of enchantment in your life?

For me, Enchantment is the beach. I go to the coast on vacation, and when I am there, I feel free. I walk along the water and let the ocean breezes whip around me, it is really therapeutic for me. I think many thoughts and love the freedom I feel there. As a child, enchantment was all the excitement I felt at family gatherings. To see the love of family and how coming together as a whole family meant that something special was going on. It made me excited and I learned a lot about people and their personalities. It was an exciting time.

So tell me, what is your feeling of enchantment like?