INCH BY INCH, STEP BY STEP
This week I got a couple of things done that I see as vital to my comfort and future efforts to make a life for myself here in Omaha. I adjusted my information on my FAFSA application, which will make registering for school easier and I went to the MAT offices and received my fare reduction pass.
One of the reasons that I longed to be to myself is that the small, incremental steps that are necessary to get towards a goal, I don’t mind taking nor do I mind celebrating. Everything counts in small amounts and that is so true. Plug up a sink with a slow drip faucet and see what you come home to, right? Many people will do something that is geared to moving them in the direction that they wish and lose heart when they look up and that thing they seek is still miles and miles away. Not me. I am not cut that way. “Be quick, never hurry,” Hall-of-Fame basketball coach John Wooden instructed his players when running through plays in practice. The small things that seem inconsequential at the time nearly always seem to matter at the end. That is another lesson that sports offers to us, the dual lesson of perseverance and diligence. When you set your mind on doing what you are supposed to do, you often accomplish the things that you set out to do.
I know that a few people out here feel that I ‘think too much’ (which sounds to me like saying some that one ‘breathes too much’). At times, maybe I do. And that is another thing about my being alone. Every thought and action of my mind can be accounted for, each purpose and reason for them validated. It is only when I have to deal with different systems of thinking and people who would impose their thinking upon me, whether they arrived at their conclusions through inferior or bad information (for instance, someone who is informed by the reactionary echo chamber of Fox News and the like) or their own poor choice and think that the results they had are absolute. When people would caution me about an undertaking of mine that sounded to them similar to events in their lives, I had a phrase that I would reply with… ‘That stuff happens to other people, it doesn’t happen to me!” With that I would happily do whatever it was I set out to accomplish. The thing about my effort is that I believe there is nothing negative about discovery. Now you know what not to do if you fall short and you can get set on working to improve on the next attempt. “Ever tried? Ever failed?? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
That is why I only get so down when I am to myself. I definitely believe in those words. Sometimes, my knees knock a little when I think about where I am and being far away from anything remotely recognizable. But when I go to the squat rack and I am working with 350lbs. of weight, they always stop. They become steady and I remember that I have broad shoulders that can bear the weight. I also remember how it took small steps to build the strength to train with that much weight. And I also know that it is making me stronger and more capable physically. All that translates so easily into a working philosophy that I think of it as the by product of being alone. People have their issues, their quirks and preferences. They want to believe that something special needs to happen outside of themselves before they have what they want. Yes, I am introspective and I am real with myself. But as I acknowledge my missteps, I am aware that there is a lot more to me than that.
Another thing that being alone allows me to do is to not neglect myself. That has been a constant theme in my thoughts and my life that I was often acting out of the visions or beliefs of other people. I don’t have those worries anymore. Next year is going to be about seeing my Carolina girls, which will mean I need to get some house hold goods, a couch, a table and a place to eat, along with a frame for my bed so that I will feel comfortable hosting them. While there has not been a discussion of the length I will have the items on loan to me, I don’t expect to be ready to return them until 2012.
I will save as much as I can for school books and equipment for next fall. Getting some storage for all the things on my hard drive is a must and once they settle on the budget in Washington, I believe that they will announce a one-time payment of $250 for those receiving benefits from Social Security. They did that last year even as they played the same kind of political football with the legislation as they are doing now. I am going to cross my fingers because that would be huge. Given the rancor and the mission (remember, the GOP set their agenda on ‘hoping Obama fails’… motivated by latent racism or not, they did not have the well being of the country on their mind… another reason to not speak to mostly conservative people here in town) of many in Washington, I can’t be counting on something that is still up in the air.
OTHER IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS
In college basketball last night, the University of Oakland, located in Rochester, Michigan, went into Knoxville and beat the 7th Tennessee men’s basketball team. For those of you who merely think you are unfamiliar with Oakland County, Michigan, I have two words: Reagan Democrat. It was coined to describe the migration of socially liberal but fiscally conservative voters from the Democratic Party to the Republican. When I first heard then-Senator Obama speak on the campaign trail that is what I heard in his oration. He never moved me with any of his speeches, save the one he gave at the ’04 DNC. I was for and behind Hilary Clinton.
When ALL THE MONEY began to amass itself behind the Illinois Senator’s candidacy, the writing was on the wall. John McCain was credible until he selected his running mate. Even before he did that, I thought it odd that here was an avowed ‘outsider’ now running in the middle of the track as a ‘favorite’. I guess what I am saying is we were doomed before the ship even sunk.
Brittney Grinder, the 6’8 center for the Baylor women’s basketball team also ‘showed out’ at the expense of Tennessee’s Lady Vol’s and their Hall-of-Fame coach, Pat Summit. Brittney’s dominance for me verified the inherent greatness in the Connecticut program, which beat Baylor earlier this year. Even in saying that, I hope that the Ohio State women can knock them off this weekend. Something about seeing a measuring stick like the UCLA men’s consecutive game streak go down makes me feel a little more vulnerable. I was able to live through the end of that streak and grew up with it as the standard for dominance in athletics. But if the Lady Huskies get the record, they will have earned it.
What does this have to do with anything? President Obama has been who I feared he may be, a President whose timing on the scene was impeccable. He does not seem able to have in him the gravitas to organize his party and develop a cohesive platform from which to govern from. My worries are that in 2012, it will get worse. I am less afraid of what even a candidacy for Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin would mean to me. I would put on ‘ignore’ any discussion of moral fiber in society with a person who found a way to vote for two of the more morally ambiguous and opportunistic people in the political public eye. I am not spouting opinion as much as I am judging them on their actions alone.
Well, now that I am alone, what do I do with myself? And what is up with me and the SFC?