Monday, December 30, 2013

THE CODEFIED LIFE


TACTICAL

I am as ready as I will ever be for the rest of my life… it has been said and so say we all!  Seriously… after reflecting on the clip from “Friday Night Lights” I cannot begin to tell you how much the lack of even attempting to “be perfect” grates upon me.  As I have grown increasingly comfortable here in Omaha, I have let down some of my extended perimeter defence network and let more people inside of my mind and create a record for them on my hard drive.  This is by no means a small thing for me, as manufacturing a file and storage in my mind takes effort for me.  The risk of either “freezing” or worse, having to deal with a complete crash is very real.  With that said, it is about the most considerate thing that I can do for a person, to make them truly memorable to me.  Some of that is due to the atmosphere here in Omaha.  It has been very easy for me to begin “standing down” as there are no current threats on my immediate horizon.  If one is to think that this means that I am flat out open to approach and willing to engage, then I would have to ask what part of “some of” was not understood when I mentioned my defensive posture?

Another reason I don’t like to talk about my depression is related to those who may read this that know of someone who suffers with the condition or may themselves have to deal with depression.  How I face my depression is my approach, and my references to depression are unique to my dealing with mine.  I face it as an intruder, and it now makes me slow down my processing, as I begin to second guess whether or not an idea is “me or it” talking.  For example, there have been times where I have been engaged in something that routinely brings me joy or increases my level of contentment, only moments after the activity to begin feeling “down”.  Imagine what it may have felt like for Maceo Parker to have brought “the cloak of gloom” to rest upon your shoulders as you both exited the stage.  So I engage my condition a little differently from how others may deal with theirs, and out of respect for them and their constant battle, I just go on and do what I do.  Each time that I feel that II am coming out of the darkness and able to make a journal entry,”something or another occurs and…”  But as with the creation of the “Tactical” portion of my journal would indicate, my personal life and self has been objectively stabilized to the point to where the dwelling on the characters on the periphery of my life has shrank in proportion to their relevance.  I think that the past is relevant only as much as your current actions dictate, so if you find yourself mired in the same situations or in a constant state of “confustration”, then you may need to honestly ask yourself if the constant in the equation, which is to say YOU, is flaw or what needs to be “solved for”.

RULES TO LIVE BY

I have often hinted at going down my list of “rules” that helped me define not only my interactive life but greatly served to shape my own character. I have backed away because I don’t want to be seen as one of those caricatures on the internet, particularly on the social network, who creates a gilded sense of who they are by what they post and share.  For instance, my Facebooking of full-figured and scantily clad women, while though a sincere expression of my taste, may to some be over-the-top and infantile.  Then there is the observational posts regarding major stories in the media, whether it is news or fodder.  I like to read whatever Beth is ranting on, but I save my own observations for myself and the IRL people that I feel comfortable with.  So that said, I have been reluctant to share what are indeed “my rules” and how they are applied because, hey, don’t you all have enough social media folks trying to impress upon you and others that they are wise and profound, mentioning quotes and thoughts of author’s they never read and only know of by their quote (which was found, oddly enough, on another person’s blog/facebook feed, you unoriginal bastard!! :0)?  Besides, I don’t want to project the image of someone who believes they are self-important and above everyone else.  But if I sound like I am a blowhard as I go through this, or if someone make the mistake of taking something personal, I am absolving myself of the responsibility (“Nice guy? I don’t give a sh*t… good Father? F*ck you, go home and play with your kids!!”) of your feelings.

These rules are in no particular order and if something sounds like it is a thought or idea that is applicable to your life, then by all means go on, interpret it to fit your life and apply it.  Once you do, it no longer becomes something someone else said but you own unique idea, as you are the one in control of your own unique life.  But if there is a true #1, it may well be this one…

ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON WHAT’S BEST NEVER WHAT’S EASY - unknown

From relationships to decisions that affect career’s, this is a universal statement and one that I remember from my days as a national-level amatuer boxer and middling professional.  It was during my first big sparring gig, with a cat who was at the time one of the ubiquitous contenders for the mythical “pound-for-pound” championship.  

Very early in preparation for his upcoming title defence, sparring with him was difficult but not something that I felt was beyond me.  After all, I did think of myself as a good and maybe great fighter myself, and I had advantages in weight and power that I thought would make up for the skill deficit.  It would not be until the camp moved to Las Vegas that I saw the difference between “the people like him” and “the people like me.”  And this difference not only existed between me and the champ, but it exists between YOU and the champ… and those who are so thoroughly dispirited with their lives and living in constant emotional and personal strife as well.  Because as the date of the champion’s title defence drew nearer, he began to train differently, with an intensity that I had not seen prior, or maybe ever.  But what stood with me the most was the roadwork we did together.

He had this friend from childhood who was a college sprinter set his pace for him.  And while I was in top-notch condition, much moreso than the other sparring partners, the level that the Champ and his pace setter was on reached another level, one that at the time I was and would ever, be out of my reach.  It connected me to other stories about high achievers, in athletics, academics, business, and the sciences.  How did they reach their goals?  What was it that made them different and capable of their achievements??  And without a whole lot of fanfare and abstruse and painful verbal metastasizing, it comes down to this:  The question of following their innermost desires and unknown achievements would be determined by doing the things that other WOULDN’T, by placing intensity in the things that would later become the bedrock of their achievements.  In short, those who achieved their goals, achieved their dreams, would have answered Alec Baldwin’s challenge by doing the needed thing, the difficult thing, the BEST thing by eschewing the easier one.

In breaking down that scene, Blake (Baldwin’s character) challenges the salesmen on several different levels.  It is with the challenge he levied at David Moss (Ed Harris) and his morality that I will explore and appropriate for use with regards to another topic that has been frequently addressed here, relationships.

When Blake sits down and gives Moss the opportunity to question Blake’s purpose in giving his “motivational talk”, he begins by using material measures to draw the considerable contrast between them as well as their understanding of what it means to have a well-lived life.  How Blake does this is when he assumes (...correctly perhaps..?) what Moss is likely thinking, that because of his responsibilities and how his life revolves around them, that he is morally superior and morally honest than Blake.  Perhaps it is possible but it is unlikely, because for that to be true, I think that Moss would have to at least as good at his life as Blake is in his, or at least this share arena that their paths are crossing.  I am going to make the presumption that he is not, and it would be further evidenced later in the movie that this, indeed, may well be the case.  

The part of the exchange I would like to focus on is the assumption that leads me to believe that Moss believes that his outside obligations makes him if not morally superior, then somehow a “better” man for them.  That is not true and Blake shreds that presumption and the cold dose of reality, while harsh, is true or at least more true than Moss and those who share his thinking would like to believe.

In the world outside of yourself, it is true that no one cares if you are a good parent or spouse.  What they do care about is the consequence of whatever relationship that you have with them at your points of contact.  We don’t say that we have a good job because the employer is understanding of your situation and grants you the time or money needed to handle them.  But it is the relationship that you have with the employer, that is based on your production as an employable asset, that makes the employer value your relationship enough to reward you accordingly. However, if performance goes down, the relationship your employer has with you will depreciate and then your opinion of your “good job” will change swiftly.  Not only is this possibility not “new”, it is also not surprising.  We are all aware of the limits of goodwill and what is reasonable in situations like “the sick child and time from work” and the like.  The understanding of what we can expect is a consequence of our value to our employer, and I think the same can be said of relationships.  It is my position that most of the cause of our own heartaches and disappointments in the pursuit of love and companionship can be traced directly to fail in “doing what’s best and never what is easiest.”  It is not up to the object to prove their worthiness in a relationship as it is that the relationship should be seen as a separate entity where the values coincide with the other areas of a life, and within the relationship the same consistency exists.

In short, if you cannot give your best because of other complexities in your life are demanding of your attention and focus, then you cannot expect that a relationship will bring whatever you may be seeking.  Life frowns on bargains, and if you fail to offer fair compensation for your desires then you will always receive less than what you expect.

1 comment:

Thomas Alice said...

I think there's some value in talking about your own experiences, not just with depression but with everything. There have been times it's been very reassuring to me to see that I'm not the Only One dealing with a particular problem.

(And while I'm thinking of it, here's the URL to my new blog: http://abbiestreehouse.wordpress.com/)