Cyber-status: Self-Reminder

Surprise! This is a quicky shorty.

clockwork orange overkillIn my previous 4-part series Games of Unknowledging, one of the general classifications of ignorance, or in this case so much information ready, available at your fingertips or just a mouse-click away, practically every hour of every day is a prime example of Time and Mental Constraints. It means that given how quickly information is available in our high-tech modern world, we online users, computer geeks, iPhoners and Androiders cannot possibly study and understand all things. We must leave some alone, select what subjects deserve our needs and attention. As a result, this form of ignorance is a product of inattention and can be lost for a period of time or forever. Being the eternal student and lover of broad education in as many areas of life and disciplines as possible, I really struggle with these constraints! After almost 8-years of blogging here and 40+ blogs I’m following, one of my recurring restraints is now my inability to keep up in a timely fashion with all the WordPressers that post/publish every 1-2 days, or sometimes multiple posts per day!

Should I feel negligent, a sense of remorse? Have I committed the horrible offense of biting off more than I can possible chew, let alone digest? Do all our fellow bloggers go through similar questions, doubts, and feelings of disappointing? Do hyper-frequent bloggers expect every single follower to have 20-, 35-, 50-minutes per post multiplied by whatever number they follow — in my case 43 for a total of 43 x 35m = 1,505 minutes, or possibly 25.1 hours — if all 43 posted a new post per day!? When would I write and compose blogs? When in the hell would I sleep? Is this the avant-garde definition of internet obesity? 😵

Back at ground control, there is a problem
Go to rockets full, not responding
Hello Major Tom, are you receiving
Turn the thrusters on, we’re standing by
There’s no reply

Que the perfect song for this insanity…

Earth to Professor. Come In Professor!

Now of course, more realistically and suspending my incorrigible tendency for satire, all our bloggers we follow do not publish every single day, I know that. Why not? Because they do realize (correct?) that all regular bloggers that not only write and post, but also READ other blogs, can’t possibly be in front of the monitor or on their iPhones/Androids 14-hours, 18-hours, or 25-hours straight per day, right? After all, WordPress is NOT setup like that popular, non-stop, 25/7 social-media platform with only a 140-character limit that even the President of the United States uses tweeting international and national headlines, and political, legal, religious, sporting, or scientific personal opinions that aren’t original from his half-functioning brain, right?

major tom in space

No, WordPress isn’t like that. WordPress is for intelligent, well-considered and planned blog-articles of more than 140 (or less) kindergarten characters that have good original stimulating content from various genres of life, right? These types of blog-posts illicit (demand? require?) quality valuable time and attention from their readers, yes? Thus, my struggle to manage well even my fond favorites of 10-12 blogs, much less 40+ blogs! Hahahaha, who am I kidding? My head and body scream at me if I sit in front of my computer monitor for 3-hours straight a day! There have been times when I pushed that beyond 4-hours — I won’t share details what bodily function became painful before I realized the time spent! I can get very, very focused when in that mode. My personality is such that I try hard to give someone my undivided attention. I was raised that way.

We’re Only Human

Well “informed” or overkill? A bed of roses or hate-cultivator? The debate has been presented before and raged since 1991. Is a hyper-library of all imaginable information-on-steroids good or bad for society? It is a never before seen colossal-version of our U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Free-speech is a legal right here, sure. But it does also involve concurrent responsibility, that is to say that the speaker/writer has as much accountability for their content as the listener/reader has to understand, filter and scrutinize before judging its value. When the topic is serious, impactful, or even life-saving or life-risking, I believe this interchange should NOT be a fly-by-night 5-second operation. With the advent of internet this accountability has exponentially swelled and it’s only growing in size as billions upon billions of people are given a microphone or camera to a global audience. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, naming only two, lit up the Pandora Paradox™ that perhaps outshined (and outburned?) the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombs.

human leagueMy round-about point with all this is to say I have been having a difficult time kindly and responsibly following all your blogs I’ve liked and selected to read and follow. I think maybe 15-20 could be better manageable; anymore than my current 43-45 I just simply cannot get to everyone if several publish daily. I’m only human afterall — as he hums The Human League song — and only capable of limited time to read, comment, and willingly indulge in WordPress conversations or parleys, while simultaneously finding some limited time to compose and publish my own blog-posts. Hah! I have a total of 13 drafts, unfinished posts currently going back to February 2015! What tha hell? 😲

What does help my time and mental constraints for keeping up with all of you is that over the 8-9 years I’ve been blogging, numerous blog sites I selected, for whatever unknown reasons, have vanished, been deleted/deactivated, or have become lethargic. I see these cyber-deaths as a positive for the living! Their end provides the opportunities for new or active, yet to be discovered and exciting blogs and bloggers. A fluid circle of life! These song lyrics from one of my all-time favorite bands, lyricist, and drummer, have been slightly modified to protect the slightly heathen innocent:

No, followers are not for rent
To any god, site or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren’t permanent –
But change is

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Self-Worth

I have to pause (again) my current 4-part series, Games of Unknowledging, for this one very important thermometer on life; a happy, thriving, giving life that most doctors, therapists, and altruists would also consider a most important check-up. I promise my next post will be the conclusion. Promise!

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

How we define our worth often hinges on what others around us say and do, or don’t say and don’t do, correct? Afterall, how can our own self-perception be accurate, honest, and objective if we have nothing to compare by? What constitutes worth and what exactly are those litmus tests that define it? Are they accurate? How much attention and energy should we give to our worth, its creation and its perpetuation? Peter Gabriel had something to say, or rather sing about self-worth in his 1986 hit “Big Time,” remember?

No matter how we choose to measure our own worth, there are fluctuating degrees of external feedback we seek, consciously or subconsciously, and this can be healthy and/or unhealthy.

Thoreau quote

In our modern age of booming technology, something seemingly new every month, sporting frantic paces, competition, and only 24-hours in a day to get it, manage it and finish it, sometimes at the expense of restful sleep, the insatiable beast of technological-consumerism demands ever-growing absorption. I’m not sure how aggressive it is in other countries, but in the U.S. it’s not just fierce, it has reached the intrusive levels of addiction. Tristan Harris with web-portal Big Think:

So… how do you define your self-worth? One way? Two, three or four different ways? Share your thoughts about how to define self-worth, I’d like to know them.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Aging and the Aged

Mom&Tori_May 2016-graduation

My daughter & Mom – college graduation 2016

As some of you may have noticed, I have not been around WordPress and my blog as much as before. Lately, finding time to imagine, consider, research, ponder, gather images, then type away in a format and style that is minimally interesting for you and acceptable quality for me has been near non-existent. Well, not true exactly. I could do it late in the evening when I’m fatigued and must nevertheless wake just before sunrise or daybreak whether my mind and body want to or not. And since my last blog-post was June 9th you can see how well that is working. What is going on you ask as you all are banging down my front door? (sarcasm) What has changed?

Answer:  Life.

Life apart from the world-wide-web. Life beyond the internet and technology. Organic life of which sometimes/often affords us little time of our own. The epilogue of one life, the pre-epilogue of another life (my life) and the prime of lives for others, loved ones. This is what has changed.

“The Earlier Revision Needs Revising”

Around 1997 shortly after marrying, Mom and her second older (and quite wealthy) husband found a luscious 2,850-ish sq. ft. Ranchita-home on 10.5 acres on top a big hill overlooking the Guadalupe River. The vistas from inside the house through 34 windows or outside on the large back-patio shaded or semi-shaded, with daily or every other day or evening southerly breezes… are the stuff of epic tranquility and living. For two hard-working retirees, it was a dream come true.

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And then as they say, Nothing stays the same.

Mom has been widowed since 2006. For a few years after her late husband’s crippling heart-attack which put him in a wheelchair and months later his decline and death, she took the time to enjoy her life more, travel, and spend more time with good friends and family. She absolutely deserved it! She bought a newly used 32-foot RV or mobile home to travel the U.S. However, while doing these five years of domestic and world touring the home and property they loved so much became increasingly neglected. Meanwhile, one of those good male friends became a “very good friend.” They traveled together everywhere. Very good at first, but whose title gradually changed over the last four years to infrequent companion given later developments. Circumstances for romance and the altar which seemed unimportant then, became very important. Nine years later it can be deduced that Cupid’s Arrow — with attached gold ring — had in the end missed its mark.

Another development of which I have shared and posted about here a number of times is that of my sister and her 35+ years of drug addiction, rehab, relapse, law-enforcement, incarceration, repeat ad nauseam. Over the last six years this has really taken a toll on Mom’s mental and physical health. While I was up in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area teaching Special Ed, the plan for Mom, my sister (who moved to the Texas Hill Country very soon after Mom and her husband moved here), and Mom’s “very good man-friend” was to begin serious preparations from the inside of the house to the outside and all over the property to sell the house soon. Of course, the very good man-friend (living over 2-hours away) was not going to be capable of helping more than 2-times a month or less — he had to maintain his cattle ranch of 1,500 acres that he does all by himself! Therefore, in reality it was up to my perpetually recovering sister and my 76-year old Mom. HAH!

Five years later and after finishing the 2014-2015 school year in DFW, I make my summer return to help out. In complete shock I find my sister has moved in with Mom! Anyone who has dealt with acute drug-alcohol addiction of over 3-decades knows that addicts MUST BE at the very least in a daily and weekly program, routine, and support group! Mom’s hilltop retirement resort is the very last place any addict needs to be living — there has been no consistent structure and set schedule for Mom since, hell… 1995! Furthermore, she is not even close to being a qualified licensed A&D counselor! Simply put my Mom not only cannot handle my sister’s addictive pathology, manipulation, and regular relapses, she’s not mentally or emotionally strong enough or cunning enough to manage an addict! On top of this defective lousy living situation, not hardly anything is getting accomplished toward the sale of the house and property.

I become infuriated.

What soon follows about two months later is my sister’s gradual ump-teenth relapse. Due to the pressing overwhelming work and tasks that must get done first in order to sell the house and property, Mom’s inability to PUSH my sister to stay consistent and accountable to an AA/NA and MHMR (mental health rehabs) program, and her hilltop retirement resort being 4-miles outside of town making Mom her only real transportation anywhere… my sister was doomed to relapse anyway! I find out a few weeks into my return that my sister actually moved-in the previous December!  By February 2016 sister has relapsed badly, again, and this time the county sheriff’s department and TDCJ (Texas Dept of Criminal Justice) are done being merciful. She is sentenced to 9-months in their penal drug-rehab program — now the only and last hope for her.

I am now BEYOND infuriated! No wonder the house and property have not been significantly maintained or prepped! I was never told because they both knew how I would react. Funny how we manifest our repeated thoughts and fears.

At the end of June 2016 while at a wine-n-snack get-together with good local friends, Mom unloads to everyone the precise timeline of her absolute move-out:  April 2017 or sooner. How did we lose 5-years when she told me in December 2015 — relative to her retirement funds and trust-fund — it would last through 2021? Everything, except Social Security and her small monthly Mobile Oil pension, runs out next April. I thought my entire upper body just dropped into my stomach when she announced her deadline. This was not good at all given how much needed to be done to and inside the house. I’m thinking to myself trying not to appear distraught to everyone… What if the house doesn’t sell for what it’s worth these next 9-10 months!?

Days later I ask Mom if she’s got any better idea and plan as to where she will move and live. She is no closer to those decisions than she was a year ago. Given everything she’s had to deal with concerning my god-damn sister, it’s understandable.

The original revised plan has to be revised again.

My original plans for a continued life up in the DFW area will have to be put on hold. My regular routine to blog, consider, research, write, and comment must also be reduced or postponed.

Aging and the Aged

The end of this life is inevitable. Everyone is approaching it the day we are born and take our first breath. The average American lifespan is around 78-years old; 76 (I believe) for a man, 81-83 for a woman. Therefore, somewhere around our 40’s is the halfway point. In the better scenarios the late 40’s. As those older dear ones and loved ones begin to pass away around you, one cannot help but reevaluate, reflect, and remember what makes us truly alive so that death isn’t so painfully unwelcomed. What should our final decade of life be? Of what should it consist?

Mom_July 2014

Mom, July 2014

These last four years I have noticed how much more my Mom has aged. If this rate continues, she is in her last 5-7 years — and that might be optimistic. And that reality forces me to pause and prepare. It forces me to reevaluate, reflect, and remember what, on a soulful level, is TRULY important. For that single reason… death should not be such a total stranger.

Over the last six years I have gotten to know my Mom in ways and to levels I likely would not have been able living 5-hours and 320-miles away 300-days a year. Many of those days have been fun and hilarious — her senility can be quite entertaining along with her sense of humor that has enjoyably not waned as a result. Though I am increasingly managing and helping her with her weekly and monthly responsibilities, these last couple years have noticeably aged me. For all intents and purposes, I am becoming a one-man team if not already there. And this will probably not change anytime soon, or it could change tomorrow… all things considered.
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Do you have aging or aged parents? What have been or what are your experiences? How does it effect your own life? Why do family members these days live so far apart? I may not be able to quickly reply to your thoughts and comments, but I am curious to read them if you’re inclined to share!

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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