Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is Twitch and Grind the New Twist and Shout?

I had a true Epiphany the other day! Well, make that one partial Epiphany ... after days of waking up with a miserable pounding in my head, sore jaws and teeth, I reached for the phone. I was about to place a call to my wonderful, incredible dentist for a prescription of muscle relaxers, when - light bulb moment - I realized that I make this very same call, at the very same time, every single year.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia
The nocturnal teeth clenching and grinding occur every year at the start of the holiday season. Which, I might add, begins earlier and earlier....ggggrrrrrrrr
Retailers trot out the Christmas stock displays the day after Halloween.
I am so over "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" and all of the commercialism that has ruined my true enjoyment of a pleasant annual wrap-up.
Most of us have so much "stuff" that we do not even know how to begin to feel true gratitude.
Take Thanksgiving: the mainstream American stuffs their body more than the gigantic turkey that weighs the dining table down to a groaning board. Then, "the day after" - or now, the "night of" Thanksgiving, people rush around like lunatics buying junk they simply do not need.
No wonder I clench my teeth!
This year, my classic bruxism was accompanied by the great eye twitch which went on and on for over 4 weeks. Folks, that is darned near a record for me - and I am no stranger to "the twitch".
I do not know why the holiday season brings out so much anxiety in me. Perhaps it is an internal command to be Happy! Be in love! Have lots of Stuff! 
I do not know. 
I do know that I do not like to be forced into doing anything. 
The beautiful holidays of my childhood have collapsed into heaps of stuff and debt ... gifts seem to be bought not out of love, but necessity or duty or force or guilt.
Hmm .... now I may be getting somewhere. Guilt, eh? 
Well, after all, I was raised Catholic!
Twitch. Clench. Grind.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Back! Time is Money

When I was in high school, the proprietor of the bookstore, Brother Eugene, prominently displayed a clock inscribed with these words: "TIME IS MONEY".
Brother Eugene taught me many things, not least of which was the lesson of "TIME IS MONEY". He also taught me the extremely important life skills of how to organize and prioritize my time.
Gentle Reader, this life is s-h-o-r-t. I have been acutely aware of this fact as long as my memory.
I entered a profession where my value was billed by the MINUTE. This billing practice simply added to my respect of time. 
It prompted me to wonder why many artists do not price their time when it comes to selling their work.
I have learned that TIME IS MONEY should really be written:
Any person who has suffered loss can attest to this truth, be it loss of a loved one, loss of youth, loss of health, loss of money, loss of practically anything. Physical loss may be felt more acutely later in life when one realizes that death is closer than birth.
Given that our time in this life is limited, why is it then, that no person is immune to the luxury of wasting time with anger, regret, fear, depression, envy ______________ fill in the blank? 
I console myself with the fact that at least I have become aware my own wasteful foolishness. I took time for granted and it taught me an unforgettable lesson.
I have a lifelong friend who is suffering from ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a disabling condition that no amount of money can remedy, cure, fix, resolve or ease. Bedridden for about two years now, my dear friend is positive and optimistic, despite his non-ambulatory condition and attendant suffering.
What is time like for him?
A clue can be had by the parting words that he spoke to me at the end of our last visit:
"There is never enough time"
Truer words were never spoken.

 Image courtesy of Wikipedia