Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bah, bah, bah....humbug

Living in a tourist destination city, I have plenty of time to be stuck in traffic. That means I listen to a lot of talk radio. What I have discerned is that the common person is expected to be a good little lamb. We are to just go along with anything because tolerance has been touted as a must need virtue. When I complained to the condo authorities that I found it repulsive that spring breakers left stool and urine in the elevators, I was told we were to overlook and tolerate them because the city needs their money. When I try to get on the elevators with my kids, I am supposed to overlook the drunken, foul mouthed punks waiting on the elevator. And when I notice graffiti on the doors of the stairwell, one of the smiling suits told me it was "innocent", even though one clearly resembles graffiti attributed to the Crips.

Why do we as Americans tolerate stuff like this? I did a little research and found the combined Democrat and Republican Presidential race in 2012 cost more than $1.7 BILLION. Really? Could at least half of that moey been spent to do something, anything productive? But that would mean these wealthy contributors taking care of actual people and not their own special interests.

Why do Christians just sit and take the dung flung at them? Is it really a "turn the other cheek" activity or is it fear? Are we as Christians not supposed to rock the boat? Are we not to be confrontational? I was accused the other day of being too confrontational because I held drunken college students accountable for their language in front of my my house!

A few years ago, everyone wore WWJD bracelets. For some reason, people think Jesus was a wimp and was always passive. On the contrary, he was quite radical and confrontational. Ask the money changers he threw out of the Temple. Ask the religious leaders he challenged every day.

Our rights are being challenged daily in a country founded on freedom. Facts and opinions are twisted and torqued to fit the whim of whatever political side is trying to exploit it. Politicians, most of which have never had a real job,  make decions that fit THEIR agenda. The politicians do not care and cannot relate to a normal person.

We, sadly, are like sheep. We follow mindlessly and no one comes up with real solutions. Common sense escaped years ago. Some of us are readily willing to allow illegal behavior and actually rally to show support of ILLEGAL activity.

WWJD? Yes, he would love all people. No, he would not love all behaviors, in fact, he called out certain behaviors. Again, ask the religious leaders if he called them out on certain behaviors and actions.

I just don't get it. I put a post on Facebook telling how almost $2 billion was spent on the Presidential election. That is a travesty. Could one of those busy body supporters have given money to fund the White House tours? I just don't get it, but I plan on being the one sheep bucking the idea of going into the pen. Who is with me?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A rare Saturday off..

0500... I woke up really sore from a workout suggested my sadistic older son JL..I thought I would sneak to the condo's gym just a few doors down. I went Ninja past Mathias' door and headed down, only to realize I had forgotten my phone. As I snuck back into the condo, Mathias greeted me. No workout, but great Mathias time. We played some Playmobil until it was time to wake up the girls to go "yard sale shopping"

We had a huge thunderstorm that slowed us down and we finally made it out of the house.  No real treasures for anyone, except Mathias who charmed his way in a bunch of books for $2.  We ended up hitting a Goodwill Store, catching a nice lunch and finishing window shopping at Old Navy.

What was special enough to blog about today? Simplicity..simple things with my posse made a great day. There was a lot of conversation, lots of laughs ( especially when the kids caused an avalanche of kid books at Goodwill), walking and handholding. I am really into Big Cat Diary, so today was a good day for the Hipes Pride.

For those who do read this, there will be an expansion of the blog life starting tomorrow. I am going to explore Freedom...details tomorrow.

Enjoy the simple things in life. Life is made of more simple moments that we can make magical than supposed "magical moments".. Enjoy life. It is a choice.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Square pegs in round holes

Have you ever tried to force something to work or force something to fit? Around here, my wife says that is just the "Hipes" way just because we may lean our way into rooms, elevators, etc. I prefer the word "lean" over "push" but I am splitting hairs here. The technique works for luggage in a trunk, grocery bags being carried at one time, and other things where the space needed is snug for the object being placed.

Life, especially work, is like this, too. A job may sound great on paper, but once you start working, you see that supervisors may not share your same vision, philosophy, or direction. It happens in social settings, such as clubs and churches, too.

Yeah, I know the world is not Polly Ann-ish and that no situation is perfectly ideal. We juggle the reality of a situation with the "perfect" picture and have to come to a compromise somewhere in between. The real key is how a person deals with that incongruency. If a person is ok with the compromise and rationalizes that the reality of the situation is acceptable, then a person can "keep on keeping on" in that setting. But, if anyone is like me, the incongruency may keep a person up at night and just never "feels right", then a change must be made. I know I often quote Tim Ferriss but once again, it fits:

"Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough rationalization."

We all have a lot of square pegs and round holes. I find it funny that people are quick to offer solutions to another person's peg and hole situation. I mean, they have a surplus of pegs but are ready to offer solutions to someone else? Mind your own pegs! And here is how:

1. Realize only YOU have control over YOU. No one MAKES you feel anything; you chose to feel. YOU have situations that you will endure as long as you convince yourself the positive outweighs the negative. Sadly, rationalization proves stronger than courage most of the time. Just sayin'.

2. A situation likely will not change PASSIVELY. Do you really think that the incongruency will correct itself? Think of it logically, if not mathematically--will 50 ever be 30 again? Nada. Nyet. No way. 

3. Action takes courage and usually does better if there is a plan. Do not like your job? Quitting makes sense but having a job lined up makes even more sense. Been there, done that. 

4. YOU live with your decisions. YOU make a choice, and then a consequence follows. Sure, your choice may affect others...but remember number 1 applies to everyone and not just you. 

5. Life on earth is really short. Do you have a dream? Do you see yourself doing something else? Being something else?

Be on the lookout for square holes and round pegs. Do not settle.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Give Up....and that is how to win

Wow, it has been months since I have blogged. Hmm..let's recap. I have moved again, this time back to Panama City Beach. I have been very under-employed.. I have rarely looked at social media as most of it is not social, but political media. I have been humbled, if not humiliated by the events of life. I have laid pavers on the road of good intentions just to find roadblocks and traffic jams. It has given me too much time for self reflection.

I have been a good dad, and I have been a bad dad. The same could be said for my abilities as a husband, friend, nurse, employer and entrepreneur. I have consistently been a procrastinator and at the same time been a worrier. That's like being a diabetic and having a chocolate feast daily. I have been depressed and I admit in a very, very dark place the last couple of months. I mean a really dark place.

It dawned on me that there has been too much emphasis on "me". Look at the previous 2 paragraphs and you will see more than a dozen references to me. I am making a mess of my life. I have made decisions that have jeopardized my family's stability. Anytime there is that much "I " crap, selfishness rules.

My focus is out of whack. My rabbit ears needs some aluminum foil. Panic attacks began waking me in the middle of the night. I must say, being underemployed sucks. One morning, the scripture in Luke came to me. Luke 12:22-34 has been weighing on my mind a lot. Being the great procrastinator, I have been putting this off with the idea I can make things better. I sit here with the flu and I am publically admitting I am not capable of making anything better. I quit. I surrender.

And I will win! I am giving up the daily grind of life to God. He is not going to let me starve. He provided a job for me that starts in 2 days. I am one day closer to freedom. We all want freedom, whether it's financial freedom, freedom from worry, or freedom to bear arms. Humans desire freedom. I cannot produce freedom, and only God can provide true freedom. I have sadly seen so many Facebook arguments about the existence of God. I know He exists. That defines faith. I pray for those who mock believers. I even read a post where a guy called the disciples "sheep herders". That is expected and although I can make no sense of such comments, that person is free to believe that. I know and admit I have done a lot of terrible things but my faith tells me I am not perfect, yet I am forgiven by grace. Granted, I do not like it when others point out my sins, but they are sins regardless.

I don't know about you, but I want to be free from a lot of stuff. Stuff that gets in my way and stuff that may require supernatural intervention. I desire a true transformation. I guess I am back and I will chronicle my quest for transformation and freedom...Freedom Acquired through Supernatural Transformation.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fitness vs Weight Loss

Healthcare is a'changin'. The current model of health care will not look anything like the futuristic one. Sure, the model is broken and need fixed but as a provider of healthcare for a great many years, we as Americans should be careful what we wish for.

I do strongly believe that each individual is going to have to be held responsible for their health and wellness. My paradigm reads like this: Health care is ILLNESS driven. You get the flu, poison ivy or bronchitis, you go see a prescribing provider and you get "fixed". You take an expensive antibiotic for 10 days, nasty cough medication and finally feel better after 8 days. In the meantime, you probably will get a nasty diarrhea and make yourself prone to tendon ruptures (a little know side effect you are rarely made aware of, by the way).

In this scenario, do your daily wellness habits ever get mentioned? Do you know how many people I have treated with an awful bronchitis who smoked just before they came into the office? Wellness is not discussed because the prescriber has to hurry to the next patient.I do acknowledge that, as a provider, I am not the absolute model of perfect health due to my weight. But, (and my 'butt' is getting smaller), I am losing and I am fairly fit, take NO medications at all at age 50, and have very few lifestyle factors that are not being actively addressed. Many of my peers do not model good health fitness or wellness.

Which is more important, weight loss or fitness? I am currently looking at a couple of products to enhance my professional practice. Both are decent products and both has reps that are engaging, informative and polished. There is a distinct difference between the products and their programs. One's claim to fame is weight loss. Lots of weight loss. The other has a reputation of helping people become more fit and they end up losing weight. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

What do you see as more important? Weight loss or fitness?? Give me some feedback..

Monday, November 5, 2012

Self Inflicted Nonsense

We had a weekend in which we were traveling quite a bit in the car. When that happens, I usually am a poor planner and we end up eating the dreaded fast food. Yes, I should know better, especially since I made a bold prediction of losing a boat load of weight. There is actually "good news" on that front. I had a couple of body compositions done using different formulas and my absolute lean body weight is 213 pounds. So, unless I amputate body parts, I will not be getting below 200 pounds anytime soon.

On Sunday morning, the exercise ritual began with a lot of aches and pains. The knots in my thighs were so huge and painful and referred pain into my hips. I set out on my bike ride after stretching and moving to get things loosened up a bit.

As I started on the bike, I thought to myself, "You know, the pain is your fault because of your food choices." I could not argue with myself. Everything I was feeling was certainly self inflicted. Self Inflicted NONsense..As I was pedaling, I shortened "self inflicted nonsense" to SIN.

What? SIN? And you know what? Sin is also self inflicted nonsense. Think about it for a second. No one forces us to sin. Take Adam and Eve for instance with the first sins against God. Adam TRIED to blame Eve but Adam was more than well aware of the instructions they had received from God. Adam did it to himself, or self inflicted the act. And, the act was for a nonsensical reason. Adam and Eve LIVED IN PARADISE. and they threw it all away for nothing.

The opportunity for us to sin WILL cross our path. There has not been a person yet who was not faced with sin. It can be a great big sin, or it can be a little, itsy bitsy sin. However, sin IS sin and it is not graded on size.

Now back to my muscle pain..I KNOW that my aches, pains and myofascial problems can be worsened with poor dietary choices. I know that eating with Kings and Clowns will only bring me down. Instead of planning and making a wise choice, I settled for the convenient choice and paid the consequences. I am talking about 20-30 minutes of hard labor with a foam roller and "The Stick" and take it from me, that is no fun.

Choices and consequences go a lot deeper than muscle pain. Kind David, like the rest of us, had a choice when it came to Bathsheeba. He could have walked away, but instead he really made a tangled mess of things. He certainly had consequences to his actions. If a person eats crap, then their legs will hurt and if a person commits a sin, then there will be a consequence and/or a punishment.

You know what is really bad? Chocolate tastes so sinfully good. It lures me in and I indulge only to feel the pain in the muscles and at the scales. Temptation is attractive. If sin was not attractive, we would never fall prey to it. Knowledge sounded good to Adam and Eve. It represented power. Temptation and sin will appeal to us on some level.

How do we deal with Self Inflicted Nonsense? First, we need to RECOGNIZE that it exists. The allure of cupcakes looms in my future and I must recognize that a cupcake will not kill me, but I can assure you that the foam roller will be needed. Next, I must UNDERSTAND my limitations. I know my weaknesses and need to know that I am vulnerable to those weaknesses. And finally, I need to firmly and emphatically say. "NO" because there is too much at stake. Oh, look, to deal with SIN (Self Inflicted Nonsense) a simple strategy is to RUN...sometimes as fast as one can.

On that note, I break in a new pair of running shoes in the morning..

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thought Control

2:15 AM
Someone's mind (maybe yours)

"What am I going to do? What if that job doesn't come through? How am I going to pay the rent? I should have not quit that other job. That was stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. No wonder I am alone. Who would want to be around me? What am I going to do about my weight? My clothes don't fit. I am so weak. Weak and stupid! Now that is a combination..Geez, it is after 2 AM and I am still awake. I bet I oversleep in the morning. What if I miss that interview?....."

Does this happen to you or anyone else you know? This example is Stinking Thinking on Steroids. In the "biz", we call this rumination. I explain it as how a cow chews a cud. Mentally, we chew and chew only to yak it up and chew it all over again. Sure, I have talked about worry on other posts but today, I am searching for empowerment and control.

Thoughts like I described in the beginning of this blog possess power. There is no denying that thoughts like that control a person. The thoughts control a person's rest pattern (up at 2:15 AM), control one's emotions, and eventually will control one's actions and effort. Thoughts can leave a person exhausted, bewildered, frustrated and defeated. All of this arises from thoughts conceived in your own mind. These thoughts are YOUR WORK. And some of you do not think your thoughts count or have power. Humpf, your thoughts can make or break you. Remember that.

Think of it this way: In the example above, the thoughts are holding the person hostage. In other words, those nasty, hateful thoughts are calling the shots in regards to sleep and esteem. As sleep dwindles, so does solid decision making and as decision making falls apart, so does self esteem. Then a poor self esteem builds more worries and soon you are hold on to the horse on the "merry go 'round" of worry and rumination...step right up for another free ride!!!

ENOUGH! This blog has never, and will never, apologize for its Christian base. I do not care if I ever gain more than 12 followers. (I do appreciate you guys that do read me though). Last night, at a local service, a testimony talked about taking thoughts captive. Here are 2 versions of that verse (2 Corinthians 10:5)

2 Corinthians 10:5

Contemporary English Version (CEV)
and every bit of pride that keeps anyone from knowing God. We capture people’s thoughts and make them obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

New International Version (NIV)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Wow, instead of our thoughts holding us hostage, we are instructed here to take the thoughts captive and make THEM obedient to Christ. I think it was bold of Paul to put it this way. Remember, in his day, every time a nation was overtaken, the survivors became captive slaves. I would think that being held captive was a particularly frightening reality. By informing us that we had the right and obligation to take those nasty thought and put them away, Paul educates Christians then and now not to tolerate crappy thoughts any longer.

What thoughts can we hold captive? Of course we can hold those sinful thoughts captive and get them out of our thinking pattern. You know the ones I am talking about-the ones that you feel ashamed that you have but they keep coming back anyways. Paul also means any thought provided by the enemy that makes a person feel less than how God intended you to be. I have heard it said, "God does not make junk".

Earlier I told you to remember that your thoughts can make or break you. I am sure you all acknowledged times in your life where your thoughts broke you down and defeated you. But, if you agree that thoughts can BREAK you, then you must accept that thoughts can MAKE YOU. THOUGHTS CAN MAKE YOU. It is as simple as ABC--To achieive, you must believe what you conceive.

I am begging to be a big believer in affirmations. You must believe that you are unique and special. Those of you that really know me understand if I was there with you, I would reaffirm that you are special and have wonderful, God given and blessed traits. I still fall prey to the thinking at the beginning of the blog. I talk to myself in these blogs as much as I do to anyone else. So, take those nasty thoughts, lock them up and beat them down if the resist.