Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: Moving Forward and Looking Back To A Lazy 2012

2012 is coming to a close. The best thing about this year is that for the first year in a long time I didn’t have to be anyone’s pall bearer. Despite the ups and downs this makes the year a good one overall for me.

In 2013 my daughter will be taking the Leap test to move to the 5th grade. I’m not nervous about it. That test is still stupid. I can remember writing about my frustration getting her registered for kindergarten almost five years ago. She’s growing up while I and this blog are getting old.

In 2013 I will celebrate my 39th birthday which means I have one more year left before my 40’s start.  Since the life expectancy for black men is 70 years old, I think 39 is a good year for a cool mid life crisis. I think I’m going to let my hair grow and get a mohawk. I hope it stays in style long enough for me to get it without looking out of touch like I really am.

In 2013 I will still be getting my middle class tax break from the president which will almost be enough to offset the increases in our agency’s insurance plan.

In 2013 something will happen in the country that challenges one group’s beliefs. Since we are no longer allowed to think beyond ideology anymore, that group will come up with a way to make an obvious problem unclear so we won’t develop any real solutions.

In 2013 New Orleans will host the Superbowl. Because we have no choice our leaders will have to embrace the NFL commissioner. He’ll probably get greeted at the airport by a second line and Mardi Gras Indians. At that point an entire fan base will all throw up simultaneously setting a world record and creating a financial boon for carpet cleaning services in the area.

Other than these things the only thing I am certain of is that 2013 will look a lot like 2012, 2011, 2010, etc…..

When the calendar changes to a new year it gives you a feeling of starting fresh. There are two times a year where people talk themselves into thinking they can reset their lives. One of those times is your birthday and the other one is New Years. Those two annual days are used by humans to put off things they have wanted to work on but didn’t want to actually start working on. There are people who have been waiting since August to lose fifty pounds but they put it off and it becomes their New Year’s resolution. I’m starting to come to the realization that it doesn’t matter what I decide to because I’m probably not going to change much anyway.  I’m not saying that to be negative. I’m just being realistic. Nevertheless, it’s still good to look back at the year and see what went right and what went wrong. If I had to put a theme to 2012 it would be the year that I became lazy and partially tuned out on the world around me. This year was the year where I stopped paying attention like I used to.

I have always had a bit of a lazy streak in me. It goes hand in hand with my difficulty focusing on something for a long time. Most days my preference would be to do absolutely nothing. Somehow as an adult I have managed to push through it and develop a strong work ethic. It's the reason I have received perfect attendance records from employers and have so much vacation hours saved that I can take off weeks at a time. Being lazy as I am now hasn't stopped me from doing all the things I have to do throughout the week. Where my laziness kicks in is when it comes to things that I want to do or could be doing but have the option not to. My laziness shows up in the meetings and events I was invited to but didn’t attend. It’s in the rides to Memphis I didn’t take to see my parents. It’s in the voicemails I didn’t return, the family and friends I didn’t visit and all the weekends I stayed home and watched too much television. My laziness can be found in all of the things I didn’t read and things I didn’t write.

I bought a basketball a while ago because I love playing it. It was one thing I did as a kid that I missed and felt I could still do again even if I went out there in the morning and just shot free throws until I got into enough shape to play a game with the other guys. I’ve only used that ball once for about fifteen minutes.

Usually during the last week of the year I get in a deep state of reflection trying to get myself prepared for the upcoming year. This year it feels like I have been in that mode since late November trying to get my energy right. I’m working on that for the New Year.  That’s about all I can do to keep myself going. We have no idea what’s going to really happen next year. All you can do is make sure you are prepared and your own agenda is intact.

I’m ready for 2013. I hope everyone has a good one.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Walk With A Real One: On My Own Now

This second edition of "Walk With a Real One" has a different tone to it.  I'm now speaking as a 21 year old young man in college, with a job, and now living on my own in my new apartment.  I'm very happy to be taking this step in my life and I look forward to living life as an adult with new responsibilities. 

When I told my parents I was moving out on my own, the reaction was what I expected.  It sort of came out of nowhere to them and they were a bit shocked but at the end of the day, they understood that I wanted to get out there and do my own thing.  It wasn't easy moving out and missing the people you seen everyday on a daily basis.  My parents, brother, and sister used to be in the same house as me but now its a 15 min drive to go visit.  I know it will be tough adjusting at first but I'm confident that the things my older siblings and my parents taught me will stay with me as I become older.  My parents are so caring and they told me that the door is always open if times get rough.

I think knowing how to budget my money and deciding on whats more important to me are the two key things for me.  I'm not much of a shopper so I don't see myself blowing money on unnecessary things and my job and my school work takes up majority of my time anyway.  I'm living with one of my best friends from school so that's a major plus.  I know he's got my back and I got his and as long as there is gas in my Buick, I'm A-Okay. 

Well this has been another edition of "Walk with a Real One."  I hope you guys enjoy and wish me luck on my own.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Moment of Silence

I was in a meeting Friday when we heard about what happened in Connecticut. It didn’t really sink in just how tragic it was at first but once it did I had the urge to call my mama. That’s who I turn to when something happens that I don’t understand and I need someone to make me feel calm. I thought I was no longer capable of being overwhelmed by an incident dealing with gun violence because of where I live. It’s sad to admit but it’s sort of a routine thing around here.  The only time I really get shaken is when a kid is involved. Hearing about those kids being shot down like that really got to me.

Since Friday there’s been a lot of discussion about all the things that could have led to the tragedy.  The gun control proponents are looking for tougher laws. The gun rights proponents want guns in the school. Some religious folks are saying there needs to be more prayer in schools. It goes on and on.

There are many different topics we can talk about in relation to this tragedy and we should keep those discussions going until something is done. However, out of respect for the families of the victims, I choose not to give my opinion about any of it until they have at least had time to bury their love ones. I think sometimes it’s a good idea to just grieve and be silent for awhile. Besides, it’s not like our government is going to pass any law or make any changes to it left versus right philosophy just because of this one event.

I think everyone should just be quiet for awhile because the last thing the victims’ families need is to be caught up in a 24 hour news cycle while pundits yell back and forth about things they already should have been concerned about before Friday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Finally Getting Into Holiday Mode

I finally bought a Christmas tree today. This is the latest I have ever been into the holiday season without decorating the tree. I usually do it the first weekend after Thanksgiving but I wasn’t in the mood. I haven’t even listened to any holiday music unless it came on a television commercial. As of right now I haven’t gotten into the holiday spirit. Waiting around to get into the holidays can be expensive. I learned today that the longer you wait to buy a tree the more expensive and less choices you will have. The tree I bought today cost so much more than what I usually pay that it made me almost wish I had one of those ugly plastic one that come in a box. I may not be into the holidays yet but I will never have a plastic tree.

My mom called me about ten days ago to see if I had the tree up. She said there was something she wanted to do but I needed to have it up. She sounded pretty enthusiastic about whatever it was so I told her I would get it the next day. That was more than a week ago and I am just getting the tree. She may be upset. I’ll call her tomorrow to tell her I finally got it and hopefully I didn’t mess up her plans.

Just for the record, I am not depressed, sad, or upset about anything. I guess I’m always upset about something happening on a larger scale but from a personal standpoint I’m good. I’m about as good as I have ever been in the post Katrina world. It just doesn’t feel like the holiday season.

It could be the weather. I was wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts everywhere until Monday. It could be that everyone is just going through the motions and so busy trying to get through the daily grind they don’t have time to be festive. My block is usually pretty lit when it comes to holiday decorations but up until today the only house on the block with lights on was the lady who decorates for holiday on the calendar and we can’t count her because she decorated her house for everything when she was still in a FEMA trailer.

The older I get the longer it takes for me to get into the holiday spirit. It’s hard to turn off everything going on for the first eleven months and flip the switch to peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. Of course I am saying that as a 38 year old man with 14 hour days and little sleep. Kids don’t feel that way. They are just as excited and happy as ever looking forward to Santa. I was just like that as a child. Now I wish Santa would send me a light bill voucher after busting my budget at Wal Mart and Best Buy. Nevertheless, we all must do what we have to do so I will search for holiday inspiration everywhere I can.

I guess if Earl Simmons can get into the Christmas spirit there’s no reason for me not to.