Marc’s “Considerations for 2019 if You Want To – Really, It’s Up To You – This Isn’t a Pressure Type of Thing” List

31 12 2018

2018-2019 #2

There are a lot of “wrap-up” reviews or “10 things you can do in the New year” type of lists so I am not going to pretend like I have anything more to add that might be valuable to anyone.

However, as a final post for 2018, I thought I would write 10 super easy things to consider in the New Year that might not change the world but maybe, in some small way, will help you feel better.

So here they are -Marc’s “Considerations for 2019 if You Want To – Really, It’s Up To You – This Isn’t a Pressure Type of Thing” List:

  1. Listen to the Waking Up Podcast with Sam Harris. – I believe the name of the podcast is going to change soon but he is seriously one of the most intelligent people around and always makes a logical argument with guests for some of our most divisive issues. If you are like me and want progress but not at the expense of being so politically correct that everyone and their mother is eventually offended, he’s the guy for you.
  2. See the movie Vice with Christian Bale. Not only is his performance uncanny and incredible but the movie is so well scripted, directed and acted that it is the top of my list for 2018. A serious movie that uses creativity and humor like well placed spices, it is not to be missed.
  3. Read “Why Buddhism is True” by Robert Wright. Is this about becoming a Buddhist? Absolutely not but it breaks down the evolutionary chain of events that have brought us to the minds we have today in the name of survival and how perhaps not all these constructs might serve us anymore. A scientific look that is not difficult to understand or read.
  4. See “Hearts Beat Loud” with Nic Offerman –  a touching father/daughter story with some cool music and characters that make you wish you could grab a drink with some day.
  5. Watch the Good Place – a comedy series on NBC. Creative and well written, this is a unique take on life after death and always serves up laughter and some delicious surprises now and then. It will make you feel good.
  6. Buy good socks. Man, what took me so long? I received a couple different pair from different people for gifts – and if you hike or hate the cold, what a difference a sock can make.
  7. Try cloth napkins instead of paper. In addition to learning about the incredible waste and dangers of single use plastic (straws), cloth napkins remove the need for more wasteful paper napkins. But what about water and soap to clean them you might ask? True, but at least with me and my kids, we don’t wash them after each use.
  8. Make a photo book for a loved one or good friend. Often overlooked, collecting photos and then weaving them into a gift book on a site like Snapfish is a great idea. My sister and I did one for my parents from their anniversary party and they loved it.
  9. Write a letter- with a pen and paper – just one – to someone you haven’t been in touch with in a while. (Or if you really need to, send a letter in an email.) You’ll be surprised how much of a cathartic gift it is for you as much as for the person on the receiving end.
  10. Plant something, anything. I planted a garden that I would give a C+ to. It didn’t churn out all the spices and veggies I had hoped but it felt so damn good and I plan to do it again this summer. Pick one thing – even just one plant and do it. It’s nice to be among something living (besides people and pets) once in a while that doesn’t require a password.

That’s it! Hope you have a joyous 2019.

Until next time,

Marc





Acceptance AKA “What If…”

29 09 2016

whatif

There is a school of thought or belief that the individual journey we are on is exactly the one we are supposed to be on.

It is phrased in many different ways. Perhaps you have heard things such as “it was meant to be” or “it happened for a reason”. I don’t personally subscribe to either of these but do believe, as difficult as it may seem, wherever I find myself (physically and metaphorically) is really where I am supposed to be at that moment. It took me many, many, many difficult moments, however, to finally get here.

To me, I have spent more time than I care to admit thinking about life’s more challenging moments in terms of “why is this happening?” and “what is the lesson I am to take away from it?” However, it hit me today that I have never asked myself why certain things are not happening, as well.

I am incredibly grateful for the thousands of things that don’t happen to me and people I care about every day – illness, grief, pain, loss – particularly when these very things afflict so many innocent people all the time.

But what about all the good things that are not happening and seem to be so far out of reach and why stew on this today? Well, I am traveling for a few days and always feel doubly melancholy when I’m away from my kids and not within a 5 mile radius. Luckily, I’m on the same time zone, so it could be worse. With each time zone, it gets exponentially worse, in fact.

This made me realize that so many of the “dreams” that I have for myself – which all revolve around creative pursuits – would be pretty difficult to activate fully without a significant amount of travel, which would invariably take me away from my children a lot more and given the fact that homes schooling isn’t an option, probably for the best. So, what if, and I hesitate to even suggest this at the risk of sounding too “airy fairy”, but what if the universe was holding back knowing that it’s simply not the right time for this?

What if we had the knowledge that what we are going through and experiencing, both good and bad, is all purposeful because, believe it or not, this is the exact right time to experience it – as long as we did not miss the opportunity to take from it the lesson of its intent to move us forward on our journey? Similarly, what if we also knew that those things we long for so achingly may not present themselves just yet because it is simply not the right time? What if we had patience and faith and ignored all those self-help books that give us 10 steps to achieving all our goals in the next year?

I’m going to have to keep thinking about this one but I think there’s something there. Glorious, painful and mysterious all at once – just like life.

Until next time,

Marc





What Kind of Seeker are You?

31 10 2015
It's roomier than it appears.

It’s roomier than it appears.

Happy Halloween. This is not going to be even remotely related to Halloween in case you’re wondering…unless you can  make the connection between seeking for new sources of candy and seeking for a home.

As some of you who follow me or my blog may know, I have been in the incredibly relaxing and ever life-affirming process of selling my house. (I just read a Facebook post that Harvard says sarcasm is good for you so hold on lads and lasses.)

It’s a pain in the ass. I’m not a slob but I’m not a “my house is staged and ready for showing on a daily basis” guy either, particularly with two kids who feel compelled to leave a trail of everything they do everywhere.

In today’s over digital day and age, I have the benefit (read: misfortune) of getting almost “real-time” feedback every time some realtor shows my house. It is really interesting. I was under the impression that most people that look at homes look at the layout, the neighborhood, how recent some of the rooms are (kitchen, bathroom), whether they like it and then decide from there. Most people want to put their own imprimatur (fancy for “imprint”) on their home – often redecorating, repainting etc.

Apparently, there is a large contingent, (at least where I live), of people who, if they don’t immediately like every single thing the moment they walk in the house, they are not interested. That is fine by me. It’s your money. However, it made me think about the way in which we seek out those people, things and experiences that ultimately surround and define us.

There are two types and I have witnessed both of these at work, in friendships and as of late, during political debates.

The Visionary –  You look for potential. Does this person I am meeting have some backstory that may be interesting? Is there something there that is at least worth spending more than 30 seconds with before I pre-judge? Does this house seem to fit my basic needs and, given the right price, the right type of personal touch, I can see myself in this home? Do these jeans make my butt really look fat or am I looking in the wrong type of mirror? You get the point – that type of thing.

The Checklister – You look for all the things that are wrong. Does this person just reiterate all the things I have always said about people “like them”? Does this house have too many things that aren’t the way I would do them? Do these jeans come from a store that I wouldn’t get caught dead in even though if you put them in Nordstrom’s rack and jacked up the price three fold, I would buy them? I think you get the point with this one, too.

You can see where I am leaning here. I can’t help but feel that in today’s over “twitterized” environment where opinions are formed in less time than it takes to make a bowel movement (you’re welcome for the analogy) and judgements are made even faster, we fail to see the true potential of places, experiences, and most importantly, people. It’s just not good.

You don’t have to buy my house. You don’t have to like working with me or even be my friend. But, in the future, when you keep complaining that it’s hard to find just the right place to live, work always sucks or it’s always hard to connect with people like you, you may want to think about potential rather than things to be fixed – and that includes ourselves, too. Be a visionary. It’s a lot more fun – for everyone.

So, be honest – what type of seeker are you?

Until next time,

Marc








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