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Being Human: A Life Without _____ Is A Life Not Lived

Cloud 1It’s hard to believe it’s getting close to a year and a half since I parted ways with my job.

It’s been quite a roller coaster. I’ve had a lot of changes to get used to, a lot of decisions to make; and most of all, I’ve had to get reacquainted with parts of me I’d forgotten, locked up or ignored.

There have been a lot of feelings going on in my head and it’s not always easy.

It’s called being human.

I’m about as human as they come. I could never be accused of being a robot. I tend to wear my passion for whatever I’m doing, on my sleeve; and as a result, I may come off a little intense and dramatic.

Out in the real world it is expected that you behave with a certain amount of coldness. Sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as: professionalism and decorum. This requires you to bottle things up and not be completely honest. That lack of honesty, my friends, is one of the biggest failures in our society’s increasing isolation. Real communication is becoming obsolete.

Time and time again, I have watched people sit completely stone-faced and not express themselves– when I know they have definite opinions or feelings on the matter. It’s really hard to watch. How do you interact with that? I know, I’ve tried it– how should I say it… in the name of civility… and I usually fail miserably.

One of the biggest realizations I’ve had to face is that the feelings and responses to the things around us aren’t always going to be considered appropriate. We have to be okay with that. I think of all the people that medicate just to avoid feeling and I never want to be in that place.

We can try to ignore and avoid our feelings… even feel guilty about them but then how much are we really living? How much are we really experiencing life? It’s not always necessary to express all our feelings to other people but we at least need to acknowledge them ourselves. Appropriate or not, our feelings are real— if only to us. The people with whom we engage have those feelings too. Everyone deals with things differently… the important thing is that they are dealt with and not ignored.

It’s far too easy to become numb and go through the motions of living.

It can happen for a number of reasons:

  • We’re too busy, obsessed or focused on one thing; ignoring, or refusing to deal with everything else,
  • Afraid to become emotionally involved; of being used or hurt,
  • Lack of self confidence and feelings of inadequacy; fear of being judged,
  • Expectations of professional demeanor, void of expression; always holding your cards close,
  • Purely for self preservation; protecting your self, job, relationships or image,

When we allow ourselves to fall into any of these patterns, we start living a life without. We alienate ourselves and our selves. We may find the temporary protection we need to get through any given situation but if this becomes the way we deal with every day life, something is missing. We can become lost.

op7Tn.jpgBeing human is thinking, feeling and expressing through our experiences.

Life is joy, celebration and happiness— anger, heartbreak and tears. It’s connecting and sharing those feelings with others that make us human.

It’s important to feel things.

It’s important to express things.

It’s most important that we not lose who we are in the daily routine of survival.

Take away these human traits and what do you have left?

A big blank. A life without.


Just Say ‘No’ To New Year’s Resolutions

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? If not, I say DON’T! If you have, it’s not too late to tear up that list and run screaming in the opposite direction. Why do I say this? Because most resolutions are doomed to fail from the start. Why torment yourself that way?

Most resolutions people make are life-changing. What makes you think that the January 1st is any more magical than say, August 15th? If you aren’t ready to change something in the middle of August, I hardly think the month of January will make you any more successful.

How many times have you heard, “My New Year’s resolution is to _______ (fill in the blank), but I’m going to wait until after the holidays”. OR, “I was going to start _____ but I’ll do it next week”. Clearly, these statements make it obvious the speaker isn’t ready to commit.

Don’t get me wrong, I think change is great. Especially if it will better your health or improve your quality of life. If you want to make important decisions and changes for your future, it requires you to prioritize that activity and you have to change your daily routine.

I’d rather hear people call their resolutions: goals. Doesn’t it sound better to say, “I didn’t reach my goal” than to say, “My resolution was to ____ and I failed”? Plus, if you can creates steps or milestones towards your goal, it seems much less daunting. Failure, or the fear of failure have a huge impact on your self esteem. You have to be truly ready to make changes and take steps daily if you want to reach your goals.

Being better, stronger, healthier people is an ongoing, lifelong commitment. You just have to be realistic and and ready to make the change. You have to consciously adjust your daily routine to include the task ahead… it won’t magically fit itself into your current schedule.

If you are struggling: STEP BACK. One of the most common reasons for failure is too much, too soon. Take a break, look at what is working and what isn’t, adjust your plan of attack and start again. Most important- whether you reach your goal or not, find the positive impact the experience has had on your life. There will always be one, you just might have to look harder to find it.


Today’s Pic of the day: GARBAGE! What?!? Elgin, IL is a dying city. Our house is surrounded by churches and low income housing, so there is quite a bit of foot traffic and LOTS of littering. This bag of trash was left on the parkway, on the side of our house, Thanksgiving weekend. I decided to see how long it sits there before: a) the city removes it (the parkway IS their property); b) someone rips it open to see if there is anything good inside; or, c) a Good Samaritan carries it away to dispose of it. Status: 6 weeks and counting.