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I Can Do Crazy

January 21, 2008

Last week’s craziness is behind me. I say craziness because I am not one who likes to have too many things crammed into one week. I like to take it easy, maybe have a meeting and a dinner out or a movie. That’s enough excitement for me. So to have THAT much to do, even though a lot of them were fun or at least fairly easy things, is just more than I can handle.

I get tense. I get that way without even recognizing it at first. I don’t sleep well, I’m tired, I’m cranky, and I just have a general feeling of dread. I kept looking forward to the end of the week, hoping somehow I could just sneak over to it and skip all the effort. Then I catch myself and realize what’s going on.

I remember once saying at work, as we often do, “arrgh! I can’t wait for this week to be over!”  A coworker quickly asked “Why? You in a hurry to be older?”   That was the first time someone had put it to me that way. And it made sense to me.  Since that time of course I’ve met Kelly and have tried to put into practice a lot of what I have learned through her blog and through osmosis. One such tidbit is to be present, to be “in the now”.  I have not read the book yet, and I know that my understanding barely scratches the surface of what there is to be learned. But it was still helpful to me last week.

Once I caught myself, I started to live moment by moment. I tried to stop worrying about “I hope it doesn’t snow on the way to London!” and “I hope the Autoshow is not too busy” and “I hope the traffic isn’t too bad going to the hockey game” I was worrying about things out of my control. And worst of all, I was not enjoying the moment I was in, too worried about what was going to happen a few days or a week later. Instead,  I forced myself to focus on today, right now.

As a result I was able to completely enjoy the events I attended. Sure there were little hitches, but so what. I was healthy, happy and there to enjoy it. I wish I could tell you I was completely stress free, but that would be a big fat lie. Despite my best efforts, I still subconsciously held onto some of the anxiety and a bit of the sense of dread. It was below the surface, and reared its head at the end of last week as the beginnings of my friend “Mr. Ulcer”  I haven’t had my ulcer act up in a very long time. Probably almost two years. Well, since the last time there was talk of downsizing at work. Oh yeah that. That was the icing on the cake last week. More on that in another post.

So, the events. The North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit is always a good time. I get to go for work every year, and as a bonus I get to attend during Industry Preview days. This means it’s less crowded and almost all the cars are unlocked so you can crawl through them if you are so inclined.  One of my coworkers sat in every single Jaguar on the floor.  The Lamborghinis were off limits however, being guarded by these scary looking types:

lamborghini.jpg

Another favorite of mine was a concept Dodge Grand Caravan R/T. As you may know, I drive a converted Grand Caravan, but this one had a little more kick to it. Hood scoop, dual chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch wheels and Brembo brakes. Yessir, I like it. No word on the 0-60 times yet. But if I have to drive a minivan, this might be the one for me.

caravan-rt.jpg

I also liked the Lexus LFA Roadster Concept. Just because.

lfa-roadster.jpg

Then of course there was the hockey game on Thursday. I have season tickets to the Red Wings, but I don’t go that often any more. Almost all of the tickets are sold well ahead of time to an acquaintance. I keep 4 or 5 games per year. This one was Vancouver vs. Detroit. One of my buddies is a Vancouver fan, so he came. Another buddy is a Detroit fan, so I had to bring him to balance things out. And the fourth guy, he’s a Toronto fan, so he wore a Canuck jersey, just to be a jerk. (SO like a maple leaf fan eh?). The game was a close one, tied 2-2 at the end of regulation. Overtime did not resolve anything, so we went on to a shoot-out. I’ve never been to game that ended this way. It was very exciting, with the whole crowd standing in anticipation. The Wings won it 3-2.

Afterwards the four of us and four more buddies who were also at the game came back to Windsor and met up downtown for a “boys night out” I assure you a good time was had by all. I did not roll into bed until 3am.  The next day however, my body wished to remind me that I am way too old to stay up that late and/or drink that much. But no matter, small price to pay for blowing off that kind of steam. And the guys are already looking forward to next time. And honestly, so am I.  Just not too soon. Let’s not get too crazy.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. An Ordinary Man permalink
    January 22, 2008 3:43 am

    I can’t quite agree about ‘now’; to be absolutely ‘present’ is merely to be ‘aware’. The examples you suggest. ” Why. You in a hurry to be older?’ Personally I would rather live to be a very old person that experienced life, than to perish as a young person or to perpetually pursue youth. The questions you asked about snow on the way to London, will the Auto Show be busy, traffic driving to the hockey game, making them conscious illustrates that ‘now’ does not banish them. ‘now’ makes you aware they may or will exist and ‘aware’ these circumstances must be meet “now with awareness.” The lovely idea of existing only ‘now’ is only possible in controlled environments or as part of a process. The process is life, ‘now’ is a tool to solve the immediate problems we are ‘aware’ of … what may be worth consideration is the integration of time; past , present, future, as a balance, the past is an anchor and teacher, the present is ‘now’, the future is a projection of past and present.
    Thinking of past, present, and future is a useful conceptual technique,
    but ultimately they must be appropriately joined and balanced.
    We must understand how the past affects us, we should keep the
    present full of rich and satisfying experiences, and we should devote
    some energy each day to building for the future. Just as a river can be
    said to have parts that cannot be clearly divided, so too should we
    consider the whole of our time when deciding how to spend our lives.
    These are not original thoughts, but rather very ordinary thoughts that many share and are written and spoken about by many people, I have always been very careful about not thinking anything Sacred, but ordinary, the Sacred is for the Divine and thus rather unobtainable; the ordinary is for us 🙂

  2. January 22, 2008 4:09 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I dislike when people say “Wow, it’s already the end of Janurary, can you believe how fast this year is going already?” I am very aware of my age and how much I have already lived and how that is so much more than I could humanly continue to live on this other side of my life. So, Yes, I want to be in the here and now and enjoy as much of it as I possibly can. That may be why you see me taking on so many new things (quilting, sketching, painting, etc…) added to what I already do…wanting to learn more, do more, experience more, enjoy more, and why I am committed to staying as healthy as I can so I can enjoy it all. I too do not want to spend too much time worrying about those things I cannot change…and to relax and get through the stressful parts as easily as possible, still being aware/conscious, knowing that the bad stuff passes eventually and good normally follows.

    I’m glad you had fun at your hockey game, I hope your job is secure, and I am glad you are having a happy relationship with Kelly. Life is good.
    Stay here now and enjoy it all.

  3. January 24, 2008 2:47 pm

    You know, Sylvain, I love those times when I am completely open to whatever is taking place without bringing preconceived notions along as baggage. Just as you noted in your description, the little glitches which might take one into fretting are just part of the flow if you are really there with all your heart. They are the seasoning to make the adventure taste perfectly the way it is supposed to!

    It reminds me of a software installation I was helping with many years ago–so long ago that the computer was a behemoth and the folks using it were connected with dumb terminals, not PCs. It was a very complex system, and I was along because I had written part of the system which was an optional additional purchase, and this was the first customer to buy it.

    As the senior installer was working on getting everything up and running, one install step basically blew up on him. I’m sure I had a look on my face which conveyed how afraid I was to see this happening, and the guy who I was working just started laughing. He said, “Wow! I have never seen it do that before!”

    I was horrified that he would say that in front of the customer, but it somehow made the customer relax, as he figured the installer wasn’t worried, so why should he be? Sure enough, he got the install back on track in a matter of less than an hour, and we completed our job and were on the plane back to Denver the next day.

    When I asked him about it at dinner that night, he said that he had long ago learned that computers work best (and life, too!) if one just relaxes into the moment. So, he laughs at glitches, and they seem to vanish as if disrespected.

    Thanks for reminding me of this long-forgotten tale of my early days beginning to learn about this thing called Life.

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