It is so easy to take even the simplest things for granted.  I took a shower this morning and I had to remind myself this was something I should be grateful for.  For fifteen years not that long ago the house I lived in did not have a shower just a bath tub.  That was the big thing when we traveled — the motel always had a shower.  I forgot about that and silently thanked God for my shower.  It is so easy to take even the smallest freedoms for granted–like being able to take a shower in your house.

My Eulogy

Writing our own eulogy is our latest exercise in our small writing group “Inklings”.  I really am balking at doing this exercise.  I am finding this to be a very difficult thing to do.

I guess I am afraid my life has been in vain–just an exercise in futility.  My life is an illusion.  I like to think I matter to others but maybe I don’t.  Maybe the only person I make a difference to is my wife (and no one beyond that).

I write about things that matter to me and maybe that is an exercise in futility, too.  I really don’t know.  I am afraid to write my eulogy.  I can not listen to my own eulogy although if I could I am not sure I would want to.

I am not sure anyone would come to my funeral.  I’d like to think at least one person namely my wife and two kids who are young adults would notice my passing.

Anyway, it has taken me several paragraphs to get here.  Despite my reluctance I will attempt to write my eulogy.

I like to think that after I die some of my words I have written (thousands) would inspire someone out there.  I would like to think I have earned the respect of people and would be considered a kind person.  And maybe I do not deserve that reputation although I would like to think I have.

I like to believe there would be a celebration of a life well spent.  That most of the memories I left behind would be good ones.

I do not know whether I will live to the day that I will have grandchildren.  It still may happen.  If so, I hope I will leave them a legacy behind–something for them to aspire to.  I want others to believe never to give up no matter how difficult your situation has become.  Perhaps my struggle with my bipolar illness will give others hope if they had to deal with a mental illness.  There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

I want others to laugh at some of the words I have written.  Humor is important.  One should never forget to laugh at oneself.  Never take yourself too important.  I hope others will occasionally come across some of my humorous poetry and laugh.

May I have imparted to my children how beautiful this world really is.  A sense of wonder is a legacy I would be proud to have imparted.

Maybe I can sum up in one sentence the legacy I would hope I have imparted to others:  to be able to laugh, to see the beauty in the commonplace, to never give up whatever your difficulties and to learn to love those around you.

If that is part of the memories most of the people who I have left behind have of me I would be proud and would feel my life has been well spent.

I Just Felt Bad

Author: siggy

I just felt bad.  I had gone on a rant about the disorder in this house, all the things that I never wanted to come in this house especially the “stuff” we brought back from Austin when her Mom died.  It filled two rooms and a garage.  Our house was full of stuff.  There was also the “chaos” room.

Also months ago my wife had discovered a web site for people to exchange stuff they did not want.  It appeared that for every one thing that went out three things came in.

Her face had dropped after my ten minute rant.  I had a major hand in souring her mood.  I wish I could take my words back.  I just felt bad.  I discounted totally the effort she had made in getting rid of some of the stuff.  I just made her feel bad.

A marriage is built (or town down) one piece at a time.  The large things come along only once in awhile.  Everything in a marriage has to be worked out:  who cooks, pays the bills, is in charge of the finances–every detail between the two of you has to be worked out.

If you can not agree about the details, your marriage is in trouble.  In every solid marriage, really an miniature organization, most of the details over the years have been worked out and there is a minimum of discord.

In unresolved conflict, you fight about almost everything and your marriage is in danger.  Every detail between the two of you has to be resolved–at least most of them in order for your marriage to run smoothly.

I like what Scott Peck says in one of his books, ‘People get married for the friction.’  Can you think of a more common institution to change you than marriage?  A marriage is forged degree by degree.

Thinking you are perfectly normal all the time is not always a good thing.  You can create havoc around you all the time.  You have no realization of your faults.

For one thing normality is a myth.  No one is perfectly normal.  Every one is imperfect.  Every one is a snowflake.  God never created the same person twice.

You really need to be aware how you come across to others–your idiosyncrasies, then you can compensate for your behavior around others.

If you think you are perfectly normal, you can discount your behavior towards others and have no idea the damage you can causing (???) towards others.

Wasn’t it Socrates that said many eons ago “Know yourself”?  The better you know yourself (???) you, the better you can judge the impact you are having on others.  And change accordingly.

Your growth is stunted when you can not tolerate even the slightest degree of criticism.  You feel you must be perfect in order to be loved.  And everyone is flawed.

Having to feel you must be a “nice” person all the time is not a good thing.  It prevents you from being real.  Being genuine is knowing you can make mistakes and those around you will still love you.

When you can not tolerate even the slightest degree of criticism, others have to walk delicately around you.  Others have a harder time being genuine around you.

There really is nothing wrong with being “nice” but the question is at what price?  If it is all the time, something is wrong.

You become afraid of others seeing how you really are.  You have to let down your shields at least with some people.  When you truly feel loved, this become easier.

When you can not tolerate any one being critical the slightest degree, you are handicapped at work, at home and in your significant relationships.  In every area.

It is a long uphill journey to correct the damage usually caused during childhood.  And a lot of people make it back successfully and learn to love and be loved.  There is always hope.

I always thought there would be tomorrows but now I am not sure.  My visits with my doctor made me realize this so I decided to plan the trip to San Francisco I have wanted to do since the late sixties.

I do not know what my fascination with San Francisco is but I have wanted to go there for forty years.  I want to go in style:  I will take a “sleeper” on Amtrak with my wife from Chicago to San Francisco next spring.

“The California Zephyr” goes across the United States:  I have always loved trains and they are my favorite form of public transportation.  I have almost six months to plan out this trip in next April.

I do not want to put off this trip any longer.  Who knows what the time will bring?  ‘Time is indeed a vapor’ in the words of King Solomon from the Old Testament.

What True Courage Is

Author: siggy

What is true courage?  Others will have all different definitions of courage.  I will suggest just a few.  It is getting up and facing your day and proceeding when your outlook is dismal when everything is “black” to you and hoping against hope things will improve in your life.

It is trying something new for you are hoping for change and change often occurs in small degrees at a time.

It is facing your partner when things have turned sour and you are not too hopeful it will ever turn around.

It is having kids when your finances are uncertain, secure in the fact you will do whatever it takes to raise them properly.

There are so many definitions of what I call quiet courage that occur every day and these are just a few and I might continue this list another time.

The litmus test of a healthy marriage is humor:  can you still laugh together and at one another.  When a marriage goes sour you lose your sense of humor.  There is always hope if you can laugh at one another.  So think of that when you judge the health of your marriage:  can you still laugh at one another?  Humor is always the key.

“All you want from me is sex and scrabble”!? my wife declared in frustration.  I thought that was a funny list.  ?Scrabble.  Hell, traditionally males have complained about that three letter word going out first.

I lasted that long huh?!  Anyway, I had to laugh at that list.  There are things to me far more important than that–the clutter and other things that have driven me crazy almost more than the lack of the word that will remain nameless since everyone will know what I am referring to.

There have been countless “NO!”‘s you uttered to me in the short time.

Sex is only one request of many

We have known each other

Only a few years

But forever to me

You simply pretend  you did not hear me again for the umpteen time or you have heard the requests so many times so you have become blind to them or now simply you ignore them

Requests I ask you get lost in the infinite clutter and chatter

(and I am sure she will make the same claims:  “You don’t listen to me.  You never hear me!”)

I still have to laugh at the original statement.  All I (???) want from me is sex and scrabble

Really ?scrabble

And ?!sex

The time we spend doing that

Is really a drop in a bucket

Of the time spent together

I must be the crazy male

Just tearing out my hair

Excuse me I do not have much


I guess we have been

Married too long

This is the longest seven

Years of my life


I guess all wives drive their

Husband crazy

I am just one

Of a long line

At least that is

What my doctor says

Every time I pass that house only a mile away I look and search for the owner’s goats.  Today I saw something extraordinary:  a baby completely black and only a few weeks old perched on top of the shoulders of its ?mom feeding near the fence.  I had never seen a baby goat do that and I had never seen a completely black goat–two extraordinary things.  When I passed there an hour later neither goat was to be found.  You never know for sure what you are going to see.  I await expectantly for my next find.

Things really don’t matter.  When it comes down to it, material possessions don’t matter.  Sure, we ought to take care of them when we are here on this earth.  We can’t take them with us when we die.

So what really matters if it is not things?  And what is really left when the Lord takes us?  The love we have shared with one another.  The memory others have of us after we go.

So why do we spend so little time on developing our relationships with others while we are here?

I do not really have an answer to that.  Except our priorities seem to be skewed.  When everything is taken from us what is left even when we can’t get around so well as often happens when we get up there in age?

Maybe the time and love we have shared with others and spent developing during our lifetime.  Our roots with one another.  Why do some people spend so little time on that?!  I am as guilty as others.

In poor countries with a lot less than we have some people appear to be a lot happier then we are surrounded by wealth.  It is just some food for thought.

Happiness is not commensurate with wealth otherwise Americans would be at the top of the list.  And they are not.