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Showing posts from 2018

Being Lost

I *ahem* resolved to write a 2018 year in review. I wanted to lay out a post outlining all of the lessons I have learned, the trials and tribulations, and the growth I have experienced over the last year. That would have been an interesting blog indeed. This year, while tragic and awful, has worked a change in me that is perhaps the most easily noticeable of my entire life.
I am not ready to write that post. I am not reflecting with a compassionate eye over the past 12 months. I am mourning. I am lamenting. I wish I could say that I am smiling for this time tomorrow where 2018 will pass officially into memory. The truth is that I have little hope for 2019 being any different.
Time is an illusion. The way we mark seconds, hours, days, weeks, months, and years is simply a way for the arrogant human brain to define their own interactions. If it could be said," I ate lunch 4 inches after breakfast and supper 4 inches later," the same purpose would be served. There is no mystic p…

Writing Reality

I am huge fan of animated shows. I love Family Guy, Archer, Bob's Burgers, Futurama, American Dad, South Park,  and most of all Rick and Morty. You may notice that The Simpsons is absent from this list. Growing up, Mom did not allow me to watch the Simpsons. Unlike most things, I did not rebel against this as soon as I was out on my own. I just don't enjoy the show.
For those of you that may or may not know, The Simpsons have several times predicted the future. The predictions vary from Lady Gaga's performance at a Superbowl to Donald Trump becoming president and even things as simple as smart watches. Google it. Some of the results are spooky and cool.
Family guy also has successfully made future predictions. Stewie commented on Bruce Jenner being a "elegant, beautiful woman," years before the transition took place. A cutaway scene joked about the X-man character Iceman being gay. It is this last "prediction" that has me really thinking about things.

A…

The Condiment Placebo

It is now 12 days until Christmas in a season I am working hard not to celebrate. The one echoing emotion that slaps me in the head multiple times a day every single day is that I really miss my Mom. She was such a strong structuring influence in my life, and there are days I just feel lost without her there to advise me, console me, or give me a really sharp kick in my ass. I need the latter more often than I care to admit. The good news is my Mom did her job really well. I am prepared to be without her.
Parents, please take note of this idea:
Your one purpose in life is to get your children ready to live their lives well in a world without you.  I hope not to fail in that mission. If I succeed in any small fashion for my girls, mine will be a life well lived.  I find myself, like everyone else, stressed about the normal ebb and flow in life. I try to keep as much as I can under control. I budget carefully. I try to stay ahead of the daily troubles like laundry and dirty dishes. I wor…

Humans: Proper Care and Handling

I am a profoundly stupid human. Many of the truths, realizations, and epiphanies that I share in my blog are coming to me in middle age. A smarter, more capable human would have learned these lessons younger and through less trial and error than I have.
Tonight as I came home I realized that I am a poor human trainer. I do a poor job of setting clear limits and expectations. I am often frustrated with poorly trained companions. Upon reflection on this problem, I have realized that I am to blame for this. I am even stupid enough to compromise things that I am not at all willing to accept.
Each set of interactions between two people constitute a give and take that make up the accepted behaviors for the relationship. Let's say that one of those people has a habit of blasphemy because of their Atheistic beliefs. If the other person is offended by the use of the blasphemy but says nothing then they have given implied consent for the blasphemies to continue. A polite request to not use …

The Distance Problem

Brace yourselves, kids, this one is probably going to get emotional, intimate, and uncomfortable for everyone. Have you ever found yourself fighting with someone you love? If you can honestly answer no to this I need you to email me right now, cantrellwrites@gmail.com, and give me the method by which you live your life. Seriously, write the email. Share your zen knowledge. I won't publish it on here or anything.
Anywho, I have been in several different types of loving relationships that involve conflict. Each different one has its own problems. They all share one type of problem in common. That problem is distance. It can be as small as the air between the two people sitting next to each other on the couch or a gulf of space that feels like the distance between Uranus and the Sun. The distance can be literal or metaphorical. It is always a problem.
Having reached the ripe of age of 38, I have seen this problem from several different sides. When I was a child and I found myself dis…

Welcome to the Desert of the Real

"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more."

Morpheus makes this pretty little speech in The Matrix and for the past (almost) twenty years the internet has quoted, misquoted, speculated, fantasized, and made memes about it. The image and its accompanying idea is powerful. The life you have been living is not real, but you can change and wake up in the real world. Now I am borrowing this scene to make my own point. 

I have been blessed to find myself playing Morpheus a time or two. More often than not I am standing in Neo's shoes (metaphorically speaking since Neo was sitting in a chair at the time.) The problem with the metaphor is swallowing the red or blue pill is a choice we all have to make multip…

Eliminate Distraction

The last week or so has been wonderful and terrible all at the same time. I have connected more with worthwhile people. I have also felt vulnerable and lost. Vulnerable is not my best thing in some ways.
I often allow myself to be emotionally or professionally vulnerable. Maybe force myself is a more accurate term. By exposing the raw feelings and inner workings of David, I allow people to get to know me in a deeper and more intimate way. This often garners trust and respect. Those are currencies worth trading in. Almost no one wants facade or bullshit. I hold a real, honest monster in much higher regard than I do a hero that hides their true intentions.  Sometimes my blog is a really intimate look at my heart. More often it shows off the cold calculation in my brain with a little tiny speck of my heart represented if you read really, really carefully. When my friend Christy read my blog she criticized," I like it. It shows a lot about your thoughts. It doesn't tell me much o…

Cantrell's Law of Conservation of Energy

I am so big on rules and strategies. I consider myself a student of life. I pay close attention to the cause and effect of the universe. From these observations, I have formulated my own translation of the Law of Conservation of Energy. This "law" is a foundation upon which many of my other rules are based. Before I dive into the philosophical drives and gears lets take a moment to deal with physics. Per Wikipedia (because I am lazy and don't want to write out my own definitions): "In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant, it is said to be conserved over time. This law means that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another." This is the idea that the dinosaurs perished and over time became crude oil. Oil is then chemically refined into gasoline. The gasoline is pumped into the tank of my Yamaha. This produces accel…

Holiday Humbuggery and Riding in the Wet and Cold.

Life has been interesting of late. I have found myself at these keys several times looking at the blank page of a new post and completely unable to choose what to write about. Often, I have some overall theme in mind for my posts like one of my Rules or a situation that is on my mind that demands commentary. Fleshing out one of those ideas is extremely easy.
This type of post, the general status update, for me is more difficult. I don't want to ramble aimlessly. I also don't want to preamble too much, like I am right now. When I have several things weighing on my mind organization is the most difficult thing.
Let us start with the title of the post. If you go back and read my more holiday related posts from the past you may catch a glimpse of the idea that I am not a big fan of the holiday season. Starting a week or so before Halloween I begin craving the second week of January. I have felt this way for years. It isn't that I hate the idea of the holidays, spending time wi…

Do not deal in the trivial

The reason that I upkeep an ever-evolving list of rules is to constantly improve upon the strategy that I apply to live my life. I believe that life is a zealous teacher. You either pay attention to the lessons you are forcibly taught or you will be taught a much more aggressive and painful lesson. While I do not believe in avoiding pain (a different rule for another post on another day), I do my best to take my hurts effectively the first time through.
I have been really struggling with a whole list of small niggling type problems. My larger issues still exist and I am working on addressing them methodically. Still, I feel very overwhelmed all the time because I am constantly battling every little frustrating nuisance that comes my way. This is a very effective trick of the devil. He is in the details after all.
At times it seems as if I am beset on all sides. I turn my back to put out a fire and a snake bites me on the ankle. I turn to treat that wound and someone takes the opportun…