Friday, April 21, 2017

Irrationally Unmotivated

I realized this morning, getting ready for work, that I am unmotivated.

Oh, I have lots of things to do of course.  It is just that there is the increasing sense of moving from one required task to another instead of a purpose and action to them.  Marking time, one might almost call it.

I worry that this stems from a sense of "doing what you have to, blooming where you are planted." Yes, I get the application of that in real life - at the same time, I am wondering if it also can lead to the development of a essentially a programmed life instead of a life lived (The two outcomes are not mutually exclusive).

Every time I get in this state of mind, I have flashes of "initiative", where (mostly out of frustration)  I get aggravated enough to take action.  I say "aggravated" because there is a certain sense that it stems from an emotional area I usually do not find myself dwelling in. Then I suddenly feel guilty that I was this emotional and completely fall back into my previous passive state of mind.

Which gets me nowhere, of course.

In one sense this strikes me as completely ridiculous, this back and forth of passivity interrupted by brief moments of frenzied acivity.  It does not make for a lot of forward progress - but neither do I necessarily feel good about things when I make progress in that state.  To be frank, it feels like I am angry all the time (or perhaps frustrated - but angry is how I feel).

And thus, irrational motivation.  I get motivated, but it is scarcely the sort of thing that seems sustained or even productive in the long term.  Precisely what I do not need, of course: I need the sort of motivation that will be sustainable and will not leave me in a state of constantly feeling guilty or relapse into periods of "maintenance" that will eventually push me back the other way.

It seems a loop as I write this, an endless loop that prevents me from actually making any progress while feeling as if I am either doing "the right thing" or am pushing limits.

If a loop, how do I break it?

If a behavior, how do I modify it?

And if I am guilty when I try to make progress, why is that and where is it coming from?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Dwindling Need for Things

Sometime between last year and this year, we seem to have passed the great divide of Needing More Things.

I am not sure when it happened.  I wish that I could point to a day, a moment, some even that would make the demarcation tangible.  But that simply did not seem to happen.

I can see the evidence of it, of course.  Actual, practical discussions about spending and money.  Edging around the discussion of how we will pay for a retirement and help support college (3 of them, mind you).  Which wonderfully focuses the mind, as it turns out.

Practically speaking, every expense now gets questioned.   Even previously simple tasks like shopping for food becomes a contest in "Why did we buy that?" and "Do we need it?"

It has turned out to be a good personal exercise for me as well.  In a way, refreshing:  I can almost the material desires peeling away from my soul.  The need for money is there, but not the need for things to buy with the money.

My own personal list has dwindled significantly.  The remaining things I want are expensive (mostly iai related) or long term development related (such as bees and a beehive and the land to go with it).  Beyond those types of things and a simple desire for books, there really is not much else.

Well, one thing I suppose: Financial Freedom.  The power to not have to go day after day and do that which matters little to me, and certainly the desire to be free of wagery.

Hmm.  Perhaps then this development is the first step to bigger and better things...

Monday, April 17, 2017


On the whole I avoid talking about or considering current events.  I find that in general it tends to make for either breathless blogging (where every next event is "the great plunge") or blogging that is irrelevant in years to come (for example, read any blog in the last eight years that repeatedly predicted martial law).  And ultimately that is hardly what I am hoping to accomplish here.

That said, something feels afoot in the world. 

We have not been this close to an actual outbreak of hostilities with North Korea in all the years I can remember.  Whether you are for or against, we have re-entered the Syrian Civil War.  Turkey has essentially voted itself willingly into a dictatorship.  And acts of violence seem to have become almost common place in the daily news, to the point of not even causing the slightest stir when we read about them.

Or, as that great philosophy collective Aerosmith once said.  "Something's wrong with the world today, I don't know what it is".

In the back of my mind it feels like a threshold has been crossed, the sort of thing that one only realizes has occurred looking back.  The great events of one's lifetime are almost never started in such a way that one looks and says "Ah, this is it".  For the most part they start as small events, perhaps far away, that only resolve into a the great changing event after time has passed.  Like small rills that turn into large rivers, the source is often only guessed and and intuited, not seen fully.

I have honestly started to look at individual events and say "What if this is the last time I ___?  What if this is the last time I speak to _____?"  I would say that I am working to get my house in order - and it is true - but is some ways getting it in order simply means making do with what we have (for better or worse, we finally seem to have turned the corner on the acquisition of things and are starting to move the other way).

There is a rather unreal peace about this entire thing, oddly enough.  In one very real sense I have been confronted (rather visibly, as it were) that He is ultimately in control of everything in my life; in the other, there is an acknowledgement that all of these events are far beyond any ability of mine to influence.  What will come will come; my job is to face it head-on.

All civilizations crumble and die of course, but up to this point we have only had these happen regionally.  For the first time ever, we have the opportunity to observer (perhaps unfortunately firsthand) the decline and fall of a global civilization.  An unsettling thought indeed.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Now Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–10; John 20:1–8after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene Matt. 27:56, 61and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:12an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. Dan. 7:9; 10:6; Mark 9:3; John 20:12; Acts 1:10His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like Rev. 1:17dead men.
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, Hos. 6:2; Ps. 16:10; 49:15; Matt. 12:40; 16:21; 17:23; 20:19as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed Matt. 26:32; 28:10, 16; Mark 16:7He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 
And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Mark 16:9; John 20:14Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell Ps. 22:22; John 20:17; Rom. 8:29; (Heb. 2:11)My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
- Matthew 28:  1-10, NKJV