Friday, June 19, 2009

Sad Realities

I have a lot of fun staying in touch with my friends on Facebook. It's a great way to keep track of everyone you knew in second grade and, hey, who doesn't love damage controlling an inappropriate photo-tag?

Over the past month or so, and maybe this is because I have like 700 friends so the sample size is large enough to reveal trends (shut it, inner marketing geek, this is my blog - it's my time!), a few things have become really evident via status updates. 1.) Mondays suck. 2.) Wednesdays don't suck. 3.) We live for Fridays and weekends. 4.) Love bites, love bleeds. 5.) It's bringing me to my knees.

As Americans, what does this say about us? I wonder if I like spoke Icelandic and had lots of Icelandic friends if the translations would be the same? (Note: Ask my Swedish friend Caro to assess, even though Sweden isn't Iceland.) Are we really so stuck in a rut? I must admit, I feel this way often. Work is just one dimension of me, and while I seek a perpetual outlet or machine for the application of my developed skills, I have to pause and ponder why I am even motivated.

I think the answer to that is that by nature, I'm optimistic. I truly believe we chart our own course by our mental outlook, and that our actions are controlled by our subconscious behavioral default. I also believe we can reprogram ourselves, though it is my personal experience that we're typically only successful in these efforts when we truly recognize and seek the value of a behavioral change.

As Americans, we're very fortunate to live in a culture that affords us the opportunity to seek so much character development. Most people on the globe don't experience this luxury. I am routinely surrounded by people in both my professional and personal life (to me, it's the same thing but I note it because it's relevant) who thumb their nose and model a "Not good enough" attitude. And honestly, it irks me. Especially when I recognize its manifestation in myself.

I read stories like this, and I am ashamed of myself for ever complaining about anything, or insisting something be perfect. I don't know whether or not it's the very stark reality that there's enough research data to differentiate plane crash patterns based on the anatomical effects on victims, or the harrowing recognition of what it might be like to "hit a brick wall," or the overwhelming sympathy or empathy I feel for the families of the victims that makes me feel so insignificant. But it does. It's gruesome, and it's brutal, and it forces me to address the things that really matter to me in my life.

I am grateful for every Monday I paddle out to greet, every Wednesday that fills me with promise as I stand up on the board, and every Friday that thrills me as I ride the wave in.

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