Contentment + Gratitude = Peace

peaceIn light of the current economic recession, I found myself pondering lately on how I’m incredibly blessed to have a stable job, right now. And not only is it stable, I truly feel that with this job, I am being paid for my hobbies, too! To wake up on Monday mornings excited to go to work is something I don’t take lightly. I am grateful that I am not only passionate about the work that I do, but also because I work with people whom I trust and consider friends… a very important factor, I believe. I can honestly say that in the last four years working where I work, I haven’t felt an ounce of stress, at all. Being in the office, in fact, does not feel all that much different from staying at home, either. This is just ridiculously good! Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder how much longer I can get away with it.

But even that’s only the beginning.

The real story I wanted to tell here is what dawned on me, this past couple of days. I realized that I have been debt-free for exactly one year now. Yes!!! I was able to pay off everything I owed right about the time the economy was beginning to falter. After having religiously lived like a broke college student (okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but you know what I mean…) for many years, I was now able to breath freely and… well, not hesitate to fill up the tank and go for a joy ride, every now and then.

But wait… here’s the cherry on top of the whipped cream. Right after my debt was paid off, I set up an automated savings account just so I can get myself back to financial normalcy without having to think about it, all the time. Now, I had forgotten about this account. Yesterday, I decided to give it a look. Well, what do you know? I was surprised to find in there – well, let’s just say a substantial amount I’ve never had before! Just like that! I was like… gee wiz, if not for my occasional trips to Guitar Center (which, by the way, can be hazardous to a struggling musician’s financial health), I would’ve ended up with much more! Haha! Nope, not complaining at all!

Anyhow, I’m not saying this is a lot or even a big deal of a case. Circumstances are obviously different for everyone. But for a single guy who loves the simple life and doesn’t need much (well, sans the occasional musical acquisitions), this is absolutely monumental. Yet, I don’t think my spending habits have changed much at all, after all these years. When you’ve trained yourself to be content out of necessity, contentment eventually becomes a comfortable way of life… even long after necessity has expired. And this goes beyond mere finances, of course! When you are grateful for the littlest things that come your way, trust me, the peace it allows you is simply priceless. And no matter where we’re at in life, isn’t peace what we all crave for, ultimately?

I thought so. Especially, in times like these.

Bullet my blue sky

I’ve been anywhere but here, have I not? I know. But let’s move on, shall we?

Sometimes life can be so slow. Sometimes it passes you by like a bullet, you don’t even know it’s there until it hits something. And then, a moment later you again realize… Whew! It could’ve been you that was hit, but you got lucky perhaps. And then, once again your eyes open… that bullet really may have been meant for you but, for some reason, it missed.

The past three days have been pretty scary for us here in our little town of Cheyenne. We have had tornado warnings after tornado warnings and have spent quite a substantial amount of time in the basement parking lot trying to keep safe instead of working on projects that needed to be finished yesterday. Thank God, we’re still here though. But some folks just a few miles from us in Colorado weren’t so lucky.

I’ve always dreamed of going to China. I could’ve gone anytime. Even now. Then one morning I wake up to read of the devastaion that had occured and the unimaginable amount of casualties. I could’ve been there. I could’ve been one of them.

Life is a moving picture, isn’t it? It changes from one moment to another. Without notice. Sometimes we’re obscure spectators and sometimes we’re the stars of the show. But there is always one constant. Spiritual bullets. They are always cluttering our blue skies like unseen demons roaming back and forth, preying on unsuspecting strangers. But they move so fast we think everything’s fine. Though, it’s just a matter of time until it’s our turn to get hit.

A lot of times though, I see myself dodging unseen bullets that I miss life itself. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my life. It’s just that every now and then, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with fear. For different reasons. I never thought that my divorce was a possibility until it happened, you know. Now, it seems like it’s just a matter of time until another bullet would hit. Would it be small, like those that have hit me many times before? Or, would it be a big fat one that I may not survive it, this time around?

I thirst for peace. But peace can sometimes be elusive. However, just like the bullets, it also roams around looking for unsuspecting strangers to comfort. It’s in the air. And I look for it constantly. And as I do, I realize that I am alive. Lucky, perhaps. Blessed, for sure. It’s a fact, that no matter how many bullets may hit, still life goes on. Forever, really.

This thought reminded me, not of U2’s political song (as this post’s title may have suggested), but of one of my favorite bands of the last 10 years. I just had to play this song today, as it really helps to keep my hopes alive. Not to mention, rock my socks off… on a dismal Sunday! After all, it’s freakin’ 62 degrees outside and I’m sweating like a pig, already!

Anyhow, without further ado, here’s P.O.D with… Alive!

Peace… and the joke of the day

Well, TGIF, first and foremost! As if the last weekend wasn’t long enough. Here we go again with another four-day-no-work marathon. Not that I’m complaining, though. I just have a lot of work piled up on my desk right now, and I can’t wait to get on with these projects, already. Pardon me, but it’s how much I love what I do. 🙂

Right this moment, though… I just got done reading my friend’s latest post in nine months. About time, dude. Now, after having written two posts on excruciatingly heavy topics, I’m ready to crack some of my infamous corny jokes (my ex-wife thinks I’m the king of corn, btw, and I love it). However, Mike never misses to grab my attention by inserting profoundly weird stuff in between his paragraphs, such as… I don’t have it figured out, but it’s a peaceful place to be.

Suddenly, I forget the joke. Great!

Not to accidentally open up a new can of worms, again, I just thought I’d quickly ponder on that little nugget of a line there from ye ol Mike. It is, indeed, very nice to have peace, by choice. To not have to figure things out before you’re able to function. To not have to worry about unanswered questions. Or what other people think. To not have to know what tomorrow will bring. Or, what next year will bring, for that matter. Because you’re confident that whatever happens, and however it happens, that it’s going to be alright. But again, it’s a choice.

So, let’s enjoy today, shall we? And let tomorrow worry about itself.

Hey, didn’t I read that somewhere?

Anyhow, chew on that thought, will ya?

Meanwhile, I’ll go chew some dindin.

Cuz, me so hungry… 🙂