Three Monkeys

Three Monkeys

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bruce stopped me in my tracks

When Scout and I walk we move at a pretty quick pace. It’s a slow run for me, and it’s a quick walk for her. She has a little arthritis in her back end and a quick consistent pace makes it a more pleasant walk for her. I think it’s the momentum. That’s okay with me because it gets my heart rate up for the entire length of our walk.

She’s focused. We have a path. We’re familiar with all the smells, or rather she’s familiar with all the smells, so there’s not a lot of lollygagging. Our path includes a steep hill. She runs up and I try to keep up. The biped never wins.

That said, every now and then we’ll be moving along and she’ll come across a smell that will stop her in her tracks. Nose to the ground. Stop. 65 canine pounds of sudden stop; me, attached to the leash, arm pulled out of the socket. Stop. The end.

I don’t mind. It's her time. She should be allowed to "stop and smell the roses," but I wonder what crossed the path. A new dog in the neighborhood? Wildlife? A message she’s been waiting for? Not a new term, but one of my favorites: peemail from a canine friend?

I’m in the middle of planning our shelter’s big event. I’m on a walk with a good stride. It’s my 4th year of planning this event so it’s a familiar path. I’m running up the hills and moving at a quick pace. We’re a week out. I’m not doing much but working. I won’t be doing any social events this week, my TV won’t be turned on, news will be forgotten. I’m event focused.

Then last night a co-worker said this to me, “Did you see where Bruce Jenner is becoming a woman?”

I stopped.


Bruce Jenner becoming a woman. The news stopped me in my tracks. 128 pounds of suddenly stopping. Nose to the ground, getting the facts, processing the information, peemail, snail mail, smell mail, etc.

Bruce Jenner. Bruce Jenner the heartthrob of the1976 Olympics. I remember like it was yesterday watching him run, feathered hair flying in the wind. I was 18. Mesmerized by the man-ness. Boys in my town did not look like that. I was suddenly aware of the big wide world. It was a good day. Probably all hormonal, but still a good day.

Dogs possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us. And the part of a dog's brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours. So maybe Scout smells new worms, cats in the neighborhood, a disturbance in the force. I don’t know. But I do realize there are moments that constitute stopping us in our tracks.
I guess if I'm going to live in the big wide world I have to be prepared for sudden nose to the ground stops. Sniff it out and then move on and run up the big hill. My 18 year old self wants Bruce to stay who he is so my memories can stay in tact. Not fair I know. Not possible, I know even more. Life changes every day. I'm good with change as life moves forward. But what do we do with the changes to our past? The changes that have the ability to alter our memories?

Bruce can be whoever he wants to be. Power to everyone to live their lives the way they want to live their lives as long as they’re not hurting anyone else. But I've got to stop and sniff on this one a bit longer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Want it? Walk away from it.

I recently read we have access, without trying, to 5,000 advertisements a day. That seems like a crazy high number. Then I started thinking about all the ways ads come to us.

The internet alone could very well provide us with 5,000 ads a day.  How many ads pop up on our screen every time we’re online? Facebook easily gives us thousands. 

Cross-promoting. My bank is now doing something with Apple. So every time I do online banking I get an ad for Apple.

Then there are print ads, magazines, things that still come in snail mail. My grocery store tracks what I buy and sends me coupons for those items.

Billboards (not the electronic kind) – ah, I love the billboards for their simplicity. They’re the least intrusive. They’re random, they don’t track me or my purchases. They can only show me one ad at a time; big and static and there; entertaining me while I sit at stoplights. Although while driving cross-country they annoyed me by interfering with the landscape. Wall Drug anyone? But I digress.

So I’m wondering about the origin of the desire and action of everything I’ve recently purchased. Was it something I really needed and came to the conclusion to buy on my own? Or was a seed planted that I subconsciously nurtured until it grew into a purchase.

Somewhere along our over-consumerism way we stopped purchasing for necessity and started purchasing for want. I am guilty. I have something, but I want a better one. I recently bought a new bed. Really really needed a new bed. Old one was 20+ years. It was time and justifiable. I have a computer. Want (don’t need) a new computer. And don’t get me started on smart phones. iPhone 6 Plus anyone?

I get it. Our wants have advanced us from living in caves. I get all of that. I’m talking about us as individual consumers.

I will make an effort to track my consumer desires. I will raise my defenses against the attack on my subconscious. I will silence the “want” demons by identifying them as not a need. 

Next time you're buying something stop and ask yourself if it's something you need or only want. If you really don't need it, don't buy it. Put it back on the shelf and walk away. You'll feel good about that.

I love the idea of a life filled only with things I need. It feels very honest.

There are many causes out there that will benefit from the money we don’t spend on wants. Organizations are feeding the hungry, caring for animals, helping villages get clean water, vaccinating children, educating women. There is a very long list of organizations that are 100% donation funded. Pick your cause and donate. Be a good steward of the earth. That my friend is money well spent. It’ll make you feel better about yourself than any new smart phone ever will.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I don't know...

I don't know what happened to my recent posts and my photo. I do know I tried to change my blog template/format, and I thought I had succeeded. Oh my. Everything is gone. I did save some of my posts to my computer, but some I did not. <heavy sigh>

Technology is not necessarily my mortal enemy (at least not on the scale of Comcast) but we do battle once in awhile. When I'm in the battle alone I usually lose.

In the first years of iPhone my friend said it was like "science fiction in your pocket." I agree. Think about all the things our smart phones do. If you're anywhere near my age, and you recall when we all brought answering machines into our homes, you have to admit smart phones are pretty amazing, and intimidating.

Iemail, itext, iphone, icamera, itunes, iapp; I do all the basics. That's about it. I'm not brave or confident on the technology front. I have an iMac and I've been thinking about getting a laptop. The thought of that venture causes me to hyperventilate.
Every time I do a software upgrade I take a deep breath and accept the fact I could lose every contact, photo and song; that some things may work differently and I'll never be able to figure them out.

Setting up this blog was me and a friend of mine. It was me sitting in a chair beside him while he was at the keyboard. My contribution to that effort was keeping his wine glass full.

So when I went forth on my own to change my blog format, well, that was out of character for me. Yet now that I've done that it almost makes me more brave. I lost stuff. So what. I start again. Pretty much the theme of my life: start again, try again, do it wrong, do it right, try again, and again.