My Perception, My Reality

As much as I want to shout against my perceived injustice by my lot in life and parts of the government, I am reminded of the old saying that "My Perception is My Reality."  Once I put those feelings, observations, thoughts and reactions to events into my brain housing group, they become my reality.  Some time when you have a few moments to spare, read about how it takes a pretty significant emotional event to change the way people feel.  I call this the Popeye effect - "I Yam what I Yam!"  

Today there was an article in the Parade Magazine about how to have a happy family.  I would say that it was about 50/50 right and wrong - for me.  I grew up poor and while there were times we sat down to a nice home cooked meal, there were a lot of times we just got a bowl or a plate of whatever mom made and ate it wherever.  I don't think I was motivated by pretty food, I was fueled by lots of good food - most of it edible.  Breakfast was mostly a catch as catch can at our house.  My mother loved to cook but hated to do dishes.  If she could cook it all in one pot, so much the better.  A pot of beans, chili, pork chops in a Spanish Rice casserole were served as a lot of dinners.  

One thing that was apparent from early was that if I wanted money to spend, I needed to get out and earn it.  I mowed lawns, cleaned windows, washed cars, delivered papers and as soon as I had a license, I worked in Gas Stations.  If I wanted to have a car, it was my expense and I had to make sure that Dad got insurance money on a fairly regular basis. (Dad didn't always collect the money for insurance as I remember)  

My father was not very loved by his mother and I'm pretty sure that he had a lot of reasons to not be very affectionate to his children.  On the other hand, my mother was the earth mother and a kiss and a hug could be had about anytime it was needed.  Her mother was about the same.  I can say that Erma and Virginia were pretty much what you see is what you get.  They were open and loving and most of us felt that love. 

One time I mentioned to my Uncle that my Dad always felt that his mother was not very loving and that she gave my uncle a lot more affection than she did to dad.  He was really shocked that  Dad felt that way.  He felt that his mother didn't know how to show love to the children and times were tough when they were growing up.  I won't go as far as to call it abuse but won't stop too far from emotional neglect.  I have listened to tales of during the depression my Grandfather would take his bucket of paints and brushes out in the morning and when he came home what he earned was supper.  He was a sign painter and a lot of his work was bartered for food.  I didn't get to know either of my grandfathers so I can't even begin to speculate about their effects on the family. 

One thing I did feel the article hit a home run on was the point that most of the family fights are about money. I promise you that once you have your house paid for and that big nut each month goes away, life backs off a notch on the anger scale.  In spite of my degree in business, the reality of a budget and spending towards a goal didn't come to me early.  It was not missed by my wife.  I always wondered why she had to have a balance in the check book.  The bigger the better to her.  I would have had a new car, a boat and vacations at the lake often but she was a lot more conservative and I am far better off for it.  Now that I am a lot more near to end than the beginning of my life, I am darned sure that I will want for little except a longer life.

I lied right there.  I feel that I have lived a full life and in spite of a few intense moments in Vietnam and illnesses in the VA Hospital I have been blessed with more happiness than I deserve.  My goal is to slide into my grave, dirty, worn out and shouting Ya Hoo!  It wouldn't hurt if I could be there a day or two before the Devil knows I'm gone.  I plan to spend a few days at Fiddler's Green and drink a canteen cup of grog with my old friends.  I'm sure that there will be tales told and retold with a few made up.  

I have everything I need, most of what I want, money in the bank and a WalMart nearby.   Hope you can find the thing that makes you happy.

Morocco with my life partner, Barb


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