* Today at school was a less-than-spectacular day.. some days are better than others and if you throw an irate parent into the mix, it can make for a long day.
* I really detest paperwork. I know it is a necessary part of my job, but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable.
* I can lose my patience and temper with an uncooperative internet or computer situation faster than at any other time… Continued frustration at the website I have to use to record grades led me to say a few “choice words” this evening
* I need to do some serious housecleaning over the next four days.
* Sunday we have to set our clocks ahead one hour… it takes a while to get used to… I have been getting out of bed earlier and getting to work sooner this week in preparation for the change in time over this next weekend.
* I purchased a Suzanne Vega CD that was just released and can honestly say that she has become on of my favorite artists.
* I didn’t watch American Idol any this week and the world still seems to working fine without having seen it.
* There are 62 student days of school left in my teaching career.
* I am going to go to Gastonia Saturday afternoon to meet with a foster parent of a German Shepherd dog. If things go well, I may actually be able to get the paperwork done and bring her home with me that day.
* I realize how much of computer time was spent on FB because now the checking of emails and certain websites takes just a few minutes.
* What a beautiful Saturday it’s going to be ,,, current temperature is 38 degrees with blue skies and sunshine,,, springtime can’t be far behind
* Speaking of springtime, next Sunday is the day we must bite the bullet and set our clocks ahead one hour.
* Nothing quite beats a livermush sandwich at the Windy City Grill
* Am seriously considering getting a German Shepherd dog… have three emails out to people who have ads posted with a dog for sale and have as of yet to hear from any of them… perhaps a sign that I’m not ready for a dog, or even yet, the dog is much closer by than these.
* The are only 64 student days of school left in my teaching career… this past week I filled out the first two pieces of official paperwork to get the retirement process underway.
Being Alone vs. Being Lonely
Just the other day a friend and I were discussing the fact that we both lived alone and compared that with “being lonely.” Most people would say they are one in the same, but in actuality they are quite different.
After being married for twenty-three years, I found myself living with my nineteen year old son. After he got his first job, he announced that he was moving out and for the first time in my life, I was living alone. Quite a difference going from living with a family of four to being on your own. A little over a year later, my daughter moved in with me and for the next four years I once again had someone living with me. When she got married this past May, she of course moved out and I was once again on my own.
So, there’s the fact I live alone. Which is different from being lonely most would say.
Alone – adj.
Being apart from others; solitary.
Being without anyone or anything else; only.
Being alone to me is simply a state of being. If you live by yourself, you are alone. If you are in the house by yourself, you are alone. No emotions in the least are involved.
On the other hand, lonely is more of a state of mind than a state of being. I can feel lonely, yet be surrounded by many family and friends. I can also feel lonely when I’m at my home by myself.
lonely – adj., -li·er, -li·est.
Without companions; lone.
Characterized by aloneness; solitary.
While the dictionary definition does include “aloneness” and “solitary,” I still see the two as being very different in meaning. I think it’s normal for someone that lives alone to feel lonely from time-to-time. I think it can also be said there are some living alone that feel lonely most of the time. While I do live alone, I’m comfortable with that. There are indeed some advantages to being responsible to no one while you’re in your home. But then there’s my emotional feelings of being lonely. Wanting the companionship of someone else… being close enough to someone where you can share your day’s happenings…. someone to share your love with and receive love in return.
Such is the way I feel on two often-misunderstood words: alone and lonely.
As a part of my Lenten season, I am doing without something that means a lot to me. This year I have once again vowed to stay away from the social networking site Facebook. I’ve previously explained how important the site has become to a single guy, living on his own, so I won’t go into details there. But I would like to say a few words about what it’s like to go without it’s activities for two weeks now.
They say you don’t realize how much time you spend doing something until you can’t do it anymore and such is the case with staying away from FB. There are so many times that things were happening in my life that I wanted to share in my status message but wasn’t able to. I love to try to predict the weather and just yesterday we had a snowstorm that I would have loved to tried to predict. I’m also a person that enjoys my music and I miss posting the “Spin of the Day.” I also miss finding out about what’s going on with my friends and family. Status messages were always a way to keep you in touch with others.
Yes, the last two weeks have been long, but I feel like it’s getting easier and easier to stay away each day…. In my next blog, I’ll be telling what I have been doing with my extra time.
A lot of people continue to ask what I’m going to do after I retire at the end of the current school year. Although I’m just taking it one day at a time in trying to get to the last day of school, I have put quite a bit of thought into that question.
If I had a choice right now as to what I could do upon my retirement, I would say I’d like to work in a funeral home. I don’t want to embalm bodies, but I’ve always wanted to work with people that are grieving to be of service to them. I’ve even asked a friend who works at a local funeral home and he told me that they do accept applications.
When I was in college, one of my two grandfathers became very ill and was taken to Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem. As time edged on, his prognosis grew worse and as he went into septic shock, we realized his life on this earth was coming to a close. The last two times I saw him before he died were difficult to experience. One night he was struggling and writhing back and forth to loosen himself from the IV’s and machines that were being used. The next night, he was bloated and barely recognizable. It was at that point that I prayed that his struggling would be over and he would pass on to the next world.
While the family decided not to have an open casket service, the family was allowed to view the body before interment. Although he didn’t look a lot like himself, it was a vast improvement over the last two nights I saw him. I was quite amazed at what they were able to do.
During later college years, I had a speech class in which I had to do a speech on a process. I called the funeral home that had taken care of my grandfather’s services and they agreed to detail the embalming process for me. Although I wasn’t able to watch someone being embalmed (and don’t really think I would have wanted to), I was taken to the room where the process was carried out before placement in the casket. While I was giving the speech in class a week later, I figured I had hit it spot-on when one of the students got up and left during the speech. When she returned and offered a critique, she said it was quite graphic and detailed and that she felt like she was going to be sick. I considered that a compliment given the circumstances.
So there you go,,, in a nutshell how I’ve been answering most people who have a question about my future plans. Yes, they may change, but for right now that’s where I stand and I have already decided how to best pursue that desire.
As I continue to trudge the road of happy destiny, I’ve reached the inescapable conclusion that yes, everything does happen for a reason. Those events in life that would raise us to new levels of happiness, as well as those that leave us darkened and depressed, are designed for us to experience. Most recently in my own life, I have learned that there are many things about myself and the world around me that I have as of yet to fully understand.
I know there are times in all of our lives when we see that special something or someone or some place that we think we just have to have in our lives. We will spend enormous amounts of our time and energy to secure that which we desire. In some instances, we are also willing to take money that we’ve earned to achieve that ultimate “prize.”
If we’re able to get what we desire, we may feel content for a while, but then who’s to say we’ll stay that way? We’ll see something else we just “have to have” and start the cycling of pursuing and grasping all over again. It would seem that no matter what we can obtain, it never seems to be quite enough
Some of my most valuable lessons have come from circumstances in which I’ve gone after something I’ve desired, only to find out it wasn’t really what I needed. From the outside looking in, it appear to be something desirable, but in reality it carried unseen liabilities that perhaps I just didn’t really want to consider.
Even though I may not always fully understand, I believe we are given human wants and desires and it’s up to us to determine which of those we pursue and how we go about pursuing them. I need to examine situations carefully and not always buy the first of something I see without first investigating its quality and price. If I’m thinking I really want to go somewhere, I need to not only check out the travel brochures, but do someone online research or talk to friends that have been to those locations. If I’m entering in to a relationship, I need to take the time to get to know the person well before making any large commitment of time and energy.
Life is certainly full of its up’s and down’s, but if I use each experience as a learning tool, it will be all the much simpler to live at peace.