George Bailey

Good Evening Mr. and Mrs. America and all the Triathletes on land.  Today was one for the books in terms of Tri training for us.  (1) Completed my longest, unassisted pool swim – 1200 yards ANNNDDD (2) Completed my first OWS and let me tell you, it was no where near as frightening as my first attempt at OWS at the 2014 Life’s a Beach Triathlon.  Let’s break the day down, shall we.

Pool Swim:  Started like any other day, I dread swimming.  Not because I’m not good at it, but because I’m not as good as I want to be.  Yeah, yeah, I know it takes time but patience is a bit faded on me.  Starting out is rough and I mean floundering, flailing and rushing rough.  It takes me about 15 minutes to get myself into the right head space and find a rhythm.  During this time, I appear completely brand new to the sport.  I find myself stopping at each 50 – soo frustrating but on I swam.  Sure enough, as the bubbles faded I found myself getting my wind.  I was going down and back with a certain level of ease.  I even tried “sighting” but I kept hitting my hand on the lane line but hey, no pain, no progress, right!  The sun wasn’t out completely so my Garmin jumped a bit.  It said I did 1700 yards – I wish, so good thing I was counting.  I’m happy with my progress, I have to work on my short distance because it is pitiful.

OWS:  Sooo, here’s the deal.  I did the LABT to remove my OWS fear but we started against the current and my swim skills weren’t nearly as efficient as they are now but I’m known for just doing it and so I signed up and was going to give it a go, regardless.  Yeah, didn’t turn out, at all.  The current was so strong, we kept getting pushed back to shore, so they told us to get out because the other waves couldn’t start.  OWS Lesson #1 – never start in the first wave .  I didn’t finish the swim.  Technically I don’t even think I started and the sadness set in as I ran to the bike.  I wanted to leave but I didn’t.  I jumped on my bike and left that experience in transition.

Fast forward to today.  My first time out with the Final Kick/Dai Roberts group and I wasn’t nervous, I was curious.  Everyone was friendly and I got some good tips and so off I went into the rolling deep.  Turns out, my swim buddy was so on point about the swim.  Even though the water is shallow, you still get all the effects of OWS.  The leader wanted me to swim down to the blue roof = .25 mile but I wanted to get myself acclimated to the water and everything so I swam back and forth between whatever points I could find.  OWS Lesson #2 – the water stings the eyes something terrible.  I need to get new goggles, again.

So I swam back and forth and I felt like I was swimming forever and I’d look up and I’m still in front of the same house, WTH?  So I’d dive in and keep going, took me a minute to find my rhythm but I did and the mind is such a funny organ.  It will hype you up and when you open your eyes it’s like – Fooled Ya!!  The struggle was real.  I was getting frustrated but I kept going.  The other thing, and I’m not sure this is a lesson but the water tasted TERRIBLE.  It smelled/tasted like burnt rubber, freshly tarred street/road.  Of course, I started to worry about getting out smelling like I’d bathed in the I-64 construction site but on I swam.  Ultimately, I ended up swimming 433 yards in 29:17.  I wasn’t concerned with time, I needed to get over the OWS fear and I think it’s happened.  Now, the real test is going to be, can I mimic this in water that isn’t so shallow?

In all honesty, it was nothing like the LABT OWS and I think that experience set me up for this experience.  Next Monday is the next OWS and I think I’ll try to make it to the blue roof.  Most people dread Mondays but today, I developed much love for Mondays.  Today, I got my OWS wings and I did it without Red Bull.

What ails ya?

Day 12 – Powerless to Save Ourselves

“I have to surrender, become passive in the presence of a power greater than I.” Fr. Robert Barron

I’m a fan of the 12 Step Program ideology. It is my belief that everyone in life is covering or needs to recover from something. Everyone needs to getmended. I won’t beat this rug til the fabric frays but a while ago I wrote about Step One, so scroll through and reacquaint yourself with that post.

I think passivity gets a bad rap. One of MW’s definitions states c-1 lacking energy or will. I think it takes a great deal of will and energy to surrender and/or not act. With all that is going on in the world, everyone feels that they HAVE to stand up for themselves or others and while that may be true, sometimes surrender is the greatest weapon. I cannot speak on what I would do in situations, my temperament tends to betray logic, reason and common sense but I recognize the Power of Passivity in that none were more passive than Jesus yet none is more powerful.

I surrender all

All to thee my blessed Savior

I, surrender all.

Day 11 – How can we fully enter Adent?

In his notes, Fr. Robert Barron notes that “Vatican II called for a revival in biblical studies, but I don’t think that’s happened yet, at least among average Catholics.” I believe this to be true, not only of Catholics but of many denominations simply because most people don’t know how to study the bible and those who do, don’t know how to teach it.

I participated in RCIA last year and I was amazed how some people who call themselves Christians really have no solid knowledge of Christ. I’m not judging because I’m no theologian scholar but I know what I know and IMHO every Christian should know or have some idea of the very basics. The director of the RCIA class even noted that people who convert to Catholicism are better Catholics than “cradle” Catholics and the “cradle” Catholics in the class were in 100% agreement. They spoke about the information presented in the class are things they never learned about; at home or at church. Turns out, they too learned under the “it’s always been this way” thumb of religious learning.

It is quite difficult to re-acquaint yourself with someone or something when you really may not have an idea of who or what it is you are trying to acquaint yourself with. Since Advent is the season of waiting, why not spend that time acquainting yourself with the reason for the wait. Once you understand that, then join the rest of us in the daily process of re-acquaintance. Christianity; The Original – Who’s on First.

Day 10 – The Highest Mountain

In his reflection, Fr. Robert Barron notes “ For when we give glory to G-d in the highest, we rightly order all our desires: we love G-d first and then all other things for the sake of G-d.” Since this is Christmas time, this is the only time when TV airs A Christmas Carol, I’m talking the original BW movie or even the one with G.C. Scott.

The scene that comes to mind in reference to Fr. Barron’s note is the scene where the Cratchit family is gathered round the table and about to make a toast when Bob proposes a toast to the founder of their feast, Mr. Scrooge. There is bemoaning and disgusted outcry at this request but it is Mrs. Cratchit who, in a round about way, gives glory to G-d in the highest. She says, “I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s”. Now I know, we’re supposed to “love thy neighbor” and in a twisted way, that is what she is doing. She’s “loving” Mr. Scrooge, not for his sake but for the sake of her husband and the Day’s and the day is Christmas, so, there you have it. Giving glory to G-d in the highest, at least that’s how I see it. Often we do this without realizing it. What you do or give someone may not be for their benefit or on their behalf but you may do it out of love – or a great deal of like – for someone else who is connected to that person.

Everything has a source, does it not? The food that was prepared, was bought from a store, paid for with money, money earned for work performed, money paid by employer, money obtained by employer through (insert means), (insert means) provided by (insert source) and it goes on and on. Whatever you have, whatever you have received, whatever you give away came from somewhere; it has a source. It’s no coincidence that the old dowsing rods were often Y shaped. You have to be open to be able to receive.

Why, why why

Can’t we get it right

Just can’t get it right…MJB

What for what, we don’t love them ****

This PSA is not for every one and that’s ok, not too much today is for every one but I’m living in my truth so have at it rabbit.

I, do not love. I do not love, as referenced to the biblical definition of love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-

Love is patient. Yeah, that’s not me or anyone sitting on the 405, 95, 64, 270 or any other interstate/highway in gridlock, deadlock, bumper to bumper traffic and ESPECIALLY when there is not an accident, disabled vehicle or any other mechanical, non-life threatening issue causing said perceived reason for the lack of “love” read patience. Collective sighs, grunts, honking horns and jar-filling expletives can be heard at any given point in time around the globe.

Love is kind. I’ve been told (and I’m told it’s better to be told than to offer ones own opinion) that I am a kind person but that goes out the window when my patience is being tested or running thin. I read an e-quotable one time and it read “Do not say that person gets on your nerves, but think, that person sanctifies me.” In the course of an 8-hour day, how many times are you “sanctified?”

It [love] is not jealous. A little jealousy is a good thing, I mean the healthy jealousy. For example, my friend redid her kitchen, I’m jealous because I’ve been too lazy and lacked the patience to redo my kitchen. That other type of jealousy, well that leads to loss of patience which definitely will result in lost love and if one isn’t careful, in life.

It [love] is not pompous. We all can get a little “high on the horse” but the trick, I believe, is not to stay there. I’ve never been thrown/knocked from a horse and if it’s all the same, I’ll just take that cue from Saul/Paul. Sometimes you have to encourage yourself. Encourage yourself, not make/turn yourself into an ass.

It [love] is not inflated. Again, when we say or do something we, and maybe others, feel is important, we tend to swell up with pride. Pride cometh before the fall so if you let your chest stay puffed up to big for too long, that fall is coming soon and it will be hard because that Pride will get crushed just before the rest of you.

It [love] is not quick-tempered. Call me Virginia Slims because I’ve come a loonnnnggg ways baby. I used to go “zero to a hunnit, real quick – Drake voice”. Now, it’s more zero to 7 and not real quick but you can hear the tires screeching and most definitely see the smoke and smell it burning. I think this is so because we humans tend to take such liberties with our freedom of speech and feel we can talk to others like our mind is bad. This character flaw stays on my vision board. I inherited this lovely trait from my mother. Cyclops got nothing on my mom.

It [love] does not brood over injury. If you’ve ever heard someone say “I get pissed off just thinking about it” then they do not love. Whatever happened, it is still there, just as fresh as the day it happened. Somebody is broody over injury. I find this more so with women than men.

It [love] does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in truth. Most people I know and probably overall don’t do Pharrell’s Happy Dance when misfortune befalls someone but there are always exceptions. I do not do this because it just seems to invite Karma to show up. This one thing I can do.

It [love] bears all things… Some of us, including me a times, adopt Popeye’s slogan – “I’ve had all I can stand, I can’t stands no more.” We can’t stand to bear hot weather, cold weather, power outages, rising gas prices, poor customer services, low paying jobs, high paying – stressful jobs, etc., but we do, we put it with it every day, we bear it. We love despite all the undigestive waste we have to put up with but rarely are we willing to bear it for personal reasons. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

…believes all things… Um, I’ll believe what you tell me unless you show me different or I just already know. If were strangers, no reason to lie; if we are friends, definitely no reason to lie; if we are family, why would you even want to lie. But remember, I still believe in Santa Claus.

…hopes all things… Yep, I get my Jessie Jackson on every day. Keeping hope alive requires some skill and Johns Hopkins training won’t help you here. To find hope or how to practice hope you have to go to preschool. Hope is born and bred there.

…endures all things… Yeah, again, back to that whole patience and bearing all things. Weeping may endure for a night… for a night, some of us have been enduring for so long, when the morning comes and joy shows up we may not answer the door for fear it’s some solicitor knocking at our door. I want joy to show up at night or at least send hope to keep me company.

Love never fails. This is true but those who profess it give Love a bad name. Often we get this wrong and fail ourselves and others miserably in the process.

So no, I do not love. I have great affection and a strong and genuine like but my level of love is seriously lacking. I’m ok with saying it because knowing and acknowledging is half the battle. I’m working on love but geez louise if people don’t make it sooo difficult to love. I used to concern myself about other peoples thoughts when I wrote things like this but who gives spider’s web. Think what you want, create your own stories about what this is about, I’m just working through life. We all, in my opinion, need to learn better lessons and expressions of love, in the biblical sense. Love, is not the great affection, heart pounding, stomach fluttering brain crashing, spine tingling, toe curling wave of hormones, pheromones, serotonin, and whatever other innate chemical found within us that is activated by a sight, scent, touch or thought. Love is effort and hell, I’m tired but Jesus was tired too, at least I like to believe he was tired, hanging up on that cross. I have no right to complain about anything and I’m not complaining, I’m acknowledging my shortcomings – confessing my sins to another (a whole lot of anothers to be exact) in an effort to self-correct. Love is effort and sometimes we lack the energy to love but we want energetic love. I now understand why some people have dogs; they give great love (effort and energy). I want a dog but the problem is my love isn’t on the same level as their love. They would love me more than I would love them. This seems to be the case for us humans for we love (effort and energy) some more than they love us and some humans just love themselves.

I love myself!! I think.