Things I Learned A Long Time Ago That Continue To Hang With Me
- Change happens – resilience, and finding a way to dance through it with as little resentment or resistance as possible, reduces anxiety and increases happiness.
- Imagining oneself as an agent of change is better than imagining oneself as a victim of change.
- Keeping accessible the knowledge that we are only imagining any role we have in the universe is crucial to recovery and healing when things go badly.
- If you can’t enjoy one drink of alcohol without being bothered to think about another one for a week or ten days, or until a coincidental occasion warrants it – in other words, if it’s not something that is just there and you can take it or leave – you’re using it not drinking it.
- Pot is a numbing agent; and contrary to wishful thinking, can become a dependency.
- Numbing oneself leads to depression, and probably more often than depression leads to numbing.
- Perspective is always just that; and re-framing our perspective is always possible, usually helpful, and generally necessary for any good outcome.
- Life is not a morality play; the people that told us that, and the ones who live like that, are trying to control themselves, you, or someone else.
- Every decision we make is a choice, but no decision we make is as unencumbered or free as we pretend it is. Choices are always connected to and influenced by other people in the past, present, and/or future.
- Hope is a decision.
Things I May Have Learned In The Last Ten Years
- Sugar is to lick or taste now and again, nothing to do with hunger.
- The 50’s are or were hard on most people I know well.
- Goals are better for dreaming about or working toward than they are for living.
- Having an oak tree outside your window makes winter more fun.
- Talking to a tree up close and personal helps you form a relationship with it – doing so does not make you a crazy person.
- Most of the things I have done that people say they admire, I stumbled into or was unaware I was doing until it was done.
- Death is not something I need to be afraid of even though I have no idea what or if there is any kind of existence beyond it.
- Working out is never going to be fun for me; and somehow, for some nasty reason, exercise is the one thing in all of life that I will never run the risk of being compulsive about.
New Things I Am Still Learning
- I can write poetry.
- Being a writer is hard work but not as hard as being on your feet all day.
- Getting published requires grit.
- Being published is just the beginning, and it is an entirely different job than being a writer.
- I am not a writer; I am a preacher who is greedy and wants to write more than sermons.
- Writing poetry, good or not, helps every other kind of writing I do.
Things I Don’t Want to Learn But Have A Niggling Feeling I Need To
- Unless or until I am a much better writer, and a more successful one, I need to live within the conventions. (That may be true in life as well).
- If the dog is happy and content, I will be happy and somewhat content.
- If the chickadees flitting around my yard can make it through winter so can I.
- I am not as grateful as I should be; nor as amazed as I ought to be.
Leroy Wise says
Thank you, Cam, for your thoughts on this first day of the new year. Interesting and thought provoking reading. Leroy
Cam Miller says
Always a joy to hear from you, and an honor to know you are ‘listening’ in. Happy New Year! Cam
Love this; love you. Your honesty helps me! Happy New Year. Love, Susannah
Cam Miller says
Love back at you! Happy New Year S! Cam
Edwin Beck says
That made me laugh in several spots – which certainly had to have been your intent, at least in those several spots. Thank you, and thank you for not talking about “resolutions.” I usually feel that people who talk about such things are the same people who like to hear the sound of their own voices; and/or, they like to reveal their resolutions in order to convince listeners of their fantastic intentions with little or no regard for (their own) accountability. None of these types ever make arrangements for their listeners to meet up on the next December 31st, “when you can hear how well my resolutions went. You know me: always walking my big talk.” My resolution for 2016? Curbing my cynicism. See ya’ on New Year’s Eve, Cam: we’ll talk.
Cam Miller says
Just bend that cynicism a little more to the left and it will start sounding like hope.Grateful that you hear the humor, it’s reassuring to me as a writer. Happy New Year, this one! Cam
Judy Kahrl says
It all makes sense to me except for the last. I have trouble with the sense of “should” and obligation. I might just say, I am not as grateful as I can be; nor as amazed as I can be. Maybe I hear too much of the stern judge who tells me how I should be, without fully valuing who I am. Just a thought…
Cam Miller says
I pondered those words as I was editing and could hear someone, didn’t know who, raising that very objection. I left them anyway, probably for no good reason other than those words have value as well as being value-laden and I don’t want to give them up. We can’t let the stern judges (keepers of the morality plays) ruin everything!