Saturday, October 18, 2008

On Patience Evolving or Devolving......

So, I'm sitting here in DIA-having been bumped from a flight, and now the next flight is delayed.  It seems like there is a LOT of my life that is spent 'waiting' in airports.  DIA in particular.  (check out my chipper look!!)
There was a time in my life that being delayed would have me soooo worked up that I'd just be irate!  Likely taking out things that may or may not have been my fault on others around me.  I was less fun to be around, usually blew things completely out of proportion and to some degree was a physical menace!  
As I look at my "personal evolution" over time it is an interesting picture to say the least.  If I were to break down some of the things that at one point in time were "trademark" Brian Blockisms-and then comparatively analize them with how I would address the same situation now there are some start contrasts to say the least.
Everything from tastebuds and their acceptance of those things I once thought impossible to ingest, to the way that I look at situations and interactions with people-well it is a whole new world.  At one point in my life eating raw onions would be the worst thing ever-whereas now I'll eat a raw red onion like it's a snack-V loves that I'm sure!
When I look at how I used to lose my temper so completely and somewhat violently, and now I can't recall the last time that I was truly MAD-it's kind of a weird thought.  
Last week I had the chance to speak to a group of college kids at Grandview University in Des Moines.  The students were in a Sports management class.  Most of them hoping to be professional athletes or coaches.  I was asked to share with them what my job as a "sporting goods" rep was, how it worked, and what it entailed.  I of course felt like I had so much to share with them.  Having gained so much useful knowledge since my exodus from the college ranks.  And of course knowing what I know now, why wouldn't I want to share and potentially help save some young minds from making the mistakes that I once made.  
Well, the funny thing was, and readily raised it's head-you're just not too bright when you're young.  If anyone there really took to heart the beauty of what I was trying to convey as to the opportunities out there in the repping arena I would be surprised.  Now I don't mean to say that in a condescending way, as I was once that age and full of confidence, energy, drive-but lacked focus, understanding, a "big picture" point of view.  
I think back now to when I was 16-20 and how I was sure that my parents didn't know anything.  I was sure that I had more figured out than most anyone around me.  I was angry that I was "held down" by the small minded thinking around me-why not act fast, why not act now??!!  It sometimes felt like everyone around me was moving in slow motion.  
I have since come to the conclusion that it was in fact-and probably has been proven since-that I was having a major chemical imbalance-like most every adolescent in today's society.  I had so much anger and angst-even planned to change my middle name to angst-that I was a menace to myself and most of the people around me because I was unable to build real relationships, find true meaning in life and keep from being my own worst enemy.  
Now, some people would call that maturing.  I'm sure that many people around me now think that I am quite mature-owning and running my own business, being married, etc.  For the most part I would agree.  I could never have imagined the position I am in even a couple years ago.  Is this really part of evolving as a person, as an individual in this life struggle?
To some degree I would have to say that these transitions, these shifting paradigms of what is "true" in life and what is important are in fact a devolving.  Wouldn't it in fact be even better to have all that same energy-that rage inside that drives one to push past their physical limits sometimes in an almost blinding out of body way.  To be able to harness all the things that used to get under our skin-and maybe still do-under the new more "mature management" of my evolved self.  
To some degree I have every faith that my change in tastes is not so much a maturing of my taste buds so much as it is a devolving of my standards.  It's almost as though my tastebuds that once acted as guards at the gate are now asleep on the job.  My eyesight, while still better than "perfect" is not as good as it once was.  My metabolism isn't as ridiculous as it once was.  Eating wahtever whenever was regular practice and almost a job as I wanted to get bigger for sports.  Now I have to be more conscious of what I eat or I'll be carrying it around for months!  My mile times have fallen-although I can run further with ease now.  I'm stronger, but bulkier!  I have more money but less time!  
So here I sit, patiently waiting on whenever they decide that we can in fact board the plane.  Not antsy, not frustrated because "it is what it is"!  I've found that this has become one of my more consistent statments over the last year.  I sometimes feel that it is because I'm more worldly and more understanding of the fact that things are sometimes beyond my control.  The other times-when that young Brian Angst Block creeps back in-even if only in shortlived glimpses, I feel that the very statement "it is what it is", is a sell-out, a forfeiture, a succumbing to mediocrity.  
If only I knew then what I know now!!  I guess that is why parents and kids are so frustrating to one another.  Maybe someday I'll be able to find a balance-or steal a little bit of that very "angst" from a son of my own.  One can only hope!  

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Art of Sloth i.e. "Vacationing"/Trouble with Planning

Ah, to "plan" a vacation!  As I write I'm in sunny Isla Verde Puerto Rico-right next to Old San Juan.  I'm on my honeymoon with my beautiful wife Vanessa!  
To plan a vacation is somewhat of an oxymoron if you are planning on enjoying yourself.  The very sense/definition of taking a vacation is in fact the pursuit of vacating your regular existence, responsibilities, workload, etc.  
I've always appreciated the statement-"you can't get lost if you don't care where you're going"! 
 To me, this should be the mantra of anyone truly looking to embody the proverbial "Act" of vacationing.  By setting anything more than generalized benchmarks that we'd like to see happen during our time of rest and reflection we are in fact only setting ourselves up for an even greater sense of stress, frustration, and exhaustion at the end of what is supposed to be invigorating our return to our regular daily existence.  I can't even count how many people I've talked to that said they needed a "vacation after their vacation".
In the past I've been somewhat known for not taking "real" vacations.  Ask anyone who has had the misfortune of trying to get me to settle in and relax for more than a day at a time.  Maybe it is something that comes with age, or maybe I'm just getting lazy and resting on the so called laurels that I've garnered over the years of my adventures past, but I have found in this particular instance that truly resting and relaxing is in fact the way to go.
It is somewhat funny that Vanessa has in fact been-and I'm not sure frustrated is the right word, but I'll use it anyway-with the fact that we're not "getting enough done" on this vacation.  It's probably because I'm older or maybe because I see the future of having kids and the time that we'll be separated by my time on the road, but I say revel in it!  Revel in the fact that we do have time to do NOTHING!  Revel in the fact that we are together Alone!  Revel in the fact that we can do it all, or do nothing at all, and the only people we have to clear it with is one another!
Admittedly I'm anxious to get back to regular workout days, doing the things that we do everyday when we're in our own space-especially at the Estes Cabin, but in the line of work that we're in, being able to actually unload the suitcase for more than a day is well.....pretty awesome!