I know you've all noticed I've been quiet lately - and if you haven't can't you just play along? Seriously, why must you be so cruel?
Anyway, the big 3-5 passed yesterday and I began a blog that waxed not-so-poetic about growing older, but a phone call in which my wife, 4 year old daughter, and 2 year old son sang Happy Birthday to me quickly dissipated the spectres of melancholy that seemed to hover around me all morning, their tendrils poking and prodding, whispers of passing time growing into a cacophony of angst. You all know that feeling, I'm sure, no matter how old you are (well, probably at least after hitting 21...until that point everybody wants their birthday to come quickly): that feeling of where has it all gone? have I done, or am I on track to do, what I always wanted to do with my life? has it really been that long since X?
Yet, as powerful as that emotion - that backward looking longing - may be, it is no match for the voices of your loving wife and daughter singing Happy Birthday and your son joining in with an adorable "Ahah Bur Ay Dada! Ahah Bur Ay Oo Oo." You realize at that point that there is not only no going back, but there is no desire to go back. The good times of the past make great memories, but nothing more. Nothing can compete with the amazing here and now, the great memories we are building, and the future we seek to create.
And it all goes back to a phrase I have embraced since first seeing Dead Poet's Society: Carpe Diem or, in a language that's a little less dead: Seize the Day.
We can't live in the past. In the same vein, we can't overwhelm ourselves with worries of the future. As I'm sure we've all heard said: Live for today, remember yesterday, and plan for tomorrow (or something along those lines, must you be so picky?).
You only have one today, so get to it...after you finish reading my blog, of course.
Anyway, maybe the lack of blogs has had something to do with the birthday, maybe it had to do with feeling overwhelmed with all the worry for this country's future under Owe-bama (not my creation, but of all the names I've heard - Nobama, Obamunist, Obamanation, and Fear-Inducing Hope-Crushing Life-Sucking Generational Thief - I prefer Owe-bama for its simplicity).
I tried to write about the Cash 4 Clunkers program and that while it may have produced a blip in car sales, that the difficulty in getting paid for all these hundreds of thousands of dollars dealers have laid out is the least of their problems. In fact, inventories are low, sales are going to screech to a halt (especially if there's even the slightest rumor of a Clunkers 2 because people will hold off buying anything in hopes of catching that break) and dealers are going to face a harsh reality: stimulus money is a ONE TIME DEAL. It doesn't fix anything. It doesn't fuel the economy. Some dealers hired people who will now need to be laid off. Many local governments have kept firefighters, policemen, and teachers on staff with stimulus money...money that they won't get again next year. What then? More layoffs. It's a band-aid designed to make it look like it made things better as it simply provides a stall tactic to allow the economy to properly right itself (of all the countries in the world who are reporting coming out of the recession, none of them have had a stimulus program). Even so, I couldn't bring myself to go into it for a whole blog.
I could have done a less political one in which I ranted about my hatred of the word post-modernism and, while I understand it references a point in arts, architecture, literature, philosophy, etc. in the 20th century, I think the oxymoronic nature of the term drives me nuts. But, then I realized I'd have to write a blog in which I repeatedly used the term post-modern, so that went out the window.
So, all in all, I just wrote today to tell you I have nothing to write about today. And yet, here's a blog. Amazing what you can do when you're not trying...
Time is running out! Don't forget: for the month of August, I am donating $1 per copy of Paranoia sold to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund (www.ttof.org) rather than 10% of profit. For more information, visit www.jebraun.com.
Jim survived 9/11, but his life did not. Follow one man's journey through post-traumatic stress as he attempts to rediscover what once made life worth living. Paranoia is available on bn.com, amazon, iuniverse.com and most major online booksellers.