Boredom Yields Grief

A few days ago I completed a project that took me several months to execute. Begun in March of 2019, and then set aside in May of 2019 to spend time with my wife. I restarted again in January 2020 a full six months after Peggy died. During the time I worked on this animal, my life was never lonely. This week, I found myself with a couple of hours of free time that I didn’t know what to do with.  I missed going to my shop to cut and grind, sand, and finish wood pieces. I found myself getting lonely and wishing Peggy was still alive, what a terrible feeling. Not that I didn’t want her to be with me, but that I wanted her to be with me so badly.

To ward off the loneliness, I dressed for winter and took a long walk. Exercise helps ward off grief. My shoes are beginning to show signs of wear because I am walking so much. Somedays, I will walk several times. If I need a book, I’ll walk to the library, if my hair needs cutting, I’ll walk to the barber shop. If i am meeting friends for a drink I’ll walk to the bar. Today, I’ll walk to a noon meeting with my men’s group for lunch. (KETO for sure.)

Loneliness is an emotion that causes me to be depressed. Therefore, I must avoid it with a passion. Instead I find more powerful activities to fight depression. I pray when I walk, I watch movies that absorb, I read books with stories that engulf my mind, the last thing I will do is nothing, because then the mind begins feeding me bullshit about how tough I have it when the exact opposite is true. My blessings far out number my adversities, and I thank God for having blessed me so much.

Yesterday, a friend texted me with a link to a Lions event which is in September. I texted back that I have not been able to think that far in advance. Then immediately, I signed up for the event, a three day training session called the USA/Canada Leadership Forum held in Louisville, Kentucky this year. I thought, what the hell. there is nothing holding me back but me. I have looked at this event for three years always thinking that when I am free again I will go. I am going.

While on the Forum website I was reminded of a newer Lions educational program. One can earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s and a Phd in Lionism online from Lions University. I signed up for it while Peggy was still alive and I was President of my club, but put it aside. I clicked the button and completed the first of ten sessions required for my Bachelor’s Degree. I want to receive the degree at the forum in September. Why not? I can be a widower who sits and watches grass grow, or I can be a widower who attends Webinars to get a degree.

Activity, activity, activity, is the key to trudging through grief, along with writing about it.

 

Which Kind of Uncle Tom Are You?

After years of hearing blacks make derogatory remarks about fellow blacks calling them “Uncle Toms,” I decided to learn just who Uncle Tom really is. I can’t believe it took me so long to read a classic like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Ms Stowe is white, yet she did a very skilful job of describing the lives of slaves. Her use of slave dialect is the hardest part of the book. Let’s face it, if one did not talk daily with a slave, understanding their speech is difficult. I made it through those chapters by phonetically sounding out the words spoken by the slave characters, and even that is hard to understand what they said. It just reinforced for me that learning a new language in a foreign country is not easy if you don’t get any help other than a whip.

uncle tom's cabin

I concluded that anyone who uses the term Uncle Tom as a derogatory term is either 1. Stupid, 2. Never read the book, or 3. professes the Black Power movement. Ms Stowe’s character is not a sellout to his race. He is the exact opposite, but his method ingratiated him with his owners. Uncle Tom believed in doing what his master asked of him and in doing it well. The result was he found favor with his owners until bought by one Simon Legree. Tom also believed in God and his faith kept him strong. He had a positive attitude which also cheered the people around him.

When Legree bought Tom at the New Orléans Slave Market he learned of Tom’s easy-going way and trustworthiness. Legree vowed to break him and have Tom bowing before him. Legree ordered Tom to whip a fellow slave. Tom refused to inflict punishment upon his fellow slave or anyone for that matter. Legree had him brutally whipped. Tom held out, believing being whipped to death would reward him with Heaven.

Eventually, Legree punishes Tom to the point of death, and still Tom holds on to his faith. Legree does not understand, nor does he care to.

In my opinion, blacks who try to degrade others by calling them Uncle Tom’s are ignorant of the true story behind Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Instead they choose to believe one of the distortions invented by various authors who rewrote the story for political, or racist reasons. The distorted definition of Uncle Tom became a black who will do anything to stay in the good of a white, including betray a fellow black. In 1852 when Stowe wrote the story, there were no copyright laws to protect content, and many authors and playwrights plagiarized the work rewriting sections to please audiences. The result is that Uncle Tom, as created by author Stowe is the exact opposite of the distortions.  The real Uncle Tom did not do things to stay in the good of whites, he did them because he believed in doing the best he could no matter what. As far as betrayal, he lived the opposite having died protecting his fellow slaves.

Harriet-Beecher-Stowe

 

Rules For Staying Young

From my friend Rich. Thanks again for great advice!

 

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age,
weight and height.  That’s why we live smart.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop & dull living.’ Experience new things…get out.

4. Enjoy the simple things…

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER :
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but  by the moments that take our breath away.
We all need to live life to its fullest each day!!

Worry about nothing, pray about everything!

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