Chronic Lane-changer 

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“You’re slowing everyone down.” This was my mental comment as I observed an impatient chronic lane-changer. With each whipping move the automobile caused others to repeatedly slow down and readjust their driving gap. As stated in my last post, I drive the speed limit; not five over. Rarely do I need to slow down since everyone is driving five-over. However, a chronic lane-changer will cause traffic to slow down to five under. Thus, causin me to slow down as well. (Now we’re all driving five under. Joy!)

We are selfish drivers. We want to be first at the red light. We want to pass others. We want the shortest rout for ourselves. 🎶 We can’t drive 55 🎶. 

Is it wrong to want these things? I say no. Wanting to be first at a red light is not wrong. It’s when our actions impede others that it become morally uncouth. Traffic would travel smoother if everyone picked a lane and stuck with it, at least that’s how my theory goes. It’s at this point I know I’m suppose to say “Something something Braess Paradox.” 

The way we coexist with others is very similar to the above mentioned driving. Our actions have a cause and effect on others. Are we helping or hindering those around us? Slowing down and being considerate of others takes discipline.  But, that’s what separates the adults from the children.  Each step we take towards improving ourselves and helping those around us is a step closer to heaven on Earth.  

-cheers

Horrible Driver

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No one wants to hear how horrible their driving is. After all, I’m the best driver out there. Other drivers are idiots. 🙂

I apologize for the name calling.

To prove my point I downloaded an app called Everdrive. Turns out I take corners as though I’m on a roller-coaster,  I dig into my brakes a little too hard (oh look everyone in the car is leaning forward again), and I accelerate like a bullet.  That best driver title faded rather quickly. 

After being shown where my flaws were, I started improving each area measured by the app; phone use, acceleration, braking,  cornering, and speeding. I never considered myself as a speeder, just a “five over” type of guy. Turns out, I sped a lot. There were times I blew by slower zones without realizing they were there. This was a wake-up call. I sucked as a driver, not to the extreme but you get the picture. 

Now I drive the speed limit, not five over. Yes, people pass me. People passed me when I did ten over, I mean five. What I did find interesting is that while people passed me, there was another group of drivers that drove the speed limit too. The commute has turned more relaxful. I stay in the right lane, unless I’m turning left up ahead. I’ve reduced my chances of being pulled over. And, my gas mileage has increased by 2 mpg. 

As of today, I am in the top 20 percent of state-wide driver who use this app, and I’m number one in my city. My driving score is 99.5 in NC. This doesn’t prove I’m the best driver. However, I am becoming more safe and less reckless. End the end, that’s what matters, being safe and reducing casualties and injuries. Do you use this app? I would love to hear your driving score and state. 

– cheers 🙂

Product Of Our Environment 

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We are sponges soaking up everything we experience. Our ears perk up and our eyes widen to capture the essence of the moment. Then, we expel it to those around us like emotional vomit. Like it or not everyone performs this cycle. So, let’s look at two types of sponges, clean and dirt.

A clean sponge is just that. It has no filth, grime, or moldy mildew. If said sponge soaks up clean water, it will expel clean water. If that same sponge soaks up dirty water it will expel dirty water.

You at this point:What a scientific break through! 

Me: I know, right?

You: Let me sum up my research thesis in one word. Duh!

Bare with me because this is where people don’t make the connection.

A dirty sponge expels dirty water. Meaning, it takes time to clean that sponge. The more dirt it soaks up, the longer it will need to be cleaned. 

Going back to my first statement,  we are sponges. What type of environment are we subjecting ourselves to? Do we watch only family oriented movies? Is our music pure and wholesome? Are the people we surround ourselves with positive? 

We cannot help who we are forced to work with. However, we can control our actions. Either they will warm up to us or find someone else to talk to. Like minded people are attracted to each other. Stay positive and positive people will find us. It starts with what we absorb.  

Sunday Morning Run

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This morning’s cool crisp air quietly beckoned for a run. Dawn was just starting as I began my stretching routine. Tendons felt like guitar strings as I slowly reached for my toes. “Yup, it’s gonna be another slow run.” Nature was waking up around me as well. Birds flew from tree top to tree top echoing their songs of revelry. A lone rabbit enjoyed a buffet of freshly rain washed clover as a racoon made his way to the front lawn oak tree. Small chirps from a red throat humming bird brought on a smile as I finished loosening up. Pandora played as I tried to find my cadence. Settling my breathing, I noticed two bewildered deer watching as I approached. “Are they just gonna stand there?” Seeing I posed no threat they slowly disappeared in the forrest. Each mile completed was announced by Samsung S Health. Pace and time revealed how well or poor I was doing as I fought to maintain a preset minimum pace. “Maintain a 10 minute mile.” I repeated to myself; fighting to stay motivated. Living in a subdivision of dead end roads made for a quiet and relax full run. Not only haveI have found a new Sunday routine worth keeping, but I believe I have taken another step towards living life and finding the happiness I am pursuing. 🙂

The Pink Stigma

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What defines manly?  

Let’s be honest. It’s not “what”. Rather, it’s “who defines manly?”. We have been taught by society that blue is for boys and pink is for girls. How our peers react to our actions signal whether they approve or disapprove. This in turn affords us the opportunity to prepare for any confrontation that may come our way. On April 28 (last Friday) I wore a loud pink T-shirt to work just to observe reactions. Being in the military for 20 years, I had an idea of how accepting my Marine counterparts would be. I had one guy ask me if my shirt was salmon. I replied that it was in fact pink. If you’re going to wear it… wear it. The smile on his face reflected his acceptance. 

After work, I had some errands to run so I took the opportunity to continue my observation. Sure, I got some looks and a few smiles, but that was it. No snickering, no pointing, no one with a mullet wanted to fight, no one had a problem with my pink shirt. Half of the time I forgot I had it on. That is, until I looked down to see where I was stepping. (Cattle field habit) 

This leads me to believe that our reaction plays a role in how we perceive other’s reaction. Had I been more on the defensive side and expected others to have an issue, then my perception may have led me to believe those looks and smiles had ill intent.  How often do we misinterpret other’s reactions due to our self-conscious attitude? 

What started as a “how will others react” turned into “how will I perceive”. I believe I will continue my “pink shirt Friday”. It compliments  my “tuxedo shirt Tuesday” very well. 🙂

A Lifetime In A Day

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A fresh dawn peeks over the shadowy horizon, and a new life is born. Commuting arteries flow with morning rush hour as birds, sirens, and endless chatter eclipse pre-dawn’s silence. Today’s agendas come into view. Methodical adjustments align each minute detail with tomorrow’s dreams. Rushing, bustling, and scampering through, deadlines are met revealing the next demand. Crowded sidewalks teem with life as lunchtime approaches. Daily production suffers from the effects of digestion. “Just a few more hours.” becomes the afternoon’s motivating slogan as the “in-box struggle” beams a beacon of hope. The evening sun broadcasts an end to this mayhem. Tired and worn out from the day, red cells flood the street, flashing as they leave the concrete jungle behind. Darkness blankets the terrain as slumber takes over. This day comes to an end and lives no more.

Breathe

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This morning revolved around breathing. As I sat there straight-backed and inhaling slowly, I contemplated on how many other people are doing the same thing. Do people actually take time out of their busy day to focus on deep breathing exercises?  They are as (if not more) important as any other form of exercise in my non-professional opinion.

Slow deep breathing reduces stress, relaxes muscles, and surprisingly lowers blood pressure.  I’m not saying it will cure hypertension,  but it appears to have a positive impact on it. Since crossing into my forties,  I have seen a lot of good effects from just taking a moment and collecting myself. Most importantly I’m not as rash nor abrupt as I use to be. People I work with have a hard time believing I use to lose my cool. Trust me when I say that makes me smile.

I implore you to take five minutes out of your day to practice this technique.  🙂