Hourglass half full

I’m sure Batman had it: the evil villain putting an innocent person in the hourglass.

The bottom of the hourglass. And she must be saved before the sand trickles through and she is suffocated.

There is nothing she can do. She trapped and time is passing in the form of tiny grains coming to kill her.

I’ve been watching grains of sand. I’m not in the hourglass I don’t think. But those grains mean something. They mean loss. Every single one of them. Lost opportunity. Lost resource.


And now I’ve lost another grain to worrying about the loss. Maybe I am stuck in the bottom of the hourglass, because when the sand is gone it’s gone.

That’s what worry is like. The time lost and lost again because I pick it up and recreate the loss by running it through my fingers.

I want out of the hourglass.

When I have a routine I can pay attention to all the other little things going on, and not mourn the sand. After all, it is the way of all things.

John Wooden said “Never mistake activity for achievement”

I suppose the inverse is true. Never mistake achievement for activity.

Spinning in a panic at the bottom of an hourglass, I could use a little numbing activity.

Or maybe I should look around. It turns out that I’m not in the bottom of an hourglass after all. Just because sand is bouncing off my head into my face doesn’t mean I’m in the hourglass.

Once I get out of that distraction, out of the sandfall, I can see that I’m not in a bottle.

There is a wide world out there. I can go see what I can do to enjoy it.


Two Way

I want to talk about this thing people do. First time I noticed it was when I came back to America from Russia in 1993. People couldn’t wait to talk to me about my trip. I was eager to talk about my adventures and what I’d seen.


What actually happened was I got to hear what other people thought they knew about Russia.


“So you just got back from Russia? Oh man, that must have been amazing. I was just hearing that…”

and he would go on and on to tell me all about what it was like where I just came from.


I would listen, waiting for a chance to tell my experiences. There might come a part where the speaker was so off base I would have to say something.  “No, that is not what it’s like.”


And he would argue with me! “Yes, it’s true! I heard it on the radio.”  My presence at this conversation was ceremonial


This was a long time ago. Why am I thinking of it now?


Because I am looking for a job. The amount of advice I am getting is off the charts. At first I was grateful and did my best to absorb and implement it. To be sure, some of the advice had merit. Until it stacked up and I am tripping over the contradictions.


And I remembered my time back in 1993. All the enthusiastic people needing to tell me.


So strange. They needed to tell me. They couldn’t bear to be interrupted. What were they getting out of telling me things they already knew?

Maybe deep down they knew it wasn’t really that way.


Now, some of the advice givers are virtual. My email inbox is flooded with “7 things to never say in an interview” or “How to get recruiters to call.” These ones are particularly insistent.


For a similar reason. They are self-interested and have something they are selling.


Back in 1993 I learned to be cautious. I knew what it meant when someone approached me all fascinated with my journey. Yes, you sir are fascinating because you once read an article about what I lived.


Some of these emailed articles are useful. Most are not. And after being pulled to ribbons and tied into knots I don’t think I’m listening anymore.


I have to go live it. I have to experience what is happening, look around and see what makes sense. And when I find someone to have a conversation with, eager and wanting to hear, then I know I’ve found something special.

It’s Because

“Veronica, every time I pour water on your head to wash your hair you jerk your head. I know you hate water in your eyes. Can’t you keep your head still when you know the same thing happens every day?”

Her beautiful blue eyes look straight at me, considering. “No.”

Every day the same thing, you know. It’s part of the bedtime routine. We have it all worked out with clockwork regularity.

She complains about all the same things.

And, I am ashamed to say; I get snappy at the same times too.

My head is running the top hits:

I am so tired. Why can’t she hurry up? Is she going to complain about the pajamas AGAIN? please please please pick a short story to read tonight. Please, I can barely stop yawning.

I’ve even taken advantage of her illiteracy to skip sentences in the chosen bedtime story to make them go faster. I yawn my way through.

When I was working, I felt the pull of time so heavy. I had to be up at five! I had spent ALL DAY being exhausted, couldn’t I get to the part where I could sleep? It felt like an upturned bucket of tired over my head all the time.

I don’t have to get up at five every day now. Once I paid attention, I made a discovered. It didn’t’ matter how caught up on my sleep I was. I yawned my way through the bedtime stories. I still had a bucket of tired on my head.

The irony. This sleepy-time ritual worked on me too.

I spend years–Veronica’s whole life!–kicking against the goads and railing against the burden of how supremely tired I was at bedtime.

I was so blind. I wonder how many other things I’m completely wrong about?

Full moon like all the other full moons before

The moon has been big and round. I walk the dog at night, now that it’s starting to be dark earlier I can see the moon.

Nine years I worked at that job. Many many of those years hurt. I have the memory of a lot of walks when my mind wrestled with the troubles I had.

Years of not knowing what exactly to do. Years of feeling trapped.

and years of being very very determined to find a way.

I looked up at the sky and saw a twinkling light. Oh, no, that is an airplane.

And I remembered that song “Can we pretend that an airplane in the night sky is like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now.”

When that song came out I wished and wished that I could find a way to connect with my co-workers.

That I could tell them in a way they would understand how frustrated I was and how much we needed to work together.

I did try. I silent often, but I did try.

Isn’t that how relationships work? Should I make a point out of every dissatisfaction? Or prepare a special confrontation…no, communication..of how I feel and what I’d like?

That is what I chose to do. I chose to give a presentation. I am pleased with what I said.

I was not pleased with how it was recieved.

The next part was escalation. Was I willing to escalate?

not further than I did.



It’s done.

I remember crying into the airplane lights, wishing for a wish.

It’s done.

It happened. It counts. Not as much as it did while it was happening.

I’m free now. And that counts for a lot.

I’m not sure how much time to give to the painful memories. I do remember them. Yes I do. And…they are done.


All roads are leading

everything in my life is telling me I need to get my time under better control. These 24 hours are flicking by not quickly, but with far more that they need to accomplish than I can fit into them.

So I have to use each minute like a gold coin.

more pressure on myself.  See, when I am all bound up I can’t think right to choose the right thing to do next

It turns out that I need to spend some time figuring out next steps

I must take the time to get organized. It takes thought to get thinky things done