Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘positive thinking

Unintentional Meditation

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The truth is, I just don’t know what to think. There is a simple solution for that, though. Sometimes I just don’t.

Think, that is. Maybe that is my version of unintentional meditation.

There are plenty of days that boil down to just putting one foot in front of the other. Some people do a better job of that than others. I believe there is an art to finding a way to carry on with a seemingly endless routine, regardless of having either a preconceived intention or none at all, on any given day.

Being something of a “both/and” person, I have no problem reconciling the odd combination of experiencing two opposing emotions simultaneously. More often than not, it is probably fair to say that I feel both happy and sad all at the same time.

Whatever gets you through the day is okay.

There is an interesting dynamic in the process of striving to become more healthy with time. Like peeling an onion, or zooming in for a closer look, new opportunities for improvement keep coming into view as progress is achieved. It’s as if someone keeps moving the goal line of optimal health farther away as I approach.

Progress begets progress, and so in one aspect, advances –both mental and physical– seem to come a little easier with time. But, there is also a change in the rate of improvement over time which makes it harder to perceive ongoing gains being achieved.

Of course, I have chosen love as my secret –or not so secret– weapon of choice for solving life challenges. I need to remind myself to love myself and send love to others all along the way. It helps to sooth angst over plateauing progress and energize doldrums that might begin to weigh me down.

The biggest success I hope to celebrate someday in my life will be a time when I discover that I am beaming that self-love and love for others without needing to think about it.

Wouldn’t that be a fine ambiance in which to live?



Thriving Eight

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Despite the risk of jinxing the prosperity that our eight chickens have been enjoying all summer, I can’t help myself flaunting their surprising continued free-range survival on these unprotected acres.

Two Black Australorps, three Golden Laced Wyandottes, and three Buff Orpingtons continue to thrive. They’ve had pasty butts, gotten broody, chosen “unauthorized” nesting sites, and survived last year’s harsh winter and this summer’s heavy thunderstorms. They lost a sibling to a devious possum and dodged an eagle that I saw swooping through the trees in a failed attempt to grab one of them.

That last fact now triggers a new level of anxiety whenever we spot one of the many bald eagles in the area circling low overhead, which I have witnessed them doing twice recently.

Still, our chickens hang together for the most part and seem genuinely happy about their lives.

I did find a “soft” shelled egg in one of the nest boxes yesterday, so one of the hens might be dealing with some new anomaly.


Is This Possible?

From the potentially too-good-to-be-true files, yesterday I heard tell of an entity that pays decent money for space to place unwanted horses. A salesman who stopped by to deliver a quote on replacing the boards on our deck told wonderful stories about his days as a racehorse owner.

He described an acquaintance who couldn’t afford her property and was planning to move, until some company contacted her and offered to pay a reasonable amount to use her barn and fields to keep their unwanted/rescued horses.

“Heck, yeah, I’m interested!”

He promised to look into it and forward a name and/or number we could contact. Can’t hurt to inquire. If they supply the hay and pay to use the barn and pastures, I would be happy to accommodate them.

My inner skeptic is not quite as inspired as the rest of me, but I won’t let that prevent my creative imagination from visualizing unbelievable possibilities.


Fresh Start

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Here goes nothin’. It’s a new week and we get a fresh start to face the challenges that lie ahead. Even though the weekend ended kinda rough, there were a few high points that I am dwelling on to provide some positive momentum for the next few days of work, particularly the unfinished business from last week that I failed to address.

The best part of the weekend was the serendipity of meeting Catherine, a new out-of-town friend from the Pacific Northwest who was visiting Wildwood while we were there. We share the understanding of being on a journey to discover our best selves.

Another treat was catching a glance of one fledgling eagle making a brief circle of flight out of the nest.

We learned from one Wildwood community member that one of the young eagles was down on the ground shortly after the nest had fallen apart. It is unknown whether they came down together, nor how the fledgling had made its way back up again.

Seeing at least one of them take flight gives us hope they will both succeed in the next phases of development.

We received feedback around dinnertime last night, on the status of the lake neighbor’s bitten dog. The injuries were deemed “non-critical” and she was eating, drinking, and walking. Pending one last assessment by their main veterinarian today, we are hoping for the best possible diagnosis for a speedy return to full health.

I would like to embrace that thought on this quest to head into the work-week with a “fresh start” perspective.

Let’s imagine that the best could happen!



Written by johnwhays

August 12, 2019 at 6:00 am

Delaying Complaining

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If nothing else has become obvious in my ten years of blogging, my quick tendency to complain about the simplest of ailments that befall me must stand out as a typical trait. Whether it’s my degenerating discs or the next poison ivy outbreak, I usually fall far short of stoically sucking up the pain and suffering privately.

Misery loves company. Don’t I know it.

I will be honest that this was exactly my first inclination when one of my recently turned sixty-year-old teeth fractured under an unexpected bite of a chicken wing bone. Sadly, this calamity contributed to spoiling our second visit to that quaint diner on the way up to the lake last Wednesday.

As I moped with Cyndie for the remainder of the drive up to Wildwood, wondering how and where I might seek treatment for this busted molar, there was a general sense that my long holiday weekend had been totally spoiled. Luckily, we had enough time in the car for me to have a change of attitude.

For the first time that I can remember, I decided I would squelch my urge to share news of my woes, in order to avoid engendering focus on my problem and tarnishing the rest of the joyous holiday festivities. It helped a little that my dentist returned my call Wednesday and remotely diagnosed that my description of the broken tooth cleared me of any need for emergency treatment.

I spent the weekend trying to remember to take small bites and only chew on the other side of my mouth, and successfully kept my problem from everyone except Cyndie, Elysa, and Julian. In the end, I think doing so worked out as well for me as for my intention of not distracting others with my problem. By not talking about it, I automatically tended to dwell on it less.

There was one interesting complication that developed when I called my dentist’s office. Not only were they closed for Thursday and Friday of the holiday weekend, but also for the following week in order to allow their entire staff a long summer vacation.

What good timing I have.

Fortunately, their away message offered a direct contact number for the dentist. She said her family has chosen to have a stay-cation and she will be in town this week.

She has offered to take a look at my tooth late this afternoon to see if she can offer some relief, sooner than later.

Thank goodness. I definitely have no complaints to offer about that.



Starting Early

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Cyndie and I left for the lake after I got home from work yesterday. We had no idea that Wednesday night the 3rd of July would be the time when towns would hold their fireworks shows in Wisconsin.

It seemed to me that traffic was flowing fairly well for the night before a holiday that was providing a 4-day weekend for most folks. Maybe the people who were going to be out of town had already left. We only ran into two backups.

The first one was at a roundabout, of all places. The very system that was created to minimize congestion at an intersection was not achieving its potential when we arrived. There was no zipper merging happening because someone in our lane was intent on waiting until no other cars were anywhere in sight before executing their right turn.

The second backup happened as we approached Shell Lake. Several hours before darkness was to arrive, officials had already closed Hwy 63 and were detouring traffic through town to create a safe zone for the fireworks show. We didn’t wait around to see the spectacle. It seemed a day early to us, but maybe it had something to do with the holiday falling on a Thursday.

We stopped for dinner at a local diner/gas station that won our hearts after our first visit there last year. In this case, the second time wasn’t the charm. It seemed so dang impressive the first time we ate there. Last night, our experience was surprisingly underwhelming.

It’s all relative, I tell ya.

Makes me want to try seeing things with the joy and wonder of the first time, regardless of how familiar it may have become. I’ll have a good chance to practice this over the next few days. We are up at Wildwood for the annual 4th of July festivities, including the long tradition of games between the “bats” and “mice” teams.

Water balloon toss; shoe kick; watermelon eating contests; relay racing.

We’ve been through this routine so many times, it is easy for me to become jaded over it. When it was still fresh to me and I was much younger, I was so moved by the experience that I wrote a song about it. The excitement has faded as I have aged.

This year I have a new goal to look at the weekend with the wonder I felt the first few times I came up here and to send a lot of love to all who show up to participate. What’s the worst that could happen? I might have as much fun as the year I wrote that song.

Go, team, go!

Happy US Independence Day everyone!



Written by johnwhays

July 4, 2019 at 6:00 am

Little Love

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So, yesterday’s lesson was that hens might lay a “Fairy Egg” that has no yolk and is a fraction of the usual size. I had no idea. Funny how easily we jump to our own conclusions on what a situation might be, while being entirely off base.

I was also convinced that our property had been walloped by damaging wind and flooding rain Tuesday night, but that wasn’t the case at all. Apparently, my intuition is a little out of calibration.

That doesn’t surprise me. There are many disparate issues rattling around in my wee little brain of late, and I’ve not stopped to clear thoughts and ground energies in quite a while. If I can improve my sleep schedule and achieve a better feeling about several challenges taxing my peace of mind, I could focus better on preparations for a week of vacation in the great outdoors. That will do me some good.

Then I just need the government to start functioning in a productive way, the climate to reverse this race toward disaster, the human race to get over its ugly in-fighting, and love to fill the world. Wouldn’t that be nice?

What if we actually learned from mistakes and never repeated them?

What if people purposely took action to invert a pyramid of increasing mental and physical ills and converted it to a pyramid of increasing health and wellness?

What if governments and societies never allowed interference from financial entities (corporations or individuals) that seek to influence solely for their own gain at the expense of any others?

Fifty years ago this month, Jackie DeShannon sang it.

Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see 

Send some love out into the world today. And while you are at it, put a little in your own heart, too.



Heading Somewhere

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Apparently, if my recent dreams are any indication, there is somewhere I’m trying to reach, but circumstances keep delaying my readiness to depart. But, isn’t that just an inherent existential dilemma? Why are we here?

It’s the journey, right? Not just the destination.

I love a good adventure, but the truth is, I’m not all that fond of traveling. One common thread of people’s stories about their travels are the hassles and struggles faced along the way. Getting through airport security, navigating the unknowns of destination ports, communicating through language barriers.

It’s all part of the package of traveling. Choosing to see those parts of the journey in a more positive light than as just being hassles, goes a long way toward helping a person accept them as pleasurable, as in, a puzzle to be solved. If you like puzzling, I mean.

If you are not traveling, you are still headed somewhere. Are the everyday challenges being navigated, hassles? Or are they puzzles being solved?

Are we trying to get ready to depart, or are these little conflicts actually the journey, itself?

Where the heck are we heading, anyway?

To a better place. Free from pains, both physical and mental. We are looking for peace and love.

Don’t just be a consumer of those commodities, though. Be a distributor, as well.

Yesterday, after my well-health check-up physical with my doctor, I needed to visit our local pharmacy. To my surprise, I was offered the option of trying out a short-term regimen of an oral corticosteroid to see if it would settle the lung congestion left over from my recent cold. This, in contrast to the usual long-term (and much more expensive) daily inhaled asthma treatment.

Without thinking fast enough, I let them transmit the prescription to an Ellsworth pharmacy that Cyndie recently discovered was not functioning well. They are understaffed, overburdened, and may be headed out of business.

We phoned to see if they had my common prescription ready for pickup. So far, so good.

They’ve closed the drive through (because it’s too cold outside?), so I had to go in. I was not surprised to see a queue of visibly frustrated customers waiting. The angst in the vicinity was palpable.

Armed with prior warning, I was not flapped by this. I brought love and peace. Calmness. Understanding. Smiling. My energy smoothed some of their rough edges, while I accepted the process of waiting.

I enjoyed an added bonus of being able to find someone on my way out, and tell them they had forgotten their insurance card, which I had witnessed the staff fretting over.

Where are we heading?

Oh, yeah. To peace and love.

And better health, too. What an adventure!