Thursday, January 19, 2017

These Old Walkin' Shoes: The Sound of Silence

Hello readers, my old friends. It’s good to be writing once again. Yes, sometimes it takes a lot of thinking to figure out what to write each week. The easiest writing is when the inspiration hits you like a magnificent bolt of lightning. I thought I had that last night, only to wake up this morning with an entirely new idea.

Last night, I wrote furiously about a subject that had me all fired up. I had a couple pages written in my notebook about local drivers and their lack of etiquette and basic driving skills. Maybe it was my terrible bowling last night, but I could not write fast enough. After sleeping on it, I had better thoughts as to publishing it. It would seem to be complaining and whiny. I did not want that atmosphere to hang over the website. So I changed what I was going to write.

I’ve learned, and I hope to make this more the norm in my life, that sometimes simply being silent is much better than yelling and screaming. Honestly, most people aren’t listening anyway. And generally, you end up looking just as petty as the “idiots” you’re trying to embarrass. It seems counterproductive.

Isn’t there enough strife in this world anyway? Shouldn’t we all be better towards one another, and wouldn’t that make it that much greater of a world to live in? Sure, you’re still going to have people you just don’t like. But is it worth throwing a fit and going hoarse over terribly minor issues? There are better things over which to raise your blood pressure.

Take my bowling for example. The past few weeks have been horrendous for me. Last night, I got to the point that I was ready to simply walk away. I was bowling that badly. I bowled a 313 series. A 313! That’s not bowling. That’s throwing the ball down the lane and wishing rather than planning the throw. I couldn’t close a frame, leaving that single pin standing stubbornly. Then something happened.

I was telling a story about something one of my teammates said a few weeks back. It wasn’t entirely meant as funny, but it came out that way. The next thing I knew, the table was roaring with laughter. When I got up to bowl, it was like all the stress of the earlier part of the game was gone. I knocked down nine pins and then picked up the spare. It was the ninth frame. In the tenth, I got a strike on my first attempt, and then knocked down nine more on the second. While I did not pick up that last pin on my last roll, I was suddenly bowling much better. In fact, I got more points in the last two frames than I did in the first five.

Last night was a very real example of what happens when you let anger and stress get to you. I was awful for most of the night. I was angry with myself, staring off, stewing about my lack of bowling ability. But when it seemed grim, a funny story and a couple of laughs eased all that. I felt much better then. I still wasn’t perfect, but I was better. I’m still working towards that. I’ve been miserable all morning, but what can I really do about it other than complain? No one wants to hear that.

So, as I wrap up this little epistle to good nature, I urge all of you to follow the advice of our good friend, Eric Idle -- always look on the bright side of life. Not only will we be happier, we’ll be easier to be around, and probably less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke. It will be hard for me since I’m kind of high strung when it comes to attitude, but I will be working on it. In the meantime, if I smile and wave at you, try smiling back. It won’t hurt. I promise.

Craig Bacon is not as miserable as George Root pretends to be, but some days it is close. At any rate, he’s tired of being miserable. So, watch out for a new, happier Craig. That should be interesting.

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