A Crack In Everything: Talking With A Friend About Aging Gracefully + Announcing A Change To My Blog Schedule

A WHILE BACK I WAS TALKING with a Friend about a decision she needed to make. Not a huge one, but a smaller annoying one that comes down to deciding who she is comfortable being now.

Friend, much to her consternation, has to alter her way of thinking about something.

While the details of Friend’s decision are specific to her particular situation, there’s a bigger picture to contemplate, especially as you get older.  And a little bit cracked by life.

As we all do.

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HERE’S THE DEALIO: Friend is in her early 50s and has been running almost every day since she starred on her high school cross country team. As an adult she runs marathons, not ultramarathons or half marathons, but MARATHONS.

She’s very clear on this point.

Friend is known for, and is externally validated by, running marathons. She proudly & consistently defines herself as a marathoner, and up until this last year she’s ALWAYS been the fastest, or second fastest, in her age group.  She has ruled in every marathon she’s ever run, until now.

This does not please her.

Friend knows she’s getting slower, the numbers prove it, but she still wants to keep running because she likes to run. However from her point of view there’s a decision to be made, one that is more ego-based than anything else.

Should she:

A) Continue to run in marathons like she has her entire life while reluctantly accepting that there’s a good chance she’ll not be the best in her age group anymore which makes her sad?

OR

B) Start to run in half marathons, something she considers second-class to a *real* marathon, but wherein she believes she’d be the fastest in her age group which makes her happy?

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I’LL TELL YOU FRIEND’S DECISION in the comments below so that you, my little sparks of joy, can take a few seconds to contemplate how you’d handle a situation that involves your ego struggling with itself to gracefully accept the fact that you’re aging.

That is, are you more inclined to lean into doing the same thing as always, but in what you’d describe as a less successful way? Or are you more inclined to do something new that you consider inferior, but do it in a brilliant way?

To put this quandary in a more chit-chatty pithy way: do you keep on keeping on [focus on perseverance] OR do you accept that life’s tough and get a helmet [focus on modification]?

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PLEASE NOTE:

In order to allow more light to get into my life, The Spectacled Bean will be on SPRING/SUMMER HOURS until further notice.

I shall forget my perfect weekly offerings and instead post every couple of weeks, reply to comments here, and check-in with you on your blogs every so often.

Take it easy, everyone. Ring those bells!

Do good. Play nice. Be happy.

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Lighthearted Tidbits: Who I Am This Week + An Update About The Deck

WHO I AM…

I did what the following image asked me to do, because I wanted to, and saw what my week will be about: confidence, relaxation, and creativity. I can groove on this for a week, maybe longer.

What are your three words for the week?

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I studied the following image and realized that I am, more so than ever, all about detachment, especially the “Allow others to be who they are” Law.  I’ve never been one to want to fix people, preferring to observe and understand them, then write about them even.

Which Law of Detachment calls to you?

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I looked at the possiblities in the following image and decided, instantly, that my vibe is: Dragon with an Apothecary Satchel sipping the Tea of Wisdom [A3$]. But if you’ve followed along here for a while I suppose you already sensed that.

What’s your vibe? 

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AN UPDATE…

The deck, subject of a previous blog post, is built now. See four photos at bottom of this post.

There are finishing details that involve power washing the dirt off and painting the new screen door and installing new outdoor lights and landscaping decisions about what to do around the base of the deck, but until we get to warmer days those activities will have to wait.

For me the real significance of declaring the deck project completed is that it’s the last thing we had to plan and schedule during the height of the pandemic.

Not that there aren’t other house projects we need to do, but now we’re dealing with the normal frustrations of home improvement, not endless Covid-19 inconveniences. And that fact alone, feeling beyond the clutches of the worst of the pandemic, makes me smile and experience a sense of freedom that I haven’t felt in almost 3 years now.

Happy Week, Everyone!

The Floor is Trex Enhance in Coastal Bluff with a Trex Transcend Railing in Charcoal Black with a Trex Transcend Drink Rail in Spiced Rum

Door to be painted, light fixtures to be replaced

Stairs going down to ground below

Stairs going up to deck above, landscaping to be added later

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Because I Please, I’m Answering Maggie’s Blogging Survey Questions

Yesterday Maggie asked the following 11 questions on her blog, FROM CAVE WALLS. With her permission I’m answering them below. You may go HERE to read her post in which she explains her reason for asking these simple questions. If you so choose, you may answer them there or on your own blog. 

Image added because this makes my weird little heart happy. See my answer to Question #10 below.

1. How many times per week do you post? Do you post multiple times a day? If so, how many?

I post about once a week, occasionally twice a week, sometimes not at all.

2. How many blogs do you follow? 

I actively follow about 80 blogs but I’m aware of maybe 40 more.

3. Do you read all the blogs you follow every day? If not, how often do you read other blogs?

I don’t read blogs every day. I don’t read everything that everyone writes on their blogs. I try to read at least one post per week by any one blogger who I actively follow, sometimes two posts per week if I have the time.

4. Do you seek out new blogs to follow?  If so, how do you find them?

I seek out new blogs to follow. I do this by reading the comment sections on other people’s blogs, often finding new-to-me bloggers that way. I also check out most new-to-me commenters on who leave comments on my blog posts.

5. Do you comment on the blogs you read? If not, why? Do you respond to all the comments left on your blog?

I comment on the blogs I read because that’s what personal blogging is about, a chance to connect with people. I respond to all comments left on my blog, never cherry-picking a few comments, ignoring the rest.

6. Do you ever close comments on a blog you post? If so, why?

I always close the comment section on each blog post after 21 days, sometimes before. I do this because spammers swoop in if I keep things open any longer.

7. Do you ever unfollow someone? If so, why?

I unfollow people who start out friendly + interesting but over time become pedantic, or whiny, or snobby. People change, not always in ways that I find appealing.

8. What content inspires you to follow a blogger?

I don’t focus on any specific content per se, I follow a blogger because they’re articulate, sincere, and clever. It’s all about their vibe. What they write about is of less interest to me than how they write about it.

9. What content turns you off from following someone?

I won’t follow someone who has a sloppy writing style regardless of my interest in their content or someone who comes off as condescending or someone who has a snarly point of view about everything. Or as I think of it: no slobs, no snobs, no blobs.

10. How important is it to you that you add a photo to every post?

It is important to me that I add a photo or image to each post BUT if I don’t have one that works with my topic that doesn’t stop me from posting.

11. Leave me a link for one blogger (other than yourself) that you think I should check out.

A group of bloggers, many of whom regularly comment here, have just this month started a new blog called The Heart of the Matter. Check it out!

THINKING ABOUT YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS WOULD YOU, MY LITTLE BLOGGING SCRIBES, ANSWER THEM THE SAME, IN A SIMILAR WAY, OR DIFFERENTLY THAN HOW I DID?

The Tale Of Diligent Dave & The Wily Fiber Optic Cable

We were told that the switch from coaxial cable to fiber optic cable would happen on Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Here’s what actually happened.

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This is my DIY standing desk arrangement. It’s a wonderful use for the 1966 50th Anniversary Edition of the World Book Encyclopedia.

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The following will please the optimists, inform the curious, disappoint the naysayers, and entertain the pre-amused…

At 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday we got a knock on the front door from a man who told us he was going to be digging a trench through the yard where the new cable would be buried. He did so without any fuss.

At 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, only a half hour late, a man who I shall call Diligent Dave but Z-D refers to as That Kid, pulled into our driveway to start things rolling. Diligent Dave sat inside his truck for a while goofing around on a computer, wandered around our front yard a few times, then backed out of our driveway and drove up  & down our street many times.

At 9:30 a.m. Diligent Dave came to the front door and told us:

  1. there was something wrong, his computer indicated that the connection to the above ground fiber optic utility box on the street didn’t exist even though lines had been installed on this street earlier in the fall;
  2. he had called the department that installed the lines to have someone come out to find out what was wrong; and
  3. he could come inside the house and start running the cable line from the basement up to the home office while we waited to see IF the connection outside on the street really did exist.

At 11:00 a.m. a man, let’s call him Happy Henry, from the outside installation department came to the front door to talk with Diligent Dave. They chatted about what wasn’t happening.

At 11:30 a.m. two trucks, each driven by one man, arrived. After conferring with Happy Henry those two men pulled out a table and some tools. They went into the neighbor’s yard where they set up the table and started messing around with the above ground fiber optic utility box, hoping to find our house’s particular cable connection inside it.

At 12:15 p.m. a miracle occurred and voilà the “missing” outside fiber optic cable connection was found, meaning that all we needed now was for Diligent Dave to finish his job.

At 1:15 p.m. Diligent Dave succeeded in getting the cable line across the ceiling in the basement, up through the wall and into the home office… behind my desk.

At 1:20 p.m. Z-D and Diligent Dave carefully moved my desk with all the stuff on it [my desktop computer, Keyzia, included] away from the wall so that Diligent Dave could fiddle around near the baseboard and attach a small magical box to the wall.

At 1:30 p.m. our fiber optic cable connection happened.  Then under Diligent Dave’s watchful eye we started testing all our electronic gadgets [computers, phones, iPad, TVs] to confirm that the wifi, now connected to the fiber optic cable, was indeed working as advertised. It was.

At 1:45 p.m. after Z-D and Diligent Dave moved my desk back into place,  Diligent Dave left and there was joy in the land.

But, of course, there is more to the story, the After Party so to speak…

Once Diligent Dave left the house Zen-Den and I ducked out of the house to go to the grocery.  At 2:30 p.m. whilst in the midst of shopping in the grocery we received a phone call from a slightly frantic Diligent Dave who had left his tool bag in our basement and REALLY needed it to be able to do his next appointment at 3:00 p.m.

Thus we quickly bought our food, rushed home [a 10 minute drive] so we could retrieve Diligent Dave’s tool bag in our basement and hand it to him.  He was pleased, expressing thanks, telling us that his next job was only 8 minutes away so he’d be there to start it on time.

Unlike our job where he showed up a half hour late BUT who doesn’t like a touch of innocent irony to go along with their new scary fast fiber optic cable?

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Questions of the daY

Regardless of the type of computer you use, do you have a sitting or standing desk? Or do you prefer to sit at a table? Or to plop your computer onto your lap?

Do you know how you get your internet connection in your home? Do you like it?

Considering that Zen-Den continues to refer to Diligent Dave as That Kid, do you believe, like I do, that Z-D the recently semi-retired is well on his way to becoming an old codger?

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