Category: Habits

Jul 24, 2017
By Michael Rupured

A Glimpse of the Future

I haven’t taken more than a few days off from the day job for years. Nobody fills in when I’m out. An overwhelming quantity of emails, phone messages, and snail mail waiting when I return offset the benefits of getting away. I use vacation days a few at a time for long weekends throughout the year. I went into work on June 26 and, after checking my calendar, decided on a whim to take off until July 10. For thirteen glorious days, I hardly left the house. I did check my work email regularly and ended up having to go to the office once. But the rest of the time, I did exactly what I wanted to do. Not long …

Aug 01, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My New Exercise Routine

“Exercise more” tops my to-do list and will likely remain a priority for the rest of my life. Progress has been made. “Exercise more” replaced “Get off your ass and do something,” a to-do list topper from the late 1970s to 2005 or so. Incorporating exercise into daily routines is the key to success. I try to hit the gym or go for a run every day. Seven days in a row — with or without exercise — is rare.  I hover somewhere between three and five times a week, with periodic drops to once or twice and the occasional break. My routine works for a short time. Seasonal variations in day length, temperature, and precipitation mess me up. Getting to the …

Jul 18, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Out-Crotchetied by Whippersnapper

In our little subdivision, I’m the resident crotchety old man. Pity the fool who provokes me. I run kids out of my yard, fuss at anyone who fails to pick up after their dogs, and call the police to report illegally parked cars. A guy I’d guess to be in his early thirties recently moved into the neighborhood. He bought a house that had previously been rented by an army of drunken college students. The percentage of rentals in our ‘hood has gone up since I moved in. We homeowner were happy to see him. Within days, dog walkers warned me to stay clear of his house. On several occasions, he’d come running out of his house to tell them dogs were …

Jan 11, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Uncertainty

Nobody knows what the future holds. Anything could happen, if not tomorrow, then the day after. Or next week. Or maybe not at all. Uncertainty is inescapable. Making decisions would be easy if you knew ahead of time how things turn out. The future is a vast minefield of possibilities, likelihoods, and probabilities. Predicting what will happen with any accuracy is next to impossible. Some people handle uncertainty better than others. My mother spends a significant fraction of her time worrying about stuff that never comes to pass. After I called her on it, she clarified that when she says worrying about, she means thinking about. Same difference if you ask me. Faith doesn’t eliminate uncertainty, but it does offer an explanation.  Everything happens for a …

Jan 04, 2016
By Michael Rupured

In with the New

Last week’s post was (hopefully) the final resting place for some of the baggage I lugged around last year. There’s more, but the load is much lighter than was the case thirty years ago. For this first post of 2016, rather than resolutions, I want to share my priorities for the year. Stay in the moment. Whatever’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, with my email, or with any of the apps on my phone can wait. I need to give my full attention to whatever I’m doing, whether watching television, working on blog posts, or adding to my work in progress. Worrying about what’s yet to come or things that have already happened is also a time-waster. Just stop! Take care of business. I keep …

Dec 28, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Out with the Old

‘Tis the season to reflect on 2015. I’ve had better years, but to be fair, I’ve also had worse. To put a rather challenging year in perspective, my thoughts turn to where I’ve been, where I am right now, and where I want to go. As Dr. Phil says, “How’s that (the way you live your life) working for you?” My end-of-year “life assessments” are like the performance appraisals I get at work — without all the forms, anxiety, or dread. This last post of 2015 is about the things I want to leave behind. Complacency. When I reach my destination, I get comfortable, put my feet up, and relax. Whether I like it or not, things change. Resistance is futile and counterproductive. Life is about the journey — …

Dec 21, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Ice Cream Memories

I’m lucky. A hand-cranked freezer is the star of my first ice cream memory. I’d eaten the store-bought version before, but making our own ice cream was a special occasion. Vanilla was the norm, augmented sometimes with strawberries, peaches, or bananas. Licking the paddles was the reward for helping with the cranking. Sometimes — not very often — Dad took us out for ice cream. Whether soft-serve or hand-dipped, he always got a banana split. I got a cone. Chocolate chip was my favorite, but I liked vanilla or chocolate almost as much. We had Mr. Softee back then — a mobile ice cream shop with soft-serve ice cream and other frozen treats. I became addicted. When the truck came down …

Nov 02, 2015
By Michael Rupured

A Real Time Change

Over the weekend we switched back to Standard Time. Few things mess with my head more than a time change. Frankly, setting the clock up or back does little more than piss me off.  Everyone talks about gaining or losing an hour. Whatever. In the end, we still have just twenty-four hours in a day. No matter how you cut it,twenty-four hours just isn’t enough time for everything I want to do. Forget shifting things around an hour. I’m ready for a time change I can believe in — one that magically results in a few extra hours every day. Not having to work would help. Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful for a job I still love. But if I had enough …

Sep 14, 2015
By Michael Rupured

I Pod Now

I drink a lot of coffee. Caffeine is my drug of choice now, and my last remaining addiction. Just the thought of giving up my Joe gives me a headache. Over the decades, my coffee tastes and preferences have evolved. I’ve been a devoted and loyal customer at different times for Maxwell House, Folgers, Chock Full o’ Nuts, and Eight O’Clock. I drink mine black. A cup of flavored coffee is okay now and then, but not a pot, so I never buy any. I stepped up to whole beans eight or ten years ago. Freshly ground coffee smells wonderful, and tastes better too. Within a few weeks, I replaced my grinder and drip coffeemaker with a Grind N Brew …

Sep 07, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Old Habits, RIP

Change is a fact of life. No, I don’t mean nickels, dimes, and quarters. I’m talking about things being different than they were before, largely as a result of progress. Thinking about changes in my own life, I came up with ten things I don’t do anymore — some thanks to progress, others due to advancing age. Print Photographs. The days of having rolls of film laying around waiting to be developed are over. Now I’ve got hundreds of pictures I never would have taken before that, unless I post them on Facebook, nobody will ever see. Damn smartphones. Fry Chicken. To tell you the truth, I’m not much intro frying anything these days. Health has less to do with my frying …

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