Half baked

My generation. I am not a millennial, and I am not generation X. Us late 70’s and early 80’s babies did not grow up with social media keeping tabs on everything we did. We played Oregon Trails, and watched Mary die of dysentery. We climbed trees. We took candy from kind neighbors. We rode our bikes. We yelled over the tall trees to our other friends to come out to play. We threw down our bikes where we pleased. We played time machine in the closet. We paid a nickel for a lollipop at the corner market. We would go swimming, play telephone, and dress up. Do dance routines, croon overs to pop stars played at level 13 on the boombox, and swoon over Johnny Depp’s Cry Baby poster in the corner.

Our parents were products of growing up in the 50’s and 60’s and partly 70’s for some. They lived through a lot of change, the Vietnam War, voices of liberation, breaking freedom, and the ever emerging music scene surrounding rock n roll. Their parents lived through the Great Depression, and World War II. The evolution of rock n roll, blues, country kept spinning into some of the best music our little world has ever seen in my humble opinion. Mom and Dad would run off to an AC/DC concert. Grandma would sing along to the Supremes, and teach me the hand signs to the music. What about Great Grandma? Did anyone ever notice those older older generations didn’t act the same as the rest? They were more reserved. They acted “old”. Maybe it is because they were kind of old?

What is it to act old or older anyways?

Q-tips as my Grandfather called them. You know…that couple who walks about with white hair and white trainers. Those are Q-tips. My grandfather who I like to think is pretty cool told me that little definition.  Were the Q-tips acting “old”? Maybe? It is hard to say without talking to one from the Q-tip tribe. My grandfather still acts young…actually no… he acts like himself! This is probably the most important thing to do, right? When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the wrinkles, and the whole life you have led? All of the stress, and challenging lessons you have endured? Do you see the happiness, joy, and love you have experienced? Do you think about all of that at just a glance? Chances are you do not reminisce every time you look at your face in the mirror. Do you see the twenty something? The thirty something? The forty something? So on, and so forth? Or do you just see, “YOU”.

I met a man recently who was close to 90 years old. He looked like he was in his 60’s. I asked him what his trick was. He said that he supposed he didn’t “act his age”. He asked me, “What is it to act your age anyways?”, and I said I didn’t really know?  He said he remembered his parents, and how they were cranky, depressed, and serious all the time. Is that old? Is that acting your age? When an adult is acting like a child, and we say act your age what do we really even mean? I guess to act more responsible. He went on to say he just does what he wants, and what he feels like. He doesn’t really think about his age. He just does what makes him happy. Maybe that is why he looked so young. He didn’t act old and serious like his parents who both later died of cancer.

I talked to another woman today about aging. What is it to age, and act our age. Are we actually ever done developing? When is a person done learning everything they can? The truth is that no one is ever done developing. We are all half baked. We are never really done learning things in this world. You can fight against learning new lessons. You can think your mind is done developing, and wait around to die. But what quality does that give to your life? I have seen first hand the people who we think are toast, burnt ends, overcooked so to speak, and they still are the last to accept impending death. Again, the mind is ever evolving, and ever developing. Some of us accept death, and some do not. It happens to everyone though. All we can do is try to enjoy this ride whether is be incredibly messy, or with the grace of a butterfly balancing on a blade of grass. If we did what we wanted all along would it make dying easier? Who knows! But it honestly couldn’t hurt in most circumstances.

So we all do the best we can. We are the Fool card in the tarot deck with the innocence of children. We are lucky that we are from previous generations that want to be themselves, listen to the music they want, wear the clothes they want, and be the people who they want to be. THIS is what makes people appear younger than they really are as we age. We have fought for these freedoms in the past which had lead us to this very spot. Todays grandparents can be hippies, rockers, artists, eclectics, and whatever they damn well please. That is something that is pretty fucking great to me. Also how about freedom of speech! (wink, wink). It is great that our previous generations have set us up to live our best lives. Just remember, we all are a work in progress, and we are all just half baked. So… keep on cooking good looking. You got this thing called life. Don’t waste it. It’s your own recipe.

Bon Appetit!

-K. K. Powell

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Working man blues or not?

On Christmas Eve I treated myself to getting my nails done. I have been working hard lately, and taking on extra shifts. The ER can be stressful, but it’s what I choose to do for work. So until Colorado and Paris, only one day off at a time.

I asked the ladies in the nail shop out of curiosity how much time they get per week. She smiled, and replied with one day off per week. She looked tired, but her reality she seemed to be okay with. She was still smiling, and joking around at times! On Christmas Day, I asked the man from Yemen who owned the corner store (where I was buying wine from) how many days he gets off per week. He replied with none. No days off. One year on, one year off… sometimes. He went on to explain how Yemen is at war now. There are no hospitals, and no schools. This makes it so he cannot go home. It’s too dangerous. So for now, he works everyday.

If you are wondering how my Christmas was I will tell you. I will tell you that I was reminded that most of us in America have things very well. Most of us get two or more days off per week. We have schools. We have hospitals. Yes, our current president is an awful man… but he cannot he in office forever. Working hard to reach your goals pays off. Sometimes it is hard, but just remember that there is always someone who has things worse off than you… and sometimes that person is still smiling.

Happy holidays!

-K.K. Powell

Daily Mantra- part deux

A day late and a few more dollars short after martinis on a Friday night, and laughs with friends. A mantra a day late. This is actually perfect. Because yesterday I met my intentions set early in the morning of doing what makes me happy. Doing exactly what I want to do. Apparently not writing yesterday, and living life was just that.

I was recently reading an article about this woman. It went on about the things she wished she told her daughter earlier in life. Never apologize if someone bumps into you. Don’t be sorry for just existing in that space. Never apologize if  you are not sorry. Don’t wear the dress if you won’t want to. If you want pizza, a whole mango, or a pint of ice cream for dinner, then do it. If you hate your job, get a new one. If you hate your life, get a new one! Find things that make you happy.

We get so wrapped up in what we “should do”, that we just do it. Then guess what happens? We end up not being totally happy. Yes I did eat a personal pizza for dinner this week…twice. Now my skirt is a little tight today from overindulging… but god damn it! It was so good. Both times! That is life. Trial and error rarely kills people. Rarely! If it does, I guess it was worth it for the hell of a ride that it could have been? I think/hope you get the picture!

So today’s mantra

Do what you want to do. -K.K. Powell

 “Do anything you wanna do.” -Eddie + the Hot Rods

-K.K. Powell

Teaching and Vulnerability

When a man/woman/girl/boy out there wants to learn something new, they are in turn making themselves vulnerable. They are trusting the teacher to give them accurate feedback/accurate information and reinforcement of the subject. If the teacher cuts them down during this period of vulnerability, by scolding them for information which is still unknown…how exactly is the student supposed to learn? More importantly, how is the student supposed to learn with confidence?  Will the student learn the lesson, or give up due to the constant negative reinforcement?

From life experience and observance, I have seen the way negative reinforcement versus positive reinforcement can help and/or hinder the lesson which is attempting to be mastered. While I was traveling in my travel trailer, I stopped in Sedona, Arizona. I met a man named Brian.  Brian was a brilliant musician, and was very kind with a warm smile and a heart of gold. When I would wake up late in the morning, I could hear him playing his guitar down by the creek while he sat surrounded by yellow columbines. One day we were at the table between our travel trailers talking about music. He sat next to me, and told me some things I didn’t know about my banjo. Then Brian went on to tell me about a challenging session with the student…who just couldn’t get it right. I asked if he told him that he was doing things wrong. Brian exclaimed, “Oh no! You must never tell a man or woman they are doing things wrong! This is just his way of learning. You just offer different ways of learning in this scenario.” I learned a lot from Brian that day.

If you cut someone down, then how exactly are they supposed to grow, and learn the subject at hand with confidence? Do not ask the student questions which you know they will unable to answer correctly, and then scold them for them for doing so. It’s cruel and unusual punishment, and of what would be commonly known as bullying behavior. Also a big error is to scold the student for asking questions, or to judge the student to reminding them of a part of the lesson. Practice makes perfect. My point is to be kind while teaching others a new skill. They are putting themselves out there in a vulnerable state, and trusting you to do what is right.

Don’t be a dick.