Stop To Think OR Stop Thinking

Thinker

The Thinker.


It’s very important to have time (and space) to sit down and think. 


Not just go through life in the motions–“doing”–because that’s the way we always did it or that’s the way your parents did it, or that’s what your teachers or society told you to do. 


Thinking means we evaluate and assess what we are doing.  Are we going in the right direction?  Are we happy with ourselves?  Are we good people doing good things?  Are there things that we regret and need to learn from and/or course correct. Can we do better and what does better mean? 


I remember at a certain point in my life working very hard, but also feeling like I was in a fugue–and when I “awoke” I couldn’t figure out where the time went to and why I had been sort of numb for a time. Were some things perhaps too raw or painful to deal with (better to shut them off somewhere in a little box) or was I just moving so fast and so hard that I just lost sight of my surroundings and the meaning or lack from it all. 


But then I started to feel and think again. And I knew it because it was like an monumental awakening from a long hibernation through eons of time and space. What precipitated it all, I don’t really know. But when it started coming back–memories, feelings, some satisfactions, too many regrets–I knew that I had been gone a while and wasn’t sure exactly where I’d been. 


So need to regularly stop and “smell the coffee”–think and feel–not just do like a real dummy or stubborn a*s. 


The dilemma with thinking is too much or too little is that it can be a dangerous thing. 


Too much time to ponder and you can become lost in thought or mired in analysis paralysis. Don’t bother me, I’m still thinking about it. Or perhaps, your thinking can be “all wrong” and messed up–your misunderstanding, misconstruing, not thinking clearly or brainwashed by others–maybe those with good intentions who want you to be like them, who think they know better, who mean well but are misguided when it comes to YOU or are engulfed by their own zealousness, self-righteousness or are even jerks trying to f*ck with you. 


Also, while ample time to think can leave you revitalized, with new direction, commitment, and enthusiasm, the flip side is you can become demoralized or depressed by “it all,” It’s too much, it’s too hard, it’s too meaningless, or even it’s too overwhelming important and meaningful. 


Then there is too little thinking going on in that head of yours, and you are a dumb, numb robot who washes, rinses, repeats…not knowing why they are doing it or maybe even that they are doing anything, just that they are in a state of being. It easy maybe to turn off to the world, to keep running on the treadmill of life, get up and do the same routine day-in and day-out.  Not questioning.  Not feeling.  Not getting hurt or dealing with issues better left for another day. But that’s not living. That’s a life of a sick roaming flesh-eating zombie. Someone just stick that iron rod through that useless skull already. 


Think and live…live and think…go forward as in a directed, meaningful way, and not as the walking dead in pain and sorrow or lost in the abyss of lifelessness. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Speed Of Time

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So a friend told me yesterday something interesting about the passing of time. 


We were looking back and saying how quickly it all goes…


I said, “Like the blink of an eye!”


He then told me this:


“Time is like the speed of a automobile. 


Your age is how fast the car is going. 


So for a child of 10-years old, the car is going 10 miles an hour…and it feels too slow. 


But for an adult of 60-years old, the car is going 60 miles per hour…too fast–in this case, 5 miles over the speed limit. 


The older you get the faster the whole thing goes by.”


I told him how much I liked this explanation. 


And finished by saying, that in the end, we should just have good memories of it all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Couldn’t Do It

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No this isn’t my car, but it’s definitely old. 


So we were going to go sell one of our older cars tonight. 


One of the warning lights recently went on and when we took it to the dealer he told us it would be thousands to service it. 


After agonizing about it, we resigned ourselves to just getting rid of it and not investing anymore $$$ in an old car.


We went to the car to empty it and get it ready.


As I watched Dossy cleaning it out, all these memories started racing through my head–seeing Dossy behind the wheel as well the kids. 


Remembering all the good times we had driving here and there together. 


But this was Dossy’s car and it was special to her and I knew it. 


I looked again at her and said, “I can’t do it–let’s just keep it.”


She looked at me–and gave me the biggest smile. 


When we went back inside, she said to me, “You love me!”


And I said, “Of course, I do.”


Now, we get the car fixed–some things you can’t put a price on. 


P.S. Last week, she threatened to move out if I didn’t agree to fix it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Moving And Emotional

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So we are supposed to be moving in a few weeks, G-d willing. 

Not going far, but after 15 years in the same home, it’s time. 

We found a place that we like and could agree on…following primarily the rule of thumb on location, location, location.

Lot’s of places to shop, eat, workout, play, and pray. 

And close to public transportation…and of course, good ‘ol work–his and hers.

As we’re preparing for the move, there seems like a million things to do to get ready, but the hardest is figuring out what to take and what to leave. 

My friend told me to throw out half, and then come back and throw out the other half. 

You know what, a little extreme, but not a bad idea. 

So as I am going through things I bought or saved over the years, I am left scratching my head at what was I thinking for many of them, and for many of the memorable items that I can’t believe any of this really happened. 

It’s emotional looking back, and it’s emotional looking forward–just different emotions.

Back–yes, where did the years go and with that regret for mistakes made, but also joy at things accomplished, lives touched, and beautiful memories made with people I really love. 

Forward–Oy, am I getting older (well, still middle age but…), there is excitement for what comes next, also some anxiety there–I hope all goes well, please G-d–and then there is the acknowledgement that it’s not forever, and I better make the most of every moment of every day. 

My father used to tell me, when you are with those you love, you can live in a tee-pee and be happy…and I believe he was absolutely right. 

Moving to my next tee-pee with those precious to me…I don’t care so much where, but just that we are together and happy. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Catching A Shark

So it’s sort of become a tradition that when we go away, I try and take my daughter on a special activity of her choosing.

This time we went fishing in the beautiful Caribbean.

What I didn’t expect is that I would end up reeling in a 66-inch Spinner Shark.

This thing was massive and powerful.

The guide keeps telling me to pull up slowly and then drop forward while quickly reeling it in then stop and repeat.

But this shark wasn’t exactly cooperating and it kept pulling this way and that and hard.

In fact, about 15 minutes earlier another shark had jumped out of the water and actually broken the end of the line and got away.

This one was another real fighter, but we were determined.

We get to the point, where we had it on the side of the boat coming up and all the people are standing back and I am thinking to myself what am I crazy sitting up front here with this monster fish about to come over the side.

The guide says “Don’t worry, I am an expert.”

Expert my foot, I think to myself…what the heck am I doing?

Fortunately, since no one wanted to measure it to make into some sort of mantle piece trophy, we end up letting it go (apparently, it’s against the law to actually kill these in Florida).

My daughter was so brave with all the fish, and doing her job keeping the baitfish swimming around and alive with her bare hands in the water–she was awesome.

I don’t frequently let so loose, but I find that when I do, these really are special moments in time for me with my daughter that I end up remembering and cherishing the most.

Thank you G-d for this amazing experience; now to treating the sunburn. 😉

(Source Video: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Goodbye Mr. Yaffe

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Last night, my dear friend lost his father–Mr. John Sommer.

He was known to many as just Mr. Yaffe–a twist on an electrical business, Yaffe Electric, that he owned for many years.

John Sommer was a good man–he was a holocaust survivor who came to America, married his dear wife Yona, had two boys–Danny and Harry–and worked hard in his business for his family and his community.

Yona, was a saintly woman, who died about 11 years ago from cancer and John carried on into his upper 80’s with many an illness–finally succumbing on Friday night into a coma, and last night, he passed.

John and Yona were wonderful to me–as I was friends with their sons–and their home was like a 2nd home for me.

I always felt like I had a place at their table and they made me feel like one of the family.

I remember saying the table prayers before and after meals there, talking about religion and politics, playing board and video games, watching movies, doing homework, and more.

On the Jewish holidays, the Sommers invited my family to join them, and they joined us on the Sabbath at times, and on Thanksgiving, we meet at the restaurant together.

The Sommers sat just two rows behind us in Synagogue, but that didn’t stop some friendly banter between us all–G-d forgive us.

Regularly after synagogue on weekdays, John Sommer would say let me give you a lift home–he was always willing to help others.

For the community, he frequently gave his electrician services to the synagogue for free and sponsored the kiddish (meal) after the services.

The Sommers were at my Bar Mitzvah and my wedding, and I always remember their friendship and generosity.

Losing good people is very painful–there are not enough of them in this world.

I pray that John is now with his wife, Yona, in heaven–and that they are at peace and that their legacy of good deeds continues long after.

Good people should not suffer, but these people did as so many do–it is not easy to live or to die, but I have fond memories of what they gave to me and I am grateful to them.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)