Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The One That People Who Know Me Will Understand

One of the reasons I've, generally, admired people who have true spiritual faith is a selfish one:

I'm envious.

When I say something stupid that upsets someone I care for, I carry that burden with me for days or weeks. (Sometimes, for a lifetime.) During times I'm anxious about upcoming events I'm moody, and irritable to even those people I love. Sometimes I'm so obsessed with trivial aspects of the past that I forget about the present and the future, ruminating instead on the "I shoulda" and "If I woulda" 's of life.

Self-reflection is sometimes so exaggerated in my thought process that I struggle through the day-to-day aspects of life. Most people don't notice, but it's always there.

People I've met who have true, devout faith, don't seem to live that way. They live more in the moment, and have some higher power (a deity, or a philosophy) upon which they can lay their troubles and their challenges and move on.

It's that which I envy most.

This blog post is a good example of what I mean. Someone wished me a happy birthday this morning, and I made a wise crack about how, by 33, Jesus had accomplished so much. And while today I'm ten years older than he was when he died, I've accomplished little in comparison.

The joke went flat, of course. But the question remains:


What is it, really?

Tell me how it applies to your life.

Maybe I'll learn something.


jedijawa said...

I tend to look at accomplishment in a very George Bailey sort of way ... by how my actions have helped or hurt others. Thus, I have steps forward and steps back. I think that this comes from growing up seeing my parents as teachers making impacts on people who would seek them out later in life to tell them of their impact. I know for a fact that they had their good days and their bad days ... but over time their balance of good days are what has made the difference in this little part of the world ... even if it is a small one.

BTW, Film Geek, you and your blog are awesome. For that reason I've given you "a major award" on my blog. I didn't check to see if you've gotten it before. If you have then you still deserve it again.

jedijawa said...

BTW, happy birthday dude!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Happy Birthday. I don't spend much time on regrets. Or the past really. And while I am Catholic, I'm still not as faithful as I could be - I have doubts. I'm just hard-wired to live, learn and move on, I guess.

Cara said...

You have been using that joke every year on your birthday since 1997 (and probably before that). Get out of the fetal position in your closet... and have a Happy Birthday! By the way... there will always be people who have accomplished more than you. There will also be a hell of a lot of people who have accomplished so much less.

Stanton said...

Two thoughts:

First, mine: My God, you are old.


"To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded."

--- inaccurately attributed to
Ralph Waldo Emerson

eclectic guy said...

A blogger with some humilty? Perish the thought!

This blog alone is so refreshing. Well done.

Accomplishment is a tough one. No matter what we do sometimes, it never seems to be enough. As a teacher, my greatest reward is when I realize that I have made a positive impact. That's enough.

Impacting others in a positive way-that's it.

Having someone love you is pretty good too. : )

The rest is bullshit.

primalscreamx said...

Well, Happy birthday. For a guy who is 43, you look much taller.

If you can say you really know yourself, I think that's an accomplishment.

Jackie said...

It's your Birthday too?!? Man, seems like some bloggers parents were gettin' bizzaa in August...

And Happy 48th Filmy, I hope you like Travis :D

Hoyt said...

Happy Birthday, Film Geek!

Accomplishment, to me, is knowing that you don't need to prove anything to anyone.

The Film Geek said...

Thanks to each of you for your birthday wishes. The day is a difficult one for me, you guys made it better.

Jedi: thanks for the comments, and the award. Hope I can pass it on soon.

ETW: Sounds like a healthy life perspective to have. I might have to look into it.

Cara: That joke is EXACTLY 10 years old, and I'm glad you were there to hear it the first time I used it. Back then, at least, people laughed.

Stanton: For some reason I like that second guy's advice better. :) Thanks for your comments, Stanton. I feel the love. And I'm not THAT old: I got me a few more years worth of hot dogs.

Ecclectic Guy: Where you been, dude?!? I've missed ya. Sometime you nad me gotta have a cup of coffee and talk.

Bill: Thanks. And I tend to agree with you. I used to think the anxiety that can come with self-reflection was a bad thing. Now I'm not so sure. The key might be just knowing how to control it.

Jackie: 48?!? Damn it, I can still beat your 30-something ass at darts! And thanks. :)

Hoyt: You the man! Thanks. And I agree. Completely.

The Film Geek said...

Oh!! Anyone see me on WSAZ news? I was talking about the gas prices...

Elvis Drinkmo said...

Happy Birthday, Film Geek!

Accomplishment is realizing that there is no such thing as accomplishment. Every puzzle solved creates a new one and that is the meaning of life. It's the chase that matters not the catch.

My two cents for whatever it's worth.

Route 75 said...

Damn, dude. I didn't know today was your birthday. Happy birthday, man. I would be right in saying you've actually accomplished a lot in your life.

As cliche' as it sounds, you've made a difference in people's lives. Not only in people you meet everyday with your job, but I'd say you're pretty important in the lives of your children as well.

That's important, right?

Happy birthday, man. Let me know when you apply for your AARP discount, then we can go to Golden Corral and get a 15% discount!

The Film Geek said...

Elvis: Thanks! I like the chase aspect you describe. It fits me, in lots of ways.

Route 75: Thanks a bunch. And you are right, of course.

Buzzardbilly said...

To me, accomplishment is anything that helps a person have a greater sense of well-being. Well-being is such an all-encompassing state of mind/being/whatchamacallit that in order to feel it a person needs to be pretty well-rounded.

Really, what good is it to have gotten a world record if you burned every friend and family bridge in the quest to get it?

What good would all the money in the world be if you've no happiness at home?

I guess, for me, the biggest accomplishment is making a home and family (and my definition of famliy can be really broad) that you enjoy spending you non-work time. Sometimes. Because all play and no work makes Jack a poor and annoying boy.

John Radcliff said...

Late to the party as usual, but I'm hip to what you are saying. And I have no good answer other than what folks have said above me.

I have no ability to enjoy my accomplishments because I can always find someone close to me that has done more, better, faster, etc. I like to kid myself and think it keeps me grounded. But the truth is that it probably keeps me from doing more. Shucks (I try not to bring my potty mouth with me when I visit other blogs), just pop in The Big Lebowski and have a Caucasian. The rest seems to work itself out.

The Film Geek said...

Thanks for the thoughts, Buzzardbilly and John.

And John: Bring the profane here any time. It's welcome. :)

Anonymous said...

Even though I am in no way religious, never have been, and never will be, I do count my blessings. And not blessings from "god," but things in life I have to appreciate. They're all little things, like, a driver's license; a car current on all the insurance, registration and inspection; my own place with garage, central air, and dishwasher, and lights directly over the stove and sink (something my last place didn't have); cable TV; electricity; indoor plumbing; a job; and a healthy family. It just keeps getting better and better. I think about things I wanted a few years ago that I didn't have (including some of the above), and I feel good about my life having moved forward. A few years ago, I desperately needed a good car and a more liveable home. I couldn't figure out how I could accomplish either, but in two to three years, I did. Little stuff, but it makes me feel good.

jennyville said...

I'm a little late to the party, but Happy Birthday! Hope you had a great one.