It’s Just a Matter of Time…Brook Benton

If I could just turn back the hands of time…Tyrone Davis

Time out of Mind…Steely Dan

What Time is it?…Morris Day and the Time

Does anybody really know what time it is?…Chicago

Time after time…Cyndi Lauper

Time keeps on slipping into the future…Steve Miller Band

Time of my life…Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

Time is on your side…Earth Wind & Fire

The above referenced songs are just a few that I could think of when considering the subject of time. As I reflect upon this day, September 30, and know that we have now completed nine months of the year 2010, I wonder what happened to the time…

I recently heard a young man who is ambitious and very polished in his line of work say how busy he is and that he is looking for the 25th hour of each day. It caused me to consider what the heck any of us would do if we really could get an additional hour of time each day. Then today I read an article on Streaming Faith written by Cindy Beall who shared her thoughts about the fact that we all “make time” for what we want to do, yet say we don’t have time to do some of the really important things in life.

What do we invest our time in that will give us a lasting return on that investment? Our family? Children? Work? Our walk with God? Service to others?

My suggestion is to take time today and look around at our circumstances, and then determine if this is where we want to be. If yes, continue to invest in those areas. If no, then seek another path. My years of working in the field of Hospice care is causing me to remember that a person who is on their dying bed will not ask for more time to work, play online games or watch an NFL or NBA game. They ask for more time with family and friends. Let’s make those timely deposits while we still can…today. Peace.

I Pity the Fool…

I Pity The Fool…

Many of you are old enough to remember that famous line espoused by the Mr. T character from the 1980’s television show The A Team. As the summer has now come to an end, and with it a number of really bad movies, one of which was a remake of the A Team, tell me, did the Mr. T character use that same line?

As I consider the ever confusing verbiage which emanates from Washington D.C.,
Alaska, or wherever Sarah Palin might be speaking, and too many of the self-proclaimed economic experts, the echo of Mr. T’s words keep ringing in my head…”I pity the fool.”

Imagine having some so-called experts tell us last week that the recession actually ended sometime in 2009. Tell that to someone whose business will not be opening anymore as of today, because he/she could not secure a new line-of-credit from their bank. Or tell that to the person with an advanced degree who still cannot find a job. Or to those of us still seeking to get our mortgage modified…I pity the fool who actually listens to and believes much of this drivel.

What is going to get us as a nation back on our feet? How can young people seeking to buy their first home feel secure in making that huge investment? What about those of you who have now taken that much-deserved retirement? And are wondering how to live off of less money than you have been accustomed to making. I pity the fool…

We will see the heat get turned up to a boil as the mid-term elections draw nearer. For the past three years I have said to anyone who will listen that I blame our congressional leaders for much of this mess we are in. Two ill-conceived wars and an economic Titanic are just the major disasters they have engineered.

With that being said, I am hopeful that each of us will take an under-the-microscope look at those seeking either reelection or first time office this year. No more blind allegiance or party loyalty. It’s time for holding people accountable. What is their pension plan like? Do they have to worry about affordable health care?

So, please, do me a favor and either join or start a conversation with your family/friends to discuss these issues. As for me, I refuse to be taken for a fool…anymore.

Awaiting Autumn

Awaiting Autumn

This time of year is always so nostalgic for me….football fever is rampant everywhere, the leaves on the neighborhood trees are beginning to turn colors and the sun is setting much too early for my taste. It is truly autumn and the end of summer. I even took my daughter and her cousins to a pumpkin patch and corn maze over the weekend. Though it was not one of the items on my bucket list, it is something I am glad to have shared with her. One day when I am an old geezer, she might remind me of the adventure. I hope she will have fond memories of the experience.

This blog has been such an inspirational experience for me this year. For it has kept me focused and committed to writing and creating content, even when I did not feel like doing either. It has also caused me to read other writer’s blogs and learn from them the importance of staying on course and not giving way to the barriers that are always present; writers block, too busy, nobody is commenting, and other such self-defeating brain noise.

I want to thank all of you who have followed me this far and encouraged my endeavor. It means more to me than I can say to have you as witnesses to my mid-life renewal. My mother used to tell me that I was going to have my greatest success in my older years. I hope I will still be able to enjoy it. Hear and see it, too.

As I think of my mother, and what would have been her 80th birthday this week, I am smiling and giving thanks to God for her sacrifices to my siblings and me. And the older I get the more I understand the frustrations she felt when looking into the mirror and seeing a person staring back at her whose mind still thought of being younger, but whose appearance was not congruent with the thoughts in her head. Fortunately for me, I have abandoned the idea that I can still play full court basketball with younger men…heck, I am only good for a game of HORSE these days.

Enjoy these last days of summer and the unfolding of autumn. May the pleasant memories of your childhood dance in your mind as we ease into the latter months of 2010. Who knows, if we are lucky, maybe this time next year Brett Favre will be like us and actually watch a football game on TV.


Off to the Doctor We Go…

Now that health care reform is a federal mandate, it is important that U.S. citizens take advantage of screenings that can detect problems before they become emergency room situations. In the recent AARP Bulletin, I saw an article that highlights an awareness campaign between AARP and radio personality Tom Joyner.

Check the information here…and take action.


Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

Those of you who follow my blogging know that I relish in using phrases and/or clichés that are easily recognizable from our culture. This is a familiar one from our childhood…when kids would tease and poke fun at another. And when one kid would run out of verbal retaliatory ammunition he/she would respond with, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Fast-forward to 2010 and the world economy that refuses to recover. In conversations with family, friends and colleagues over the past month I have come to the conclusion that we can’t believe a word that comes out of the mouths of economists or government officials. Depending upon the source of information you subscribe to, the slant is toward either the economy is on the rebound or that we are in the midst of a 1990’s Japan-style depression.

As I sit this morning in a strip mall donut shop in Vallejo, California, I see in this same mall no less that six closed businesses…evidence that the TARP Wall Street bailout money to the banks last year has not trickled down to this part of Main Street. The ripple effect of this type of failure spreads to the surrounding neighborhood schools, restaurants, gas stations and the like.

So, as the election season heats up and both Republicans and Democrats seek to push their agendas to elicit our votes, I want us to remember the title phrase from today…because it is the words that they are using that will likely hurt us more than the sticks and stones. We have continued to put our trust in elected officials hoping that they will look after our needs. And yet here we are in a mess of 1930’s Depression proportions.

My advice is to ask that smiling, empty-promise politician about his/her plan to bring banks to the hot seat of public need. Have them take a walk through the neighborhoods that have been devastated by this yet-to-rebound economy. Ask them where they stand on the issue of bringing some offshore jobs back to America. Listen to those words…

And remember that the words spoken and unfulfilled will be another hurtful blow to Main Street Americans.


Un-Labor Day Mess…age

My heart and thoughts go out to those Americans who are included in the too often heard but not truly understood media term “chronically unemployed”. A number that ranges from 9.5% to what is likely the true number of 12%. How do they feel about this last Summer holiday that was created to celebrate our labor force? Imagine being out of gainful employment for more than 99 weeks. That is almost two years of non-recurring income.

As the political pundits seek to persuade us, depending upon which side you are on, that the economy is hopelessly deflated or that it is better now than anytime in the past 24 months, I am asking myself, “who’s telling the truth?” On one side of the equation are a group of businessmen that purchase an NBA team, one that has made the playoffs only once in the past 15 years…for a whopping $450 Million dollars. Yet, there are a thousand people out of work within a five square mile radius that surrounds the arena that the team plays in.

Is that balance or inequity? Free market economics or a watered-down caste system? Watch this season as some of the people who will work the concession areas, parking lots and security will be local residents who wouldn’t be able to afford a ticket to the game at which they are working. How wide has the divide in our society grown between the have and the have-nots?

As you and I relax today and enjoy a day off from work or our business, consider that there are more of us out of work today than at any time since the 1930’s. And if it were not for the generosity of the extended unemployment benefits issued by our government, the soup lines that we saw in black and white photos from that Depression era, would be in living color in our lives today.

It really is time to put America back to work. Are you listening Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase? Remember that adage that one has to spend money to make money? Well, I know a few entrepreneurs who have some great ideas to bring to market.

Brother, can you spare a dime? Or will it be a hundred, today?