The Recovering Farmer

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What All Ails Me

Over the course of the last few weeks I have heard numerous diagnoses of all my problems. Based on that you are thinking I have seen various professionals for their opinions. That is not the case, although I think I may need second opinions on what I am about to tell you. Perhaps a professional can tell me whether what I have heard has any merit and actually does pertain to me.

I am reminded of the person that went to see a psychiatrist. He had a problem. For years, since he was a child, he had been frightened about what was lurking under his bed. It truly scared him. So he went to see a professional. The psychiatrist heard him out and then offered to help him get over this problem. But, he informed him, it would be a lengthy process. Would take multiple appointments. The gentleman said he would need to think about this. Many months later the psychiatrist met this person on the sidewalk. He asked him why he had never come back. The guy informed him that a bartender had cured the problem for him. The good doctor was somewhat bemused about this and asked how that could possibly be. The gentleman told him that the bartender had suggested he cut the legs off his bed. Now the problem was gone. He knew for a fact that there was nothing under his bed. Sometimes it is that easy.

While up at Hecla a few weeks ago my friend gave me a listening ear as I related to him some of my issues. I related how I felt unsure of myself, particularly as it relates to my work. I have written about this before. (Met Mei Es Et Nousht, Jan. 26, 2011) At the time I had very low self-esteem. As we talked about it now, he very confidently told me that I am suffering from Imposter Syndrome. He also told me that this is quite common amongst people that do my type of work. I smiled and thought, yeah right, what do you know. When I got home I googled it. Sure enough. He was right. There is actually information on this syndrome and it sounds like what I have.

I also mentioned to him that I had been experiencing anxiety as of late. (I often refer to anxiety in my blog) I related how I was not sure what to do about it. When I did an inventory of my life and the situations I was dealing with there really was no reason to feel anxious. Again, he was quick to jump in and told me that I was suffering from Existential Nausea. Again, I smiled. That one sounded really different. Could it be? I googled that one as well. Wouldn’t you know it? He was right. Again, there is a lot of information on it. Sounded just like what was ailing me. Although when I read it, it seemed that this certain issue included feelings of guilt. It had certain religious connotations to it. Was not sure I wanted to go there. Been fighting that one since I was a kid.

This morning I heard about Last Putter Syndrome (LPS). Although this is not a medical term it again describes me to a tee (no pun intended). It simply refers to the last person to putt on any given hole. (here you thought I was not going to mention golf) I thought about it and it made sense. As the last person putts the others in the group are getting ready to leave the green, putting head covers on putters, picking up the pin, or a host of other activities. Wouldn’t you know it? I missed my putt. I have LPS.

So what now? I have all these things, these maladies, these syndromes I need to deal with. And the more I check symptoms on the internet the more issues I have to deal with. I actually think I went through menopause last week. You may laugh, but I had the symptoms. For the moment it feels overwhelming. Perhaps I need the help of a professional. Then again, perhaps I can help myself. I will try that. Make it a good one.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipe For Success

I was golfing with a friend the other day. On one tee box I teed up the ball then stepped back to assess the situation. I did a play by play commentary on what I saw. There were the trees on the left side. There was a green surrounded by bunkers. Must have been a par 3 for me to be concerned about bunkers around the green. There was a river between me and the green. And there was a strong left to right wind. After having said all that I started saying “this is a recipe for disaster”. Before I had a chance to say disaster my friend piped up and said “success”. I stopped my pre-shot routine, stepped back and asked him what he had just said. He repeated that this was a recipe for success. What a wakeup call that was.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to golf with another neighbor. One I had not golfed with before. When we got to the 17th hole he told me how that hole was his nemesis. He could tell exactly what would go wrong. And trust me. Everything he said would happen, did happen. Not sure that ball will ever see the light of day again. As we walked from tee box to green he talked about how when you picture a bad shot you surely will have a bad shot. We talked about losing our confidence when we come across certain holes that have created problems in the past. We get spooked. We picture disaster. Our body seems to go spastic. Our brains turn to mush. It’s as if we had never before swung a golf club.

Watching TV the other day I saw a commercial featuring Florida Orange Juice. I have seen the commercial before and may have mentioned it in a previous blurb. There are actually 3 of them featuring a mother, a father and a son. The commercial depicts any one of the 3 pouring orange juice in the morning. Sitting around the table with them are people that they will be involved with during the day. Sitting around the table with the father are the newspaper carrier, computer techy, his secretary and his daughter. Each of them informs the man how they will be involved in screwing up his day for him. That is like knowing each morning what will all go wrong that day. That would be a recipe for disaster in my books. I suspect there are days that I would go right back to bed if I knew what was awaiting me. ( I wish someone would have given me a heads up this weekend on what would all go wrong with my golf game. I would have stayed in bed)

They say golf is 90 % mental. You can talk yourself out of any shot. When I look back at many of my experiences I suspect that I talked myself out of a lot of success. I have this ability to just see the hazards. We visualize disaster. Many times when we have had an inordinate amount of challenges we become like my neighbor did on that 17th hole. We become spooked. Always afraid of what may be lurking around the corner. And when we actually succeed at something we think we were lucky. We think it can’t be. We look back and try to figure out how that could have happened.

We need a shift in attitude. A paradigm shift as it were. Go from our negative, toxic way of thinking to a positive, uplifting thought pattern. We know things can and will go wrong. That is part of life. How we react, how we handle negativity and how we move on from adversity will define our life. Remember, we are good. We can make that shot. We have before. It can be a recipe for success. Make it a good one.
“Dare to dream, dare to try, dare to fail, dare to succeed”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Men Know About. . . .?

My daughter got a book given to her by a patient. That night when she got home she showed it to her mother. I noticed the title from where I was sitting and was instantly intrigued. Sounded interesting, although I was a little suspicious. The title of the book is “Everything Men Know About Women”. Some of you may have seen it, even read it. When I finally had the chance to peruse it I obviously read the back cover first. It spoke highly of the author and his knowledge on the subject. It mentioned frequently asked questions about the subject. So I decided to take a chance and opened the book.

The first page was blank. The second page was blank. The third page was blank. I was thinking to myself that the author had a sense of humour. That’s a good thing. After turning a few more pages I finally came to the realization that the entire book was blank pages. Ha ha. Funny. But it did get me thinking.

So what do men know about women? For those of you who think that I will answer that, well. . . it aint gonna happen. Trust me, I am no expert on this although I do have some thoughts. Most of these thoughts are best left unsaid. I golfed with a couple on Monday and made the mistake of making a snide remark about women’s tees and equality. I was reminded that they are no longer called women’s tees. They are now known as the advanced tees. Goes to show what I know about women. Enough said.

So if I can’t talk about that I will make some comments about men. Perhaps make excuses for us males not knowing more about women. I googled the title of the book as I wanted more information on the author. A few points of interest. First off, the author of my daughter’s book was not the first author to venture there. After some research, and I use that term loosely particularly in light of the subject, I noticed that the other authors had the same information. None. Secondly, and I am serious, the first site I went to listed numerous books that were for sale. It was a “book store” site. The third book in line was “How To Live With A Big Penis”. Perhaps that answers the original question. What do men know. . .? Need I say more? And yes, I realize that that title can be taken in more ways than one.

Last year, enroute to Toronto, I passed the time reading the latest issue of the MacLeans magazine. Came across an interesting point. Apparently men started using protective cups in 1874. It was not till 1974 that they started using helmets. It took us 100 years to realize that our heads are important too. The good news here is that we are making progress. Albeit rather slowly. Who knows what nuggets of knowledge we will pick up in the next 100 years.

So let me close off here before I really get in trouble. I admit it. As a man I am only capable of so much knowledge retention. I am reminded of the closing scene of every Red Green show. You know the one where all the guys are sitting in the basement of the Possum Lodge? They close with the following statement; “I'm a man, but I can change, If I have to, I guess”. That is what I am going with. Now, all I have to do is remember my wife’s birthday. That will be a good first step. Make it a good one.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Next Chapter

When does one chapter end and the next one begin? I suspect I was probably taught this in high school English. I may have missed school that day. I enjoy reading novels. It is interesting to note how different authors utilize various patterns when it comes to their writing. James Patterson keeps his chapters very short. Two, sometimes three pages. Someone like Robert Ludlum, on the other hand, writes long, drawn out chapters. Each to his own.

Speaking of writers and English, do you realize that Shakespeare had a working vocabulary of 54,000 words? Not sure if that means anything to anyone till you hear the next fact. The average American, and I suspect this applies to Canadians as well, has a working vocabulary of only 3,000 words. Wow. What a difference. Perhaps that explains why I never could get into Shakespeare. "Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry". Like really. What does that mean? Although when I read it a number of times I think I get the drift. There is a whole new topic there.

Life is a book with many chapters. I suppose, depending on experiences, chapters will be of varying lengths. There may or may not be consistency to the chapters as life unfolds. Some chapters may be filled with happy experiences. Some chapters, perhaps, will relate sadness. But whatever the case, chapters are written. Many times we wish for a new chapter to begin. We get tired of what we are dealing with. We wish for renewal. Sometimes when I would commiserate about life and wish for a new chapter I would be reminded not to wish away my life. Other times I want time to stop. I enjoy the moment and don’t want it to pass.

The problem arises when we finish a chapter but, instead of starting a new one, we keep rereading the last one. Truth be told, I find myself, on occasion, going back numerous chapters. It is virtually impossible beginning the next chapter as long as we dwell on the last one. I find myself doing that too often. Dwell on the past. Usually it is not because the past had something positive about it. Rather, I dwell on negative stuff. Stuff that upset me and keeps upsetting me. And the more I dwell on the past the more the future becomes over whelming. Interesting how that happens.

So the challenge becomes to move on to the next chapter. Focus your energies, focus your desires, focus your everything on the here and now. Become part of the present. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy what life has to offer. And when life offers us something we do not like, deal with it, fix it and move on. Make the negative experiences short chapters. Because when you really think about it what is the use in re-reading the last chapter?

Talking to a friend the other day, and he is an academic, he was telling me about a book he was reading. He said that he had not been able to become engaged in the book reading the first chapter. So instead of tossing the book, which I have done, he jumped to chapter two. Found out that the book was actually enjoyable. What a novel idea. (no pun intended) I know that in life this may not be a reality. We need to finish one chapter before we go on. But, perhaps, we can wrap up the bad ones, be innovative in finding a conclusion and move on to the next. Make it a good one.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Are You a Senior?

I went up to Hecla for two days of golf and some rest and relaxation. I have a good friend who owns a cottage up there. It is fun to get together with him. Enjoy some good food, golf, and lots of chit chat. It is interesting how talking with an old friend makes you realize how much your life has changed.

The first day up there we went to the golf course. It was absolutely pouring. With modern technology we were able to check radar and knew that the rain would end shortly. And end it did. The sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. What was somewhat troubling is, when I went to pay for my green fees, the person behind the counter asked whether I was a senior. Excuse me. A senior? Do I really look that old? I quickly looked around to ensure my buddy had not heard that. He was out of earshot. I politely said I was not. I paid and left.

The following day we went again. My friend paid and then it was my turn. Again. The question. Are you a senior? The same person too. It was like, hello. I was not a senior yesterday and I really have not aged that much. This time my friend was standing right there. He cracked up laughing. He got some perverse joy out of that. I knew I would never live that one down. And to think. He is older than me. Go figure.
This thing called aging is bad enough without others thinking you are much older than you really are. I have enough reminders without questions like that. Almost a year ago I became a father-in-law. This September I am going to become a grandpa. That means I am old. Or at least older. I was told last week that I had a poor memory. When I suggested it was because I had too much going on the person just looked at me and said age probably had something to do with it. I seem to groan a little more each morning when I drag myself out of bed. My aches and pains are worse. So I must be getting old. BUT I AM NOT A SENIOR.

When I look in the mirror I often see my father looking back at me. That may be good or not so good. What it is, is the significant lack of hair on top and what there is, is getting rather grey. When I compare myself to my parents, when they were at the age, I remember them being really old. I seem to want to go to bed much earlier than I used to. Have lost the ability to sleep in. Need to watch what I eat. There is the fiber thing. Watch the sugar intake. Was reminded again of my salt use. Health becomes more important. Exercise is imperative. And what’s with those lumps on my feet. So, yes, I am getting older. BUT I AM NOT A SENIOR.

In retrospect I should have said yes. It would have saved me a few bucks. Perhaps it would have eased the pain of knowing I am getting close to being a senior. The reality is we are all getting older. Some more graciously than others. As for me, I know I am not a senior. I have a new motto. I intend to live forever- and so far, so good. Oh, and you should know. The friend who laughed at me? I wupped his butt in golf. So there. Make it a good one.