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For Shame

Sometimes we reach a point where we’ve had enough.

We feel like we’ve been pushed too far and it’s time to hold our ground.

We decide that the next time we get pushed,

Somebody’s gonna get pushed back.

These can be understandable situations,

Especially when they happen in an instant.

Other times we decide that somebody has crossed our line,

And now it’s our job teach them a lesson.

Deliberately.

Publicly.

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An Expensive Silence

Photo: Alexander

I think that “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” has been replaced as the American Ideal.  I’m not saying that we don’t value these things anymore, I just think that we’ve superceded those older ideals with a newer one:  “Get it now, spend the rest of your life paying it off.”

In many places in the world you can only get what you want after working in advance; cash or barter can be the only ways to receive goods or services.  In America we have the privilege to borrow against time.  People will give us what we want now if we are just willing to pay a little more for it over the long haul.

While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can become problematic when we decide we want an additional something before we’ve “paid off” the last thing we borrowed to get.  In short, we begin stockpiling unaddressed debt over time.

I’m not speaking in merely financial terms either.

We stay up late,

…”morning” will suffer the consequences.

We agree to partnerships,

…before we know someone’s character.

We get married,

…hoping to fix relationship issues later.

We worry about our kids,

…but keep putting off hard conversations

The snowballing effect of “un-reconciled issues” can build to a fever pitch where we find ourselves paralyzed- unable to make any forward progress because of the weight of our baggage.  It’s the sign of living beyond our means.

While we know what this looks like financially; the past 4 years have demonstrated that borrowing huge sums of money to be paid back over 30 years doesn’t actually put a family ahead but ties it down and strips it of vitality over time,

We are mostly clueless to what living above our means emotionally costs.

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The Distorted Image

Full disclosure: My wife made me go into a tanning booth. It’s not because she’s weird, it’s because I was going to Hawaii for a wedding and I live in Oregon. She told me that If I didn’t go into the booth for 5 minutes per day for three days, my skin would explode once I arrived in the tropics.

On day 1 I went to the local tanning parlor, put on some tiny glasses and laid in a blue cocoon for 4 and a half minutes. When I left the salon, I was still white as a bleach bucket. I went home where I was confronted about skipping my appointment. I produced my receipt, ate dinner, watched Seinfeld, and went to bed.

I woke up 8 hours later, sunburned.

Instead of getting off of the plane and getting sunburned, I spent 5 hours on a plane sunburned and then arrived in Hawaii only to stay undercover to keep from worsening the damage.

I haven’t been back to a salon for a tan.

When I was in the salon, I noticed that there were a lot of women there with me who were also not tan. They weren’t pale like me, they were orange. Their frequent visits to the tanning salon had taken them to a place that pigment rarely goes of its own free will and volition.

I wondered if any of them knew that they were orange.

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