“I don’t care.”

There are many factors that separate me from the average individual. (Based on how often I hear about it from others) The way I walk, the way I talk, a sense of punctuality, reliability, the vibe that I’d prefer scotch, or to have a causal drink over partying. It’s interesting what information people can gather based solely on observing me. I had no idea I could reveal so much info subconsciously!

And at the current moment, I’m enjoying wonderful moments given to me by the common flu, I recall when I was at work, and something dawned on me. I had spent the previous 2 days bedridden and feeling unproductive in every sense, I even had my meals prepared for me. For some, this is a life of luxury, for me? This is agonizing.

I hate feeling like I’m a burden upon others, and granted, this is merely a sign of their love for me, and their willingness to display it by taking care of me. I hate this feeling of dependency, despite it being a rather big part of my life (I live with my family, my truck is a hand-me-down, I do rely on others on a daily basis, but this is different), I feel like if I’m capable of performing an action, then I shouldn’t have someone else do it for me. I can cook, despite my feeling slightly dizzy as I stand, yet my meals are prepared for me. It irks me.

And yet, Today I felt well enough to go to work, so I did. It was interesting, My energy was immediately down to a fraction, and I wanted to see how long I can last under my current condition, I lasted about 5 hours, before they sent me home, aware of my current illness. My reaction time was slow, my movements slow, my very thoughts and speech was sluggish, to say the least. I want to think I gave off the air that I was quiet today, but I think if one looked closely enough, they’d see that something was off. But that’s not what made the day interesting.

No, what made it interesting was something else entirely. You see, I care about my job, about the people around me, regardless of who they are. If someone was sick, I would show concern, if someone’s behavior was off, I’d take notice. Hell, if it was cold outside, I’d tell the people leaving to “Stay warm out there.” And I do this, because I genuinely care. I don’t expect anything remotely reciprocal, and in the long run, I know my extended efforts will go forgotten. No one is going to remember the guy who seemed like he listened for about a minute or so, and I don’t expect them to. It’d be ludicrous to, and it would make my efforts hollow if I did them expecting some kind of reward in return, that’s not the kind of man I am. I don’t do favors for others expecting a favor to be done for me. I’m not the Godfather.

But what made this day interesting was the fact that people were ‘surprized’ to see me. You see, no one noticed that I was sick and gone, they simply thought that I had a different schedule. They had only noticed that I wasn’t there, “Oh hey, I haven’t seen you in a while” But this was as casual as can be. I aim to be as punctual as possible, and always aim to arrive early, I often volunteer to be the last man on the clock to close shop. They expect that from me. And yet, I find myself surrounded by people who hadn’t “seen me in a while” I guess, I shouldn’t look too much into it, I was only gone for really 2 days. It wasn’t long enough to really take notice.

To be honest, it’d take me a week to realize when someone has left the job, but then again, I’d work a week straight a shift in which I would never see them. And I’d be the one saying, “You know, I haven’t seen ___ in a while.” I guess I shouldn’t take it too much to heart because I’m guilty of it too.

I took a gamble on my health to work, because I wanted to work, and because I wanted to feel useful again, but to be honest, they don’t need me. This organization can function as perfectly fine as if I was never there.

So I spoke to a coworker, saying that I feel a bit out of it, and she replied, “You should’ve taken that extra day off (today). I would’ve, I don’t care.” Her words left a echo in my mind. Not necessarily what she said, but the concept of it.

Why did I risk my health and went to work today, when I knew I wasn’t well?

What good would it have done?

Nothing special happened today, I didn’t have some philosophical conversation, nor gave wise words today, as a matter of fact, I didn’t talk very much today. So why did I risk my health?

Before you think I’m getting cynical and detached, let me tell you my train of thought.

The very first thing the heart does when it is full of oxygenated blood, ready to send it out to the rest of the body providing life, function and purpose is this: It sends it through the Coronary arteries. A branch off the aorta goes straight back into the heart itself, replenishing the heart because it too, needs that same oxygenated blood. The very thing the heart does when it is full of blood intended for the body is to take some of that blood is give it to itself. It takes care of itself first. Because if the heart doesn’t get that blood then it dies and then the rest of the system goes down, so not only does it want to take some blood for itself, it has to.

It has to take care of itself first, “I don’t care how much blood the rest of the body needs, I need this for myself.”

There’s no shame in taking care of yourself, as a matter of fact, that’s why airplane emergencies require you to put on the face mask on yourself first, rather than another, because if you don’t make it, then both of you will die. But if you get yours on first, then you can help others who still haven’t.

There will be many times in one’s life where you can dedicate every moment to someone outside of yourself, but that does not mean that there won’t be times when you need to dedicate this time only to yourself. Because how can you help or work, when you’re having difficulty doing the very actions that are required of you? If I’m sick, then I need to make sure that I’m 100%, otherwise, I can miss a vein when I stick someone, I can mislabel a product (which is very serious) and lose my job. All because I wanted to feel useful? No sir, this isn’t valid. I have sick days in the waiting, I can afford to not work.

I have to remember that although I’m planning on a life that’s dedicated to helping others, I cannot forget that sometimes the one who needs help is me. Sometimes, I am the one who needs saving, the one who needs to hear wise words.

I can’t be the hero all of the time.

Nor should I be. Because then that means that I have no faith in humanity, no faith that there are other genuinely good people out there. And I can’t believe that. I want to live in a world that houses good people, I know I’m not the only one. And I believe that this world is here and now.

This is a good world, full of good people. Heh, I don’t care how little, nor if I’m really the only one, because Ghandi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Breaking the Habits

Heh, This is my 200th post and it’s about my 26th birthday.

Studies have shown that at the age of 25, the human brain completes its maturation cycle, so I guess this means that I really don’t have any excuse to be immature or act like an idiot.

But one thing, I’ve started to notice about myself is, at this point, I’m growing tired of putting things off, of seeing things left unfinished, or work left undone. Something has stirred in me to go out of my way to get it done. Usually, I wouldn’t even notice these things, but now, it’s on the corner of my eye, and with nearly no hesitation, I get to work. The TV show isn’t as important as picking up these random articles of clothing, or as sweeping something that has fallen to the floor.

My years spend as my Father’s assistant, is starting to itch as I keep driving my car without proper maintenance. I’m seeing more and more opportunities to get things done, and lately, I’ve been taking them, seemingly out of nowhere.

Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s rather shocking, exciting, but most of all, interesting… My youthful habits of letting things slide is diminishing and now I’m taking actual pride in the things around me, the idea that if I live here then I should make it as best as I can, because I live here. I simply cannot turn a blind eye, these are the actions of a child, not of a man. I’ve always wanted to prove myself as a man, yet it’s only at this point that I realized that, I’ve done nothing that brings me closer towards being a man, save for living this long.

I have so many opportunities to prove myself and these remain at the wayside, everything that life would demand of a man is right here within my grasp, and I’m not reaching for it, for practically no reason. I need to Man up, quite literally.

A Man doesn’t complain about the work, he doesn’t let things slide when he has the ability to do something about it, he doesn’t try to find the blame, he just fixes the problem, he’s willing to get down and dirty to get the job done, regardless of what has happened during his day. A Man does what needs to be done, no questions asked!

This is the habit, the main habit that I need to develop, the habit of success that will cause the rest of my life to be successful, and ironically, the reasons for it are not to achieve success, but to achieve personal satisfaction of a job well done. A Man doesn’t boast about himself, he merely does what’s necessary.

So, I will now break the habits I have of sleeping in, watching TV, checking the internet for random things, doing childish things. I will replace these with the habit-building productivity of a Man.

Of all of the gifts, I shall receive for this birthday, This shall be the one I shall strive to treasure.

Shoes, Not Sandals

“Ey! Put on your ‘choose'(Shoes)!” My Father would yell this at whoever would be barefoot around him, “Or I step on your patitas, and then you’ll be crying!” This is then followed by some comically exaggerated form of crying.

And although hilarious to see, it wasn’t a bluff, because if we ignored his command, then when we pass by him again, he’d aim for the toes and step on them or sometimes by accident, he’d step on them, but in either case, he’d say, “Well, I told you to put on your ‘choose’!”

But one thing I’ve noticed, is that my father only had 2 pairs of shoes: Formal shoes and Shoes for everything else.

He never had sandals, nor moccasins, nor flip-flops, nor Vibrams, or anything else, other than shoes he’d always wear and formal shoes for special occasions.

Earlier today, I’ve observed that when I wake up and put on my sandals, I remain as sleepy and tired as if I went barefoot, but if I put on socks and shoes, my mind starts waking up much faster, I start thinking quicker, and I’d reach a state of ‘Completely awake’ in a matter of minutes, as compared to the sandals, which would take hours.

And now I wonder why I’ve never found my Father wearing sandals, I remember buying some for him, but they’d often be tossed to the way-side, forgotten, and found by one of my brothers who would claim them for himself, and my Father would never have/notice them, until some time afterwards, when he’d look at their feet, and (in his usual manner) question whether or not those same sandals were his.

But whenever it was time to work, there would be my Father, wearing his shoes, getting ready to start the day. And if we wanted to work, we had to put on shoes as well, donning sandals got us sent back inside and unable to work until we had shoes on.

And I can now see why, once you have your shoes on, your feet instantly recognizes the years of familiarity of putting them on before, before going to school, before running outside to play, before performing any sort of strenuous work.

It helps focus the energy through the traction of the soles, by providing a firm grip on the ground, sending that signal to your brain, that your feet are firmly planted, so then the mind thinks, ‘Ok with the feet being solid and firm, we must now react to do the same, lest we find ourselves not picking our feet up high enough and then the traction will have us flat on our faces.’

The mind instantly remembers the amount of traction the shoes have, and immediately adjusts the movement of the legs to compensate for the static friction factor, otherwise, at the angle you move your leg, you will drive your foot either horizontally or and any other angle that doesn’t pick up the foot high enough to avoid the static friction factor of the shoe, and that’s what causes you to drag your feet only a couple of inches, when the body expects a full stride, and what happens then? BAM! You fall forward, because your body has shifted its center of gravity to a point that isn’t properly supported by your legs… Heh, I realize that I throw in science whenever my mind is tired.

So with shoes on, your mind starts working complex problems and adjusts accordingly, and becomes more and more aware of it’s surroundings, and if you’ve just woken up, then that’s helpful in reaching a state of awake faster, than anything else, in my opinion, I’ve tried water, coffee, shower, slapping myself, cooking sometimes helps because of the Fire involved, but nothing else wakes me up faster than putting on my shoes.

The very act of putting on my shoes reminds me of all of the hard work I’ve done when I’ve put them on before, everything from auto body, to construction to Major clean-up jobs, activities that are generally outdoors, and require many hours to complete. After years of doing them, my body now thinks that I’m going to do them again every time I put on my shoes, heh, which is rather inconvenient at 4AM when I’ve returned from taking my brother to the Metro station, and I want to go back to sleep.

I have sandals, but now in the future, I think I’ll just stick with shoes, regardless of the various occasions  and benefits that come with Sandals…. Well, I think I just won’t wear them that often.