3.5/5 stars
FOX_3558.psdIf you lose a parent, get divorced, Start a heroin habit, and cheat on your spouse the same year, you might consider going on a nature hike: a long one. That’s the premise of Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon. That’s not a new concept for a movie. What makes it interesting is the backstory woven throughout in flashbacks. Handwritten journal entries show the forward journey while flashback scenes show the past one. It’s incredibly well acted and shows a path of redemption and clarity. Placed throughout are classic oldies such as Simon and Garfunkel. This adds a thoughtful, self-aware tone to the film. There are a few drug and sex scenes that definitely are not for children. I was prompted to watch it because of the high scores it has received from the critics. I agree with them, it’s a great “armchair” trip through breathtaking scenery and a riveting past.

Robert frost wrote “I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.” We see that in her journal and here and there spoken by characters in the movie. It’s a good reference because she seems to never stop walking the miles. Perhaps she is looking for enlightenment. Maybe she just has nowhere left to go. As we empathize with the protagonist, we experience a path that few ever get to see. This is the Pacific Trail with elements of social havens in the rural towns it passes. The Appalachian trail is a similar challenge seeking souls take on. For these images alone, the movie is worth watching. Cheryl’s story and transformation is a secondary allure. I was inspired by her journey. I like the word “clarity” to describe what she finds for her fractured life. It’s a great movie and I think most people will enjoy it. Because it spends a little too much time on scenes of nothing, I feel it lost potential. I would have liked to see more development of her story and less of the trail.

Calm Realization and Resolve

I had a lot of fun being my school’s site rep through the union this year. Even though all schools are supposed to have 2 or more, I was the only one but I didn’t really mind it because I felt strong enough to handle it. That was until a person complained to me, about me. I was told I offended the staff with something I said and at first I felt really sad about it. Later I got angry. What right does this person have to insult me this way? This person is not doing any of the jobs of a practicing site rep and yet she/he is attacking the way I spoke in a meeting. The proof is in the pudding, we got our deal this year so something worked. Anyway, I was so insulted by the way this person approached me that I took them off my Facebook and when I see them in the halls I just elect more or less to walk the other way. It makes me wonder why anyone ever runs for public office. It is a thankless job. It also made me realize I will not ever be a rep again. Getting people to move on something, at least in my experience, is like getting blood from a stone.  Did some relaxation after this happened and I called down. Then I had more realizations and resolve.

After you breathe and meditate in a relaxed state, you can better understand what’s important in your life. A lot of the “chaff” burns away when you take the time to relax.I think much of our world today is overworked and overcommitted. This stems from people not being able to say no. I am as guilty of this as anyone. I have gotten a little better though through the years. It used to be whenever my boss would ask me to take on some new extra task, I was all gung ho to do it. While I hope I never lose that “get er done” spirit, I need to remember that I can burnout and that is not helpful to anyone. You want to be fresh and rested for the things you do. If you aren’t, your creativity suffers as well as your wit and candor. You end up doing a half-way decent job on multiple things rather than a stellar job of a few or even one thing you focus on.

Blog Safari 4-15-15

Giraffes_at_west_midlands_safari_parkThese are some amazing blog posts by other people I read last week. Check them out!

“From My Perspective… You Have It Made”

Kindness – A to Z of Self Leadership

Do You Have A Writing Style?

Guarding their galaxies

Who Are You Blogging For?

Famous Poem: The Sea Took Pity

Minimum and Maximum (#atozchallenge)

The Simple Approach & Occam’s Razor

IMG_7926One of the best pieces of advice I can give anyone today is to keep things simple. Take passwords for instance. Everyone has at least a few passwords they are required to remember to access things online. Most people I know have a different password for every service. This can get confusing fast. When you need something online and can’t remember you password it is really defeating. I know many people who give up on their quest because it’s just inconvenient t reset the thing again. Here’s where simplicity can come in handy. I use the same password for almost all my online services. That way, I know the password no matter where I am and I don’t have to strain the old brain for it. Many people keep a notepad or notebook with all their passwords hidden inside. To me this is much more complicated. Occam’s razor says that if two paths to a solution have the same correct answer, the simpler of the two is the best choice. I agree in this case.

Another thing I do is map and graph my ideas on a big piece of cardboard with a sharpie. I am able to think globally and act locally with this method of sketching out ideas. When my mind is not overwhelmed with all the demands of the day, it can get more creative and make all the demands of the day easier. Even though most my work these days is done on a computer, I find it clarifying to get away from the computer to make plans about what I do on the computer. It’s like stripping down a layer of paint and having freedom to paint the room a whole new way. Anyway. In the long held blog tradition of soliciting comments, how do you keep things simple?