Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Motive

So my friends sometimes tease me because I tend to tip too much. The other day we were at this patio bar and I was kind of going over the bill and thinking about adding a few more bucks and my buddy's all like "You know she's (the waitress) not going to sleep with you or anything." and I had to laugh.  "You really don't understand my motivation in this, do you?" I replied, bemused...

Then I started to think...exactly what is my motivation for tipping too much, anyway?  Even beyond that...what motivates me to do anything?  What underlying reasons cause me to act and think the way I do?  Why do I like to do certain things and dislike others?

Turns out I don't really understand my motivations, either!

I mean, there are obvious survival motivations...gotta eat, need shelter, ergo I go work.  Other stuff must simply be learned behaviour...putting the ketchup in the fridge or preferring to wear jeans over slacks, for example. 

What about the stuff that I CHOOSE to do?  Why do I play guitar?  Why do I read so much?  Why do I WRITE so much?

In the end, I came up with 4 basic motivations that cover most everything I do.  Obviously there are exceptions but here are the main reasons I choose to do something:

1.  Curiosity.  Probably my biggest motivator.  I like to do things just to learn if I can accomplish them, to see if I'll learn something along the way, to see if I can improve myself in some way or just to see how it all pans out.  It all boils down to hunger for knowledge.

2.  For Fun!  This is actually tied into curiosity as learning things IS fun for me, but yeah!  Just because I enjoy something is good enough!  I read to both learn and relax.  I walk to the beach first because it's MORE FUN!

3.  Compulsion?  Sometimes I feel like I just NEED to do something.  This is usually what gets me in trouble in life, and generally is also how I end up in relationships.  Sometimes either circumstance or a pretty face will make me an offer that I can't refuse.  Whenever I'm doing something uncharacteristically DUMB, this is why.  I know what I'm doing is stupid, but somehow I just can't say no.  Honour and duty (or is that pride and ego?  So oft confused) frequently also play a part.  Both my marriage and my divorce came about due to this.  Sometimes it works out well for me...other times...hmmmmm

4. Simple Kindness.  This can also get me in trouble, but I never regret it.  If I can afford to do something and have the time, then I'll frequently go out of my way just to try and make someone's day a little brighter.  I finally realized that in life I can't make anyone aside from myself happy.  However, I can usually make people enjoy themselves right now!  If people around me are smiling, laughing, having a good time...mission accomplished!  They may be miserable in an hour and they may have a terrible life, but at least they had fun for a few minutes.

Incidentally, THIS is why I tip so much.  Not to get anything...just because I make a good living and I CAN!  It makes ME happy, and it'll hopefully help out the waitress/delivery guy/whatever too! I feel as if I make decent money for what I do, but a lot of people aren't so lucky.  If I can give someone an extra $20.00 maybe they can go to a movie or buy a toy for their kid or something that they wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.  All I was gonna do was spend it on toys or beer or something anyway....

I am sure I have further motivations...ones I haven't thought of and ones that I'm not even aware of.  Probably in denial about a few too.  So maybe my buddy WAS right....or would have been, sometimes, but not in this case (the waitress was cute enough, but not my type).  Still, it's an interesting thing to think about.  What motivates me?  What motivates YOU??  Give it some thought!

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Broken Piece

I was just lying on the floor whilst exercising and I found a little tiny broken piece of plastic.
    "What's this?"  I said to myself.
    "Well, self," I replied, "it appears to be a little tiny broken piece of plastic!"  At this point I took a long look around the room, which contains a multitude of plastic toys, various electronics, musical equipment, DVDs and more. 
    "There's a lot of possibilities around here for a little tiny broken piece of plastic," I said to myself.  "I better keep it."

It's no wonder that the man at the casino today had a hard time believing that I'm 35 years old.  Life is good! 

Also, the little tiny broken piece of plastic is safely ensconced on a shelf awaiting recognition one day.  Even though it's not particularly useful right now, I'm certain I'll eventually find a place for it.  Someday...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Did Queen Victoria Support the Arts?

It's May 24 and my vacation is starting!  In that spirit I thought I'd just throw some random stuff at you this week!  Here's a poem I wrote at the beach:

The Wind blows Around and Through me
Blow wind, blow
Clear the cobwebs from my soul
Heal my wounded heart
Comfort my troubled mind

& I will bring you flowers
& Glad Tidings
By the light of the Summer Moon

Where is She who could understand this Perfectly?
Long long gone or Never Been Born....

And since we're feeling artsy, check out this video of a song Doris and I were writing.  It's not really a song all the way yet, but it's getting there...I'd only heard it about an hour before this video was shot...

Next week I'm on vacation!  Happy Victoria Day everybody!  Drink a 24 for me!

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Phantom Stranger

Isn't it strange how easy it is to read into what strangers are doing and how they are feeling at any given time, and yet how hard it can be to understand your own feelings or figure out what to do in a situation that you're personally involved in?  I wish I could look at my own life with the same emotional detachment and neutrality with which I would view a stranger's.  I think a lot could be learned!

Just picture, say, a pill you took or a sci-fi brain helmet or something, with which you could forget completely who you are for X amount of time.  You could then tour your own life like a phantom stranger and basically actually see how you look through someone else's eyes!  Wouldn't that be valuable?  I think everyone could learn something about themselves in this way.  Find out what makes you look impressive and what makes you look foolish...what relationships are helping you and what ones are maybe holding you back...what areas of your life could be vastly improved with just a little more effort...just be able to look at everything with new eyes.

Unfortunately I know of no magic technology that will truly allow me to view my life through the eyes of a stranger.  However, I can try to pretend.  I tried walking through my apartment the other night as if it were the apartment of someone I'd never met.  I was trying to decide what the various items contained within the place said about their owner.  There were lots of areas I thought could be improved with just a little work.  I also question the need for "whoever lives in this apartment" to have so many little plastic effigies to what?  Something...a strange fascination with duality....heroes and villains...cats and dogs...good and evil...all set amongst mismatched furniture and an unusual contradiction of very old and very modern things...

And that's just the living room.  This was an interesting activity but I don't know that it helped me really learn anything.  It's a wonder anyone ever understands even why they themselves do the things they do.  And if this is the case, how are we ever going to understand each other?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Looking Back...

So my parents sold their house and are moving into an apartment this month.  It's a good move for them and the new place is great!  The downside is all the stuff that's been in their basement for the last 18 or so years now needs to be loved or left.  I took home a car full of old papers, pictures, doo-dads and love letters and have been slowly going through stuff.  I thought it might be fun to share some...

The above pic of little 5 year old Mike really says all you need to know about me!  I'm still wearing that same outfit, have that same haircut, have the SAME BLUE BLANKET on my bed and now I DRIVE the train!  Isn't that messed up?  I recently heard a quote that is oh-so-true...."Everything I loved as a child and hated as a teenager I now love again." What a strange 30 year path I've followed to end up with so much in common with my 5 year old self...

Anyway, moving forward in time, here is an essay I wrote in 1994 about my experiences as a kid in 1984!  Here in 2012 it's an interesting read...

Click to expand...sorry it's a little cramped...they only gave me one page...

Oh and here's a picture of the "town mountain" with a "G" for Gunnison on it...NOT the biggest mountain around, trust me!  I remember my grandpa came to visit one time and he took me for a walk up this mountain and my parents were mad because we weren't being very careful about the rattlesnakes.  I miss that grumpy old man...actually I think he took this pic cause it was his photo album I nabbed it from...

Wow.  Old School!