Another challenge to overcome

Sitting here with my feet up in the very cool breeze coming in the window, I ponder the latest challenge.

It is hard until you do it.
 

One more thing I am trying on this iPad. It feels like, once again, I will be disappointed and not do it again. I am now down to using the iPad only for games, email, and surfing the Net. It is not even good for music anymore, after the forced fan thing.
Anyway, I am grumbling because of aches and pains today. Lo siento. I haven’t written anything in a while.  I don’t know if I will write soon. I just want to write right now. I have a lot that I have been storing in my little brain, especially for Omaigunes! I have decided to change that quite a bit and have yet to actually do it.

  
Today, my brain chews…
I understand, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is what it is.
Such a fine line. Being human is an interesting experience in which we each get to experience and work things out independent of the experiences of others. Where is the line between simply being unmotivated unhappy and being unhappy because of the discomfort of a challenge? A challenge may make temporary unhappiness, but once overcome it makes immeasurable joy. 
So, I think, there is no limit to the challenges that can be overcome. However, there is a limit to the challenges that a human can face and stay motivated. That limit, still unseen, of course, is the line where unmotivated unhappiness meets discomfort unhappiness. 

  
There is also this belief that I have. The Universe and everything in it is perfect. I am exactly where I am, doing exactly what I am doing, struggling with exactly the thoughts that I am for a reason.
Once again, here I am having this awesome human experience, trying to work it out. 

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Five things I am thankful for today:

  1. The weather being cooler and a cool breeze on my feet.
  2. The sound of coffee being poured into my cup.
  3. The painful moments that make us thankful for the moments without pain.
  4. The ability and opportunity to choose.
  5. The ability and opportunity to love.

Listening to: “This is the song that never ends…” drums practicing for the 15th.

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A full-blooded cowboy finds himself

Yeah. I know. I didn’t know I was lost either. I was at peace with myself, honestly. I was good to go. I was just playing a part that I still wasn’t pulling off and I wasn’t sure why.

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When I was a young boy, I was a full-blooded cowboy. I made sure to tell everyone I met. I was born in Arizona. It only makes sense, right? I have come a long way since that boy with the cowboy boots and a puffed proud chest.

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I lived all over the States—and spent the majority of my young life up through my thirties—trying to be a city boy. I enjoyed having friends who were “rednecks” or “country boys”, but I always retained my identity as a city boy.

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After a long and winding road from living in the desert, to living in several of the major cities in the States, to seeing several other countries, I finally found a home.

I would love a piece of land up here
I found Honduras.

I would love to have a chunk of land up here, with a couple horses and all the other Old MacDonald stuff. It is only less than an hour walk from the house. The city is only 50-100,000 anyway, so it is not that hard to get into the country. I mean, our house is not exactly downtown anyway. However, we are near the main road.

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I found my last girlfriend.

She is motivating me everyday to be as good as she thinks I am.

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I found my dogs. Here are two of them. Chachi is pulling a Vogue face.

I found the right hat finally. I always thought the hats were not right. That might be true, but I also believe that I was not right, yet. Now, I’m not saying that the hat magically makes me handsome. I am just saying that it is a hat that makes me happy, keeps the sun of my head, and isn’t too damn hot on my head.

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I have spent a lifetime auditioning for a role that I was not suited for. I am skilled, educated, motivated, and intelligent. I am also a full-blooded cowboy and that undeniable fact will not change regardless of where I happen to be.

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This guy was a great listener. He got bored with indoor living though.

Little monster napping on me

He was a horrible vicious little monster with needle-teeth, but sometimes he would shut up and pretend to be all cute and shite.

Five Things I am Thankful for Today:

  1. Digital cable making its way to our barrio.
  2. The real Top Gear thanks to that digital cable.
  3. 51 Channels of commercial free music thanks to that sweet digital cable.
  4. The price of that digital cable.
  5. How everything is connected, except mosquitos, fleas, ticks, and other frickin parasites.

Listening to: Chilltopia for the past few hours of sweet tranquility.

Discontinued

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Thinking about my last post, it occurred to me that I didn’t include any shiny details for why some guy would be so thankful. People need examples. My first thought was to edit the post. Then, it occurred to me that I feel that the blog should just be discontinued. I will focus on Omaigunes! and offer my two cents about various places.

Adios and Namaste,

Santa Martha Gringo

Seems simple enough- Be thankful first

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Ok. Maybe it doesn’t seem simple. It sounds simple enough. It’s a great idea, right? Yeah, be thankful. Blah, blah, blah. Are you where you want to be? It’s actually as simple as your choice. Yes, first you have to choose to want where you are. Then, you begin being where you dreamt of being.

Yes, being thankful is the key. However, it doesn’t mean that you choose to live in a situation that is challenging or depressing. I can live in a situation where I am surrounded by incompatible people, culture, food, climate, etc. I can be thankful to ‘be’ in that situation or any other. However, it is not the ideal. Being thankful doesn’t make me ignorant. I am aware that what I choose may be very different than what I am currently experiencing. Like I told my son, many moons ago. There are gnats to help us to appreciate the times when there are no gnats.

 

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The traffic cones in life are just as gentle as the ones on the road. We can ignore them and run them over. Bulldozing on through.

 

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The funny thing is, I sound like a salesman sometimes. The reality is far from it. I am not selling anything, just offering the free gift I have enjoyed. I am exactly where I wanted to be a few years ago when I really started focusing my thoughts on creating my experience. I am in a place that I could not even imagine when I was young.

 

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The other day, my new wife and I bought a new set of pans. The very cheap and mismatched set that some single guy had was no longer sufficient. Once again, they were actually affordable. Well, the only complaint I had about them was the knobs on the lids. They were really short, making them hard to grab.

Being a fixer, I decided to change them. For immediate needs, I thought I would change one knob with a lid I already had. I found that they weren’t as simple to exchange as I thought. I had to put it back for the moment.

Being a guy, my finesse abandoned me for a second while I torqued the knob from the new lid back in its original place a bit too tight and the plastic just cracked, so the knob was no longer usable. This was my cue to visit my favorite hardware store and get a new knob. This new knob with a hand-selected screw that was a bit shorter and two washers cost me 45 cents.

Yes, I can live somewhere less agreeable. However, I can also live somewhere that is exactly what I have dreamt of for many years. I can be thankful for whatever I experience and thus have a more amazing experience than I ever imagined.

 

Five things I am thankful for today:

  1. Choice. The ability to choose what I experience.
  2. An awesome perfect inexplicable unpredictable Universe.
  3. My preciosa. The connection I was not sure I would ever find.
  4. Cool weather and sore muscles.
  5. Ursus, the gentle giant. My big baby boy.

 

Listening to: the popping and pinging of the tin roof under the sun and the shower heralding the forthcoming experience.

 

Questions, comments, rants are all welcome.

Why is this situation less than perfect?- Deep end of the pool

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This week’s post is still positive. It is just a bit on the deep end of the pool.

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Imagine perfection. No wait. Quit thinking about my wife. Seriously. Imagine there are no problems. There is only light and love. Everyone is agreeable. Everyone is friendly and happy. Nothing is less than perfect.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what God’s experience was before deciding to create humans. I am Catholic by marriage. However, no religion is entirely correct to me. I believe that we all have a connection to God straight to our hearts.

The words from God have been altered by man. Whoa, that is a bold statement. God will be so offended that I am using my free will, just as men have done when writing about God. I am only using Christianity as an example here. However, I believe all religions are “of man”, which means they have built/build on the foundation of God’s words. “Free will” is the thing that God wanted us specks to have. Angels are too agreeable. He wanted more than “yes men”.

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Free will is probably the most important aspect of us humans and our life experience. Why is this situation less than perfect? We need the things that we don’t choose-things that we call bad-to help us to appreciate the things that we do choose-things that we call good.

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One day, my son and I were sitting outside a barn where a friend kept her horses. My son asked me-more of an exclamation, really-“Why do there have to be gnats?” To this I responded, “To help us to appreciate the times when there are no gnats.” When I was lying in a hospital bed because I could not walk, it helped me to appreciate the times when I could walk.

We need to be babies, unable to walk.

Then, toddlers shakily learning to walk.

Then, teenagers shakily learning to be adults.

Then adults shakily learning to be adults.

We need to get hit in the face with a baseball.

We need to have our plans destroyed by some unforeseen event.

We need to experience failure.

We need to have our hearts broken.

Some things are “bad” to you, but great to someone else.

Some say, “Ugh! a rainy day.”

I say, “Sweet! A rainy day.”

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This is not so that we can become stronger and more able to do things. It is so that we can learn that the Universe is perfect. We only need to relax into the flow. We are specks. God and the Universe desire our success. Our success actually, in my opinion, is guaranteed.

This is why those saying you should do what makes you happy are completely correct. Doing what makes you happy will make you motivated, will make others happy, and will spread positive energy like a virus exploding into the world around you.

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Stressing about the details of our day will not help things along. Stressing will just make our experience more challenging. However, stressing is not wrong. Everyone is on a different path, learning different things. The curriculum of life is designed perfectly for every individual.
Five things I am thankful for today:
1. A callate(ky-a-tay) button on her neck. Since I am a stubborn male(mule might be a more accurate spelling), mine happens to be right on my lips.
2. The opportunity to be a better teacher/father.
3. The opportunity to create for myself and for others.
4. The opportunity to experience life, culture, food, love, joy, affection, pain, challenge…
5. Cool air which is the contrasting experience I have chosen.

Listening to: Tap, tap, tap of my busy little fingers and a rooster crowing over there.

The foggy awesome future

A rooster crows. The dogs spar. The kettle springs to life with the grumbling akin to that of a belly full of food. It says, “I am about to scream. Are you ready? Here it comes.”

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There is a laundry list of items to be stressed about. The thing that it so often forgotten by us humans is that there is an equally long list of things to be thankful for. Then, when we are thankful, we relax into God’s timing. The timing of the Universe.

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An example of this is this morning. The last time I planned to get up early and head to town for some items for a project, it was raining heavily all through the wee hours. The rain happens to be a tool for spiritual guidance for me because I am thankfully without a car. I can do that here in Siguatepeque. You may have something else to direct you. A child destroying a bathroom. Dogs shredding a pizza box all over the living room. Whatever makes you pause and gives you the opportunity to take a deep breath. This morning, same project, same rain. I feel like I have been told to just wait.

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I don’t know why I felt guided to wait. I just know the future will be awesome. I do not need to know the details. As I have said, the future is like a winding road into the fog. The trees are covered with beautiful flowers. The grass is covered with sparkling dew. The road crunches under my feet. I cannot see around the next bend. All I can see is what is right here in front of me. I just know that whatever is around that next bend will be awesome.

Yes, planning for the future is a good idea. Reviewing events in the past can be helpful as well. However, using the walking down the road of life metaphor, if I spend more than a moment looking forward or back, two bad things are sure to happen. One, I will miss what is right in front of me. Two, I will stumble on what is right in front of me because I am looking elsewhere.

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What will the future be if it is not exactly what I am trying to do? Awesome, as it has been thus far, since I started listening.

Maybe, those shoes that are already marked down from 20 to 13 bucks, will be marked down to 7 as the wife is trying them on.

Maybe, what I had planned was a good start but the details are far more amazing when I just take a deep breath and quit bulldozing.

Maybe, success is what God wants for us.

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Maybe, worrying about anything is a ridiculous waste of time and if we are being tricked into doing so then we can just as easily decide to stop worrying. Stopping may not be easy, but the decision is. Choice is the greatest thing in this life experience.

Five things I am thankful for today:

  1. The smell of something good emanating from the kitchen.
  2. Cool, crisp morning air.
  3. Choices.
  4. The perfection of the Universe, whether or not I understand it.
  5. Bare feet and the ability to use them.

Listening to: A big truck way over there and sizzling, glorious sizzling.

Spanglish is my favorite language

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It happens in every language. There was the proper textbook way. Then, through daily use, people develop dialects, complete with slang and sayings of all kinds. Scotland has some of the most intense incomprehensible dialects. Not in any particular order, there are also the dialects of England all over, and Georgia and the New England states in the States, in my humble opinion, of course.

Aside from the dialects, there are natural shortenings, such as:

Él es más bajo de lo que yo soy.

-becomes-

Él es más bajo que yo. and depending on the conversation, ‘es más bajo que yo.’

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I was first frustrated by these dialectical changes when I was 12. I was moved from Chicago, Illinois to Atlanta, Georgia. I was not happy about a major life change, at that age especially, but even more so the cultural differences. Being made fun of for being different at that age is life-changing.

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Now, I love every different culture and their use of their native and learned languages. My two new favorite words are: Omaigunes and a word that starts with Guada. Nope, not a city in Mexico.

My love for other cultures and my home in Honduras have made my favorite language Spanglish. It is, of course, primarily because my Spanish is not fluent. It is more than that. It is for the efficiency of it.

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Just like an Italian and a Spaniard can communicate fairly well by fumbling though the small differences betwixt their languages. Someone speaking Spanglish can communicate fairly well to a Spanish-speaker. The excellent part is, if that person also understands rudimentary English, it is even clearer communication. The cool thing is, as my wife can attest, Spanglish actually helps both an English-speaker and a Spanish-speaker to learn the language of the other. Yes, it helps that we were both teachers. She was actually a good one.

Ever since the first days of learning Spanish, I was impressed by the efficiency of the language. I have said that in English you have twenty words to describe one thing. In Spanish, you have one word to describe twenty things. Does it mean that over a million words in the vocabulary make it easier to communicate? Not at all. I have seen that it is very possible to communicate the same ideas and feelings using less in different ways.

I have been and am so glad to have been born into English. It is a complicated and mostly unnecessarily difficult language.

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Me encantan dogs. Me encantan los perros. Not much difference, but it works for me.

Five things I am thankful for today:

  1. Spanglish.
  2. Learning.
  3. A laptop that has been my faithful friend and writing companion for a few years.
  4. The crisp, cool weather of November in Siguatepeque.
  5. Another cup of the best coffee in my life.

Listening to: A big truck horn, the residual rain tapping lazily on the tin roof, and my tapping as I type.

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Today’s big challenge. You win a big bag of respect if you can name the song this picture was inspired by. You win an extra bag o’ props if you can name where it came from and your opinion of who did the best version.