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Archive for January, 2014

Sometimes you’re the cat. Sometimes you’re the fish. Sometimes, you’re catfish.

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

catfishThis post begins with two gifts.

The first gift I received from a friend this week was the gift of existentialism.  I received in the post a copy of The Rebel by Camus and another book, Introducing Existentialism.  (Pretty sure I should back up and get The Idiot’s guide to existentialism instead.  Do they make such a thing?!?)  The second gift was a pin from another friend, in the picture – of a cat and a fish.

I’m not going to lie–reading the Camus stuff has been hard.  But,  I think I figured out the message from the universe today through these gifts.

Disclaimers – first, I’m no philosophizer.  I’m a doer, not a thinker.  (OK, I think, but I prefer to do over think.)  Second, the existentialists believe that existence precedes essence.  I think that means that one must first exist before s/he gets any sense of self…?  (Caution: getting me to explain philosophy is a very dangerous thing.)

I don’t know if I buy this argument.  Those of us who believe we are here for a reason may have an argument to be made here – that maybe the calling or purpose for being here actually came before existence.  I don’t know.  I don’t, however, buy that we have no essence prior to existence, (and for that matter, when does existence begin, anyway?)

There’s another problem here too.  Camus didn’t think he was an existentialist, even though Wikipedia et al like to throw him into that bucket.  He instead was an Absurdist.  My best guess at what this means is there is a dualism, a ying-yang or a dialectic pull in life.  Fall is another spring, where the leaves are the flowers, according to Camus.  The only real thing worth fighting for is peace. Within me during winter, I found a hot, invincible summer.  These are samples of his thinking.

After checking out the cat pin again today, and thinking about Camus while shoveling off my driveway for the second time, this is the best I’ve got as the message I think I was to receive from the universe this week:

Sometimes, we are the cat.
Sometimes, we are the fish.
Sometimes, we are both the cat and the fish.  (Catfish…?)
Sometimes, if we think too hard about philosophy, we are the fishbowl.

Happy New Year – that’s all I’ve got!

-The Fishbowl

10 Commandments of Thy Sabbatical: The Winners and Losers

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Well, today, New Year’s Day, is my official last day of my sabbatical.  I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, I think I’ve now figured out a way to speed time up – engage warp speed when going on a sabbatical!  Hahaha! On the other hand, I’m ready to get my work back on.

Remember that post I write about the 10 Commandments of Thy Sabbatical? I did. I went back to see how well I did, or didn’t do.  Since you all love to hold me accountable here, my fab 14, (yes, I upped it this year by 1 – woot!)  I thought I’d share my success/failures with you.  Ready?

The 10 Commandments of Thy Sabbatical (With post-play commentary.)

1. Thou shalt read every day. (This one really was easy for me.  I read a bunch of solid stuff, and a bunch of brain candy too.  Check!)

2. Thou shalt write every day.  (I don’t know if I wrote EVERY day of my sabbatical, but I did manage to crank out 2 books during it.  I’d say that’s pretty good for 4 months.  Check.)

3. Thou shalt exercise every day, preferably twice a day.  (Summer months, this was pretty easy.  Fall, not so much.  But, Santa brought me a Fitbit for Christmas, so that little wrist band is holding my feet to the fiery treadmill…. Minus, overall.)

4. Thou shalt not sit in front of the TV.  (I did.  But not terribly much. Neutral.)

5. Thou shalt go see friends thou hasn’t seen in a while.  (I rocked this.  Went to NYC, NC, Philly, and even OUS to hang with my friends.  Check check.)

6. Thou shalt give up refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  (Fail. Big time. Minus minus.)

7. Thou shalt give up bubbly white red all wine.  (Fail. Again. 6 & 7 are my albotrosses.)

8. Thou shalt try something new, preferably every day. (I tried a lot of weirdness during my sabbatical.  Kept things open.  Glad I did. Check.)

9. Thou shalt be open to newness.  (Ditto to 8.)

10. Thou shalt hit it hard in January 2014 at work.  (Ready to rock!)

Happy new year, everyone!  And if you’re headed OUT on a sabbatical of your own, consider writing some guidelines for yourself.  Even though I didn’t win at all of mine, I’m glad I wrote down some parameters…)