A moment of self-reflection before carrying on.

Life does not consist mainly — or even largely — of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.
– Mark Twain

Every now and then I find myself pondering, well, myself. I sometimes wonder if I am what I should be or if I am something other than what I think myself to be.

Yeah, that’s confusing. Let me see if I can explain.

I like to believe that I’m a fairly smart and enlightened fellow yet I don’t feel like that is true very often. My I.Q. has been estimated to be as high as 160, but simple mathematical word problems will give me fits, which makes me feel stupid. The only reason I accept that I am relatively smart is because people I trust tell me this is true, but there’s a certain amount of bias in that declaration because they (generally) like me which is probably why I trust them because they tell me things that encourage me to believe things about myself I want to believe anyway. That shows I have a certain amount of self-awareness, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m as intelligent as I (or others) believe me to be. And I often wonder what difference it really makes how smart I am when I seem to be unable to figure out how to use it to be more successful than I am. There are people out there who are wildly more successful than I am that are arguably less intelligent than I am (based on their public personas at least) which would seem to be evidence that being smart has fewer practical applications than you might think or that I’m not as smart as I like to believe I am. Probably the latter over the former.

I also often wonder if I’m more shallow of a person than I realize. Usually that thought comes along after reading a particularly brilliant blog post from someone like Paul Sunstone over at Café Philos. I don’t even understand some of what he’s talking about in that entry which makes me realize just how little truly deep thinking I do. Decrepit Old Fool is another blogger who can leave me feeling somewhat inferior after reading his thoughts. Then I turn around and check out what’s trending on Twitter and my new-found fears about being too shallow usually quickly vanish. I may not be the deepest thinker in the world, but, damn, at least I’m not worried about what shoes someone wears or how snappy they dress as a yardstick for social interaction.

It’s not that I’m unhappy with myself — I have areas I’m working on, but overall I like me — just that I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking there is a person I’m supposed to be and that I’m not living up to that ideal. Just who determines what we’re supposed to be anyway? And what we’re supposed to be always seems to vary depending on who’s doing the telling. I’m past the half-way point in my life (assuming I don’t die early due to some sort of accident or a crazed stalker) and I’m old enough now to be able to look back at how foolish I was in my younger years. That implies that I’m wiser now than I was then, but some of my flaws wouldn’t bear that conclusion out. At 43 years of age I still think I’d like to be an actor, which is what I thought I wanted to be at one point in my youth, but I don’t believe I have the talent, looks, or the motivation to actually pursue that career. I’m a PC technician because that’s what I’m good at doing, not because I had an overwhelming desire as a child to become one. My ability to plan for the long term has never been something I was good at and it shows in the meandering path my life has taken over the years. If I were as smart as I’m told that I am you’d think I’d take the time to get better at planning and yet I don’t have the motivation to do so even though I can recognize the ways in which it will negatively impact my life in the future. For example, I’ll probably never be able to retire at the rate I’m going.

Honestly, I’m not even sure why I bother thinking about stuff like this. As I said, it’s not that I’m unhappy with myself as a person, so why all the mini-angst about what could have been or things I’m probably not capable of being? It’s like my mind is looking for things to be unhappy about for no good reason. Almost like it sees all these other people around me who are scrambling to live up to some ideal they have about themselves and being upset when they fail to do so so it thinks I should be doing the same thing. It probably says a lot about me that I’m not that upset that I’m not all I could be, but it seems a lot less stressful than what a lot of other folks are doing.

This is another in a long line of not-sure-what-the-hell-I’m-trying-to-say entries so it probably doesn’t make much sense, but there you go.

 

You write like a girl!

So says the GenderAnalyzer which attempts to guess the gender of a blog author by the content of the page. I put in SEB thinking that with all the foul language I tend to use it’ll guess I’m a man easily. Nope, it guessed SEB is written by a woman.

Not sure how it goes about formulating its guess, but it didn’t take more than a moment to come back with a response so whatever it does has to be pretty basic. It’s true that my first full name is commonly associated with the female gender, but I don’t use it on my site so that can’t be it.

To its credit, it correctly guess that my mother’s blog was written by a woman and ***Dave Does the Blog is written by a man, but it thinks my dad’s blog was also written by a woman.

***Dave says: “Daag!”

Poor ***Dave. He’s over in Amsterdam on business and he’s so bored he chatted with me on Google Talk this morning. Apparently it’s around about 5PM over there and still too early in the morning back in Colorado for him to chat with his family so I was the next best thing. He’s having fun doing the Corporate Jet Set thing and plans to get some sight-seeing in today.

I confessed that reading his exploits on his blog made me feel like I still haven’t quite grown up. He’s off being all managerial and international and I’m still plugging away in the trenches. Most guys my age in my field are usually doing the manager thing at this point it seems. I believe I’m the oldest guy on my crew at work.

Probably for the best, though. I’m much more hedonistic than ***Dave is so who knows how corrupting the city of Amsterdam would be if I were the one on that trip. The meetings would definitely be a lot different with me in attendance. Partially because I hate meetings and partially because, well, I’m me. ***Dave plans to bring back souvenirs for everyone in the Blogosphere when he comes home so get ready to be showered in cool stuff. OK, I made that last part up.

What’s even more sad than the fact that ***Dave could only find me to chat with is the fact that I’m actually blogging about it. Go figure.

Teaching an old dog old tricks he used to know, but forgot.

I’m trying to train myself to sleep on my back. I used to sleep on my back all the time, but ever since I had to give up my water bed back in my late 20’s because of my bad back I’ve not been able to sleep on my back. Instead I usually sleep on one side or the other sometimes with my right arm under my head or sometimes partially on my tummy. The problem with this is I wake up with sore arms and/or a sore ribcage from sleeping on my arms. Plus one of my arms is often sticking out from the covers and, with the cooler weather, is just this side of being frozen solid by the time I wake up. It’s freakin’ annoying.

So I’m trying to learn how to sleep on my back again and it’s not going well. Which is weird as I have no problems sleeping while sitting up which is just like laying on your back except you’re, um, sitting up. And I can at least doze on the couch when kinda laying on my back wedged into the spot where the cushions meat the backrest. So why the hell can’t I sleep on my back?

Now that I think of it the last time I can recall sleeping on my back was on my honeymoon when we were staying at a bed and breakfast in Frankenmuth (Michigan’s little Bavaria) on what has to have been the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on in my life. If I had had any sense at all I would’ve thought to ask them what the hell mattresses they were using and, for that matter, pillows and comforter set. I’m sure it was all horribly expensive, but it was such a good sleep it would be worth the investment. I have a picture of the bed in our photo gallery and I’ve always thought it shows just how much of an idiot I am that I took a picture of the bed, but didn’t actually bother to ask what it was composed of. Looking at the picture it seems smaller than I remember as I keep picturing as being somewhat like the huge bed Tim Allen sleeps in at the North Pole in The Santa Clause which is the sort of bed I’ve long dreamed of.

Needless to saw, I really enjoy sleeping.