“Let It Go!”

fce99d35f8494ee4bd1abe6b7e10aabd

With the upcoming birth of our daughter, my wife will often quiz me on Disney Princesses. This will be my first daughter and princesses are kind of a big deal! When Sam is getting ready for work she will often listen to her Disney Pandora channel. When a song comes on, she will ask, “What’s this one from?” Sometimes, I get it right, and sometimes I get it wrong. I have titled this blog “Let It Go” because it ties in with Disney Princesses and the apology I am about to make.

Remember Dana Carvey’s “Grumpy Old Man” character on SNL?

SNL_0636_06_Update_4_Grumpy_Old_Man

I’m not sure I have been quite as obnoxious as that character, but I know that I have gone against so many of the things I have posted in the past few months. I guess this proves three things (1) I am human (2) practicing what you preach can be difficult and (3) I need to always remind myself to “Let it go”.

I know for a fact that I have been in a “mood”, because I haven’t blogged as often as I have wanted to. My mind has been preoccupied with BS that I cannot control. I’ve never been able to really meditate or do “mindfulness” stuff, maybe because I can never seem to find a place and a time where there are no distractions. I wish I could, that might help.

So today’s blog is an apology, mainly to my wife, who knew things were bugging me and made me aware of it. It is an apology to my friends, who I have called and vented and ranted and raved to. It is an apology to you, because I am not a hypocrite, and need to practice what I preach. It is also an apology to myself, because I should never have let myself get to this place. I know better.

Time is precious, as I have stated in past blogs, so why spend so much time wasting it on worthless bullshit? I guess I have spent so much of my life doing it, that it is a hard habit to break. I have come a LONG way, but I was reminded this week that it doesn’t just go away, I still have to keep working on it. I’m an old dog, and this is a new trick. I must constantly be aware of the techniques I have learned to cope with certain situations and certain people. I must consistently practice them, not only for my own sense of well-being, but for those around me.

So I have gone back to my many notes and have compiled a mini-list of ways to “Let It Go”. They include:

Stop Talking About It

StopTalking1

Complaining is almost a natural response to being upset. Talking about it constantly isn’t going to help me (or anyone). Complaining basically stimulates my mind to keep thinking about it. Many times, as I have learned in hindsight, complaining can make a small issue, bigger than it is. Hey, sometimes you gotta vent and get things off your chest, but I guess the key to it is to vent and move on. Once it’s talked about, be done with it.

Put It In Perspective

01-01-Perspective-_-Boat-Land-Perspective-714026

“What’s the most likely thing that can happen?” When you ask yourself that, you can see possible outcomes and even realize that you can get through it. We tend to think of the “worst case scenarios” and go there without ever considering the other perspectives. It’s hard to remember that you often think about would “could” or “might” happen instead of what actually will happen. A great practice I was told to try was to ask, “How much is this going to matter tomorrow?” “How much will this matter in a year?”

Let Go of Control

Letting-go-of-control

The old saying holds true here: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.” If life has taught us anything, it is that we cannot control the behaviors of others or the random events in life. What we CAN control is how we react or respond to those things! This is my biggest challenge. It is extremely difficult for me to use the “Gray Rock” method. I mean, I’m Italian, I talk with my hands! It goes against all that I have ever known, but I know that it’s the way to react to certain individuals.

Recognize the “Crazy”

mickey

How appropriate is Mickey Mouse here? Disney! It all ties in! LOL!

With some people, you simply have to remind yourself of WHO you are dealing with! I have to remind myself that they probably suffer from some sort of mental illness. Perhaps it’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Bi-Polar Disorder (the signs are there for both). This person is like an angry teen who needs control over everything. When they do not get their way, there is a meltdown. “You need to treat them like an immature child” I was told. So true.

Understand that these people need “you to be the enemy”. This only makes them look better to those who don’t know your side of the story. They will elaborate and create stories to make you look bad. It’s what they do. It’s part of the mental illness. You can’t control this, and I have already talked about the things you can’t control. If you can recognize the “crazy”, it will help you to deal with the craziness that comes with interactions with them.

I love Maya Angelou’s advice, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Recognize who they are!

Set Boundaries and End the Drama

In some cases, communication has to happen with certain people. When vocal communication gets hostile, whether on the phone or in person, the conversation needs to end. If this happens regularly, then communications need to be done through text or e-mail. This will avoid (1) one person interrupting (2) yelling and raising voices and (3) the need to say sarcastic or under the breath comments or insults. This will (1) allow for a “paper trail” of the communication (2) no contact communication and (3) allows for short and concise communication.

Set the boundaries and stick with them. Don’t let others take advantage of you, use you, or guilt you into doing things or thinking things. Be the constant!

Closing thought

Someone sent me a Facebook message recently that said “you can’t let the behavior of others steal your joy. But if you do, it’s your choice. Focus on being the best and happiest that you can be – that’s where your energy should go. Set the best example you can and spend time and energy on people who lift you higher.” There is a lot of truth in that.

So in the words of Elsa, “Let it go!”

Positive-Life-Quotes-How-To-Learn-Let-It-Go-Surprise

Tune Tuesday – The Distance Between You and Me

I follow quite a few blogs that focus on classic movies, classic TV, and great music.  One of the bloggers I follow posted a bit about Dwight Yoakam and his great song “Ain’t That Lonely Yet.”  You can see that blog at the following link:

Dwight Yoakam – Ain’t That Lonely Yet

When I am driving in to work, or at work listening to my iPod or Pandora, I will jot down songs that I think I might want to post for Tune Tuesday.  The day he posted his Dwight song, I had been listening to my iPod and heard one of my favorites, which is today’s tune.

distance 2

In 1990, Dwight Yoakam released his fourth album “If There Was a Way”.  It produced 5 top 40 singles – “Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose” (#11), “You’re the One” (#5), “Nothing’s Changed Here” (#15), “It Only Hurts When I Cry” (#7), and “The Heart That You Own” (#18).  He also released a duet with Patty Loveless called “Send a Message to My Heart” which reached #47.  The album also includes some great cuts that never played on the radio:  The uptempo “Since I Started Drinking Again”, the bluesy title track, a cover of Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Work Together” and the opening song – “The Distance Between You and Me”

Distance

The song opens with a lone guitar lick, and then goes into a classic country riff.  A teacher I had in high school used to say country songs always had an “un-chicka un-chicka un-chicka” beat to them….LOL.  When you listen to it, you will know what I mean.

Dwight wrote this song.  I’m not sure what his inspiration was, but I LOVE the illustrations he paints for us with the lyrics.  He is in a dead relationship.  They two are co-existing.  They are two people who could not be farther apart.  How far?  The lyrics explain.

The Distance Between You and Me

Take a rock tie a rope
Throw it down in the sea
Let it fall to the bottom
Nobody knows how deep
Stare real hard through the water
And you might just perceive
The distance between you and me
The distance between you and me

Take a map of the world
And measure with your hand
All of the miles
Across all of the land
Write it down add it up
And you might understand
About the distance between you and me
The distance between you and me

I lie awake and hear you breathing
Only inches from me in this bed
Not much space but it’s all that we needed
To live alone now that our love is dead

I lie awake and hear you breathing
Only inches from me in this bed
Not much space but it’s all that we needed
To live alone now that our love is dead

Climb the Earth’s tallest mountain
To where it reaches the sky
Take a gun fire a bullet
Straight up out of sight
Where it stops in the heaven
Well that ain’t half as high
As the distance between you and me
The distance between you and me

I love the haunting final chord at the end of this song!  I saw Dwight in concert a few times and he really is great on stage.  I actually had the chance to meet him once and it was … weird. Everyone with Meet and Greet passes all went into his tour bus.  We all sat down and he exited what must have been his bedroom on there.  He walked around to each of us. Shook our hand. Looked directly into our eyes and asked our name. He then repeated our name and said, “Hi,(your name). I’m Dwight.” The whole time I was thinking, “Dude! You have been making records for years…..you have a ton of hits…..we all have tickets to your show….we know who YOU are!!” He was very gracious and signed autographs and took pictures, but it was one of the most awkward meet and greets I have ever been though.

dwight-yoakam-7599263441-ab

 

 

I’m making a list ….

The iPod Classic debuted in 2001.  At this particular time in my life, most of my music was on “mix tapes” or on CD’s.  It was about 2006 when I finally caved and bought my iPod.  I bought the 80 gig version.  The iPod has out lasted the computer that I originally used for iTunes!  Eventually, after loading it with over 5000 songs, I reached the point where I reached the maximum amount of computers that I could use for that iPod (I don’t know, maybe that’s changed now).  It has been some time since I added any music to it, but I am constantly listening to it!

ptpQybfjrXrVThCr

As a music guy, I HAVE to have music!  I have Pandora on my tablet, but I find that their play lists are often narrow, and even shuffling between my “favorite stations” doesn’t help.  My son had Spotify on his phone, and I really don’t know much about that.  I don’t use my phone for anything really but making calls, taking pictures, and surfing Facebook.  I don’t want to be using an App and find out it is using all my data (when I am not connected to Wi-Fi – which happens WAY too much!). When I want music – my music – I can grab my iPod and enjoy!  I can replay songs over and over if I want and I can skip songs I am not in the mood to hear.

I listen to my iPod a lot, especially at work.  There are times when I need to zone out and score studies that are running and I just need to tune out what else is going on in the tech room.  Other times, I find myself annoyed by the chatter of co-workers, so I “headphone”.  I can still watch patients and enjoy my music, while tuning out BS.  I have a pair of headphones that I use at work that are “noise cancelling”.  They are amazing – and sometimes allow me to escape into my own little musical world.

“Are these things broke?”

As one of my coworkers went off on a rant about something that just annoyed me last week, I reached for my trusty headphones and iPod.  When I put them on and pressed play, and only heard music from the left ear.  My first thought was that the headphones had a short in the cord – a very common occurrence. Yes, I paid extra for the “noise cancelling” feature, but they were not too expensive.  The headphones I wore when I work on the radio are about $100 for a pair, however, I probably only paid about $30 or $40 for these.

I began to push and pull and wiggle the cord of the headphones where it connected up by the ear.  Nothing.  I began to wiggle the cord down by where it plugged in to the iPod.  Nothing.  When I pushed down on it, the other ear came through.  Urgh!  It’s not the headphones, it’s the headphone jack of the iPod.  13 years of headphones in and out have finally taken its toll.

A buddy told me, “It’s no big deal.  You can still listen to it in one ear”.  This guy clearly has no idea about stereo and mono!  I have some Beatles stuff that is in stereo on my iPod.  If you are only listening in one ear, you are either hearing guitars with no vocals or vocals with no guitars!  It also ruins any type of classical music. You just miss the whole experience if you are listening to a classical piece in only one ear. I am sorry, but it IS a big deal!

The good news is that I can still connect it to the car and listen with no worries at all.  I just can’t listen at work anymore – which is a MAJOR problem for me.  I may actually have to look into a new or refurbished iPod.  The problem is how do I get the stuff from the old one to the new one?  Another problem is that much of the stuff I have on my iPod is stuff that I used to have on CD, but do not anymore.  I also don’t have a list of the songs that I have on the current iPod, because the computer(s) used for iTunes are long gone.

I guess I could just go buy a cheap MP3 player, but I know those don’t last.  This iPod is 13+ years old and outside of the headphone jack, still going strong!  Maybe a new iPod is something I really need to do.  There are plenty of albums and songs that have come out since the last time I added music to it that deserve a spot on my playlist.  Many of those songs I have on my external hard drive, which I use to DJ, and I will occasionally play that while working on the laptop.  It’s not my iPod, though….

So now it begins.  I am going to hit the “shuffle songs” feature and start at song #1.   I am going to start a list of every song on this iPod and that way when I am able, I can begin adding them to a new one.  I probably need to do a little digging as well, because I couldn’t remember my Apple ID from 2006 if my life depended on it.

Song #1 …. After Midnight – Eric Clapton.  Song #2 …. Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles.

 

 

 

Dr. Yank, D.D.S.

dykn_comdentaloffice

From the things you will never hear file: “I cannot wait to go to the dentist!  It’s one of my favorite places to go!”

I recently had my dental cleaning and found that some old fillings needed to be replaced, and a new cavity had to be filled.  It is hard enough for me to go to get the cleanings, although technology has made it a bit easier.  The feeling of that metal scraper on my teeth is worse than fingernails on a chalkboard!  Now, they do most of the cleaning with this high pressure of water, but they still end up having to come in with that metal hook.  After they get done with the scraping, the actual dentist comes in and begins poking and prodding around in there.  That’s when they spring the news on you.  “You’ll need to have a couple of those filled”.

I need to be honest, they are really lucky that I go back to have it done.  The only thing worse than that hook, is the drill.  I tell them that I want the gas and the shot.  I don’t want to feel any of that pain.  I tried just the gas once, I remember you can still feel the pain, but you kind of don’t care.  You sit there and say to yourself, “Ouch!  You are really hurting me!  You stupid bastard, If I wasn’t so out of it, I would punch you right in the mouth!”   You also white knuckle it through the whole thing.  I think my fingers left indents on the arm of the chair from squeezing it so hard.

The shot helps a bit, because it numbs you up.  But you are more aware of other stuff, like the smell of the smoke from the tooth that they are drilling the hell out of to get rid of the cavity.  I’m sorry, but that’s just not something I want to be aware of it.  I usually need extra Novocain, which causes another problem – I’m numbed up for hours.  There is nothing worse than accidentally biting your cheek because you’re still numb.  It also sucks when you’re trying to drink a refreshing beverage.

So when I go – I get both.  Call me a baby, I don’t care.  I want to be in that “I don’t care” state when you give me the shots and I want to be numb when you carve up my tooth.  This time they let me listen to music.  They put on Pandora and I listened to Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack channel while they worked.  The only problem is, at one point, the channel must have gotten to the “are you still listening?” screen, because the music stopped.  Then I got to listen to the dentist tell the other gal about his weekend plans instead – a lot less entertaining.

One dentist office I went to had Netflix or a DVD player.  I was able to watch Sanford and Son while they worked on me.  Only problem was, at one point, you get so lost in the gas, that I remember missing chunks of the show.  While that was nice, the downside was a dentist with bad breath.  I kept thinking, “I know you have a stock pile of little Listerine bottles, because you give me two or three when I leave, try to swish some around before you come in to work on a patient.

The latest trend at the dentist is they take your blood pressure.  I have hypertension that is controlled by meds, but they always tell me, “You’re pressure is a bit high.”  I automatically think, “I see that damn metal hook on the tray right in front of me – of course, it’s high!!!”

As much as I have complained about the dentist, I will say that my last experience was a good one.  I just wish it wasn’t so expensive.  It seems to me that no matter where you go, dental insurance doesn’t cover squat.  The bill is always a ton of money.  It always seems to me that the insurance companies only want to cover like 10-20% of the bill and stick you with the rest.  I hate that, but it does remind me of a good joke to close with:

A woman called up her dentist to complain about her bill.  She yelled and screamed and told the dentist, “This bill is three times higher than what you normally charged and I want to know why!”

The dentist replied, “You screamed so loud while we were working on your teeth last time that you scared away two other patients and I had to make up the difference somehow!”