You know the opening bit of Raiders of the Lost Ark where Harrison Ford is running from the giant boulder? That's been my week, for the most part. My brain isn't exactly operating at its peak capacity (although, to be fair, I think the last time it did this was 1995) and I have a couple of freelance pieces to finish before Monday dawns. Add to that the holidays, the dead cat (which hit harder than expected) and the end of term (although everything is now graded, calculated and out of my hands). Woot. When can I take my long winter's nap?
While I would dearly love to answer this week's Friday Five, I'm copping out. It's a great question, tho, and it seems a shame to not post it. So here it is, with some links to some folks who are more on top of their situation than I:
Live, from India! Or, at the very least, from the witty and charming Ritu:
Everybody lives through certain moments in their lives when things go 'click' and ideas take a living, breathing shape. Concepts and thoughts which were only words until that moment now become an intrinsic part of one's internal landscape, altering one's perspective forever. Sometimes these lessons of life are taught by other people and that is the subject of this week's question:
Which are the five most important life lessons learnt by you and by whom were you taught the same?
Two from Marvin:
It's not about you. If you're paying attention life will find all kinds of ways to beat this lesson into a person, but in particular I'm thinking about the years I practiced karate with Sensei Nishida, which provided ample opportunity for ample numbers of people to beat the lesson into me literally. In a martial arts class everyone is trying to improve themselves by using each other as targets. The price you pay for this privilege is that you become a target yourself, and you cannot afford to take offense (with the other or with yourself) every time you get kicked in the head, punched in the belly, or hobbled by a shinbone delivered with surgical precision to an unprepared thigh muscle. Applied to life in general, one must realize that human interaction is never frictionless; but that doesn't mean everyone's out to get you. Chill, roll with it, be happy.
Sometimes it really is about you. This is the flip-side of the previous lession. In life there are people you will perceive as obstacles, embodiments of goals, pains in the ass, or some combination of these. Sometimes when you spar with them (or interact with them) you can't help but make it personal; if nothing else, your own goals are personal to you after all. But guess what: to certain other people YOU are that obstacle, that goal, that pain in the ass. And when they deal with you, it's personal to them. Sometimes the guy who just kicked you in the head has been trying for over a year to figure out how to get past your defense. Be happy for him.
One from rob:
Talent is priceless, determination costs more.Various. Friends, lost yet still close. You can try all you want, if you don't have the magic, you don't have the magic. If you do and you think anyone gives a shit you're only kidding yourself.
One from Ray (welcome, Ray!):
Bravery is Not What You See on TV. Very recently I've realized (read that as 'made up in my own head') that I'm a pretty brave person. No, I'm not talking about Skydiving, I'm talking about little day-to-day decisions that I would have avoided when I was younger that now I'm learning to stand up to. Some of them, I even attack with relish (like calling people on their shit with confidence). Some I still avoid (like talking to people I care about when the subject is very uncomfortable). When I was about 4, I asked myself what I wanted in my life, like what my goal was for life. I was a deep kid so, piss off. I said to myself, "I want people to remember me when I die." I'm thinking of revising that to "I want to live a brave life." The person that I learned this from was me. Like I said, maybe I'm making it up.
And, finally, one from Mr Spittle:
Never Bet You Can Beat A One Armed Man In Pool. In college, my friends and I would occasionally go to a club called "The Touchdown" in Birmingham, because their bartender wasn't always the most diligent checker of IDs. There was a jukebox full of Hank Williams Sr and Waylon Jennings music, a couple of scuffed up pool tables, and an assortment of hard-drinking rednecks and other characters. One night, I was sitting at a table with Mark Chapman, Trey Lackey and a couple of other people lost in the fog of too much cheap beer, and a one-armed man came by and asked if anyone thought they could beat him at a game of pool. Had I been sober, I'd have recognized this as a hustle and politely refused, but, being full of piss and vinegar (not to mention a couple of pitchers of draft Old Milwaukee), I knew that this would be the easiest $30 I ever earned. 4 minutes later, I staggered back to the table, not even having had a chance to shoot. I was $30 poorer and about the same amount wiser. If someone that looks like they'd lose big time offers to put money on a game, get ready to lose your shirt. One armed man, I salute you. PS, I hope Dr. Kimball doesn't find you.