Month: September 2017

Maybe that’s childish

Maybe that’s childish

As I have gotten older, I find that many of us “adults” often wish we were more like a child. Our aspirations to be an adult now seem misplaced. We longingly look back to the days of our youth and think if only we could go back. And the reasons for wanting to recapture those days gone by are endless.

First, we wish we had the body of a child. And, no, this is not just because our midsection now keeps us from looking down and seeing our toes. Stop and think about it – children can play outside for hours, slow down for a drink of water and a cookie, and play for several more hours without the hint of being tired. I can’t even tie my shoes without pulling a muscle. Just the simple act of getting out of bed tires me to the point of needing a good two-hour snooze. Oh to have the never-ending energy and flexibility of a child.

Second, we would love to go back to those carefree days of childhood to recess and snack time. Sure, as a youngster, we found school to be difficult at times and boring most times. But come on – it pales in comparison to the life of an adult. I mean try asking your boss to give you an hour each day to play a little dodgeball or to go outside and run around. My guess is you will get a far different response then when your teachers were begging you as a child to go outside and burn off some energy.

And let’s not even get into the stress of working for a living. Yes, I do admit that homework at times was a bit taxing and vexing, but that was nothing a game of touch football in the yard didn’t cure. Now it’s 60-hour work weeks, never-ending projects and hoping there will be more money than month. I will take a red plastic ball to the face any day over that.

Lastly, there are times we wish we had the mind of a child. Not simply because we have gotten older and are “losing our minds” (losing our memory is a more accurate description). Children have a far different view of life and the world. This probably is because they haven’t become jaded or sarcastic like many of us have. (Also, they have no idea who the Kardashians are which certainly is a good thing.) Honestly, they just live life seeking out one new adventure after another without a care in the world. As adults, many of us are trying to avoid one nightmare after another with far too many cares.

But here’s what I miss the most – the sense of humor of a child. Come on, little people laugh at anything. I mean someone falls down and they laugh. Wait – so do I. Bodily noises of any kind cause a child to break out into hysterics. Come to think of it – I do that too. The corniest jokes elicit uncontrollable laughter. Hmm, come to think of it I tell and laugh at those jokes as well.

Maybe there still is a little child left in me. Nah, I think it’s more accurate to say that I am still childish. And in some ways, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

Doing my duty

Doing my duty

Earlier this year I was doing one of my favorite things – checking the mail (Don’t laugh – you know you love it too!) As I opened the mailbox, I noticed an official looking letter from the illustrious sheriff of our fine county. I quickly panicked – what had I done that might have caught the attention of local law enforcement? After jump starting my feeble memory, I relaxed realizing that I don’t think any of my recent infractions should have hit the sheriff’s radar. So, I started to get excited. Maybe he was offering me a job or possibly I was going to be named citizen of the year. So I ripped into the envelope and was smacked square in the face with reality – I had been summoned to serve jury duty.

After having my week of service delayed on two occasions because of work commitments, I recently had my chance. Of course, as the nice woman at the clerk of courts reminded me, I had no more delays in my bag of tricks – I had to be there or I would get a not-so-friendly visit from the sheriff. After enduring traffic I didn’t even know existed at an hour of the day I hardly see, I was in a room with about 60 people waiting for what came next. Nervous excitement might have been the best way to describe what we were feeling as we all crammed into a room that certainly was not designed for the number of bodies now inhabiting it.

At last we were herded (no better word to describe what happened) into the court room for the pomp and circumstance that awaits new jurors. After instructions, a video and a swearing-in we were ready to go. And it didn’t take long before I heard my name called and I was introducing myself to the judge and lawyers. As 12 of us settled in, the questions started. And didn’t stop. In fact, I heard the same questions so many times I am certain I was hypnotized and asked to cluck like a chicken in front of the whole courtroom. (I can neither confirm nor deny the previous statement.) After three hours of prying, the defense attorney evidently didn’t like my shirt or something and dismissed me.

After that, I began to realize what jurors actually do when called to serve – sit and wait. And believe me, we did a lot of sitting, a lot of waiting, and lot of wondering why in the world we were there. At times, we had the distraction of being in the courtroom and watching fellow jurors play the million question game. Other times we were crammed in that back room striking up conversations with people who were perfect strangers just days before. But it was during those moments of conversation that I realized the one good thing that I learned while on jury duty – or jury service as the officials like to call it.

You see, the more than 60 people called to serve that week came from all across the county and from all walks of life. They were young and old, from different cultures and socioeconomic statuses – but all were called to perform the same task. Thus, the playing field was leveled and we were all just citizens. Maybe that is why it was so easy to talk to people who I normally would not have struck up a conversation with or approached. But talk we did. I wouldn’t say we became best friends during our moments in the jury waiting area, but I now have a better idea of who shares this chunk of earth with me. And there are some really good people out there and I am glad I met them.

As we were dismissed for the week, the judge thanked us and let us know that the court would not have gotten its business done if we had not been there. I mean if the justice system moves forward because a couple dozen of us sit in a room and talk, so be it. But I do have to thank the county for giving me the opportunity to meet some new people and get to know some “neighbors” that I would not have met without the wonderful invitation from the sheriff. Mind you, I am glad I am exempt for the next two years, but here’s hoping I bump into some of my fellow jurors as I traverse the county. They are good people who did their service – and I am glad I did it with them.

Aged wisdom

Aged wisdom

So, recently I turned 25 for the second time. Wait a minute – that’s not right. I turned 10 for the fifth time. No, no, no – I am 5 for the 10th time. Well, I think you get the picture. One thing I have realized as I have aged is the world is full of not just people who are challenged in the intelligence area (trying to be P.C. here), but also there just are a lot of dumb things out there. Don’t believe me? Let me lay a couple of them on you.

Warning labels

Now, in concept, these labels serve a purpose and are necessary. I honestly believe it is wise to tell people not to wash down their medicine with a fifth of Scotch. I get it – good advice. But some of these warnings are just, well, stupid. I mean do we really need to tell people not to operate their toaster in the shower? Must Harry the handyman really be warned not to point the nail gun at his face? Must someone really be told not to hold the wrong end of a chainsaw? I mean come on people.

“Timed” traffic signals

OK, now this one I think is the Department of Transportation just flat lying to us. Supposedly if you travel the speed limit you should hit each light as it turns green – as long as traffic allows constant driving speed. Yeah right and if you play the lottery enough times you are going to win. WRONG! I really think there is some marshmallow head in a room somewhere that is too busy playing Angry Birds to turn the lights green in a timely fashion. I mean, come on, just tell us the truth – these lights are timed to irritate you to the point of making you not only want to pull your hair out but also the hair of the driver next to you.

Conspiracy theories

OK, now I enjoy these when it comes to movie plots. Who doesn’t want to believe a 12-year-old in Omaha has been given the opportunity by the U.S. government to control all the computers in China so as to cripple their economy. I mean that’s great stuff for the big screen. But the amount of namby pambies in the world who buy into every “theory” that comes down the pike is ludicrous. Come on folks if any one man or government had the power we ascribe to them in these conspiracy plots, the world would have ended a long time ago. Get a grip and grasp a little reality folks.

Scam emails

I mean there are enough dumb things in the world to fill countless libraries, but I will end with this one. The fact that anyone believes these makes me wonder how we as the human race still exist. Come on – the prince of Nigeria wants to share his fortune with you? Mrs. Belvidere – who has amassed billions of dollars – now wants to give you that money because she has no children, her husband has passed and she can’t spend it all? Bill Gates will give you $150 for each person to whom you merely send this attachment? If you all are going to believe this, I have some beachfront property in Nebraska I will sell you at a good price.

OK, so maybe these things aren’t stupid. Maybe as I get older I just got more irritated by stuff like this. Maybe I am the one who is stupid. That’s up for you to decide. But just know that if you call me stupid, I don’t come with a warning label and I will fill your email box with scam emails of conspiracy theories about traffic signals. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.