30 January, 2009

Cat-like reflexes?

Or just really stupid?

Tonight, I was driving home and it occurred to me that things are okay. I had been feeling stressed and peeved lately about some small things. Interestingly, at the same time, I have been feeling quite happy about bigger things, compared to how I had been feeling the previous few months. The small things mostly relate to finances. There's just the stress of the economy, and of job security, and of the value of my home (which apparently has dropped between $25-30 thousand dollars since I bought it 11 months ago). But some of this is out of my control; e.g. the economy. And some of it is at least partly in my control; e.g. job security. If I do a good job -- a very good job -- then I would hope for it to remain secure. It's true that you never know. But just like you cannot control whether your airplane will stay up in the air or crash into the Hudson River, there are some things that are not worth worrying about until they happen.

So, on the way home, it occurred to me that things are okay. Really okay.

I made some decisions in my life lately. In lots of areas, but the big thing was that I decided to start taking better care of myself. Eating right, sleeping more, exercising often, drinking lots of water. And I also decided, in conjunction with those additions, to make some subtractions. Namely, eliminating caffeine, and significantly reducing alcohol consumption. Not that it was particularly high, but it was heading in an upward direction, let us say. I did these things with the intent of feeling better, and perhaps being able to improve my enthusiasm and efficiency in a number of areas of my life. And it seems the rewards are coming rather quickly. 

The other area in which I decided to make some changes related to finances. I realized that for me, socializing had become "eating and drinking", and this tended to result in the expenditure of about $30-40 daily (if not more) on just those things. And that shit adds up fast. So, I am trying to redefine what socializing means, and also trying to redefine, to some extent, how I choose to spend my time. There remain many things in life that I would *like* to be doing, that I never seem to find time to do. Perhaps this realignment will help facilitate some of those things happening.

So, why the title for this blog? And why the comment about stupidity?

Well, after having all these wonderful thoughts on my drive home, I park my car, and get out of the car to go in the house. And as I do this, I immediately realize that the car is rolling down the hill! It's not a steep hill, but it's rolling, and it took me about 500 milliseconds to realize this. And my realization is, if I do not act quickly, the car is going to smash reasonably hard into the car in front of me which was about 8 feet down the hill. I am not sure what that would do, if anything. But it would probably make a noise. So my initial reflex was to try to halt the car. But those 500 milliseconds were enough for it to gain enough momentum that halting it didn't seem to be happening. So, I spun around, practically dove into the car (door wasn't closed yet, thankfully), and yanked the emergency brake, bringing the whole process to a peaceful halt.

Then, standing there, adrenalized, I realized that it never even crossed my mind about where my feet had been positioned when this circus was initiated. If I had accidentally tried to halt the car by bracing my body closer to the car, there's a really good chance the rear wheel would have crushed my foot.

And that would have sucked.

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