Back to My Roots and On to the Future

One of the most interesting things I learned in high school is the difference between Asian and Aristotelian logic. As my teacher put it Aristotelian logic is a circle, you come back to where you started. In Asian logic it’s more of a corkscrew effect; you can go full circle, but you’re never really where you started.

I really felt the ‘Asian Logic’ effect on my recent trip to California. We had dinner at Red Robin, and I’ll admit I got bitter at one point. I remembered going to this same  Red Robin before, eight years ago. I realized that the conversation that I had had with my wife the last time I was there was about a story I wanted to write. Well… that story is one that I’m turning into a nanorimo project in a few months. Gee, big progress in eight years…

I had really wanted to be farther along writing that this when I came back here. I growled and stewed, and then I realized I am farther along! That project hasn’t moved yet; however, I have at least one (if not two) non fiction books that will be out by the end of the year. I have a novella in edits. I’m in the middle of a short story collection, writing two blogs and I have several other projects on my list that didn’t exist eight years ago. I am making progress. I am doing better. I just had to take a step back and see it.

Sometimes we seem like we’ve ended up back where we started. But, in reality we’ve learned, grown, and changed. We’re here, but we are different from the last time we were here.

Sometimes we stall. When we do we need to find a way to move forward. I hope to have more on that thought and some exciting news next week…

That’s if for this post dear reader. Till next time…

You can do it!

They didn’t tell me about the weather…

I’ve been doing the diabetes thing for about four months now and it seem like I’ve gotten a handle on a lot of stuff. It especially seems like I’ve gotten a handle on the day to day stuff like testing blood sugar. And then, a day like today happens. I go to test my sugar. I prick my finger (one of the good, always bleeds enough fingers) and… nothing… Now I check through the usual stuff am I dehydrated? Nope… Is that finger “adjusting” to frequent pokes? Ok, I’ll try the other hand… Poke and… a little blood but not enough. The it hits me, it’s cold. The blood is closer to the core of my body because my body is trying to insulate it’s self from the cold!

Most of the testing I have done is in the summer… day temps most of this time have been in the 80’s and 90’s today the expected high is 63 and it hasn’t made it out of the 50’s at 1:00 in the afternoon and It was still in the 40’s when I tested (and being the half German half polar bear that I am I had the windows open…) yes… a thirty degree shift in temperature just might affect doing a simple sugar test. I’d never thought of that before.

Straddling the line between both sides of life…

I’m working on starting a Kickstarter campaign to get a diabetes log book published. It’s one of those projects that most publishers aren’t interested in but I think it is worth while. My version includes a few things I wish the others hand had. So, I’m looking over stuff on doing a campaign and I find a graph that’s showing how social media posts and interactions affect Kickstarter contributions… There’s that old sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach… Yes, I knew there was a link and that I will eventually need to talk about the campaign on social media, but I’d never seen how strong the link really is. In spite of my blog and the quest for publication I’m actually kind of a private guy…  Am I really ready to be blasting my ideas all over the social media world. Will anybody listen?

Putting it all together…

Yeah, I think people will listen. And, yeah I figured the cold thing out and know to warm up my hands before I test. The thing here is no matter how much we think we’ve learned, there will probably be something new out there that surprises us; something where real life doesn’t meet our theory; something we’ve never encountered; something that’s just plain weird. This actually isn’t a bad thing!

When we encounter something we didn’t know we have an opportunity to learn and grow. We have the opportunity to know more and do more than we could before. As you learn more there is a chance for these opportunities to get rarer, so it’s a real gift when one happens.

If you decide to stop and not touch the edges of what you know the chance to learn becomes even smaller. That is really sad, because learning is a key part in how we become more than we are. Whether it is learning a new quirk or trick of your diagnosis, learning a new way of doing dialog or story structure, or learning something not even attached to what you usually do, learning makes you more able to be and do as you will.

So, don’t let these little moments of scary or weird get to you. Cherish them! Use them! Grow and be strong!

And, if these learning moments don’t come to you… go out and find them!

It’s not that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… It’s that the old dog knows most of the available tricks, so you have to find something new before you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Nope, wasn’t kidding

Not kidding at all, teachable moments and learning experiences are how we become and grow stronger. Sometimes you need to go out and look for them.

I was also serious in that I have an idea for an improved blood sugar log book that I’m setting up a Kickstarter for. I’ll tell you a bit more about that in the next couple of weeks as I get closer to the launch.

In the mean time,

that’s it for today dear reader.

Until next time: find the new in everything and use it for good.

Different day, different way of seeing

Yeah, um…

My post from yesterday may have been a little harsh…

It certainly isn’t the tone I like to set here.

But, there were also things in there that need to be said.

Do keep good records and stand up for yourself when you’re right, but don’t give up on life and the good in people.

Today was almost the opposite experience from the one in yesterday’s post. Today I got to go to a local art festival and talk to a lot of creative people. Sure there were a few out there that were pretty mercenary, but there were a lot of people who love the stuff they do and like to share that with others. Whether their arts and ideas were similar or different, points of commonality led to some good conversations and potentially lasting connections. There really is good in the world no matter how dark it seem some days.

So dear reader, sorry if I was a bit snarly yesterday.

Until next time: Deal with the bad. Remember the good. And, have a better day.

Assumptions and other bad ideas…

Interesting thing happened to me shortly before I wrote this…

The hospital I ended up in a few months back (when I was diagnosed with diabetes) just tried to send me an inappropriate and uncalled for demand letter…

Problem 1: Someone over there made a decision without bothering to check their own records…

Problem 2: Someone over there made the assumption that a letter would scare me…

Problem 3: Someone over there made the assumption that I was less than intelligent and didn’t keep and check records…

Problem 4: Someone over there failed to realize this wasn’t their first mistake…

Now, I am not an overly vengeful person (some of my friends will say that I’m deliberately cranky… but they admit that that is just to amuse myself…). I do take offense when someone tries to breach a contract and punish me for their mistakes. This was all sorted out (for the moment at least) with a couple of phone calls; however, the whole thing could have been avoided if people bothered to get good information and think in the first place.

This was something that could not have been positively corrected, once it happened, if I hadn’t held up my end; kept good records; and knew what was going on. Believe me… after they learned that I had full documentation from both my side and theirs about what was going on, and that I was aware my state is a triple damages state, they straightened themselves out very quickly.

The moral(s) of this story… Educate yourself. Keep good records. Know what is going on around you. Be patient and polite where appropriate, but stand up for yourself too.

As Sun Tsu said…

If you know your enemy and yourself you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.

If you know yourself but not your enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.

If you know neither your enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle.

In my own words…

And succumbing in battle can cost you.

That’s it for today dear reader.

Hope you’ve been having a better one than I have…

Two diagnoses + Two Careers = One Good Life

Ok, this may sound nuts, but today I’m actually glad I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. It’s actually made me think about my diet and exercise. And, it’s resulting in my being healthier.

It also gives me a ‘trump card’ to play when random people try to play with my schedule.That Schedule thing is actually kind of important for me. First off I’m a child of German ancestry and a military family (you figure it out). Second… I deal with attention deficits (which is sometimes different from what people think it is).

The second diagnosis

Last I checked the formal diagnosis is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but the American Psychological Association is driven by economic, political and ego factors (in addition to science) so they may have changed it (while I wasn’t paying attention…). ADHD is a fairly common diagnosis and one that can be difficult to pin down a cause for. I’ve heard metabolic explanations (which make sense); neurological explanations (which make sense); behavioral explanations (which make sense); and “I don’t want to parent my child” explanations (which make me mad, but… make sense!).

In my case the best explanation is one that I ran into in grad school. My ADD (ADHD but people hesitate to call a fat guy hyper active…) is kind of like being at the opposite end of the bell curve from the autistic folks. They are over stimulated and I crave stimulation… this has potential for good and the potential to get me in trouble (note for others diagnosed with ADHD and those who love them: it’s a personal experience thing. Your experience (and mileage) may vary).

Over the years I have developed skills to modulate my environment and situation to help control for my stimulation needs. Believe it or not diabetes has helped with this. Not only does it give me a reason to stick to my schedule, but treating diabetes gives me tools to control my ADD behavior internally. Now that I’ve gotten my blood sugar under control I can really tell how fluctuations in my blood sugar affect my ability to focus, attend, and get stuff done. I like to go  get stuff done.

Career the first.

It’s no secret that I’m a writer. I write fiction, non fiction, blog posts, and poetry (as much as I hate to admit that!). Writing is how I express myself best (unlike many prophets of scripture I am more mighty in writing that speaking). Writing is a way to support myself (financially and as therapy). Writing is just what I do. I tell stories. I figure things out and tell people about them.

Writing is therapeutic for me. I’ve been monitoring my blood sugar levels when I’m stressed and unstressed; writing and not writing (for you research people that makes four categories in the complete model). The reality is that when I am under stress writing helps me keep my blood sugar low. And, keeping my blood sugar under control helps me write.

Some days cyclical is good, but one can not live by text (or bread) alone.

Career the second.

I also make shiny things with metal, stone, glass and other materials. I am a sculpturist/smith/jewelry artist. It’s a different kind of thinking, very concrete and 3D (as well as symbolic). It is also a lot of fun (and a pain in the $#@#$@%#!@$@!!! some days). There is a lot of tactile sensation involved (which can be good for the whole ADD thing). There is also some good cardio (which can be good for the diabetes thing).

Like the writing, bending metal and grinding stone can be very therapeutic, and it’s another way to express myself.

Putting it all together.

So I have two diagnoses which force me to monitor myself, take care of myself and stick to my schedule (which I wanted to be on in the first place). They also encourage me to dig for answers (research) and try new and different things (experience).

These two diagnoses actually support my twin careers making things in word and deed. All though I am very aware of the stance and rulings put in place by the Americans With Disabilities Act, I don’t really consider myself disabled… on a good day my ‘disabilities’ help me do what I do better. On not so good days my experience with these ‘disabilities’ gives me a range of options and controls that I know work and I know will help me to move toward a better day and a happier life. I can always turn on the radio; turn off the radio; use a snack or other shift in my diet to change my blood sugar level; get some exercise to get my blood (and glucose) flowing, and a range of things that make me a better and happier me.

It feels like not having (or knowing…) my ‘disabilities’ would make me less able.

That’s it for this post dear reader.

Till next time: what ever happens in your life, turn it to good.

If you’re reading this…

If you’re reading this it means you’ve found another blog post by Farangian. Perhaps even more importantly it means that I haven’t gone entirely insane. Today is day three of script writing for the videos I’m making for my new YouTube channel and my chain-mail book (the one I talked about last week).

A few months back I talked about the idea of doing an email news letter. Today I’m officially killing that idea for now. Since I had that thought: I was diagnosed with diabetes (giving me a whole new genre to work with); I’ve had three new books pop up on the radar  (really five but I don’t want to think about that right now…); and I’ve started a YouTube channel. I’m not giving up on the newsletter idea completely, but for now this blog is enough talking about doing. I’d rather spend the rest of my time doing.

I know that a lot of the people who read WMS came to it with the diabetes stuff. There’s not a whole lot of that in this post, but another post with more of that particular content will also be out today (I hope! And if not, it will be out tomorrow).

For the writing crowd I will say actually doing is more fun than talking about doing. I will also say that talking about doing becomes more fun after you’ve done! So, plot, outline, discover, or what ever you do; and then write and see that writing through. No, the editing part isn’t always easy or fun, but it’s amazingly rewarding when you get it right and it’s cool when you see your name in print or on the screen with something good that you wrote.

So, for now dear reader get out there and be amazing.

Do your best. Do your dreams. Most importantly DO!