everything will be okay

I wrote on Monday about one approach to dealing with stress. Here’s another:

Everything will be okay in the end.
If it’s not okay then it’s not the end.

I first heard this in the movie The Best Marigold Hotel, which, by the way, I highly recommend if you’re over fifty or if you have relatives or friends who are over fifty. Turns out the quote has been around for a long time and has been variously attributed to Paulo Coelho and John Lennon.

Who ever said it first, I find it helpful.

high tech silliness

The business of high tech is seriously goofy sometimes. I was reminded of that when I had the unexpected expense of having to buy a new computer last week.

  • The sales guy told me that I would get a $30 discount if I bought both technical support and a service contract on the machine. Made sense, so I did. I got home and realized I didn’t get that discount. I went back to Best Buy and they told me it was because I didn’t buy anti-virus. Well, I didn’t need it – I still have a hundred plus days left on my current Norton. But they let me return everything and buy it over again to get Norton. It wasn’t even the version I use so I can’t use the license key or make use of it in any way, but I got my $30 refund.
  • I remember this from my last computer. Microsoft’s own, built-in photo slide show screen saver doesn’t let the automatic monitor turn-off function work. But it works fine with a third-party slide show screen saver.
  • Why does Microsoft have to change the world with each new version of Office?
  • My computer shipped with a third-party PDF reader not nearly as good as Adobe Reader. I downloaded Adobe and it installed itself as the default PDF reader without asking. Not usually what you want, but this time fine.
  • The computer came with Internet Explorer 9 and Microsoft Big as the default search engine. There was no way to select Google as the default. But when I installed Picasa, the photo tool acquired some time ago by Google, it asked me if I wanted to make Google the default search engine in IE. I said Yes.

To quote Mayor Shinn’s daughter, Zaneeta, in The Music Man, “Ye Gods!” (“You watch your phraseology, young lady!”)


Life at work is stressful. My manager is one of many people taking early retirement at the end of the month. That means organizational change, and losing a manager whom I know and like and respect. But I just have to take a deep breath and know that right now, today, everything is fine.

Sacred Music Friday: Psalm 67

Westminster Abbey Choir, Psalm 67, Edward Bairstow

guilty pleasure

I have a new guilty pleasure. It’s Wingstop. I’m not a big fan of chicken wings, but they’re smart marketers, and they know a lot of people feel as I do. So they’ve added a number of boneless chicken selections to their menu. My favorite: the Glider, akin to the White Castle slider (something I’ve never been privileged to try) or the Burger King Stacker (which I have). I love them in all of the flavors I’ve tried so far.

I hate to admit this habit. And under no circumstances do I want to know the calorie, cholesterol, or sodium value of those things.

thoughts inspired by Bonhoeffer

I’m taking an online course called Radical Hope in Hard Times. The course includes a number of modern writers and activists: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothee Soelle, Dorothy Day, William Stringfellow, Clarence Jordan, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Cone, Ada María Isasi-Díaz, and George Tinker. One of the course requirements is to post at least one comment a week on the private course blog. I joined during the second week and had to dive directly into Bonhoeffer. This is what I wrote, and I wanted to share my thoughts here as well.

When I signed up for this course I told Jane that I thought Bonhoeffer would the most difficult for me. What I did not say was that it was not that I would find him difficult to understand, but that, as in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, we all know the outcome from the very start. The fact that his execution was so close to the end of the war and the liberation of the camps makes it all the more tragic.

In addition, I have a personal connection to the Holocaust. My first wife, who died suddenly in 1989, was Jewish, and her parents were survivors of the camps. The story I am told is that after the war her mother went from camp to camp until she found her husband, from whom she had been separated.

Reading Bonhoeffer, though, I was caught up by this passage in Letters and Papers from Prison, and kept re-reading it:

Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God— the responsible man who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?

Bonhoeffer was one of those. I can’t say that I’m anywhere near there.

more on admitting to being me

I wrote recently about how I had started using my full name in my blog, and how I agreed with my Facebook and blog friend Fran that that is the right thing to do if one is going to have the hubris to blog. Another blog friend, the Boston Pobble, commented on that post, and she had some excellent points.

First she said, “It isn’t hubris to say things. It’s hubris to expect people to listen.” Agreed.

Then she listed the reasons why it was not a good idea for her to blog under her own name. I know enough about her life to know that she is right as concerns her. I should have stated that Fran’s comments spoke to me and my situation.

Finally Pobble said, “Reading my blog doesn’t mean someone knows *me*. They know snapshots of me.” I absolutely feel the same way. I’ve said before, but it’s worth repeating, that everything I say in my blog about my life is true, but I don’t say everything about my life. I’ve written about how so many books that are labeled autobiography contain more fiction than some novels. I choose to be accurate, at least as far as I perceive my reality, but my blog is not intended to characterize the whole of my life.

Thanks, Boston Pobble, for setting me straight.