How I Changed the World by Marko

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I decided recently that I would never let myself feel hurried again. It was the other day and I had made an appointment to go look at a job down in center city Philadelphia and when the guy called me, all I saw was the money I could make. I'm an excellent handyman able to fix just about anything because of all of the situations I've been in.


We talked, and in my glass half-full optimism, I said, yes, I will ride down and meet you on this morning at this early time. I planned for it, went to bed early, got up, and realized this was crazy. I would have to ride my bike for two hours to get there, then work, then ride home for two hours. Unless I'd be given a room to stay in, it wouldn't work for me, and I don't want to sleep anywhere except on my most comfortable bed. Everyday I would be rushing to get there, and rushing to get home, and I never want to rush again.


We rush here in the US. It's what foreigners notice about us, our psychological rushing from one thing to the next. Most societies pay homage to a relaxed approach to life and the ideal is being able to take a siesta in the afternoon. Not US. We brag about how we stayed up and got this done and then did that. We take drugs so we can rush about and feel "energized," but it's really called, rushed.


It's not a real thing, being rushed. It's actually a state of mind that we choose, that we're trained to choose by all of the influence peddlers. Do more, be more, is the message. I would argue that's it's wiser to believe that doing less leads to being more.


We read these stories about these athletes who succeed by working harder than all of the other athletes and that's what the salespeople want everyone to believe, because it means everyone has a chance if they buy the right equipment, buy the right training video, fit more products into more time spent doing. But I never heard about Wayne Gretzky's crazy work outs. Or Nick Foles. I don't think crazy work outs really have as much to do with it as being able to harness the right amount of energy at the right time. The greats use their limited energy wisely and some greats just have energy to burn, like Walter Payton and Eric Hayden (wrong spelling). Most burn out.


When you don't make it to the top, the argument is always that you didn't work hard enough, right? But maybe it was that you felt too rushed all the time, were constantly being told to hurry up and get there, to prove something that you weren't ready to prove.


It appears that I have found some admirers on Facebook. It appears that scientists have found more evidence of dark energy. I spent the morning of my meeting, after calling the guy and canceling, apologizing and giving him my reasons, performing one of my songs on my Facebook page. It's really good, probably the best I've sounded ever performing my own work. I felt very relaxed. I'd made a good decision. And then I heard that report about dark energy, how it's properties are beginning to be better understood through quiet analysis of data. Let that be a lesson for all of us.            


mark henry smith Added Mar 1, 2018 - 2:46pm
And then I went to practice my putting and figured something out because I felt so much calmer. I met a guy on the putting green and we talked for an hour about golf, him growing up at Cobb's and playing golf with all of the black legends who used to play there, one of whom taught me how to hit a golf ball, One-Armed Dick Varse. We had a great time talking and he invited me to play golf with him, when one of my golf buddies showed up and pulled me away.
I told the golf buddy about my interaction with this man, who is one of the top caddies at Merion, and I asked my golf buddy, "Do you know why we had such a nice time just talking?"
He said, "Because you're a genius?" facetiously.
I laughed. "No, because I'm a nicer person now that I'm more relaxed and a genius."  
Tubularsock Added Mar 1, 2018 - 7:56pm
Well Tubularsock agrees with your why hurry philosophy and actions.
What IS the hurry?
To get more done? And then do you want more? And if so, where will you put it?
Soooo ........... kick back and ....... what were we talking about?
wsucram15 Added Mar 2, 2018 - 6:53am
Agreed..slow down, life is really short, try to enjoy it
Joe Williams Added Mar 2, 2018 - 10:29am
I do handyman stuff also, and i keep my price per hr low so i can putter and get it done right.  takes a lot of pressure off of Me.
mark henry smith Added Mar 2, 2018 - 11:41am
Thanks for all the comments. I'm feeling all of this pressure to make money because I'm sixty and barely have a pot to piss in, but if I step back and look at where I am, I'm in the best place I've ever been despite my bottom of the barrel economic status. Okay, so I have no debt, have a few bucks in the bank, have a plan, have a nice apartment in a house in the burbs, with a landlord who can relate to me as a fellow writer. I'm meeting more people now that my sharp edge has been honed and I'm less of a hone dog, so I imagine this more relaxed attitude could lead to a romantic entanglement with a lovely lady.
This is how it happened last time. I got my own place. I got my act together and then she came along and screwed it all up. It was a beautiful thing.
It was Wayne Dyer who said, change the way you see the world, and you change the world. Let's all hope.
And Jeanne, life is short and I'm short, so we should be compatible.
TexasLynn Added Mar 2, 2018 - 11:12pm
Mark Henry,
Enjoyed the post and the description of the life you choose.  Enjoy. :) Money isn't everything.
That said, what you do is alien to me, but I can appreciate it.  I told someone today, I can hardly wait for daylight savings time. 
There are so many more holes I need to dig (see Breathe below). :)
You've reminded me of the Pink Floyd album "Dark Side of the Moon"... two songs in particular…
Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don't sit down it's time to dig another one.
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.
So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.
Bill H. Added Mar 3, 2018 - 12:24pm
We are continuously conditioned to accomplish more, absorb more, and spend more money. This is what keeps the US corporate machine moving and prospering these days. Of course, we are not to worry because their are prescription drugs to calm us down during the ever-shortening periods that we have to rest and catch up with our chaotic lives.
During my last years working for a large communications company, I witnessed the culture rapidly change from emphasizing the importance of family time and vacation time that allowed employees to live a "normal" family life to a madhouse of overstressed/overworked/disgruntled employees who were conditioned to being available to the company 24/7, constantly working excessive hours (of course, put on salary to avoid having to be paid overtime), and discouraged from taking their vacations. If they insisted on taking vacation time, they were expected to still attend web-based meetings and conference calls.
We didn't learn a thing from witnessing the effects of the industrial revolution in Japan on it's citizens back in the '60s.
mark henry smith Added Mar 3, 2018 - 1:07pm
Lynn, thak you so much. I always liked listening to Pink Floyd, but I never had the lyrics written out for me, tremendous. I will read them again and absorb them. I always had a very relaxed approach, I thought, but in reality I didn't. I wanted to always do more, was constantly pushing myself, that voice saying, go-go-go. And when I hooked up with the wife, we meshed because she had the same voice, but I had other interests, and she wanted to make money, and our dissimilar business practices eventually put us at odds. That and just about everything else you can think of.
Rather than go to my grandmother's funeral, I worked to finish a job with her. We were on a deadline, but I've only ever had one grandmother and she was on a deadline too, and my not being at the funeral, no matter what the reason, made me look really bad with the family. My ability to see clearly and prioritize properly had been warped early and often in my family.
Bill, I absolutely agree. I watched my sister go from working a desk job on a regular schedule, 9-5, commute to the office, to being an at-home, anytime we need you around the world, very-well-paid slave to an international corporate culture. She could be having meetings in India at two AM, and then be expected to be ready for her usual business at nine, no matter how long the meetings took.
She just retired and is working out what she wants to do now that she has all of this time on her hands. She said recently that she misses the power of running people, she was a project manager, and that cats are okay for now as surrogates, but sees limited ultimate efficiencies in their process.
Thank you all.