The Dreamer

We were young and spoke of dreams

of far away places and big things to come

We pondered and planned

and never worried of how it would work

Life has its way of testing our resolve

with people with a shallow mind and attract our attention

If we pass or fail depends on the path we take

But did we fail or was it just meant to be

There were so many things to do, places to go and people to see

and all those interactions made us who we are

Are we not a sum total of our experiences?

But in all that time I never forgot any of my dreams

I still ponder and plan

And I realize that I never really stopped dreaming

Making a man out of the boy

My son always wants to know when he is going to hit puberty. Being a year younger than everyone else and shorter than most puberty has yet to catch up with him.

While all the other boys are growing tall – his legs are definitely getting long, because I have to get him new pants. While all his friends voices are breaking, his is still very much a high pitched voice. He is waiting for the time when he has a mustache and he can shave – he has been practising but that does not seem to accelerate the process.

In my mind he is still my baby – but he is in such a hurry to grow up. And I want him to be prepared. Having an older sister definitely helps in the socializing department. He gets the lowdown on all the fashions, movies and latest gossip. But what happens when his sister has gone off to college? He has to be prepared to face the world and survive. Growing up is tough.

So we had decided that this was the summer we would do it – make a man out of him – by learning to cook. There is an underlying reason for this you know – girls love guys who can cook. Of course it was suggested by the expert on what girls like – his sister.

All jokes aside – I am a firm believer that everybody should know how to do everything. You don’t have to do everything but you should know how. For boys – it is learning to cook and do laundry. I also expect boys to treat women with respect and not cuss in public.

I always thought it was the father that boys emulate – and they do. Fathers are their heroes but it seems like it is the mom’s job to guide them in that path. A woman’s job is never done.

If I knew then what I know now

I was at a class when I heard the teacher say ‘if only I could go back into my childhood and relive it knowing what I know now, it would be so cool!’

I agree. The first thing I would tell my parents is not to compare me to anyone. (Actually I did but they never listened.) I would tell them to compare me to the me from yesterday. Am I not a better person since yesterday? I can totally see the look on their faces.

I would be the coolest person if I knew Parkinson’s law then. I knew about Peters’ Principle but I missed the one about Parkinson – you know the one that says that time and complexity expands to fill the time you have allotted to it. So if I had known about it – I could have saved myself so much misery and just finished the work – instead of worrying about it.

Which brings me to to the next one – worry does not get you anywhere. You lose sleep, some lose hair. I lose sleep, still have most of my hair – but I just thought that because the adults always worried, it was the adult thing to do.

Energy follows thought. I wish I knew that. I would have been thinking amazing things. Actually I did, I just did not know it.

I am sure if my mother saw this right now she would say – ‘Isn’t that what I have been telling you all these years? Why didn’t you listen?’

I thought I did mom, but I can hear you now.

Watching and waiting

Sometimes it seems that GM was used to set an example for the rest of the world. Hurry up and fix your problems or we will fix it for you.

The worst recession definitely did not help and every day that passed GM was getting deeper and deeper into trouble. So after a thorough tongue lashing from Congress, the government stepped in and provided the required funding and help on the condition that they have to meet certain requirements. It was a tough negotiation but on June 1 2009 General Motors, a company that had turned 100 years old, filed for bankruptcy and was taken off the NY stock exchange. It was history in the making.

For the next few months all eyes will be on GM or Government Motors, as it is called in whispers, to see if they really can survive. But will they? Of course they will, they have to. After all there is a whole industry relying on them to be successful. Why I say that GM was used as an example is because none of the other car companies are exactly rolling in dough. They are also having similar troubles as GM except they could get the funding that they needed without it being broadcast on national television.

I think GM is going through now what would have happened 5 years into the future. Bad decisions, and being complacent in the market place would have forced them to downsize and become competitive. This whole saga was a shake up to the entire automotive industry. Get up and do something before somebody else does it for you.

This whole transition is hard on a lot of us who live in the Midwest and survive in the automotive market. But it is a wake up call to most of us – reminding us that we cannot be complacent in life – whether it is our work, family or life.

Keep innovating, bring in fresh ideas, stretch yourself, shift your paradigm, move your cheese and you will be ahead of the game.

Best of luck GM! We are all waiting to see you come out of this with flying colors.

Memory

Isn’t it odd the things you remember? For some you remember things from the long ago that have been etched in your brain, for others the experiences from the past have been erased and you only remember the here and now and for some you only choose to remember what you want to.

I fall in the last category. Maybe it is human nature – you remember those experiences that were pleasant. The brain catalogs it and keeps it safely. Be it a smell, a food, a thought, a picture,a scene,a sound a color or a song. Then at some point when you encounter something similar – you have this feeling of dejavu and wonder why it is so familiar.

I never questioned why I remember certain things and not others. I thought everyone did that. But much later I realized that everyone remembers something different. I cannot remember what outfit I wore last week – but I know plenty of other people who will tell me that. Unpleasant experiences were wiped out from my short term memory and stored in cold storage. But the brain has the ability to bring it to the forefront when you are in a position to handle it.

Unpleasant experiences in my childhood bubbled to the surface once I reached adulthood and I was able to deal with it. Pleasant memories stick to you throughout your life. Every time I smell jasmine it transports me to a world of warm summer nights. Some dates ( mm/dd/yy kind of date) never leave your head either.You only know it is important, but you don’t know why you remember.

There must be something with the number 23 – cause that seems to be the number of years for me before past memories bubble up and start to make sense. But the date makes sense now – the date is a birthday of a close friend from high school.

I wonder what else my memory has in store for me.