Coping: National “Imagine Your Life” Day

Ever say to yourself “My Life would be better except for…” (fill in the blank)?

I think loads of people give that some thought in passing but I’ve seldom met the real-deal Self-Actualizers who methodically look at their lives and go about living it creatively.

Since this is a holiday (and conveniently close to Birthday #69) I spent some time in that personal review space this weekend and there are many ideas that will now ramble past that you MAY find useful.

(Continues below)


First, let’s talk about the imagining your life part.

People by and large only operate like an electronic flip-flop circuit.  (Assumes you know what a stable multivibrator circuit is…)

Most folks have an ON state and an OFF state.  The more brain-dead a person is, the more likely they will live their lives in one of this two conditions.

Not that it’s bad per se, but it ignores the 90 percent of life that happens between the extremes.

On National Imagine Your Life Day (*proclaimed by none other than me) the idea is you make a list of EVERYTHING you can think of that would make your life better.

Not just the headline crap (news) that is fed into your head then played for effect by the group-think inducing media.  No, I’m talking about actually spending quality time working on YOUR OWN LIST of items that would make your life definitely better.

A short story about Saturday will bring this into focus:  If you can put up with some non-technical electronics terms, I think this will benefit you hugely.

So I have this antenna hung off my tower.  It is high in the middle and droops down on either end.  Since it is an off-center fed antenna, one side is 45-feet from the tower while the other side is 90 feet.

Without looking:  “Which side of the antenna would you raise (and how far) to improve your performance dramatically?”

This is not something we can pencil and paper because the answer involves a butt-load of math.  Instead, we fire up an antenna modeling program (Roy Lewallen’s EZNEC 6) and presto!

The answer appears:  My antenna could nearly double it’s transmit power by raising the 12-high end to 40-feet.  (From 3.12 db isotropic to 5.3 db.)

The next step was to go into the radio supply stores and pull out some aluminum tubing which was then assembled and now the antenna is at 40-feet at that end.

That was a beast to single-hand into place!  But works grand.

Let’s Make a Process!

I’m big on processes.  It takes a lot of extraneous thinking out of life.

Look at what I just did:

  1.  Formed a “life improvement question.  Sure, there’s only so much value to having the “biggest signal” on a ham band, but it’s a short-term goal of Mr. Delusional.
  2. Came up with a way to test the proposed solution.  In this case, computer modeling.  To find out if something is acceptable as a house project, I just ask Elaine.  (Or, if she would say “No you idiot!” I ask Zeus and cite him as the approving authority.
  3. Gathered materials.
  4. Carried out the project.
  5. Tested to ensure it was done right.  (It was – like there was a question?)

Fine points abound.

You know, it’s funny when we’re young how we have more ideas than time – yet when a lot of people get older they “run down.”  Stupid people work like this.

We’re on the other side of that:  The older we get the more projects we want to get done.

Dream Big

Here are two books that may help straighten out your thinking:

Dream Big, Think Small: Living an Extraordinary Life One Day at a Time.

Then I get into my favorite books of all:  Those about Walt Disney Imagineers.  Here’s a reading list:

From Horizons to Space Mountain: The Life of a Disney Imagineer.

Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real (A Walt Disney Imagineering Book).

And to get started?  “The Imagineering Workout: Exercises to Shape Your Creative Muscles.”

Oh, even got one for warhammer which he likely knows most of:

The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World.

What Do You Want – Absolutely OPTIMALLY?

With the birthday at hand – here’s the shopping list at age 69.

  1. Be in great health.

I finally figured out where the “keys” to my lifetime of being slightly overweight were hidden.  In plain sight, of course!

The first was remembering a family saying about “the boss” (usually a battalion chief):  “He was just throwing his weight around!

Don’t laugh:  When young and upwardly mobile with a sense and need to out-perform, you tell me what that says to the subconscious?  EAT to be a BIG SHOT.

Dumb?  Sure, you bet.  But while the rational brain has degrees and experience the irrational parts of people are always child-like.,  So they need to be fed a new mantra.  Lean and Serene ought to work.

2.  Second item was figuring out the value of apple cider vinegar.  Back ache gone, it now seems that maybe it was the slow motion beginnings of gall stones….will let you know.

3.  I want to live in a more “imagineered” environment.

To do this, we will use the shop, all the tools, and Elaine’s book on stagecraft The Handbook of Set Design, and I’m looking at Windows on Nature: The Great Habitat Dioramas of the American Museum of Natural History which has been in our library since 2008.  Just the first pass through it got us the Trader Vic’s look dining room.  Now, time to venture beyond that.

Why live in a boring old house when you can live on a variety of MOVIE SETS in your own home?  Go look at the BC Royal Museum in Victoria BC.  Yes, you can have this at home, lazy!  Maybe not quite as grand, but for sure a mind trip to be in.

That – and finishing up the 3-hole golf course on the property (haven’t forgotten about that) ought to be the big projects for the year.  Decided on one pound coffee cans for cups – extra big for extra bad golfers, lol.

But we shall see.

For now, we’re both in high spirits and good health — and for a couple of folks coming both sides of 70, can’t think of a better gift.

I mean, besides continuing to evolve our own adult play land, of course!

The Big Cop-Out

Of course, there is another way.

You can just take the “standard kit” model of life.  Eat like everyone else, shop at the same stores as everyone else, and do what everyone else does.

The upside to the standard kit is you don’t have to engage in any real thinking about optimizing your world.  This leaves lots of room for other things:  Writing, meditation, music, reading…all those being time intensive.

So you have a choice to make:  Imagine your life anew – and optimize it and make it “tripendicular” – or take the standard kit and focus on…well…what, exactly?

If you can’t answer this last one, consider it’s a life wasted and that’s a damn shame.

Write when you get rich,

11 thoughts on “Coping: National “Imagine Your Life” Day”

  1. Good stuff. I need to get my ass back in the gym. Been packing on weight as well. Hoping to down size into this little mother in law 2 bedroom save some money and be alot closer to work. Shaves 2-3 hours a day off my commute. Fins out today if I get it.

    George you ever play redneck golf? Really really fun. A few buddies of mine used to play all the time. Not as easy as it sounds. Every hole is a 7 stroke hole.

    You need 5 list items.
    #1. Couple of good drivers.
    #2. 2 huge buckets of balls (Get them at the driving range for about $5-10 a bucket)
    #3. 3 good pump shot guns. I prefer a Remington 870
    #4. Couple cases of #7 bird shot.
    #5. A couple cans of green or orange marking paint

    We used to go up to My baker area and play. Ok here is the deal. One dude drivee a painted the ball off a clif you try to shoot it. If you hit it in 3? You write 3 on your score card. If you don’t hit it you write 7. You get 6 shots in a shot gun, the reason you write a 7 is because if you don’t hit the ball at all, you are penalized a point verses somwone who hits it on the 6yh shot.

    Super fun!!! We would being a hibatchI grill with us and a whole mess of food and some non alcolic beverages and a mess of sunscreen. No alcohol! I do not shoot guns around people who are drinking. Bad idea.

    Hitting a golf ball with a shot gun may sound easy. It’s not. Even with #7 bird shot. I usual burn a shot on the back swing because that ball is alot smaller than a skeet or clay pigeon (if you prefer). Then we usually wheel the sh!t out of our trucks afterwards and maybe finish the day off with some fishing at some random lake or river.

    Good times!

    Have to get busy.

    I leave you with this song about perspective.:)

  2. What make is the yagi? And if you wrangled a 40′ aluminum pole into place single handed, you sir are a Rock Star!

    73. Jim AD0YQ

    • AS-4 Cushcraft wiuth 4-meter add-on and thanks – it was a beast but donbe it many times – eventually you get the hang of it.,

  3. Phew… I wanted to look like I was 18 again.. my first marriage was a failure.(The writing was on the wall right away I thought I could fix it. As in taking a test the first answer is usually the best) she was off on one of her regular run always and a family member who was an army ranger at the time was looking for someone to run with him. It didn’t take long to realize that I was severely out of shape,( he was in and out of ditches over fences etc.)and the only reason he turned around was he realized that I’m as stubborn as an old mule and he was going to have to carry my fat butt home before I’d give up. Even then I figured oh I can do it. Decided to ride my child’s bicycle to a restaurant four miles away. (When I was young I rode bike everywhere. In DC it is the fastest mode of transportation) well after puffing like an old cow it finally dawned on me. That even though I worked 12-17 hours a day I’d have to find a way to add a workout regimen to my already busy schedule.( I was a scheduling master.. my wife now says I have always tried to shove forty hours into ten) Off to the gym I did go. A good onsite trainer had me building up slow. Pretty soon I was running a mile then two.. doing circuit training aerobics lifting and swimming laps. The better shape I got the more energy I had. In my mind I could conquer the world. My family member came home on leave (before he vanished for months at a time. On some deep dark adventure) and he was going to go for a run.. I’ll go.. this time I kept up and was even able to hold a conversation with him.
    ( now that he’s long time retired the joke is.. I coveted his body when he was younger who would have thought he coveted mine when he got older) here’s the point.. it just wore out my over stressed body.. I will never be eighteen again and it didn’t save that joke of a first marriage.
    So… instead of holding back on that piece of cake… go ahead eat that cake enjoy your life.
    As for the boys and girls of DARPA.. those guys are a hoot.. super smart looney tunes with some pretty ingenious ideas.. a little on the dark side,I don’t think they actually see the dark side. Instead I think they just see the question IF, what would happen if.

  4. George
    If it might be your Gallbladder, get it checked make sure it is and have it out NOW. rare cancer but can also cause liver disease and sometimes your pancreas is the problem.. Go get it checked. I say this for purely selfish reasons. I like your daily write ups and want you around to liven up my mornings and help me see new ways.. Go get checked.

    • ???? Health wise I hate the unknown.. for me it seems that everything is odd.. and unknown cause. I get frustrated because everything has a cause. The body isn’t that mysterious. I am fairly good at solving abstract puzzles and I have all the pieces of this puzzle. So every time something odd happens I want to know why… out for the tests no known reasons.. only to discover tests cost money a trip to the doctor a cruise or a portion of a house heck five more trips this year and I spent enough fora new tesla.
      I truly hope they are able to track down the cause of your problems. If it’s the liver they are doing a study on this new stem cell research. Plug you in with a mobile unit you carry around while it does all the work and adds the stem cells into the system. So far it’s looking pretty good at rebuilding a seriously damaged liver
      Happy birthday..

    • And if you still feel bad – get a second opinion. My brother-in-law was ‘treated’ by a local quack who swore that he was fine – but he was looking and feeling so bad, that my husband and I had to insult him to get him to see another doctor – who did remove his gall bladder.

  5. A young seeker climbed into the mountains looking for a famous yogi known to be living there. It was late in the day when he arrived, so the yogi invited him to dine with him before spending the night. The yogi served the young man, and observed his disappointment when he realized the meal consisted of nothing but grass soup. The yogi picked up a dry leaf and crushed it into his soup. The yogi then ate the soup with great gusto, enjoying every bite, while the young man could barely gag down the hospitable offering. He then explained to the young man, you tasted only grass soup, but because I control my thoughts, my meal was made of the highest quality ingredients and seasoned with the finest spices.

    Your life consists of what your thoughts make it. For Americans, a good life consists of two things, busyness and the consumption of resources to the degree that at least a hundred people will live a subsistence life in providing those resources. Do you really think you are any happier than the billions who do not share your mindset? The American lifestyle is an aberration just as packing cattle together in feedlots is an aberration of animal husbandry. Artificial, and eventually nature brings it back to equilibrium through disease, disaster etc.

    Hindu tradition says that the first 25 years of life are to be used to build your spiritual foundation for your life. The second 25 years is for raising a family. The third 25 years is for supporting the culture as grandparents for all younger than you. The last 25 years is when you give up the trappings of maya (delusion), go into the woods and seek god full time.

    This is what the human race was genetically designed to do.

    • The yogi then turned to the young man and said “But why Ecuador? Is there not more opportunity for effect in America?”

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