Thursday, April 23, 2015

When “Best” is not enough

Today I celebrate the birth of my best friend. We have known each other for over 30 years and have lived a lot of life during that time.  I titled this “when best is not enough” because in all honesty, “Best Friend” is inadequate to describe how much I appreciate and have come to rely on this person in my life. When I “Googled” the definition of best friend I read some very interesting definitions; all of which are true of our relationship, but still not adequate to describe how awesome she is.  The only definition which came close was a person who you value above other friends in your life, someone you have fun with, someone you trust and someone in whom you confide.” (

In the past 30+ years, we have: camped in the rain, and driven on dirt roads that we probably shouldn't have. We have been to three countries, two continents, seen two oceans and visited numerous states. Experienced some of the nastiest bathrooms along the way; at one point she started a collection of photos of me coming out of port-a-potties and wooded spots we had stopped at for rest areas! Over the years I have likened our friendship to the Disney characters, Buzz and Woody. Can you guess who is who? Let me give you a hint, she is down to earth and has often saved me from flying off to infinity and beyond. (Watch Toy Story if you don’t understand.) There are so many more stories to be told and many more to be lived, since we are both of tender, young years! But let’s suffice it to say, no one could ask for a better traveling companion through the adventure called life. 

One of the saddest things I read in researching what the definition of “Best Friend” came from an article on Wikipedia.  According to a study documented in the June 2006 issue of the American Sociological Review, Americans are thought to be suffering a loss in the quality and quantity of close friendships since at least 1985. The study states that one quarter of all Americans have no close confidants, and that the average total number of confidants per person has dropped from four to two.”

I am indeed saddened to think there are people out there who do not have the excellent support system I have. In addition to my biological family, I have through the years developed friendships that exceed the above mentioned average; with this one bestie at the center. One person referred to a best friend as “precious and rare.”  I wholeheartedly agree, and to have a true best friend is something to be valued above all else. I’m not certain what I would do without her. With the statistics saying 1 in 4 people don’t have what I have, the statistics showing a rise in Mental Illness makes more sense. We all need people in our lives that we can turn to and I pray that all would have at least one, if not more.

In closing, I just want to wish my best friend a very happy birthday!  I am happy you were born and continue to be my friend; “best” just isn't enough to describe you. Now, go eat cake!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Analog versus Digital

A number of years ago I read an article in Smithsonian Magazine about the difference between Analog and Digital time.  I don’t remember all the points the article made, but I remember the impression it left.  I have often thought since that time about the difference a timepiece makes. Almost everything in my house reads digitally, my phone, clock radio, stove top and computers, however, my favorite wristwatches are all analog and I have an analog clock on my chimney that I look at each night.

So what’s the big difference you say? Why after taking a hiatus from writing (6 weeks) am I spending time on clocks and time. Well, here’s the reason, I've changed jobs since writing the post and find myself “pushed” by the clock. I don’t like running on digital time, where I push myself to the last minute before going to a meeting or leaving to go home. I don’t like having to count minutes; thinking “oh, I have 3 minutes before I have to leave” or “I’m 2 minutes late.”  I find when I use analog time, my life runs on “its quarter of, 10 past, almost half past guess it’s time to leave.”

I have enough problems with perfectionism that I don’t need to add precision to my time-keeping.  This tendency can get out of hand if I count minutes; having to be places exactly on time and not a minute late.  When I use an analog clock I arrive to meetings early, am more relaxed, plan better.  When I use digital clocks I stress, I’m distracted and too focused on the minutes ticking by and generally arrive later than I want to do because of waiting 2-3 minutes longer than I should have and am not as well prepared. Plus, a huge negative is I begin to apply the same digital standards to others, feeling they are late if the digital display on my computer or phone reads a minute or two after the appointed meeting time.

From the website:, I found the best summation for what I am trying to say: 

“There are an infinite amount of colors to paint an object (even if the difference is indiscernible to our eye), there are an infinite number of tones we can hear, and there are an infinite number of smells we can smell. The common theme among all of these analog signals is their infinite possibilities.

Digital signals and objects deal in the realm of the discrete or finite, meaning there is a limited set of values they can be.”

Although I had never thought of this difference, it really does make sense why someone creative could struggle with digital time keeping. I like the whole idea of living with infinite possibilities rather than finite values. Everyone likes to say “think outside the box,” while looking at their digital clocks. I want to live free in my analog world, and looking for others to join with me. So for those of you who don’t like “religious” stuff best to stop here. 

I want to say in closing, the GOD I believe in is analog. Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection are the ultimate example of infinite possibilities in a world full of finite values.  Analog is grace and mercy, digital is “the law.” Hebrews tells us, faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.  How analog can you get! I am going to be praying for analog faith, the type of faith that chooses to see the infinite possibilities (even that which is beyond my natural eye) rather than dwell on the finite (that which can only been seen with the natural eye.)

I’m not getting rid of my digital clocks anytime soon, but trust me I’m going to be mindful of how digital my thoughts are each day. I hope you will do the same. As always, this is my opinion, and that and $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee.