Tag Archives: screen

2021 One Word

Well, somehow we survived 2020.  To be honest, though, I’m not sure how we will do in 2021. There is too much hate, apathy, and disregard of the sacredness of life for me to be fully hopeful that 2021 will be any better.  I know this post is starting out on a negative vibe, but it is honest. No, HONEST is not my word for this year, but being honest with myself did lead me to my word for 2021.

LIVE, as in live music, is my word for 2021.

There are a number of factors that influenced my choice.

First is my poetry.  As soon as possible, I will be attending open mic events.  I also have some social media ideas that I will be investigating to share my poetry.  As much as possible I want to present my works to the world.  Where will these steps take me?  I don’t know… and that is the exciting part.

Second, I want my everyday life to be more live.  Meaning that this year I don’t spend valuable time behind a screen.  I am live in my own life.  I am there for my family and friends.  I am there for my goals.  It is too easy to feel like I am doing something when I check my Instagram feed, or Twitter.  It feels like I have accomplished something when I complete a level on a match-three game.  But, honestly, I have done nothing. 

Maybe because I will turn 50 this year, but the third aspect of my word is to be thankful for this life by living it… yes, this connects to point two, but is deeper than just putting down the phone. There is a spiritual aspect to living.  No matter what you might believe, we only get today.  And our life is the collection of these days.  Making sure I am live each day is one way to pay respects to this chance I have.  To be thankful for the love of family and friends.  To make this world a better place, even if it is just in my home…it’s the best place I know to start.

So, here is to a new year, 2021. 

Here is to new poems and opportunities.

Here is to today being lived in front of a live audience.

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I used to

I used to get up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for the day. One cup of coffee, yogurt, and a banana. I would get back into bed (on my wife’s side) for a few minutes as my wife would finish getting ready for the day. I would shower while she ate breakfast.

But now, we get up at random times.

 

I used to teach in front of students. I could tell who was having a bad day. I could tell if my hyper class would have to be reined in because the lesson needed focus from them. My day was a roller coaster of grading, answering emails, and teaching.

But now, I answer emails and grade assignments as they are completed online.

 

I used to believe that I would live forever. That I had time to do everything I wanted with my life. Life was an open highway.

But now, well actually, I’ve realized that my days are numbered for some time now. This moment in time dealing with the COVID-19 situation has reinforced the reality that life is fleeting. As a society we are forced to deal with so many factors we take for granted in our everyday life. A handshake, eating out, graduations, and just the joy of an open highway.

 

I used to distrust people. OK, to be honest I still do, but that is a personal journey.

But now, I wonder what the effects of this pandemic will have on our culture. We were already dealing with anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness. Dealing with screen time and its connections to these emotions.

 

I used to go to church with my family, shake hands with others during The Liturgy of the Eucharist (Peace Be With You).

But now, we watch Mass on TV. Hearing the echoes of the few people in attendance during the filming of the service.

 

I used to make one box of blueberry muffins. When the boys were young, 12 muffins were enough for the family.

But now, we have added scrambled eggs and bacon or sausage, and we will have to start making 24 muffins as my oldest son has moved back home to finish his semester of college online.

 

I used to believe in love…

But now, I still do… There is no greater force in this life than Love. Oh, I know hate and other negative forces seem to gain more attention and seem to be more powerful. That the world is falling apart… but Love is what will rebuild the world.

 

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Filed under Education, Family, Life

Blueberry Muffin Rant

I was going to write a post that just ranted about life.  About student apathy. About the cruelty of social media. About drivers that run red lights. About how parents abuse their children. I was going to rant about everything. As I made muffins this morning, I was in a sour mood for a number of reasons.

But as the timer went off on the oven and I pulled the muffin tins out, I had to smile as the warm aroma of blueberries and chocolate chip muffins filled the kitchen. I returned to cooking the scrambled eggs wishing everyone could have a Sunday morning breakfast like ours.  My youngest daughter came bouncing into the room, “Is it muffin day?”

“Yes, little one. It is muffin day.”

She curled up on the couch in a blanket, then started to ask me 5 year-old questions.

To be honest, I still want to rant. But I realize that my rant won’t change the unfairness in this world. Or stop somebody from writing a hurtful comment on social media. My rant would not save a child’s life today.

 

Sadly, I know that this post won’t do that either.  But instead of ranting, I choose….

I choose to believe that education is about growing as a person, not a grade.

I choose to read more books instead of looking at a screen.

I choose to listen instead of talk.

I choose to believe in sunsets and sunrises because you can see them from anywhere.

I choose to write poetry, blogs, and stories so that someone reads a message that they need.

I choose to post crazy photos on Instagram.

I choose to tell dad jokes to everyone.

I choose longer hugs and holding hands with my wife.

But most important, I choose to love, no matter how much the world keeps trying to hurt me.

I choose to love.

I choose LOVE.

 

 

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Letter of Resignation

Dear World:

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as an active member of this company, effective today.

Thank you for the support and the opportunities that you have provided for me during the last 46 years. I have truly enjoyed my time, and am grateful for the encouragement you have given me while I pursued my professional and personal goals.

I know it is unprofessional to express why one resigns from a position, but I feel it is appropriate to articulate the issues in the company to help it move forward and find its way back to being great. There are many small things that have deteriorated over the years, but I believe that there are three main areas that the company could focus on that would take care of the small things.

Issue One: Communication

I know that the World is a huge company and that individual departments are busy with their own responsibilities, but there is no communication anymore. Not from the the top or between departments. Over time I have come to feel disconnected and isolated in this company. No one gathers at the watercooler or staff room to talk anymore. Also, we’ve stopped having activities that bring us together, like Christmas parties or company picnics. Everyday we sit behind our screens, ignoring those around us.  Unless there is gossip, then it gets ugly but I will address that with the second issue.

Issue Two: Culture

I am unsure how it changed, even though I think the issue of communication has a role in the negative culture the company now has, I can’t pinpoint when the company’s culture became so negative.  Every department blames the other departments for any failures the world has. And it has now come to the point that it is OK to publicly demoralize people in the other departments. It is not just gossip, but in memos and other official channels of communication I see negative and crushing name calling, blame, and threats for every employee of the world to see. The company’s culture is now divisive and walled. Each department only looks out for itself, striving to be seen as a great department.  We do not work together or work through differences for the betterment of the company, which is highlighted in the last issue.

Issue Three: Mission Statement

What is our mission statement? I haven’t seen it in awhile. Did we become too big to worry about having a foundation for our company? Even if it seemed like a cliche, a mission statement reminded us of our WHY. It highlighted the importance of our work and created a bond between employees. It focused our decisions and helped handle differences between departments. If asked, I couldn’t tell you what the World’s mission statement is. I don’t think any employee really knows. Each department has an unofficial mission statement, but the company has lost its own years ago.

If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. I would be glad to help however I can. I will be starting my own adventure as a writer.

Sincerely,

Jamey Boelhower

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