Why this blog?

I originally was going to compile a bunch of small essays into a book and self-publish it. Then I thought, "Hey, why not just blog instead? If people start to follow it and like it, well, then I'll do the book thing. Until then I'll have fun, though."
So here we are. My thoughts on Zen in the Real World. Oh boy. I can hear you now. Another take on Zen. Being Zen. Breathing. Living the Zen life. Stress-free living.

Ho hum.

Nope. This is different. This is how to be Zen in the Real World. I won't suggest you quit work, go 'back to nature,' take 3 hour walks, or give up your car. I will suggest you look at what you do and consider it.

The sub-title to this is "Crap that Bugs Me." I probably should have called it "People Who Bug Me" but I didn't want to get too personal. In truth, though, this writing stems from my reaction to people who write about their Zen-like objectives, or who blog about their carefree lives. I realize that maybe there's a hidden part to their lives I don't see, but they present what I call the "Golden Facade" to the world. Everyone has different kinds of people who bug them, but I suspect you'll recognize some of the types in my essays. I tell you how I learned to turn off the negative vibes I got from them and how to accept them (somewhat) into my life.

This has come about by borrowing bits and pieces from a lot of books I've skimmed over the years. The operative word is 'skimmed.' I ultimately don't sit down and read a work of non-fiction. I skim through it, looking at chapter titles, headings, italics, etc., trying to glean the meat of the book without having to invest my time, energy, and thought in it. I don't really mind spending the money, but I do make sure I spend the other 'intangibles' wisely (time, energy, thought).

I admit, it's not the best way to absorb information. And you know what? I'm okay with that. There is so much information out there, that I can't easily determine what is good inforrmation and what is crap. So I skim, hoping to find a few gems here and there.

This blog is set up for skimmers like me. I have one suggestion, though: read one 'essay' at a time. Read them in any order, randomly or in order, doesn't matter. That's how I wrote them. Each essay starts with a fortune cookie saying or some other phrase that caught my attention.

Why? Because there are small gems of wisdom in fortune cookies. Sometimes they're crap, yeah, but often there's something there that I can learn from. And I'm passing that learning on to you. I set up a file with each phrase/expression and stuck them all in a folder. Then each day I chose one at random and I wrote whatever popped into my head.

I promise, it's going to be about a 5-minute exercise. I'll provide you with some questions to consider throughout the day. What do you get out of it? Hopefully, a better understanding of how you spend your time, energy, and money. And by understanding that, you may see some ways to simplify, discard, or change what's bugging you.

And if you don't learn anything-- well, hey, you wasted 5 minutes a day. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty darn sure I've wasted at least 5 minutes a day on a somewhat regular basis.

Hmm. Something to consider? Have I wasted my 5 minutes yet?