Two Thoughts this Tuesday


Image courtesy of Designurge

Image courtesy of Designurge

Good evening everyone, it’s been a busy few days here in the land of Oz, or at least in my house.  I’m taking a little break from the larger piece I’ve been asked to write [sanity demands it] and I was going through my little file of sayings, looking for something to grab me, when I came across these two little gems.  The first one is a saying that I am sure many of you can relate to.

After all we’ve all had difficult people in our lives at one time or another and while it is often painful dealing with them it can give a greater insight into character traits you definitely do not wish to possess.

I am very grateful for some of the people in my life for showing me very clearly who I do not want to be.  It is almost as great a gift as the example from others who you would like to emulate and somewhere between the two I think we find ourselves if we work at it.

The second piece of wisdom that caught my eye for this Two for Tuesday Thought of the Day deals with the concept of ‘normal‘ and whether or not achieving such mundane heights of conformity and comfort bring a person any real joy or spontaneity.

inspirational-quotes-26

Life cannot be lived and we can not grow by confining our senses at all times, to that which is considered normal.  Peace is often found in the strangest places and wisdom is rarely found amongst those who only repeat the actions of those who come before them with no thought as to why, knowing only that it ‘must’ be so as it has always ‘been such‘.

Think of the new styles of art, poetry and prose that would never have been discovered if some were not willing to stretch the bounds that society had defined as ‘proper‘.  I am certain that a number of them would have had much more comfortable lives but would they have considered it living?

The daily marking of the calendar, the ticking of the clock to mark the passage of time; what is that to untrod paths and landscapes seen in colours never before used for such.  New combinations of notes, harmony and discord until one is not separate from the other, these things lost to us if some had taken the ‘normal’ path.

When I look at my own life I can say quite simply; no my life is peaceful [to a point] but it is not normal and I am thankful everyday for that because I think normality nearly killed me.  Stifling myself via chemicals so as to ‘appear‘ normal almost suffocated what it is that makes me who and what I am today.  I may not write a classic, compose an opera or paint a masterpiece but I can see in the works of others such beauty and the pain that came with their creation that it is enough to simply know that such things exist because there are those who lived their lives to a different beat than most.  I hope you all have a wonderful week and I look forward to catching up with you tomorrow when I will be Wondering on Wednesday.

32 thoughts on “Two Thoughts this Tuesday

  1. I could go on for entirely too long about how there are so many different ideas of normal and so few reasons to try following those. The short of it: there’s not nearly as much fun in creating something unless, when all is said and done, you can step back and feel like you’ve surprised yourself. Something unexpected and unusual and not standard in any way happened as the result of your work. That’s what makes writing (and other creative outlets) so enjoyable.

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    • So very true – repeating tried and true has value, if you’re fixing a toaster but creating something new mean taking a little walk off the beaten path as a general rule.

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  2. I concur Jenni – “normal” is the grid we use to interact with others so that expectations are met and collaborration can occur. Like a road, once we get there, then we can/have to open up our individuality to secure meaning and fulfillment. It’s a good analogy – I’m an ex-trucker and I’ve pondered this upon occassion. There are many types trucks and cargo and each is loaded individually at different facilities with different products going different places on different schedules. They have common external characteristics (width, height, max weight, max length) so they can all run on the same roads at the same time. From the outside they all look similar (“normal”) but every one has different loads on different schedules. Once they have gotten close to destination, they all go separate ways to separate facilities where they are opened up and their unique goods are unloaded. Much as individuals are say producing unique art or writing or engineering, etc.and yet use the same grocery stores, live in houses, sleep, etc (“normal”), I always pictured trucks as being designed on the outside to be common and yet always engaged in different applications. They are open and vulnerable while loading – then close up to secure and meet the common standards for safe and efficient passage through a common road system – and then, upon arrival, opening back up to comlete their unique trip.

    Great post Jenni. When individuals beome too “normal” they lose their uniqueness and thus any sense of fulfillment. I too know that feeling and have put it behind me. Thank you.

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    • This would have to be the most unique but interesting insight into the concept of normality and the roads we all travel on. I was really fascinated by the image of you created of these trucks traversing the grid, similar on the outside but all carrying different loads in different directions. Even the similarities were at a variance. Really enjoyed reading this response. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Paul.

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      • Thanks Jenni. It’s interesting what engendered those thoughts. When I first started trucking I took the roads for granted. After a lot of years of expeience I began working for a company that specialized in OD (Over-Dimensional) freighht. Instead of the normal dimensions allowed (in Ontario) of 8 1/2 ft wide X 13′ 6″ high X 80 ft long (for doubles) we hauled loads that could be 18 feet wide, 16 feet high, 120 feet long and up to double the allowed normal weight. Typically we were over only on one dimension at a time,but sometimes 2 or more. This is a whole different world, believe me. Nothing was “normal” or could be taken for granted. We had reference manuals with all the bridge and wire heights, road widths and weight limits (bridges, overpasses, etc.) We would spend sometimes days setting up the run with the required permits and police escort and guide cars (and pole cars) and the routing. Naturally, this paid extremely well, but you had to be good to do it and mistakes weren’t an option. We had one driver who did 8 million dollars damage to a railway bridge because he was sloppy – he was fired. Little mistakes could result in huge negative outcomes. It soon became clear to me just how important “normal” was – for efficiency and reduced pricing and cost. Customers were encouraged to make their loads as “normal” as possible and if they couldn’t we would take the job and they paid – but they got the service they paid for. We had all the expensive special equipment to do the jobs and that was not cheap. For instance, a normal flat bed trailer would cost (new) about $25k whereas a trombone flat (that could stretch out to double the normal length)would be aboutn $125k. Some of our special trailers could cost up to $300k.

        So, normalizing loads became a key factor in increasing efficiency and decreasing cost and transit time. (Sometimes a piece of machinery could be disassembled or a new piece could be made in two pieces and assembled at destination, etc.). It was a really neat job – no two loads ever the same. Some of the stuff we carried was amazing. I have some wicked stories of hauling OD – each trip was planned and executed to the last detail and then problems would pop up that had to be solved on the spot. I recall one shipment of two story escalators that came in by ship and had to be transported about 800 miles to Montreal. They were about 90 feet long plus tractor for about 118 feet each total. We planned everything – and were scheduled to arrive right in downtown Montreal at 5 pm on a Friday as they had the side of a renovated building open and had cranes and permits alloowing them to shut down the street for the weekend while they installed the escalators. None of us had travelled the route before and we were 4 trucks in convoy with police escort and pole cars (pole cars have a tall collapsible fiberglass pole with a steel tip mounted on the front bumper of the escort.They pole could be adjusted for a specific height , usually a few inches higher than the load, and if it touched an obstacle it would ring an alarm in the escort. he would then radio the trucks to stop until a new plan was developed) We exited the highway within sight of the construction, right on time. We had to go under a railway bridge and we knew it was plenty high for us to pass. Problem was that it was a “subway” meaning the road dipped down under the overpass and rose on the other side, The loads were so long that as the truck was coming up, the load was still going down and the crate on the lead truck stuck under the overpass. We were going slow so no damage was done, but now we had to back the whole convoy out onto the crowded highway at 5pm and then find a way around. It took hours.

        Anyway, that job taught me how important and taken for granted “normal” is in certain places in our lives. Just as important as it is to be unique in other places.

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  3. One thing that used to bug me about Bob Hawke was his rhetoric about the normal or ‘average’ man in the street and every time he said it, I thought ‘who wants to be normal?’
    You say it so much better than I.
    I love the first quote too. It is a gem!

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  4. Hi Jenni,
    Just read Sarah Hanson-Young’s piece on the Tamil boat refugees, saw the updates on the Guardian’s Operation Sovereign Borders Timeline, and…well, my heart broke, really. I made an illustration called “Abbott’s Cat to the UHNCR”, just uploaded it. I know it’s not a ranting day for you, but when it is, and should you wish to use it, by all means, okay? The rubber glove is self-explanatory. The European Union stars, I hope, too. I won’t leave a link here, just in case it ends in your spam. I guess if you click on my gravatar you should get a link to my blog. And if not, no harm. Just thought I’d offer.

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    • Thanks for thinking of me – will be putting something up this afternoon before we head into the weekend funny challenge so I’ll let you know when it’s being posted. Jenni.

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  5. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award from Mrs. Cindy of A Slice of Life | ronovanwrites

  6. There’s just so many variations of normal based on our personal experiences, that what is ‘normal’ for one person, might be totally out of the box for another.

    My personal perception of normal for whatever reason, focuses greatly on comfort. If I am constantly feeling comfortable in every circumstance around me, I consider that ‘normal’ and tend to associate a very negative connotation to it. Pushing boundaries, and being uncomfortable is outside of normal and I see this as very positive, because it means personal growth, which I truly value.

    I really enjoyed this piece, Jen, Thanks for sharing! Nothing like a good 1:34am ponder.. lol

    Hope you have been well

    Miss Lou
    xox

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    • Thanks – and yes late nigh ponders tend to be the best, most likely since everyone else is asleep and you can hear yourself think for once. 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for thinking of me – I’ve been a little caught up with work etc for the past few weeks and as such have fallen behind with my blog. I’ve already been nominated for the Liebster on a number of occasions and as such think it wouldn’t be fair to continue to participate when others need the chance more than I. Once again thank you for thinking of me and my blog.

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      • Your welcome Jenni, and yes now that you mention it you did get nominated for the award a few times. Next time when I nominate bloggers I’ll be sure to check there award page to ensure I’m not doing double duty. 🙂

        – James

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  7. Hi _ I came here from Pommepal’s blog – and so glad i dropped by – I enjoyed your post very much – and especially this:

    “Think of the new styles of art, poetry and prose that would never have been discovered if some were not willing to stretch the bounds that society had defined as ‘proper‘. I am certain that a number of them would have had much more comfortable lives but would they have considered it living?”

    have a nice day!

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    • Thank you so much for coming to visit – I’ve been a little caught up with work etc for the past few weeks and as such have fallen behind with my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I hope to see you hear again. I look forward to reading your own work myself.

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    • The real world decided to intrude with WORK – how rude but it seems that I underestimated how long it would take before a significant amount of freelance work started coming my way. So yey for me but wow soooo busy recently haven’t had a chance to do anything else until now.

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      • Thanks – Semester Two starts for uni next week and I’ve been asked to take two tutorial groups for second years so I have a feeling things are only going to start getting busier. Good thing is I will actually get paid for most of the work I’ve done in the next week [end of month invoices] so I can finally send you that extra $100 I owe you for your work plus do things like pay the electricity and luxuries like that. 🙂

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      • *Frown* I don’t like not paying you – you did an amazing job and I should have finalized it weeks ago but the whole work thing took off so fast I’ve barely put two feet on the ground in the past month. It’s not big deal money wise and it’s important to pay your bills – my parents drummed that into me from childhood, you don’t want to say that my parents were wrong now DO YOU? 😀 Seriously it’s no problem – I’ll be stopping by OM land soon to catch up on all your posts along with some others that I’ve missed in the past weeks so I’ll see you soon OK. 🙂

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