MUSINGS ABOUT MY BIRTHDAY

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Santa Monica, CA, where I grew up; a view of the downtown skyline from Santa Monica Pier, which I’ve always enjoyed

 

I hope this doesn’t come off as narcissistic, but I just feel that I couldn’t have a blog like this without posting some thoughts about my birthday.

Which commences in roughly twelve hours from this writing as I will enter my 48th year.

So what are my thoughts of the day I was born?

To be honest, they are sort of mixed.

On one hand:

I am extremely grateful and thankful that I am able to add another candle to my birthday cake, as I always make a special point to say two specific thank-you prayers, along with my other praying; one on my birthday and one on the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, as thanks to God that I am alive to see another year.

Particularly considering the health issues – hypertension, high cholesterol, trying to keep my blood sugar down, being overweight and trying to shed pounds – that I have and are working hard to control.

On the other hand:

Compared to how I pictured my life now when I was a kid, let’s just say it hasn’t exactly turned out the way I had planned.

Not even remotely close.

As one singer-songwriter put it in one of his tunes about a decade ago:

 

“I’m looking back and I wonder what went wrong.

I really thought by now a few things might just clarify,

I’ve got a mind that goes out to lunch for days,

And a body that sometimes disobeys…

I’m still at an awkward age.”

 

Not that I think I’m alone in these thoughts, as I’m aware that plenty of folks in my age group have similar convictions.

Which unlike in the past – when I was struggling with depression over the fact that largely because of my Asperger’s Syndrome and the social inappropriateness and awkwardness that comes with it, I was seen by at least some if not many as an annoying so-called dork – does not “bum me out” as much as it once did, for lack of a better term.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more grateful I am over being (at least by American society’s standards) “middle-aged” and still breathing.

And as glad as I am about adding another number to my age, this is not by any means considered a major milestone birthday for me as in two years, I and everyone else born in 1967 will be celebrating their 50th birthday.

Which certainly induces a feeling of “Trip Out” in me as I plan to do something very rare around this time in 2017:

Throw a party.

Living for fifty years as an African-American male in America with a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder calls for a commemoration, I think.

Not that it will be any kind of big-time formal affair, however, as I plan on having a very simple and very informal soiree; no suits or elaborate dresses or prom-style atmosphere or anything like that, as that is not my style and never will be.

In the meantime, I’ll be content to quietly celebrate turning 48, go somewhere for a midday meal, accept “Happy Birthday” wishes from anyone who wants to make such, and perhaps visit some place where I haven’t been in a long while; I don’t know where yet.

The bottom line, as far as my personal birthday wishes?

That the day will be a good one.

 

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A view of the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu from Palisades Park, one of the three things about living in Santa Monica that I enjoyed the most along with the afternoon sea breeze and Campos Tacos, a restaurant two blocks from where I lived whose food I have eaten for forty years.

 

 

 

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Another Issue Regarding God, Jesus, and Christianity That I Don’t Completely Understand

 

 

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I really like this picture, the sun coming out of the clouds as well as the cross being situated against that backdrop

 

I was watching Joyce Meyer’s “Enjoying Everyday Life” television program recently, as I have done every day for the past few years, when the evangelist began to discuss something that aroused some more issues about what God wants out of us that I didn’t quite understand.

This particular program found Joyce talking about what not to do with one’s mouth; that one shouldn’t:

– Murmur

– Grumble

– Complain

– Find fault in others

– Gossip

– Judge

– Criticize

– Tell secrets

– Give your opinion when it isn’t requested or wanted

Don’t misunderstand; I completely agree that murmuring, complaining, finding faults, gossiping, judging – as in “Judge not, lest ye be judged” (Matthew 7:1) – criticizing, and betraying one’s trust are not good things to do.

But as for giving one’s opinion, which I freely admit to having a long history of doing – it’s one of the reasons why I stared this blog and my sports fan blog/site, SoCal Sports Annals (you can click on the link to check it out) – while I agree and realize that it’s not always right to constantly voice your opinion as it can look like you’re butting in and meddling in people’s business, I just couldn’t help but think…

“What about freedom of speech? Is God a totalitarian, North Korean-like dictator who doesn’t want us to express ourselves freely?”

 “Is democracy, freedom of thought, and freedom of expression a bad thing with God?”

Indeed, Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together…”, which I always thought meant that God was/is willing to reason with us and let us freely voice our opinions in the spirit of the 1st Amendment.

I truly cannot and will not believe that God is anything like Kim Jong-Un, the iron-fisted ruler of North Korea who gives out the harshest punishments for even the slightest murmurs against him or his government; I want to make that crystal clear.

I fully accept that God is loving and loves me unconditionally, which is one reason why I accepted Jesus as my savior.

But it was this frowning on not giving opinions that drew me away from Him in the past as I thought that he was a totalitarian, and while I know that’s not true today, a slight misunderstanding lingers inside me.

I now believe it was the devil that put those thoughts of God as an oppressive dictator in my head before, which I have certainly rejected as I have heard many sermons, read many books, and have studied the Bible to the point where I completely see God as nothing but a loving and kind God who only wants the best for us, like a loving father.

Which, as I’ve said, is a reason why I prayed the prayer of salvation and believe I am born again.

Like other questions I have had regarding my/our Lord and Savior and Creator, I acknowledge and accept that if these questions are not ones that can be answered, so be it.

It won’t affect my faith, and I’ll still love the Lord; I pray that no one thinks otherwise when they read this.

But I must be honest – it would put my mind a bit more at ease if I could get a little more understanding about where God stands as far as freedom of speech and thought.

Does he value that? Or is it a devil thing?

That is all that I am asking.

Meanwhile, let me take this time to thank God for all his blessings and for looking after me and looking out for me. I know that I’m nothing without Him.

 

meadow

 

 

 

Briefly Updating The Progress of “MY ASPIE LIFE” (and a few other things)

 

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Wide open spaces like this has always given me a soothing, relaxing feeling; stemming from my early childhood days in the country.

 

As I was looking at the number posts that I’ve written on this blog, I noticed something:

I have been writing fewer articles, as the frequency of my posts have gone down from once a week to nearly once a month.

The only reason I can think of for this is a simple one:

I reckon I have had less original stuff on my mind to write about, as every topic and issue that interests me – having Asperger’s Syndrome, African-Americans and the experiences of being one, politics, music, movies, Christianity and accepting the Lord – has been pretty much covered.

Not that I have any plans on shutting down “The Hartland Chronicles”, as I’m sure there will be other things I can ramble on about, like the progress I’m making on my book, “MY ASPIE LIFE: Having Asperger’s Syndrome in the Mainstream”

I have finished the rough draft of the last chapter, Chapter 11, which goes into my struggles with being on the Autism Spectrum Disorder in my forties and the realizations and hopes that have come to me in recent years.

I have even come up with something to write about for a brief epilogue, detailing the activities of my last birthday and how I celebrated it alone, which in my view is how I’m paying and will always pay the price for my social inappropriateness.

Which although it doesn’t fill me with happiness, it also  – strangely enough – doesn’t depress me as much as it would for most people.

Not that I think that all of my (few) friends and acquaintances are actively avoiding me like the plague as I know that have lives and adult responsibilities; I know it wouldn’t have been fair to ask anyone to ditch work or whatever to hang out with me.

I won’t go into it any further, but I think it will be a realistically nice way to end the book, showing that in real life, “Happily Ever After” exists far less often than one thinks.

As for my self-publishment plans, that hasn’t changed.

I still want to have “MY ASPIE LIFE” published my mid-July, but with the amount of work still needing to be done – editing and rewriting parts of earlier chapters (including cutting some of chapter six and probably others) as well as typing up the last chapter and the epilogue – a more realistic publish date would be sometime before Labor Day in September.

If such is the case, I’m strongly considering posting a few excerpts from the book on this site in July, give everyone a taste of it.

I think that would be a good idea.

As for further posts this month, I hope that I get some in, but if I don’t it will only be because I’m busy with finishing “MY ASPIE LIFE”, working on my sports fan site/blog, SoCal Sports Annals (My “Day Job” for all intents and purposes; please feel free to click on the link to check it out), working out to control my high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and other life-getting-in-the-way things.

As always, hold good thoughts for me…