Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Gray hair all around me.......

That would be a weird lyric to a song......"Gray hair all around me"
except maybe if it were about being at a Blues Festival :)

My friend once told me that nothing gets weirder in life than getting gray pubic hair.
I have not had that experience as of yet......thank you God.
But....I do have some gray hair.
It's an interesting feeling to walk around all day with the same thoughts of most 14 year old
boys and catch a glimpse of myself and see gray. Huh? What happened?
I don't think I am older, but I am.
I am not "Old" in my opinion, but I am not getting any younger.
None of those things I heard from my parents meant anything to me when I was a kid,
they do now. Getting old is a trip. I like it, don't get me wrong, I like the idea of not dying yet.
I still have things I would like to do and I am feeling really good, but some days I am just wore out.
I get tired now and I realize I have to give myself a break once in a while.
Those who seem to never give themselves a break, seem like it hurts.
Sleeping 4 hours a night and working constantly seems like a horrible way to live.
Plus, I think life will be shorter if you don't ever take time to rest the body and mind.
My greatest asset these days is knowing my limitations.
I am aware of what I can do, and more importantly, cannot do. I don't really cross that line much
anymore. It's like with playing guitar as well. I know I cannot play everything I hear in my head,
so I have to take my time and be more thoughtful and considerate. I play what I feel, but it's within
my ability to do so. When I was young I would just go trying to do things that I had no business doing. I would look and sound foolish and like a chump. Today, I know what my boundaries are and I know if I can stretch them or not. That is the best part of getting older.
I know what I can do in life and what I cannot do. Sometimes I can surprise myself, but most times
I just get hurt trying to impress others by walking a tight rope with no balance.
This doesn't mean I cannot learn to do new things, I most certainly can, I am just wise enough to know that I wait until I have somewhat mastered the technique before I roll it out.

Gray hair does not bother me, neither do wrinkles or lines on my face.
I feel as though I have earned all of it. I am still here and I have a story to tell.
I remember thinking that 48 years old was REALLY old. That is exactly how old my Father
was when I was born. Now I think that is so young still. I am not a child but I am not old either.
It seems to be the best time of my life, my prime.  I am confident but not cocky.
When I was young I thought I would live forever, but today I realize that is not true.
I could go at anytime, it's really not up to me at this point.
I used to contribute to my own demise, but I today I take care of myself.
I cherish everyday the best I can.  This life is not given and the fact that I am still standing, thinking,
breathing, loving, living is pretty incredible.  If the worst thing to happen to me is getting Gray pubic hair.....I will be fine.  Does "Just For Men" work down there?  I think it might be painful.....

I'll leave you with one of my favorite verses from a Bonnie Raitt song

"I see my folks, they're getting old
And I watch their bodies change
I know they see the same in me
And it makes us both feel strange
No matter how you tell yourself 
It's what we all go through
Those eyes are pretty hard to take
When they're staring' back at you"

Peace, Love...Zito :)

Friday, January 18, 2019

New Year...New Rules

Happy New Year friends......and foes, I guess.
If you're a "foe" - why would you be reading this fluff?
Ironically, when Howard Stern was really making a name for himself on WNBC
in NYC, he was loved and hated. His antics were driving some "moral" people crazy.
Turns out that those that "hated" him listened twice as long as those who "loved" him.
Isn't that interesting......they couldn't stop paying attention to him because he made them so mad,
and they "loved" being mad.
That's the absolute truth. When we continue to do things that seem to be so upsetting, we must love them. Why on Earth would we continue to do the same thing over and over, unless we really enjoyed it.
Addiction is a funny thing. We usually think it is addiction to drugs, alcohol, maybe even sex.
But addiction is equally based in feelings and emotions. When we get really angry or mad or "riled up",
we get a big boost of adrenaline and it feels empowering and strong. We may not realize it, but we "love" that rush, that feeling, we are addicted to that rush. Even if this outburst of bad behavior is ruining our relationships with others and isolating us, we feel more and more empowered that we are "Right" and everyone else is "wrong".  Hmm......interesting. We have all been through this, we have all felt this way from time to time, but some of us have a harder time letting go. Some of us are truly addicted to our bad behavior. I know that I was for a long time. I am a true alcoholic and addict.
I have the disease. It is mental, physical and spiritual. I abused drugs and alcohol for years, most of the time against my own will, I just could not stop. But I also abused my feelings and my emotions.
I acted out and treated loved ones poorly. I was insecure and self centered, I was always right and always needed verification of my feelings. I was truly unaware.
I lied, stole, cheated and abused. I loved the rush and dug the hole deeper on a daily basis.
My favorite thing to do was to see how far down the hole I could go and how could I get myself out.
I still to this day enjoy that self-defeating experiment. I put myself in situations to see if I can get myself out of them unscathed. It is a terrible waste of time and resources. It is unproductive and very selfish.
Thank God for the 12 Step programs that changed my life. I worked some steps and learned to be aware. It has been a long, slow process, but almost certainly the easier, softer way.
I become more aware everyday, as long as I continue to be open minded and spiritual.
I have to continually remind myself, that I do not know it all, I am a work in progress and still have a lot to learn. 
What I have noticed is that more and more I am focusing on the things that matter most in my life:
Family, Friends, Music. I am exercising more each day and staying in a steady routine of prayer and meditation. I have to stay physically and mentally fit to enjoy this life on Earth.
I am also letting go this year. I am letting go of people, places and things that are not good for me.
I am shying away from ugliness and hatred.
Unfortunately, politics and social media have made things very ugly and deceitful.
But only "Online" - not so much in reality.
What I have noticed is that we see the "Real" person, showing their true colors online.
It is like an alcoholic saying things, that they regret the next day and saying it was the alcohol
talking....but we usually agree that it was probably their true feelings that were only coming out
after being intoxicated. 
I see that people who tell me that they are fed up with the hatred of politics on social media,
seem to be the worst offenders. They continue to share divisive, hate filled, one-sided crap
that usually has nothing to do with the issues at hand.
What that tells me is that they're not so interested in sharing what they feel strongly about.
That tells me that they love being mean. They like being angry and blaming others.
Instead of bitching all of the time, why not do something about it?
If you want a stronger border and are unhappy with the way things are, why not volunteer
your time in service locally in your community?
If you don't like the President and feel he is inadequate, support a new opponent in the coming elections and donate your time to their cause?

I am guilty of all of this behavior as well as everyone else.
In the past, we were duped into "Social Media" - it's the ultimate "Ring and Run".
Leave a bag of shit on someones door step and runaway.
I am also guilty of paying wayyyyyy too much attention to this hatred and politics myself.
Just like the Howard Stern haters, I have given too much of my time and energy to this shit.
But not anymore. Life is good and I am thankful.

It is a New Year - and I have New Rules.
I am sweeping away the debris of bullshit. I have such a wonderful life and I will not waste it on fools.
I will work on my behavior and stay aware of my addiction to feelings and emotions.
I am walking away from the bitterness, the confused. People who cannot bring some light
to the darkness or joy to the sorrow......sorry, you are on your own.
I am not responsible for your happiness, I am only responsible for mine.
If you love to argue and hate and bitch and moan and whine......Enjoy yourselves!
I'll be doing my thing over here, you do your thing over there.
You are always welcome to join me.....

We only have one life to live, I choose to live mine free of addiction.
Happy New Year friends! 
Peace, Love, Zito
I leave you with the Desiderata:

    Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.