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Archive for the ‘Wise Eyes’ Category

Investment versus Spending

In Wise Eyes on November 21, 2008 at 7:39 am

Lindsay and I are on a trip for our first anniversary to California’s Central coast.  We are staying in the small town of Cambria, just south of Hearst Castle.  So far, I have been thinking about investments and wealth, living richly.  Strangely enough these thoughts began with my teeth.

Yesterday, I felt pain in my lower row of teeth, which have been pushing against the upper row.  I had an orthodontic evaluation in July about the shifting teeth.  Because I have had braces in the past, I was bummed to learn that my teeth were still shifting on ‘living tissue’.  I tend to look at making difficult decisions as an inconvenience, rather than a natural progression of living.

“So, how much is orthodontic treatment going to set us back?” I thought.  I notice that I was already orienting myself toward the expense as ‘spending’ rather than ‘investing’.  As you might have guessed it was a pretty penny, considering some of the other ways Lindsay and I are invested right now (grad school, writing a book, working part time, etc.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Moving the Rock

In Wise Eyes on September 29, 2008 at 6:45 am

The beginning of another work week and the end of a weekend.  I am reminded of the REI application that I picked up on Saturday.  With those three applications, go the hope of shifting out of the corporate structure and into a new life with writing.  Today, I have 40 workdays remaining at my current job.  This will put me past my two-year deadline, which will add the company’s part to my retirement.

Perhaps leaving with a bit of the company’s blessing on our retirement will somewhat redeem the experience.  Working in this job has been entirely trying; from dealing with difficult co-workers, to searching out possible career paths, to mourning over my own lack of passion in my job.  I would miss the mark if I did not mention that it has definitely shaped me.

These three frustrations (difficult co-workers, uncertain career, and lack of passion) have all created shifts in me.  With difficult coworkers, I have learned how I want to engage people; what experience I hope to create; regardless of their attitude or behavior toward me.  As I have searched out schooling and other means of developing my career, I have hit barriers.  School was an option, but not preferrable.  I wanted the authority to write.  For whose permission had I been waiting?  Lastly, I have found that passion comes at the price of risk, resistance and failure.  To engage passion means I will fail (hopefully gloriously), I will meet resistance, and I will have to risk.  But, knowing what I know now, I would choose no other way of living.

Sabbath

In Wise Eyes on August 31, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Resting can be exhausting!  By the time we left Sower’s Middle School on our bikes, I was weary.  We had loaded up the bikes on our unsteady bike rack, packed lunches, then driven over to church.  We helped the tear down crew after service – our church meets in a school building, so we setup and tear-down for over 200 members each week.  I say we in the general sense, but the truth is, I am rarely a part of tear-down.

I had my backpack slung on my back. Three books, which I didn’t end up reading, water bottles, and Lindsay’s bathing suit all filled the main compartment.  It was my birthday.  I decided I wanted to take a bike ride with Lindsay.  We had Newport Coast in mind, but quickly decided that 20 miles was a little out of our range today.  We settled on the ‘Wedge’, a corner of jeddy at the end of Newport Peninsula.  This spot was famous among body surfers and boogie borders especially when there was a large swell.  We stopped off at the church barbecue before we had gone very far.  The notion of Sabbath and intentionally slowing down to rest did not necessarily mean solitude.  We can enjoy rest with others too.

I kept wanting to talk to others about my plan for writing.  I wanted to let them in on the journey that I was taking.  It is rare that I find someone that connects on similar literature with any kind of intensity.  Denny and Lauren get it.  They will be leaving in less than a month to Montreal, Canada with their newborn.  Denny will release his first cd later this month.  Going to Montreal to study art, culture and social justice is definitely a risk for them.  It goes against the practical steps to success.  My plan with writing stikes a cord with them.  Perhaps they see Lindsay and I embarking on a similar journey.

Lindsay had surprised me when I had woke up with a book called Sabbath.  It was written by a Jewish Mystic and had been recommended to her by two different sources on the subject of slowing down or resting.  I guess the Jewish writer offers some interesting insights about resting.  We agreed to read it, as the situation presented itself, on the days we practice slowing this fall.  We plan to set one weekend day apart to just be together and receive from God.

My idea for a bike ride as rest came from a high school youth pastor, who had dedicated his life to bringing purpose and meaning to youth in Huntington Beach.  Lindsay and I saw him down in Newport once when we were on a date.  He looked so relaxed; no shirt, sun-leathered skin, baseball cap, moppy brown hair and shades.  He looked like an oversized teenager, but he spoke with a stilled wisdom.  I kept that visual in my mind when I tried to envision resting today.  The load on my back was a subtle reminder about my remaining questions with the Sabbath.  I was trying to rest, but I still carried a burden.

Pedaling in Blue

In Wise Eyes on August 9, 2008 at 2:20 pm

“Go with the Kid’s Breakfast Burrito.  It’s the perfect amount without making you want to hurl on your way up the last hill.”  My new found group of bikers settled into a Saturday brunch at Knowlwood cafe, a small diner near the Amtrak rail.  We had ridden almost 35 miles so far that morning.  We chatted about the Olympics opening ceremony.  “The journalists could have done a better job.  There were so many empty spots that they could have said more.  Maybe there were not allowed to say more.”

It was my first experience with Uncle John’s crew.  They had been doing the ‘run’ for the last twenty something years every Saturday morning; Knowlwood on their way home.  I enjoyed the comradery, even though I was very green in my spandex.  I managed to buy a marked-down, blue top from the ‘chop shop’ near my house.  It was my new blue chop shop top; it matched my shoes. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) Now I had one complete kit.  Sleek in spandex.  Somehow, I felt like I had crossed over from one side of the fence to the other.  I was no longer looking in from the outside.  I was drafting in the middle of the pack. Read the rest of this entry »

Chasing Hope

In Wise Eyes on August 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm

As the sun was setting yesterday, Lindsay and I hopped on our bikes and headed for Huntington Beach’s Central Park.  The 365-acre park provided sufficient retreat from the unpacking we had been doing.  All in all, the move went very smoothly.  However, going back to work was another story. 

Monday felt like a day of spiritual dryness.  I was tired of working the same job – ready for something new.  It was tough to ‘feel’ connected to God’s promises of moving me on.  I wonder if His ‘feeling’ distant was actually an opportunity for deepening my faith and trust in Him.  Halfway around the park with Lindsay, I was feeling a renewed sense of hope.  The setting sun, glistening eucalyptus and family scattered throughout the park all suggested that something bigger was taking place.  I felt refreshed taking in the wind and slowly pedaling around the park. Read the rest of this entry »