Bob Dylan Said So.
"The times, they are a changin". Thank you, Bob Dylan, for these simple but prophetic words. Debating whether you enjoyed how he sung them is an entirely different discussion. We can look back in history and see the number of times this simple phrase described what was going on. Stop and completely examine the lyrics to that song. Bob Dylan put musical notes to words that resonated with millions of people caught up in the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. The 60's were an incredible time of upheaval. So, where are my PCT's, Positive CJ Thoughts being channeled this week? In that simple phrase, 'the times, they are a changin'.
A few days ago, a record one hundred and two women were sworn into the House of Representatives. Let me repeat that and use numerical form to emphasize it.
My MaMaw used to use a phrase that resonates with me today. I think about it often when in my decision making process. "Being right's one thing, righteous doing it, is another."
There were days I pondered those words and tried with all my might to do both, no matter what it cost me. And trust me, it has cost me. It cost me my very core identity when I was young and later, it cost me in the things I was willing to give up after a long term relationship broke up. I wanted to be righteous while I tried to being right...in the eyes of others, this too cost me.
I look around at people and places near me and I see change. I mentioned the positive change I see on Capitol Hill, but I also see the massive changes in our country that have taken place since we went and 'lost our damn minds' by letting a morally bankrupt man lead our country. I've said it before that what others call being less 'politically correct' apparently translates to a loss of common freaking decency. Remember decency...it's what your MaMaw taught you.
The homophobia, bigotry, and racism that's prevalent today is alarmingly acceptable. Why is that? Because the man standing behind the presidential seal applauds white supremacists while holding us hostage behind the lip service of America First and me first, has made it acceptable. We can make fun of differently abled people, prisoners of war, rape victims and a host of others without shame. Don't believe me, look back over a years worth of presidential tweets and news footage. Tell me that if our last president would have had kids by three different mothers AND paid off porn stars, that the protests from the other side of the aisle couldn't have been heard from another galaxy?
It's not just in politics where I see change. I see it in our climate, beyond refute. In my business, disaster is much more than a bottom line on an insurance form. Its lives destroyed when a wildfire spreads so quickly it engulfs and entire town. 82 people lost their lives to the California Camp fire. 11 have yet to be found. Lack of sustaining rainfall has dried everything out like a tinderbox. After these fires, even a small amount of rainfall causes massive erosion and landslides because there's no vegetation to hold the soil.
Flooding in places it hasn't ever flooded before, I could go on and on. Climate change isn't 'coming'. Rest assured, it's here.
These things aren't limited to the United States in that regard, it's global. Tsunami's, earthquakes, and other forms of natural disasters plague our entire planet.
Even in my personal life, the times, they are a changin.
I hit fifty in December. I know that's just a number, but I feel every one of those fifty years. The AARP mailings don't need to remind me of a thing. The good thing is that by reaching that milestone, I can retire when I want to. With my 25 years of service locked in and having reached a half of a century since my birth, I am eligible for my pension.
Now, this doesn't mean I'm going to retire. My wife and I are waiting on a few things to settle out to make that decision. The difference is, I can. If another opportunity came up that I wanted to explore, I could entertain the thought and leave with my full pension. That folks, is empowering.
The times are also changing for me as a writer. I've got my third book in edits. I never thought I'd get one published and soon a third cover with my name as the author, will be available for someone to take a chance on. Funny that phrase, since my main character in the current book is named Chance. I'm actually in the process of writing the second book in the Five Points Series. The first being Gold Star Chance.
It's winter and things at the farm are in the off season. This leaves a little more time on the weekends and evenings to delve into another scene with my badge wearing heroin and her K9 partner.
I try to enjoy that while it last because come spring, my hands will be in the dirt again.
Family dynamics are changing as well. One of my aunts recently had a stroke and broke her ankle in the process. Since she is way out on that left coast, logistics as to family help are always complicated. She's only a few years older than my mom and I know that, eventually, I'll have challenges to face with one or both of my parents.
As I've mentioned before, my dad and I aren't always on the best of terms so that will be exceptionally difficult. I've been watching a friend go through a medical crisis with her dad and it's like seeing a preview of what I might face.
So, these times, challenging as they may be, offer some hope for tomorrow even in the bleakness of our today.
I want to be part of the positive change. I think it's why I try to be so inclusive in my books. I have woman of different heritage and ages, along with characters that are differently-abled. I already have some thoughts running around in my head for a second "Bucket List" book written from a different characters perspective. There and musings of a book featuring spiritual leader based on the likes of Nadia Bolz-Weber. She's a Lutheran pastoral star that rocks the boat and yet has me believing I might be worthy of the word, grace. Then there's the idea about a lesbian in her sixties that offers herself as a stand in parental figure for a group of lesbians and gay men whose parents have rejected them. Oh...and did I forget to mention the meteorologist that works for the National Weather Service? Yeah, that's another character I've got banging on my skull. So many stories to tell and too little time to bring the characters in my head to life.
Whether you live in the United States or places north, south, east and west of it, you are likely experiencing change in some form. Uncertainty faces us all in the wake of global terrorism and the world economy.
I don't know what it will take to bring us back from the brink. If it was only fiction. It makes for excellent dystopian story lines though. My only answer is to grab a good book and lose myself in the pages of a story that makes me want to live, love and be better..or write one, for the times, they are a changin.
Until my next book comes out around July, you can enjoy one of my others on the market. The Bucket List will take you on a journey through several of our National Parks on an epic quest.
Goldie winner 'frame by frame' will introduce you a motorcycle riding photographer and a roadside restaurant that offers much more than food and plumbing supplies.