Squirrel Therapy And Positive Energy

I went out to feed the squirrels this morning and didn’t even make it to my chair. As soon as I came through the screen door four or five squirrels tentatively crossed the patio, looking for a peanut hook-up. I tossed them each a peanut, which they ran with to various tree branches and spots in the yard. Then I sat down and enjoyed a few quiet moments in the company of friends. I genuinely enjoy those moments sitting out there in the yard. The squirrels are so used to me now that they’ll sit a few feet from me and munch on peanuts and sunflower seeds. I’m just one of the guys.
I mention this today because my experience was a little richer this time. I’ve been thinking a lot about how negative my outlook on life has been for some time. I’ve always struggled with depression, but in between phases there was always an overall feeling of hope. After my many years on the road, a failed marriage and essential destitution, my outlook became permanently negative. If even extended to something like feeding those squirrels, which was more of a tradition that arose from our time with Spartacus than anything I particularly enjoyed.
Much of my outlook has been like that. I’ve done things because I had to or was supposed to, with little real drive behind it. I started playing music again because I thought I could make some extra money from performing, not because I was compelled to be on stage again or loved playing. I’ve been a¬†defeatist, who¬†gauged experiences not on whether or not I enjoyed them, but on whether or not they sucked. I’ve joked around and said, at times, “I am not entirely dissatisfied”. But there’s more truth to that statement than I really care for.
One thing that’s made me think about how negative I’ve been was the recent departure of the guitarist from Catdaddy Pirates. He handled his departure badly and offended me on multiple levels with his dismissive attitude, but I myself should have responded better to that. It served no purpose for me to blog about my frustrations and inflame things even further. I should have kept in mind the people I was dealing with, and I should have risen above it. My negativity is what drove me to respond badly to that. That’s something I want to change.
This is definitely something I know how to fix. It mostly has to do with taking a deep breath before addressing things that bother me. It means believing that things will work out rather than planning for contingencies should they go badly. It means planning for flight rather than survivability, to thrive rather than survive.
Our outlook on life infuses everything that we do. I’ve allowed my bitterness and anger over some of the things that happened to me over the last decade to drag me down into the muck. I’ve spent too much time making plans for “some day” and not enough time focusing on “today”. I need to stop looking forward to the Future and realize that I have a wonderful Present. Today is all we have. I need to stop letting my moments be ruined by my recent obsession with the dark side of everything.
My old motto is, “Over, under or through”. I need to realign my energy and start proving to myself that those are more than just words. For the first time in a long time, I can honestly say that as I write this, I feel like the changes are already happening.

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