Balancing the internal checkbook

In a timeless Internet Tradition, I’ve neglected posting a bit lately.

It’s not for lack of ideas, I’ve got a list that’s in the ‘teens and there’s plenty of inspiration. But I’ve been buried in other pursuits….including writing a song for each day in January, planning a couple of art projects that will be opening at our house in late Spring (affectionately dubbed Iron Haus due to our street name), learning to play the drums (surprisingly, better at this than expected), getting into a good rhythm at work, running semi-regularly again, and a mess ‘o additional responsibilities.

Typically I don’t get into politics on this blog, but watching the fiscal cliff drama during December/January made me think about the dynamics of Washington, and how individual and group habits shape the business of getting things done. We’ve always held our politicians to a higher standard of ethics, but in the last decade or so they appear to be determined to hold themselves to a lower standard.

I hear the argument frequently that “America needs to balance its checkbook.” The basic idea is that we shouldn’t spend more than we make, but there are a number of ways to interpret this depending on one’s feelings about a whole host of things. For example, if you lean politically to the right then programs like Medicare are probably in your sights when it comes to balancing the checkbook. If you’re on the left, you may prefer that we stop giving handouts to corporations. In truth, simplistic thinking isn’t going to do anyone any good, but digging into complexities and nuance isn’t a sexy, or personally lucrative, thing to do (and if you don’t think politicians are interested in that simply look up how many of your local, state and federal representatives either came from lobbying or went to lobbying after public service).

But it made me think about how we shape our attitudes and behaviors.

I’ve always been wary of people who are righteous, because they often see themselves as incorruptible, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. It is when we become rigid in our thinking that we are most at risk of missing the bigger picture, and acting in ways that are unhealthy to ourselves and/or others.

In a way, the gridlock in Washington is a macro version of the daily human struggle. Setting and meeting goals and practicing good behaviors/thinking demands patience and consistency in the face of the desire to do everything all at once or nothing at all.

I guess I need to practice what I preach when it comes to blogging…. =)


6 thoughts on “Balancing the internal checkbook”

  1. Maybe you could get Beyonce to sing on your blog! 😉

    Nice work with all your projects though! Songwriting sounds fun and learning a new instrument can be hard so I’m glad you’re lovin the practice.

    1. Yes but it’ll have to be live, no pre-recorded tracks on my blog!

      Thanks for the encouraging words, it’s been interesting focusing on creative stuff every single day…almost makes me wish I didn’t have a day job. Almost. (I’m one of those who kind of thrives on work).

  2. “I’ve always been wary of people who are righteous, because they often see themselves as incorruptible, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.” Word.

    Did you see the story about a self-identified pastor who left a snarky note instead of a tip for her server at Applebee’s? Topical and worth a gander.

    1. What’s interesting (and seemed counterintuitive at first) is that as I’ve increased creative projects I’ve gotten more inspiration than ever before. Of course there’s plenty of junk (reminds me of that quote from Octavia Butler) but the way I think about creative force has changed and there have been a few things that I really like.

      It sort of reminds me of the brain research that shows that we don’t have finite space up top, and the more connections we make the easier it actually is to store and access information.

      Of course you’re right it’s still important to measure one’s creative force. Balance is everything when you recognize that all of life is practice.

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