Monday, April 20, 2009

Good Times?

Good Times.Any time you meet a payment. - Good Times.Any time you need a friend. - Good Times.Any time you’re out from under.Not getting hassled, not getting hustled.Keepin’ your head above water, Making a wave when you can.Temporary lay offs. - Good Times.Easy credit rip offs. - Good Times.Scratchin’ and surviving. - Good Times.Hangin in a chow line - Good Times.Ain’t we lucky we got ‘em - Good Times.
Mmmmmm Just lookin' out of the window.Watchin' the asphalt grow.Thinkin' how it all looks hand-me-down.Good Times, yeah, yeah Good TimesKeepin' your head above waterMakin' a wave when you canTemporary lay offs. - Good Times.Easy credit rip offs. - Good Times.Ain't we lucky we got 'em - Good Times.

I have a good friend whose goal is always getting out of survival mode. I could tell from her intonation that she felt strongly about the goal so I never really said anything against it. When it comes to other grown folks and if it has nothing directly to do with me… If you like it I love it. But I never really understood why she was trying to make her way out of the survival realm. Surviving is the goal isn’t it? Emphatically Now Cipher. It isn’t. Survival is somewhere between maintaining and deteriorating. The goal should be elevation.

Deterioration <-> Maintenance <-> Elevation

Okay if the goal is elevation…. Why didn’t I get the memo? Why are so many people cool with just existing? My guess is 4-14:1-36. Hell, I was (sorta still am) one of those people. Just wanted to make sure I had a few luxuries and my bills were paid. Long as that was in place, I was good. But that’s an empty way to live. And that’s not a good times no matter how it’s sung. I want to elevate. But I have to figure how to come out from under the yoke of just getting by. I’m not trying to go in the opposite direction either.
And why did the colored people call that series "Good Times"? I mean yeah they were a cohesive family that looked out for each other but isn't that what families are supposed to do? I mean even gangs do that. Living in the projects. Daddy can't get or keep a reliable job. Oldest son is a bafoon and has an obvious learning disability. He never dates a functional girl either. Daughter jumps from boyfriend to boyfriend. Daddy dies right when things are supposed to be getting better for them. Mother never works and abandons family for a new man. Abused little girl. Everyone is chronically underemployed, except neighbor who shouldn't be living in the pjs in the 1st place. Hell, the daughter marries a professional athlete who loses everything until the last episode. Now he has to live in the projects with what's left of the family. I guess you fall on hard times if you even so much as join this jinxed family. No wonder mother ran for the hills. And these are Good times? I'll pass.

How can one elevate? Well from the way I see it, Maintenance has to be in place 1st. Meaning you have to already be comfortable to add on. A beautiful example of this is, there was an older woman I used to know. When her children finished their 2nd year of college she bought them brand new cars and put it in their names. When they graduated from college she bought them whatever homes they wanted. Not lock stock and barrel, but she paid the down payment, closing costs and the first 6 months of mortgage for them. She has 5 daughters. All of them are uber-successful. I have to ask… Is it because they didn’t have to reinvent the wheel? They didn’t have to begin their lives from square 1. The hopped a couple of spaces ahead of the rest of the folks in the American dream. They had cars and homes. Now what? They were free to focus on their careers and what made them feel satisfied.

On the flip side, I know folks who got put out on their 18th birthdays. Had to turn in the keys to their parent’s homes. Some of them weren’t even finished with high school. All of the kids I know knew, it was coming. Wasn’t like their parents just sprung it on them. All their parents said the same thing… “Go out and make your way in the world.” I am happy to report that not all of them landed in flop houses (a lot of them did though); but a lot of them aren’t elevating either. All of them had to reinvent the basics for themselves. They focused so much on survival that they have a hard time just enjoying life for life’s sake. They remind me of depression survivors.

Where do I fall? Comfortably in the middle. I have a fabulous education that my parents paid for me. But they left me out to dangle a lot. When I finished school I was kind of tossed to the wolves. I ain’t mad at them for that. I got a lot more than most folks. And I didn’t have to go to school while working full time with a God and seeds to care for.

I see my particular path to elevation, is to carve out time in my schedule to do the Serenity-elevating activities and really do the work to put my long term goals in effect. Ideas that have been conceived in my mental need to be born into this reality and have life. You really cannot just work and pay bills day in and day out. Maybe you can if your work is your dream reality. But mine ain’t. Another option is to find work that is fulfilling, yet pays my bills! There is always a fly in the ointment. I’m a share something with y’all, but don’t tell anyone….. My dream is to open a holistic center. Hindsight tells me that I should become a chiropractor rather than a dentist because it would have been easy to put a holistic center under a chiropractic umbrella. I really don’t want to go to chiropractic school at this point in my life. I neither have the time, energy, patience or the money at this point in my life. But how does a dentist translate into a holistic practitioner. Plus I got bills… BIG ones.

If y’all got lottery numbers, a rich philanthropic relative or Oprah’s phone number… Hooks a sistah up!


PS: Where did John Amos get all them volur track suits from? Who knew 35 years later, the ladies would be wearing them?