It’s like a never ending puzzle, doing math problems. There’s always another problem, always another bunch of numbers to fiddle with. Numbers are infinite, and so are the possibilities.
My dad was a math teacher. In point of fact, his college degree was in Mathematics. He was good at it. And he loved to help people, and especially kids, learn to do math.
I was only ever an average math student, when all was said and done. My dad helped me from time to time, especially when I was younger, up through middle school. Then he’d provide less, hands-on guidance as I got older; he encouraged me to ask my teachers questions, which I did; only once in a while would my dad give me reassurance on my thinking about particular math problems, verifying (and gently correcting some of my) ideas on how to solve, etc.; all together, that got me the rest of the way through. But again, I feel I was just about an average student of math.
The thing was…is…it really comes down to patience, and concentration. Whether I’m doing algebra from back in the day (and even today, if I had to), or compiling number data for reports at work, that’s what it comes down to.
Patience and Concentration. And taking things one step at a time. Patience, and Patience, and then add a little more besides. As we all know, sometimes patience isn’t the easiest thing to come by.
In fact, of late I’ve been thinking back to my old man helping me, HIS endless patience with me as I worked to wrap my head around concepts old and new.
I think back to how I’d get frustrated doing math problems. And as I recall, it was wanting to rush through problems, rushing to get the answer, instead of taking things step by step, that’s what tripped me up.
And so thinking back, and also considering the math I do now, it’s all about applying patience, and concentration, and breaking it down.
Now, if I can only help my kids in some small measure the way my dad helped me.
Bonus: One of my favorite formulas, though I can’t rightly say I can remember why. : – ) The Quadratic Equation
Out walking early, it’s long been a staple of my sanity, my peace. With work life spooled up, home life under a new paradigm, and pandemic life washing over it all, well…I need to find peace where ever I can find it.
It’s reliable, predictable, much needed, early morning peace. It calms me. Walking prayer gives me the proper reset, aligns me to true center.
This image from the walk week had me thinking: “…through the darkness, toward the light, Green Light, GO! Make it so. Make it…
We can all feel the easy peace this time of day affords.
If only we take the time. Pause after the work day, let the dishes sit a little while longer, turn off the screens [unless you’re writing a blog post 🙂 ], step outside.
Feel the breeze, listen to the wind chimes sing. Relish in the kids playing together — no fighting for the moment— getting along, having fun. The sun’s below the horizon now, evening washing over the yard.
The feeling is right here. It’s a pause, a deep breath, an exhale. Feel life slow, welcome slow.
It’s waiting for you to notice it, give it a chance, let it be, let it be so.
A couple of tunes helped make the difference tonight.
The first was on repeat as I started the after-dinner dishes.
We got this party started.
Meal with the kids, a typical dad dinner: New York beef hot dogs, and vegetable options: tonight it was green beans, carrots, or corn.
Dessert was simple, treats mom brought home from the store recently. And then there was a mix of self-guided activity to round out the evening. Everyone was tired this morning, so I was trying to angle for early to bed.
It was tricky.
Somehow we had lights out before 9 o’clock in the evening.
It happens most often during the 3am hour. Lying in the darkness, mostly asleep, shifting my head, feeling for a more comfortable spot on the pillow.
If there’s a lot going on — and in 2020 it seems that way most every day — my brain might start to churn.
To-Do’s, Things Done, and often, Prayers: all these flow through my head at this Holy Hour. I call it the Goly Hour because I think of it as prime time to reach out beyond myself. A minute of hope and angst, I pray, insisting that all the doubts and uncertainty and worry subside, that these evils bend to the higher power.
It’s not easy.
It’s a mixed bag of results, how much calm this Holy Hour brings; sometimes not much; sometimes I doze off again; sometimes I battle and improve my position, my position in my mind.
Good, bad or draw, it’s the Holy Hour: me, my thoughts and God.