A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/16/24



Day #240


Abigail Adams wrote to John Adams in 1776, “All men would be tyrants if they could.” Although she was referring to how most men treated women in her era, I can’t help but think how true this is when comparing men to their dealings with other men, as well as with women.

Abigail was a proponent of public education for women and equal roles in society and public life. While John was generally in favor of public education for women, he never came around to accepting them as full participants in public life.

This unfortunate stigma still can be found in our society 250 years later. What is particularly disconcerting is that there is a movement afoot by conservative influencers to turn the clock back, rather than recognize the virtue in this perspective.



#1,049
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/15/24



Day #239


If you have a heart condition, living with a cat reduces the chance of a fatal heart attack by 30%. I live with a cat, but I’m thinking about getting two more. I like the sound of reducing my odds by 90%…



#1,048
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/14/24



Day #238


John Adams said: “Never shew my own Importance or Superiority, by remarking [on] the Foibles, Vices, or Inferiority of others.”

John Adams struggled with this advice. He was not a humble man, but at least he was able to admit that… on rare occasions.

I think we all struggle with this advice at times. I have found that writing this blog has made me more aware of my shortcomings. It helps keep me humble as I wind my way through the day.



#1,047
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/13/24



Day #237


Why do I write? The best answer for that is I write because it brings me peace. I wasn’t born to be a writer (or perhaps I was, just not a good one). I discovered writing along the way.

Some mornings, my cat will lie on the counter putting his head on my arm, making it difficult to write. I’m pretty sure he is doing it because he loves me. I say that because he has already been fed. This is how he shows his affection. It makes writing a bit more difficult, but I don’t mind. Between writing and enjoying my cat (while the rest of the house sleeps) I’d have to say my level of joy is about as high as one could ask for. Almost as high as making perfect “S” shaped turns on two edges, at a 70-degree angle, on perfect corduroy.



#1,046
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


Journal Entry - Monday, May 13, 2024



B-RAD


My hat is causing a bit of confusion at Starbucks this morning…

My Americano came out under the name “Brad,” but my bagel came out under the name “Rad.” Neither of which is a correct translation of my true essence…



#1,045
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


Journal Entry - Sunday, May 12, 2024



Mother’s Day


A quick visit to RNC Headquarters on Mother’s Day…

Here are some conspiracy theories I can get behind!



#1,044
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/12/24



Day #236


How do you sleep? I sleep fine. I’m fortunate, I have help. I have a beautiful, kind, companion under the covers who enjoys having me by her side. I have a second companion (with decidedly more fur) on top of the covers. He enjoys resting his head on my foot. You really can’t ask for better sleep than that.



#1,043
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


Journal Entry - Saturday, May 11, 2024



Flag City


I’m in Flag City U.S.A. Here flags are quite prevalent in the back of pickup trucks. I suspect it is the same in your town. I pulled into the local farm store and next to me was a pickup truck with a 3’ x 5’ flag in the bed of the truck that said:

Trump 2024 No More Bullshit

The first thing that struck me was the sign did not appear to me to be making a statement about the economy, the border crisis, college unrest over genocide in Gaza, or even the public funding of sports stadiums that only wealthy team owners profit from (that last one would be hard to fit on a flag). It’s about perception and perhaps even education.

If you are flying that flag, I believe it says as much about you as it does about your politics. It seems to me you have given up trying to figure out what is going on in society, what your role is, and what you can do to help make society better for all of us. You’ve decided that putting your faith in a self-centered misogynistic, financial fraudster is the best answer you can come up with. Why? Because that’s what he told you to do, and it’s easier to accept that explanation than it is to consider all the alternatives in front of you and make up your mind independently using facts gleaned from multiple sources.

Education is playing a key role in this “flag” crisis. Our education system is failing to instill in people a willingness to ask probing questions and work through the logic of issues, arriving independently at answers. But wait, there’s more.

Authoritarianism and misogyny are being preached on a worldwide scale today by power-hungry leaders and conservative media. This is sinking into the psyche of male voters, but women are not exempt from these arguments. This is a scam being preached by conservative media on all of us to rest power from the many and place it into the hands of the wealthy few. Our founders would be the first to explain this is a strategy employed with the intent to kill democracy. Persons fixated on the acquisition of wealth and power don’t like living in a democracy.



#1,043
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/11/24



Day #235


This is a quote by Julia Cameron:

“Writing is powerful. It is an act of bravery. As we write, we tell ourselves the truth about who we are — and how we feel.” She goes on, “We give the universe our coordinates: ‘I am precisely here.’ We give the universe permission to act on our behalf. When we write we experience synchronicity. Our ‘luck’ improves. Writing is a spiritual path. With each word, we take another step forward.”

I love to write. Julia Cameron describes the benefits of writing beautifully. She sets out what writing can give to those who practice it. These words stand out:

Bravery, Truth, Permission, Synchronicity, Spirituality, Wisdom, Courage, Commitment, Honesty…




I admire how Julia Cameron puts so many thoughts into so little space. I have a long way to go before I become a writer. I’m perfectly fine with that. My goal is not to “publish,” my goal is to acquire as many of the gifts that writing has to offer as I can. This blog represents my footsteps left behind as I “take another step forward” on my journey.

If Julia Cameron has a fault, I’m sure many people will say I don’t know what I’m talking about now, it is that she works too hard at churning out words. She tends to beat her subject to death, even though she has a beautiful message. I never finished reading her book “On Writing,” because it felt like she was writing the same thing repeatedly. I got the message about halfway through the book.



#1,042
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/10/24



Day #234


It would be nice to read six books a month. That is probably a bit ambitious. I just finished reading “The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy.” It was a wonderful read. I don’t read enough poetry, but I enjoy it very much. The trick is not to think too hard about it but simply enjoy the experience.

Perhaps a poetic thought…

Be careful what you wish for
There is a chance you might get it
A better approach may be
to focus on what is in front of you

That might just leave you
More open to seeing the present



#1,041
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/09/24



Day #233


I would like to use my journal to capture everything that happens to me each day. Not because every day is significant, but simply so I can remember each day — and practice my handwriting.



#1,040
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/08/24



Day #232


What is Quantum Field Theory? It is not easy to explain. The short answer is, that things we see are not as they appear when examined closely. (A good concept to always keep in mind.)

Quantum Field Theory is the synthesis of quantum mechanics and special relativity. It answers the question, is matter constantly changing, or are their aspects of matter that are fixed? The answer is yes, and yes.

There is no such thing as “action at a distance.” Everything we see, even events that take place apart from one another in space are interrelated.

If you think about it, it’s a beautiful concept.



#1,039
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/07/24



Day #231


I’m learning some things about writing. I will never write the great American novel or any novel for that matter, but I hope that what I do write will at least be interesting to my children… In the meantime, I take great satisfaction in the process. Here are seven things I have learned.

  1. Find a comfortable place.
  2. Not inspired, just put down 100 words and see where that takes you.
  3. Write about what is going on in the moment.
  4. Read for inspiration (I do that a lot).
  5. Do not let a day go by…
  6. Write, don’t judge. If it’s shit that’s okay.
  7. Keep going, you will reach a point where you have to do it.

What is truly remarkable about these suggestions is how many things besides writing they apply to…



#1,038
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/06/24



Day #230


It’s never a good idea to fall in love with your ideas. You should also be careful what you wish for…



#1,037
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/05/24



Day #229


I challenged OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot to a contest. I asked each to write a poem about me, in sonnet form. In my humble opinion (if that’s possible) ChatGPT won the contest hands-down. Note: Fact-checking by the reader is highly encouraged.

It’s pretty damn good, but I’d like to think that fact-checking isn’t necessary…




A Sonnet by ChatGPT About Brad Adkins


In shadows cast upon the stage, he strides,
Brad Adkins, with a poet’s heart ablaze,
His words, like stars, in midnight skies reside,
Each line a melody, a timeless phrase.

With pen in hand, he weaves a tapestry,
Of dreams and hopes, of love and loss entwined,
Through sonnets sung with heartfelt honesty,
He paints a portrait of the human mind.

In every verse, a glimpse of truth appears,
A mirror held to life’s complexities,
With wisdom drawn from laughter and from tears,
He captures hearts and sets the spirit free.

So let us raise our voices in acclaim,
To Brad Adkins, the bard who lights our flame.



#1,036
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/04/24



Day #228


When I got off the bus in downtown Seattle, a Pan-handler asked me for a quarter. He hasn’t heard of inflation. I politely told him I did not have a quarter — or any change for that matter. He wasn’t disturbed in the least, he smiled. I thought about that for a second, and then I said, “Let me see if I have a dollar.” He smiled again, apparently that pleased him. I pulled out my wallet and the debit card flew out onto the sidewalk. I didn’t want to give him that, so I picked it up and put it back in my wallet. While I had the wallet open, I thumbed through the bills. There weren’t many, 2 fives and 2 twenties. I smiled at him and told him all I had were twenties (a slight exaggeration, but, under the circumstances, probably reasonable.) He smiled a genuine smile at me, engaging beyond what I would reasonably have expected, he then said, “I hope the next time we meet all you have are 100s!” We looked at each other with something like understanding. I told him he was a very funny man. We parted, ever so slightly more like friends than strangers.

I was half a block away when I realized, a five was not too much to sacrifice.



#1,035
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/03/24



Day #227


Live your life in a way that prevents people from feeling compelled to say mean things about you on social media.

If you feel compelled to say mean things about people on social media, you’re not living your life correctly.

You can also avoid this nastiness by simply not participating in social media. The goal of social media, indirectly and directly, is to control you, you’re better off controlling yourself. Don’t forget, that the goal of social media is also to make money.



#1,034
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/02/24



Day #226


My Love

You are my love. You are beautiful.
It makes me proud to know you love me.

I would go anywhere with you on my arm.
I smile when I think of you.

Every moment with you Is precious.
A lifetime with you would have been wonderful.

I’m grateful you are in my life.
I appreciate every experience we share.



#1,033
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


Journal Entry - Friday, May 3, 2024



(Another) Bit About Writing


I like to begin my day by writing. It doesn’t particularly matter what I write, it’s more about sitting down and moving my hand. Usually, something of value to me manages to find its way onto the page.

If I don’t write in the morning, the day doesn’t feel like it’s getting started on the right foot. I also enjoy reading, not always in the morning, that tends to happen later in the day. I learn a lot from reading, I find it stimulates my writing by giving me food for thought. Reading lifts my perspective and often my spirits. If I wrote without reading, I would probably find that limited my perspective and make my writing boring.

I think all of this is good for brain health. I’ve mentioned before I would like to become a member of the “100 Plus” Ski Club. I looking forward to that — so I can write about it.



#1,032
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


Journal Entry - Thursday, May 2, 2024



Public Opinion


How can public opinion be shared in ways that support reason and cooperation between all members of society? Democracy requires a reasoned public opinion. When passions rule discourse, discord ensues, and Democracy is jeopardized. The Founders understood this. They believed that the “new media” of their day — newspapers — should play an instrumental role in awakening and facilitating reasoned discussion.

Our history has been one of many crises. It is surprising how many people are not aware of that historical fact. Today is no different in that respect. What is different is the root of today’s crisis. Politicized broadcast media, politicized print media, and most importantly, politicized social media. During the Founder’s era, the newspaper media of the day was no stranger to vitriolic editorializing, it was quite common. The difference today is how fast politicized thought travels. This leaves less time for reflection and calming of emotions. In the founding era, the organization of protest was slow to foment. Today is a different story.

Today’s media allows for the formation of virtualized partisan assemblies. It can occur rapidly and in an extremely coordinated fashion. It can move quickly from “virtualized” to “real.” This is dangerous, to say the least. Why does the media encourage this behavior? The answer to that is simple — monetization. Monetization of passion pays big bucks.

As the French Philosopher, Marquis de Condorcet posited, public opinion is the true governor of the people. Public opinion must be reasoned or the government will lose its capacity to lead and provide for the welfare of its citizens. Time will tell if we can adopt a more reasoned approach to our sharing of political viewpoints or if the current situation devolves into a place where Democracy becomes the victim.



#1,031
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


Journal Entry - Wednesday, May 1, 2024



The Ear of the Universe


The ear of the Universe is listening
Everything you say is being heard
Think carefully about your thoughts
Before you give them voice



#1,030
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 05/01/24



Day #225


The Lake

The lake is a strand of dark blue
Surrounded by a ribbon of green marsh grass.
Ducks fly in low, landing in formation,
They form a line paddling to the opposite shore,
Full of purpose.

How long has this rock I am sitting on
Been waiting here for me?
Certainly, since before I was born.
It seems likely to be here
Long after I am gone.

I picture this rock having been placed here
By the cataclysm that created these mountains,
Or perhaps it broke away from the peak above,
like a disobedient child, tumbling and churning
Until it came to rest here, where I sit.

I don’t want to leave this spot.
It makes me think of places far away,
Sights more beautiful than I can imagine,
Destinations I have yet to explore,
I think being here is enough, for now.



#1,029
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 04/30/24



Day #224


True inner peace comes from the nature of our thoughts, not from our physical surroundings. If you want to elevate your thoughts and find more peace, do so by curating your physical surroundings so they inspire your thoughts.



#1,028
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 04/29/24



Day #223


Until you learn to love yourself, the door is closed to enlightenment.

I suppose I could say a few more words about that… but you get the idea.

Not using the words “really” and “absolutely” when writing represents a small step towards enlightenment, or so I’m told.



#1,027
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.


A Year of Living Thoughtfully 04/28/24



Day #222


Eight things I enjoy about writing:

Writing is an act of bravery.
Writing tells us a great deal about who we are.
Writing allows us to converse with the universe.
Writing shows us our path.
Writing is a door to wisdom.
Writing helps us to be more objective.
Writing helps us to be more honest.
Writing can make us healthier.



#1,026
Material on this site is presented in chronological order. The Archive link above presents content by subject.