Monday, December 27, 2010

If You Believe in Magic...

Christmas is a time of year marked by fantasy and magic, an entire season which centers largely on the notion that a red-suited giftgiver embarks on an annual quest to reward the well-behaved children of the world by piloting a reindeer-powered sleigh through the skies in the wee hours before dawn.

When we're little, we're all too prone to committing ourselves without shame or reserve to this fanciful notion. Unencumbered by the weight of responsiblity and heartache that inevitably accompanies age, we see the world as a realm of limitless possibilities, a place where anything is possible and the existence of Santa Claus is just another example of how incredible life truly is.

As the years go by, we realize that our Christmas memories are based on a fantasy, and this truth - coupled with our continuing understanding that the world is a lot more complicated than we had previously thought - causes us to accept that the magic that we so clung to in our childhood is nothing more than a mirage, a beautiful lie designed to coddle youngsters and protect them from the harsh reality.

It may be undeniable that... yes, Santa Claus is a mythical figure, one now used mostly for the commercialization of the holiday. However, I still firmly believe in the existence of magic.

Hold on, let me qualify that. Please don't think that I'm ready to quit my day job and sign up at Hogwart's or anything like that. Rather, during this holiday season, it occurred to me that there is much in the world that can be considered magical. But only if you believe in it and open your eyes.

Whether it's the kindness of a stranger, laughter with family and friends or the embrace of someone you love, magic is all around us. How else do you explain the indelible, intangible and inexplicable bonds that bring people together?

How about the moment when inspiration strikes and your conscious mind plucks a great idea seemingly out of thin air? Or a long, meaningful conversation with someone who genuinely "gets" you? Connection, friendship, creativity, even love... these are all everyday examples of magic at work.

But just as little ones must have faith that Santa exists, one must keep vigilant and consciously acknowledge the magic that happens around you each and every day. They may not be amazing, death-defying feats the likes of which Harry Houdini or David Copperfield have aspired, but there is no denying that - although the world can be bleak, unfair and even downright cruel - there is much to be amazed by.

Too often, adults are weighed down by all the darker aspects of the world that they become cynical and therefore blinded to the magic of everyday life. It is times like these that we need to reach back into the recesses of our heart and mind and recall those days long since past when we still believed in the existence of magic.

Because, when it comes right down to it, each and every day presents more magic than all the children of the world could ever imagined. And none of it involves Jolly Old Saint Nick.

Happy writing (and living),


Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Art of Being Silly

I know what you must be thinking. Who is this nut ^ and what insane asylum did he escape from?

No one can fault your curiosity... I mean, seriously, look at him. Maybe it's just my second medium-sized cup of raspberry iced tea talking, but it certainly doesn't seem to me like he has any knowledge of the martial arts.

Although, in all honesty, the abundance of crazy in his eyes DOES make me concerned about what kind of shenanigans would occur were we to bump into each in a darkened alley somewhere.

Oh, wait... hold on. I think I get it now. He must be joking. Hahaha... silly Robbie. Whew, really thought he'd lost it there for a second.

But I guess it's not entirely my fault for hesitating to let myself in on the joke. It seems that society isn't as readily accepting as some of us would like to the kind of random silliness exhibited in the above photo.

Far too often, people take themselves way too seriously, refusing to succumb to their inner goofball for fear of being viewed as "weird" or "unusual." But I say "to hell with all that noise!"

Turn on your TV and watch the news for a half-hour... 20 minutes... even 90 seconds, and you'll see the world is way too serious already. Really, what harm is there in spicing things up a little?!?

If laughter really is the best medicine, why not keep yourself and those around you laughing all year round? Imagine the money you'd save on doctor's visits!!!

Okay, maybe you're concerned that people wouldn't "get" your sense of humor, and I can understand that. I totally do, trust me.
A lot of humor admittedly is based on your perspective. The better you know someone, the more at ease you'll feel to let your wackiness out of its cage and the more likely that person is to not only understand where you're coming from but actually appreciate your unique sense of humor.

That's why you have to adjust your Joke-o-Meter accordingly, given your company and circumstance. For example, you don't want to go ahead and bust out some truly goofy dance moves in the middle of a business meeting. Well, not if you value your job. You wouldn't even want to bust out a "that's what she said" retort on a first date. It's just not practical.

However, luckily for you and I, there's no limit to the kinds of humor out there. Sarcasm, pratfalls, innuendos, knock-knock jokes... whatever your preference is, there's sure to be a viable humor mode for any and all times and places.

They say that life is what you make it. So why not make it awesome? Trust me, your long-neglected silly side will thank you, and you'll surely feel a whole lot better about the world and your place in it.

So live a little... and put on a silly face.

Happy writing, you goofy bastards! ;)


Wheres does the time go?

When I was a little boy, I used to fantasize about what my adult life would be like. Driving my own car, having my own place and one day starting a family with someone special... it was all a part of some grand scheme that I had for my life, and though I am inching ever closer towards happiness, I think back to that spirited, out-of-control little boy I once was and he looks back at me, bemused and curious.

Truth be told, I literally thought it would all come so easy, that my future would simply fall into place like the oddly-shapen blocks in a game of Tetris. But life doesn't work like that, the older, wiser version of myself now realizes.

I thought I would have everything all figured out by now, much like most people do, I presume. Yet, here I sit midway through my 27th year on this planet, and I am still at a loss for answers. Although I now know more than ever what I want in life, I have no clue what awaits me in the future.

2010 a.k.a. The Year of Robbie (as I've referred to it sporadically) has been a monumental triumph for my personal and professional development. It was a year marked by several milestones, and as much as I wish I had a crystal ball or even a time-travelling Delorean to tip me off to what I can expect in 2011 and beyond, no such luck.

And - much to my surprise - therein lies perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned in the past 12 months.

I spent much of my childhood and adolescence quietly planning away my future. In fact, I spent so much time plotting exactly what and when I would reach each objective that I forgot one crucial step: actually making things happen.

I've written about the importance of being pro-active in previous Table posts so I'll steer clear of that topic, but the real epiphany here is that... even though I may not have all the answers, I have come to accept that not everything is in my control.

Life takes time to bring you what you want. You just have to stay the course and remain faithful that you won't miss the opportunities life presents to you. Over the trials, tribulations and successes the past year has brought me, I think I'm finally beginning to understand.

I may not be where I thought I would be when I was a kid - and hell, I still have a pile of regrets stirring within me - but maybe... just maybe... I'm exactly where I need to be.

After all, without all my past experiences, I wouldn't be the man I am today. I may not have all the answers in life or know exactly what the future holds, but I feel like I'm more equipped than ever to handle whatever life brings my way.

Armed with the knowledge of what I want and what I'm looking for, all I need to do now is go after it, knowing that with time and patience, I will make my dreams a reality. It's all up to me.

Happy writing... and Happy New Year!