Vows and Things

Good morning!

I’ll be brief. Well, brief as I can. I am Tom, after all.

Some of you might have noticed that the only thing I’ve written about in a long time is my long absence from TBT. From writing. Nothing about the ex-president. Nothing about the pub crawls. Nothing about sweaty men in tights with horned helms.

I do probably talk about that disturbingly too much. 😉

Nothing about Moxie. About Marvel. About Ludo. No books, no challenges, no awards, no crashes. Nothing about being Tom at all.

Most of the reason for that is time. As I wrote back when I tried to (as Jim Croce crooned) stuff it in a bottle, time is a rare commodity for me right now. And that’s mostly true. But who is it that said when we say we don’t have time for something that really means we aren’t making time for something? Might’ve been me. Or this guy. But whoever has said such a thing, such a thing is true.

I haven’t made time for my blog. I haven’t made time for your blog, either. I haven’t made time for books or bars or political opines. I have made time for Moxie and Ludo and Marvel because, come on, who can resist this face?

Or this one?

Or this one?

Well, as Bob Dylan crooned (<– my word of the day; I’ll try and use it at least once more), times they are a-changin’. Toms they are a-changin’.

Okay, admittedly, that was indulgent.

I haven’t really changed. My focus may have, somewhat, but my heart and mind remains the same. The song remains the same, as Robert Plant once … oh, you know the word. I am still hopeful and optimistic about my future and yours. I am still enthusiastic and have a zest for life. I am still sternly dedicated to personal growth while I strive for and enjoy self-reliance. I am an open-minded critical thinker. A modern philosopher with a truthful, and often painful, understanding of human nature. I am creative, unique, playful, and witty. I am focused on the future while sincerely enjoying the present.

I’m fairly convinced that some of that is absolutely true.

So what changes if not the Tom itself? Well, as I spoke about once before (maybe even crooned about it, if you want to put it mentally to music) it’s all about priorities. My priority box is upside-down, or at least sideways, with some of its innards spilling out. There’s never enough time for everything but we must, somehow, make time for the essential things. If I could only put time in a bot…oh, I already used that one.

So here are my vows to you, the mostly indifferent universe and to the two or three of you who remember who I am:

  1. I will play less Madden Football.
  2. I will clean the garage fewer times each week.
  3. I will blog.

Now this will not be easy. I really like Madden Football and I don’t want to talk about the same old, same old week-in and week-out. I want to expand my horizons, branch out, talk about something other than the scoundrel ex-president or, well, Tom.

Alright, no promises there. I’ll probably still talk a lot about Tom.

On the other side of this, obviously, is my commitment to read the very important thoughts of my friends and family out there in the universe, and somehow coax Dylan to start writing again, too. The latter is probably castles in Spain, but the former starts with you. I’ll start with your latest entry, by gum, unless you have a particularly cogent recent entry that you believe I must read. If that, I’ll start there. (But give me a hint; I didn’t state “purposely psychic” in my list of values, strengths, skills, and passions above, did I?!).

And there you have it. Very brief. Less than 700 words and it included vows, traits, personal scrutiny, too many links, fur, and the word “crooning” four times.

This paragraph is entirely filler to get me to 700 words. Ignore this paragraph altogether.

Good seeing you again, my friends! When shall we get together next?

31 thoughts on “Vows and Things

    1. One of the activities requires skill, focus, and attention to detail and the other is mostly mindless pastime. If you’ve read my last few entries you’ll know that this is the latter. 😉

      The boys require only love and a good throwing arm. That I got and am happy to give. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Tom, How’re ya now? It’s always great to see you post to your blog. I’ve just one suggestion: I think you needn’t question your choices of topics so much. If we were sick of reading about you being you, Moxie, Marvel, Ludo, ex-presidents, pub crawls and football, we wouldn’t be here devouring another installment. And yet, here we all are. Hopefully, that’s sufficient inspiration for you to drop in more frequently, my friend. But only when time permits, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Paul! It is gratifying to know that my ramblings haven’t gotten stale. Although I’d like to mix it up for my own sake from time to time (😉) at least I know that if all I got is all I got just spill it out and let it be, T! Thanks again, Paul, and hope all is well with you these days!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back. I’ve wondered where you were but I’ve always known that as long as you were still Tom you’d be doing all right because you’ve talked a lot about Tom and what you’ve made very clear is that Tom is an all around good guy. And events of the past, oh, sixteen months or so have made a lot of us reevaluate or at least consider our priorities more carefully, as lives have been changed, upended, and, in some very sad cases, lost, but many of us keep on going and keep the promises we’ve made to ourselves and each other. Although, as a certain famous band once asked, “Is this a promise we keep/
    Or one we Break Like The Wind?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! In all my years I’ve never seen the Spinal Tap stuff (skits, concerts, “rockumentary”). What did I miss?! As for these last 16 months or so, you’ve said it; it’s been a ride, an awakening, a challenge, and a lesson. I’m still amazed at the stupidity of approximately 1/3 of humanity (mostly American) and their ridiculous adherence to a right-wing con (mostly American) and the bumbling face and symbol of anti-vaccination, anti-science, anti-truth denialism (entirely American). I’m especially disheartened by the number of otherwise intelligent people in my circle and family that fell into the authoritarian trap, having fed on the fear-mongering and race-baiting principles of anger and perceived slight. Tom is still perplexed. But, now, my break from writing is over, even if the wind is still breaking bad. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you can cast your mind back to a time when no one had heard of mocumentaries and go into Spinal Tap thinking it’s a genuine documentary about a real rock band only to be blindsided by the silliness of it it’s a lot of fun. And it’s not too hard to imagine it’s a real documentary. There are many real rock stars who, when asked about various scenes from Spinal Tap, have said, “That’s not funny! That really happened to us!” But even if you know it’s a comedy there’s enough about it that rings true that I think you’ll enjoy it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! Time. Time is entirely fluid and perilously rigid. There are only so many hours in a day and some are so easy to fritter away. However, where would we be, Mona, without the fruitless time? All work and no play makes Tommy a dull boy.

      So, with time (like with all things) (except beer) we must find a way to strike a balance. With time the balance is between (a) the things we must do to survive, (b) the things we like to do because they are just plain fun, and (c) the things we ought to do because they enlighten us and allow us to grow. Obviously, (a) is working and eating greens and sleeping and exercise, (b) is Madden football and day drinking with pals, and (c) is reading and writing and reflecting on the shape and substance of time.

      Without (a) we suffer physically. Without (c) we languish mentally. But without (b) we atrophy emotionally and quite possibly spiritually if you’re into that kind of thing.

      Say, I could have written a blog about this and shared it with the world! But, I didn’t. I wrote a reply from Tom to Mona instead. So we’ll call this our “Secret” until the book comes out. 😁


  3. My 86-year-old father is hell-bent on marrying a woman who is 31 years old (they’ve decided to do this but he won’t tell me when). She has four children under the age of 10. They are from a different country. She wants his property and security and has pretty much made that clear to him. He doesn’t want to be lonely and he doesn’t want to end up in an old folks home. This is why he is marrying her. As if she’s going to be there for him, take care of him and won’t put him in an old folks home herself. As if she won’t kick my brother out when she gets the chance. BTW, Dad doesn’t believe in pre-nups. This is property that was supposed to be a place for my mentally ill brother to live for the rest of his life. The woman’s mother tried to get her hooks into my Dad. She was too old for him. The cute 31 year old has decided to do this since her Mom wasn’t able to. Dad’s “in love” and believes that she will take care of him and my brother. He says that there’s nothing I can do, he’s going to do what he wants. He’s a hoarder and I’m trying to help him clean his home. Is she helping? As effing if. Effing predators! This won’t be a marriage, it will be a business transaction. Dad doesn’t care. Ugh! He just cussed me out for not being supportive of his plans. And that’s not even half of what’s going on in my life right now! Sorry, but thanks for listening. Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, damn! Mona, that sucks. Straight up just sucks. The biggest problem, of course, is that it appears dad knows exactly what the score is and he just doesn’t care. Like he said, he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do. It will be, I think, impossible to accept that in him but you’ll have to try – try – to accept the situation and not let it break you.

      Remember the serenity prayer (I’m not religious, but it’s awesome advice I try to tell myself a lot): have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change,
      the courage to change the things you can, and (most importantly) the wisdom to know the difference.

      My heart goes out to you, Mona. Stay well!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tom,
    Thanks for the advice. I have learned to loathe the Serenity Prayer, but I’ll try to embrace it here because…there doesn’t seem to be any other decent alternative. Frankly, I wonder whether Dad has the mental capacity to make this kind of decision. He walks around and talks about how sharp his mind is, which makes me wonder. Yesterday, he reminded me he has a “sharp mind” no less than four times. Yesterday was also his birthday, but he didn’t even remember it was even after I said Happy Birthday to him several times, even after we talked about his birthday throughout the week several times.

    Half of me wants to butt out and run, the other half feels protective toward my Dad, even, unfortunately, from himself. I’ve always been a live and let live kind of person, (he’s a hoarder, but it hasn’t gotten so bad that I’ve felt the need to turn him in; and I’ve been trying to work with him on that so it doesn’t get much worse;) but I despise when someone preys upon the vulnerable (he’s incredibly lonely) and I feel like this is that situation. There is no way this 31-year old has my Dad’s best interests at heart. And she shouldn’t either. Her interests should be in taking care of her four young children. However, to use my Dad in order to make that happen is unconscionable. If he were rich and had his shit together, then why not, I suppose. However, he he doesn’t possess either of those assets/abilities. As I told my Dad, who believes this woman is very sweet and kind, all predators are until they aren’t. Otherwise, they couldn’t do what they do. I believe he’s getting himself into a really bad situation that he won’t be able to get out of once the deed is done.

    The mind is an amazing thing. As people age, they can fool other people (especially loved ones) into thinking they have it together and yet, when put to the test, they can end up losing their rights because they demonstrate they’ve lost the ability to discern and make good judgments about their own care. I have to wonder that if he told a judge, hey it’s okay for this much younger person to use me because I’m lonely, would that judge believe he’s making good judgments about his own welfare? I mean, hell, I don’t want him to be lonely; yet, he’s decided that women 50 and older are too old for him. He likes pretty, young women, which is a little creepy to me but up until two days ago seemed innocuous; but that’s really beside the point. I guess the point is, he is specific about his criteria required to soothe his loneliness, which kind of undermines his search for companionship that doesn’t put him in a really at-risk position. He likes to compare himself to the billionaire who married Anna Nicole Smith. He’s told me that several times too. Well, he is not a billionaire. He lives on SS, but he owns his home. Property values in Texas (at least where we live) have skyrocketed in value over the last few years. This woman doesn’t have a paying job. I bet she’s got a boyfriend, though (other than my father.) (Okay, that was wrong of me to say.) Probably.

    People don’t want to lose their independence as they age; yet, it’s inevitable. So just like we don’t (at least not in our culture) let our twelve-year-olds get married or date adults, even if they really, really want to, they simply aren’t capable of making those kinds of decisions. In that same vein, we also have to consider whether a person who is aged (and has diminished capacity) is able to make those decisions for themselves. That’s why we have both child abuse and eldercare abuse protection acts. Right?

    Sorry, I’m not trying to argue with you, Tom. I guess I’m just trying to work out some things in my head and somehow I felt safe enough to do it on your blog. Do I need to send you money for the therapy? Again, so sorry. Also, maybe I’ll cut and paste this into a new post on my own blog since this is what’s consuming me at the moment.

    Again, I’ll stop now (at least here.)


    Liked by 1 person

    1. No apologies necessary. Most often we need to work things out, someplace we feel safe. This, Mona, is an absolutely safe place for you to be. Promise.

      I cannot give advice on this (even though I have and probably will again) because I don’t know your father or his predator (er, girlfriend), but I did think of the Anna Nicole thing when you mentioned it at first. I absolutely believe you should be legally allowed to intervene and create an injunction to protect your father. Alas, I don’t think you can. You MIGHT be able to prove some sort of deteriorating capacity and get assigned as a conservator but I’m guessing that unless he is a physical threat to himself (or others) that ain’t gonna fly.

      My heart goes out to you. This has to be tough as hell. 😢

      Liked by 1 person

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