Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Often (#AtoZChallenge)




     Time spent without focus and reason can be time squandered, but even seemingly wasted time can provide opportunities if we keep our minds and eyes open.





Often

Chinese Food in Minutes
Chinese Food in Minutes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
      Often I have missed openings and opportunities that have come my way.  Fear, doubt, or suspicion have sometimes been the culprits that have hindered me while at other times it's been a matter of my own stubbornness.   Or matters like inconvenience, lack of time, or a myriad of other things I could do instead.

      Years ago I would frequently pass by a small carry-out Chinese food establishment.  Something about it tempted my curiosity.  The restaurant was in a boxy building that had likely been built in the late fifties.  Often when I passed the place I'd find an excuse not to stop and put off going until later.  Over and over for over twenty years I passed that building to never once stop and order some carry-out.  It was always later.

        Then one Saturday I was driving down Lakewood Boulevard and noticed that Jack's Chinese Food was closed.   Shut down for good.  Now I would never be able to see what Jack's food was like. Now whenever I pass by that boxy building that housed Jack's for some fifty years, I pay a silent homage to a restaurant that I would never know.

        As I think further I remember other places like that.  Interesting stores that I'd often drive by while making a mental note to come back one day until eventually the store was gone out of business.  Local attractions that I never made time to visit until I moved from the area lamenting not seeing places I'd meant to see one day.  One day is here and then gone forever.

        Finally I sadly realize that there are some people that I know like that.  Old friends and acquaintances whom I never or rarely visit.  I often think of them.  I wonder if any of them think of me?

        For each door that opens to us there is a new opportunity offered.   Sometimes that opportunity is a door knock or a telephone call away. When you receive your call, will you answer?

         What place did you miss the opportunity to visit and now you cannot visit?   Do you keep in contact with many old friends?    What is something you used to do often, but now no longer or rarely do?






41 comments:

  1. We often somewhere along the way change our lives for many different reasons.
    Since moving to where I now am there are many things I don't do. Also due to medication mix up am unable to travel at the moment.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, a life without change would not be much of a life. The key to our success in living is being able to adapt to change and still have a life that is meaningful.

      Lee

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  2. That's so sad about the chinese place you didn't visit thinking it will always be there. I was just thinking this morning how a fire gets lit under me when I know that something is drawing to a close or will end soon, closing that door forever. We human beings are strange. Love the philosophical bent of mind in your posts.
    Offspring#Lexicon of Leaving

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    1. Kalpaana, Strange and often unexplainable. We shouldn't allow a door to close until we're ready and if it does close then we move on to the next opportunity.

      Lee

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  3. Lee,

    This reminds me of Aladdin Deli on the west side of town. They had their doors open for 30 years. We drove by the establishment often. They had the general reputation of having good food. We often talked about stopping in to get some take-out but never got the opportunity. Now, we'll never know what we missed out on. :( This seems to be the story of our lives, though. Knoxville will get a new restaurant and we're eager to try them but usually they've shut the doors after a short sprint (2 years) of operation. I often think of old friends but luckily a lot of them are on FB, so I can reach out to most of them anytime or check their wall to see what's going on. There's two things I used to do quite often but rarely do - make routine calls to friends/family and snailmail. These days my phone calls are limited to my parents and occasionally an aunt or uncle. Usually I keep in touch with my kids through texting with their crazy work schedules. There was a time when I had more than 150 pen pals. I usually got three or four letters every day. Several years ago I abandoned the inky trail because my interests took a new direction. I try to shoot out an annual letter at Christmas for my closest penfriends but even that has fallen a bit to the side some years. I definitely need to make the time to seize every opportunity that present itself instead of waiting until later because often times later never comes. Thanks for visiting today!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    Art Sketching Through the Alphabet “O” (Owl)

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    1. Cathy, I remember Aladdin Deli. I too used to pass it often and think about going there someday, but that day never came. They were there for a long time--I didn't know it had closed, but I'd also forgotten about it. You sure had a lot of pen pals--that seems so hard to keep up with by written letters, but easier now with email. Our priorities change over time as do our interests.

      Lee

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  4. Don't get me started on my deep regret that I didn't do and see more in Washington and British Columbia when I lived there. I am afraid I'll never get back out there to finish sightseeing. It breaks my heart. I just thought I'd live there forever and didn't need to cram all the trips in at once.

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    1. JoJo, I hear you. I've seen a lot in the Southern CA area, but there is much more to be seen and we don't go out to see much. If we do move someday, there will likely be much left that we never visited.

      Lee

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  5. I think there was likey a reason you put off getting the Chinese food. Maybe it was dark or something about it looked sketchy. Maybe nobody was ever in there or the smell coming out wasn't quite right.

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    1. HR, I always drove by so quickly that I couldn't smell any aromas emanating from Jack's if there were any. The place was rather plain and mundane looking, but it was on a busy thoroughfare that was in a well lit area. It didn't necessarily look "sketchy", but rather vintage and something from another era--to me it looked intriguing. The place was there in that same spot for about 50 years so it must have had something going for it.

      Lee

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    2. Oh, and my wife doesn't like Chinese food so she never wanted me to stop.

      Lee

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  6. Sadly businesses seem to go out of business too fast for us to get to them.
    I keep up with a few friends from school, but not many. They were there in my life for a season, but things change. My friends now are precious and I do my best to keep up with them.

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    1. Alex, there are a lot of businesses that come and go here in L.A. and too many to make it to even a few of them before they vanish. I kind of keep up indirectly with old friends, but I find myself calling or visiting them less.

      Lee

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  7. Years ago I would often go to a club and dance but I don't do that anymore because I would need my geritol now plus the music, for the most part, sucks. I also just enjoy staying in on a Friday night. I know there have been places that I wanted to see and have now gone before I could visit but I can't remember them. There have been a few places that were here for 100 years but have closed their doors because people prefer Walmart which is a shame...I personally will never shop at Walmart due to their business practises.

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    1. Birgit, club life doesn't start until after my bedtime so you can count me out for that. Friday night at home with a movie is a favorite time for my wife and I. I go to Walmart because they have things I want at a good price and there's a store pretty much across the street from where I live.

      Lee

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  8. We missed a lot of great places in Greece, because there's only so much ground you can cover in two weeks and it's not likely we'll ever get back there. A couple of restaurants here at home closed down before we had the chance to try them. Guess they weren't that good. ☺

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    1. Debbie, Sometimes it's not so much that the restaurant is good or not, but more a matter of poor marketing, management, or lack of working capital.

      Lee

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  9. I think being writers we're drawn to personal stories. If I can't find out what they are, I make them up--and usually they're highly romanticized. There's a homeless vet in our town who I often donate to but never ask how he ended up where he is.

    But every time I pass or stop, I want to. I just figure, Next time.

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    1. Jacqui, I've seen some of these people too around where I live. I wonder how willing some of them would be to tell their stories?

      Lee

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  10. There are a heap of places I never got around to - everywhere, India, MENA, Europe... There is only so much one can take in, in the time allotted, whether it's years or just a few days. Moving around all the time helps to focus, I know I'm not going to be here forever, maybe not even next year, so there's a sense of urgency, it automatically prioritises what I want to do. And time is a prod by itself. One of the places I wanted to get to, a prime motive for my being in ME, was Baghdad, which hasn't happened, and won't in this lifetime.

    Your posts are great reminders to keep focussed, be mindful and live in the moment.

    Nilanjana.
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. Nilanjana, only so much one person can do in a lifetime. Also traveling can be so expensive and that can be a hindrance to seeing everything we'd like to see.

      Lee

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  11. Wishing you and yours well, good Sir Arlee..

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    1. Stacey, thank you and same to you.

      Lee

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  12. I often find myself thinking nostalgically of places I would have loved to visit but didn't find the time. If only - and often - I have a few buddies from school days. The one girlfriend recently died and she often said to me, how necessary it is to do what you want to - don't put it off.

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    1. Susan S, what we put off for tomorrow may be something we've put off forever.

      Lee

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  13. I haven't kept up with anyone. Everyone just goes off and does their own thing in life after high school and university and such. Can't say I've ever missed a business.

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    1. Pat, I certainly went off to do my own thing, but there are a lot of folks in my home town who are still there and knows what each other are doing though they probably see each other as rarely as I see them.

      Lee

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  14. I keep up with some on Facebook.

    There was an old fashioned train station I always wanted to stop and take photos of. Never did and then they tore it down a few years ago.

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    1. L.Diane, Facebook has been a game changer as far as being able to keep up with old schoolmates. Some that I haven't seen since school days I keep up with through FB. On my cross country trips I've seen places that I'd like to take pictures of but never want to take the time to stop.

      Lee

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  15. I didn't follow through with my initial interest to sign up for some of the trips my community college offered. I most wanted to go on their Spain trip (when my Spanish was much, much stronger), and I was also interested in their Antarctica trip. I still want to go to both places. Unfortunately, I also let my parents convince me to never go to NYC or Boston by myself for things like big book fairs, literary conferences, or even my own little trips, since they were so sure I'd automatically, immediately get lost, be taken advantage of, fall into disaster, etc. I'm glad I decided to go to Brooklyn two weeks ago for my rabbi's oldest daughter's wedding. My parents' hysterical doomsday predictions were proven very wrong, as I had no problem finding Penn Station after getting off the bus, nor did I have problems getting on the right subway, getting off at the right stop, or finding the venue. I'm 37 years old, not a little kid.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, as a parent of daughters I can understand the apprehension of seeing their little girl go to "dangerous" places. My are so far away from me now that worrying is pointless and not very healthy. I do pray for them often.

      Lee

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  16. This was a hard post to read because the hours in the day fill so full there isn't time or energy for what isn't right in front of my face. Ah, well, this is a season. Soon husband and I will be empty-nesters, hopefully then I will stop at the Chinese restaurant before it closes for good.

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    1. Nancy, my wife and I have been empty-nesters for a number of years now. We haven't taken advantage of this as much as we could, but we do go quite a few places.

      Lee

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  17. I understand this well. Have driven by, didn't go in, then they are gone. Looking over old old address books, I see that some are dead, some have moved, but some still are in the same spot, some #. Courage.

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    1. Susan K, I have the same one address book that I bought in 1975. Hardly any of the addresses and phone numbers are likely valid now and I know a number have died. I keep the book anyway as there is still room to write new addresses and phone numbers.

      Lee

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  18. The only similar thing I can think of is Laurie and my amazing ability to fall in love with some new food only to have it disappear from the shelves forever after a very short time. Not exactly the same thing, but it does happen... OFTEN...

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    1. CW, I've run into that now and then with foods, TV shows, places, people, and other things. I just adapt to doing without much of the time. Also, a short memory span helps.

      Lee

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  19. The place I missed the opportunity to visit and now you cannot visit is a place we used to go to when I was a little girl & that's Riverview Park & a place called Pottawattamie Park. Both are torn down now. So sad. I met an old friend's son about five years ago at my cousin's husband's funeral & his mother use to be a dear friend of mine, but we lost contact due to our rotten first husband's that neither one of us have now & here 40 yrs. later we found each other. Woo Hoo I use to go out and dance up a storm with the girls, but poof that's all gone now too with my youth... so sad.

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    1. Marie, There are many old parks and landmarks that have now disappeared that would have been fun to visit. Even some where there were still "ruins" left behind. I recall seeing one in Chester WV that is now mostly gone I suppose. Still I'd like to go back to see what if anything does remain.

      Lee

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  20. You might have titled this one "Regret." Maybe you will stop by the next time you see an interesting place. There are things of course I wish I had visited when I had the chance, but there is a balance to being spontaneous and also getting things done that need to be done. Maybe we need to plan time for "spontaneity" to reconnect with friends or places. Maui Jungalow

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    1. Courtney, I'm sure there will be many more places that I'll pass by and never get a chance to see. I used to have more spontaneity when I was younger and especially single. Now my time and schedules are more measured.

      Lee

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