Some Thoughts

Editing sometimes focuses too much on the mistakes and weakness. I want to cross out everything I don’t like and reanalyze every word that doesn’t work quite right. But editing works better if I remember to look at what I’m doing well and build on that instead. The same often goes for life and relationships: instead of only seeing what could be better, look at what is doing really great and build on it.

There isn’t usually a best solution to difficult human problems. There are many solutions, some are somewhat better than others. Some sound crazy, but they would work. Some sound sensible, but they don’t work at all. Eventually, you just have to stop arguing and overanalyzing, try a solution out, see what happens, and then do something even better from what you’ve learned.

It’s easier to be successful in certain ways if a person has more wealth. Money can be used to pay for extra lessons, tutors, supplies, gear, or travel. It’s not fair, and it’s hard to compare when you don’t have the same advantages as someone else. But usually the success that money can buy isn’t the most important type of success anyway.

Three Random Thoughts Lately

We should all have our own coaches and cheerleaders to help us get through life. People who encourage us, who help keep us accountable, and who help us press forward when it gets tough. Sometimes I don’t share my goals, which is not helpful for me or for others. It’s better to share so we can all help each other.

Sometimes I hate cleaning up just as much as my children do. I have to make it fun for myself too. I see how much I can clean in five minutes. I time myself to see how long it takes to deep clean my kitchen. I record time lapses of myself cleaning, or text my husband before and after pictures. And I always either watch a movie or listen to an audiobook while folding laundry.

I have generally been taught not to gossip, but I would rather live in a world where people gossiped about each other than a world where no one talked about others at all. I hope people do talk about me behind my back, because then they at least care in some way about me. Sometimes gossip can lead to helping other people. It can lead to a sense of community. Gossip helps us keep in contact and informed about the people around us.

Gossip can be mean, founded on lies and meat to make other people hurt. But talking about other people is an important part of life and living and being neighbors and friends.

This is a picture I took to prove that I had cleaned my floors. My youngest daughter spilled both flour and sugar on the floor shortly after the picture was taken. My oldest two kids did their best to clean it up.

Personal Experience vs. Reasoning

Pretend that you’re a young college student, and you go into a class about the universe. And you learn about how massive the universe is and how much space there is. You learn that you can never travel faster than the speed of life. Your professor very convincingly argues that aliens can’t exist–and even if they do exist, they would be too far away to ever hear from.

Now let’s say at home, you’ve taken up a radio hobby, but one day, you start getting weird interference and you end up intercepting very strange noises you can’t interpret. You start transmitting back on this frequency basic information–like how the weather is and what day it is and all of that. For quite a few years, you transmit back and forth on this frequency, and you start to understand the person on the other end, who gradually learns English and tells you that they are an alien.

Well, of course, aliens don’t exist, so this must be a prank. But the alien gives you instructions on how to conduct a few simply experiments that allows you to see amazing things that you can’t explain and goes beyond current scientific reasoning.

Reasonably, aliens can’t exist. And yet, your experience is starting to tell you something totally different. You’re talking to an alien. The alien is talking back to you. You’ve see amazing things that seem at the very least highly improbable.

What would you believe?

If you had to trust your own personal experience (the things that happened to you and the things that you witnessed) or a well-reasoned argument, which would you believe?

If you saw a blue tree, but then heard a really good argument that there can’t be blue trees, would you think that your experience was wrong, or would you take the person with the really good argument and try to show them the blue tree?

I often trust my own experiences more than I trust reasoning. Reasoning can often be based in incomplete information, and no matter who convincing an argument may seem, it is almost never perfect.

But sometimes my experiences are fallible too. Sometimes my senses deceive me. Sometimes I don’t remember right. I have to use my reasoning too to make sense out of my experience.

So they both have to come together. I want personal experience and reasoning. I can’t just learn about something–I want to experience it too. If I learn about a location, I want to go there. I want to meet people. I want to have conversations. I want to see and hear and feel what something is like. And when I experience something, I want to know the reasoning behind it.

Certainty is difficult to achieve, and when my experience and my reasoning don’t line up, I sometimes have to press forward and keep hoping that I will learn more in the future. I’ll figure out how I could talk to aliens, even though it seemed scientifically impossible.