Tag: choices

Prison is a funny place.

Prison is a funny place. You sit in here, day after day, imagining what it will feel like when you are released. We all make a list of things to do, when we are “free”. Most mens’ list are a little like this:

1) Get laid
2) Eat a huge steak
3) Sleep in a comfortable bed

Everyone’s list is somewhat different but most men have a list similar to my example. (Ask them, if you don’t believe me.)

Of course, I myself know that I look forward to MANY things. From women, to work, to spending time with my family.

What I wonder today is, what about when we get out and accomplish all these things on our list? We reach the top of the shrine we have created named “freedom”. We, in here, idolize this shrine. We spend a good amount of time thinking, dreaming, and imagining it becoming a reality for us. FREEDOM becomes our goal.

But then… we get out… and we look for all these things we miss so much – women and food, comfort and pleasure – and all of a sudden, after these short lived goals are realized, there is nowhere to go, but down. And depression can then set in. And we still face the stark realities of finding jobs, complying with parole, and a whole lot more.

After talking with several fellow inmates who have been down this road a time or two already, I can only conclude one thing. Freedom is a state of mind. Many inmates have told me that once they do everything they had been holding onto, on that list of theirs, they found themselves once again unsatisfied with their lives and looking for something more. The question arises “what is next?” 

I feel that’s where learning to become happy with the small things comes in handy. The honest to God’s fact is, I am “moderately” happy right here and now. I appreciate any little thing I get in here.

It’s taking that attitude of appreciation for things back out into the world that might give me a foot up, once I am out in the world again.  It might turn out to be the lesson in all of this, for me. It’s all about taking that appreciation for things into back into the world.

Maybe not taking life for granted is what can get us ALL to the place we want to be, once we are once out into the free world again.

So, today I think I will sit back and just enjoy the small things. Like, the company of my celly. Or the taste of my crappy coffee  I am sipping on. Or even my crappy, thin, hard mattress that I will lay my head down on tonight.

Because it’s not all that bad, and it’s what I got, and I never know what day will be my last.

Peace ~ Magnum

Resolutions for the new year

As the new year comes, so do new beginnings. For many people goals are made, and promises sworn to be kept to a spouse or to one’s self. “This year it will be different. I will lose that weight”, or “I’ll cut down on the booze” or “I’ll never cheat on my wife again.” All these dreams and desires to renew and improve ourselves rush through our dreams and our hearts each year.

This is the type of thing that amazes me about humans, we have the capacity to want something with our entire heart and soul, until it hurts our very bones. Yet, we might pursue our goal to an extent, practice our new choices or newly found principals for a few weeks, maybe even months. And yes, some of us do stay on a forward path and complete what we say we will do. But many others, myself included, find ourselves let down once again, our dreams blown away by the reality of life trampled on by our own lack of self will.

Time and time again I have proven to myself that my own will isn’t sufficient enough to follow through with my well laid plans and best intentions for the future. At times, when the law is on my ass, and I have no choice but to change, I will… but as soon as the heat is off, I have returned to my own selfish ways. This is the phenomenom that amazes me. Members of AA and other 12-step groups believe that one must put his will in the hands of a higher power to overcome old habits and addictive behaviors. Not until then, will things begin to change.

I have never been able to fully give myself to the thought that I have so little power in my life. Although, like I said, I have let myself down, time and time again. With that being said, I do question my honesty when I have decided to change certain aspects of my life.

So, this year, I myself have a resolution for the new year. This year my resolution is honesty. To be honest with myself in my intentions to change. To say to myself, “I will change my ways completely” would be a lie. Instead, I will try to live up to one small, attainable goal at a time. I will become self sufficient. I will put my duties and responsibilities before my pleasures. I will make sure the refrigerator is stocked with food. Or, I will just tell myself “I love you” when looking in the mirror, and mean it.

So, to all of you who have embarked on the new year with new resolutions, goals, or desires to change – my conclusion in reflecting on this and my message to you is to be aware is to be prepared. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Instead, choose a goal and set a plan in place that is within reach. And, stick with it.

Peace ~ Magnum