The Panda Bear''a last weekend was a three day weekend in the US. To the Panda Bear, the Monday holiday in February will always be George Washington's birthday not President's day. George Washington deserves his own day; he was our first president and the father of our country. He set the tone for the other presidents to follow including Abraham Lincoln. In the Panda Bear's opinion he is the greatest President of the United States.
The Panda Bear believes that George Washington has lost some of his status as greatest President of the United States because he owned slaves. The Panda Bear does not wish to minimize this serious flaw but she thinks Washington should be judged by the standards of the time. A very interesting book on the subject is An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America by Henry Wiencek.
The Panda Bear received this call for a slow weekend from a meditation web site:
"This year, I am determined to be more unproductive. My goal is to do less and less – to move slower and slower until everything stops. I and the whole world will come to a sweet and silent stillness. And in this stillness, a great shout of joy will arise. We will all be free..."
From the Ox and Window, by 17th century Zen master Hakuin Ekaku
The Panda Bear feels it is worth noting that Zen comes from a very busy culture.
The Panda Bear shared this quote with some of her friends where they all said it was hard to slow down.
The Panda Bear has read alot of about being mindful(living in the present moment) which is a part of the philosophybehind meditation. However, right now the Panda Bear has some respectful disagreements with the philosophy during the winter. The short days make the Panda Bear tired at night. It has been snowing heavily for the past couple of weekends and the Panda Bear has been shut in her apartment doing her hated household chores. She has tried to be positive about these chores but at times her body rebels. Practically everyone the Panda Bear knows has had the cold or the flu. The bad weather and illnesses has interrupted the Panda Bear's limited social life making her feel lonely. How bad can it be for the Panda Bear's spiritual development to yearn for spring and the long days that make one feel there is life after work? In the spring, summer and early fall the Panda Bear admits that at times it is easy to live in the present moment-during the winter she finds it hard.
At work, the Panda Bear resolves to have an upbeat attitude. It is hard to do-the office is stuffy and the Panda Bear does not have easy access to a window. She and a coworker created a wall of plants to give themselves something pleasant to look at during the day. The Panda Bear has held the same type of job for over eighteen years and it has gotten old. She tries to tell herself the numerous disappointments in her job in the past don't predict the future disappointment.
The Panda Bear feels she needs political skills. Everything the Panda Bear reads about office politics says she should be making her boss look good. The Panda Bear thinks she does make her boss look good in that the Panda Bear does a good job. However, the Panda Bear has a hard time flattering bosses particularly since the Panda Bear often feels overworked and under appreciated.
The Panda Bear has found a cat on the Internet that shares some of her ennui. It is Henri Le Chat Noir a melancholy French cat. The videos on the site are funny. The first two are the funniest and are located at the bottom of the page.