Aug 19

I’m (not) bored

The other night, my friend Walt posted a link to a mess of inspirational quotes. Since I love to read and argue with inspirational quotes, of course I read them all and did some mental arguing. It was fun. There were a lot of them.

This one from Louis CK caught my eye:

“I’m bored” is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say “I’m bored.”

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I am almost never bored. Like Louis says, there is a lot of cool shit out there. Boredom is really not an option. When I considered my own occasional boredom for a moment, I realized that on the few occasions when I do think I am bored, I am actually discontented in some way. Frustrated. Sad. Puzzled. Annoyed. It isn’t boredom at all.

Now I just have to remember this emotional breakthrough the next time I think I am bored, figure out what I really have going on in my over-active psyche, and voila! Perfect mental harmony.

So remind me, OK?

What, don’t you want me to have perfect mental harmony?

Of course you do.

It may take a while, that is why I need someone to remind me. If I got bored more frequently, I wouldn’t have to remember my theory for very long.

What do you mean, how will you know when I am bored? That is a good question. Chances are, I will be over my boredom by the time I write about it and you won’t be able to remind me at all.

Personal responsibility is a bitch.

Well, I will let you know if I ever manage to get bored, remember my theory about it being dissatisfaction rather than boredom and have an epiphany that results in perfect mental harmony.

I’m looking forward to it.

Psssh. Every one says satori is soooo fucking hard.
All I have to do is figure out what I am not bored about.

Simple.

That sound you didn’t hear was the Universe laughing its ass off at me.

Yes, the Universe has an ass.
You’ve obviously never heard the expression “ass end of the Universe” before.

Looking forward to satori.
I hope my eyeliner doesn’t smudge when it happens.

(Resisting the urge to say “don’t hate me because I’m Buddhaful” because it is such a bad pun)

(It’s low risk, though, because there isn’t a lot of smiting in Buddhism)

(What’s with all the parentheses all of a sudden?)

Aug 18

Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall…and Farhad

The recent deaths of Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams have me thinking about death a little more than usual. I think about death a lot anyway, so it’s not like I am out of my comfort zone there.

While I am a fan of both performers, I did not know either of them personally. Their deaths are passingly sad to me, but won’t make much of a dent in my life.

Williams’ suicide in particular seems to have hit people hard. Is it because he was so beloved by children who grew up with Mrs. Doubtfire and the Genie?

Because someone who dedicated his life to making the world laugh committed suicide?

I don’t really understand it, but grief is grief. I am sure I will need a lot of compassion when either Elton John or Elvis Costello die. A lot of people probably won’t understand the depth of my feelings either, but everyone feels what they feel or don’t feel in their own way. Grief is something that deserves compassion, always, even if you don’t feel it yourself.

Maybe especially if you don’t.

……

….

……

This was all just dumped totally on end for me as I learned of the death of an old friend who committed suicide in Bend over the weekend. I haven’t seen him for a very long time, but he was one of those people who always made me smile when I thought of him.

Farhad was a natural born host. He hated to see an empty plate or glass, and they never stayed empty for long if he had anything to say about it. He was someone who loved to laugh, and see people around him having a good time. He was a good humored cheater at every sort of game. He was always a lot of fun to be around, and people always liked him.

But you never know what sort of burden people are carrying around on the inside. I don’t know what led Freddy to end his life, but I do know this:

Farhad was not a coward.
Farhad knew he was loved, and he loved his family and friends very much.
Farhad would never, ever want to hurt anyone.

Depression lies. It lies and it tells you that it will be better for everyone if you are not there any more. For whatever reason, the pain or sadness that he was carrying inside of him got bigger than the love of his friends and family and he couldn’t stay with them any longer.

Depression is very convincing. If you have never heard the stories that Depression tells you, it can be hard to understand how seductive they are. If you are lucky, there is enough of your right mind still there to convince you that Depression might be wrong. Or at least that you should wait a little bit.

On Saturday night, Farhad listened to the lie.

If you hear about someone like Freddy, please take a moment to send your thoughts out to their family and friends who are grieving. Stop and think before posting a critical comment about their death in a news story or in social media. Try to make things better rather than worse. Consider the impact of your post on the people who are now missing someone they loved. Imagine how you would feel if someone said something unkind about someone you loved who just died.

It doesn’t take any longer to say something kind than something hurtful, and it takes even less time to say nothing at all.

It won’t hurt anything if a cruel thought goes unsaid.

Be kind to each other. Make sure the people you love know how you feel. Things can end so unexpectedly. One minute, a person is alive and the next they are gone.

If people are important to you, make sure they know it. You really might not ever have a chance to tell them again.

If there is an afterlife, Freddy, I am sure you have already got your family and friends together having cocktails or tea and playing backgammon. You are probably already cheating like crazy, and grinning when you get caught.

Rest in peace.

Aug 17

What is high maintenance?

Last Friday, I was at the Sportsman’s Pub with two of the boys. (Have I mentioned yet today that I miss them?) As we were ordering, Kyle wanted extra limes in his drink. I ordered something on the side with my dinner, and we joked about being high maintenance.

Then I was wondering what that even really means.

Getting a mess of limes in a drink that already calls for lime doesn’t seem to qualify. Probably not my side of mayo for my fries, either.

What does?

Getting a bunch of limes for a drink that doesn’t normally include them?

Maybe.

Asking to have half the ingredients of a dish substituted and the rest served on the side?

Probably.

But obviously, it isn’t a very serious life problem if you are only high maintenance in a way that is mildly annoying in a bar or restaurant. Especially if you tip well.

There are people who require a lot of attention and energy to keep them going. Maybe a woman needs several hours a day to keep up her appearance. Maybe she needs constant attention and emotional reinforcement to feel her friends, family and lover value her. Maybe he has to have only the most up to date toys. Maybe he is only satisfied with a woman who stays home and irons his sheets,cooks him dinner and dedicates all of her attention to him.

I’m obviously not high maintenance as far as my looks go. I can roll out of bed and be ready to leave for an adventure or work within 20 or 30 minutes. I’m not picky about my clothes. I don’t care about cars, jewelry, or having any of the usual trappings of success. While I do occasionally get a massage or a pedicure, on a day to day basis I have a sore neck and polish my own nails. I live in a small house which I clean myself.

Well. Clean is a relative term.

I do have rather an expensive haircut, but my stylist rolls her eyes at me because I don’t blow it out or even actually brush my hair a lot of the time.

No one would ever think of me as fancy.

So why am I even thinking about the idea of being high maintenance?

Because for some reason I keep thinking I must be. I am not quite sure why, even after considering it. And it kind of niggles at the sides of my mind. I’ve only had on person call me high maintenance and it was because he thought I needed too much of his time and attention. He thought I was too needy.

He’d seem vaguely annoyed if I made plans with my friends and wasn’t available when he did get around to calling, and then act like I was being too needy when I pointed out that if he returned my calls he might have been the one I had plans with instead. But he always made a big point of pointing out that I should go out and do my thing.

I didn’t ever think that he actually cared one way or the other. I figured that if he wanted to see me, he could let me know ahead of time. Maybe make an effort. If I was in need of reassurance about his feelings, it was because there were so many signs that his feelings were indifferent ones.

The irony is that normally I get the opposite reaction–that I am too prone to wanting to be alone. That I am too detached and solitary. Maybe emotionally unavailable.

In the end, I just didn’t think I wanted to be a convenience to him any more and I didn’t want to feel like I was emotionally high maintenance for wanting him to pick up the phone and talk to me.

Like everyone, sometimes I do need reassurance. In a rough patch, I might even need quite a bit of it.

If you care about someone, aren’t you happy to provide it?

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