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Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning

Month

October 2006

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

I have been distracted of late by many things.

Getting my thoughts together (they are all over the place) is one of those things, and is my first order of business.

I will be back later with posts and thoughts etc.  The space is not abandoned.  It’s just like a roast that has come out of the oven…it needs a few minutes to rest before you can dive into it!

The Most Boring Post Yet

Have not written in a while.  I write when things catch my eye or when something gnaws at me (in a good or bad way).  Nothing has caught my eye recently, at least not in a way that made me want to post.  Have I been idle, not thinking about things, not interested in life?  No.  Here are a few things I have been mulling over but have not dug into in a post-worthy way.

– Work.  Been thinking a lot about work  – mine and others.  I met a young woman recently who started a company.  She is one year out of college.  She has just shut her company down – no money.   She is obviously heartbroken about this.  I am sure she will start another.  Still along the lines of work…I seem to know several people now who "want to do it on their own."  I am encouraged by this.  It’s the harder road, but way more rewarding if it works.

– Real estate.  New Yorkers are all obsessed with real estate.  I am not immune, and we are now toying with the idea of buying an apartment…in Brooklyn.  Not in Manhattan.  Ugh.  I am sure I will love Brooklyn – and that does NOT mean I will be a dreaded Bridge and Tunnel person (barf – yes I am a snob but BARF).  But must face reality.  Brooklyn is more realistic than Manhattan.  Ugh.

– Dogs.  I don’t want one now, but at some point we do.  I still think cats are way smarter.

– Food.  I always think about food.  I might start posting recipes and pictures of food I cook (to further make this like every other blog out there – but whatever).  Food.

– Closet space.  Back on the real estate comment.  Been thinking that a good thing about living in Manhattan is that I can get by with less, because there is no room for more.

How boring is this post, right?  I am obviously have a blaah day.  A grey day.  That is why I must eat spicy thai food tonight for dinner.  It’s hard to feel grey when your mouth is burning with chilis.

I did see a quote that caught my eye today.

"Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to  realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with  you. You’ll see that no one else other than you was responsible. The truth  is that existence wants your life to become a festival."

-Osho

Cool.  Osho thinks my life is a festival.  That adds a little orange and red and green to my otherwise grey day.  What do you do to chase away the greys?

The F Word

There is a lot of controversy around the word FEMINIST.

Many women I know would be horrified to be labeled "feminist".  This is too bad, since the reason many of us have the opportunity to work, have choices and are not automatically assumed to be idiots is thanks to the Women’s Movement.  But nevermind all that.  The word Feminist has ironically militaristic, man-hating overtones.  Too bad, really.  Particularly considering there is still a lot of work to be done for women to be fully equal (I could go on and on about this but don’t have time at this moment to climb yet another Soapbox, or write my Manifesto, excuse me – Womanifesto, or even Chickifesto!).  In lieu of that, I thought I would post this which I saw online courtesy of helenbettysgrrl

Notafeminist

Clouds

Good morning! 

I love clouds.  At some point in life I need to move (husband, you will come with me, yes?) to the Pacific Northwest (Portland, Oregon!) because it’s low cloud country and I love clouds.  NYC has great clouds too.  Especially sunrise and sunset clouds, and storm clouds…

Clouds_2 

When I was young, I remember lying on the grass with my mother and looking at clouds.  Clouds are all kinds of cool.

So I wanted to post this link.  Check out these clouds.  Never seen anything like them.

Traffic Cop Wanted

I work in Times Square, and nearly every morning I get a great laugh as I walk to work.  Right on 42nd Street I get the pleasure of watching a dance, a show, a commanding performance.  Of a play or a musical, you might ask.  Nope.  Of a traffic cop.  A woman traffic cop who works at Broadway and 42nd.  She is an absolute pleasure to watch – man does she enjoy her job.  It’s great to see the looks on drivers’ faces – they chuckle, and laugh and wave hello to her.  And nobody screws with her – drivers DARE not cross her – she is a force of nature.  She loves her job.

I like my job, quite a bit actually.  But it would be fun to try other jobs for a time period – maybe a day, maybe a month.  What would I try? 

  • Traffic Cop in Times Square
  • Taxi Driver
  • EMT
  • Brain Surgeon (obviously I am assuming I would have the requisite training for these roles)
  • Helicopter Pilot
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Chef of a Michelin 3 star restaurant
  • Short-Order Cook
  • Starving yet on the cusp of success artist
  • Caterer
  • That job in the publishing industry where you get to read tons of books and help determine which ones go on the shelves
  • Obviously I would be a Pop Star for a day
  • Luxury Hotel owner
  • Interior Decorator
  • Navy Fighter Pilot
  • Horse Trainer

Along these lines, I have a favorite company out in Portland, Oregon that allows people to try out their dream jobs.  It’s called Vocation Vacations www.vocationvacations.com and I think it’s one of the coolest companies and ideas I have ever come across.  Great for gifts too – send your husband away for two days (hooray!  just kidding) on a Vocation Vacation where he can learn what it’s like to own a microbrewery, or a vineyard or be a sportscaster.  And no, I am not getting paid for this post.  I just happen to love the company.  Too many people hate their jobs. 

This is really fun to think about.  What would you do? 

And the Answer is…Just Smile

As I was saying, about Tolle and attachment, another reason why I think so highly of him is that he is realistic about how to adopt this new self…the less attached, less superficial self.  He says you can’t.  It’s impossible.  Bravo!  Detaching your self-worth from things is a very hard thing to do and can lead to other identifications (you may become high and mighty that you – oh so holier than thou – were able to give up Manolos!  Tolle points out that even that, the sense of satisfaction and rightness is yet another attachment).

So it’s hard.  And his advice is not to try to rid yourself of wants, things and attachments, but rather, when you detect this behavior in yourself, just smile.  Or maybe even laugh.  Don’t take the ego too seriously.  Gradually you will become more aware of who you are, and move away from the YOU defined by stuff.

Soapbox 101

I have been reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.  I am a huge Tolle fan – The Power of Now is forever on my bedside table (I admit it, I am a self-help reading freak.  Self help books, dark chocolate, anything fried and a good bottle of wine, and I am a happy girl). 

Anyway.  As I was saying, I am reading this book.  There is an interesting section on how we identify with things and how much of our self-worth is tied up in stuff.  I got a little uncomfortable when I was reading it and saw myself in phrases like "Do certain things induce a subtle feeling of importance or superiority?"  OF COURSE NOT!  How DARE he….well, ok, so that might be a wee bit true.  Yikes.  And then I thought about it – let me put this in perspective…I am tying my SELF WORTH, my view of myself and my hope of how others view me to something like a pair of SHOES?  To an apartment?  To the kind of vacations I take?

Wow.  Live with that for a moment.   I did not even say tying my personal happiness to those things, I said self worth.

It’s at moments like this (huge embarrassment for my own grand crassness) that I think about Mother Teresa and folks like that.  There are people in this world who give tirelessly.  Would I like to be like them?  Would I be happy giving up my attachment to THINGS and giving back?  I say to myself "Of course, but I can’t.  I have obligations."

Horse Dooky.  I could be like them – it’s a matter of choice.  It’s not that I "can’t" be like them, I choose not to.  For the most part in life, I have found whenever I hear myself saying "Oh I CAN’T do that" I need to reassess and acknowledge that of course I can, but I have chosen not to. 

I am a fan of awareness.  I don’t always like what I find when I am truly aware, but I do feel authentic.  Self delusion has no place in the authentic life – to deal with reality one must face reality.  I think this means challenging myself when I say "can’t" to say "choose".  It also means I need to be really honest about the use of the word "my" ("my shoes", "my psoriasis", "my headache", "my necklace" can sometimes also mean "my accomplishment", "my victimhood", "my need to be pitied", "my wealth"). 

This is easier said than done, and can feel a dangerously holier than thou.  But done right and thoughtfully, I hope these efforts will lead to less attachment and more honesty.  More reality. 

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