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2:50 pm - Wed 2/05/03
Bouncin' Back

Bouncin' Back

TUE 2/4/03 7:30 am

Whatever attitudes we habitually use toward ourselves, we will use on

others, and whatever attitudes we habitually use toward others, we will use

on ourselves. The situation is comparable to our serving food to ourselves

and to other people from the same bowl. Everyone ends up eating the same

thing--we must examine carefully what we are dishing out.

-Buddhist wisdom-

WED 2/5/03 11:30 am

Just went out to move my car, and had a nice little moment--There was some space, and when a woman driving a white Accord got to it ahead of me, she made a point of leaving enough room for me to park as well.

It probably doesn't sound like much, does it? But I think it's important to take notice of things like this; Little moments of kindness from others, little "gifts", reminders that, while you might be having "challenges" of one sort or another, and you might not be winning any big prizes at the moment, there's always something to be thankful for.

And if you couldn't guess from that little "Hallmark Moment", I'm feeling a lot better about things right now...

And I'm feeling downright silly for my recent upset over Nick and Kyle. What just happened is pretty much "the natural order of things"; Being upset about it is like railing against gravity, or being jealous of hydrogen and oxygen for hooking up and creating water. And anyway, as I've said before, you can't lose what you never had.

My time for love will come around again--Or else it won't. Who can say, really?--but whatever happens, being bitter about other people getting together isn't going to help matters. It's just going to make me look foolish and feel worse.

But while I predicted a quick recovery in this matter, because after all, it's happened before---People I know get together, I feel a sharp spike of anger and jealousy, then I quickly get over it and life goes on (Though to be honest, in the past I've sometimes had to be invited to "get over it" by a third party)--the other reasons I'm in better spirits these days have hit me by surprise.

I was doing laundry a couple days ago. And as I was pulling clothes out of the dryer, I grabbed a pair of pants that are basically ripped out in the crotch (They've been like that for some time now, but I've worn them anyway, telling myself no one can really see it, and I don't have money for new pants anyway).

I looked at them for a moment. Then instead of putting them on a hanger like I usually do, I put my hands inside the hole, ripped them in half, and threw them in the garbage.

I did the same thing with a second pair of pants that were in similar shape.

A day or two previously, a pair of pants I was wearing while lying in bed watching tv had split, from seat to mid-thigh. And a week or two before that, another pair of pants suffered the same fate (This time while I was at work).

And it's not like I have anything approaching an "extensive wardrobe" here--I think I'm left with six or seven pairs of pants now, at least two pairs of which are being held together by a safety pin--so why would throwing away two pairs of worn-out pants I could ill-afford to lose actually make me feel good?

The answer? I think throwing them out made me feel good because wearing them had been making me feel bad; I'm not a bum, I'm not a homeless person, but the condition of my clothing these days has been making me feel decidedly "poor". And while I have no problem with looking "casual"--one of the perks of the bookstore, in my mind, is that there's essentially no dress code--it's been bothering me a lot to look "shabby".

So till I can afford new clothes--and I hope that will be soon--I'm going to make do with the increasingly small-but-presentable wardrobe I have. And that means not wearing clothes fit for the trash bin because I'm "poor".

Then day before yesterday, I was riding to work, and I had my pager clipped to my belt. I'd rode most of the way to work, when I stopped at a red light, looked down, and saw that while there was still a clip attached to my belt, the actual pager...was gone.

That was a fairly upsetting discovery, as you might imagine. And there was no way my reaction to this discovery could have been construed as a happy one (I think my very first reaction was along the lines of "Oh no!...No, No, Nooooooo!....". Something like that. There might also have been some cursing involved).

I thought about calling in to work and retracing my route. But it seemed unlikely in the extreme that I'd find it somewhere along the five-mile path, and if I did, that it wouldn't have either broken from the impact, been run over by a car, or been stolen. I held out some small hope that I'd magically find it on the way home that night, or even that it had fallen off while I was still in my apartment, but basically, I assumed it was gone with a capital "G".

So I went on to work, and of course, told everyone who would listen what had happened. But I thought it was interesting; At that point, I was already past being angry about it. No talk about what a "@$&!! idiot" I was, no talk about the universe being against me, nothing like that; I actually was joking about it ("You know what? I'm going to get a new one every week!").

I called JS, told him what had happened, and said that, barring a miracle, I'd be getting a new pager the next day, and I'd call him with the new number.

That evening, as I rode home, I did kind of keep my eyes open for it. I even prayed, in my "Agnostic Guy" way ("God, if you're up there, and you have a minute, could you help me find my pager?"). And I had enough hope left that when I got home, I was prepared for the huge relief I'd feel when I saw my pager lying on the floor by my computer table.

But it was not to be.

So the next day, I went back to the pager place, and got Pager #2.

I was certainly not happy that it happened--I'd felt like I couldn't afford the first pager, and now I was going to have to do it all over again?--but I was pretty pleased that I didn't whimper and cry and complain--well, not much, anyway-- but just did what I needed to do.

And it made me think about money.

I think I've made a decision; As long as I'm not going hungry, and as long as I have a roof over my head, I'm going to consider myself golden in terms of money. Beyond that, I'll just plan to do what I can, when I can. I'm still a long way from a "worst case scenario" here. I'm going to get money back to its appropriate place in my thinking, instead of front-and-center.

And I've made another decision as well; In a recent email, Jane gave me that definition of "insanity" that goes something like "The definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same thing time after time, expecting a different outcome" (Jane's nice way of saying "Quit your bitchin' if you're not going to do anything about it").

There are very real reasons that I don't want another job, or that I don't want to move. But there's another suggestion Jane's thrown out there, that she "throws out there" a lot, and when I think about it, there's really no reason for me not to try it.

And that "suggestion" is to work my food budget a little better. Buy more "staples", cook more, that sort of thing. So after I get paid this Friday, that's what I'm going to do. It will undoubtedly be healthier, and even if it's not that much cheaper initially--I really don't buy a lot of junk or "convenience foods"--I think if every time I wanted to eat something I had to go to the effort of preparing it, that would stretch my food dollar right there, so I"ll save money and lose weight.

(Hell, who am I kidding? I'll probably die within the first two weeks! But at least I'll die trying to further my own ends. And I could live with that, if you'll pardon the pun.)


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