We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My Lenten discipline this year focuses on gratitude.
I am disappointed by my tendency to get exasperated whenever something goes wrong in life, while taking for granted the 99.9% of things that go OK. For example, car goes 125,000 miles and provides a good service. Needs a new transmission? "Sh-t. Dammit. What a pain." Unexpected problems are always cropping up.
It's as if I carry some implicit expectation, hidden in the back of my mind, that life is or should be smooth and go right all the time. A sort of infantile utopian assumption probably partly engendered by growing up safe and comfortable in America in the 20th Century. It's a flaw, and I plan on going to war against it with gratitude for everything that goes well. For example, the fact that my heart continues to beat steadily and miraculously while I accept - and expect - that it cannot do so indefinitely.
Given time, some things will always go wrong or not work out well. When I am forced to be honest with myself, many of the things that go wrong are at least partly my own damn fault anyway, due to laziness, stubborness, poor judgement, boneheaded or wrong impulses, lack of planning, character defects, stupidity, ignorance, etc.
It's the opposite of the Wild Turkey phenomenon. People tell me that Turkey hunting must be easy, because they see Turkeys all the time. I remind them of all the times they don't see Turkeys - and tell them that's what most Turkey hunting is like.
Was speaking to a patient recently,
on this very topic. They said well what
do I have to be grateful for? I replied,
for one thing, the fact you can lift
that cup of coffee up to your lips unassisted. "It's as if I carry some implicit expectation ...
that life is or should be smooth and go
right all the time."
Thanks, BD, I needed that reminder.
Think I'll ponder on it this Lenten season.
(Wouldn't you know the "check engine" light
just came on our 97 Maxima- 187 k miles.)
I appreciate your work.
The excitement of spring turkey hunting season is riveting. A more stimulating endeavor I can’t imagine.
That season is less than a month away for me here, and I’m poised and peaked.
Thanks for the pix & the post. I wonder how many other soul-chicken hunting aficionados are out there reading your blog.
212,000 miles on my Suburban. Four wheel drive. It's really starting to get loud under the front end. I feel certain that one day soon the wheels will literally fall off. So while I should be grateful I've driven a car for 12 years with relatively little maintenance, I am quite irritated that it won't go another 200,000 miles with no maintenance.
I just replaced the battery for the first time in the key chain fob, the injustice of it all!
(Aside: I have found that GM products run poorly longer than most other cars run. Look around you, every heap that goes by is a GM.)
I too need to learn to be more grateful. To everyone.
And isn't this contagious? When I am of a grateful heart and mind, I attract people of that same spirit. When I am irritable and woe-is-me...it either spreads to my loved ones or they step away and other ungrateful folks are glad to share my misery and I gladly spread it around. ugh.
Thank you for the reminder....and what a great thing to focus on for Lent. I do better with a focus instead of a sacrifice.
Good luck in the field Westoakland. Not sure if I'll get out as I lost my tract of land to sale. I think of turkey hunting like Edison's light bulb. I took 7 toms and a couple of jakes in ten years but I took no bird at all about 50 or 60 times in that same period. It didn't take a bird to make each one successful. It did take a bottle of John Powers though to make the hunt with one in perfect range that I missed a success @$#%$!!!