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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Up, Up, and AWAY !!

I'm always checking the PBS website for new videos to watch, and this one caught my eye. It is about people who go to crazy lengths to get frequent flyer miles. Oddly enough, I can see myself doing mileage runs. I have the time on my hand, and unlike most people, I enjoy being in airports. Besides that I'm slightly obsessive and enjoy the stimulation. I would do it for a couple of months just for the hell of it, although I'm still not sure what the point would be. Beyond that it's probably not the wisest use of my money seeing as how I don't have a car.

Watch 30,000 Feet: Frequent Flyer on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let dukkha "do what it do"...

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, or at least that's how the saying goes. A Shakespearean character asked the question, "Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?," and Mae West said that "too much of a good thing can be wonderful." Being a person who is given to over-indulgence, but also exceedingly self aware, I try to stay somewhere in the middle. (Or somewhere between moderation and indulgence.)

As I sit here alone on a Saturday night, I keep trying to remind myself of the concept of dukkha that I absorbed from Buddhism. All phenomena are impermanent. When the reality set in that tonight would be an evening of solitude, I found myself surprised that I wasn't happy with it. I had become so accustomed to it before, so much so that I preferred it.

That feeling started when I was talking to my "romantic interest" and he informed me that we wouldn't get to talk tonight because he was going to see a movie and had to run errands. My first thought was, "but we didn't get to talk last night." Thankfully I didn't utter that desperate remark, but I was alarmed by the fact that I would even think that.

I thought about "Sitting with Unsatisfactoriness" as the title for this post but decided that a little twist of the urban phrase "let it do what it do" would be better. When it all comes down to it, there isn't a better way to look it this situation and just about every situation.

Dukkha is a Buddhist term, meaning unsatisfactoriness, misery, suffering, dissatisfaction, etc. The concept is central to the Four Noble Truths, and if I take nothing else with me from Buddhism (although I certainly will) this will be it.

It's not that two nights without talking to a beau drags me into misery. But after I had already called a couple of friends to see what they were doing and they weren't available, and my mother and sister were out to dinner with people from church leaving me at home alone, a hint of despair did creep in.

It really caught me off guard. In the instant that I felt the feeling come in, I realized how some people get trapped in negative cycles of thinking, emotionally spiraling out of control. It wasn't that I actually wondered whether or not he was going to the movie or on a date with someone. The thought came up that the same circumstances would lead someone to think that. I was glad that I didn't think that, but then I was equally upset that I wouldn't allow myself to go there.

There I was at a stoplight thinking to myself, "what purpose does it serve to let your mind go on this tangent?" I could only think of one; protection from misery. Logically, I would not expect a person who I've met only once but have talked with at length, who is also 2,500 miles away to be exclusive. I'm the one who disappeared on him two years ago. Based on that fact alone I understand if he has his reservations.

In that moment, I decided that I would sit with the unsatisfactory feeling, that I would let "dukkha" arise, do its thing, and move on. I wouldn't apply superficial labels to it. I made peace with it and left inner space to see what was at its core.

I prepared my dinner of food from my first visit to Trader Joe's, and as I plated my food and poured my glass of wine, I felt what I was waiting to feel. I didn't open myself up to the world, make efforts to deepen and maintain my friendships, only to spend another night like this.

The depth and honesty of that feeling helped me to realize that spending three to four hours talking to someone on the phone wouldn't alleviate that feeling anymore than not talking to them would be the cause of it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lightheaded Musings

I've been focusing on losing weight lately, mainly by only eating 1500 net calories a day and getting on the treadmill 30 minutes a day. I'm not sure if I trust our scale here at home, but I may have lost three pounds so far. I've been feeling a little lightheaded over the past few days as well, but that is actually getting better.

On the personal front, I have started talking to a former romantic interest, and it is going well. The time I would have spent blogging late at night is now spent on long conversations. It feels better than it did the first time, with more openness and honesty. There wasn't necessarily deception the first time around, but perhaps the conversation is going to deeper places.

I just wonder how a real life cynic takes chances on love and romance, without all of the convenient traps and plot twists a Hollywood movie provides. Where is my Miranda Charlotte Carrie moment? Will they come? How close to those fantasy moments will reality have to come before I feel comfortable? I've already lived through or recreated my Samantha moments.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hopefully this obstacle is the last one...

So, as expected, no contributions on the car campaign. I'm still without my own transportation, but able to get most places thanks to my mother and dear friend. Honestly, I wouldn't expect that people would give money to a person they didn't know, but I decided to do the uncharacteristic thing and ask for it anyway. The universe always provides. If you're reading this, just send me positive vibes that I don't end up with a lemon.

It is quite a bummer not to have a car, most annoyingly because I can't go to my voice lessons, nor justify paying for them when I "should" be saving for a car. As much as I hate driving, and enjoy being driven around, I think that it bothers me most that music isn't in my life right now. I told my self and my teacher that I wasn't going to let anything get in my way, and a couple of weeks later, my car completely died.

But I will bounce back, as I always do, and I think big changes are in my future for 2012. I'm just praying that I can get a decent car that is up to the challenge, for what I can afford.

A lot of people give up just before they're about to make it. You know you never know when that next obstacle is going to be the last one.
Chuck Norris