For a magazine that too often seems designed to appeal to vainglorious 20-somethings I find such thoughtfulness a refreshing change.
And so, at the beginning of ‘my’ year I want to consider some matters philosophical. While it may seem (to some, like wives I’ve lived with) that I am too random and sometimes even cavalier in my approach to my days, I’m assuredly not, so just piss-off.
I too can be philosophical. I have an ethos under which I live and govern my behavior. Being human, sometimes I fail miserably, but the fact that I’m still alive, relatively healthy and getting pleasure from most of my days should serve to indicate I’m doing OK approach-wise.
It has been said (by Socrates no less, if you’re looking for bona fides) “the unexamined life is not worth living.” And I generally approve of that idea.
Anyway, enough beating about the bush and lapsing into trite clichés like “beating about the bush”, time to get on with it. Here are some of my truisms:
- When it’s right, you’ll know: In other words, trust your instincts; trust your gut; know that you’re probably not wrong. This concept was cited by one of my favorite actors, Mandy Patinkin, and there is a guy I would trust. It put me in mind of when we were looking for Max. We weren’t looking for a dog, we were looking for Max. Wendy and I were scouring the SPCA ads and she asked me how will I know when it’s the right dog? We’ll know, I said, trust me on that. Now there’s a dumb thing to ask a wife, but whatever. We looked through photo after photo. And then one day we found Max and I merely said “He’s the one.” And he was. And he’s the best dog in the known universe, except perhaps yours. Above is posted the photo that sold me. And it still makes me feel misty looking at his forlorn face when he was in the joint. I knew he had to be taken by us, and he was.
- If it doesn’t ‘feel’ right it’s probably wrong for you: This applies especially to romantic involvements. If something sets your teeth on edge, just the tiniest bit, it’s probably for good reason. Even if the loving is great and the sex is divine, if you are still walking around with just the tiniest knot on your gut, then the situation is likely wrong. At the end of my too often fraught relationship with the woman who was briefly my 2nd wife (whom I loved more than life, but so what?) she turned to me and said: “I think you’ve always thought I had one foot out the door. In that you were right.” Exactly.
- Always listen to your body: You get messages for a reason and if you’re in tune then you can deal with whatever is happening. A few years ago I had a very minor stroke. The previous day I’d been sleepy to the verge of narcolepsy. All I wanted to do was turn out the light and go to bed, even in early afternoon. I was being told something, which I found out the next morning when my arm was numb. It’s OK. No residual and the symptoms went away within a few minutes. But, my essence was telling me something.
- Fear and Worry are wastes of time: If a grizzly is charging your or the starboard wing has erupted in sheets of flame, be afraid. Otherwise it does you no good to be dealing with groundless fears. Stop it! That’s something I regularly tell myself.
- Regrets: Yes, I have a few. I regret having had no family of my own. But I didn’t. It wasn’t my destiny.
- Trust in your destiny; your karma, if you will: It is what it is. Live with it and do the best you can.