Sunday, December 5, 2010

Random rambles about complaining... and growth

I talk to myself.

I have been talking to myself (especially while doing things) since I was a little kid. I suppose what I am really doing is processing thoughts outward, rather than keeping them inside my head. I just find that "thinking things through" in silence is far less conducive to "working them out" and "getting new ideas," than actually having an audible conversation with myself. Thinking inside my head feels like watching a YouTube video with "mute" on. So I talk to myself.

I'm not entirely sure whether this is a sign of insanity. Or, perhaps, a reflection of the fact that I was raised by wolves. Or maybe my honey is right-- I'm just crazy and ADD as fuck. OR... it's just perfectly normal behavior everywhere... but people are embarrassed to admit to it and label it "eccentric" rather than normal.

The point, however, is that I typically have my best ideas for articles and other writing when I am far from the computer. Or even a pen and notebook.

This is the odd paradox. When I am sitting in my office, trying to work, I don't so often talk to myself nor feel inclined to do so. On the other hand, when I am mowing the lawn, or going for a walk, or cooking, or folding laundry, I usually have a lot to say.

Which, I suppose, is just another way of saying that I do my best thinking when my brain is slack.

A while back, as a bold new experiment, I moved the laptop into the kitchen while I cooked... so I could basically write as I talked things through, in the three-minute pauses between flipping pork chops or whatever else was going on. Now, I'm well aware of the risks of grease on the screen and flour in the keyboard, but these are occupational hazards I'm willing to face... and this was-- as I said-- just an experiment.

Since the distinct possibility exists that my life may actually have assumed some semblance of normalcy (i.e. I may spend more days at home than in random motel rooms) in the foreseeable future, I have been toying with the idea of returning to writing. Ergo, I need ideas. As I talked this through with myself, I was considering some things that bug me about life might become good blog fodder, in a Dave Barry-ish sort of way, and even considered a sort of "Gripe of the Week" column.

As I looked at my various ideas, I realized that I am really incredibly intolerant... and I should probably scrap the whole "gripe" idea and just call the articles "Why I Am Not A Nice Person, part-whatever."

1. Why is it STILL a "surprise" to people that they have to pay at the grocery? Otherwise, why on earth would they not start looking for payment until the checker say "That will be $37.95?"

2. That little lever on the side of your steering column? Yeah, that one. It's called a turn signal. Especially handy at 4-way stop signs.

3. Many more, similar to the above.

I'm still considering that possibility...

After considering that my list of "things to write about" were basically a list of gripes... I got to thinking... why do we spend so much time focusing on the negative, while generally glossing over the positive? I mean, it runs the range of human experience, from the personal to the global. "War sells newspapers, peace does not."

Then I thought about what irritates me... and the why of things that irritate me. That was an interesting exercise in observation and self-inquiry.

Overwhelmingly, I get annoyed by situations where other people's lack of awareness and consciousness of their surroundings results in taking my time, and/or require my effort. I realized how this is often a big "trigger" for me, as far as getting annoyed and moody... especially when bad or no planning on someone else's behalf is the catalyst for my time/effort output.

Our irritants are often riddled with paradoxes, too. Going back to the grocery store example, above, I actually have endless patience with grocery store lines... I have little issue with being 47th in line, and if I subsequently realize that I forgot to buy butter, I have little issue with putting the groceries in the car and standing in line behind 41 people to go through a second time, with a single package of butter.

"They" say, of course, that the things that irritate us about other people are the things about ourselves that we really do not like. Indeed, I tend to be hypersensitive to/about wasting other people's time... and tend to overplan almost everything I do, lest my activity could somehow cause another to waste their time.

Most likely, there will NOT be a gripe of the week column...

1 comment:

  1. I think you SHOULD have a gripe of the week blah-g. You tend to know how to do the balancing act supremely well. Yanno? That high wire routine between bitching and truth? Yeah. ;o)


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