Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ideal Situation...

Do you guys think life would be easier if we didn't have the ability to imagine a better life?

All the discontent we feel in life would likely disappear, wouldn't it?  But would that mean that the advances we've made in sciences and technology, health and human rights, exploration and economy, would all never have happened?

I imagine that without imagining an ideal situation, we'd finally find contentment.

I was recently asked about what happiness would look like to me.  And the closest thing I could come up with to happiness would be contentment with where I am in life.  People talk about living in the now, about how where you are right now is where you're supposed to be.  But is it?  If I'm content with where I am, doesn't that mean I have no ambition to move beyond it?  Maybe I am content.  Maybe that's the problem.

Or maybe these things aren't mutually exclusive.

I suppose the qualifier "for now" is useful.  Like that song from Avenue Q.  "Except for death and paying taxes everything in life is only for now."

"Each time you smile, it'll only last a while.  Life may be scary, but it's only temporary."

So where I am is good for now.  But how long is that?  Until it isn't?  And how do we know what that is?  Currently my job is paying my bills with enough left over for a little fun money.  I hate the work. I don't feel fulfilled.  Every day I want to backhand some entitled, arrogant, middle-aged, white lady.  You're arguing with me over what amounts to less than a dollar.  Why do you care so deeply?  Why do I?

I think I need my back waxed.  Not for hair, because that's not an issue.  To make me more like a duck.  That shit would just slide right off of my shoulders instead of causing me hours of rage, like a white hot ball of magma in my chest.  My brain goes straight to revenge.  To outlandish situations in which I could exact my petty payback.  Bitch gonna cross me?  I'll let all the air out of your tires.  I'll surround your car in carts.  I'll refuse to wait on you the next time you come in, claiming technical difficulties and making you wait in line again. talking about work and lost my train of thought.  Where was I?

Right.  Ideal situation.  The fact remains that we can and do think about how things could be better.  Constantly.  What would that ideal situation look like to me?  I told someone today that I'd love to get paid to read Tarot cards.  I'd love to get paid to write.  I'd love to get paid to do as little as humanly possible, but I'd settle for something fulfilling.

I honestly don't hate my job, despite what I said about 200 words ago.  The work is easy.  It's the expectations and the social conflict that I hate.  I find myself dreaming about a nice, quiet desk job.  Something white with cubical walls.  Maybe a phone ringing occasionally.  Papers shuffling.  Sterile and soothing.  No customers.

Is that my ideal?  Not exactly.  Would it be an improvement?  I don't know.  I've been serving customers for twelve years.  I imagine, despite the everyday drama, that I might miss it.

But I certainly don't think the situation in which I'm doing it is ideal.



Cheeky American said...

There is a whole concept in Buddhism called Mindfulness. I know about this because I have bought a whole bunch of free kindle books on the subject. I haven't read them yet, but I do own them now :-) I gather it's about being happy with where you are right now, no matter what you are doing. But that does not preclude giving your life direction or wanting to go somewhere else, or even to keep growing. Monks never stop meditating, they are always striving for growth. There is a great saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. Love yourself and where you are now, and then spend a little time thinking about where you want to go from here. They are not mutually exclusive.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

That's true, Terry. I've practiced mindfulness meditation before, and it's quite helpful. I'm just bad at forming lasting habits.