Change the Way You Look at Problems

August 10, 2016

Up until fairly recently, I had been unwittingly mistaken in my perception of life as something that should be without problems. "UGH The dog is ill and vet bills are trying to cut my hair off in my nightmares." "I was in the car for hours." "So-and-so was RUDE to me." "One of the many things I own that was never guaranteed to last forever has broken and my life is a disaster all because of it now." All those things and so many more like them have had unchecked power to completely alter my moods. Somewhere along the line, I started expecting a life without them.

But how did I not first learn to appreciate how miraculous it is that we have highways and cars and don't die from yellow fever halfway between El Paso and Amarillo while our horses continue on carrying our dead corpses to a settlement with outdoor poop huts and no AC? How did I not remember that the lifespan of pets is tragically finite and I was always doomed to handle the reckoning for my decision to snuggle up to one? How did I ever lose focus on how my magnificent mammalian body is doing it's best to allow me to recover from the onslaught of french fries brought on by me against ME? Et me, me? Aside from how miraculous the age we live in is, giving rise to problems related to these completely amazing times, those problems have such small significance in the span of a human life that it is most unbelievable of all that we tend to dwell on them.

When I'm in a good frame of mind, I like to say problems aren't problems. Every problem has a solution. . . except for the time when it doesn't. One day, THE problem will come to collect our souls, just as we've been blaming the iced lattes made with whole milk instead of skim for trying to do. The fact that THAT day will come is all the more reason to handle the problems we are able to.

So, any time I feel lousy, I try to remember to ask how I can feel better. Worries just completely throw off the otherwise stoooone groove I could be living by. It's like loosening up after a glass of wine and KILLIN at bananagrams because you broke down the mental barriers keeping you from seeing outside the box. I want to live LIFE this way! Worries and problems have tremendous impacts on my ability to do my best work. Simply put, I am the cat on that trampoline. The solution is, of course, to claw the child, which would get rid of it, see.

When the problem is known, it is possible to find some way to claw the children in our lives (and by 'claw' I mean 'solve' and by 'children' I mean 'problems', obviously, you monster).

Solve all the problems!

The circumstantial stuff is inescapable. It'll be there just like that basketball-sized bloat in your abdomen that always ALWAYS results from excessive cheese consumption and how you handle it is up to you. Ok, also, I admit, that is not circumstantial and I obviously have problems with dairy, which I continue to consume and should not. JUST KIDDING, psychos. Of course I will not stop. But health concerns, for example, are occasional issues that warrant tending to. MAKE the changes to feel better. Go to the doctor for peace of mind regarding that weird scaly spot that is perhaps eczema or perhaps a terrible, terrible beginning of your transformation into one of those gross stone people from Game of Thrones. Handle it! CHOP IT OFF CHOP IT OFF OR YOU'RE WITNESS YOUR OWN DESCENT INTO TOTAL NASTINESS!

Here is a big one in my life: If I'm bored and sad a lot, I have some things that help me to stop overthinking, i.e. running, yoga, meditation, practice a language, pretend to cook, sing along with music, weed the garden or plant new flowers, change up my living space somehow, spend some time writing. OR, if all else fails, I lose myself in some TV until I feel better!

What elsssse? . . . Do you look at other people and feel "less than"? Do you feel mopey going home from work because your confidence takes periodic dips, leaving you with an overarching rainbow of garish, terrible colors that drips its acidic tears of bitterness upon you, RUINING your new blouse from HM which was probably made by slaves and which was only barely afforded because of that fact? And then you feel terrible about your vain support of slave labor? Well, don't just sit there fantasizing like Ralphie going blind from soap poisoning and reveling in the idea of how they'd allll love you then. Try something new! Look at who is doing whatever you like doing the best and analyze what it is about their approach that makes them so good. Update your MO! No one ever got anywhere from pouting. Even giving up on whatever it is seems better than pouting about it. At least you can be a loafer in peace. Just follow what really brings you joy and you will always be better than the day before. May the following video exemplify how terribly boring the world would be if everyone acted the same!

Drank! My worrrd, something chronic.

And, finally, since I am growing tired of typing to myself about my problems, let us discuss the worrrrst problem to solve - - - PEOPLE! Those daaaamn people. But you know what? Build those bastards up anyway! If they're poking at you or just being total donkeys, STILL tell them what you think they're doing right and you will know you can rely on yourself to be better and mayyyybe they will even feel some kind of pride that will lead to growth. Or they will become an egotistical tyrant whose influence is not wanted, but which is forced upon you by they who think themselves so grand! YOU.CREATED.AN.OVERCONFIDENT.MONSTER. LIVE WITH THAT NOW.

We all try to help ourselves feel good enough by saying anything that makes our own playing field more attractive than that of others. For instance, here is one that I have felt comforted by: saying Beyonce isn't enviable or admirable because she doesn't write like a well-educated person. But, having spent time around a certainly well-read yet VERY difficult person with much to prove, I have come to realize that enjoyment and goodness, not knowing everything, are arguably much more important for a meaningful life experience. I wouldn't care if Beyonce couldn't read Dr. Seuss because she is effecting change all around the world by doing what she loves. Perspective is everything. And I wouldn't see this if I hadn't been forced to interact with ye mighty ram mentioned above.

You don't need to prove your worth to anyone if you're good and happy. Happiness, to me, is when I feel I have nothing to prove. Granted, given the Beyonce example, I should say I have some work to do there, but the point is that I CAN. And I shall. So, release your misconceptions and solve your problems or find a way to think about them differently, for the big inescapable one will hit you one day!! Crap, now I feel doomed. Oh! I know just what to do about that.


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