Thursday, May 16, 2013

Creating A Secondary Layer Of Worries

"We’ve shattered the myth that demography is destiny." Last week I watched two documentaries about charter schools, Waiting For Superman and The Lottery. Both movies made me cry. The notion that families are pinning their hopes to a bouncing ball, that kids have to get lucky to get an education, and that destiny is determined by a draw, just breaks my heart. Ugh. Still, after visiting one of these charter schools in person, I legitimately believe our educational future is brighter than ever. Have you ever watched a kindergartner deconstruct a poem by E. E. Cummings? Holy shit. These are our future leaders, and I love them.

"Starving people aren't allergic to shit." Thank you. Alonzo Bodden proves that our country is officially out of problems. Look, I don't doubt that peanut allergies are series health concerns for certain people. But the real issue isn't the spreading allergies, it's the spreading of anxiety. In the past twenty years, we've become an overly hygienic, hyper sensitive, uber litigious population––phenomenally busy but radically empty––addicted to our own drama, unable to pause and realize that we're the luckiest goddamn humans on the planet who haven't earned the right to complain about anything. Ever. The end.

"The less you need to spend each month, the easier it is to follow your dreams." Sweet collection of entrepreneurs giving advice to their younger selves. Reminds me of the time my company got audited by the government. Twice. In one year. What a delightful experience that was. However, it was a lesson I badly needed to learn. Changed my entire perspective on financial management. Turns out, you can't always make more, but you can always spend less. It's disgusting how quickly twelve bucks a month adds up.

"Food gives us something to focus on that's not our emotional landscape." I have a habit of eating my feelings. Whether I'm annoyed, stressed or unhappy, there's nothing a bag of chocolate covered pretzels won't fix. But the more Dr. Drew talks about this issue, the more I realize that it isn't about weight management, it's about emotion management. If the feelings are there, we need to deal with them. Head on. Without a culinary coping mechanism. Years ago, I learned how to do this through morning pages. It's my go-to ritual for confronting emotions and metabolizing experiences. The best part is, it's free, it doesn't make my pants fit tighter and it doesn't make me feel guilty when the bag is empty.

"Creating a secondary layer of worries." If delayed gratification is king, strategic indifference is queen. I promise, once we master the fine art of not giving a shit, life is infinitely more enjoyable. Subway running late? Coworkers annoying you? Raining pouring down at lunch? Husband stanking up the bathroom? Teach yourself to not give a shit. Seriously. Save your heart for the moments that matter, care like crazy when it counts, and just let the rest go. Stress is the number one cause of everything bad that happens to us, and we don't need any more of it. This rant sparked by an article about North Korea.