Monday, February 21, 2011

What size is your "scope"?

I’m taking a break from the 30 days of truth because a) day 10 is looking like it’ll be another snooze-worthy post like day 8 unless someone seriously pisses me off in the next day or two, b) I’m saving writing about my biological dad again for day 14 and c) I got the below quote from the Dalai Lama the other day on Facebook and it really struck a chord with me. What? I’m totally cyber-friends with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the interwebs… If for no other reason than I can now say “my friend, His Holiness the Dalai Lama” in casual conversation. Be jealous. Or, you know, go friend request him on FB. You too can name drop!

The more you think about your own self, the more self-centered you are, the more trouble even small problems can create in your mind. The stronger your sense of ‘I’, the narrower the scope of your thinking becomes; then even small obstacles become unbearable. On the other hand, if you concern yourself mainly with others, the broader your thinking becomes, and life’s inevitable difficulties disturb you less.

So. This is an interesting concept I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks now because, frankly, the little day to day annoyances in my life consume my thinking. In fact, my own personal whiney mantra these days has been “why bother”. I know. But seriously? I wake up ridiculously early every morning to work out but haven’t lost a single flipping pound and I hurt all the time. Then I come home and make breakfast for me and the hubby (possibly my favorite time of day regardless of TheBoy’s inability to do much other than grunt appreciatively in to his eggs) and get ready to go to work. Commuting to work takes me anywhere between 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on traffic and, while I am really quite good at this job and I adore my boss, I really kind of hate what I do for a living. So there’s that – spending the majority of my waking hours doing something I do not love. Then I sit in the car for another 1.5 to 2.5 hours, maybe take a yoga class or go for a run, then clean up the house a bit, cook dinner and (if I’m lucky) spend half an hour or so unwinding with TheBoy on the couch before I have to get to bed early so I can wake up tomorrow and do it again. And I KNOW I sound like a whiney, ungrateful bitch but the sheer… mundane nature and general unfairness of not living a life I love gets to me. A lot.

But I’m not sure that thinking more globally is the answer either. How can I concern myself with the happiness and well-being of others when I can’t even get my own stuff figured out? I keep trying to remember to be thankful that I have a job, any job at all, right now much less one that pays me reasonably well and with a boss I love. But that thinking gets really hard to maintain when I’m stuck in traffic or dealing with a particularly self-absorbed client. Do I just need to stay focused? Is there such a thing as “reverse” blinders so that I can only focus on the world outside and ignore the details of my own personal existence? And is that really the way to go about living? Ignore the parts of your life that you hate and focus on the greater good? Because most days I really feel like life’s obstacles are unbearable… And I HATE thinking like that. My inner Susie Sunshine is rebelling.


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