Just filling in space

I’m at a loss for words as to what to write right now. I can mention the movies I’ve seen recently, even talk about the books I’m reading, but is that what people want to read? Probably not. That’s not what I want to read. What I want to read are some self help articles that will simply and articulately lay out instructions for me to have a good and meaningful life. The few I stumble across on the internet are either so simplistic as to be able to be rendered down to a haiku:

Do no harm to others
Find out what you want to do
Go do that. And Cats.

Or they’re so insanely complex that you need a degree in sociology just to understand the instructions. (Of course I mean sociology. Sociologically based instructions / tests are the only ones you’re going to find shared online for free. Truly intelligent psychiatric tests cost. By the minute.)

Much better if I were to make my own list of instructions on how to have a good and fulfilling life. The only problem with doing that is people will then throw your own words back in your face when you’re having a bad day, and when you’re having a bad day the last thing you need is your own ray of sunshine blown back up your ass.

So if you’re going to provide some life lessons on your blog make sure they’re life lessons that you can listen to on a really bad day and not want to instantly punch the person parroting them back to you. (Oh look, I guess that’s lesson zero)

Lesson 1: Look, sometimes you just need that brownie, okay? Or that small plate of fish fingers. Or that plate of cactus cut fries. Yes, they’re full of fat and carbs. Yes, they’re going to cost you on your diet or just wind up on your thighs, but some shitty days just need that little sugar injected, fat fried lump of tongue joy. If you’re going to suffer a shitty day it might as well fucking taste good.

PS> There was some scientist who proved you can lose weight eating nothing but twinkies. He didn’t get many, and he only lost ten pounds, but he did it. Salads are good. Lean meat is good. But ultimately it comes down to calories in versus calories expended. Including twinkies. Just realize that that one twinkie is going to mean you’re going to have to give up that chicken breast and garden salad for today. Oh darn.

Lesson 2: Sometimes it just feels good to haul off and punch the fucker. Yes, his argument was full of holes you could have driven a bus through. Yes, everybody was already shaking their heads at how stupid he sounded. But some people simply need that neurological readjustment, and that can only be achieved by clocking someone’s reset button hard enough to force them into a hard reboot. Just make sure you either have a good alibi or witnesses who’ll stand by you and swear he swung first. Oh, and make sure your lawyer is better than his.

(No, of course I’m not ACTUALLY promoting violence. Violence never solved anything. Except, y’know, wars and stuff.)

Lesson 3: Finding out what you want to do with your life is going to involve you trying a whole lot of things. Nobody ever figured out what they wanted to do simply by thinking about it. Oh sure, there have been plenty of people who have thought “I’d love to be a dentist!” and have pursued that interest from day one. But not one of them actually found out whether they really wanted to be a dentist until they spent at least one day with their hands wrist deep in someone’s filthy, diseased mouth. If you’re in that mouth so deep you can feel colon and find yourself thinking “Man, I LOVE this!”, congratulations you really did want to be a dentist. Until then you’re just hoping it all works out.

Try stuff. Poke at things. Find out what makes them tick. Sniff it, step in it, and see how it feels.

This one is going to be thrown back in my face some day. I just know it.

Lesson 4: Half the time you’re feeling hungry for that snickers bar/butter tart/brownie/bag of chips what you’re actually feeling is either dehydration or boredom. This one needs to be thrown in my face a few times, and I know it. I just walked here past a Kentucky Fried Chicken place and actually had to talk myself out of going in. I don’t mean a mental struggle where the angel and demon fight it out in your imagination, but rather talking to myself OUT LOUD while people walked past me. Sometimes you have to back your arguments up with a little public humiliation to get them to sink in. Telling yourself, out loud, that “you’re not ACTUALLY hungry! You just finished dinner a little while ago, and you KNOW you’re going to feel ill after you finish that greasy mess”, while people stare at you or cross the street to get away from you, is sometimes the only way you can stop yourself from giving in to the wrong impulses.

That being said, I walked past there on my way to the coffee shop with the deliberate intent of having one single butter tart. And I’ve achieved that. See lesson one above.

Lesson 5: Listen to what your doctor has to say. If it makes sense to you, follow his instructions. If what he says isn’t making any sense to you then ASK QUESTIONS. Look, the doctor is human. He could be wrong. If he seems to be ignoring some symptoms that you think are important then DON’T LET HIM. Of all the people in the world who know things about your body NOBODY knows it better than you do. If something just AIN’T RIGHT then YOU have every right to let that be known to those who are paid to help you. If one won’t listen, talk to another, and another, and another. Don’t just accept what they say at face value and keep all those doubts to yourself. No, speak up, and ASK. Make sure you understand what they’re telling you and then ask “Okay, and after that?”

That being said…

When a doctor has provided you with a reasonable prognosis and has come up with a system of treatment… COMMIT to it. Make sure you do everything to the letter. If it doesn’t work, LET THEM KNOW. If it does work? LET THEM KNOW! Keep talking and pay attention.

And all that being said… I seriously have to wonder at what point you have to just hold up your hand and say “Just a minute. I’m taking 18 different medications every day. Is each and every single one of these truly necessary, or is there some overall lifestyle change I could be making to get rid of a few of these?”

This is all from my own personal experience and is heavily biased by that. Take what you like from it. I’m just throwing words down to fill in space at this point. I promise when I have something more meaningful to say I’ll let you know.

Mmmm… buttertart.

2 thoughts on “Just filling in space

  1. OMG – you rock! What a great article. Your style of writing is awesome Joel and I really enjoy your twist on life. Please write more and share. Love it!

  2. A bit of shoe polish and some laundry on your head, and maybe a wee name change: Sri J.O. El; Bhagwan Rashneesh Palenychka Swami; His Venerableness J.P. All possibilities for your future as a guru. Fully charitable; completely tax deductible.

    Blessed be!

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