Humans: Wonderful and Completely Annoying

I had planned to write a post about how wonderful and completely annoying humans are all at once. As a race, we do the most extraordinary things, act selflessly, create beauty and joy, climb mountains and then push one another off those mountains- this is the annoying bit about humans. We create and destroy. We love and hate. We get together to help a stranger and don’t use our turn signals- a maddening habit. But, that all seems too heavy for today. And I feared it might just end up in a rant about turn signals. I won’t go into the existential Rabbit Hole of being human today- of all days.

Because this is a day for over eating and lethargy. It’s like, my perfect holiday. Why spoil it trying to understand humans? Thanksgiving, a hiding place for binge eaters. On Thanksgiving, it is not only acceptable, but encouraged to eat to the point of discomfort. We start early in the day so that there is time to nap and have a second round of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and pie, eating the turkey to be polite and get to the good stuff. The phrase ‘food coma’ is bandied about, ‘it’s all good, let em sleep it off’. I’m feeling giddy just thinking about it! And yet, I feel a little uneasy.

Maybe, I want to do things a little differently this year? I did resist the urge to eat the pizza rolls in the garbage, remember? I have taken steps toward changing my relationship to food. I might want to feel more energized, joyful and engaged today rather than uncomfortable, numb and sleepy. The challenge for me then: Can I be mindful? Can I fill up on gratitude and good company with one side of mashed potatoes? And not get drunk doing it? I think, if I remember the essence of the holiday, which is Gratitude, that I have a chance.  Here is a shortlist of what I am thankful for right now:

  1. BBC period dramas- Downton Abbey is fantastic.
  2. The Redheads Cafe- It’s like an episode of Cheers in there, love a small town cafe!
  3. The beautiful white snow covering all of the crap in my yard. I won’t be grateful for this come the New Year so, this is a big one for me.
  4. Videos of cats and humans doing things to cats on the internet. I am working with a group of artists on a new video in this genre, hold space for that. It’s going to be huge.
  5. Truth tellers, helpers and creators.
  6. Pumpkin pie: It’s pie. It’s a vegetable. Totally good for you.
  7. Humans who forget to use their turn signals. They keep me present, paying attention. I am not fully committed to this line of gratitude, wavering a bit but, I will leave it here, for now.
  8. YOU. Thanks for reading. Tell me what you are thanking the stars for today.

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all.

Do you know what really gets me?

Do you know what really gets me? And other things that mess with my Chi/Zen/ Calm Mind/ Whatever…

Being human has its complications and this is true for all of us, not just me. I really need to remember this truth. When I am thinking, ‘What the hell is wrong with that guy?’ or ‘Why on earth did I do/say/think that?’ TStophis is the time to remember, being human is complicated. Our brains are rather busy places.

I was dropping my son off at school this morning. The school run alone is an intensely choreographed human dance and there are kids involved which adds that higher level of unpredictability. If you have ever been to a school in the morning you know what I mean. All traffic rules are suspended, I understand. And that is ok, because there are kids involved. If you want to park in the middle of the road and chat with some other moms while your kid gets out of the car, I am good with that. I scheduled an extra 15 minutes into my morning to allow for the delays in the school parking lot. I expect this. I am prepared.

It is the intersection around the corner that gets me every day. You see, there are yield signs at this intersection. I seem to be the only one, who remembers that a yield sign becomes a stop sign when other traffic is present. I stop as you should and expect the other car to stop. But, they don’t. They never stop. It’s all nicey-nice at the school, where we are teaching our children that the world stops for them. And then around the corner. Dog-eat-dog. And I am often incensed, sputtering about traffic rules, “Am I the only one?”, looking around for an observer to confirm I am being wronged. Of course, there is no one. It is a rural school. It is just me and the law-breaker. And he can’t see that I am flipping him off, because I am wearing mittens. It’s all so frustrating. And I shake my head and think or shout, depending on the mood, “What is wrong with that guy?” and follow that up with, “Why are you so bent out of shape about this? Flipping a guy off wearing mittens is dumb. Relax, chill, you should expect this to happen and be cool about it.”

I know you are thinking that I might make some connection with life and this intersection. A metaphor about The yields and The stops. A way for us to be ok when things don’t go our way. A chance to practice patience and understanding. But, I can’t be cool with it. Something about other people not following the rules, really gets me wound up.

Why don’t I make the kid ride the bus? So, I can avoid this daily test of my patience. Good question. It’s like I said before, being human is complicated. I know two things. I am not going to wear my mittens tomorrow. And, I might consider a different route.