Thursday, December 08, 2016

Capriciousness

It's Thursday night. I'm sitting on the faux wood floor of my kitchen alternating between sucking on an ice cube and drinking a Mason Jar half full of box wine. The ice cube because yet again I've foolishly burnt the shit out of my mouth. The Mason Jar because it allows you to measure precisely how much wine you're consuming. Lately I've been getting these urges to drink - when I'm angry, when I'm depressed, when I'm bored. I admit, I greatly enjoy drinking. The rule I've told myself I will never break is that I not allowed more than one glass per day unless it is some sort of social gathering. Even then, should I find that I've lost count of how many drinks I've had, I cut myself off. These cautious rules have been put in place due to my awareness of my predisposition towards alcoholism. So far, so good.

Truly, life is on somewhat of an upswing. I had a thought today about the process I use to make choices and how it is both good and bad - like most things in life. Anyone who knows me knows my common mantra: balance. You can only live peacefully if you allow a harmony of the extremes in your life. No happiness without pain, no reward without sacrifice.

So the very thing that makes me seem "flighty" additionally allows me to eventually make choices that cause me to be happier. My practice is simple. When considering something, say "yes" to it. Then, once you've been able to decide how that makes you feel, say "no". My bad luck is that after saying "no," I usually find that I enjoy the "yes" more. But, for every time I decide I do enjoy something, I also discover something that my life is genuinely better without.

On the bright side, generally once I make a final decision on something, I'm wildly loyal. I do this with people, too. That's why I've had basically the same core group of friends since high school. That and I suppose me being a little bit of a shut-in is a factor, to be fair. But generally speaking, once my mind is made up, there I sit for years.

I've heard it said that your personality is basically done changing by the time you hit your thirties. I disagree. Maybe you'll always like the same music, drink the same beer, watch the same kind of TV. But those are just interests. Your character, your behaviors are always adaptable. We learn constantly and we change as a result.

So while things may seem so out of control - even your behaviors - they're not. Not completely. After all, what was that saying I saw on some stupid motivational poster in junior high? "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." The percentages are pretty skewed if you ask me (after all, things that deeply impact your life such as your race, poverty, location, etc), but the essence remains true. We have choices. We can change our lives. Maybe not drastically but permanently. All you have to is decide.

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