Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sunshine, Twinkies, Something about goals

I went for a much--dreaded root canal today. I'm fuzzy from pain meds---though I was happy to have them when sleeping nerves awoke.
I claimed the root canal as an excuse to eat a huge plastic container of leftover mashed potatoes, reheated in the microwave with an insane amount of butter.
It's no excuse really, but I ate them anyway. A few extra laps tomorrow, or not. Screw it.

Pete pointed me to a trailer for Sunshine. It looks interesting enough that we'll see it next week. I'll be interested to hear what Carl has to say about it and will likely pull him into a forums discussion about it.

Alison was here for a visit last weekend. It's always great to have her home. I made the mistake of taking her along with me to the market. Never take a hungry, pregnant woman to the grocery store. She left us a pantry full of Twinkies, pork rinds, chips, cookies and...sheesh. She also left me her copy of Water for Elephants, which is intriguing enough to make me want to plow right through it, but so beautifully written I find myself slowing down to read sections again. I look at her belly with deep love, of course, but also with the smug satisfaction of knowing that this is yet another reader in the making. Score one more for our side!
A note about snacks: Nothing has irritated more lately than Go Tarts. C'mon!

Yesterday I sat with my feet in the water, no swimming, just thinking in the way that people do sometimes when they're alone and things are quiet and right for stepping back for a broader look. Not always a great plan. Still, we all have our demons and demons demand attention from time to time. Artists and other humans have to look at where they were, where they are, and where they want to go. Over time, during these sorts of sessions, I've learned about how we tend to drag our habits (good and bad) with us through the years while focusing on this goal or that which we believe will lead us to that state of 'happy every after." (Hey, thanks Disney.) But this just isn't true. It's not a good idea to expect that reaching goals will automatically change the basics of how we operate. If someone is a poor money manager during his 'salad days', he will still be a poor money manager when he has lots more money to poorly manage. Getting a novel published, earning a wall of awards or losing ten pounds is no cure for insecurity.
Not that making money or getting novels published or getting in shape aren't all terrific things to do. Or that they're not rewarding. Of course they are. But the mentality that expects these sorts of accomplishments to be instant cure-alls doesn't help anyone except those trying to sell us the latest diet pill, shoe, phone or cosmetic.
It seems like a better idea to work toward the things we want for what they are and to figure out what makes us happy in the present, and what doesn't. It seems to me that those things aren't always what we think they are. It seems to me that the answers can really surprise us.

At least that's what I thought about out there, while it got dark, with my feet in the water.

I think I'll have a Pop Tart.



Rubius said...

I think those are important lessons to remember. Thank you Lisa, you never fail to make me think. In a world that seems more and more to be about making us not think, you have earned a special spot in my heart.

Derek Ash said...

I am a constant victim to my own --"If I could only accomplish {blank} then I'll finally be happy!"-- syndrome.

The other, sadder, more dangerous side of that coin is how much you tend to hate yourself if it never seems like those goals will come to fruition. People spend fifty percent of their time waiting for those accomplishments to be the band-aid for their lives... and the other fifty punishing themselves for not making it happen faster... if ever.

And really, there's just no excuse for that kind of self-loathing. But it creeps in nonetheless.

Dan Guy said...

Gotta be happy with the now.

lisa said...

We do seem to constantly swim against a mind-numbing current.

I don't want to give the impression I have all this stuff worked out. I just happen to be talking about it here, as I go.

Thanks for coming with me!

Right on, dan guy.

Dan Guy said...

A friend saw "Sunshine" this past weekend. He said it was very nearly a perfect movie, but one of the plot points nearing the end soured him. He's a bit of an Eeyore who can't seem to suspend disbelief and submit to wonder a lot of the time, though, so I have high hopes for it.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I had seen this trailer a long time ago and then had completely forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder. It looks like one of those films like The Black Hole that I loved as a kid...those movies where some impossible space flight is happening. Love the cast and the director, I will definitely be seeing this one.