Where I don't care what others think

The Best Thing

October 15th, 2011 Posted in Life, Personal

Usually I try not to take any stock in any single lyric or phrase captured from a song, you can really manipulate things to serve just about any purpose.  I’m going to make myself a special exception tonight, so pardon me if this ends up being a gross misjudgment.

I think it’s fairly depressing if the best thing about any night is the fact that one is not fighting, a lyric I’ve borrowed from Secondhand Serenade’s Fall For You.  Unfortunately some nights that seems like the only thing that you can consistently take stock in.  It doesn’t get better to realize that the fact that a dispute is not occurring is actually a result of no (or minimal) interaction at all.

Sledding seems like a very good way of picturing it.  While you’re sledding you’re always going downhill.  You can stop yourself or slow down, but anytime you are in the act of sledding you are moving in a downward motion.  Perhaps I could have been a bit broader and expanded that analogy to any activity influenced mainly my gravity, but the point is that if almost always feels like there is just one direction of travel.  At the end of your sledding experience you get off, grab the sled, and walk (in my case run) back up again to repeat the process.

I remember when I was younger and of a more commonly accepted sledding age, I would often pause for a while when I had completed my decent not really looking forward to the trip back up.  It would have been so cool if there was a conveyor belt to reset me to the top without having to get up and walk all the way up again, but that may be what makes the experience enjoyable; you have to work for it.  The ease of travel is also worth noting, it’s significantly easier to travel down the snowy hill than it is to walk up it, and the further you walk the further down and more enjoyable the trip there will be.

There’s a bit of a trick involved in figuring out how high up to walk if you hill that seems “impossible” to climb to the top to every time.  In my neighborhood this was the street that went up a hill, it was fairly long and boring to walk all the way to the top, and the higher you went the higher the probability was that you’d have trouble making all the way down (the road curved a bit).  Optimally, most people identified and used the longest possible path that minimized additional work (walking up, steering, slowing down, etc) while descending; you have to balance that additional work required with the thrill provided by the additional segment.

The one downside to this system is that sledding is fun usually, and that’s not really what I’m trying to convey at all.  It would be better if the walk up was fun, and the sledding part was unpleasant but you had lots of trouble stopping when you started.  I don’t think there’s anything actually wrong with fighting from time to time, I think it can be a useful conflict resolution tool to approach issues parties are often guarded on, or to quickly air out some dirty laundry that might take weeks to dry on the line outside.

Personally, I have a high tolerance for repetitive unpleasant interactions but I don’t think most people react that way.  I don’t usually think “this is unpleasant, I don’t want to do this” but I try to focus on it as a learning experience to figure out how something can be avoided or improved in the future, however distant or unlikely that future it.  People also say the darn-est things when they’re fighting, at which point I  LOL (actually out loud) , often when something that’s intended to be highly offensive at me.  This reaction probably started as a reuse of some nervous laughter, but I’ve adapted it into a way of adding a spool full of sugar to help the medicine go down.  This might be worth trying sometime if you haven’t, think of most experiences in life as medicine as medicine and don’t forget to add a spoonful of sugar if you can’t otherwise swallow it.

Goodnight moon.

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