Lately I can't help but wonder if its been "too much about me", regarding the subject nature of recent posts. Sure, it IS my blog and - as the immortal Bobby Brown so eloquently put it - "my prerogative" to post as I please. And we are all guilty to some extent of seeking gratification in its various forms wherever we can, whether it's through our blogging or by cruising the seedy areas of town (and then blogging about it).
But sometimes I feel the need to "give back" to the community, and I don't always have the luxury of drinking until that uncomfortable feeling goes away. Now don't take me literally. I certainly don't mean "giving back" in the form of returning all of the crap I've stolen oven the years. Thanks to the reach of eBay, those items could be anywhere by now.
However I CAN adopt a minimalist approach to this affliction by - at least - posting just once in a way that reaches out to others without the usual inappropriate groping.
So here goes.
I noticed that - while "needy" in some way or another* (* which I am NOT disparaging, since if you folks WERE well-adjusted ... there goes my audience) - the majority of you appear to be fairly happy. Sure there are a few who wish their life could be better, or existent, but - to give the benefit of the doubt - that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
But for each of us, there is a time when perhaps we should take inventory (as my neighbors have learned to do with their possessions), in the form of calm, lucid moments of self-reflection (clothed or otherwise). Are we truly as happy as we can be? Do we set ourselves up for happiness through our thought processes and actions? If not, how can we improve in this area?
Well, here are some tips for doing just that.
1) Take a Pass on Perfection
Trust me. I know you people enough by now to confidently state that in all of your cases this is a futile effort. So let's lower the bar a tad, and simply have you strive to annoy others as little as possible. That may boost their happiness, which should make you happier. Remember that we are all part of the fabric of society. Don't be the itchy part of the fabric.
2) Find Your Balance
I know this may be a foreign concept, so stay with me on this one. While walking upright does indeed require some degree of balance, "finding your center" is really what I'm talking about. It's being comfortable within your own skin, unlike the creepy Buffalo Bill character from that Jodie Foster movie* (* the name of which escapes me, it may have been "Nell", but I'm sure someone will remember the title in the comments). Perhaps for some of you, it's realizing that holding this Pug captive in your cellar as a sex slave is merely a temporary solution at best.
With the possible exception of one or two of you, I just realized that I don't nearly have enough time or space to properly explain how to find your balance. So let's find your center. As homework, I want each of you to look through your local phone book for any type of center that will keep you off of the streets. Could be AA, the YMCA/YWCA, Gambler's Anonymous, Army Recruiter, or even the local Recreation Center. Anything to keep you busy and your mind occupied.
3) Don't Try to Buy Happiness
Especially late at night by the airport. They just might mistake you for the next Green River Killer. Trust me on this one. 'Nuff said.
4) Switch Gears
My personal preference is "Park". That's when the booze in the glove box, blanket in the trunk, and Air Supply CD in the stereo come to party. For the rest of you, at least try to get out of first gear.
5) Lose Yourself in the Moment
The key is to focus on the moment in the same manner that you do on your cell phone conversation. Pedestrians and fellow motorists, and their self-centered attempts to live and distract are completely blocked out, aren't they? Use this same technique to visualize the moment (whatever the hell that is) as the only thing that matters and therefore exists.
6) Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
You can start by thanking me for this advice. And then, assuming the acid reflux hasn't gripped completely, you may want to thank me for my friendship. Then gradually work to the point to where you can even appreciate stop-and-go traffic.
7) Share the Love
By this, I don't mean that you should participate in orgies. So get your minds out of the gutter. This means you, Lamby. No, I mean that we should be more loving of each other (at least initially) without our own self-gratification in mind. When is the last time you went up to a total stranger and hugged them for no reason? Probably the last time you were arrested. Well, haven't you waited long enough to try it again? Do what I do: ease into it by starting with attractive members of the opposite sex. Initially stay north of the equator. If the reaction is not positive, pretend that you thought she/he was someone you knew from church.
8) Help Yourself by Helping Others
How often have we seen one of our neighbors moving in or out? Have we even once stopped to offer our assistance? Why not? Well, stop asking questions and get involved! You just may make a new friend, or perhaps acquire a new stereo that you didn't have to budget for. This is known in my circle as "paying it forward".
9) Choose to Choose Less
Think you own your possessions? Quite the opposite, my friend. Your possessions own YOU. They keep you from being nimble in your life choices and your decision-making. Be like me, and learn to envy those who can make a home from a poorly guarded foreclosure, with nothing but a knapsack and some basic tools to rip out the copper plumbing.
10) Introduce Your Body to Your Mind
I try to do this at least twice a day. But this is a personal journey that I'd rather not share on a blog that does not require a paid subscription.
11) Be More Forgiving
You can start by forgiving me for this and the other posts of mine that you've been subjected to over the past few years. Later on we can continue to test your resolve in this area by having you lend me money.
12) Pick Out the Positives
Everyday, I see many of my fellow motorists "picking out the positives" from themselves when they think no one is looking. That isn't one-way glass, pal. But that isn't what I want to talk about here. I'm thinking more in terms of reflecting on aspects of yourself and your world that you can feel good about. You haven't killed anyone, right? Well that can be considered a positive, depending on where you live. See? It's that easy.
Anyway, I hope this "advice" has been helpful; and that in some small way it has you convinced that you are entitled to happiness, despite anything your fellow bloggers may say to the contrary. Live well, my friends, and go in peace. Or better yet, just go.