Friday, April 20, 2007


I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a philosopher. That would be a cool gig to have, but I don't know how well it pays, or how you even get the job. It would be amusing to sit in the bank filling out a form for a loan and in the space for Occupation write in Philosopher. On the income line put a question mark.

I thought about majoring in Philosophy, briefly, back when I was in college. I don't know if I ever even mentioned it to anyone, it was such a flash of a thought. I took a philosophy class and I think my roommate had some good weed at the time. It was a powerful combination, weed and abstract studies. I remember logic was involved, and I could get into those theories when I was in the right mindset.

I'll admit, I don't recall much from that class. For that matter, I don't remember much about any of my classes. Mostly I played a lot of raquetball and backgammon, smoked a forest of weed and drank rivers of whiskey, went on nightly coed round-ups, and attended class sporadically, at best.

A scholar, I was not. My education wasn't something I took very seriously at the age of nineteen, twenty. I'm not proud of it, that's just the way it was for me.

But I digress. My point is, most of what I know to be true and valuable in life, I've learned from experience. Hard lessons, for the most part, but every once in a while when I have my eyes open I learn from someone else's mistake.

So I've been philosophizing lately about the state of my existence. Maybe it was the tragedy at Virginia Tech this week that started me thinking about it. The images the last few days have been disturbing, no doubt, but this isn't another rant on that tragedy. It was a catalyst for me, though.

I didn't have the best week. In fact, the last two weeks haven't been very rewarding. I've just completed my first month with this company and I came out of the gate pretty strong. First two weeks I had some amazing luck. The last two weeks, though, my luck has gone sour. Nothing bad has happened, really, but nothing good. Today was particularly frustrating. Lots of activity, but no positive results. I've got one deal hanging in the balance this weekend, and I'll have an answer on Monday. If it goes my way, it'll be my second deal in the first month. A pretty good first month. If it doesn't, well... it just doesn't. It's out of my hands now. So, I was kind of wallowing in self-pity this afternoon and we all left the office a little early. I went to the gym and was soaking in the steam room, listening to the audio from the TV in the locker room, tuned in to Fox News. Talking about the shootings.

It was a reality check. I'm moping because things didn't go my way this week? What? Here I am sitting in the steam room at my gym after a good workout. I'm in very good health, to the best of my knowledge. My bills are paid and there's still some money in the bank. I have a job to get frustrated over. I have friends and family. I am sober today. What the hell am I moping about?

I thank my Heavenly Spirit for the clarity of mind to see things with this perspective, on the rare occassions that it occurs. I don't mean to minimize the tragedy by this juxtaposition, I use it to illustrate how trivial was the nature of my self-pity.

I don't always have this kind of peace and gratitude for my daily station in life, but it's what I strive for. I'm usually caught up in my own stuff, working and dealing with life in general, but every now and then I'll have a moment where I think, "This is all going to work out one way or the other, and I'm gonna be okay either way." I just have to get out of the way and let it happen.

When I stop and consider my experiences, good and bad, and look for any common truths, I'm able to see patterns in the flow of energy. So now I try to find the flow of the positive energy, the truth of the energy, and get in the current and go.

Easier said than done, but when I practice this philosophy, my life seems to go more smoothly.

So, I guess now I'm a freelance philosopher. Feel free to toss some change into the hat over there.


At 10:19 PM , Blogger bunnygirl said...

Wise words. I've been in a sort of Peggy Lee state for a few weeks ("Is that all there is?") and the VT incident did my mental funk no favors.

But as they say, "How good does it have to get?" At least 90% of the world (and probably more) would make huge sacrifices to live the lives we're leading. And we have luxuries that ancient kings and queens could only have dreamed of!

At 6:04 AM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Hey Bunnygirl! Long time no see. Yeah, it's easy to get bogged down and sometimes I fail to remember that attitude is a choice. I'm grateful when I can step back and put things in perspective. Thanks for dropping by!

At 11:38 AM , Blogger GutterBall said...

I am again reminded of The Matrix, where Agent Smith tells Morpheus about the "perfect" Matrix. The one that was like Heaven in its perfection. The one where everyone was happy and no one needed for anything.

The one that was a disaster because puny human minds refused to accept the programming. Now that is philosophy for ya.

I, too, took philosophy classes in college. Loved 'em. Unfortunately, I confused the hell out of my professor because I'm a darn good Devil's advocate. Oops. He never could figure out what I really believed.

At 3:59 AM , Blogger Kanani said...

Well, that's what blogging is for. It's pretty much a place for people to philosophize about pretty much anything.

I think it was a rough week for everyone. I didn't sleep well at all, and everyone was edgy.

But, as you say, we have much to be grateful for, and truly, I've learned to be grateful for the smallest things: my daughter giving me a hug; my son agreeing to go with me to pick up a dozen donuts; my son fretting about his hair; my daughter being happy with a new DS game. It's simple things really that I think I often overlook. And as you have found, those are the things to be happy with, to give thanks for everyday.

At 5:21 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

GB,I hate to admit this, but I've never watched The Matrix in its entirety. I think I'm the only one. One of these days, though, I promise...

Kanani, yeah, I get introspective sometimes. Introspection is especially useful if you find yourself in a rut. Figure out that it's mostly your attitude and then you can do something about it. That's usually the problem with me, I just have to step back and take a look to see it.

Gratitude is a good place to hang around.

At 5:20 AM , Blogger Mary Witzl said...

I don't know if you're familiar with Calvin and Hobbes, but there is one cartoon where Calvin says to Hobbes that he sometimes wonders what there is to go on living for. Hobbes smiles and says 'Seafood.'

This might seem silly, but it makes good sense to me. There are a lot of things to be grateful for besides seafood, of course: books, hedgehogs, clear mountain streams, hiking, chocolate, fresh fruit and Calvin and Hobbes, just to name a few. Gratitude feels better than grumpiness over the long run, too. But I've been accused of having been born cheerful...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home