Life

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Still More Echoes

Sometimes life moves quickly, sometimes it moves slowly, and sometimes, not at all.

Back in high school, or perhaps more likely, junior high, you could ask your friend to ask her friend if she likes you, or if she likes-likes you.

I think, as one gets older, that technique quickly becomes less and less appropriate. And once you've been married, separated, and divorced, I think you would likely get only derision if you tried that technique. Unless you were clearly only using it ironically and for entertainment value. Which might be a difficult sell.

Distant Echoes of a Possible Relationship

I am not old, but then again, I am no longer what one could call a young man. When I was younger, I was fortunate to spend time with some terrific women - intelligent, energetic, lovely to behold. I was lucky to marry the last one. Who eventually came out, and we separated about a decade ago, and later divorced. That was my last romantic relationship, though not through lack of trying. Some might say I am very particular about the people I choose to spend time with, and me, well, perhaps I am a bit of an "acquired taste".

I am involved in amateur theatre - got back into it to keep me occupied, and to keep me somewhat socialized. It's a nice and sometimes challenging contrast to my daytime work keeping computers running.

And there is a younger woman, who has been in, or part of several of the same shows I have been in, or around.

Looking Forwards

In order to survive, one must have some measure of hope for the future. Whether it's hope for continued "success" (however one might define it), or hope for "success", or hope for the future of (and for) one's children, or simply hope (or perhaps belief) that the sun will rise tomorrow, and will bring with it the light and warmth that we need.

Some days I struggle to have any form of hope. Which sure makes it hard to keep on plugging.

Here's the ridiculous thing: as I write this, the effects of the devasting earthquake of March 2011 continue to wreak havoc on the people of Japan. There are wars, there is poverty, there is pestilence. But not here, in my life, in Canada.

I struggle to keep things in perspective, and fail. I know, and can see, that I am fortunate in so many ways. But I constantly find it a struggle to live as if I actually believed that that is the case. I wake up in the morning with a day that is already a 95% good day, and as foolish as it is, it kills me that I can't seem to get it together for that last 5% of daily perfection.

Looking Backwards

I am in cottage country this week, near a small town.  In that town lives (I think, thanks to internet "research") a woman I was once involved with (for a short time), and her husband and family.

I find myself thinking back to when I knew her, a long, long time ago, before she met her husband to be.  I was very smitten with her at the time - she was, and presumably still is, a terrific person.  We kept company for only a short time, and I had a very difficult time (at the time) letting go of what I thought might have been.  I think, some months later, than we ended up as distant friends.

Don't Let It Slide

For some people, this will fall into the "well, duh" category.

Sometimes, when one has lost one's optimism, it's easy to let things slide - paperwork, housework, things you should do.

Don't do that.

Because as time goes on, the weight of those "things not done" gets heavier and heavier.  Just looking around the house can become an exercise in depression, as you see the evidence of everything you really should have done.  And as you gather your motivation to start digging out of that hole you've dug for yourself (or the multiple holes that you've dug for yourself), it's harder to measure the progress you've made.  If the distance to go is 20 miles, going 10 miles can seem like a good accomplishment.  If you've got 500 miles to go, it's harder to see 10 miles as progress.

Don't let it slide.  Throw yourself into it, keep at it, keep doing it.  Not only will you avoid the unpleasantness of things not done (people or government agencies calling you to task), you'll enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.  Which is a great way to fight off the blahs.

See, I told you it was probably a "well, duh" kind of thing.

Not Who I Think I Am

I like to think that I'm analytical, that I have some depth of understanding, that I have some intellectual capacity that sometimes allows me to "rise above".

Apparently, I'm not.

I continue to be surprised by how much external factors affect me. The weather. Bad news. Other people.

And I continue to be surprised when those simple-minded mind tricks (good posture leads to good attitude, tell yourself something good, and all those other things - see any of the hundreds of self-help books) work on me. And even while I know they work, I often feel compelled to reject them, and stay stuck.

Gray day, gray outlook.

Search for Terrestrial Intelligence

So, I signed up for another dating service, whereby the computer chooses who it thinks you will enjoy meeting.  Out of somewhere over 100 women it suggested I might enjoy knowing, seemingly only one said that she liked intelligent and articulate men (and presumably people as well).

I said: "hey, want to chat?", she clicked "OK, sure", Over a couple of weeks, I wrote three notes, being polite, hoping to come across as verging on intelligent and/or articulate, and hoping to start a conversation.  Nary a response, until one day, when she clicked the "close match" button.

Perhaps I don't seem as intelligent or interesting in print as I hope I do.  Or perhaps the matching computer is not as smart as it thinks it is. That must be it, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with me. Or just be one of those things. Technology is out to get me.

Technology Makes Our Lives Easier

Just keep repeating that to yourself - "Technology Makes Our Lives Easier" - and maybe someday you'll believe it.

Meeting people - internet dating - a good thing? a bad thing?

Meeting people is good.  I think perhaps this internet dating thing isn't.

Are most people really that uninteresting?  Or is it that they won't (or can't) put any effort into describing themselves?  Or they don't understand the idea of "putting your best foot forward"?

Proliferation: linkedin, facebook, flickr, orkut, blogs (guilty), forums.  How can so many mechanisms be a good thing?

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., was right:

"Electronic communities build nothing. You wind up with nothing. We're dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go do something."

(I've been trolling them dating sites again, as I seem to do periodically, and not being all that optimistic about it.)

Control

I'm a technical guy -- I like to think that life is rational and controllable.

Relationships are inherently uncontrollable.

I've been trying to expand my circle of friends.  Yes, using that wonderful invention, Internet dating.  Some times, I'll be trading mail with someone, and then suddenly (seemingly) never hear from them again.  Having done nothing (so far as I know) objectionable or unexpected.

This lack of control does not always sit well with me.  So it goes.

Alone

"Because nothing sucks more than feeling all alone, no matter how many people are around you."
-- "John 'J.D.' Dorian" in the TV series "Scrubs", the "My T.C.W." (Tasty Coma Wife) episode.

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