Four Ways To Become More Patient RIGHT NOW!

I have been growing less patient lately.

“Less patient” is a euphemism I like to use in the place of “unnecessarily, irrationally full of rage.” Just like I used to say I was “freelance consulting” when I was actually “unemployed.” I think it sounds a little better.

My days seem to be filled with an unrelenting deluge of challenging situations. Things and people that would once evoke my empathy are instead triggering a strong desire to roundhouse kick someone in the head. This is problematic on several fronts, including my physical inability to lift my good kicking leg above my waist. Now I’m left with only my bad kicking leg to deliver the damage, and what kind of satisfaction would that bring? Significantly less, which frustrates me all the more.

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When In Doubt, Don’t Bark

It’s human nature to categorize things, recognize patterns, and extrapolate missing data. Actually, it might be better described as animal nature.

My dog Lemmy uses process of elimination to determine where I hide the treats. He might do so clumsily, checking the same spot two or three times en route to crossing it off his list. But he’s definitely categorizing and extrapolating, ham-handed (maybe ham-pawed, as it were) or not.

Lemmy utilizes basic cause-and-effect to recognize that giving me “sad puppy dog eyes” will nab him some of whatever I’m eating. Incidentally, both of us have the same favorite cuisine: people food. Maybe he cuts his losses with hard-nosed Mom, and doubles down on Dad. He notices a pattern: Dad is more easily swayed to part with the scraps.

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What’s Your End Game?

What happens when you don’t get your way? When you get mad, and then act upon that anger, what is your goal? What would make you happy again, or at least not mad anymore? What is your end game?

Let’s say you go out to dinner. The experience is sub par, and you feel strongly that you didn’t get your money’s worth of food or service. So, on your way home, you whip out your phone and fire off a scathing Yelp review. You disparage the restaurant and its staff for the rest of the universe to see. That’ll teach ‘em!

But what’s your end game? Continue reading

Time To Grow Up, Boys

I’m noticing a lot of surface-level, clichéd “masculinity” being bandied about lately.

Maybe our current polarizing political climate is to blame. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve been more attuned to it recently.

Or maybe it’s because “everyone these days are weak little momma’s boys who need a swift steel-toed work boot to the rear end,” according to one angry dude’s comment on my Twitter feed.

 Whatever it is, it’s time for real men to defend real masculinity against those who would seek to define it by its most stereotypical tropes. And we shall defend it with BRUTE FORCE! *adjusts crotch and spits on the ground.

Damn, no, scratch that. Sorry. Continue reading

It’s not your fault, but it is your problem.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.”

– Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr, 1934

These words have woven themselves into popular culture, thanks in large part to their inclusion in the liturgy of Alcoholics Anonymous. The prayer wasn’t written for AA, but it fits so perfectly that it could have been.

A person dealing with addiction lives on the boundary between that which is innate and that which is personal choice. No one chooses to have the impulse, but there are thousands of choices any of us can make that stack the deck to influence whether that impulse is likely to win or lose. Continue reading