Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Problem with Problems

I was crankypants yesterday. And still am a bit today. I have a litany of disappointments and irritations. They are minor and trifling but utterly engrossing me right now.

UPS, my neighbors, the Brooklyn Public Library, the limited utility of a repeater, my inability to make a decision based on incomplete information, how quickly the time passes, how difficult it is to get things done, how expensive travel can be, the dollar/euro exchange rate, and on and on and on.

I think it mostly comes down to having difficulty accepting the imperfection of the world, myself and other people.

The funny thing is, even when things are resolved, I cannot let myself be happy about the resolution and the fact that a problem is solved. I continue to upset myself over the fact that the problem occurred at all. Or I realize that the identified and solved problem is not the only one that needs addressing. Or I discover another problem almost immediately. Or then encounter the same problem again in a slightly different context. Or decide that the problem is indicative of a much larger issue, one that is intrinsic and perhaps impossible to deal with. And then I feel a kind of futility.

When, really, that is a part of what life is. An endless series of problems to be solved, avoided or accepted.

The phrase, "Our problems are over!" is a fantasy. You can say, "This problem is solved." But you have to understand that that is not the end of it. That solution is not going to make all of your problems go away forever.

Fairy Tales end with happily ever after. And movies can too. Perhaps in some cases novels as well. But life, we overcome, we carry on and encounter new obstacles. It's more like a TV series. Every episode has it's own situation, it's own conflict to tackle.

And that is a silly thing to be crankypants about because I am not the only one and this is just the nature of things.

A demonstration:

You: "Why are you unhappy?"

Me: "Because my life is not a fairy tale."


And really, how boring would life be without a focus, a goal, a conflict or problem to address. Maybe the challenge is to find what is interesting in the obstacles encountered while seeking out other obstacles associated with goals that are more engaging and / or rewarding.

Which only makes me feel slightly better.

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