About thirty years ago I was working with a guy named Bob Nathan. He told me one morning that he had just invested some money in a new company that was going to sell drinking water in plastic bottles. I thought he was kidding. When I found out he wasn’t, I thought he was crazy.
Who would ever pay for bottled water?
Bob retired years ago. I’m still working for the man.
About the same time another friend bought a tanning salon, where people would spend ridiculous amounts of money to bake themselves to a turkey skin crisp. And mind you, this was in California where the sun is always shining for free.
Have you heard about oxygen bars? Yes, it’s true. People make dating reservations to sit down and plug hoses into their noses so they can pay to breathe.
(And by the way, don’t think it didn’t occur to me to wonder why someone who could buy a cattle ranch needed to sell useless dead wood.)
.I may be slow but I’m not entirely stupid. After thirty years I have an idea of my own. I’m going to charge people money to be nice to them. For a dollar a day I’ll be pleasant whenever our paths cross. Or, wait…how about this? For two dollars a day I’m stay out of your life completely.
You ever get tired of yourself??
We all get tired of constantly being around other people. Not always or often, but occasionally we need a break from even the people we love most in life: our spouse, our kids, our best friend. And it’s not just one or two of them at a time it’s all of them all at once!
I’m no psychologist but I’m absolutely sure this is normal and healthy and nothing to worry about. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
Or, as Dan Hicks put it in his song by the same name: How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?
Have you ever wondered how you can go through your entire life without feeling that way about yourself? Geez! Everywhere you go all day, every day, there you are!
When you go to bed you go with you. When you wake up you’re still there.
Every single moment of your life you know everything you’re thinking and everything you’re going to say before you say it! Doesn’t that make you just a little crazy every once in awhile?
You understand yourself better than anybody else. You talk to yourself but you never, I mean NEVER, have a disagreement. You like the same foods, watch the same TV shows, laugh and cry at the same things and you love the same people.
The one thing I almost never do is surprise myself. And that’s a drag.
I swear, sometimes I just need a short break from me. I need to send myself away or take a short vacation and be somebody I never met before. Or, be nobody at all just for a little while.
If you know me personally, admit it, the thought of being with me 24/7 for 66 years is unimaginable, right? Sure it is! You couldn’t do it, so why should I be expected to?
Ever feel like that?
I love Saturday mornings. Instead of lurching awake at 2:45AM to go to work I come to slowly between 6 and 7 to fix coffee, feed the dogs and then I just sit and think.
Well, sometimes I sit and think. Sometimes I just sit.
Here are some of the thoughts I’ve thunk this Saturday morning:
— I’m hungry but not enough to walk six steps into the kitchen for a banana, a bowl of cereal or to fix eggs, bacon and pancakes. I suppose a lot of people in the world would not think of this as being hungry.
— Why do people say “more and more”? No matter how many “mores” you add it’s still just more.
— We have “pet peeves”. Makes no sense. I like my pets.
— A minor peeve: when people leave trash in the grocery shopping cart. (I refuse to use that cart. I insist on one that’s totally empty.)
— Speaking of empty, my coffee mug is empty but the dogs are sleeping on my lap and footstool. I’ll just have to suffer.
— There’s something about sitting in front of the TV without turning it on that makes me puff up my chest with pride!
— What’s with people who have the TV on all the time even though nobody is watching it? (My dad used to yell about the waste of expensive electricity. I just think it’s sad that so many people accept constant noise in their lives.)
— And how about when you’re riding in someone’s car and they have the radio on but turn it down so you can talk? It’s not OFF, just down low enough to be background noise. (This is also a serious annoyance for those of us who talk in the radio.)
— I don’t talk ON the radio, I talk IN it.
— Wouldn’t it be funny if our ears were on our hips? We’d have to pull down our pants at concerts.
— Who first came up with the idea of picking berries off a bush, drying them in the sun, crushing them, pouring hot water over them and drinking it? Seems nutty but it was a seriously great idea!
— Who first decided to crush some dried leaves, wrap more leaves around them, light one end and inhale the smoke? This is just stupid. (Ponder this for a moment. It’s an absolutely ridiculous idea and yet is probably the most enduring habit in all of human history!)
My Saturday morning brain wanders from one silly notion to another. But this stuff is important to me because it means I’m still exploring the world and allowing my mind to explore itself.
Do you take time to do this?