Archive for October 2010

DEATH UNEXPECTED

October 26, 2010

It is a sure sign of old age when the obituary section of the local newspaper holds more interest than  the comics or the sports page. Yet, when I read the obits, I have to suppress a cackle of sick mirth when I see that someone has died “unexpectedly.”  Don’t we all die unexpectedly? There  is a viable (?) alternative to this description: “suddenly. ” I don’t understand why more people don’t use that term instead of “unexpectedly.”  It leaves too much room for interpretation and conjecture. My home town newspaper recently ran an obituary for a man named “Bob” who died unexpectedly.  Following the listing of the next of kin, the final line was: “Bob was an avid racer and bee keeper.”  To which my overactive imagination immediately went to possible Jackass-inspired possibilities for Bob’s unexpected death.  I am old, but also very immature.

And, another question: do the dead really read the memorials that are written in the newspapers?  “Missing you, my dear husband, after 25 years….”  Is there a call-out in the great beyond? “Hey, Harry, there’s a message for you in the Podunk Press!  Your wife still misses you after 25 years”  Meanwhile Harry has moved on and is currently inhabiting the body of a thirteen-year-old girl.  The message comes to her in the form of a dream which she immediately dismisses and moves on to a more pleasant dream: Justin Beiber just phoned and he misses you.

I almost put a memorial in the paper to my father on what would have been his hundredth birthday, until I realized that, outside of a very few people, his birthday would not be remembered.  So, Dad will have to be satisfied with a mere Happy Birthday! from his loving daughter who still misses him every day.

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HAPPINESS IS …

October 10, 2010

Well, happiness sure hasn’t visited my door lately.  Right now, I’m in my pre-November, going full bore into December, SAD dominated winter depression.  Such fun it is every year to feel worthless for several months and then discover, on the other side of winter, that you’re not quite as worthless as first believed.

So, I’m getting ready to hunker down and take my bitter medicine and endure another wonderful, spirit-crushing winter, now further enhanced by the knowledge that it is all in my head and if I read The Secret and untold numbers of books on positive thinking and visualization, my problems will soon be over.

Does that mean that the crooks who run my beautiful, small town will be voted out of office this election if I just concentrate on visualizing them packing up their belongings and leaving town hall?  Does that mean that the Tea Baggers will lose in the upcoming US elections and people like Sarah Palin will be relegated to the “dumb thing we did” file and we’ll never have to see her face or her family again if I think positive thoughts towards those running against her endorsed candidates?  Does this mean that all my bills will be paid if I just put a note on the bulletin board and concentrate on it every day?

Somehow, I don’t think that will happen.  Call me a pessimist.  Everyone else already does.  It goes with the territory known as Sharon’s World – a very dark place, full of cynicism and distrust, based on, wait for it: real life experiences.

So, as I wallowed in my little pity party, I looked for books that would lift me out of my doldrum and I found one tucked away that I had purchased over a year ago.  It is titled Bright-Sided by Barabara Ehrenreich, a favourite author who is a dead ringer for my late best friend (no pun intended), another Barb.  I can almost hear My Barb speaking to me from the pages of this book.  The subtitle reads: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.  Does this mean that Oprah-speak is not working except for Oprah and the authors she fosters on her television talk show?  All the glowing praise for The Secret from friends who have not been able to move forward with their lives, but who, at least, have a better, more cheery outlook on their misery.  I had not been able to muster up the energy to appear happy that I’m unhappy, so Ehrenreich’s book was like a gift to me.

I can now be as miserable as I want to be and not feel guilty about it.  I can wallow in my misery and work my way out of it at my own pace, without having to pretend I’m having a good time doing it.  Such a relief.  I feel much better already.

By the way, the so-called Happiness Preacher, Choi Yoon Hee of South Korea, and her husband committed suicide in a hotel room in Seoul. She had published numerous books and had a successful television program devoted to inspiring people to live happy lives.