2.190. On Simplicity and the Death of Ritual

Recently my garbage disposal broke, which led to a number of basic changes in the way I deal with dishes. I needed to move the side of the sink I wash on. I needed to actually wash my dishes (water from the dishwasher moves through the disposal side and leaks all over the kitchen floor). I needed to move everything out from under the sink in order to clean out the space and clear out the space for the future unit. All of these things I classify as first world problems that hardly rise to the importance of a blog (again, a blog itself is some first world shit indeed). Still, if you add them all together it does point to an thought worthy moment–I had to go back to basic rituals regarding the washing of my dishes. I had to walk to a separate space to get the things I needed to in order to hand wash my dishes, which in itself is a ritualistic process. I felt like a kid again. In that moment I was mindful of the task at hand. In that moment I was thinking and feeling and reflecting on what I was actually doing. This is quite different from the fire and forget method of dishwasher based washing.

All too often I find myself moving past and through tasks without ever considering what it is I am doing. The monotony of daily tasks is important. The ritual of such things are grounding mechanisms that root us in our daily lives and serve as an opportunity for self reflection. The only way to ask myself, ‘What am I doing’ is if I am taking the moment to do something as opposed to spending my thought cycles hunting the next task. This latter process happens the majority of the time for me, and the detrimental effects are clear.

Lately I have become aware of a strong mass media push for the idea of mindfulness. I don’t know where it comes from or do I think that part truly matters. Mindfulness is a core tenet of the Buddhist faith, and something I’ve become more and more aware of as I continue to expand my knowledge of that faith. I feel that it is extremely important to remain mindful, and ritual–whatever that ritual might be–is a place in which we are given a free moment to do so. I intend to be more mindful of that fact. I intend to hold on to more basic daily rituals and appreciate them for what they are.


Tonight it is just…

Some Thoughts:

  1. There is a very good reason I don’t pick football games professionally. I suck at it. I mean look at today: KC — OUT. Rams — OUT. Those were my dark horse contenders for the AFC and NFC championships respectively. I’m not good at that.
  2. Been sick the last few days. It has done much to crush my spirits.
  3. Watched Geostorm today. Raised my spirits. Call it evil, but I like bad sci fi. Geostorm is really bad sci fi. In truth, it is bad storytelling overall and that made it even more fun. I was all MST 3K in the theater. I could’ve been teaching my kids bad habits, but who cares?
  4. My kids… They legitimately go all gremlin-like after 8 pm. Overtired is a real thing.
  5. Haven’t done a pure Some Thoughts in a while and it feels good to get it all down on… online?
  6. Back to the kids: They have to wear helmets for NFL redzone 7 on 7 football. Yeah, the NFL overcorrected there.
  7. Note from my partner found at my writing desk: Dear Writer, your butt here… I kept the note.
  8. It is a strange strange feeling to be so close to the life you want to live and yet so separate from it that it feels like you’re watching it through a window. The problem is, I cannot turn away and I cannot get inside to be a part of that life, so I wind up stuck. Nothing moves forward. Nothing moves at all.
  9. Maybe this is the universe’s way of giving me some legitimate heartache to transpose into writing and use to access the writer’sphere where I believe all story comes from.
  10. Maybe I’m looking for an excuse why I’m not fully kicking ass as a writer.
  11. Maybe I ought to not need one.
  12. If garbage in, garbage out is a truism then what I actually need is to purge a great deal of the nonsense I’ve been consuming and fall back into a realm of very good writing and translate that into very productive writing of my own.
  13. It isn’t as if there are not stories to be written. There is an entire collection of short stories I want to put out, but I’m not quite there yet.
  14. Not quite there yet is the story of my life and I believe that at this mid-life point I am beginning to run out of time.
  15. At least I stopped comparing myself to others by age of accomplishment. I have continued to compare to others by overall accomplishment.
  16. On the bright side, I sense a narrowing of focus to the things that truly matter most.
  17. One of those things… the thing… is the shared happiness between my partner and I. That, of course is the one thing I have the least power to control and the one thing that occupies the most of my energy.
  18. The rest falls to the kids and the money issue. That last one is a huge one. The money issue is one that seems to be the crux of my problems. Less money, more problems. You were wrong there, Biggie. Now I gotta get right.