Easier to Run

billmurraydonthasslemeimlocal“It’s easier to run, replacing this pain with something numb. It’s so much easier to go than face all this pain here all alone.” -Linkin Park

There’s an especially poignant scene in What About Bob? when the mercurial therapist, Dr. Marvin, tells the delusional patient, Bob, that he needs to take a “vacation” from his problems. Of course Bob takes the therapist literally, deciding to take an actual vacation, as if physically changing location could magically take care of his problems.

I laughed when I watched the movie and Bob shows up at the doctor’s vacation home to explain how amazing his “vacation from his problems” is going to be, because to me it was ludicrous to believe the way he did, and yet many people think this is the cure for what ails them. They go far away, thinking that when they return home their problems will be solved. Not so.

I understand the sentiment, though. It does seem easier to run when faced with what seem like insurmountable odds or issues that often derail us. It’s one of the reasons the divorce rate is so high. Instead of facing the problems in our relationships, we simply ditch the relationships, which we think solves the problems. Yet, when we don’t deal with those issues, when we don’t talk them out, we never realize why they were there in the first place and we are doomed to repeat them in future relationships. Continue reading “Easier to Run”

The Humorist

“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.” -William James

black dark text humor quotes funny infographics 1920x1440 wallpaper_wallpaperswa.com_100Girls like guys who are funny, right? I imagine if every female had to take a quiz with a list of attributes they admire on it, a sense of humor will probably be high on the list, but is it really the case? Well, think about it this way: if a guy is always serious, things would get boring rather quickly. But that’s where common sense plays a part. A guy who is never serious would also get tedious in time. It’s all about walking that delicate tightrope between the serious and the humorous.

But, of course, if I knew where that line was all the time, and how to stay atop it without falling, I would be a genius. Most guys also can’t balance that well all the time. So we try our best to read the “signs” given off by whatever females we happen to be engaged with (engaged being a state of interaction in this case). I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t been able to read those signs and some bad things resulted from it, or when I read the signs the wrong way and made a mess of things that way too. In those instances, I just tell my wife, “You knew this about me when you met me.”

Not the right response when the lady’s not too pleased that you’re joking during serious time. Believe me.

I do pride myself on being funny, but that kind of quirky funny, you know the type. I’m the guy who takes the obvious punchline and overdoes it, making the reaction funny, not necessarily the joke itself. I guess you can say I’m over the top in most things I do, but I do have the corniest jokes. Continue reading “The Humorist”

Diatribe

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Quit looking at me!

I have a wooden duck in my living room. No, seriously. It sits on the high shelf and looks down on me while I’m watching television. And I can’t help but feel like it’s judging my actions, that it’s telling me I should be out in nature doing something active instead of sitting here watching what my father always referred to as the “idiot box.” But I shut out his stare and focus on my programs instead, telling myself I’ll exercise later. Of course you and I both know I won’t, but maybe the duck will be easily fooled.

Being sedentary is a problem in our society, isn’t it? With all the screens around, our culture is geared toward sitting around, or standing around, and watching one thing or another. Sometimes it’s the laptop while we read and compose blog entries, and other times we’re staring at the TV. Still other times it’s our phones (yeah, it’s mostly our phones anymore, isn’t it?), or our tablets, or our iPod Touches. That sounded weird to me, iPod Touches, but I guess that’s the plural. Anyway, my point stands.

We don’t even talk anymore. In work just the other day during lunch, there were seven of us in the break room, and every single one was on a cell phone messaging, or texting, or trolling on Facebook, or tweeting, or Snapchatting, or any other variation of application available or popular to the masses right now. For a solid 20 minutes there was absolute silence in the room. I know, I counted. A room that used to have sound booming off its walls was absolutely silent for 20 minutes. That’s crazy.

But we do exercise, don’t we? At least sometimes we do. For about a month straight I was totally religious about it… in 2011. Every morning like clockwork I got up early and did my various routines. It got my heart pumping, I sweated out some toxins, and it made me feel better the whole rest of the day. But I stopped for whatever reason, and one of the worst things you can do when you’re on a regimen like that is stopping for a day. Because it’s so easy once you’ve stopped to stay stopped, to go back to being a sedentary creature. If I only liked nature, it would be easier. Continue reading “Diatribe”

Water Cooler Musings: On Co-Dependency

codependencyI’ve often asked myself why so many people stay in destructive relationships where they aren’t appreciated or treated as equals, and where they’re often either ignored or taken for granted in some way, shape, or form. And the answer comes back loudly and clearly: because they’re afraid to be alone. So many people will accept so much less than they should because they don’t think they’re worthy of anything else and they can’t face the thought of being by themselves. That was the topic of discussion around the water cooler this week.

Tracy: My sister was with this guy for two years who treated her like shit. He was always talking about how she had to gain weight, how thin she always looked, and how he liked a little meat on his women. It gave her a complex.

Me: No wonder. How did she survive two years with him?

Tracy: He wasn’t like that at first, or at least he didn’t seem like it. I think it came out later.

Yeah, later, when he got more comfortable speaking his mind, or when he figured she was so into him that she would do what he wanted anyway. And for the most part he was right because she didn’t say anything against him when he started railing against her weight and how much food she “should be eating.” As I listened to Tracy talk about this guy, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loathing toward someone who could treat a woman that way. Then we got down to the source of it all.

Me: Why do you think she put up with it after he started showing his true colors?

Tracy: Well, I think it’s because he looked good, and because she just never was alone, I guess. Not since first year of high school when she got her first boyfriend. That was… eight years ago.

Me: And how many relationships has she been in since?

Tracy: A ton. I lost count after six, and this guy counted as six. But she’s never been alone. She’s with another guy now who I think is better.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? She can’t stand the empty feeling of not having someone in her life, of doing anything by herself because she’s never learned how to do it. For her entire adult life she’s been in one destructive relationship after another simply because she can’t NOT be in a relationship. For her own sanity. And that’s sad, but she’s not the only one. Continue reading “Water Cooler Musings: On Co-Dependency”

Pillow Talk

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I guess I’m a side sleeper.

You know how it is when you’re shopping for a new pillow, right? First, you have to determine what type of sleeper you are. It’s crazy all the types that are out there, like side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers. For some reason I don’t remember all of that when I was young. I remember it was just all about hardness or softness of the pillow, and every single one of our pillows was hard. I guess hard meant cheaper, but now there are all these ergonomically correct pillows, this memory foam that adjusts itself to your normal pattern of head placement. And those types of pillows are $35 dollars and higher! Wow, I don’t think those cheap, hard pillows did that much damage to my head that I would consider paying that kind of money for one single pillow.

Except, I did buy one of those pillows. Let me explain. Continue reading “Pillow Talk”

On Writing

I don’t spend too much time writing about the way I write and why, but if I did decide to take a minute to analyze my work I would probably say I’m an unconscious writer. I’m sure you’ve heard writers talk about how the words just came to them. Well, I’m generally one of those writers. Often I will sit down without a coherent thought in my head, start typing anyway, and in fifteen minutes something fully formed is on the screen and ready to go. Yes, it can be really weird at times.

I was talking to a fellow writer friend of mine the other day, and she told me she preferred silence in which to write. And I took a few moments to consider that. I don’t think I’ve ever really had any silent moments in my life, not when there wasn’t something else to do or somewhere else to be. So I’ve developed an appreciation of, and indeed a reliance on, noise to keep me going while writing. A while ago I did get a private moment with no noise and I couldn’t concentrate enough to write anything. Maybe something is wrong with me.

As an English major in school I took many writing intensive courses, and I loved them all by and large. It wasn’t for all the reading materials, although those Greek and Roman mythology readings were phenomenal. It was really all about the chance to write anything, and to have someone else read it. You see, before college the only people who saw what I wrote were my family members, and a friend or two. College introduced me to that larger audience and I reveled in it.

In fact, when I went to the University of Tennessee I even worked on the college newspaper as a staff writer. That was an eye opening experience because not only did I get to write for a larger audience, but I carried a by-line so people who might have had no clue who I was before were following my work on a weekly basis. It was humbling, and also a lot of work.

What I remember most about working on the college newspaper were the deadlines and trying to find time within them to interview people and turn them into soundbytes in the article. Never before had I been under such pressure. Usually, when I was assigned a paper for class I did it right away, so I wasn’t sweating it out at the last second, but with the paper the deadlines were so tight and I couldn’t just write the article right away. For the first time I stressed over something having to do with writing. It was so strange.

Now I write a lot, but the vast majority of it is under no deadline. I write what I want and when I want, which helps me breathe a lot easier than those paper days. I had a conversation with another friend a few days ago about writing styles, and I told her that this computer site analyzed my writing and said it most resembled that of Dan Brown (of Da Vinci Code fame). She said there were worse things out there to be compared with. I guess I was hoping that the computer site would tell me instead that I sounded like Sam McManus. Maybe some day it will say that for a young aspiring writer who queries it. We’ll see.

Actually, to tell you the truth, maybe I don’t want that after all. I hope they won’t even use that site and just enjoy their own unique voice. I know I’m enjoying my own unconscious writing. And that’s okay.

Sam

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