On turning into a fat cynical grouch

Ha ha, didja see that? I did a BLANK POST. Hardee har, oh my sides. *wipes tear from corner of eye*. Sigh.

Anyhoo. Turning 40 does give one pause to reflect. For the past several Januaries I have been telling people that my New Year’s Resolution, because I believe in setting obtainable goals, is to get fatter and less patient. And I’m making progress on those goals. I have a number of excellent excuses. I hate traffic and yet I now commute about 40 minutes each way for work. I work in journalism, which breeds and admires critical thinking and skepticism. More critically, it’s a sad fact that as you gain more life experience, you will get burned or used a few times. Generally I am a quite trusting person, and I can cut others  an enormous amount of slack. However, if somebody manages to really tick me off – with a betrayal of that trust – I find I pretty much write that person off for good. (Failing to follow Joey and Howie’s excellent example – which is to do the prickly fighting thing up front and then get over it.) Get enough of those experiences under your belt and the gravity well of cynicism becomes strong indeed.

But I am what I allow myself to become. New Year’s jokes aside, I think it’s necessary to actively fight off negativity, work to assume good motives to others’ actions, breath deeply in traffic. And let other people be what they choose to be. Dwelling on someone else’s failings serves no constructive purpose. An old saw goes “Being bitter is like swallowing poison yourself and hoping the other guy dies.”

Vital influences toward the good are my family and my friendships. So to my comrades in arms, those at home, at work, at church; journalists, chessplayers, bloggers who’ve offered a kind word or a good laugh or a shared insight; whoever and whereever my friends may be, you have my heartfelt thanks.

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6 thoughts on “On turning into a fat cynical grouch

  1. Good luck on your new year’s “resolutions”.

    Another way to think of a birthday: you’ve been intelligent and/or lucky enough to manage to live that long. And that’s something to celebrate.

  2. Hey Derek,

    Happy birthday! let’s go eat cake. That way I can help you with both of your New Year’s resolutions (at least if one believes that eating lots of sugar juices the system).

    Gats

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