Thursday, February 9, 2017

An endless stream of setbacks and disappointments

Today is the worst day. That's my 11-year-old's assessment. The rationale is simple: If a snow day is the best day, then it follows that snow day that doesn't come is, ipso facto, the worst.

If you are in the north-east corner of the U.S., or maritime provinces of Canada, you know about the big storm. Here in Maryland suburbs of D.C., we got rain. I guess there was just too much hot air in place (rim shot).

Placing a spoon in the freezer has been show to increase the
chance of snow day. By middle schoolers.
What makes this non-snow-day a particularly bitter pill to swallow is it is the second failed snow-day attempt this year. There are well established actions that increase the odds of a snow day. The two that work best are: 1, wearing your PJs inside out, and 2, putting spoons in the freezer. There is some emerging evidence in the literature that singing in the bathtub has an effect but that has been difficult to replicate in controlled settings. I know it's easy to look at the actual weather forecast which was for "less than an inch" of snow, but that is meteorology. Middle-school mythology seems to have a better track record. Especially if you ask a middle-schooler.

I read an article in Lion's Roar, a Buddhist oriented website. The article, “Right Now, It’s Like This” — How to make this increasingly used Buddhist phrase work for you was timely for me.

You should read in its entirety, but this snippet from Buddhist teacher and meditator, Vinni Ferraro, stands out.

“Right now, it’s like this” is an invitation to explore what is present. At the same time, it clearly reassures us that impermanence is hard at work. So even though the mind threatens me with the idea that “it’s going to be like this forever,” this phrase helps me call bullshit on that. It helps me let go of the main message from the mind, “that something has to be done,” to this vital message of the dharma: “that maybe something has to be felt.”

That's helpful for non-snow-days and other days too. Enjoy your weather, whatever it may be today.

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