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Old 26-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #1
Barrett Dorko
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Default The Happy Wanderer III

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Hope is an emotion, a yearning, the experience of which is not entirely within our control. Optimism is a cognitive stance, a conscious expectation, which presumably anyone can develop through practice.

Barbara Ehrenreich
I spent three days at the APTA Convention and handed out about a hundred business cards. The conversations I had were almost without exception full of good will, plans for further connection and promises of more reading by those who were certain I no longer wrote. When my column landed in their lap each week twenty years ago everybody seemed to know me. When that stopped in ’95 most assumed I had died, I guess.

Little do they know.

Since I returned home two weeks ago I haven’t heard from anybody. For all I know, they aren’t reading this. Nothing new.

In the past few years several TV series have emphasized the significance of the first 48 hours following some incident requiring investigation - usually a murder. There’s even a TV show titled The First 48.

Well, we’re way past that now.

I’m hopeful because I’m human, but I’m not optimistic.

No wonder I’m more like Tony than I would prefer. At least I’ve never strangled anybody to death. Not actually.

When the profession turns toward realism I’ll feel as if I were part of it again. Until then, this quote from Ehrenreich will resound in my head:

Quote:
In a world of positive thinking other people are not there to be nurtured or to provide unwelcome reality checks. They are there only to nourish, praise and affirm. Harsh as this dictum sounds, many ordinary people (read therapists) adopt it as their creed.
Sound like anyplace you might know?
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Old 27-06-2011, 12:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all

Emily Dickinson
As I said, I can't help hoping.
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Old 27-06-2011, 12:17 AM   #3
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Hope continues in spite of the worst social conditions, the most abject abuse, and the most pitiful biological circumstance. The only thing that can kill hope is serious depression. I do not wish that on anyone. There are a lot of depressed people in my new/old province. I think it's likely from lack of novel stimuli. There is a fairly high rate of suicide. Or else everyone simply talks about it more. Whatever. Mostly older men. One has to create one's own novel stimuli. Enough of that and one can manage with just the tiniest allotment of hope, and without any optimism at all.
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 27-06-2011, 01:43 AM   #4
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A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy One New research underlines the wisdom of being absorbed in what you do By Jason Castro | November 24, 2010 |

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In a recent study published in Science, Killingsworth and Gilbert discovered that an unnervingly large fraction of our thoughts - almost half - are not related to what we’re doing. Surprisingly, we tended to be elsewhere even for casual and presumably enjoyable activities, like watching TV or having a conversation. While you might hope all this mental wandering is taking us to happier places, the data say otherwise. Just like the wise traditions teach, we’re happiest when thought and action are aligned, even if they’re only aligned to wash dishes.

Happy today

Karen
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Old 27-06-2011, 02:17 AM   #5
Barrett Dorko
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Karen,

Sounds like an advertisement for Zen.

I find myself in and out of this - mostly out.

I'm working on it.

Perhaps we should show this to the managers that insist we do "point of service" documentation.

Nah, probably not.
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Old 27-06-2011, 09:28 AM   #6
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Default The happy wanderer that stays where he has to stay

[QUOTE=Karen L
Surprisingly, we tended to be elsewhere even for casual and presumably enjoyable activities, like watching TV or having a conversation. While you might hope all this mental wandering is taking us to happier places, the data say otherwise.
Happy today QUOTE=
Karen, I am happy to share your happiness being where I am, and doing what I have to do.
North Portugal
Benjamim Fontes

Last edited by benjamim fontes; 27-06-2011 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Typo on the subtitle not "that" but "who" I think.
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Old 27-06-2011, 03:20 PM   #7
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Mindfulness....the real secret. IMHO
http://www.peopleandpossibilities.com/Mindfulness.html
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Old 27-06-2011, 04:32 PM   #8
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I'm not what you would call a "happy" person. I have battled depression since I was 17 years old and for me the hardest thing about it is andhedonia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anhedonia) When you don't want or hope for anything, when even the most beautiful of sunsets is just well, a tangerine sky. So what.

I've done everything short of wrapping my head in tin foil to free myself from this "disease". It still rears its ugly head from time to time but I keep it quiet with regular exercise and what I call a my nervous system friendly diet : not too much stuff going on at once.

And for years I've kept one of those gratefulness journals. Fromage-y, I know, but it works for me.

The older I get, the more I find I don't really want or hope for anything. Not because I am depressed, but because I know I have more than I'll ever possibly need.

Hope reminds of me of Andy Dufresne in the Shawshank Redemption. Man crawled through a river of shit to escape from prison.

Certainly not a happy person by definition, but hopeful.
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Old 27-06-2011, 04:55 PM   #9
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I came out as an "unhappy" a few years ago, Caro. I like to think we are realists, unbuffered by giddiness.
It's a bit of a sharp edge to walk, I think, on the one hand wanting to be free to be who one is and feel however one feels, and on the other not wanting to affect other members of the human primate troop with one's own utter lack of contagious joy. Sometimes I just have to get completely away from everyone (in non-virtual life) until I can suffice to get by, can feel my treatment boundary is solid again, can treat patients without getting any of "me" on them or them on me.
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 27-06-2011, 05:41 PM   #10
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Yes Diane. I have to say that Humanantigravity post made me happy.
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Old 27-06-2011, 05:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by caro View Post
Yes Diane. I have to say that Humanantigravity post made me happy.

All the way happy, or just a tiny bit less unhappy?
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 28-06-2011, 01:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Diane View Post
All the way happy, or just a tiny bit less unhappy?
All the way happy. For about an hour.
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Old 28-06-2011, 05:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caro View Post
And for years I've kept one of those gratefulness journals. Fromage-y, I know, but it works for me.
It isn't cheesy. There's empirical support for doing this. Even if there wasn't such support, creating/emphasizing meaning where you can simply makes sense based on what you're describing.

Diane, I think that's the first time I read that blog entry. As you can see from the comments on your entry, as well as from Caro, that knowing you're not alone in the unhappiness experience helps. I noticed the same sort of thing in some of the interviews with Barbara Ehrenreich.
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