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I just realized that my whole plan, my whole idea for making 2008 a great year, makes me an incredibly boring person. And that I am very attached, in a backwards way, to being not boring, despite avowedly celebrating and enjoying the boring things in life, and the boring everyperson. I was pretty excited and prideful of how well I did at not being boring last year, and if I really examine it, prideful of the social cache that lends. And clearly part of my funk right now is about not being able to let go of that need to be above-boring. And then I read this by that guy who wrote the Hardcore Zen book. It amused me a great deal that he chose to mention a particular Mike Nesmith quote...

People hate their ordinary lives. We want something better. This, our day to day life of drudgery and work, is boring, dull and ordinary, we think. But someday, someday... There's an episode of The Monkees* where Mike Nesmith says that when he was in high school he used to walk out on the school's empty stage with a guitar in his hands thinking "Someday, someday." Then he said that now (now being 1967, at the height of the Monkees fame) he walks out on stage in front of thousands of fans and thinks "Someday, someday." That's the way life is. It's never going to be perfect. Whatever "someday" you imagine, it will ever come. Never. No matter what it is. No matter how well you build your fantasy or how carefully you follow all the steps necessary to achieve it. Even if it comes true exactly the way you planned, you'll end up just like Mike Nesmith. Someday, someday... I guarantee you.

Having a boring routine, something that was so hard last year, i realized over that time is very valuable to me. Practice, focus, routine, these are all boring things. Boring things that help some people live great or enlightened lives. I do see that my campaign for myself is a little reactionary, and I will try to keep that in mind.

I guess what I'm saying is that things are not exactly going to be a thrill ride around here, I think. :)


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
The boring things will always be there. When you control them, rather than letting them control you, it leaves room for everything else.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
Also known as:

If you don't floss your teeth, you will have large and painful dental work.

If you don't manage your money, you will be a slave to your finances.

I am not sure how this applies to the things that I just want to do as hobbies, that require hours of practice, like musical instruments...
Jan. 4th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
It applies the same way travel demands time.

Sometimes a picture of the Grand Canyon just isn't enough.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
I *totally* understand what you are saying. I've realized that I have a major problem feeling "boring" or like "one of the crowd". While I don't like being in the spotlight, I have this weird need to hang set myself apart from people. I guess all those years of not fitting in have finally paid off?

One of the lessons I have the hardest time learning is that the excitement of mundane activities is mostly determined by our mental state. If we view them as drudgery then they will be, but if we offer our full focus and view them in the context of the greater good that we are trying to accomplish, then supposedly it will make it a lot more bearable.

Good luck!
Jan. 5th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
I keep trying to remind myself how exciting it is that electrons even form a cloud around a nucleus and how many of them make me up and how miraculous it is that that even happens. From this point of view, every time I scrub the shower is an amazing wonder.

People might think I'm crazy though. :)

I didn't even think of non-boring as that concept of needing to be "different", although I've always driven myself to be different. I'm not sure why - some combination of smart-kid syndrome and being kind of invisible at that tender age when you want to be awesome and popular and for boys to like you. I tended to try to get their attention by being WIERD. "HI I AM WEIRD MAYBE THAT MAKES ME A BETTER CHOICE FOR MATING". Yeah... :-/
Jan. 3rd, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
I kind of view the Nesmith quote as an example of letting the extraordinary become mundane. There is a balance to be struck between recognizing the remarkable in our lives and the pride that /should/ inspire, while at the same having a plan for the future, a "Someday, someday" to reach for, to not rest solely on past accomplishments. Without the pride in current accomplishments, you will not be happy now. Without the goals for tomorrow, you will have no accomplishments of which to /be/ proud later. Enjoy life now and be proud of what you've done up to this point, but strive for still better in the future. We have a tendency (or at least I do) of doing only one or the other or in the worst case, neither.
Jan. 5th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)
In my case, I believe at this time that the better things I need to do are all boring - practice drums regularly, go to classes, run, manage my finances, clean the house. Those things are all boring to everyone else but if I keep up with them will in some ways pay off later but also, I hope, pay off in the time of doing them with full awareness and gratefulness.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
I'm actually in a similar space in my thinking. I did this big move and all this exciting stuff, and now I really need to get a regular place to live, a regular life, a routine. And I'm resisting that like crazy. It's... hard.
Jan. 4th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
Ain't no shame in your game!
There is nothing wrong with accepting "boring" as you would accept "exciting." What comes up, comes, right?

Me personally? I like boring. I just read that book myself and I will say that a lot of people I know who rail against "boring" and "mediocre" tend to be really uncomfortable with themselves, like they're too special to fulfill the standards of "average." These are often the same people who think they should just blow right past "average" without even meeting "average" standards. And in the blowing past, they miss out on some really great opportunities to just be in the moment, gain some "average" skills, be still, quiet and effective during some really tedious and relaxing times. I know, I used to be one of them.

So be boring! We all need boring during sometime in our lives. :D
Jan. 5th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
Re: Ain't no shame in your game!
Well, you know, I strove and strove last year, going to big concerts and playing my own concerts and being a part of both my best friends very happy and lovely weddings, not to mention traveling across the country to rock camp and starting a new educational path, getting a new job... I really pushed my limits last year in one way and I was very happy with all my accomplishments. But I did not push my limits in another way, and that was the limits of being at peace and the limits of standing still and observing. My ability to practice something and ... I don't know I'm not wording this right necessarily. But I am hoping good things are to be found by doing somewhat the opposite of what I did last year and found good things.
Jan. 4th, 2008 11:23 am (UTC)
The Chef @ cookingmoney.com
Going to the conceptual level of human behavior I think that when he enters into a new/unknown territory he is excited, but this excitement is ephemeral and goes down with time or repeatition of the same (Law of marginal utility).

and you can't remain excited for long times it will effect you heart :)
Jan. 5th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
Re: The Chef @ cookingmoney.com
Truly sometimes in the past year I thought I was quite overtaxing my heart. :) Thanks much for stopping by.
Jan. 4th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
That link is really interesting - decluttering around a goal... this is awesome. Lots of times "inconvenient" for other people but that's a cool idea. Thanks for the link!

Oh, and what I didn't say in my last comment was that I don't think following goals is bad, it's just that it's our relationship to those goals are usually the problem.

I myself fall into the trap of "and then I'll be happy" instead of just saying to myself "and then it will be done."

Cheers! :D
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 5th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
I will have to work harder to keep any kind of parity with the amount of brainfood you've given me over the past year and change!
Jan. 4th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting that link. I reposted it in my journal.
Jan. 5th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
Glad it is of some interest!
Jan. 4th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
I clearly need to sing my song "Ordinary Life" for you, sometime. :)
Jan. 5th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
I would be happy to hear it!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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