Tuesday, April 8, 2008

7 Deadly Sins

So again, I haven't written a blog in a while. Usually when I take a blog writing hiatus, its a good thing. I haven't been finding time to sit around feeling manic and depressed, eating stale Oreos in my underpants. Alas, I've been too busy to partake in such high class downtime entertainment. Without delving too much into my own personal boring agenda, I've gone part time at work (down from 6 days a week to 3) and fallen upon some extremely uncharted territory: Free time. It's afforded me the ability to actually get things done! Laundry, groceries, vacuuming, all other domestic activities including learning to cook... Fish. I like fish. I'm even experimenting with seasoning and nuts. You shut up.

So basically, all of this free time has gotten me thinking. If left to my own devices, if time is no longer a constraining issue and all of the "unfun" necessary chores of living are taken care of, what does one DO with ones time should it suddenly become bountiful? This question lead me right into the theory that you can really tell a lot about a person by what they do when there is nothing TO do. Following me so far? Allow me to clarify.

Some people chose to improve society. They volunteer, they work for a noteworthy organization, they help a charity or local cause. Some people chose to improve themselves. They go jogging, take a class, learn a skill, or take up a challenging hobby. To all of these people, I commend you. But one of these people... I am not.

It turns out I have little to no interest in working towards bettering society or myself in any literal or figurative shape/form. What I have discovered about myself in the short time I have been blessed with an abundance of hours upon hours of nothingness, is I appreciate nothingness as somethigness. Did that sentence make me seem "unmotivated" to you? This is not the case. I am plenty motivated, just not motivated directionally towards productivity in the original definition of the word. Again, I'm getting very wordy. Allow me to become even wordier.

Websters dictionary supplies a handful of synonyms for the word "productive" including "fruitful", "fertile" and "prolific". I think that even though I have shown complete and utter disregard for using my time in the aforementioned "positive" ways, I have still been extremely prolific AND fruitful. I don't know about fertile. I assume so.

Without further adieu, the title of this blog is "The 7 deadly sins... Loving every minute" and its possible that since up until now I've just been rambling, you've forgotten that I may indeed be working tirelessly to something that resembles a point. The 7 deadly sins are as follows, listed in the very same order as the Pope Gregory the Great in the 16th century AD (except his list was in Latin): Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. I'm sure you've all seen the movie "Seven", and if you try and tell me that it didn't deeply disturb and freak the shit out of you, you're a dirty lier and we are no longer friends. But I digress.

Since I have been experimenting with enjoying all the thrills and perks life has to offer without actually making any contributions to society or personal wellness, I have stumbled upon a catch 22 of sorts. Supposedly, the 7 deadly sins are huge and unforgivable character flaws. Here's where I tend to disagree. I have personally partaken in all 7 sins, but haven't felt less like a sinner in my life! Confusing. Lets break it down.

Lust is really one of the more self explanatory of the so called sins, and really can be easily defined as the urge to have sex. You could even go as far as to say it's the act of wanting and/or having excessive amounts of sex. Ok... fabulous, right? I hate to sound obvious here, but what's wrong with excessive sex if its consensual, safe, and for lack of better terminology here, damn good! If you were having some of the most mind blowing sex of your life and you wanted it all the time and thought of close to nothing else, where would the issue lie? Both parties are thoroughly enjoying themselves, engrossed in a mutual respect for their own and their partners body, and discovering new and exciting things about sensation as it relates to closeness and the human experience. Yummy.

The act of over consumption, a very broad idea but I think it more closely hones into the idea of food and eating. Over eating; to be a glutton. The early church leader Thomas Aquinas went as far as to break down the different ways of being a glutton into 6 parts.
1. Eating too soon
2. Eating too expensively
3. Eating too much
4. Eating too eagerly
5. Eating too daintily
6. Eating too fervently
I hate to use an obvious pun, but I'm going to dive right into this one.

Too soon: I think "mealtime" is a ridiculous idea. You shouldn't eat at a pre-set time of day. You should eat when you're hungry. If you have a muffin at 12 noon (like I did today) and then get hungry at 2:00pm and go to Panera Bread for a sandwich and some soup, then you're still fulfilling your basic need to eat. Had I gotten up 3 hours earlier to eat the muffin or waited an extra hour to have the soup, I would have been equally as hungry and maybe slightly crankier and agitated. Lets clarify here- no one wants that.

Too expensively: I went to Ann Arbor Michigan with my very favorite person as of late, for a long weekend a few weeks ago. While we were there, we did nothing but eat out at nice restaurants and sample the glorious food that a swanky Midwestern college town has to offer tourists. Did we spend an extravagant amount of cash of dinner at a steak house one night? Yes we did. Did we have the best fillet and crab/lobster cakes we have ever put in our mouthes? Yes. Was it worth it? You'd have to ask my traveling companion since he paid, but I already know his answer. YES. It was the best food we've ever had. We talked about it all the way home. In fact we still talk about it, and compare it to everything we eat as the pedestal upon which all other foods be judged. As I type this, my mouth is watering. I will most likely be talking about that mean to my grandchildren who will be idly kicking me in my old decrepit ankles wishing id shut up about the damn cakes already. Worth every penny.

Too much: If you eat too much all the time, I can see that as a problem. But if I had 6 of those crab cakes in front of me right now, I'd eat every bite and then lick the plate. No questions asked. You would too. Trust me.

Too eagerly: Same general issue here. If I'm hungry and the food is good, I'm going to be eager. Whats more is, if I cook for someone and they eat my food eagerly, I see it as a compliment.

Too daintily: Firstly, if you're eating "daintily" then either the food sucks or you're not hungry or you're one of those really annoying people who picks at their salad after they complain about the spinach being too dark and the dressing not being on the side and you don't deserve food. Go outside and eat grass.

Too fervently: I'm not even going to get into this one, mainly because I think fervent is too close to eager by definition, and I think ol' Thomas Aquinas was reaching here. Take 5 Tom, you're an overachiever.

People, by nature, are greedy. Now I know this isn't an excuse because people by nature are a lot of negative things, but if you USE greed in a way that doesn't hurt others but betters your quality of life, then I don't see any obtrusive issue. The most common example: Money. If you make a ton of money doing something you enjoy and it doesnt multiply in your bank account at the expense of others, then more power to you. I'm sure Bill Gates started working because, to put it simply, hes a big dork who loves computers. I'm sure it never occurred to him back in the proverbial day that he would become one of the richest men on the planet. But now he is swimming in an obscene amount of cash, he's happy, his employees are happy, and the world has computers. One of which I'm typing this blog on right now. This particular computer is a Mac. But again, digression.

Sometimes I sleep until 2pm on my day off. I freaking love sleep. I have many a friend and acquaintance who does the same thing, and shares my admiration for snoozing. Ask anyone if they like sleeping. If they say no, then you can be pretty sure they are an alien or someone with artificial intelligence and either way, they need to be destroyed. In fact, once I slept through an entire day. I went to bed Saturday night and woke up and it was Monday morning. Yes I did. And no one died because of it.


Here's a tricky one. I almost cant argue in favor of wrath, only because I am a peaceful person by nature. This is hard for me to admit. Not my predilection for peacefulness of course, but my inability to argue in favor of something and play "devils advocate". Wrath is almost never acceptable, although harmless and humerus getting even quips and pranks can be quite satisfying. Here's a great example. When I was in college, my roommate and I had a falling out. To make a boring story short, she decided that we could no longer be friends half way through the year (and we were very close up until this point) because her other friends told her that I would not aid her in her juvenile quest to become popular. My anger for her sudden display of complete shallowness, and my sadness for losing someone who I thought was a great friend lead me to seek a certain revenge. It involved soup. Bare with me. She had once told me that she had been on a cruise with her parents where a clam chowder soup was served that had salmonella (or some other tainted thing) and then entire boat got food poisoning. She went on to say that to this day when she smells clam chowder it makes her want to vomit. This is the kind of story you can't expect to tell a person like me, piss me off, and then not regret it. The day after she told me we couldn't be friends due to my lack of social standings, she came back to our room to find 60 cans of opened clam chowder that had been baking there in the 90 degree dorm heat all through her morning classes. Her face was priceless. She moved out that night, although her friends moved her things and washed all her clothes until they stopped smelling like the chowder cruise of doom. BUT at the end of the day I had my very own room and she got to move into someone else who was going to help her fulfill her goals of living out the college version of the movie "Mean Girls", Lindsay Lohan not included. So everyone wins. No sin there.

I think being jealous and wanting something only serves as motivation to get it. If you want something bad enough, you make it happen for yourself. Envy without action, useless. Envy serving as a stepping stone to turn life into something worth living, completely justifiable. I;m not necessarily talking about material things. More the idea behind possessing. For example, I've always been insanely jealous of people with really nice well done tattoo art. The hours of pain and money involved always slowed my motivation down, but after years of looking at the great body murals of others, I finally started on my own backpiece. Now I don't have to be envious of the tattoos of others, because as Cartman would say, mine's "hella cool".

This is something I am full of, and I make no apologies for this fact at all. I am proud of the work that I do. I'm a great rider, and gifted teacher, and a talented horse person. I'm a good writer, at least sometimes. I am the kind of friend anyone would be lucky to have, and a lover that you would never want to let go if you had. I'm a peace keeper, a comedian, a poet and a thrill seeker. I am proud of the things I've said and done, the people I've touched and loved, and the past and everything in it I cannot and desire not to change. Pride seems like the silliest sin of all, because who in their right mind would have all of this pride and want to swallow it? No one.

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