Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I am not my body.

I'm 36. I've never considered myself attractive, but I think it's safe to say that I'm physically less attractive now than I was in days past. This doesn't bother me as much as it used to because I think I've finally come to believe that I'm not my body. It's just something I wear under my clothes. It's true that this is the only body I have to wear, so it's important for me to take care of it, but I don't have to let my self image rise and fall with what I actually look like.

I used to think I was not my body, and I thought it was a real inconvenience to have to feed it, rest it, and otherwise maintain it. Back then, I was living in my head a lot, and I didn't see the value my body brought me. Today I'm a little more awake to things my body tries to tell me and more appreciative of its point of view. It's worth the trouble to keep it.

I think it's important to stay healthy enough to comfortably lead the life I want, but not much more than that. I'm not an athlete or a model, so keeping my body in tip top shape would be like having the hottest car on the block. I could take it as a point of pride, but it doesn't gain me anything in practical terms.

The difference between my body and a car, though, is that my body is bound to go downhill regardless of which way I go. I can take pride in my body today, but that will fade in time. Making peace with my body lets me have the peace I make.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Memory fault.

Human memory is not an immutable record. It's not something you wrote on a piece of paper. It's more like a meal that's been digested, and now we're trying to figure out what it was originally.

Some things go through the digestive tract relatively unscathed, and so it is with memory. A few kernels get through exactly as they started, but mostly it's a mushy mass hardly anything like how it started.

We're better at looking at the digested contents of our minds and figuring out what produced them in the first place than we are at looking at the digested results of our meals and figuring out what we ate. We're so good at it that most of the time, we really do deduce something pretty close to the original. I bet a few people can figure out what the food was by looking at what came out the other end too. That doesn't change the fact that what we're looking at is not the original, and what we make of it is a result of our own experience and perceptions at least as much as it is a result of what's actually there.

More than once I've reviewed what I remember in light of what I've learned in the meantime, and I've come to a different conclusion about what the original was. I don't think I was "wrong" before. I think that my memories are mine, they mean what I decide they mean, and I can change my mind.

Monday, March 01, 2010

One problem with locking the office restroom

I'm glad this guy stopped to wash his hands, but I have to wonder if
they have other keys in their office.