Archives for posts with tag: April Fool’s Day

I lost my taste for gaslighting after I lived with it for years. I gave up on April Fool’s Day entirely as a result. I mean, think about this “celebration” with great care… Is it kind to willfully mislead people about the nature of their reality? Who does that? Even as a prank, it’s a dick move. So… I stopped doing that shit because it isn’t actually funny. Just as with humor based on Schadenfreude; it isn’t funny for the person having the experience. Our amusement over it? If it’s based on cruelty, it’s cruel. Tit for tat? Not funny. It’s a dick move. We’re very fancy primates… which means our animal nature is not above that sort of bullshit, and, sadly, some of us actually go for wallowing in our worst potential.  We are too easily entertained by the human equivalent of throwing poo.

Am I being curmudgeonly? Perhaps. I just don’t care for people treating people poorly, (I definitely don’t want to be the person doing it) and in an era of serious challenges with bullshit and lies being passed off as news and truth, we’re all fighting for our sanity as it is. Don’t be a dick today. Consider that other person and what it means to be treated poorly solely for the amusement of others, and this just because the calendar turned over by one day. April Fools are the people playing the pranks, not the pranks themselves. Can you not pass up the chance to be foolish? Really? Is this the best of who you are?

You do you, though. It’s not my call. I’ll be over here, enjoying a lovely Saturday on the first day of April, staying away from social media, and treating people as well as I am able to do. 🙂 I’m not saying I’m any better than you, or even different – I’m just walking my own path. There are verbs involved, and I live within the confines of my own perspective. I have to face this woman in the mirror, a woman who knows what being gaslighted feels like, who understand how cruel practical jokes are for the person on the receiving end, and for whom frustration is real kryptonite. Gnothi seauton… eventually. 🙂

Is it clear I didn’t start here?  …I did have to begin again. It has been a journey, with missteps, and choices, and things to consider further. I’ve fought and resisted a commonly enjoyed cultural practice. That’s okay. I’ve made progress over time, and that’s enough. I awoke to the understanding that this practice of pranking people is cruel, and my understanding changed my choices and my behavior. That’s sort of how the whole growth thing works, actually, and it’s a very singular personal journey for each of us.  🙂 Today is a good day to grow and to choose. It’s a good day to take another look at the day and ask myself “why this?” and “why today” and “who might this hurt?”. It’s a good day to change the world.

Crap. It’s April Fool’s Day again. I should have taken the day off to stay safely at home, and off-line. I didn’t. It’s a regular work day, and I’ll be in the office and wary of the ‘playful’ side of colleagues, and the ‘spirit of the day’.

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not an innocent here, and I’ve done my share of April Fool’s Day pranking in younger years; I gave it up many years ago when it finally struck me that willfully sowing chaos and stress in other people’s lives isn’t really funny at all…that was back in the 90s.  April Fool’s pranks in some cases are mostly fairly harmless, but very misleading… and once I finally gave thought to how that might affect people who have cognitive challenges to work around already it seemed both inappropriate, and unkind. April Fool’s pranks sometimes fall into a very different category, and are mean and at the expense of someone else’s emotional or physical safety without regard for the consequences to that other human being. I find myself wondering why it would even seem necessary to say that those sorts of pranks are not okay? Are you waiting for me to say ‘April Fools!’? I’m not going to. It’s not my thing. I’d rather treat you well and work together such that our shared understanding of reality is functional and reasonably accurate.

I'd rather find a friendlier way to celebrate spring.

I’d rather find a friendlier way to celebrate spring.

I woke this morning, immediately before the alarm went off – which was nice; I don’t like hearing it. I woke with my thoughts filled with as-yet-unprocessed bits and details and things my consciousness is fussing over in the background, feeling a bit frustrated by the din within. There are fewer moments of real stillness lately, a byproduct of cohabitation that has its charms and its challenges. Taking more time meditating, sitting quietly, and reading sounds nice and I am looking forward to the weekend.

I know that one of the things nagging at me is the very real need to ‘brush off’ the lingering OPD (Other People’s Drama) of exes, and however initially unappealing it may sound, realistically I am aware that forgiveness and letting go are the way to proceed. There will be no ‘closure’, most particularly with the most recent one; these are people having their own experience, too, and in their narrative things are very different from mine. There is no ‘meeting of the minds’ to rely upon, no shared interest in harmony, balance, equanimity, mutual respect or consideration… frankly, if there were, things might have turned out quite differently all around. Any ‘closure’ I find will likely be created from within, based upon the firm foundation of my own willingness to be accepting, to forgive, and to let go of attachments (not attachment to the people involved, those are long gone, but rather the attachment to needing to be heard, attachment to being understood, attachment to being ‘right’…). There are, as usual, verbs involved. This one isn’t easy, but few challenges are.

At the moment, I struggle with seemingly fresh hurts over old relationships; the path ahead is clear, nonetheless, and the choices are mine. I suspect that the attempts to contact me by a couple of exes, and the continued reminders of the more recent hell I vacated (that reach me by way of providing emotional support to my traveling partner as he deals with his own experience), is enough to challenge me to do a more thorough job of taking care of myself by letting some of this bullshit and baggage go, in a more complete way. I continue to practice good emotional self-care. I find The Four Agreements immensely helpful for dealing with symptoms of OPD. Why does it come up again? I wonder, but don’t answer the question easily.  I’m not sure the question really rates the work to find an answer beyond the obvious one; there is more to learn, and I have not yet completed that work.

Seeking balance, instead of answers.

Seeking balance, instead of answers.

The morning unfolds gently. My coffee is almost gone. The clock suggests it is soon time to head to the office. My mind still feels overly busy, and recognizing it I sense a bit of anxiety creeping in around the edges. I breathe. Relax. Let it go. I make a private commitment to myself to spend more time meditating this weekend, and consider getting out on the trail into the calm of the forest… or taking the bus to the beach.

Today is a good day to treat myself well – and everyone else, too. Be safe out there, World, and watch for pranksters. 🙂