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Urs Truly was taught and trained in the axiom dreams mean something. Dr. Freud made mistakes – a few of the howlers – but he was spot-on the contents of dreams are able to tell us things of which we are not conscious. Some dreams, anyway. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes what’s parading around in your pumpkin in the wee hours of night is just scramble. [1] Dream interpretation done in the Freudian way is reductive viz. taking all the vague and disguised contents and distilling them down to an unconscious wish. [2] Spo-fans know I am a Jungian. Jung took a different approach to dreams. He used them like springboards to expand into conscious exploration. Dreams sometimes are personal (the Personal Unconscious) but often archetypal, something he called The Collective Unconscious.[3] Both fellows tried to make sense of something mankind has always been fascinated with: why do we dream and what do they mean? All cultures took dreams seriously. The Old Testament has Joseph providing dream analysis to Pharaoh to guide him in his life choices.

Of course all this was so, prior to learning how the brain works. We still don’t know exactly why we dream – or why we need sleep for that matter – but the most recent science supports the brain needs sleep to clean out the crap and form connections and memories: it’s down time to repair and coalesce. As neuroscience advances, the contents of dreams become less important compared to the form. [4] Other than some booklets for sale at the grocery store check out line with titles like ‘What your dreams mean’, no one seems interested anymore in dream analysis. Rather, they obsess with getting enough sleep and ‘REM’ time.

Mind! There is little if any good supportive evidence the content of dreams means anything; this is based on countless cases throughout time of folks/analysands making great insights to their worker of dreams. It isn’t science.

The notion dreams are just neuronal firing at night as the brain trying to repair and cleanse itself is both a comfort and a disappointment. I’m glad we are focusing on getting enough sleep. All the same there is a loss of individual humanity to throwing out looking at dream contents. No one dreams the same way and no one’s dream’s contents mean the same thing. They are as individual as fingerprints. I find it sad not using this unique and potentially knowledge-bringing tool delegated to the bottom of the medical tool box. Patients do not come to me anymore to do dream analysis; they come it get meds.

When I first entered Jungian psychoanalysis the psycholgist asked me a few preliminary questions and then said ‘tell me your dreams’. He was trying in his way to get to know me as an individual. It felt intimate.

Although I practice good sleep hygiene and am careful to get enough sleep, I seldom remember my dreams and when I do they are as mish-mashed as my hummingbird brain, no surprise. Once in awhile I get a ‘proper dream’ that makes me sit up and think and expand and learn about something.

So long as some folks are curious to learn about themselves, dream analysis remains in the tool box, not the most important one anymore but still a good one.

[1] Medicines serotonin-based like antidepressants are notorious for causing dreaming side effects. The two adjectives I often hear about are ‘vivid’ and ‘weird’. I tell thems dreaming on duloxetine to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

[2] Nearly always about sex or death. It’s pretty predictable.

[3] Overall more interesting and more fun than reducing everything down to child-parent conflicts.

[4] For thems who poo-poo the notion ‘dreams mean something’: a common symptom in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is recurring nightmares of the trauma or something similar to it. This is the wounded brain valiantly trying to work through the memory but unable to resolve the matter. Don’t tell folks with trauma-related dreams theirs don’t mean anything.

Note: this one came to mind as I watched the BBC news. This morning Paul B. (the dear!) sent an email suggesting I write on the same topic. The change of a monarch is on many minds today. Spo

I think it was Robertson Davies who said the best government (at least from a psychological point of view) is a socialist monarchy. This gives folks a conscious collective of fairness and a monarch who fills the archetypal need for King/Queen energy in our lives. Humans can’t help but create a King. Anthropologists say we are social simians we need hierarchy to get things done. Jungians (like myself) see the necessity of someone to represent and resonant with our inner King/Queen archetype.

Like everyone else, the late Queen was the only personification of King/Queen energy I have ever known. I cannot imagine what a change in Incarnation is like. Being English by history.* Mind! My ability to write with any expertise about Queen Elizabeth II’s passing and how this effects The Psyche of her subjects is going to be a weak endeavor. I have always resonated with Great Britain as personified by the monarchy but this hardly qualifies me to comment with expertise on the event. I am discussing the archetypal energies, not the actual monarchs.

From a Jungian point of view, the energies are shifting from ‘Queen’ back to ‘King’ again, and that is no small matter. What stays the same is the ‘age’ element. There isn’t the usual Old One dying and passing on the King Energy to The Young Prince. Curious too is Charles’ plan on keep his name and not become George VII. That too is significant; he isn’t going to emulate his grandfather. **

I will be curious to see how The Collective Psyche of the U.K. and the Commonwealth – and thems who are attune to King/Queen energy by proxy will react to this change of the archetypal figure head. I would advise the new guy now surmounted by the crown and task to emulate as much King Energy (watch the Shadow side!) as possible. Get out from under his late parent’s shadow (pun intended) to channel King energy his way as best he can. It is no small task especially after following such a long and beloved holder of the Energy. He needs to stop being Prince Charles and be King, utilizing Sage Energy as well as he can muster.

I am curious to hear from The Spo-fans who are subjects of Her – oops make that His – Majesty if I am even close to saying something or is it all rubbish.

P.S. My middle name is Charles. I am pleased as Punch from a personal reason he kept it.

*Spos ran around England from ~1066-1630 and the first five generations of Spos on North American soil they saw themselves as English-types, not Americans. This is deep archetypal energies indeed.

**For thems who don’t know English history, Charles I and II were rawther interesting fellows with rawther colorful histories. While we complain about royal shenanigans there is a part of us that loves seeing our monarchs acting out our fantasies. I hope Charles III does the name good.

Note: this one has Jungian Psychology. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections loathes this sort of entry. This is a puzzlement as they are archetypes themselves, so why the fuss? I suppose they are mad-jealous. The Greek gods are, on the whole, are more interesting than thems in Asgard, and they regularly wash. Spo.

I’ve been thinking lately on Hades, Lord of the underworld in the Greek Pantheon. I am not sure why he’s coming front on stage in my consciousness but thems trained in Jungian psychology go with whose around and see what they are trying to say here.

People put a lot of glory to Gaia, or The Earth Goddess, or The Great Mother – whatever name floats your boat – but underneath the fertile feminine, deep down at the base of things, is the masculine Lord of the Underworld. She rules the subconscious but he rules the unconscious, and carries Shadow energy more often than she does.

Hades gets a lot of bad press. Modern folks, who see gods as either all good or all bad, tend to dress Hades up as the Greek version of Satan, full of malice and diabolical machinations, which he is not. He did his job which is running the underworld – where all go, good or bad. He did this with dignity and he wasn’t one to run around doing shenanigans like his younger brothers, Zeus and Poseidon.* There is that myth of him abducting Persephone for a wife, but the actual tale shows a) this was arranged by Zeus (the real villain of the piece) and b) he was a faithful spouse who loved his wife with whom he ran the underworld in partnership. Not bad that – and for a Greek god !

I find Mr. Hades’ attributes attractive. He takes his lot and makes what he can from it. He holds his role with dignity and he does it without fuss and drama. He allows others like Gaia/Demeter to take the glory and adoration while he takes satisfaction with a job well done. He doesn’t need direct worship, but keeps people on their toes that regardless what you do in life, he is yours in the end, so do the right thing and make your life and each day count.

Finally he has a cool pet, the three-headed dog Cerberus, the name can be interpreted as ‘spotted animal” so his dog is literally named “Spot”. The guy has a wry sense of humor to boot.

*As the oldest child of Chronos and Rhea, by birthright he should have been in charge, but he and his two brothers drew lots for the ruler of the sky, the sea, and the earth – and he came in third. Rather than throwing a hissy fit he took his fate fair and square.

I was recently asked ‘Are you a story teller?” I had to pause, to first clarify what the inquisitor meant. By her definition, no, I am not a Storyteller. I tell a lot of stories, but I don’t do this for a living nor is it one of my main Archetypes of my psyche. However, it is a vital part of my psyche. Worse luck it isn’t more active.

The archetype of The Storyteller is an ancient one. Since the dawn of time mankind has used stories to entertain and explain things. Hearing the words ‘once upon a time” conjures up nostalgia of childhood memories of our elders telling us tales that were not true but contained Truth. Most of us never grow out of our need for stories.  Savvy leaders know telling a story gets others’ attention far better than merely telling the facts. 

I love stories. I recently wrote about ‘Star Wars’. For all its special effects it is merely another version of The Hero’s Journey. This is no accident. Mr. Lucas carefully planned it out this way, down to the now iconic opening:  

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”.  

It sounds like a bedtime story. 

I have plenty of memorized stories from my youth, and I have a handful of my own, and a few I think are mine but it turns out they are not.* Alas, Babylon! I don’t have an audience. I am like an eager actor with no stage. Long gone are the days when I was in Boy Scouts when I was called upon to tell tales by campfire (I wasn’t good at knots but I told a keen ghost story). The niblings are no longer interested in Uncle Spo’s tales.  I want to wear a button “Ask me to tell you a story”.   

People nowadays don’t seem as interested in stories, let alone adore The Story Teller. Mostly they want to talk about themselves or they have the attention span of a goldfish: they want you to get to the point. I may be one of The Last of The Mohicans (there’s a good story!) who relish sitting back and hearing someone tell a story. I wish my job gave me more time for such, for folks have many tales to tell. 

It is no wonder I listen to a lot of podcasts like “Myths and Legends” and my book shelves are full up with fiction and folk tales and such. There’s nothing like a Saturday night at Heorot Johnson II for hearing The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections lay out a saga or an edda. **  

One of the niceties of having a headful of stories is even when no ones wants to hear them, at any moment I can recall them for myself. Indeed, at life’s end, when I have few resources upon which to entertain myself, I only have to conjure up Bilbo Baggins or Jerome the Frog or Pippi Longstalking or even Odysseus (in a pinch) and I am comforted. 

*Sometimes I catch myself telling a vignette that I think is personal, only to realize it was something that was told to me. Just hate when that happens. 

**Slater-Wotan tells a fine yarn – provided he is not too deep in his cups. Herbert, on the other hand, bores us to tears with his ‘adventure stories’ in accounting. 

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections has the illustrative job of managing my writing, but not of my daily doings. Good thing too. Come into my mind and see how the rest of me functions, at least from a symbolic perspective. Spo

Every once in a while (when I remember to do so) I take inventory of all the complexes in my psyche and decide which one shall sit next to the Ego as my righthand man to guide me through the season. These complexes are symbolized by archetypal characters, men and women from literature, legends, the movies, and from my life. Think of Star Trek with Captain Kirk or Picard with his crew. He takes council from all but he has a main assistant. In one version it is Spock; in another it is Riker. For Spo-fans unfamiliar with the Star Trek, envision a CEO sitting at the head of the table, with board members sitting left and right down the table.

Serving the role of Right-hand Man for some time has been ‘Dale’. Dale is a friend, a social worker, who is a patient loving man, very good with his therapy clients, particularly when they are being angry or difficult. When I encounter such types in my work or in public, I channel Dale and try to act similar. All the other characters chime in of course. The Child usually votes to shrink away, not liking angry interactions. The Logical one (an amalgam of Spock, Data, The Scientist, and my Uncle Ed) wants to get the one upset ‘to see reason’. They are all heard but as CEO I usually vote to follow Dale’s example – minus his horrible tendency for puns (oh the horror).

In 2022 I think my righthand man will be The Stoic. The Stoic doesn’t lack feelings, he just doesn’t act out on them. He sees obstacles, conflict, etc. not as impediments, but as the way things are. In Stoicism there is something close to optimism. It is a sense that despite what is happening to you, you will get through it somehow. The Stoic has less nurturance than Dale (and no puns either), but has, how do I say this, more implacable doggedness to persevere, despite what is happening.

The CEO in me will make the executive decision to move The Stoic up to the first chair on the righthand side of him, asking Dale to sit on his left now, but no further down the line. The Anxious One, better or worse always a Board member, is demoted to the end of the table. No matter what is proposed or happens, he immediately jumps up in hysterics and pushes the panic button. I can’t dismiss him, but with The Stoic on my right and Dale on my left I can choose another path than panic and worse-case scenarios.

Note: this one was written on day in which I had far too many patients with Borderline Personality Disorder. These types can be rawther draining, especially if they are back to back in the schedule. It was very hard for Mr. CEO/Ego to keep from sucking up all their emotional shenanigans. Happily, The Stoic and Dale kept me going. All the same, Mr. CEO is having a private performance evaluation session this evening with The Hedonist over a snort. See you tomorrow for Wendesday’s Ws.

I recently heard a story I quite liked. In the tale, The Buddha, during his attempts to cut out the rubbish and become enlightened, is pestered by the demon Mara. After becoming enlightened, Mara doesn’t give up but drops by from time to time, apparently still trying to throw The Buddha into distraction. The Buddha’s buddies want him to fight Mara either to slay him or at least get him to stop popping by. Rather, Mr. Buddha asks Mara in for tea, and the two have tea together. The story doesn’t say Mara gets bored or discouraged to the point he goes away, but there is some ‘closure’ Mara is tamed to the point The Buddha stays stable.

The lesson here isn’t about the healing powers of tea, although I will add making a pot of tea is a panacea for all moods and situations. The main point to the story is Mara and other demons seldom go away and they are not vanquished through combat. Indeed, fighting seems to just make them more powerful. Jung repeatedly said one cannot eliminate Shadow and to try is folly. Rather, like Mara (a Shadow figure) get to know where it is and learn its lessons. Patients often want anxiety to go away but fail to stop to learn its lessons, what it is trying to tell us. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Since it is Christmas time, I will also share a story from Switzerland about St. Gallus, who did his own version of tea with Mara.

Centuries ago St. Gallus went to the mountains of Switzerland to preach to the pagans and convert them to Christianity. No one would house him, so he found a cave to set up shop. He moved in and felt fortunate. However, he discovered living in the back of the cave was a large truculent bear, well over four feet. There were ructions. The bear would not leave and Gallus could not beat the bear in a fight. St. Gallus sat down with the bear and they struck a bargain: the bear would allow him to stay in the cave and in return Gallus would provide their food and fire. The bear would gather the firewood and Gallus would protect the bear from the locals who wished the bear dead.

I am trying better to invite my demons in for tea (I have heaps) and to live with the bears in my brain. They are not going to leave. Understanding what they are and what lessons they provide is a good thing.

My savings throw against The Angst Monster failed mightily this week.* At work I have fears about an unpredictable possibly violent patient. There is some anxiety induced by the buyout by The Overlords. At home I have concerns about upcoming events, including a flight to Michigan. I won’t watch the news anymore, as it is all ‘too much’. Everything seems to evoke emotions of helplessness and hopelessness. All challenges my training and my philosophy and my coping skills.

One of the most ancient and popular story-lines is “Slaying the Monster”. This universal stencil is seen in countless stories, tales, and movies. Slaying the monster is an archetype about coming to terms with The Shadow and its personifications. Here are the basics:

There is a monster in the area. It is usually not recognized as such right away. Complacent folk are not aware of it at first; the evidence is denied, dismissed, or deemed done by something else. In time the monster makes itself known and folks finally connect the dots it really is so. Folks (or The Hero) go to battle with the monster and its ilk and allies. The monster looks defeated and there is a sense of closure – only for the monster to return even worse than before. The scales tip and the prognosis turns grim; the monster is certain to ‘win’. Then – when things looks the bleakest – The Hero(s) find a solution and the monster is finally slain. Life goes back to normal, or a ‘new normal’, based on the experience. The Hero and the people are changed in some ways, hopefully for the wiser.

In the 20th century “Slaying the monster” stories became less resolute. The angst of the 20th century translated them into more pessimistic tales: one can not kill the monster but only squelch it for awhile. The Monster keeps coming back. This is reflected in all those horror films franchises with their never-ending sequels (think Michael from ‘Halloween” or the Godzilla movies).** Heroes come and go yet the Monster stays. As the newsman on The Onion says: “this sh-t never ends”.

While we want to slay the monster, make sure it is dead, this sort of closure only occurs in fairy tales. Fairy tales are comforting they assure us Good triumphs and Justice prevails. Dr. Jung and The Stoics would disagree. Jungians never ask “is there a monster (Shadow)?’ but ask ‘where is Shadow now?” For The Stoics, the monsters aren’t the obstacle in the way, the monsters are the way. Life is a series of whack-a-mole Hydra-headed monsters. Being conscious of our monsters makes them paradoxically manageable. We will endure – somehow – all monster attacks; our saving throws suffice. This isn’t much comfort but it is the best there is. I hope it is enough for me, anyway.

*In ‘Dungeons and Dragons’, when your character is attacked by a monster, you the player get to roll a twenty-sided dice for something called a ‘saving throw”. This means you’ve managed to dodge the attack. Perhaps that fire-breathing dragon was too far to the left, or the nasty gnome’s sling shot deflected off the tip of your shield. If you fail the throw, you get the full hit of the incoming weapon. Big monsters like demons, dragons, and Texas legislators often have a high saving throw number between 18-20. Stirges, by the way, have a saving throw of 6, which is surprisingly low.

**A curious solution to the problem of the unstoppable Monster is to render it less odious. Godzilla started out as a deadly take-no-prisoners entity that was slowly translated over time to become a protector-guardian type, not only of Japan but of the planet. He’s on our side! Another example is Mr. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu who regularly shows up in humorous and cute toys and Christmas ornaments. If you can’t defeat the monster, declaw it or make it cute. These are not bad options.

I thought to write on the topic of running away. It would be a ‘serious’ entry, so I ran it by The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections for their thoughts and approval. Herbert, the archivist, reminded me I did something like this in 2012. I could not interpret this as ‘ja or nay’ so I went ahead with it. It’s been on my mind anyway. Spo

Back when I was smaller and people were taller I often longed to run away. Sometimes this was a positive longing to see far-off better-than-this-place lands. If Alice, Milo, Lucy, and Dorothy could do it, why oh why can’t I? Most of the time it was a negative desire. It came up whenever could not bear being part of the general idiocy and disappointment that was reality. It had an element of cowardice to it. Rather than face my fears (school, state, nation, the world) I would withdraw and not deal with any of it. I would fall into a book or go the inner compartment of my mind where no one has ever entered. 

The emotion to run away and withdraw has been lately stronger than ever. I felt after the last presidential election things were getting a little better but they have not. I don’t have data to support this, but I sense it is only going to become worse. The desire to close the door, lock it from within, and throw away the key is as strong as it has ever been. 

I call this complex “The Dark Fairy”.  In many fairy tales and stories there is some magical malevolent entity or people calling the protagonist to join them in their land, of so different and faraway from here. The Odyssey has The Sirens. The Japanese have Yuki-onna, the Snow Woman. Here are some examples in poetry and song:

From the poem “Stolen Child”, by Yeats:

‘Come away, O human child!

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.’

The movie ‘Hocus Pocus’:

‘Come little children 

I’ll take thee away 

Into a land of enchantment 

Come little children 

The time’s come to play 

Here in my garden of shadows.’

Curious how many of these calls involve music and singing, and a sort of hypnotism. No matter how alluring it sounds, one should not go that route.  Succumbing to the sonorous sounds of The Dark Fairy does not result in peace but madness or death.

Milo, Alice, Dorothy, and Lucy all come back from their escape from boring problematic reality to see ‘real life’ better than they thought it was. That’s the right way to withdraw. You return, you don’t stay there.  

“Well, I would like to make another trip but I really don’t know when I’ll have the time. There’s just so much to do right here” 

Emerson said “Always do the thing you are afraid of” and Marie Curie said “Nothing in life is to be feared but understood”. May their bright songs outsing and outshine the call of The Dark Fairy and her ilk.

Years ago (or should that be: ‘once upon a time’ ?) there lived in a faraway land a critical Spo-fan I shall call Thomas Gradgrind. He commented why fill my blog with ‘fairy-tale rubbish’. Mr. Gradgrind criticized that my blog was very good, but the ‘dungeons and dragons stuff cheapened it’; this made the blog difficult for the readers (meaning him) to take it less seriously. Stories of imagination do tend to upset those without one. Thomas G. didn’t stick around* so I never got to write him a brilliant riposte as to why Spo-reflections if up to its oxters with such. Here it is. Spo

I am not going to do a detailed job of discriminating the differences between a fairy tale, a myth, and science-fiction. They all fall under the common category ‘stories’. Fairy tales tend to have ordinary folk in them, while myths have gods/immortals in them and sci-fi has aliens and the like . I am writing about fairy tales, the sort of stories grandmother types have told their grandchildren throughout time.

The need to tell such stories is universal; all cultures do it. Indeed, there are countless variations of the same ones. For example, there are many versions of the classic Cinderella story. Almost all cultures have one, for it touches on the universal story of “rags to riches”. Sometimes a familiar story is retold with a difficult ‘spin’ to serve the needs of the times. Think of “Wicked” or “The Canterville Ghost” or “Into the Woods”**

Since The Dawn of Man we have enjoyed being entertained, and stories filled this purpose before radio and television took the place of the inglenook and the bedside. Stories allow us to enter into a hypothetical world in order to examine our own and to make sense of something. It is no trifle that many stories start with the teller and listener removing themselves from the reality of here and now. George Lucas’s original ‘Star Wars’ is not science fiction but a fairy-tale, which he framed with those now iconic words: ‘once upon a time long ago in a galaxy far far away’.*** Fairy tales address our childlike need for justice and closure. They make us imagine (pun intended) a hypothetical setting in which magic mends what we don’t have in reality. Bad people are punished and good people are rewarded. Fairy-tales tell children to behave and things work out, despite the seemingly futility to do so.

There is a concept in psychology called ‘a transitional object’. This is an item, like a stuffed animal, that children use to go between their inner reality and the outside world. It helps them make as safe transition from the former towards the latter. Fairy tales do the same. Small wonder then when we reread a fairytale book from our childhood or see a Disney movie we feels childlike again.

An objection to fairy tales is ‘they are not reality’. In reality bad people are not always punished and order and righteousness don’t always occur. Fairy tales aren’t meant for escapism but to give the listener hope that despite everything good can happen.

Terry Prachett wrote humans don’t need stories to make life bearable; humans need stories to be human.

“You need to believe in things that aren’t true, how else can they become?”

Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom, there lived a young maiden, a sad young man, and a childless baker with his wife.

*I don’t know what happened to him; he sort of disappeared. I suspect foul play. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections doesn’t take kindly to being called imaginary. I fear they sent The Furies (or someone like them) and drove poor Mr. Gradgrind to distraction.

** The musical ‘Into the Woods’ is my favorite musical for just this reason. If you don’t know this splendid show, I very much recommend it. Act I has several familiar fairy tales in it; it ends with ‘happy ever after’. Then Act II opens and tells us what happens after ‘happy ever after”. Marvelous.

***Thems into Star Wars sometimes insist Stars Wars is proper sci-fi NOT a fairy tale. Their umbrage rests upon the erroneous assumption fairy-tale is the prerogative equivalent of childish and not serious. Jungians take fairy tales very seriously. They are truths disguised in things not true.

I read a lot of articles these days about burn-out and exhaustion. In the social outlets and in the medical journals these conditions are apparently rampant made worse by the consequence of covid 19. We are burning the candle at three ends. My Jungian-trained mind goes to balance, so it is not surprising I’ve been thinking a lot about “Jordon” lately.

Jordon was an analysand of mine when I was in private practice in Evanston in the early 90s. He was a man in his 70s, I recall, sent in for head-shrinking by his wife on the grounds ‘something wasn’t right with him’. Jordon was a recent retiree after decades of being the president or CEO of some sort of business.  He and his wife were quite active in fund raisers, board members, social clubs, and at their church. Now that he was retired he didn’t want to do any of these things. What he wanted to do was ‘bum around’. He was quite happy – nay, content – doing nothing more than reading books or literally going fishing without any goal of catching fish.  His wife was appalled. Mrs. Jordon wanted himto do all the usual things and more since he had more time to do them. Obviously he must be depressed, as if he was ‘right’ he would want to do all these things as she thought was ‘right’. They had a lifelong propensity to go on holidays in which she had them running around day and night when all he wanted to do was sit on the beach with a book.

Jordon and I worked on how he could find ways to reconcile his desires with hers – short of a divorce or separate vacations. I was fired in the end for not getting him better viz. not getting him to want to be busy. Rumor has it after we ended she took him on a three week-long cruise to Antartica with three other couples (none he could stand) with daily rosters full up with lecture series and yoga classes and canasta.  

I have christened the complex to be constantly on the go and doing the ‘right’ things “The Jordon Complex’. Mr. and Mrs. Jordon could have been seen as extreme cases of introversion vs. extroversion but I think there was more than ‘where did they go to recharge themselves’. Mrs. Jordon (at least how she was portrayed to me) had a lot of ‘should’ statements to her, and vanity too – what would the neighbors think or her/them to know Jordon was bumming around when his peers were running boards and charity drives? Oh the embarrassment.

‘Being busy’ is the new bent status symbol but it wasn’t always this so. Before the 20th century the rich and important boasted their worth through a life of indolence. In the 21st century it is through how g-d busy we are. We can’t just do a simple stroll in the park but must be listening to a lecture or audiobook while tracking our steps for cardiovascular health. Maybe you are old enough to remember weekends and vacations used to be  times of ‘doing nothing’, taking a rest, to recharge you batteries for the work week.

Please don’t think I am above and beyond this. I must consciously mind the habit and cultural influence to be constantly doing things. I am working on my inner-Jordon to let him go fish or read a book or whatever he wants – or doesn’t want – to do. I want to say to others when they asks me: ‘what did you do on your vacation?” or “How was your weekend?” to say ‘oh nothing really, it was non-eventful”.  The Mrs. Jordons has been running the itinerary for far too long now and it is costing us our energy and our souls. 

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September 2022

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