Duhhhhhh (the sound of my brain in the morning)

For some reason I let myself get talked into scheduling super-early appointments with my therapist. Oh yeah, because it lets me avoid rush hour and still get to work at a reasonable time.

Therapist says this morning’s session was “productive”. I’m dubious. He wound up telling me what almost every other person in my life has said – I need to take more satisfaction in the simple things. I hope we talk about the how in our next session. That’s the part which stumps me. He also seemed to have an “a-HA!” attitude about how I started out in our first session talking about avivahg a lot, and now I’m talking more about myself. No shit, Sherlock. If I’d really believed the problem was in someone else, I wouldn’t have started therapy in the first place. I wanted to get all that out of the way, so that I could get to the stuff that I think are problems with me, regardless of my relationships. The whole point is, I recognize the issues I have in my marriage, and I also recognize that things have gotten much better in the last year, and the fact that I am, nonetheless, still unhappy points to underlying problems in myself.

You know, it’s not like I don’t enjoy little things. The trouble is, I enjoy the wrong little things. I get a sense of happiness out of many things, including:

  1. Sitting undisturbed in a comfortable chair, in a room of my own, reading.
  2. Long hikes.
  3. Driving down a country road, on a clear day, with good music playing.
  4. Long walks at night. Particularly in towns/cities.
  5. Getting software to pass it’s unit tests.
  6. Jumping in the car, or even on a plane, to visit a friend.
  7. Live concerts.
  8. Eating at fancy restaurants.
  9. Watching live theatre.
  10. Being able to buy something a friend wants but can’t afford.
  11. Drinking with good company.
  12. Coming home to a house in which everything is in it’s place.
  13. Brewing coffee.
  14. Playing guitar or drum with other musicians.
  15. Goofing off and generally being stupid with friends (typically the ones who are my age or younger).
  16. Cooking in my own kitchen (i.e. one that’s organized my way).
  17. Cuddling with friends.
  18. Riding the train.
  19. Showing someone how to do something on the computer.
  20. Taking photos.
  21. Friendly, not-too-competetive board games or video games with friends.
  22. Flying kites, paper airplanes, and other things which can be coerced into flying.
  23. Camping.
  24. Riding horses.
  25. Laboring for some good cause, so long as the work’s simple and well-organized, the people involved have a good attitude, and I don’t have to deal with people too much (e.g. soup kitchens).
  26. Canoeing.
  27. Buying and wearing nifty clothes.
  28. Hugs.
  29. Picnics.
  30. Working behind the scenes at some event or project that makes people happy.
  31. Boosting someone’s self-esteem.
  32. Being the bringer of unexpected cheer.
  33. Sampling fine microbrews.
  34. Photography shows.
  35. Did I mention reading?
  36. Long conversations over coffee (preferably at a coffee house).
  37. Buying and playing with new electronic toys.
  38. Going to artsy movies.
  39. Skiing.
  40. Starting and watching fires (the campfire kind! I’m not an arsonist!).
  41. Catching fireflies, looking for salamanders under logs, etc.
  42. Occasionally getting drunk, with the right people.

In short, I am an esthete who enjoys the finer things in life, needs lots of space and time to himself interspersed with social activities, loves the outdoors, needs to do things for others, and craves order with the possibility of spontaneity. Many of the above activities are either impossible or impractical at present, though. For example, I don’t own a comfy chair, let alone a space that is solely “mine”.

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  1. I am really dubious of getting emotional help from folks who only see you for a brief bit once a week, for mucho mullah.

    Then again, I have my own therapist full time at home in my wife…maybe I am spoiled.

    “Long walks at night. Particularly in towns/cities.”

    I also dig doing this…lets go to the UK and wander…

    I should try to make a list myself. Jules pointed out to me yesterday that I don’t seem to enjoy anything…but I’m sure i do…I just need to be reminded…

    1. It’s “free” to me, it’s on my employer’s EAP program. May as well take advantage of it.

      I like to talk to a therapist because I need someone who is totally disconnected from the rest of my life to talk to. There are some things that I just can’t talk about because they are to personal to talk to mere acquaintances about, but which involve the people I trust who I would otherwise talk to.

      Yeah, I’d been meaning to put that list together and it seemed like a good time to do it. I still think I missed a few, but I’m pleasantly amused that I wound up with 42 of them.

      1. i miss riding the train to visit a friend who would buy me something i liked but couldn’t afford, like a train ticket to go see a friend so we can walk the city streets at night…

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