TV Pride

What bugs me is people who interrupt my “I saw on TV the other day. . .” with a haughty “I don’t watch TV.” It’s usually delivered with the kind of pride that should be reserved for announcing that you cured cancer.

“I don’t even own a TV,” they continue pompously. “I don’t have it in my house. Eww.” And then they proceed to list all the junk they watch on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

If you are going to feel all superior for not watching TV, then at least tell folks that you are using this time to read Kant in the original and not to watch the exact same junk on Netflix that I watch on TV. And on Netflix and everywhere else.

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The Depths

I’m surfing Jonathan’s wave a lot today, and here’s a very good post on how to turn off the negative radio.

What I like the most about myself is that I’ve had several really harsh situations in my life and every single time I was strong and didn’t let them break me. You really never know what will come out when hardship hits. And what came out of the depths of me in these situations was good. That makes me proud.

Although, of course, I’d prefer never to have experienced any of them.

Competitive

We are waiting for Klara’s dance lesson to begin, and there’s this little girl in the waiting area with us. Klara and the girl start trying to outdo each other in all kinds of gymnastics. And it’s clear that they are competing because they are looking at each other and giving each other these triumphant looks after each effort. Nobody was praising them for it or offering any encouragement. They were responding only to each other. And enjoying the whole thing enormously. Klara was exultant. It was really weird to see these tiny creatures being so obviously competitive.

And then people say that human beings are not competitive by nature. I clearly didn’t teach her to be competitive. Because I’m not competitive. OK, that’s a total lie. I’m very competitive but not in any way that she can understand at this point. We haven’t discussed the merits of my CV yet. And her father is the most uncompetitive person known to humanity. We’ve never compared any of her skills to anybody else’s. There’s nothing competitive going on at school because they are two years old. So I don’t see how this can be something learned.

Happy Radio

Imagine if you had a radio commentator analyzing every move you made, everything you did or didn’t do, in critical terms. “Jonathan is not having a very good day, no. ¬†Look, he’s procrastinating again. Why can’t he do better, I just don’t understand it….” When you went out of the house, you would get more criticism from this radio narrator about yourself, your inadequacies and failings of various kinds, and it wouldn’t stop all day long. You would probably want to turn the radio off, right?

A lot of people have that, though, in their own heads, and don’t know how to turn it off.

I have this radio in my head, too. But what it tells me is, “You are beautiful, you look fantastic. Wow, that was such a brilliant thing you just said. You rock! This was such a smart thing to do! Amazing!”

As I shared before, I had a group of adoring grandparents and great-grandparents who would gather around me throughout my childhood and stare at me with an almost religious adoration, discussing me in hushed voices in these superlative terms. Their voices are now my inner voice. It’s the best thing I have going for me in my life. I haven’t made it happen in any way, and it’s not my achievement. But it’s a cool thing to have.

I’m pretty much the only woman I know who is so completely happy with the way I look and with my intellectual capacities. Come to think of it, I don’t know any men who’d have such a happy sense of self either. I have many other challenges but at least this is not one. And so this inner voice is what I want to give to Klara. Because it’s the best thing I can offer to her. This is why she thinks Beautiful is a descriptor that is linked specifically to her as a measure of all beauty in the world.

Because once you do have the unhappy radio in your head, switching it off is extraordinarily hard.