Saturday, January 21, 2006

If I Could Pick

When I was little, I learned the rule about who gets to pick. It’s simple. It goes like this. I get to pick for me, and you get to pick for you. When there’s company—visitors—sometimes they get to pick for everyone, but that’s a courtesy, a way to say, “We’re glad you came to our home.”

I’m not sure why so many people are confused about this simple rule, but some people seem to think they get to pick when it’s definitely clear, that it’s not their turn.

“You know, you’re getting to an age where you should really get a shorter hairstyle.”
“Why thank you for saying that, but I’m fine with my hair, just fine with the way it is.
“Seriously, long hair is a much younger woman’s style.”
“Lady, put a sock in it. It’s my hair. You don’t get to pick.”

In my family we knew this rule really well. Maybe in other families this rule somehow got itself bent.

“You should try to do more socializing. Go out more. Have friends over. If you don’t invite people to your home, they will never invite you.”

“Hey there, Miss Interested, with all your friends. Look in a mirror, before you go out. That person there. That’s who you get to pick for. I'm not in that mirror. I don’t want or need to go out every night. Here is the hard truth. I’m the one who gets to pick for me, Clueless, I get to pick my life, not you.”

Lately I must admit an urge to break the rule has come over me. I’ve been wishing that I could win a pick, just one pick for more than my life—nothing big or impossible like world peace, mind you—but who knows this little pick might help out a little bit there too. My pick would be to mandate a nap everyday for every American in all 50 states. We wouldn’t have to sleep. Who could make someone sleep?

Still everyone would have to go somewhere quiet every afternoon for at least 20 minutes, alone with no toys—no TV, no computer, no Ipod, no phone. All toys would be off so we might give our minds a rest. With rested minds maybe our hearts and souls would have a chance to recharge. Maybe our spirits would wire all three back together. Maybe we would start to feel whole after a while. At the very least maybe then, we could use airplanes, or elevators, or restrooms without talking on cell phones.

There could be special dispensations for weekends or for when friends were in town, but otherwise, I think to miss naptime we should have to have a note from ourselves saying why we can’t be there.

I know I don’t get to pick whether every American spends every day getting some time alone. I just keep thinking if we did, we might not be so stressed. At least we’d put away our computers and cell phones for that little while. Some of us might figure out how to meditate or to pray.

Maybe then we wouldn’t look like people who are afraid to be alone.
—me strauss Letting me be


Cheryl said...

Brilliant idea. So much time is used up dealing with uncentred people and getting them to refocus, because of the rush of life.

Short hair became a fashion between the world wars - it was also practical. Women born in the 30s, 40s, 50s rarely had long hair, all their lives,(except for a brief lfower power period in the 60s when the look was originally based on being non-conformist = uncorsetted and untidy) but as times changed it would seem to some that the older generation always had shorter hair. In the roaring 20s it was the other way round.

There is advantage to a shorter cut if your hair goes to straw and always has split ends or looks straggly. Again, for ladies who are thinning on top,less weight in the hair helps. But baby, if you've got it, flaunt it, and do what you damn well please!

Bluesky_Liz said...

I was thinking the other day that some people should take some time for themselves, or maybe just be selfish for once. For once, don't share that bag of chips with somebody, be the first to start at the dinner table, get your own coffee and don't ask if anyone wants any, and related to this blog article, go away for a few hours by yourself and don't tell anybody. Some people complain about being used, and they still try so hard to be so kind and considerate. Being just a bit more selfish might actually help them a bit.

ME Strauss said...

Hey Cheryl,
Good morning! Yeah, plenty of people would do well with a nap to stelled them down a bit. Get their minds off work and on something real for once.

I think long hair is eaiser to take care of. And when it looks good it takes a nice picture. :) :)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Liz,
I agree with what you say completely, A little space "to air out" is a wonderful thing for the soul. It's kind of like defragging a computer . . . it lets our brains reset and reorganize. Sometimes I just lay down and close my eyes and try not to think about anything. Gosh it helps not to be thinking every moment we're awake.

Going outside to stare at the sky and tress is nice too.

Dawn said...

I would definitely vote for the Nap Rule. A nap a day for every man, woman, child and pet in the country. I used to tsk-tsk the folks in countries where an afternon siesta was the norm and businesses closed down for 3 hours in the afternoon. Now I see what a healthy choice an afternoon break is.
Give me the clip board,Liz, and I'll be happy to sign your referendum.

ME Strauss said...

Thanks Dawn,
Being right-brain, I just know how much good it does me to close my eyes and just let the pictures play themselves out for 20 minutes. I also know how nice it is to get away from people talking at me, without having to ask them to be quiet. :) Selfish, I suppose, but true.

Maybe we could lobby for it . . . the way they did for nonsmoking laws.

Kelley Bell said...

In Mexico, everybody takes a siesta.

In France, the custom is a very long social meal. (Drive thru feeding is an abomination to them.)

Muslims stop and pray five times each day.

Asia is filled with daily meditative rituals...too many to list.

We Americans rush, push, strive and drive with the blind ambition of manifest destiny.

Capitalists just dont see any profit in peace.

(except for the Teli-Prophets, who praise for a "piece." lol)

Red Clover said...

I must have at least 10-20 mins of "me" time every few days or I'm just not fun to be around. If more people learned how to be comfortable alone and/or unplugged from everything .. Yeah, I do think it would help with the overall stress levels.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Kelley,
You point out again with your knowledge one more way we are such a young, inexperience culture.
I'm already planning my nap time for today. I feel the call to be part of the universe no just part of the human "rat" race.


ME Strauss said...

Hi Red Clover,
Thank you for adding those words to the conversation. Yeah, I'm the same way. Whenever I give myself time for airing out, I get nicer and so do the people around me.


Betty said...

Your pick sounds like a great idea to me, and if you could put it into effect, I would be relieved of the burden of trying to convince my child that I (and he) need a few minutes of down time. I am sure the world would benefit. We are over-stimulated, bigtime.

And you know, I've been getting the hair comment, too. Somebody this week said, "Are you SURE it wouldn't look good short?" Had I already read this post, my response could have been, "It doesn't matter if I'm sure or not. I'm the one who gets to choose my hair length. Period."

ME Strauss said...

Hi Betty,
That's right and when it's long you can put it up or down. . . and don't forget about the "Put a sock in it" part. :)

Yeah I think most of us are due for a nap, too. Overstimulated. You sure called that right.

Jeannie said...

I picked the nap rule for me a long time ago! I agree, if I could pick this one thing for others, I would. Quiet time for everybody please. I love your post!

ME Strauss said...

Hi Jeanne,
Welcome. Thanks for stopping and for your kind words. The nap rule is indeed a good one. Glad to hear is serving you. Now if we could just spread the word.

Trée said...

Liz, I would have responded sooner, but I was taking a nap. Doesn't everyone take a nap? :-D

Excellent post as usual. Oh, and don't cut your hair. It looks perfect just the way it is.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Tree,
I just got up from my nap, and already I'm wondering again. . . . like how do you nap while you're always riding that bike?

I won't cut my hair. I'll just put it up and let them think that it's short. :)

Trée said...

Liz, if you ride long enough you learn you can do just about anything on a bike. Some of which I would not recommend. :-)

ME Strauss said...

You should say such things to someone who is as curious as I am. :P

Trée said...

Liz, this is not the first time you've made reference to my avvy. If this is a hint that it's time for a new one I'm openminded. You've seen most of my fractals. Is there one you see that has my name on it?

ME Strauss said...

Hi Tree,
No that was not a hint. Every time I see you I buy into the fact that you really riding. It's a very real thing in my imagination.
I can't help Myself.
I have to go to dinner now, but I'm sending you prezzie later.