December 16, 2022 Comments Off on Nuggets

I’ve been reading “Spark” by John J. Ratey, and it confirms what I’ve always known about exercise: Go hard.

I was hammering down PCH in Long Beach, on my way to the cleaners to pick up a pair of shorts, when I passed my favorite liquor store, Junior’s No. 2. I’ve never been inside but almost every time I go by, the parking lot is either filled with cop cars, or people are trying to beat each other up, or someone with a shopping cart is screaming at someone else with a shopping cart.

Because it’s the holidays which means even more sadness and therefore even more alcohols than usual, as I passed today I got to watch a car stop in the middle of PCH as a fat, bald, giant of a man got out of his car to have a posturtation with a smaller but equally furious man whose pride had been mortally wounded to the extent that he was willing to kill someone and go to jail over the slight. Tender is the ego. Mine, too!

They both called each other awful names, raised giant fists, threatened lots of “ass whuppin'” and postured so vehemently and violently with so many neck veins and so much shouting that there was absolutely no fucking way anything was going to happen because exhausted. The posturtation concluded, both badasses declared ass-whuppin’ victory without having to actually whup any ass, traffic resumed, and I continued on.

I reflected how happy I was not to be in the thrall of alco-anger, and I reflected on a few of the wise nuggets I’ve picked up going to AA. They aren’t just for people with a drinking problem; you can use them, too. My application in parentheses.

  • Does it need to be said? By you? Now? (Shut up, think, then shut up some more.)
  • Are you unhappy or simply bored by tranquillity? (Do you have a problem or are you just a drama addict?)
  • Is your behavior an obstacle to someone else’s growth? Or your own? (Are you standing on some important principle or just holding other people back, including yourself?)
  • Did you really let it go? (Have you forgiven/apologized/accepted, or are you waiting to punish them/yourself later?)
  • Do you really know what’s going to happen? (Are you as smart as you think you are?)
  • Are you getting what you deserve? (Is your situation a logical consequence?)
  • Do you want what you deserve? (If not, why don’t you want something better?)
  • Do you know that change happens in the pauses? (There are no revolutions, only small changes that add up.)
  • Why judge? Why critique? (Are you that much better than others, or better at all?)
  • Life never gets easier, but if you’re doing it right it does get better. (Life, inevitably followed by death, is hard.)
  • Do you really know what the other person is thinking? (If not, maybe you should withhold judgment.)
  • Instead of seeing and judging, try observing and concluding. (Why do you always have to be right?)
  • No one wound up in AA on a winning streak. (If you were perfect you wouldn’t have problems.)
  • Did you know that your feelings are what make you human? (Don’t fear what you feel, embrace it.)
  • Are you just suffering from a problem of abundance? (Is this as a big a problem as you’re making it out to be?)
  • Are you clawing at a locked door while equally good or better ones stand open? (Why seek what you can’t have?)
  • The way you do one thing is the way you do everything. (Habit matters.)
  • What has happened to YOU to make you so angry as opposed to what’s happened to others? (Did anything actually happen, or are you reacting to what has happened to someone else?)
  • Maybe you just need to get right-sized. (Does your reaction fit your actual importance?)
  • Are you just pulling a geographic? (Are you making space or just running away?)
  • Did you know that the only cure for self-obsession is helping others? (Self explanatory, I hope!)
  • How can you live if you cannot heal? (Pain and sadness are necessary and okay.)


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