I want to chat a bit about the joys of “being single” and about the hardships, the heartache, and the discipline involved with “being single”. And I’m not talking relationship status.
Technically, I’m not single. Legally, I’m still married, but I’m trying to work through the finer points of making that go away without too much sacrifice. And, further, I’ve found one, great guy, from my last, brief, stint of being single, relationship status-wise, and I’m not accepting any more applications or interviewing any more candidates, at this point. The position is filled, the job taken. But, it was during that brief stint of being wild, single, available, and unattached, that I promised you all “a bunch” of great articles on “being single”, and, well, failed. I think I wrote, maybe, three, and they may not have been “great”, in your opinion. I apologize.
I know. This probably isn’t what you bargained for, on the topic of “being single”, but I think it matters, I think it makes sense, regardless of your relationship status, to consider “being single”. No, I’m not trying to be a home-wrecker, here, I’m trying to impart some of my hard fraught wisdom. No matter your relationship status, you want to live life to its fullest, you want to party hard and also be productive? Or, perhaps, you just want to have a little fun and be able to keep your job. I don’t know what you’re looking for, but I have a few tips that may help.
A lesson from the Catholics; it is Lent, and, for whatever reason, the Catholic church decided thousands of years ago that, because Jesus fasted in the dessert for a long time, we should empathize by giving up something we love, adore, need, value, cherish, or are addicted to, for the forty days leading up to Easter. To some it may seem silly, and I see all kinds of criticism on Facebook about Lent, its practice, its origins, and its intent. Facebook, by the way, is just no fun anymore. I just treat it like a Hallmark greeting card store, now. I check in daily, send a few birthday greetings, and scamper, before I get caught up in all the trivial clutter and brick-a-brack on display. Perhaps I shall give up Facebook for Lent. Nah, too many friends have birthdays between now and Easter.
So, for Lent, we’re supposed to give shit up. This can be tough for a Hedonist. I’ve tried “giving up giving up shit” for Lent, but there’s no honor in that. There’s no pain in that. Hedonists love pleasure, but, you know, to know what pleasure is, you have to know pain, too. Not to sound all “Fifty Shades”, or anything, but it’s true. It’s in the contrasts that we understand, in the contradictions that we learn and appreciate.
I don’t currently practice a religion, Catholic or otherwise. I live by one of the new, popular creeds; I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious. The religious have ruined religion for me.
I appreciate the practices of some religions I’ve practiced. I mean, take a look at the Catholics; the first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday. They take time off of work, if they go to work at all that day, to stop by church, listen to a brief lesson, do a few squats, and get ashes smeared on their foreheads. Ash Wednesday, the day that follows one of the biggest parties of the year, Mardi Gras. Did you not know the relationship? Mardi Gras is the big, fat, party before having to behave for forty days. Lent is like a forty day hangover. Oh, and the Catholics drink real wine in church, and not just on Sundays. There’s a reason why some Catholics find “peace and solace” in attending mass, regularly, perhaps even on a daily basis; red wine. I grew up in the Presbyterian church, sort of, and their idea of “communion” was a fraction of a saltine cracker and a tiny plastic cup of Welch’s grape juice. That wasn’t the hardest thing about going to the Presbyterian church, the hardest thing is spelling “Presbyterian”.
Back to the Catholics and why I love them; the Catholics also have a “feast day” for just about every saint, and there are a bunch. These folks party for the living and the dead. I appreciate the practice of Lent. For me, a pagan, I choose to employ the Lenten period as a time for reflection, atonement, perhaps, and a catalyst for self-improvement.
So, for Lent, I shall practice “being single”.
I drink like a fish, eat like a horse, and party like a rock star. To enjoy life to the fullest, to have the energy and stamina to be a hedonistic rock-star-horse-fish, I need to exercise, and I need to exercise some level of prudence and self-control. Shocking, I know. I’ll explain.
Being single. I mean, I’m sticking to, trying, trying, trying, to stick to, single servings. Several years ago, I lost nearly fifty pounds, in part, to “being single”, by sticking to single servings, in conjunction with other stuff. Let me ask you this; if something is good, does more of it make it better? No. More of it just means more of it. And, from a truly hedonistic standpoint, much like experiencing pain to know pleasure, by really enjoying just a bit of something, doesn’t it make it all that much more pleasurable. Why eat, drink, or partake of something to the point of saying, “ugh, I don’t ever want to eat/drink/partake, again”?
As before, my plan for accomplishing “being single” and controlling portions comes down to the fact that, yes, size matters. Small bowls. A serving size of just about anything should never exceed the size of your fist, and for many things, four ounces, or a quarter cup is adequate. Except for butter, or chocolate (may I have a large bowl, please?). I was doing well with this measure for years and then God interfered. Somehow, we lost our ¼ dry measuring cup in the Napa earthquake of August, 2014. I’ve been using the 1/3 cup instead, but the difference is, well, measurable. I can usually manage my portions when it comes to oatmeal and yogurt, whole grains, salad and vegetables. So, what’s the problem?
Beer. Wine. Chocolate. Pastor tacos. Ice cream.
Today, for example; it is not yet 4:00 PM, I’ve had a pastor taco and am nearly finished with a beer and know I’ll want another at “quitting time”. There’s an opened pint of ice cream in the freezer screaming my name and several exquisite chocolate bars in my desk drawer vying to be heard over the din of the ice cream.
Why is a single beer good? Because more than one bloats me. As far as wine goes, I think I’ll just have to use a large glass! I’ll enjoy a “single” glass of wine, with a clause. One glass of wine makes me calm and cheerful, the second glass makes me feel uninhibited, the third glass, I grow very quiet, and the fourth glass makes me sad, for two reasons; the depressant quality and because I’ve just killed a whole bottle of wine! The clause for a “single” glass of wine; not on date nights, I get two, (see “uninhibited, above). On “single” nights, a single glass should suffice. I can live with a single pastor taco, I’m certain of that. And I actually think I have the ice cream and chocolate under control, a quarter cup and two squares, respectively.
That to which “single servings” do not apply, at all, the full disclaimer; sex, wine tasting (but maybe just one winery per day for the Lenten period), brewery tours (again, perhaps just one brewery per day for the Lenten period), Alaskan crack (smoked salmon strips), and blueberries or raspberries. And water.
Beer is empty. It’s 4:07. What now? I don’t have a single idea. Is it Easter yet?