Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Curing the Butt Hurt Blues

Everybody gets them. Sometimes they come in response to current events like Mississippi State football or presidential elections or days on end of bad weather. Sometimes they just come and the cause is undetermined. I have had them a few times. Once I got them so bad I just drove around in my truck for a couple of hours and felt like crying, but I didn't even know why my emotions were dragging me down like a weight vest on a swimmer pulling him to the bottom of the pool. Later I theorized that I am one of those light sensitive people and what I needed was some sunshine. As soon as the sunshine returned, my butt hurt blues disappeared. 

Yes, I am expanding the category a bit, and the reason I bring it up is my Facebook news feed is filled with name calling, hair pulling, and shouts from the house tops that the sky is falling. People are butt hurt, confused, and generally unhappy. What can I, Zane Hodge the EndangeredSwimmer, do about it? How can I help? How can I make the world a better more happy place?

First, I understand that many of the severely butt hurt think they are attempting to make the country, the world a better more just place. They feel like they must take action, must complain, must write heated Facebook posts. I understand that; I respect that even. Failing to do so would make them bad people, complicit with evil, and I fear my non-action makes me exactly that in the eyes of some. I am not sure that anyone has unfriended me due to my lack of butt hurtness, but I have noticed one formerly good Facebook pal has stopped responding to my cat posts. I am not being facetious when I say that butt hurts me severely.

I know just giving advice is not worth much, but I venture to offer some anyway. I learned a long time ago to not fret too much over things I can't change. I also learned that the aforementioned advice is easier said than done. But maybe overcoming extreme butt hurtness starts with that, with the realization then the contemplation of the fact that some things are beyond our control. The weather, for instance, is one of those things and getting mad at the weather is not wise but makes one foolish, or maybe it only reveals the foolishness already there. I have, a time or two, fretted over exactly that. Usually in March when I am attempting to ramp up my training distance in preparation for Chicot, I go through a bad spell. Often that time of year, the temperatures are teasingly cool and we have periods of all day rain with lightning that keep me from working out at Plate City, keep me out of the pool and keep out of the pond. Dude, I have a huge swim coming up. What to do? I like to think I have moved beyond that, become more patient, more trusting in Providence. This upcoming March will most likely reveal to me if I really have or not.

Another piece of advice is to check out my Facebook post every day. I almost always put up a picture or two of our cat or cats. We, my wife and I, are owned by three: Baby Kitty, a handsome yellow tabby; Luvie, a big fat tuxedo tom; and CC, a little tortoise shell female as sweet as she is pretty. Daily, they give me comfort and joy and relaxation, and I am convinced they can help brighten your day also if you will just give them a peek. I post a picture of Baby Kitty each morning announcing the national day, or one of them. Some days there are at least five official national days. Oddly, or maybe not oddly, many of these have to do with food. January 30th, for instance, was National Croissant Day; the 28th was National Blueberry Pancake Day, and the 27th was National Chocolate Cake Day. Any wonder we have a problem with our weight in this country?

OK, don't worry about what you can't change, look at my cats everyday, and add to that some physical exercise. I promise, moving your body will make you healthier both physically and emotionally. I personally know someone who was removed from medication for depression after he started exercising. A good sweat not only opens the pores of your skin and strengthens your heart and muscles, but research shows that it also simulates an increase in the production of neurotransmitters, those brain chemicals that affect mood and mental health. But, you protests, I never liked to workout. Well simply go for a walk. A brisk ambulation four to six times a week, if you are not already doing so, will impact your health and mood for the good. Why not? It is free and it works. I will personally offer you a money back guarantee.

One more thing you may want to do is to shoot a road sign. I know this sounds violent, but believe me, road signs in the country expect to be shot. Try it. Just ride around in a rural area and see if you can find a single sign that has not been shot at least once. Most of them have been repeatedly punctuated with every type of weapon from a shotgun, to a .22, to a deer rifle. Oh what joy shooting signs brings a desperate soul. It reduces anxiety, raises the heart rate, and increases the production of dopamine that chemical in your brain that gives you that sense of wholeness and well being. That is why you can't find a rural sign that some sad soul has not beaten you to the punch and shot before you got there. But one more hole will only add to the beauty of nature and make the countryside look better, more inviting, and safer.