Take 5

Where are you and where are you going?
Frita
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Take 5

Post by Frita »

The last week or so I have been continuing to contemplate some Buddhist concepts in a secular way. Using the translation of Dukkha as unsatisfaction rather than suffering created a shift for me. Physical pain and change are givens so acceptance makes sense. Having an aversion to whatever is happening is self-inflicted suffering and seems to make acceptance more challenging.

So, what does this mean to me and my lack of decompression from not working? I feel sad not to be teaching as just quitting was never my plan. Realistically, I am done. Due to geographical isolation (and having taught online and disliking that medium), being committed to staying here at least until our teen graduates from high school in 2023, and by then having such a gap that my only opinion would be to start at the bottom again in some inner-city hellhole (I have worked a couple inner-city jobs. Too hopelessly stressful, no, thanks!). I feel angry too. (That surfaced when my former boss from my BS job was finally fired. It feels like too little too late.) And I also feel rather embarrassed because I don’t need the money, have a lot of hobbies which I could expand, and could develop new and different interests instead of clinging. Anyway, not liking this just spreads some misery frosting on a misery cake that will eventually go in the trash or completely decompose.

Then I was contemplating ego, being more than a sum of individual parts, and ongoing impermanence/death meditation (The latter I find incredibly comforting.). I had a friend who died of melanoma about a decade ago. The cancer was in her foot and early on amputating a leg to the hip would have saved her life. She could not imagine being herself without that appendage. She left her husband with two young children.

So, how does this apply to my situation? While I respect her decision to choose, I would have had my leg chopped off. And if I could lop off a leg to live with some peace, perhaps I can let teaching go. My essence is still the same.

Perhaps some people are better about letting go of limbs, careers/jobs/callings, and things than others. I think of the “cup is already broken” story and how it relates to me as a being. When I am dead, it really will not matter. Nothing is permanent. Despite not being very attached to material things, I am attached to some people and my identity as an educator.

So, what does this mean to me? Perhaps I can shed the educator thing like a favorite, but worn out, mateless flipflop during a high attitude Rocky Mountain winter.

ertyu
Posts: 756
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Take 5

Post by ertyu »

Frita wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 12:34 pm
having such a gap that my only opinion would be to start at the bottom again in some inner-city hellhole
not necessarily. keep international schools at the back of your mind. down the line, once you decompress, a one or two year stint that funds related travel might become attractive.

of course, if your sense is that you *want* to be done with the educator and that it feels liberating to be done with the educator, then you should be done with the educator. after all that's why we aim for financial and skill-based independence, so we can be done in meatspace when we're done inside. from what you wrote, i couldn't sense whether you were done or whether you don't necessarily want to be done and circumstances like burnout and perceived lack of opportunities following a large cv gap mean you would be forced to be done regardless of whether you want it or not. In case it's the latter, you don't have to be done unless you want to.

Frita
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Take 5

Post by Frita »

Thanks, ertyu. I really don’t know about the future in international schools after our teen graduates. I appreciate the reminder that the future is an unknown and I was mindreading, one of the top ten cognitive thinking errors.

My perception is that lack of opportunities here mean not teaching and a large unemployment gap. I would prefer not to be done, yet that is not my reality. Being FI does not change that except I don’t have the financial pressure to scramble for an income. I am working on the skills of accepting things as they are and letting go.

I am continuing to work on my plumbing skills. Sometimes I wonder if it’s more of a replacement exercise in frustration tolerance and perseverance. Ah, the joys of a historic home!

Frita
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Take 5

Post by Frita »

School technically isn’t out for another week and a half, but our teen finished everything last week. He sorted through items to get rid of (sell, give away, trash). We listed and sold one of his bikes and a scooter. What good experiences in no shows, people who weren’t on time, haggling, and people trying to pay later but take the item. I think he’s gained some confidence, enough to apply for a dishwasher job. It is rather satisfying to have these experiences together.

Canceling our European trip has sure been a process. We should see refunds on airlines this summer. The cruise won’t be refunded for another year; however, it’s too soon to be confident enough to rebook. We have a boatload of AirBnB refund credit to spend. Right now we’re hoping to be able to do some boondocking with the van.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: Take 5

Post by RoamingFrancis »

I like nerding out on meditation and Buddhist concepts :)

Shinzen Young, a teacher I respect, distinguishes between pain and suffering, where pain is the inevitable bullshit that everyone puts up with at some point, and suffering is the psychological reaction to the bullshit. So you could describe suffering mathematically as:

Suffering = Pain * Resistance

Then the development of an equanimous mind through meditation allows you to eventually experience the same pain, but with less suffering, because you are reducing the psychological component.

Frita
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Take 5

Post by Frita »

@RoamingFrancis
Equanimity can feel like dancing on a pinhead.

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