Saturday, August 20, 2011

more on the fairness thing

1. after a couple more days of thinking about this, what I've realized is:  this is another area where it's important to let myself feel what I'm feeling, to not block off my feelings.  Feeling angry, disappointed, betrayed, or hurt is perfectly legit.  But once I move into "it's not fair," it's no longer about my feelings, it's about comparing my situation to someone else's, or to a situation I wish I had or that I imagine would be better than what I have.  That's not a feeling, it's a mind game.  Feelings are meant to be felt and then released; "It's not fair" moves into something else, something that is better off just nipped in the bud. 'Scuse the lecture. 

2.  I hope you will find this bit as hilarious as I do.  Turns out I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome.  While I was writing the last two posts, I did a little poking around on google.  The symptoms didn't sound exactly like what I have--carpal tunnel syndrome involves the median nerve, which leads to the thumb, first two fingers and inside half of the ring finger; the numbness in my hand is the outer palm, ring finger, and pinky finger.  So yesterday I checked with dh, who is a medical type, and turns out what I have is some kind of pressure on the ulnar nerve, which goes to... you guessed it... the outer half of the palm, ring finger and pinky finger.  The ulnar nerve doesn't pass through the carpal tunnel of the wrist, so therefore can't cause carpal tunnel syndrome, or be fixed by carpal tunnel surgery.

(an aside:  this isn't Lynne's fault-- I didn't ask her to diagnose me, I just told her I had carpal tunnel syndrome.)

So go ahead and cue up Mick Jagger ("You can't always get what you want, but if you try some time you just might find you get what you need...") because even though what I wanted was a cure for my numb fingers, what I got was what I really needed, which was to get over feeling sorry for myself and move on. 

3.  I'm also re-evaluating my standard response to the kids' complaint of "That's not fair!" -- which used to be (as I said in the previous post) "Life's not fair.  Get over it."  Because while it's true that life's not fair, and they do need to get over expecting it to be, it may not be the best way to handle the situation.  If I tell them, "Life's not fair, get over it," and that's the end of the conversation, it leads to exactly what I was talking about above:  I'm essentially demanding that they stuff their feelings of disappointment and anger before they've had a chance to even feel them. I'll have to experiment with this.

4. I googled not only CTS, but also "life's not fair" looking for wisdom on the topic.  There are a lot of wise people out there in blogland.  One person said "It's a good thing life's not fair, because if we got what we deserved, we'd be in much worse shape than we are now."  Which is a nice little jolt to my usual way of thinking about things, but not exactly the way I want to approach the issue-- it seems a little too negative.  More helpful to me was a psychologist who recommended that rather than waste energy trying to make things equitable, to concentrate on what you want moving forward into the future.  That sort of matches up with Louise Hay's affirmation for this topic, which is "I choose to create a life that is joyful and abundant."

and that's enough about that.


  1. Oh. My. GAWD! This is exactly why I say things like "I love how your mind works."

    Wow. The way our paths twist and turn.... can't make this shit up if we tried. Thank you. Again.

  2. Your number one is something I stress all the time. People are so quick to squash any negative energy. It's not going away because you don't want to look at it. It's just going to pop up somewhere else.
    And I don't want to deprive myself of anything, even my negative feelings. I don't like to wallow in them, all though sometimes even that might be appropriate for an initial reaction, but I don't want to ignore them either.
    I don't entirely understand the 'life isn't fair' being about comparison thing. I certainly see it sometimes, but how would that work in the situation of your shortened trip? (Tell me to mind my own damn business if I'm offending you.)

  3. @Julie, thank you, dear friend. Your blog does the same thing for me, on nearly a daily basis. It's amazing how often the daily draw is exactly something I'm working on.

    @Judy--Oh, good lord, no, I'm not offended. I love thinking about this stuff, it's why I write about it. that's a good point. I think my disappointment (which was/is huge) is because I didn't get something I expected, so therefore it's comparing it to a mental image of the trip I was supposed to have. But I see your point-- that's kind of a stretch. It might be simpler just to see it as a disappointment due to random circumstances that were completely out of my control. It was just a case of bad timing, and that's just life. Love your thoughts about not squashing negative energy. I'm a huge Star Wars fan (original 3, at least) but it always bothered me that anger was considered a bad thing in those movies.

    that was a pretty big non sequitur. ha.

  4. My friend, #1 was spot on.

  5. Ya, like, I think you've got to let yourself feel your feelings even if they're stupid.

    I remember tramping to the bus stop in -30 C (-22F) degree weather one morning after listening to a talk by Ishmael Beah about child soldiers. And I thought: "Not even a child soldier would want to be in my shoes right now dammit!!"

    I hope there's some exercises or something that can be done for your arm, though. Or anti-inflammatories.

    In re Star Wars... ooh interesting point. But I disagree! I will go run off a fun post about it so I don't blab all over your comments. I'll be back in a moment...

  6. Didn't get my essay finished! But I'll let you know when I do! ...I love writing SW essays. Meh heh heh.

  7. @Mabel, OK, but now you have to write it because I'll be watching for it. If I disagree, I'll write one back and then we can have BLOG WARS. lol


    Part 1 (of three, of course) ;-)

  9. well, who knows if anyone will ever see this, but another element of #1 occurred to me today. The other part of feeling something "isn't fair" is an underlying sense of entitlement: I deserve for things to be different, my life should be better than this, I shouldn't have to put up with this, etc. And since really how are we entitled to anything at all? I'm just glad to be here. What is Crusie's line? Who cares if the glass is half-full or half-empty, I'm just glad I have a damn glass.