We all make mistakes in life. If we make a mistake, it is important to forgive ourselves and move on. Let it go. If we are really good, we might even momentarily make the time to learn from the mistake, and then let it go. After all, the goal isn’t to keep repeating the same mistakes!Last night I made a mistake and spent the end of the evening with a negative nymphomaniac.

This article might end up being a little too personal for some people, so here is your spoiler alert and warning. Read on at your own risk!

Backstory of a Positive Day

I am not going to recount my entire day yesterday, but let me just say that it was a positive day. Good things happened. I accomplished a good deal of positive things for myself including getting a great start at making a significant update to my resume. I had floundered with that over the last few months, and felt like I was finally tacking into something good, something that felt like the right path.

Towards the end of the day, I got so caught up in my resume work on the actual resume as well as updates to my LinkedIn profile (still a work in progress) that I missed going to yoga at 6:30. I had eyeballed the clock for 3 hours before. I kept watching the time slowly move forward waiting to get to yoga and it wasn’t time and wasn’t time and then, all of a sudden it was past time and I had missed it.

So I went out for a run instead. It wasn’t much of a consolation prize. I wasn’t really in a running mood. Halfway through my run, just as I was about to turn around and run back, my phone rang. It was my ex-wife. She wanted to see if I might be able to pick up our son in the city as she was caught up signing paper work and buying a new car. There is some back story with me picking him up that I will mostly skip. Let’s just say, I had asked him many many times if he needed a ride and he didn’t, until he did. 🙂 I didn’t mind. In fact, I had not gotten to see him on his birthday the day before. I was missing him so this was a good thing.

I ran back home at a sprint for most of a mile and a half, past the cross fit zombies and to my apartment. I jumped in the shower, got out and checked my text messages. No confirmation that I really did need to pick him up, so I asked. The response was ‘I’m still stuck here, can you get him?’ My answer, yes I’m leaving now.

So I drive into Charlotte about 30 minutes away and pick him up at the Belk or Blumenthal Performing Arts Center where he had had his first night of rehearsal. (He had been selected for a best actor award from his high school musical making him eligible to participate in the Blumies (sp?). Cool Stuff

I pick him up, drive him back towards his Mom’s home as it was her week for custody. Get about halfway there and she texts me to bring him to the dealership to help drive the 2nd car home, not a trade in apparently. So I detour down the interstate another 5 miles and just missed some nasty road construction at Cox Rd. I drop him off and congratulate his mother on her new car, and drive home feeling lonely.

I have been seeing someone since about December. Her name is Sharon and she is amazing. I had just seen her the day before. Its a long distance relationship, a couple hours drive. So when I say I was ‘feeling lonely’ relatively speaking, I was not feeling that lonely, but lonely was the feeling regardless.

The Evening Starts

I get home about 8:45 or so. I’m hungry as I had not had supper so I warmed up some curry pork and potato left overs. I had one bowl while watching a John Oliver episode on HBO Now followed by another bowl and another episode. Neither the food nor the episodes were very satisfying. I couldn’t quite get myself into the mood to do more work on my resume or work in general.

I turned on the latest episode of Game of Thrones (spoilers ahead). This episode was a bit on the dull side as well. Kaleesi does her get naked and burn people thing again. It didn’t seem fresh. Her character has been sort of one dimensional for a while now and has about as much feeling as a robot. The rest of the episode was dull as well. Its building to something, but at this point its becoming easy to see where its going.

I had no intention when I got home of watching a couple hours of tv. But now I was feeling like I was still missing something. I was still feeling lonely.

I didn’t see anything on HBO Now. I looked through Netflix and saw that the awesome Queen Latifah movie Last Holiday was there. I wanted to watch that again, but thought I might wait and watch that with Sharon or the kids. Its a great movie, positive and uplifting. I should have watched it.

Instead, I flipped through the categories on Netflix and eventually stumbled on Nymphomaniac: Volume 1. I didn’t google it or anything (would have been wise). I hit play and I was immediately struck by the feel of something similar to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So I kept watching. I liked those books and the original movie too, not the Hollywood travesty.

I thought the movie might be a bit on the edgy and intellectual side with a bit of sex, maybe a lot of sex. I wasn’t looking for porn, and I was not looking for masturbation either. I was looking for something to take my mind off life in general.

Little did I know that this movie was long as hell. I do not generally mind that, but this was over two hours and apparently volume 1 had a volume 2. The next day I learned that it was originally a 5 hour and 45 minute single movie before it was split in two.

It had Daniel Defoe, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Shia Lebouf (all in small roles) and other actors taking turns as the main characters at different ages of life.
This movie was a DOWNER!

In fact, I also did not realize that the Danish director consider this part of a trilogy named the Depression Trilogy.

This was not what I needed, but I got slowly sucked into it. It was like getting slowly boiled alive….

That’s not the best analogy as I was not getting angry.

It was like being slowly gassed while sitting in a car running in a garage with the door shut.

It wears you down and before you realize its bad for you and not what you want, you are so worn down you can’t flip away.

That’s how this movie was.

I disliked it quite a bit. It simply pulled down my energy the entire time I watched it. I started fast forwarding through it. The movie is broken up into a half dozen chapters. I got to a point where I kept watching and fast forwarding because I thought it might have something that pulled it all together and made a bit of a ‘punch line’ sort of like Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction.
This was not really the case. There was no unifying string or scene.

There were a lot of sex scenes, but not very many considering this is almost a 6 hour movie.

The sex scenes were extremely graphic, closer to porn than something you might expect to see on Netflix. If you are looking for a movie with male nudity aroused or flacid, this had it.

BUT the movie was not sexy. In fact, watching the sex scenes fast forward or not, was the type of thing that is more likely to turn you off of sex for days or weeks. I’m not judging people and their sexual desires, but this just was not sexy. It was a very loveless(intentionally so for the plot) type of sex.

It was sad.

There is a reason why this is in a Depression Trilogy because this sex was sad sad sad.

It only got worse. After watching maybe 40 minutes of the actual movie and fast forwarding through the rest mostly at 3x fast forward, I felt drained.

I went to be feeling exhausted and depressed and annoyed with myself for having subjected myself to that crap.

I ended up sleeping a bit later than I intended after going to bed later than I intended and waking up still feeling drained. Mornings are not my best time of day. I usually build up my positivity and energy throughout the day. When I first wake up, that’s when I am at my lowest.

But the night before the movie had taken me to my lowest and a night of sleep added to that. So this morning I had to work extra hard to pull myself out of that negativity crap.

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I’m writing about it now to clear the final cobwebs of negativity out of my system.
I’m sitting on a boat ramp/launch for kayaks on the South Fork River just down from my place. The clouds in the sky are just starting to burn off (finally) and the sun is hitting my back occasionally. I’m about 3 feet from the water and a very large bass just jumped behind me.

Happy on Facebook, Happy with screens?

This movie things as it turns out is a bit of a metaphor in my book for what we all do on a regular basis online, on social media, on Facebook in particular, when we are looking at screens.

We watch ‘screens’ expecting to fill something in our lives. When we actually connect and converse with people, it can be positive and filling. But when we just passively sit back and hit play or scroll down endlessly, it drains us.
Its like a gambling addict going to a casino and pulling the slot machine lever over and over and over and losing.
In gambling, the science has taught us that in the mind of a compulsive gambler, a near miss is the emotional equivalent of a win. ‘I just barely lost’ translates into ‘WOW I ALMOST WON!’ So they repeat this and pull the lever again and again and again, ALMOST WINNING. But then they have little if anything to show for it afterwards and the depression sets in, if it hasn’t already accumulated.

We all do the same thing on Facebook and twitter and on Netflix binge watching tv shows.

Now, sometimes we have a good experience and we really do win.
Sometimes though we chase a good experience and never get it. Sometimes we chase things and don’t even realize we are ‘hooked’ and before we know it we have just gassed ourselves into a depression.

It takes a whole lot of 1) awareness and 2) self control to recognize what is going on and then step back and away and put the device down, or stop the remote and turn off the television.

Last night, I didn’t figure it out fast enough. I should have stopped after the first John Oliver episode. I definitely should have stopped after Game of Thrones. I most certainly should have stopped after the first couple of minutes of Nymphomaniac: Volume 1.

But I didn’t and I paid for it.

There is a white cat stalking me along the shore. I was just working to get a picture of it, when it leapt about a foot in the air and swung around in a 360. It probably walked by a snake. Its a young cat. There are many many strays in this area. I met a different stray on my back porch earlier today, that I am naming Mister after the Dresden Files cat of the same name. My Mister is young as well and has a massive head and smallish body that hasn’t fully developed yet. Mister is always very hungry and when I have my screen door open on the porch to let in air, he walks up and meows at me from a distance. Mister could be a boy or a girl, I have no clue as I do not walk around sexing stray cats….

 

So I have my lesson for the day. I am feeling better for having learned something and for writing about it to raise the demon and put it down for good as well. I am going to make a better evening tonight and certainly not going to bring any Negative Nymphomaniacs in. I hope you join me in this and find a way to keep yourself positive and happy and find ways to identify the stuff that brings you down and then stop them before they do.

We can all do this on Facebook as well. First, we can stop endlessly scrolling. But more important, take sometime and simply talk to your friends there. I’m not talking about debating politics or debating in general. I’m talking about having a dialog with them about something important to either of you, something that isn’t politically important. Check in with them, see how they are doing. See what is happening in life, where they are going, what they are doing? See about catching up with them for a beer even, but don’t just hit the Like or emoji icons and scroll more moving on to your next miss.

Do yourself something good, talk to your friends!

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