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I Could Go for a Bloody Mary

Once again, I spent time before work and on breaks working on what should have been a perfectly acceptable blog post. And it’s just not there yet. Luckily, it is Monday. Having skirted Wrist to Forehead Sunday with another Running Commentary, I feel free to have a Middle-aged Musings Monday.

What I was musing about today veers a little into half-baked philosophy. And into religion, which Mohawk Valley Girl usually stays out of (likewise politics). In fact, I was about to stay out of it today, but I don’t have a whole lot else and, really, one must not shy away from controversy. I’m not sure how controversial I’ll be, half-baked as I usually am. But here goes.

When people think God is punishing them, how do they know? I mean, it seems easy enough: I do something wrong. Something bad happens to me. God must be punishing me (or Karma or the Universe; I’m non-denominational).

Boy, wouldn’t that be nice, if I thought I only did one damn thing wrong!

Anyways, we’re not talking about me. Let’s try an historical example. When Mary Tudor, also known as Bloody Mary, ruled England, a lot of stuff went wrong with the country. She thought for sure God was punishing her for not bringing everybody back into the fold of her religion. So she kept burning those she considered heretics. Bad things continued to happen. She thought she probably had not burned enough people so redoubled her efforts.

Do you suppose it occurred to anybody at the time that perhaps she was being punished FOR burning people and not for NOT burning ENOUGH people? I’m not saying that’s what I think God had in mind (I do NOT pretend to know what God thinks), I’m saying, HOW COULD SHE KNOW?

This whole topic is a lot more complex than I am making it right now. However, this is what I pondered at work today, when I wasn’t working on the blog topic that didn’t work out. And this is what I’ll post. We’ll try for a Mohawk Valley adventure tomorrow.

Karma and Krispy Kreme

Why is it that sometimes I remember something that happened years ago and it still makes me just as angry as if it just now happened?

Other people say, “Oh, I don’t get angry about the past — it’s PAST,” or, more metaphorically, “You’re letting those people live rent-free in your brain.” That’s all very well, but what if they ignore the eviction notice? The worst one, because I fear it is true, is, “They’re not here. You are tormenting YOURSELF!”

This is one reason people like to believe in karma. It is very comforting to think that some time, some place, some how, THEY’LL GET THEIRS!!! (number of exclamation points dependent on how much dirt they did you)

It is hard to argue with karma theory. I can say, “It’s not true! Look at them, still living high off the hog (or is it high on the hog? Subject for future post), still getting whatever the hell they want, because they just take it.” The karma person replies, “You might not be there to see it, but…” Like I said, it’s a comforting thought, but I’m not quite sure I believe it.

One thing that occurs to me, though, is that people are rarely truly contented with what they have. I look at Matilda (I use the name because I have never in my life actually met anybody named Matilda), and I think she has everything: husband of her choice, nice home, beautiful clothes, lots of money. What I don’t see is that Matilda is absolutely tormented every time she looks at Winifred, who has a nicer home! And more money! And is single so she can sleep with whoever the hell she wants!

I don’t think that’s karma, though. Karma would be if Winifred slept with Matilda’s husband, because Matilda stole him away from Audrey years ago. Audrey would not necessarily be there to see it, but…

I did not start out to write about karma today. I had quite a different Mid-Week Middle-Aged Musing in mind. However, while I was thinking about it, my mind started to wander and suddenly all I could think about were a few particular people who did me dirt. What’s a writer to do but write what’s on her mind and hope to segue into something more interesting as we go.

Well, at least it interested me. The funny thing is, I’m feeling better now. Because I think karma is going to get them? Because I realize that in their minds they have their own unhappiness to deal with? No, I think I just took my mind off it.

And that raises another interesting thesis: the advice Just Don’t Think About It, while often good advice, is not always easy to follow. I don’t know about you, but for me, as soon as you tell me not to think about something, that is the only thing in my brain. Try it. Don’t think about donuts! Now I got Krispy Kreme on my mind. I can just hear some of you now (you know who you are): “I find it very easy not to think about donuts. I don’t even like donuts. I never even eat a donut.”

Some people can invoke Scarlett O’Hara’s famous mantra, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” As long as they tell themselves they can think about it another time, they can put it out of their brain. Me, I need to displace what I’m trying not to think about. If I can think of something else to think about, I’m gold. So thank you, Matilda, Winifred, Audrey and Krispy Kreme.