Another snow day and too much time on Facebook, clicking on links to articles with titles like, "The Top Ten Things Happy People Do" or "The Smartest Way to Communicate in Your Relationship to Prevent Breaking Up," or "How George Clooney Stays Fit without Working Out" or here's the latest one,"25 Things Little Girls Wish Their Daddies Knew" (I couldn't possibly care less), but it's tempting to click on the link, just in case...just in case it changes my life. And yet I can't really think of any one article I've read like this that has impacted me in any significant way. Possibly that's because I don't spend very much time actually reading the article--I skim it to see if will stick, and then click on the link to the side that reads "Faces Ruined by Drugs." I have no attention span at all--and I don't want to be one of those curmudgeonly people who blames the web and technology or Facebook or the Huffington Post, because I know I'm responsible for how I spend my time, and I'm the one whose unable to have a thought while I'm writing without feeling the impulse to Google something related to it.
And really, the truth is that there is no shortcut to suddenly being happy or losing weight while still eating frosting or figuring out how to forget about the past or how to save money and still get quality objects or how to become more efficient without spending a shit load of time getting organized first. Anything that is life-changing requires work and discipline and is not fun, because it often means you must give up the things you think you need and can't live without, such as Spider Solitaire.
The closest I've ever gotten to any kind of peace or feeling more grounded in the moment was when I was meditating regularly, and that's hard too, at least for me. It doesn't sound like it should be, but it requires stillness and feeling uncomfortable and I'd just rather tune out most of the time instead.
So, no, it won't change your life if you see whatever top ten movies you're supposed to see before you die. And you also won't find the answers you're really hoping for, like an article that reveals what brands of Little Debbie snack cakes you can eat that makes you thinner or a short cut to exercises that helps you lose weight while also giving you orgasms or an insider's peek to cheap places to vacation where they pay you to live in their apartments or quick and dirty ways to find a new job without actually applying or ten things you can say to defuse a death threat or sixteen ways to make him fall in love with you, or 14 painless and harmless diseases you can contract to lose weight without dying (what's with the weight obsession suddenly? I just started going back to the gym--which reminds me that no matter how many channels you have to watch or what kind of dance-y playlist you have on your iPod, you still have to sweat to make it work).
And most of the promise of these articles is how to get something without suffering. And as Her reminds us and Buddha reminds us and none of these articles remind us, life is suffering. That's one of my favorite lines from Princess Bride: " Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." I just Googled that, by the way.