I am Pagan, and I have always hated the repetitive, annoying, or offensive questions that occur every time I come out of the broom closet. Until a nativity scene changed my mind about those repetitive, annoying, and offensive questions.
This is Offbeat Home's archive of Philosophy posts.
Not everything on Offbeat Home centers around the physical. Sometimes being an Offbeat Homie is all about the mindset.
I now hold a very normal job. I work in the finance industry in the city, and I love it, but there always has been (and I suspect always will be) part of me that wonders if I should have done something more creative… Am I wasting potential talent? What if I'm withholding some grand work of literature from the world because I didn't take that route?
Once upon a time, there was a woman. She lived in a polyamorous, sex-positive family. She liked people… just people in general. She thought they were beautiful, and loved to learn (and learned to love) the intricacies of their personalities. Physically, intellectually, emotionally — she saw their strengths and enjoyed them for what they were. But she couldn't apply the same standards to herself.
While at face value, following a specific set of actions may seem difficult or complicated, the reason it works is because, in actuality, the rituals make life more simple. Simplicity during the times I feel most sensitive to worry is like a little gift to myself, the gift of certainty. There are so many times in a day that I worry about what's next. When I know exactly what is going to happen next, I don't worry about it. Reducing worry in my life is one of my major goals in my search for personal serenity.
It's something unique to computer-goers of the Internet era: It's important, we reasoned, when you're taking to a stranger on the Internet that they know some important things about you in a succinct manner. A/S/L — age, sex, location. What religion we are. What our political leanings are. Our sexual orientation or gender presentation. Our favorite quotations or song lyrics. Things about us that are symbolic of our personalities, our likes and dislikes; our whole self. It's a form of branding, and for years we were proud of it. It happened while I was on Facebook: I noticed that I was the only one going through a labeling crisis.
I am thoughtful, open-minded person who believes in the values of calm and stillness, who understands the neuroscientific studies on the way meditation massages our grey-matter, and who really wanted to be a Jedi when I grew up. And I refuse to meditate.
Small-town Chinese food outings were part of the fabric of my college days. The food was always delicious, regardless of the spelling, especially when flavored by good conversation and laughter. Fortune cookies offered a final opportunity for a smile — especially when followed with "in bed." Once a friend got "Everyone knows you are the best." While that still may be the best fortune, I've come across a contender…
In our household, the lines of the past that steadfastly identified what was considered "man" and "woman" responsibilities were more opaque. It's not the easiest job in the world, but to be honest I felt pretty good about being what most people would label a "modern dad" and I wore that title like a badge of honor. My title was put to the test however the day my wife brought a particular hula monkey toy home for my son…