Beowabbit (beowabbit) wrote,

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Five questions from dan4th

There are many things I should be doing right now instead of posting to LJ, but I’m a sucker for interview memes and I’m feeling slothful. :-)
Put the seven deadly sins in your personal order of preference (your favorite first, most despised last).
I had to look them up to get the list. In order:
  1. Lust (but not the original luxuria ‘extravagance’) — I’m all for this one!
  2. Gluttony
  3. Sloth
  4. Envy
  5. Avarice
  6. Pride
  7. (in the sense of ‘hubris’, not in the sense of pride in a job well done)
  8. Wrath
Is there a new skill you hope to acquire this year?
Well, I have some interest in learning to ride a motorcycle. Not sure. Getting my sleep apnea properly treated and under control (which it isn’t right now, although it’s somewhat better with the machine) will probably make it a lot easier for me to pick up new skills, but other than motorcycle riding (which might not happen this year) I don’t have any specific ones on the agenda. There are languages I’d like to study more of, but I’m not sure that counts.
How long can you go without checking your email before you get antsy for it?
Depends. If I’m inside and not absorbed by something, about an hour. If I’m busy, and especially if I’m physically busy (on a hike, cleaning out the garage, moving boxes, etc.), I can go a whole day or even more and not worry about it. Several days is too much even if I’m really busy with fun stuff. I did have email access in Hawai‘i via my phone, but the flaky connection and the fact that my net connection was so slow and I had a limited web browser made me pretty antsy to get back to a reasonable large-screen net connection. (I’d thought I’d be able to connect via wireless on my laptop, but that only worked the first day I was there for some reason.)
What scares you?
That depends on how you define “scared”. There are lots of situations where I have a “this is going to be hard and unpleasant and risky and the outcome will be uncertain and might be really bad, but I know I need to slog through it and deal” reaction. That was the case, for instance, when cathijosephine broke up with me and somewhat before when it was clear that we were having problems, and another example is the time leading up to docorion and sionnagh moving to Hawai‘i. (Those are the two worst experiences in my life, I think, although all the stuff involved with selling the house was probably more gruelling in terms of effort.) Does that count as “scaring” me?

Something that seems to fit the definition of fear more unambiguously is how I felt as it became clearer and clearer that my mental abilities were going downhill, but before I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I worried about eventually losing my ability to do simple things like have conversations and tie my shoes. Well, I still worry about that, even though the CPAP machine is helping, but somehow it’s much less scary when I understand it. The scariest part of that experience was the year and a half or so between when my (then) GP told me that no, she was pretty sure I didn’t have sleep apnea and that maybe I should try doing crossword puzzles and when, thanks to a conversation with the wonderful chienne_folle, I became convinced that my doctor was wrong and I did have apnea and that was an explanation for what was happening to me. Knowing I was getting worse and not knowing why was very very scary. It’s interesting that one difference between this kind of fear and the sort of “oh, no, not another learning experience” feeling I mention above is feeling like I have some understanding of the situation — regardless of whether I think I can predict how it will turn out.

Can you think of any wrong that someone's committed to you or a loved one that you're unable to forgive?
Depends how you define “forgive”. (I seem to love splitting semantic hairs, don’t I?) And by and large, the things that people do to me or loved ones that make me decide “this person is beyond salvation” or “I need to avoid this person” are not things they’ve done just to me or loved ones, but things they do to other people as well. So I can certainly think of wrongs people have committed that I don’t forgive, and some of them have been directed at people I love, but the fact that they were directed at people I love doesn’t really affect my judgement of the person committing them (although it might affect my behaviour in practical ways). If you’re doing something I think is wrong, my moral judgement of you isn’t affected by whether your goring my ox, my neighbour’s, or a stranger’s (although what I do about it might be).

But also, I don’t really think “forgiving” is something I do, because when I’m really angry at somebody or really upset with somebody over something they’ve done, I still know that that’s not all that defines them and they can still be, in general, good people, despite this one thing I’m really upset about. And when I’m completely thrilled and delighted with somebody and love them to pieces, I still know that they have flaws and there are situations they don’t deal with very well and probably choices that they’ve made in the past and will make in the future that I have a problem with. But by and large, the things I object to in somebody and the things I like about them all contribute to my judgement of them as a person. Of course, sometimes a disagreement is A Problem and we have to work through a particular issue in order to get our relationship back to normal, but I don’t think that that process feels to me like deciding somebody is Evil and then Forgiving them and having everything be all right as if it had never happened. The thing I object to doesn’t make them Evil (unless it’s a life-consuming pattern, which I’ve seen sometimes), and working things through doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

’Zat make sense? Or am I using too narrow a definition of “forgive”? (I’d be interested in fleshing this answer out some more, but this post is long already.)

Tags: friends, health, me, memes, my personal history

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