I was yelled at early this morning by a fellow runner. Running at me. Uphill. Something about me not moving out of my lane for him. He had already begun yelling, 20 feet away, before I even noticed him in my lane (90% of runners go counter-clockwise around the Prospect Park loop, including me, which means he was essentially like a driver going down a one-way street honking and yelling at cars to get out of his way). My friend and I laughed as he passed us and I remarked at how much energy he just wasted that he could have put toward his uphill climb. So much energy, such poor allocation.
I’ve grown to view my energy as a valuable, dwindling resource. Unlike the salad days of my raucous youth, I now try to avoid as much energy-wasting as possible (you know, like those tree-hugging Mormon architects). Some prefer the term, “being lazy” but I see it as a form of righteousness. I don’t really know when I became so lazy/righteous, but I often attribute it to my mission when I began to adopt the cliché that you shouldn’t worry about those things you have no power to change. That singular principle has brought me more peace than all my scented candles, pillows and world music combined.
Okay, so, here’s a list of sins that I avoid out of my sheer unwillingness to expend the calories:
Never done it and yet I’m somehow still “a man” and have maintained my “honor”. Don’t get me wrong, if someone threatened my family in a way that necessitated a stronger response than shaking my fist but weaker than busting a cap, you bet I would engage in fisticuffs. But let’s be honest, how many fist fights solved something a little sarcastic wit couldn’t? Tons, I know, but still…
Seriously. I mean, I get the being offended or getting hurt part, but to hold onto that over time, either until the person apologizes or changes or whatever? Too much work. You have to remember what they did, you have to consciously forget all the good they’ve done, you have to physically either avoid them or “confront” them (which requires an entire effort of thinking about what you’re going to say beforehand and possible counters to their responses). Ugh. I’m exhausted just thinking about it all.
Okay, first is the actual adultery part. Not only would I have to actively look at a woman as a possible partner, not only would I then have to take the step to talk with her, then elevate that to flirting, then somehow go beyond flirting into the touching, then very likely spend money on hotels, gifts, dinners, etc., (are you tired yet?) but I would also have to engage in the most energy-draining thing known to man: lying. And this is all BEFORE the divorce proceedings! All the blaming and writing off friends and who-gets-what and the custody battles and paying alimony and being single again and so on. Sorry, not even a temptation.
Anger: Anger can only be justified in parking ticket-related affairs, dealing with airline customer service and video games. Otherwise the calorie-burn-to-desired-results ratio is not in my favor. Cheap insults and sarcasm are my usual substitutions. They don’t get results either, but at least they work with my laziness and I can channel the surplus anger back into yelling at my Modern Warfare 2 opponents.
Annoying political activism (yes, this is a sin): You will never see me at a political rally. You will never get an email from me asking you to sign a petition. My name will never be on a letter to any editor. You won’t get emails from me with any combination of the words “Obama” and “Fw:” in the subject line. Do I have political views that I share with others? Sure. In conversations. That often begin with phrases like, “you see the game yesterday?”
I’m sure there are others I’ve left out, but…well…you know.