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The Modern Day Stoic

Living the life of a Stoic, when you’re actually living in a world a million (actually two thousand) years away from Ancient Greece and Roman times, is a bit tricky. There are so many things going on in modern life, that try to keep you away from being the best person you can be, in Stoic terms.

You settle down to think on the day you had, and think on the things that went well, and the things that need more work. Then you think further on the actions you will take the next day, to get the work done on the not so good items from this day.

Then your husband tells you about his sudden idea, about having lunch the next day, and you agree that would be a good idea, and suddenly you’re not really sure about what on earth you will actually be doing tomorrow, and what really must be done, anyway. Perhaps you just got caught up in too much busy work, and there isn’t really anything you MUST do tomorrow?

Then there’s an online game going on, on your laptop, which is sitting on your lap as you muse your way through your thoughts, and the person playing the game with you is having a tough time at the moment, and you feel sorry for her, and want to keep her happy by playing this game against her. And you know she will beat you yet again, because 1/ she is really good at the game, and 2/ one of the reasons your game isn’t up to scratch is because your laptop mouse is sticky, and doesn’t work as quickly as you want it to.

And you know saying that is pissy-weak, even though you’ve thought about this subject off and on, since you noticed it a couple of months ago, but you aren’t really sure what you can do about the sticky mouse, or even if it really is a sticky mouse, or whether perhaps you’re doing something wrong, and that makes it not work properly. But mentioning any of this to the person who’s been kicking your arse at this game would be weak as, and you won’t do that.

She’s your friend, and you’re pleased she is obviously having a good time thrashing you, even though she’s been having chemo, and is obviously not up to scratch physically, but there’s not a thing wrong with her mine, and that’s great! And none of this has anything to do with anything that didn’t go as you wanted today, and in fact it was a good day, even in something you wanted to do, didn’t happen, it can happen another time, you have a few weeks, and even if it doesn’t happen that’s still OK.

And you’re thinking to yourself, I bet Aristotle or Marcus Aurelius never had to deal with anything like this, and then you think, hmm, well maybe they had to deal with spears that didn’t work properly, or other things, and really, dealing with ‘stuff’ and with people, they’re the same kinds of things no matter which age you’re living in, and if you truly want to live a good and Stoic life, you shouldn’t be wasting your time playing games online, you should be writing books, and intelligent thoughtful poetry, and working on your next workshop you’ll be presenting, and on other community related things.

Then you realise this game you’ve been playing online is also a community related thing, assisting your healing friend to feel worthwhile, which can be difficult when your cancer treatment made your hair fall out, and you haven’t been able to come along to your writing group to meet up with all of your friends.

So thinking on that, I’m going to finish up here, and go and do my community service, and get thrashed by my friend again, because of whatever reason (not being as good as her at it being the main reason perhaps). So goodbye, and isn’t life a weirdly twisty kind of thing, and don’t you just love it to bits! Haha, I sure do!

Author: carolyncordon

Wife, mother, writer, dog enthusiast. Spending too much time on writing and not enough time on vacuuming. Apparently. I can't see a problem. I have suffered in my life, I have had wonderful things occur in my life. Concentrating on the wonderful things makes it easier for me to live a great life.

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