New Year posted: Mon 2018-01-01 07:33:05 tags: n/a
is the rat race where you find it?

When someone I respect as much as Dan Rather says these values are paramount, I have to perk up my ears and take note: Gratitude, humility and modesty. Incidentally, Woebot's exercise today was to highlight the value of "gratitude journaling".

Back in 2015 I started working on getting more regular and intentional about prayer. I taped a desk-worker's prayer for focus and productivity in the place I felt divinely called to work. Later I would add the Third Step prayer. I had a TMR reminder pop up in the corner of my computer screen at noon every workday, to remind me to pause to thank God for fulfilling and challenging work with dignity. In 2018 I hope to reboot this self-reminding to reinforce my senses of gratitude, humility and modesty, in accordance with Christ's example.

Rent paid
2017 finance workbook (mostly) closed; 2018 created

Miss Cupcake has a new year resolution. While she was deciding whether and how to pursue hers, I thought about what I would change about myself if I could wave the proverbial magic wand. For example, by 2013 in my most honest moments I knew it was a problem how often I was getting home from work and drinking a liter of wine or more. I went dry for Lent in 2014 and that was a turning point. I still drank heavily sometimes after that but I had more of a social life. Drinking was less attractive than attending Bible study or visiting with L.-

Reaching further back, I can't put my finger on any one factor that made me able to quit smoking when I did in 2007. After Rob's lung collapse, smoking in the house was out, and I got tired of having to make small talk and give away cigs to the tweaker down the hall every time I went outside to smoke. But by then I was already primed to quit anyway, due to how finicky I'd gotten about what and where I smoked. Quitting was practical.

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Miss Cupcake is not the first person to ever give me friction about adult entertainment. I've avoided chewing over these thoughts in public posts for the same reason I don't blog my bowel habits - I am at peace with my poops but I am not interested in comparing notes outside the doctor's office. I definitely don't want to hear about yours. I was raised in the understanding that no one wants to hear about mine. And just so with sexual relationship with self - it is normal and healthy, and by adulthood we should be ineffably secure in our sexuality and not have to continually turn to others for validation. So I'm at peace with myself in this sphere.

So, I mention adult entertainment not because it's something I long to change about myself, but because it's an issue we keep locking horns over. If it's not an "addiction" as I contend, and it hurts her feelings, then I should be able to stop consuming naughty stories, pictures, video and so on. But then, if there are plenty of healthy, stable couples who enthusiastically enjoy adult entertainment together with no hurt feelings, and others who peacefully accept that one partner likes it and the other is uninterested, then it stands to reason that it's not the media that is hurting her feelings. There's something else going on, and while I'm sympathetic to her wounds, I did not cause them and withholding something I happen to enjoy is not going to cure them. It's just sweeping the "something else going on" under the rug.

With all that aired, I will also reiterate that I don't blanket-approve all the production factors and prevailing tropes of the adult industry. I think there's plenty of room for more erotic literature, audio storytelling, artistic illustration and animated erotica, and amateur-made fair-trade performance in the marketplace. I think there's a real and wide demand for erotica that celebrates mutual pleasure, intimate connection, trust and loving caregiving. So if I have a pertinent resolution for 2018, it's a) to double-down on my commitment to ethical eroticism and b) to better communicate how erotica, solo sex and partner sex constitute a symbiosis in an open space, not a zero-sum competitive closed arena where the evolution of one must come at the expense of the others.