Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wrandom Writing Wrants - Edited

For the last couple of weeks I've been angry, frustrated and afraid. Some of these emotions are generated by what is going on in the world, and others are from things I'm trying to sort out in my own life. What is happening these days effects each of us in different ways. Whether it's the stock market falling apart, Hurricane X wiping out a town or who's going to be the next President we're all impacted in one way or another. I've always been a bit of a free spirit, and often have had a bit of "What the heck, I'll manage somehow" attitude. Now I don't feel that way. There are times I just want to rip the newspaper into a million little pieces or throw the radio out the window. Sometimes my husband may start reading part of a newspaper article out loud, and I just have say "Shut up! I've heard enough bad news today."

I've always used my hobbies, particularly my sports as an outlet for my feelings and emotions. When I got laid off in 1992 my self esteem took a real beating. One of the things that helped me when I would get angry and frustrated with myself or the job market was going out and riding my bike for 30 to 50 miles with friends. Since I rode mostly with younger or stronger guys I'd have to work hard to stay with the group. Often on a hill I'd get dusted and be by myself. Those times alone I'd be thinking about the things I'd like to say if I wanted to tell somebody off. The more pissed I get, the harder I rode. It was a good way to vent without taking it out on other people.

I'm not riding much these days. I've been absorbed by my pursuit of rank in Tae Kwon Do, and trying to make up the walk training that got side tracked by all my travels. I walked 13 miles on Saturday. I started out with a couple of women who are about 5 to 6 inches taller then me. At times like this it sucks to be short. When I got tired of trying to match their strides and keep up I finally told them to go ahead. It's at that time I pull out the ipod, put on some good music and allow myself to vent about world and national affairs and how they impact me.

When I got tired of being depressed over that. I mulled over things I wanted to write here. I debated with myself about whether I wanted go on a rant about cranky old men who insist on playing down to mate when I'm up a rook and a bunch of pawns, and aren't very gracious when they lose. Nope, why bother? Then there was Wednesday night's game where I had an irrational fit of stupidity and managed to throw away a game that I was up 3 pawns in. Do my readers want see another one of my "I can't believe how stupid I am" posts? Probably not. That game still may make an appearance, but in a different context.

What came out of my walk was my Friday Follies Vista Rant. Just for the heck of it as I was writing this, I Googled "vista rant" to see where it came up. #20 of 1,430,000 hits on that topic. I guess a lot of people like to complain about Vista. We'll see how this Friday's tournament goes in terms of how much the TD has learned about Vista in a week, and whether we can manage to submit the rating report without me taking it home to do.

This post started out as an introduction to what I was going to write regarding a tournament I played in on Sunday. However I still haven't quite figured out what I want to say about what occurred. There are a lot of things bouncing around inside my head. I just have to figure out how sort it all out. In the mean time thanks for letting me vent a bit. I debated between saving as draft, deleting or publishing. For better or worse I decided to publish.

Edit: I think what all of this rambling was about was how external forces such as personal life issues, world issues, and all the other stuff that can stress us out can seriously impact those things we do for pleasure. Most of us play chess because we enjoy the challenges associated with and take pleasure in well played games, and meeting interesting people. When we're not overly stressed little pet peeves just get brushed aside. However when one is feeling like the weight of the world is crushing him then those little pet peeves that might bug us to a small degree like missing a combination, the twitchy opponent who drums their fingers on the table on your move, or the spectator who hovers too close get magnified.

The question is how do we balance our emotions and anxieties so that we can maintain control over the pleasure we derive from chess without losing it? Lately that's been difficult for me. Perhaps some of that is tied into the fact that my hobby is also a part time profession.

Let's hear it! This inquiring mind wants to know.


tanc(happyhippo) said...

Hi polly,

Don't think abt it in this way.

Anyway, it's ALWAYS good to let off a little steam every now and then. it only shows you're human. :)

i know exactly how you feel because i've been through similar times before. There was a period of time where I was out of work and the tension between my wife and I was definitely not an easy situation to deal with.

But looking back on it now, I'm happy to say that once we passed the hard yards, other things start to appear miniscule by comparison.

However this does not mean that life is a smooth journey. It almost never is and every now and then, life throws us a curve ball which we have no hope of batting it out of the park.

The best we can do is just ride it out. Things always get better. After all, once you get past the storm, the rainbows always seem to make it all the more worthwhile.

cheers and take care

Temposchlucker said...

Enjoy the little. Ignore the freak topics that try to overwhelm you. Look at the little ducks outside. They are swimming just like they did a million years ago. That mankind started to become a bit noisy lately will not change that.

chesstiger said...

When i was in my major depression (lasted three years) my hold to not glide to total emptyness was chess and writing down my (dark)thoughts.

In that periode of time all i saw was black. Nothing that was going my way. Even a victory in a chess game was something that just happened, nothing to celebrate.

However, one day i took up walking and amazed myself that even closeby in the park there was so much beautiful nature. At that moment my life surroundings changed from dark to dark with color in it and even later when i found finally work the darkness that had become my friend for so long disepeared into the glorious sunlight.

All this to say that beauty can be found in little things, one just have to notice it.

Jerry said...

Hi Polly,

For many of us chess is a battle between concentration and distraction. If you win the battle, not only do you shut out your worries for awhile, but you also get a little more confident that you can concentrate whenever you need to.

As amateur players it doesn't matter at all whether we win or not. Sometimes what is all important is using the game, as much as possible, as a quick vacation from the real world.

Take care, Jerry

KnightFork said...

Feeling pressure from external forces can have a negative impact on all phases of our life. Mine usually revolves around money, or the lack thereof. I overly stress out and get so uptight that I can't even enjoy the given please in my life like my wife and kids.

Like you I have an escape as well. Mine is music, though I think your exercising is much more healthy! Just remember to lean on your friends and loved ones when you need to. Maybe writing about it in your blog also will help you out. Maybe we could start a group therapy blog! That would be a scary thought, haha.

Polly said...

Thank you everyone. Just venting a bit can be therapeutic. Chess players understand what can happen to one's game when life gets in the way. Non chess players don't get it. "It's only a game...."

RT Solo said...

"The question is how do we balance our emotions and anxieties so that we can maintain control over the pleasure we derive from chess without losing it?"

Maybe we can't maintain control over the pleasure we derive...maybe we can't balance our emotions and anxieties. Perhaps...just perhaps...we are designed this way so that we never get stuck on one thing. So that we are always finding new things to fulfil us.

This isn't something that I've thought about before, but your rant and the subsequent questions got me to thinking along these lines.

Anyway, one thing I do know: we always find new things that make us happy. :-)

Polly said...

RT: Excellent points! "Anyway, one thing I do know: we always find new things that make us happy. :-)"

It's at the point where one is not taking pleasure in the things that makes him happy, or has no interest in seeking new things that he needs to ask himself why? Sometimes the answer is not so easy to find. But as the old expression goes, "life is a journey, not a race."