Ben Stein's Diary

It’s Poetic

Letter in response to an e-mail from Ben Stein that he was about to go for a swim.

12.17.10

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Letter in response to an e-mail from Ben Stein that he was about to go for a swim.

Dear darling man:

I have thought about this email from you for several days and it has been a conundrum of sorts. I hope that you are not displeased with some of my thinking ... I certainly mean no offense.

By any measure, my current situation would not be considered enviable by most people. I am not wealthy (not even comfortable certain months when the annual bills of insurance or real estate taxation come due). I am not in a regular long-term relationship with a loving adult man (in my case). I am not employed in a position at this moment that rewards me either monetarily or in a personal level of satisfaction.

In the past, I have been a slave to fashion. I have either purchased or yearned for the "latest" -- be it clothing, furniture, books, food, wine or whatever the current "it" was. I found myself chafing as a result of what I did not have. And. As we all know, commerce is furthered by always moving the boundaries of what we do not have and challenging us to keep up. For most of us there is no keeping up.

The past four years have turned my world upside down. Or perhaps "righted" it. Being here in small town Ohio versus Big D Dallas has restored some of my perspective and values. In Dallas I was always in pursuit and never in enjoyment. These days, I have a true sense of warm when I have a full gas tank, a blue sky and a few hours to enjoy. Yes. I can still make myself crazy (if I choose) thinking about the half million I lost on paper and imagining what that might have done or bought. But I just can't do it anymore. I focus on the things within my control and self scold when I disappoint myself or add to my unhappiness through some thoughtless act or word. I have reconciled myself to my unique imperfection and who I am and while -- on occasion I curse the scale, closet, or empty bed -- I am comforted and content. Not words that will resonate on a tombstone, but ones which will make my days here that much more rich and fulfilling.

In a nutshell? Just enjoy the swim!

love,
me

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