Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dissatisfaction is the Enemy

This post was originally written on 28 January 2019. As the time of the publishing, I once again have a chair.

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
- Buddha

Anger is nothing. Fear is nothing. Hatred is nothing. Dissatisfaction is the real problem.

Dissatisfaction drives us to change things, or to try. And if those tries fail, they are the fuel for anger, fear, and hatred.

I love my computer chair. An Ikea Markus from many years ago when they offered it in more interesting colors than black. It has served me well these many years, despite several people who have suggested otherwise that I would regret the purchase, that the comfort would fade like a new car smell... and I never did.

Still, not a big fan of the stock casters, which, if you've ever tried rolling around on carpet in an office chair, you understand. So suffered for many years until I stumbled across the Stealtho on Kickstarter last year. Prior to finding them, I had never even considered that there might be a better option for casters.

And when they finally arrived... they didn't fit. Left a message on the Kickstarter absolving them of blame, until they insisted I was wrong: they insisted the wheels would fit.

So I upended my favorite office chair on its side, applied more force...

And indeed, the peg slid into the chair. Right before the leg snapped off.

You can still buy the chair, if you don't mind it in black, but the base doesn't seem to be available separately (still waiting for a reply from Ikea on that account, but nobody on eBay is selling the base alone, so I'm guessing not).

But the problem is not that I now have no chair. That's indeed A problem, but it really isn't THE problem. The problem is that I'm always dissatisfied with the way things are. I was fine for close to a decade using the stock casters. Pain in the ass, yes, but it was managed; I worked around the problem.

It's not unlike my dissatisfaction of sleeping on the ground while camping. For years I believed that suffering was part of the experience. Now I've found hammocks and found joy AND comfort in camping. In trade I've been kicked out of two public parks because they had rules against hammocks, and only due to luck that I've been neither fined nor ticketed.

My first friendships and relationships began as dissatisfaction with feeling alone, and my relationships ended with still further dissatisfaction.

I can't accept things the way they are. It has cost me money and time and all manner of emotional instability, and if I could ever just leave things the way they are I would save myself all manner of suffering.

But I can't.

For a man who calls himself "a recovering pessimist," I've done all manner of trying through the years and all too often it seems to go horribly wrong. Trying to make things better sometimes just makes things worse. But I've always insisted on trying.

And now I sleep in a hammock at night instead of on a mattress. Now I'm single and mostly alone. Now I don't have a chair to sit in when I'm sewing or computering.

Now I'm even more dissatisfied than I started, all because I couldn't leave things well enough alone.