This Quest Has Gone on Long Enough: Time for Humor Found in the New Yorker; Thanks Given to Authors; Inner Peace of Mind in Islam; Loo Defined; Photos of Salad and Marc’s Loo

Everyone, Everywhere: This quest has gone on long enough!

Me: I agree. You are probably thinking it is time for a little humor 

You: Yes, it is about time! 

The quest has been conquered. Strangely enough it has been a Quest for Life (as that is the name of the magazine). (Life has so many meanings, this shall be explored at a later time, not now.) 

I am massively relieved, an aura of peace has descended. I find myself enjoying my everyday ordinary life in Edmonton. Discovering new people, new restaurants, taste sensations. Blessedly also receiving greetings from my Saudi people. It is most gratifying. However, realize  that I have been neglecting my duties as a humor provider. Behind the scenes I did continue to be on the lookout for laughs,  even in the midst of the serious days of the Quest. The most reliable resource, the New Yorker.did not let me down. 

I have spent an incredible amount of time in therapy during my lifetime. So when I saw the title: Things I’d Say if I Were a Therapist That Prove I Shouldn’t Be a Therapist, my attention gravitated toward this topic, not one that had previously held much joy. Here are some of my favorites: 

“Have you ever thought about thinking before you act? Sorry if that’s obvious, I just never see you doing it.” 

“Maybe instead of telling me about how you’re contemplating cheating on your girlfriend, consider celibacy so that she and all other women can be rid of you.”

 “Congratulations on the pregnancy and all, but your child is gonna haaaaaaate you. You really shouldn’t be around any children until you stop acting like one. Is there a way to prescribe that? 

“What is wrong with you? Don’t answer that—it’s rhetorical.”

“I admire your ability to lie to yourself.”

“I don’t think that I can see you again. Unfortunately, you seem totally unsalvageable.”

Thank you Amy Collier, those are her jokes, not mine. 

Do wish that at least one of my therapists would have thought that I was unsalvageable. I would have saved a lot of money. Instead I had to flee from the country, from California. At first  to London, England for two and half years, then to Vancouver. Subsequently acquired another California therapist, this necessitated a journey to UAE, then Canada, next Saudi Arabia to escape his clutches.  One can afford to travel when not paying therapists. 

But onto another topic. This caught my attention as I I occasionally suffer from buyer’s remorse:  Why You Are Experiencing Buyer’s Remorse

“Cream That Is Allegedly a Miracle and Will Change Your Skin Overnight: I am so sorry to tell you this, but I will not deliver on any of those promises. But, hey! Enjoy me for what I do bring to your life: a luxurious nighttime routine, a subtle but transformative scent, and a reason to start a savings account.”

“Vacuum Cleaner: I’m impressed by all the research you conducted and am ultimately very flattered that you chose me, but I regretfully must inform you that a new model comes out in about two weeks. It’s cheaper, lighter, and cordless.”

“Linen Bedsheets: Your suspicions are true. We are the best thing that has ever happened to you—so much so that you’ll soon be possessed by an undying effort to keep us in pristine condition. No dogs, no babies, no sex, no food, no letting loose or fun to be had in this precious bed.”

Thank you Ariella Elovic for those jokes. 

This has never happened to me but When I Win the Lottery seemed to have some humorous possibilities. 

“When I win the lottery, I will wave my winning ticket in the face of anyone who ever dared doubt my plan to hit it big—especially that one teacher who always accused me of having too much potential to rely on luck alone.” 

“When I win the lottery, I will quit my job, even though it’s not “work” to me because I do what I love and also I’m unemployed.” 

“When I win the lottery, I will self-publish a book about my successes titled “Make Your Own Luck,” and star in the film adaptation, and single-handedly fill all the seats in the theatre on opening night, if scientists are where they should be on cloning by then.” 

“When I win the lottery, I will buy another ticket right away. Sorry if this sounds greedy, but who knows how long I’ll have the hot hand? And everyone knows that good things come in pairs.”

Thank you Alex Watts for these jokes. 

I can imagine that some of you are wondering why I cannot come up with my own jokes.  It is because I have been stuck in a holding pattern. 

If something or someone is in a holding pattern, they remain in the same state or continue to do the same thing while waiting for something to happen. It is usually defined as the course flown (as over an airport) by an aircraft waiting for permission to land. Psychologists have a theory about holding patterns. “Our subconscious beliefs prompt our choices, which then dictate our behaviour, which in turn creates our experience. So however you look at it, a “holding pattern” is the subconscious mind unwittingly sabotaging us and orchestrating our discontent and lack of fulfilment.” 

Psychologists have theories about everything, that does not make them right. My excuse is a UTI  (Urinary Tract Infection) which requires treatment before launching on an airline voyage the almost defies the imagination. Saw my treasured doctor yesterday, eleven dollars (Canadian) bought me a prescription and I am now officially on my way to good health. There was good news, the blood work revealed that I am in good health, my blood pressure is 120/60. There was another, shall we say detour. An eye exam revealed I needed new glasses for close-up computer work. Ordered then but somewhere here was a mixup – the glasses were for distance viewing. It is rather necessary to wait for those before I take off for Saudi Arabia (again). There are other complications with the Royal Bank of Canada it has my money and it being most inefficient and not at all diligent about giving it back to me. Another hurdle to peace mind. The Canadian Revenue Agency continues to be worrying. I have decided that the taxing authority is just like a a dysfunctional parent, whatever you do never pleases them. Had dysfunctional parents so have a solution (of sorts). Just quit trying to please them, the punishment cannot be as destructive as the continual stress and anxiety. It worked with my parents, so it is worth a try. 

There is good news – the air quality index is slowly improving. Read that it is worse than even the last recorded 2018 record.  

Me: I have a great sense of timing! To be right here, right now.!

Alter Ego: Are you being sarcastic? 

Me: Yes. It is a form of humor, by the way. 

Alter Ego: That is correct. 

Me: Thanks. I needed to hear you say that.! 

Alter Ego: Are you being sarcastic? 

Me: Yes! So please laugh

Making some progress. Went to the Post Office to request that my mail be forwarded to Saudi Arabia. They charged me $178.16 to forward my mail for four months. Can you believe that?? Where did they come up with that number? Nothing can be done about it. Who is there to complain to? I suppose the man in charge of the postal system but the postal system is so slow that by the time he got the complaint the four months would be over. Good news can emerge from this and it is best to dwell on good news, not bad. 

Alter Ego: What is the good news about that? 

Me: Well…it will take a long time to get the pesky notices from the Canadian Taxation Agency. . I have to pay Canadian taxes because I live in Canada. But do I? It just might confuse them and in the meantime I have some peace of mind. 

The Australian Journal of Islamic Studies speaks of peace.

 Not only does Islam mean peace, but it also has a strong affiliation with inner peace through the tranquillity and peace it offers as a result of internalising the Islamic faith.

The paper, Inner Peace in Islam, was written by Zuleyha Keskin. It is extremely intellectual and challenging. This is an example. 

The three concepts that will be analysed in this paper are riḍā (contentment), sakīna (serenity) and itṃ ī nā n (peace). These concepts can be brought together to produce a definition of inner peace that is true to the Islamic tradition: inner peace is attained when life and events are given a tawhị̄ d-centric meaning in a way that satisfies the heart and mind.

The paper spoke of this a concept was easy to grasp: 

“Khaled Abou El Fadl has also tackled the topic, but from a slightly different angle. In his paper titled “When Happiness Fails: An Islamic Perspective,”36 Abou El Fadl states there is an inextricable link between knowledge and happiness, where knowledge is about the self, other people, other cultures and the world. It is such knowledge that leads to a state of peace and harmony with the self, with creation and with God. Drawing on this analysis, Abou El Fadl argues that puritanical Muslims are undermining the ability to experience happiness at the individual and social level due to their jahiliyyah (ignorance). After this point, Abou El Fadl continues to analyse the puritanical mind-set, which has caused nothing but distress and ugliness for humanity.”

By the way, I must read El Fadl’s paper . Puritanical Muslims are a total pain, they truly are. They remind me of the Canada Taxing Authority. Khaled Abou El Fadl, “When Happiness Fails: An Islamic Perspective,” Journal of Law and Religion 29, no. 1 (2014)

I am not insisting you read either article.  

Alter Ego: Why not? It sounds fascinating. 

Me: It would not give readers peace of mind. Most of the readers of this blog can barely make it to 2,000 words, with some jokes thrown in. I know my audience. 

Alter Ego: You are funny! 

Me Occasionally. If I was funny all of the time I would be trivial. If I was serious all the time people would be bored and never read me. So you gotta be both – it is a roller coaster, a dance. 

Onto some more light-weight entertaining news. I found a great restaurant two blocks from my home. No idea why it took me over a year to find it. It is called Marc’s but the owner’s name is not Marc or Mark. I accidentally found out the owner’s name. It is Doris. There were many delicious choices – the  Salad Nicoise shall be pictured – absolutely delicious, the best ever. Not only the food is good, the waitresses charming and helpful, the other patrons polite and appreciative, but here is an added benefit. Their women’s loo is most elegant – photographs of that shall also be included. Loo is a British word for a bathroom or toilet. This actually happened at the Rixos Resort in Abu Dhabi. 

Me: Please, where is the loo? 

He: It is just up the road, about 500 kms away. 

Me: No, not the Louvre, the loo. 

He: Oh, just down the hallway to the right. 

Me: Thank you very much. I know I can make it that far.  

Photos of the salad and the loo shall follow. I left my spider man umbrella there the other day. I must go and fetch it later. The mushrooms on toast will be my next choice. The waitress said it was her favorite and it will be within my dietary restrictions. Eating properly does give me peace of mind.