No intro. Enjoy all the stock photos. We’re coping. –Michael J Seidlinger
Michael J Seidlinger
Biking, hiking, etc
Believing the hype about the world ending
Man, believing that I can just not do any work for a day. That’s a fun concept that’s usually gone by the time I leave bed.
You know what I could totally go for right now? Pho. Really craving some pho.
Guess I should say books/reading/writing, yeah, so that too.
The Bukowski method.
Hugging my dog, pop music, ice cream, swimming in rivers, singing loud in the car, reading books that make my brain go WHOA, naps, friends friends friends, fangirl behavior (tumblr/watching movies/listening to music/seeing live music), crafting, putting time and energy into Birds of Lace, crying, hot showers, mountains, looking at the stars.
I have these long-term strategies. I make a lot of plans–five-year plans–and break them down into three steps, each representing a major goal. I revise the five-year plans once a year or so. Does this sound obsessive? It is, but the path of healthy focus+unhealthy guilt/shame it leads me down has worked fantastically. These umbrella lists are how I got through grad school, how I’ve met all my major creative, employment, and travel goals, and how I remembered what I cared about in the face of a whole bunch of tempting shit that is ultimately stupid.
In the short term, on a good day, in a good season, I make lists of things like: go on a run, write, stay hydrated, eat enough calories, eat enough vegetables, listen to the news only twice a week, stretch, read, meditate three times a week. I try to get myself to do these things and then I make other lists of things like, “Let yourself off the hook.” “Have equanimity.” “NBD, dog.” “Plant the seeds and trust the process.” I’m about fifty percent successful at getting myself to chill the fuck out on any given day.
If I’m being honest with myself, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that meditating and the dharma have saved my life, so it’s good to know I could bring that, secretly, when I get stuck on a desert island.
I throw as much nonsense and unwanted emissions and stink and uselessness right back at the bullshit. (I think this is a form of homeopathy?) If I find my arsenal empty, I ask a friend or loved one (usually my wife) to lay out all the bullshit that’s weighing them down and concentrate on helping them to shovel that pile flat. (I think this is called taking on a project?)
David S. Atkinson
I try to laugh and remember that none of it is going to ultimately matter.
Nap it off. Make necessary decisions sooner rather than later. Go for a jaunt. Spritz on some perfume or indulge in likeminded fanciness. Keep good company like you chill bastards.
Sueyeun Juliette Lee
I try to get back in my body. A walk or a swim or a bike ride or sex.
As often as possible, avoid language like “coping,” which can problematize difficulty. Recite a mantra. Walk in the woods. Prepare an elaborate meal. Read someone unsullied by the today-bullshit (Melville, lately).
Philosophize it until it dissolves into non-meaningful non-difference.
Dennis James Sweeney
I was thinking of this metaphor for meditation the other day, but I think it works for running, meals, and sleeping, too: they’re like branches and the whole rest of the life is the part where you swing between the branches. We being spider monkeys. Sometimes the swinging part is a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s not. That’s when I eat like four bowls of rice, or go out for a killer workout on the track. Occasionally I don’t talk to anyone for about a week. That seems to work pretty well, too.
Cruising at highway speed in the isolation chamber of my car while listening to the Hives at ear-splitting levels is what’s working right now. It’s like a chemical bath or something. But really, nothing’s better than just having a good full-throated scream from the diaphragm. Sounds maniacal perhaps, and I do get looks if I’m say, in the car at the red light, but the act of opening my mouth wide as it can go and just letting the whole katamari of pain or anger or pressure or whatever back out into the atmosphere is very calming for me. And if that doesn’t work, I just imagine other drivers are big bags of dirt, or I pet an imaginary cat.
I lift weights and listen to Beethoven. But that’s not always it, sometimes I sit in the bath tub and read but if I get pissed at the book I dunk it in the bath tub water and throw it out the window next to the tub. I also go on walks around my neighborhood, pre-dawn with a cartoon shark ceramic coffee mug, mostly I’m looking for my car, wherever it’s parked.
Okay hold onto your hat for this because some of it’s a little dicey, but 1) impulse shopping, usually for clothes I don’t need, 90% of which gets returned, 2) painting my abstract paintings that are purely about color and shape and not about anything else, no thought, no feeling, and 3) there’s a special thing that got handed to me that I can’t completely reveal but I didn’t entirely choose Judaism, it chose me, and things kind of unfolded from there.
1) Keeping in mind that not all challenging events are bad and that adversity is a part of life and can be overcome/dissolved. 2) Go for a walk. There is no bad weather, only bad clothing. Pet Burmese cats. 3) Live in Norway. Go to the Arctic at times.
Whenever life gets me so down, I know I can go down to where the music and the fun never ends…sorry, I grew up in the ’90s. My coping strategy is perspective, honestly. In other words, who are YOU to judge ME? I had a couple of life-threatening major depressive episodes in high school because I spend way too much time micro-analyzing the future consequences of my present (perceived) failures. Then, I realized that if my life had gotten to the point where I was literally ready to end it tomorrow, I might as well forget about “consequences” and just fucking do what makes me happy TODAY. Nowadays, when anxiety gets the better of me, I just retreat into my “I don’t give a shit” corner of irresponsibility and recklessness, because seriously, nothing that happens in life is as big a deal as we like to think it is.
Edward J Rathke
Wong Kar Wai
Three words: X. Men. Comics.