Oy Vey


Today's top puzzle clue was “Kvetch’s cry.” I knew the answer to be oy gevalt. But, did being unsure of spelling make my inculcation as a Kvetch less complete? My local paper was a tad off on this. Kvetching is a worry /complain behavior, making Oy Vey a more common cry of the chronic kvetch. Oy gevalt expresses shocked dismay, as when witnessing more catastrophic events, like a car accident. But, we consummate Kvetches expect the worst, so are less shocked by the occasional downpour of life’s lemons. Some of us practice defensive kvetching. We’re raised to believe that without a list of things to complain about, folks may take advantage of us. We feel vulnerable to envy, criticism and gossip and generally unworthy of luck or satisfaction. You only get permission to be happy if you’re not happy.

This paradox is sewn into our social tapestry and plays in our head thus: If I look comfortable or relaxed, folks will judge me and/or give me more to do. If I’m sad or overwhelmed, folks might take care of me. Shame and fear are at the root of this (and most) forms of neurosis. To mitigate or, heaven forbid, eradicate this mindset, I name it, examine it, take it for a mindful spin, and then try a moment of not believing it. As a result of this practice, I’ve managed a minute, hour, even the rare day of unabashed equanimity and self content. I imagine and seek the sweet spot between Kvetch and Giddy big shot. I practice surrendering my inner kvetches free-floating shame and fear around various personal challenges and specific concerns like money/social/material capital, work, chores, health and family interactions. Even the subtlest fear can be outed. As a result, I’ve quieted my impulse to kvetch and accepted this probably won’t make me less worthy. My hope is to somehow offset the centrality of suffering to my tribe’s affinity and find more fun things to talk about. l'chaim!

"Build a House for men and birds.

Sit with them and play music.

For a day, for just one day,

talk about that which disturbs no one

and bring some peace,

my friend,

into your beautiful eyes." -- Hafiz #lchaim#equanimity #nothingtocomplainabout

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