Recently, like the last few days, I started reading a new book — “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck”. I hate the title. I swore to myself the first time I saw it, I would never read the book. I thought — really, you can’t come up with a better name? The author probably could have, but it wouldn’t have grabbed people’s attention that way it did. Anyway, I am hoping that maybe some of the concepts presented there will help me as I wean myself off of sertraline. I’ve been taking it for a number of years now. The unwanted product of going through some rough things over the last few years. Not dealing with my emotions, or whatever the reason, I was angry all the time, and I could not contain it any longer. I lashed out at everyone around me, those I loved, those I didn’t love, those I kind of liked, and so and so on. It wasn’t a pretty picture. It wasn’t fun to be around. It wasn’t fun to be that person. So… with the help of drugs (prescription drugs — not the other kind), and some counseling, and a lot of years working things out, it’s gotten better.
Let me share a story that happened today. Well, first some background. For those who don’t know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yes, that’s a mouthful. First off I love the Church. I love the teachings, and I generally feel that living those teachings helps me be a better person. That being said — there are some tradeoffs that come with being part of the church. We like to have meetings. We have longggg meetings. A lot of people might be familiar with General Conference. We also have Stake Conference — it’s like General Conference, but on a local level.
Today we had a “special” stake conference. There was going to be a new stake created. This happens when the an area grows in membership. This is generally a seen as a good thing. We send missionaries out all over the world each year to share the gospel message. With the advent of creating and realigning geographic boundaries of the two existing stakes — everyone was invited to attend. Post COVID some meetings were broadcast via Zoom so that people could participate remotely if they were sick, or fearful of becoming sick. Those Zoom broadcasts are still happening — most of the time. But there was not broadcast link given for today’s conference.
I don’t particularly enjoy going to Stake Conference. The meetings are generally about two hours long, there are a lot of people, and I don’t find them all that uplifting or enjoyable to go to. It’s taken a number of years to be able to say that, because culturally it’s not generally the accepted train of thought. That being said, I wanted to know what was going to happen, where the new boundaries were going to be, what Wards were going to be in each stake, and I didn’t want to wait for the email that might or might not show up. So, I went. While there I was greeted by a member, who casually asked where the family was? Not an unusual question in a setting where family is highly valued. A question that normally I would have stammered to answer, trying to come up with a good reason. Today, however, I did not stammer. I casually looked at my watch, since the meeting was two and half hours earlier than our normal time, and said with a big smile on my face — “It’s rather early for them, they’re still sleeping. I was going to bring Aiden, but he fell back asleep, and wasn’t ready when it was time to go, so I came.” I didn’t feel bad about that. We both laughed. I stayed for most of the meeting, haven gotten the information I came for, I made my escape during the rest hymn. I share this because I think partly this, “letting go”; not worrying about why the rest of the family wasn’t there came partly from the book. We’ll go to Church next week and the week after that. I like normal services. Those I find uplifting, spiritually fulfilling and generally enjoy going to, but I’m also comfortable with my decision and actions today.