Tag Archives: Socrates

Occam’s Razor – And the Unexamined Life

An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living. Socrates

When it comes to taking quotes at face value one must exercise extreme caution. Socrates examined the living daylights out of everything. I think he must have over-examined the lives of his peers as well, because he really pissed them off. He ended up having to end his own life by drinking hemlock.

I have been going through a protracted phase of obsessive self-examination brought on by a recent bipolar diagnosis. I was falling into the trap of questioning my every thought and decision through this new kaleidoscope. It reached a magnificent crescendo of silliness yesterday. I spent several hours yesterday morning in a state of extreme annoyance at … my pajama sleeves.

You may think “Girl, you have waaay much time on your hands.” I personally do not subscribe to the theory of too much time on one’s hands. I learn from everything I do or feel whether or not it is of any value to anyone else. I’m the one that has to live in this brain and this body so I’m going to do it my way, thank you very much!

Anyway, the pajama sleeves were driving me crazy. One sleeve insisted on poking out 4 inches below the sleeve of my robe. The other sleeve remained where it belonged, just peeking out a bit.

I began to descend into frenzy of questions. Why are my sleeves crooked? Am I turning into the hunch back of Notre Dame? Am I suffering from some sort of extended muscle spasm that is causing one shoulder to be higher than the other? Has one of my arms decided to grow longer than the other one? Finally I went to the bathroom, looked me in the face in the mirror, mentally slapped myself and yelled “pull yourself together, Man!”

It worked and I recalled the lovely principle of Occam’s Razor.  It means, in layman’s terms; when faced with multiple hypotheses, the simplest solution tends to be the right one. There is nothing wrong with me, it’s the pajamas. Sure enough I took off the top and compared the sleeves to each other. One sleeve is longer than the other. Well duh!

At this point you may also be thinking “this woman needs to get help, and then a life, in that order.” But I am getting help, and I do have a life! My life may be on the far end of the bell curve called “normal.” I don’t care. I’m living it and learning to cope with these mental gyrations in my own way. If it means I have to address myself in the mirror to talk myself down from whatever mental ledge I crawled out on, that’s OK.

I don’t even have to believe that “tomorrow is another day” and then wait for it. I can start a new day right now. Let it slide, don’t take myself too seriously, laugh it off and get on with living.

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