Sunday, February 1, 2004

Swimming Pool Philosophy

Somebody wrote this on, of all places, the chalkboard at the pool: "Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think." Pretty heady stuff for a bunch of soggy jocks! It made me think though. Would that "thinkers" and "feelers" were so easily categorized. I’m certainly not one or the other. Sometimes I think I’m the worst of both worlds.

I’m a very inward person. I live 97% of my life inside my head. I’ve always been that way. I’m too sensitive, and when I’m hurt, I don’t fight…I just retreat into myself. I have bat-like hearing for anything negative. When it comes to compliments, strokes, admiration, atta-boys….I’m deaf as a post. I wish I knew why. If there were some horrible childhood experience that would explain this quirk, maybe I could work it out. But it just seems to be an essential part of the way I AM. Like I was born this way. So, am I one of those "feelers" for whom life is a tragedy? Maybe.

But I believe I’ve got a little bit of the "thinker" in me, too. Despite my magnetic attraction for negative energy, I still have the ability to stand outside myself and analyze things. When I start to slide too quickly or too deeply into that pit, I can yell, "Hold it!" and just stop for a second and get my bearings. Look at the situation with as little emotion as possible, and judge whether it really merits that headlong flight into myself. Laugh if I need to, or just say, "Whoa…this isn’t that important." It’s a good thing, really, that I have this ability. If I didn’t, they probably would have tossed me into the loony bin years ago. That doesn’t really make me a "thinker", though does it? Just a "feeler" with enough sense of self-preservation to know when to stop feeling.

I started this journal entry with the intention of proving that one is not either a thinker or a feeler, and using myself as an example that we are all both. What I’ve actually done is make a pretty strong case for myself being a card-carrying "feeler." But I sure don’t want to think of my life as a tragedy. So let’s just put that quote in the circular file….


  1. I felt like you were describing me when I read this post. I admit that I have a pretty dualistic way of looking at life, but some things just aren't as cut and dry as thinkers and feelers. Since I'm pretty constantly working on developing optimism as a personality trait, I think that life, for those of us with a foot in each camp, is an adventure. Sometimes, that means dodging bombs and landmines.

  2. Somebody wrote this on, of all places, the chalkboard at the pool: "Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think."

    I believe I am a thinker because life cracks me up when all is said and done....after I feel the tragedy of course. LOL

  3. I would say that I'm a little of both too. I think the feeling side of me is louder--the thinker is the silent world inside my head that I don't do a lot of sharing with anyone.

  4. I know I'm some of both - it's just that sometime one can definately overcome the other. And why would feeling necessarily lead to finding the tragic in life? I would argue that letting yourself feel is the way to truly experience joy. To stop thinking and take things at simple face value can allow one to open their heart.

  5. Oh, ITA, nobody is all a thinker or all a feeler. Just depends. I'd much rather have a balance than to be on either extreme, anyway.

    And I'm totally with you on the compliments. I think too many of us take negative things to heart, and consider the compliments as something very nice. NOt that we *believe them, but we appreciate the kindness of the person who said them.
    Let's start believing them, okay? :-)