Signal to Noise

At 5:30 this morning, I was on the phone with my bank trying to stop a duplicate payment to my credit card company. The call got dropped twice, which means I had to suffer through an automated menu three times. I wish there was a recorded collection of people yelling at automated menus. Operator! OPERATOR! Cocksucker! I think it would be hilarious to listen to, all that misdirected anger.

I made the duplicate payment after I got a mistaken ‘payment past due’ email Sunday night from a billpay site I signed up for to simplify my life. I reacted emotionally instead of waiting to look at it with a clear eye the next morning.  The dropped calls were because we dropped our landline a year ago to simplify our lives. This only makes sense when your cell phone works in your house.

I am starting to understand that less is more. Sometimes not doing anything at all is the right thing to do. Or not do. Whatever.

I am starting to see my role in mistakes because I don’t feel threatened like I once did. Now I catch myself doing things like overreacting or taking on too much and it’s like I’m watching myself from a curiously detached place that’s more comfortable than uncomfortable. It’s like those instructional videos where you’re watching a catastrophic scene unfold and the narrator suddenly shouts STOP! and the scene freezes in time. I have the freedom to stop messing up whenever I choose to.

This morning a friend sent this to me an email, apropos of nothing:

“It’s not the awareness of our defects that causes us the most agony – it’s the defects themselves.”

My defects aren’t me. They’re defense mechanisms or bad habits I developed over the years while I was busy avoiding uncomfortable feelings. And hey, life is hard unfiltered. The only way I’ve found any peace lately is by letting go of drama and noise (this applies to people as well as things). I deleted my account from that billpay site yesterday. Felt great. I’m trying to clean house in other areas of my life so I can be the kind of person I’d want to spend time with. Progress is slow, but it’s there and I believe it will continue if I keep trying. Sobriety has taught me that more than anything.



18 thoughts on “Signal to Noise

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  1. To quote one of most favorite persons:

    “I adore you. That is all.”

    And to quote one of my favorite foods:

    “Bacon Pizza.”

    And I just had the coolest idea ever:

    “Bacon Bit Cookies”. Like chocolate chip cookies. Only better.


    1. Have you tried the dark chocolate bar with bacon in it? I guess it shows my devotion to bacon because I only had it once. If the cookie were made from scrambled eggs and biscuit, I could get into that but I I just described a breakfast sandwich. I bet your genius could come up with a recipe on your next long music-free run.


  2. “Life is hard unfiltered” – LOVE it!! And I so needed the laugh when I got the visual of us screaming at the automated systems. Ha, I refuse to talk to them. I just hit zero and zero and zero. OR,, what works super great, like calling your cellphone company,, when the option of “purchase a new phone” (or some such thing), I like to press that option – you get there asap. Or calling my clinic. you get the options, “if you are a new patient calling, press 1” “if you need appointments, press 2” “if you are a physician calling, press 3” –
    ya, you got it – press the dam three!!!
    I figure if they’re gonna mess with my valuable time, I’ll do the same with theirs.

    Great post,
    as always!!


  3. Oh the trials of modern life. And all the things we sent to make life simpler! Cleaning house, trying to make life simpler, detaching ourselves………………..I too am trying this this same path. Take care xx


    1. I always think of you when it comes to procrastination because you’ve shared openly about this. I’m mindful that I’m just in an “up” period right now, the struggle is never over.


  4. Ha Ha Ha! We should have a big party, put the phone on speaker, and take turns calling companies and yelling obscenities at them, may be the biggest stress reliever yet. You know, I don’t angst over making mistakes like I used to, I fucked up? so what. I admit it, I’m imperfect. I think I worried so much before because I thought people could trace any fuck up back to my drinking. Ya know, she’s a drinker and you know how they are, can’t count on them to do anything right.

    One more useless piece of baggage outa my backpack.


  5. Great post. I’m with you. These things that are supposed to make life easier just complicate and cause clutter.

    I’d love to hear a recording of people screaming at an automated service. I’d buy that!



  6. “my defects aren’t me.” this is so sweet, and true. i think swearing at the automated phone system is a perfectly normal and natural response 🙂 (oh is it just me, but when i arrive on a site with a new THEME i think i’m in the wrong place and quickly click away … then i come back and sniff around a bit to make sure it’s familiar!)


  7. I am so glad you found my blog. Thank you for you kind words and support. I look forward to getting to know you. I have been following your comments on other blogs. It is wonderful to have someone that is out in front of you and has gained the wisdom that time brings. Tomorrow will be seven weeks for me and I am amazed at the changes in my life. I know the road may not always be smooth but it will always be better then what it was prior to August 9, 2012!

    “I am starting to understand that less is more.” How true. Why do we have to keep learning this lesson over and over again?


  8. First of all, I’m loving the new layout. Second, I relate to this post so much. I’ve been “cleaning house” in a way too, getting rid of stuff / obligations / false relationships in my life that aren’t making me happy. Good riddance.


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