Tuesday, October 5, 2010

THE WORRY BUTTS© aka Getting’ To The Bottom of the ‘But-t’

aka Getting’ To The Bottom of the ‘But-t’

You’re really a smart person….BUT
There is another …. BUT
I know I should have told you… BUT
You’ll always be special … BUT
Don’t be offended…. BUT
Different Times with Different Lines, by Jim Schwartz, 1971, Denver University Clarion

Confession: the above was written when I was a rationalizing testosterone driven BUTT HEAD of 19 or 20 trying to ‘win the affections’ (euphemism) of Wendy L. (And to answer the question, no, I didn’t ‘bag the babe’ - there was no shtuppee, whoopee and thank God, no chuppie.) (1)

Testostorone driven But-t Headedness is excusable for 19-20 year olds, however, after 20+ years in practice as a fee only personal financial life planner and an additional 16 years of writing etc in the area, I have a BUTinski Schwartzism © relative to BUTs:

When BUT #1 is fixed BUT #2 is promoted by the Butt Heads”

Oh, yes, as we grow older our “but’s” are more sophisticated with a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down the pants – with a repertoire of excuses rivaling the yellow pages.
Why is there one but after another but after another in personal financial life planning?

Here’s an interesting personal financial life planning ‘But’ cascade:
· But, I don’t have ‘enough’
· I have ‘enough’ but I need a cushion
· I have enough and a cushion – the means to the end but I need to move the ends apart

Buts escalate even with ‘more and more’ money and resources.
· But Obama could reinflate the currency
· But I could have a bad year (even though I’m the last ice man)
· But What if the water is cut off?

There is no rest for the WORRY BUTT’s but’s – only but promotions. They just escalate exposing the underlying fear which despite the above sarcasm is very real and haunting.
And what is that underlying fear?

The fear of physical extinction (which we identify as ourselves) due to:

· The lack of faith in trust in God (or a higher power)
· The lack of faith in our own proven adaptability and resourcefulness overcoming past difficulties and challenges

No wonder the push for certainty, permanence, continuity stirred and shaken (olives optional) with a chaser of the dreaded secondary fear of being beholden. No wonder the BUTTressing- one BUTT after another BUT-T.

An exercise:

Suggestion: In one column, write down difficult times and challenges and in the other column write how you correspondingly overcame the problem, worry, difficulty, challenge. Then read the sheet in total – reduce it to size and stick it in your wallet for when the next WORRY BUTT wave hits.
(You may even be impressed with your own adaptability and resourcefulness – which earned the necessary current currency and or other resources to overcome the past WORRY BUTTs).

Oh, yes, I know, you’ll say:
· (But) That was then, this is now
· (But) I don’t have the same energy
· (But) I’m older now
· (But) This is different…BUT, BUT, BUT

The point is you have, you did overcome as the track record of the exercise proves, yet still WORRY BUTTs rarely give themselves credit for the evidence of meeting and beating these past challenges.

How come?

Because of the ‘if they only knew(s)’

The ‘if they only knew(s)’ is the deep down belief in being an imposter – derived from the conviction/ironically faith in one’s lacks (lack-tose intolerances) when one scratches underneath the bravado, Gucci and Rolex..
And so it goes, BUTT-er Cups (really only BUTT-er Flavoring).

The fact is we are not self sufficient regardless of personal financial resources. Today’s current currency is tomorrow’s money in a wheel barrow. Unfortunately, especially in an industrial and post industrial society with increased specialization – we need other people.
But if you remember to take out the above reduced piece of paper with the above exercise on it, you might just minimize the anxiety, the buts, and the pain in the butt. You might even remember from those difficult times, you were adaptable and resourceful such that no matter what the current currency – you have adjusted. (This is BUTT management (Preparation BUTT) not BUTT cure ).
Even better yet, I believe, is trust and faith in God to provide strength for one’s latent and or minimized adaptability or resourcefulness to manifest. I am reminded what The Rebbe (2) said relative to health, ‘listen to the doctors instructions, but one’s fate is in Hashem’s hands.’ We have more faith in the dollar or euro (the current currency) than we have in The ‘Everlasting’ Currency.

Of course, you could say all the above is projection. We do teach what we need to learn ourselves, BUTT-er Cups.

As a Rabbi once said, ‘you don’t get rid of Shtick (3), you manage it.’
ENOUGH said. Don't BuTT-er me UP?

1.-Chuppah – The Jewish wedding canopy, that is, the cloth under which the Jewish wedding cere-money is conducted.
2.- The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
3.- Shtick – a contrived gesture or routine done by anyone, often an actor or comedian i.e. my baseball cards for business cards etc.

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