It's a Living

Yes, my musician kids "work," thank you very much.

Which brings me to this final point: They are all young enough to at least try for the chance at making a living by making music. None are married, no children, no outrageous debts. What parent wouldn't want his kids to try for a life that's more than ordinary?

Or, to borrow a lyric from my son's latest CD:

"Life's a game, life's a joke, fuck it, why not go for broke?

Courtesy of Jaime Torraco/Kittens of Industry
Courtesy of Jaime Torraco/Kittens of Industry

Trade in all your chips and learn how to be free

Why abstain, why jump in line? We're all living on borrowed time

Do what you like and they'll like what you do when you do it and if they don't, that's fine

Fuck 'em!"

Ask Willie D

Learning to Let Go
A reader seeks help learning to forgive others.

Dear Willie D:

I know that resentment is a noxious habit, but I find it very hard to forgive people who mistreat me. I once went ten years without speaking to my sister because we got into an argument over our kids. I'm a medical-office receptionist. My primary duties are to optimize patients' satisfaction, provider time and treatment-room utilization by scheduling appointments in person or by telephone.

Last week a patient came in acting very rude toward an assistant and was told to behave or leave. She decided to calm down and was allowed to see the doctor. But she was clearly agitated from being scolded and let me know it by rolling her eyes. To get back at her, the next several times she called for an appointment, I either scheduled her for the least desirable first appointment time (7 a.m.) or I told her we were booked.

She deserves to be treated badly because she is not a nice person. At the same time, I know the way I'm treating her is not right. If I'm in a good mood and she calls, immediately my attitude alters and I get stressed out. How do I let go of the anger, learn to forgive and move on?

Can't Forgive:

In certain situations — like yours — I'm the wrong person to ask about how to let go of anger and forgive. I probably would have scheduled the rude patient for 7 a.m., then waited until she arrived to tell her we were already booked up. Depending on how I was wronged, it's hard for me to forgive. But I have learned to manage my anger to a degree where it doesn't consume and depress me; it's called emotional compartmentalization.

Now the experts say that learning to forgive promotes a healthier lifestyle and a greater spiritual well-being, so you should probably listen to them. I still have a few loose screws that need to be tightened.

Ask Willie D appears Thursday mornings on Rocks Off.

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