Category Archives: Stoicism

A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World out of Your Control; 52 Week-by-Week Lessons

Driving home in the rain from this morning’s geocaching event, I reminded myself of the book A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control—52 Week-by-Week Lessons. I had an eureka moment when I realized this would be a wonderful thing to set out to tackle here the first day of the year.

I’ve read the book previously, but did not work through it as intended; as a week-to-week workbook for a year. We’ll see how well I persevere doing so this time out. Frankly, everything is set up perfectly for this. With the first being a Saturday, I got the preparation stuff completed to begin fresh tomorrow with the first week’s lesson.

I have been unable to find the walk-through discussions I know exist for this book. They may be on Facebook. 🙁

Anyhow, here is the beginning quiz.

  1. I get really upset when I don’t get what I want or things don’t go my way.
  2. I put a lot of effort into avoiding things I don’t like or that I am afraid of.
  3. I spend a lot of time pursuing comfort and pleasure.

The reader is asked to rate himself on a scale from 1 to 10 for the above three statements. One equates to this Doesn’t describe me at all. Ten equates to this Describes me perfectly.

First off, I dislike scales like this. What’s the difference between a three and four? I don’t know and it consumes my effort to define these things. Secondly, the answers to the first two come down to what is being considered.

When I don’t get my way on where the children and I dine, it hardly bothers me. When I don’t get my way when I feel a student needs specialized help, it bothers me far more.

Likewise, I avoid what I perceive to be uncomfortable experiences. I don’t know how much effort is involved in not driving off a cliff, but I avoid doing so. Other things, I may put more effort into that are less dangerous, but still uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, allow me to forge ahead and state:

  1. 5
  2. 3
  3. 7

I support odd numbers, I gather.

An aside
I don’t know why I cannot read this with immersion reading on the Fire. I have both the Kindle ebook and the Audible audiobook. Most frustrating. I actually have a question into Amazon about this. We shall see if that is resolved.

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

My children live on their devices, yet when I text them, I receive no response . . . There was a time when people went out of their way to invite those who lived alone to Thanksgiving. That must be a thing of the past . . . During the football game just now, an announcement was made that some organization is planning the nation’s 250th birthday for 2026. Wow! I remember all the hubub for the bicentennial. I’m getting old if I celebrate both of these birthdays . . . So out of it right now. Fritz asked me on Sunday if I had watched the WKRP Turkey Drop episode on Thanksgiving. Nope. I had completely forgotten that tradition nor did I listen to Arlo’s Alice’s Restaurant . . . As a man who works with primarily women, here’s something I have to deal with. The hand soap in the faculty bathroom is right near the toilet. When people wash their hands, they drip onto the toilet seat. Then I come in. I life the seat to do what I do. But that water makes it look like I peed on the seat. Yes, I dry the seat so nobody thinks I am unclean. Then I scrub the hell out of my hands . . . .Phish treated us to a replay of their classic Clifford Ball concert the other day online. Now they are hawking the CDs . . . Despite it being a weird time for me right now where it feels like things aren’t going my way, I had my surprise observation today. All was perfect . . . Bailed on the book club this week. It was a stoic decision. My contentment is more important right now than others’ opinions of me . . . Surrounded in a crowded bar, yet I was alone. Sat in the middle of mass, yet I was alone . . . It’s always startling when I discover my students aren’t who they appear to be. One of my students stole my Rubik’s Cube . . .The more I learn and listen to what others have learned and value, the more I realize that what I have done in life, how I have structured things is what others seek . . .